New to Photography.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by PatB, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. PatB

    PatB Stunt Coordinator

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    My Dad surprised me by giving me his old camera, a Minolta Dynax 5000i. I know nothing about cameras or photography but I'm very eager to learn. Anyone here have any experience or know any sites that can help out someone in my position? I'm going to do a search on google as usual but there are always some hidden places out there that those of you with a little insider knowledge seem to know about. I know I may be a little behind the curve with the popularity of digital cameras but the purist in me is looking forward to this new past-time. I'd love to hear any general advice anyone has.
     
  2. John Kilroy

    John Kilroy Stunt Coordinator

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    Some thoughts

    1. You might want to buy a book on basic photography. Kodak makes some very well-written and concise books. I recommend "Kodak Guide to 35mm Photography:Techniques for better pictures" or the "Kodak Pocket Guide to Travel Photography." They are both cheap and immensely helpful. Or check out a place like http://www.photo.net. It is very helpful to understand the basics - how cameras and lenses record light on film. You will be on your way to getting a descent exposure, which is really lesson #1 in photograpy.

    2. To this end (and it sounds archaic and old fashioned), shoot only slide film. If you really want to know if your work is progressing, slides are the only way to go, for the following reasons:

    a) You will see exactly what you exposed on film. When you shoot print film, the lab tech compensates for all your mistakes, e.g., you over exposure the negative, he makes the print lighter.

    b) you will spend much less money processing slides than prints. You will need to spend 30-40 dollars on a light tray. If you shoot a winner, you can get a print made from your slide for about .40 cents.

    c) You will feel like a hero when you are finally viewing your well-exposed slides on your light tray. Slide films are much more colorful, saturated and contrasty.

    3. Start shooting test rolls. Go out and shoot a roll of 36, and for each exposure, write down the aperture and shutter speed you used. Go out on a sunny day. Take a picture with the horizon line in the middle of the shot, at the bottom of the shot, and at the top. Notice your camera is recommending different apertures and shutter speeds, even though you are shooting all the shots in the same light. Ask yourself why, and figure it out. (hint: the answer will be in your slides when you get them back).

    After you've shot 8-10 test rolls of slide film with exposures recorded, and spent some time on photo.net, you should be getting very good exposures for 80-90% of your shots. You will be literate in the language of film. You will start to "see" like film does, and develop a sense of what the finished shot will look like on the light tray before you press the shutter release. Then you can move on to composition, perspective, night shooting, shooting with flash, and the rest of the world of photography.

    Good luck, it is very rewarding. Let me know if you have any questions, and be sure to report back to the thread about your experiences.
     
  3. Devin U

    Devin U Second Unit

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    I really enjoyed photo classes in high school and college. Check with a loca comunity college and see about a class. with tuition, fees, and supplies, it may run 200-250, but the instructionis very useful, and there is nothing more rewarding to me than to hand a print on the wall you shot and printed.
     

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