How to start?

zenon

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haha604 said:
I would like to get started in learning photography. Can anyone suggest a website or something that I can learn from? thx.

Btw I don't have a digital camera. The only camera i find at home is a Canon EOS500, bought in 1995.
I'm in my fourth year of art school right now, so I've got quite a bit of experience taking pictures and critiquing other's pictures. If you are looking to learn how to take good pictures, I strongly believe you should keep your reading to a minimum. A lot of people's work I see in photography forums on the Internet stress the rule of 3rds, rigid lighting techniques and really traditional compositions. But basically, what the contemporary art world has caught on to and what many photographers on the Internet have completley ignored, is that reading too much and stressing composition too much creates very boring pictures.

But, you still do need to do a bit of reading. Check out the Learning section over at photo.net (www.photo.net/learn/), and focus on learning as much as you can on the actual mechanical workings of a camera. Learn as much as you can about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, lighting, flashes, film etc.

After that, stop reading. Start looking at as many images in as many places as you possibly can. Look at pictures in magazines, look at pictures in art galleries, look at stills from films, look at pictures on the internet. Find images that you like and analyze them: try and figure out what lens, lighting, flash, aperture, film etc. was used in the picture. After you have a good grasp on understanding what technical elements make up a good picture, go nuts and take as many pictures as you possibly can of everything and anything you see (digital cameras are especially good for this since taking a billion pictures doesn't cost anything). If you are using a film camera, it can often be helpful to carry around a notepad and make a note of the settings you use on each image (digital cameras will have a record of the settings you used imbedded in the file, so you don't need to bother). Figure out what settings on your pictures don't work and which settings do work.

It takes a long time to get good at photography - I'm not nearly as good as I want to be after taking tens of thousands of shots. But basically concentrate on learning all the mechanical and technical aspects of operating a camera first, and then become a giant sponge for great photographs.

If you're looking for somewhere to find a lot of great images to look at, I'll recomend a few sites:

www.eatpoo.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=8 - EatPoo photography forum. There are tonnes of great photographers, and the critiques and comments exchanged on the forum can be helpful for everyone.

www.poxin.com/pictures/photos/ - Guy I went to highschool with. Shoots digital, and has an absolutely incredible eye for composition. Rarely follows any traditional photography rules. (His work in 2003 and 2004 is much better than his earlier stuff)

www.visual-noise.net/alpha/ - Directory listing of a site that isn't quite yet finished, but this guy is an absolutely amazing photographer. His work can also be seen in a more organized fashion at www.visual-noise.com and www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=237688.

www.zenon.8m.com - Shameless plug for my own site. :p

I hope thats a good starter, have fun! :mrgreen:
 

haha604

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Wow zenon, thx for your detailed response :mrgreen: . I am gonna start experiementing with photography after the finals. Luckily there is a lot of stuff to take pictures of in Vancouver, so I don't have to head to the interior yet.

I think I'll try shooting some shots at UBC and Stanley Park first, like the ones you have under your landscape section on your site :).
 

Renesis

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I splitted your topic, hope you don't mind but this way you may get more replies and the other topic will actually stay on topic :)
 

haha604

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thx renesis :) I certainly welcome this move.

Sorry for going off topic in your topic. I was a bit tired last night so .....
Hope you don't mind :mrgreen:
 

zenon

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Renesis said:
I splitted your topic, hope you don't mind but this way you may get more replies and the other topic will actually stay on topic :)
Thanks Renesis. I was thinking of reposting my post under a new thread, but this saves me the work. :D
 

tysoe

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I'd recommend getting a nice but cheap digital camera that has manual SLR like controls as well as some of the usual point and click program modes. Something like the olympus C740 or C750

gives you much the same features of an SLR but full manual, a nice 10x optical zoom (big telephoto for a lo cost digital camera).

this way you can take a lot of pictures, experiment with apature, light reading and shutter speed and the various effects that can be obtained with a manual camera. But not spend a fortune on rolls of film. Instant feedback, and you can choose the best or take multiple similar pics and tweak your settings to get the effect or exposure you want.

try before you by where printing is concerned :)

the camera I like that can be bought online for about $250 has a review below.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/C740/C74P.HTM

Its a really good site with a lot of similar camera reviews, highly recommended :)
 

tysoe

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yeah its a nice camera at a mid range price. The one I pointed out is more affordable at current prices and still gives you the manual features of an SLR.
 

haha604

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All your suggestions are welcome :D , but I already bought an Olympus C60Z back in May. Looking back I should have grabbed something with a higher optical zoom rate and a lower MP though. 12X Zoom can let me spy on my neighbours hehe :lol: j/k.
 
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