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Getting started in Photography


butt3r3dt0ast
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I have always had a great appreciation for photography, and could spend countless hours roaming the internet looking at all kinds of photography. I have taken some pretty cool photos on my iPhone over the years, but recently I have decided that I'd like to get into photography more seriously and start taking some awesome pictures.

I am starting this thread because aside from my iPhone, I have no photography gear or real experience. I understand the basics of photography such as aperture, ISO, shutter speed, and depth of field. But I am hoping to hear from some of you about cameras that you currently have or recommend (I'd like to get one soon), tips about starting to take better pictures, how you learned as a photographer, etc...

I enjoyed looking at some of the member pictures in the "share your photos" thread, which hasn't been active for a while. Hopefully, this will spark some life into this forum group!

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@butt3r3dt0ast

http://barzeski.com/dslru/e1001.html - DSLRU Buying Guide

http://barzeski.com/dslru/g1001.html - Introduction to Photography

http://barzeski.com/dslru/g1002.html - Introduction to Composition

These were from a site I ran for a little while called DSLRU. Some of the links won't work (the glossary I didn't bother to recover, for example). If you appreciate the work that went into these and find them useful, you can send a few bucks via PayPal to me at erik@barzeski.com.

If you don't, I apologize. :) They're a few years old, but they should still be pretty relevant.

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I first started in photography in the 1970's when I bought a Minolta SRT-201 35mm SLR.  I stayed with it until the early 90's, sort of went into snapshot mode for 20 years, then got the bug again in 2010.  With digital photography I had a lot to learn because there are big differences.  3 years later I"m still learning, and probably will be until I can't get out to shoot any more.

I started trying to be serious about it (as a hobbyist, never a consideration to be a pro) again after deciding to get a DSLR.  What I got at the time was Canon T1i with the 18-55mm zoom kit lens.  Over the next year I replaced the kit lens with an EF 17-40 f4.0 L, then replaced that with what I still have, the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS.  Then I upgraded the body, and along the way I added to my lens collection.  My current kit is:  Canon 60D body; EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS; EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5, EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro; EF 70-200 f4 L IS; EF 100mm f2.8 L IS Macro.  At least 75% of my shooting is done with the 17-55 lens.

The other consideration for photography, either as a hobby or as a profession, is post processing.  You will probably reach a point where you want to shoot in the RAW format, and that requires that you obtain and learn to use quality post processing software.

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@butt3r3dt0ast

http://barzeski.com/dslru/e1001.html - DSLRU Buying Guide

http://barzeski.com/dslru/g1001.html - Introduction to Photography

http://barzeski.com/dslru/g1002.html - Introduction to Composition

These were from a site I ran for a little while called DSLRU. Some of the links won't work (the glossary I didn't bother to recover, for example). If you appreciate the work that went into these and find them useful, you can send a few bucks via PayPal to me at erik@barzeski.com.

If you don't, I apologize. :) They're a few years old, but they should still be pretty relevant.

Thanks for the info Erik. Sounds like you were pretty serious about it back then. Are you still big into photography, now that you're so busy with golf-related work and activities? I don't currently have a paypal, but perhaps I should try to set one up.

PS - I ended up going with the Nikon D3200 w/ the 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR kit lens. I think I'm also going to invest in a 55-200mm lens soon too.

I first started in photography in the 1970's when I bought a Minolta SRT-201 35mm SLR.  I stayed with it until the early 90's, sort of went into snapshot mode for 20 years, then got the bug again in 2010.  With digital photography I had a lot to learn because there are big differences.  3 years later I"m still learning, and probably will be until I can't get out to shoot any more.

I started trying to be serious about it (as a hobbyist, never a consideration to be a pro) again after deciding to get a DSLR.  What I got at the time was Canon T1i with the 18-55mm zoom kit lens.  Over the next year I replaced the kit lens with an EF 17-40 f4.0 L, then replaced that with what I still have, the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS.  Then I upgraded the body, and along the way I added to my lens collection.  My current kit is:  Canon 60D body; EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS; EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5, EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro; EF 70-200 f4 L IS; EF 100mm f2.8 L IS Macro.  At least 75% of my shooting is done with the 17-55 lens.

The other consideration for photography, either as a hobby or as a profession, is post processing.  You will probably reach a point where you want to shoot in the RAW format, and that requires that you obtain and learn to use quality post processing software.

Thanks for sharing FourPutt. I certainly admire your lens collection, especially now that I am aware of how expensive some of these lens can get haha. So far I've just been doing some post-processing in iPhoto. I've read that Aperture is a good mac program to invest in once I get more advanced at processing.

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Probably the best program available for photo file management and editing is Adobe Lightroom.  Although there certainly are others, Lightroom not only has some powerful editing tools, but a great file management database, and information and tutorials are widely available.  The big advantage to using an application like LR is that it does non-destructive editing, meaning that the original file is never altered.  LR creates "recipes" detailing all of the steps you take in editing, and applies them for viewing within the program, but only modifies the image when you export a copy.  Your original "negative" is always left as it came out of the camera.

I also use Photoshop Elements when I need to make more extensive changes to an image.  Lightroom will create a copy of an image with the LR edits and send it to Elements, so you still never change the original.

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I've just been using the stock Canon software (DDP) for editing RAW images. It's pretty good but I've never used anything else to compare it too. My tips... Carry two memory cards, especially if you're shooting raw and/or shooting multiple shots at high shutter speeds (wildlife, sports etc). And invest in something that's NOT your computer to back up shots too, like an external hard drive and make sure to use it! I lost 18 months worth of shots due to a careless data backup and am only left with the crap low resolution shots I posted to Facebook.
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I own Capture One, DXO Optics Pro, Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for Windows platforms.  Which one is best is dependent on your workflow and what you want to do.  For basic RAW processing and image management you can't beat Lightroom.  If you want to process RAW and get the best possible JPEG results then I'd suggest DXO Optics Pro.  If you want to process RAW files and do major enhancements then I'd suggest Adobe RAW with Photoshop CC.

I just upgraded to a Canon 70D and the RAW files it produces are huge so whatever software you use, you definitely want to have plenty of memory and fast drives (I use a 512GB SSD for all editing and store processed images to external USB 3.0 hard drives).

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Note: This thread is 2950 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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