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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Please suggest how to learn photography
Showing posts 1 - 15 of 15, (reverse)
07/24/2011 03:05:47 PM · #1

I have been away from this web site for long time due to change in my career. Meanwhile i bought myself canon dslr 1000d. I am very bookish person. I always looking out for this manual or reference book that would teach anything i wanted to learn say yoga, investment etc. I do realize photography is something learns by experimenting. I know i am answering my own question but i still prefer if some can point me to a web site or set of article that can help me improve my photography. Some sort of rough road map.
I mean anything which can help some to learn Photoshop and photography and being able to use my DSLR full potential

07/24/2011 03:32:16 PM · #2
I would start with the learning tab on this site. Some of the best users here have took the time to upload tutorials for us and they cover a gamit of subjects.
How'd they do that!

I have always loved photography but was not good at it. Everything I have learned has come from this site. The Users/Members here are great at helping other users out. I know I'm not as good as top 50% but I feel like I have come a long ways. When I get a dSLR camera again I will continue to learn from this site.

The best combination IMO is viewing the two links above, vote and comment in challenges(you will learn from others photos), and go out and take several picture of the same subject or scene using different settings. You will begin to see what works best for you and what type of photography interest you.

Photoshop you do need some book smarts on the program. I don't know the best books or sites for that but maybe someone else will chime in on that.

Good luck,
07/24/2011 04:05:32 PM · #3
This site as ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' SDW said.
This one is helpful and easy to navigate Digital Photography School.
The Adorama site has good articles.

Hope this helps you a bit.

Best wishes.
07/24/2011 04:55:07 PM · #4
My mentor told me - shoot, shoot, shoot. Ignore the rules - shoot anyhow. I would add to that, have others critique your work. Sometimes breaking the rules gets a good shot, but more often it teaches you WHY the rule exists.
As I've been on dpchallenge, I've also learned that it would be beneficial to STUDY lighting - experiment with multiple light sources, front lighting, back lighting, side lighting, different types of lighting.
07/24/2011 07:44:15 PM · #5
I have gone through a long learning process in the past 2 years. I started with Al's photography online courses for beginners:
You get notes and do assignment every week for 5 weeks. They are cheap and you get a lot of positive feedback (no formal critique but I have learned a lot)

I have then gone through the following books:

Scott Kelby's:
The Digital Photography 1&2
The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers
The Adobe Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers

Jim Miotke's:
The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography
The BetterPhoto Digital Nature Photography

Ferrell McCollough's:
Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photographyy

I am currently starting Matt Kloskowski's:
The Complete Guide to Photoshop's Most Powerful Feature Layers

I found all of the above useful even if there is overlap.

If you search through DPC forums you will find a lot of links to online resources and some paid Web sites. I am planning to take some intermediate online courses with instructor feedback next year, mainly on the artistic side rather than techniques.

Take lots of photos. You will learn from your own mistakes. Also take time to look at the work of good photographers to know what you are aiming for when you finished all this learning!! :)
07/24/2011 08:04:01 PM · #6
This worked for me, hope it helps!

Buy p&s camera. Shoot, meet dpc member, shoot, enter challenge, get ass kicked, learn why ass got kicked, shoot some more. Enter next several challenges til smart enough to realize thanks to 'camera shake' and 'blurry' comments that a tripod is in order. Buy tripod. Use tripod. Learn camera better, quit shooting on auto, shoot, shoot, shoot, enter challenges, request critiques for next 3 years, follow critiquees advice. See scores go up a little. Shoot shoot shoot enter challenges get kudos. Shoot shoot shoot enter challenges get butt kicked. Shoot shoot shoot shoot meet someone who shows you new methods and techniques. Shoot shoot shoot shoot enter challenges get more kudos than butt kicking. Before upgrading shoot a different brand altogether then decide and upgrade. Shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot enter challenge WIN CHALLENGE WTF HAPPENED?!! Shoot shoot shoot join Critique Club shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot enter challenges shoot shoot with photography significant other shoot shoot enter challenges shoot shoot shoot with photography SO shoot shoot shoot go shoot wildlife with photography significant other shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot happen upon chance to work with fashion photog shooting weddings shoot shoot shoot engagement party blow away new boss shoot shoot shoot shoot wedding blow away new boss again shoot shoot shoot...
07/24/2011 08:18:00 PM · #7
Snaffles approach works well. Except for the bit about blowing someone.
07/24/2011 08:21:33 PM · #8
* Learn the basics of exposure (aperture, shutter, ISO) -- abandon automatic modes.
* Learn the basics of post processing (good web sites already suggested).
* Learn the basics of design (how color, line, balance, rhythm, symmetry, light, symbolism, framing, simplification, abstraction, and other concepts work to make an image better or worse). These are the things that tell you WHY to shoot a particular way and WHY to post process a particular way. View as many of the Daily Critques as you can handle at The Mindful Eye. (Free registration).

* Expand to controlling light (window, sun, shade, reflector, off camera flash, ...). Lots of resources for this too.

* Shoot, shoot, shoot (a lot) but also frequently evaluate your output critically (yourself, feedback from others, challenges). Notice your progress. Enjoy the journey.
07/25/2011 07:19:32 AM · #9
Thanks a lot everyone for your guidance
07/25/2011 09:00:43 AM · #10
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Snaffles approach works well. Except for the bit about blowing someone.
<= *eyeroll* I said 'blow away', not 'blow', Grog!! Jeez, you men...

Good luck, General! Just stick with it, and in the meantime the longer you stay here, the more you'll learn and the tougher the hide you'll grow.

Message edited by author 2011-07-25 09:20:53.
07/29/2011 07:00:33 PM · #11
another method of improving your own photography is to think about and observe deeply the work of others. Classically this would have been looking at galleries and monographs of famous photographers, but here at DPC you can look at less polished work that is more similar to your own, and see flaws that you want to avoid, as well as ideas you might want to emulate. Vote the challenges, and comment like mad, really make yourself think about why you like one image better than another.

I was taught that you should know what you want to get out of an image before you put the camera in front of your face. But learning what the right light will be, or knowing what framing or angle will be better than another is a matter of looking at a whole lot of photographs, and then deconstructing what the photographer did to achieve that result.

So yes shoot, shoot, shoot, but do so with intent, know what you want, and then put yourself in the right position to get your shot.

Message edited by author 2011-07-29 22:43:10.
07/29/2011 07:55:29 PM · #12
Shoot, shoot, shoot.... But don't fall into the trap that so many of us have/do, and that's becoming your own worst critic. Remember that when you took the shot, there was something about it that inspired you to push the shutter button in the first place. Remember that, and look at your images to see what it was that you did right. Develop that technique and your enjoyment, and skill level, will steadily increase.
07/29/2011 08:14:48 PM · #13
My brother gave me the best of advice for general purpose shooting. Zero in on the subject, and try to frame so that you eliminate everything that does not add something positive to the photo of the subject.

Look at and compare photos of subjects similar to what you shoot to the ones that you shoot. Look for the subtle differences that make one better than the others. With practice, you will learn how the "difference" was achieved and how to do it yourself.

Side challenges are good for getting feedback, esp if you get in one where people tell you what's right and not so right with your shots. Comments get comments, so you have to make them to get them. It's worth repeating that comments are also a great way to learn what you are seeing in photos by others, and soon you will be thinking about those elements of your photos as you shoot.

Be patient when shooting anything where motion or interaction may play a part in the resulting photographs. It's easy to get bored, or think "well, got that subject" and drift away, but if you stay with it for an extra few minutes, then the magical moment may happen and you will be there for it.

Don't feel embarrassed to ask questions here. We all started out knowing very little about photography. Some of us were just younger or older when we started, but we all started somewhere or we wouldn't be here.

You have to take your camera off "Program" eventually if you want to learn what each of the buttons and dials do to the photos.
Have fun, don't stress about it, and just enjoy shooting and learning.

ETA; You like books, so read the manual that came with your camera and experiment with the settings as you go along in the book. Try learning one item a day, or one every three days so you can retain it and use it later.

Message edited by author 2011-07-29 20:18:17.
07/29/2011 08:15:19 PM · #14
This is the journey I took over this last year, I feel I have improved significantly from where I started:

First: I watched free tutorials I downloaded from i-tunes: "Photography 101" from these I learned how to shoot it RAW, what aperture, exposure, ISO and white balance means as well as a few useful lighting techniques.
Second: Started experimenting with shooting different things and looking for online photoshop tutorials on how to edit my photos.
Third: While looking for photoshop tutorials stumbled across DPC thought it looked fun and decided to enter a photo just to see how my photos stacked up against others. Got my butt kicked.
Fourth: Joined Side Challenges on DPC got to know other members and started PMing them so I could get more one on one advice about my photos. Also commenting on other photos and reading the comments others left helped me to understand what works an what doesn't in a photo.
Fifth: Found a few great mentors on this site that helped me understand even more about photography and how to use photoshop.
Sixth: I Try to enter as many challenges as possible, it makes you step out of you comfort zone and photograph things you normally wouldn't. I always learn a great deal when I do this.

I have been able to win some ribbons, and I don't get my butt kicked quite as often, but more importantly I am happier about the way my photographs turn out when shooting for myself and for friends and clients, which is why I joined the site in the first place.

07/29/2011 08:55:27 PM · #15
Loads of great advice here so the only thing i'll add is - when taking in influences don't *just* look at photographers and photography. Take it all in, from film and tv, a fair few thousand years of 'art', literature, design. Use everything that you love whether it is 1960s comic books or Shakespeare, 1990's skatebording design or Bach. Creativity is a mash up and a camera is an amazingly versatile tool. And, of course, have fun! Don't get bogged down in the technicals or 'equipment love' (although it's hard not to). Remember- most of the greatest photographs of the last 150 years were made with equipment far less sophisticated than the current range of $1000 plus lenses.
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