Photography Learning Resources

Move along, nothing to see here!
User avatar
vexed87
Posts: 1086
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Photography Learning Resources

Postby vexed87 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:19 am

Seen as though I have seen a few threads on the forum with some amazing imagery, it's clear we have some photography aficionados here! Can anyone recommend some good photography learning resources/websites?

I picked up an entry level DSLR (nikon D3300) to take some shots of my coming honeymoon, (it was a bargain, low bidding interest due to misspelled model number - love that trick!).

Suggestions?

George the original one
Posts: 4072
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby George the original one » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:37 am

Go to the library and find some photography instruction books. What was valid 50 years ago is still valid today for exposure and composition. Then take as many pictures as you can so you learn what works for you.

Digital realm offers unlimited "film" and the darkroom is now instantaneous unless you spend too much time with Photoshop. The one thing modern cameras offer is automatic exposure bracketing (taking 5+ pictures at different exposures) and I recommend learning how to activate it on your camera as the default setting.

After being an engineer, my friend retired early and became a professional photographer in a niche field:
https://www.facebook.com/Kod%C3%B4gu-no ... 023454853/

User avatar
vexed87
Posts: 1086
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby vexed87 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:43 pm

Thanks GTOO, I hadn't even thought of the library, they don't normally have the types of books I'm interested in, but they do have photography stuff, I'll check it out!

SavingWithBabies
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, USA

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby SavingWithBabies » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:05 am

If you feel like tinkering, pick up Understanding Exposure. It's pretty popular so the library should have it. In many ways, it's not really a necessary thing as it is so easy to review your photos on the camera now and adjust. However, I remember it help me look at light in a different way. I realized a bit more that the camera can not see the range we can. So certain things, like backlit, can be much different from the camera than what we perceive in real life. So it helped me think more about possibilities and pushed my boundaries a bit.

User avatar
TheRedHare
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:40 pm
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby TheRedHare » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:14 am

I know a guy who runs his own photography business on the side. I was asking him about it, and to make a long story short, he was willing to have me as a secondary shooter. He said I'd have to get my own camera and practice in order to be good, because the whole point on having another shooter is so that you can cover more events during say a wedding. I was looking at a D7000 which is about $500 -$600. That is a pretty penny for me, but the ROI might be really nice. Plus I'd get some great training from this guy, who is actually really good.

Thoughts? I was thinking it would be a good side hustle.

User avatar
vexed87
Posts: 1086
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby vexed87 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:55 am

Buy it used, and sell it on if it doesn't work out. That way it won't cost you (much) to try! Just don't spend a fortune on accessories. Working with a pro, you'll pick it up quick. Go for it.

Loner
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:26 pm

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby Loner » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:58 am

To OP.

First, the technical aspect. To make beautiful images, you need to know the basics of how your camera works. Pick up a book with a title like “Understanding exposure”, read the camera manual, or just review a couple of farticles explaining the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed. It’s simple. Pretty much all cameras have the same buttons, just in different places.

The summary:

ISO: This is the sensor’s light sensitivity. Higher number means you can shoot when it’s darker, but the image quality is lower (there is more noise).

Aperture: This is how big the camera’s iris opens. If it’s more opened, more light comes in, but the depth of field is shallower meaning you’ll have your subject in focus, while the rest will be out-of-focus. A higher f-number means an aperture that is more closed. Hence, a lower f-number means things (other than your subject) will be more out of focus.

Shutter speed. How long your camera is gathering light, in seconds. Opened longer equals more light, but then the image risks being blurry (under, say, 1/60).

Bottom line: choose the lower ISO possible, and put your camera in AP mode (aperture priority). AP mode means you effectively choose the depth-of-field, and the camera automatically sets the shutter speed. Many pros do this. The aperture determines your depth-of-field. The smaller the f-number, the shallower depth of field. Automatic mode is fine as well if you’re starting. The EV (exposure value) button tells the camera how much lighter or darker you want the image to be, compared to how it exposes it normally.

At first, don’t dwell too long on the technical aspects. Most beginners’ images suck because they are poorly designed/composed, not because the photographer failed to understand the relationship between focal length and chromatic aberration. Read more about composition, light quality, and colour design. Here are some reading ideas.

For composition, get Harald Mante’s The Photograph: Composition and Color Design.
For colour design, read Johannes Itten’s The Elements of Color.
For an overall approach to making photos that speak to the viewer, you need Bruce Barnbaum’s The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression.
Flash work? Joe McNally’s The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes is good.

As for portraiture, it’s often more about lighting, expression and posing than it is about composition. Read a bunch of books about body language and posing. Also, look at classical painting (contrapposto is an important concept) and Youtube videos.

User avatar
TheRedHare
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:40 pm
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby TheRedHare » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:01 pm

To OP.


Thanks for the info. What camera would you suggest then? I was looking at that one out of recommendation from my photographer friend. I don't want something that can't produce professional quality images. Yes I know I don't have the skill set, but I don't think it would take me very long, maybe a little over a year, in order to get pretty good.

Loner
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:26 pm

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby Loner » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:22 pm

I think your friend's suggestion is great. As for making "professional quality images", this depends on what you're doing.

If you're selling to a magazine (beauty shots, etc.), or more generally to people who deal in images, your photos will most likely be judged by other photographers. Your images will need to be technically perfect, or at least very good. The camera you mention could cut it here.

If you're shooting weddings, you just might even be able to get away with a cheaper camera, if you know how to use it, as the "professional quality images" criteria will met if:
1- It is a photo;
2- It has bokeh.

If you read the right stuff, you can progress a lot in a year. I think it's worth it. Good luck!

User avatar
TheRedHare
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:40 pm
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby TheRedHare » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:35 am

Awesome, Thanks for the advice!

User avatar
C40
Posts: 1651
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: Photography Learning Resources

Postby C40 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:18 am

Here's a post I wrote on the MMM forum where someone asked me about about the equipment side - about getting into photography cheaply:

For doing photography on the cheap, remember that you don’t need the “latest and greatest”. Case in point, I’m trying to sell my old camera body for $200 or maybe less and it seems no one wants it. (It’s a D90 and is what I used to take almost every single picture in this thread)

Camera bodies depreciate really quickly, even when the new ones aren’t all that much better. Good lenses hold their value much more. If you don’t mind using older lenses, there are really good ones you can get for <$100. The most common drawback of old lenses is that some of them are manual focus only. There is more chance that the lenses will have problems (like mold inside it - which you can see by inspecting it). But really, the main part of a lens is the glass elements inside it. And glass hasn’t gotten (much) better in the last 30 years. The only improvement is that some coatings used now make it a little tiny bit better.

This guy on Youtube shows and talks about 5-10 different lenses like this. He seems to know what he's talking about and is a rare example of a camera product youtube channel that isn’t on the consumerism/“new is best” train.

His personality becomes more unbearable with each new video you watch, so:
1 - Don't bother watching any videos where he explains concepts. He basically can't
2 - If you watch his videos, do it with a pen and paper and take notes, so you don’t ever have to watch that one again. His videos are a little tough because his tips are mixed together and spread out over multiple similar videos. Here are some examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydKq01FF-tE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95lweo8ocrA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IwoX0W2mVw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn4v4I40Fvo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HAvd4SyheE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCcaMMkBeEk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzcz9K0yYWk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFdJQdPFDB0

You want find where he’s talking about used lenses you can buy on Ebay for $X, (sometimes as low as $50-$150).


Return to “Miscellaneous”