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Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by GrahamWadden, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    Hi peoples,

    Just about to get heavily into photography (well, when Curry's hurries up with my shiny new camera). This forum looks like a great forum to help budding new photographers find their feet, so here I am!

    There's a ton of forum sections on here; it's like being a kid and starting at big school for the first time and I'm already late for lessons (wouldn't be the first time ;)). Can any of you big kids show me the best hang-outs for getting started (and no trying to flush my head down the bog!).

    Once I get the camera and have learnt how to work its functions, what do you recommend starting to learn and in what order? I've read a bit about Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed, but am not sure which I should practice adjusting first - should you set the Aperture and then worry about the other two, or doesn't it matter? Or am I getting ahead of myself and is there things to learn before I even get to figuring out those three functions?

    I'm looking forward to this!

    Graham Wadden
  2. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Hello, Graham, and welcome to the AP forums!

    We do our best! :)

    Don't think we've got a specific flushing-head-down-bog section, that would probably have to go in the Lounge, which can sometimes get a little more rambunctious. Otherwise, Beginners Corner for general stuff, possibly one of the brand specific sections for stuff that's, well, brand specific (you haven't mentioned which camera you're getting), and when you've got some pictures and want to know how you might make them better, you could try posting in the Appraisal Gallery. Even if you don't post, have a read through - you can learn a lot from what's said about other people's pictures.

    Do try to avoid posting the same question in more than one place, though - it tends to lead to confusion! Other than that, nobody's too bothered about where things are posted.

    It depends what you're trying to achieve in the "look" of the photo. For depth of field, which determines how much of the scene is in focus, you need to control the aperture (and probably the focus point as well). For movement and motion blur (including avoiding camera shake), shutter speed is the controlling factor.

    Many modern cameras have a mode which allows you to set both aperture and shutter speed, and it automatically adjusts the ISO sensitivity to get a "correct" exposure.

    Here are a few tutorial pages you might find helpful:


    When you get your camera, have a play around and experiment, and do feel free to come back here and ask questions - there's no such thing as a stupid question, what would be stupid is not asking, and staying ignorant! :)

    Above all, Have fun!
  3. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    Hey Alex, that was quick! My mushroom soup's only just gone down!

    Thanks for the low-down and those three links, I'll have a good read this afternoon. :)
  4. alfbranch

    alfbranch Well-Known Member

    Welcome Graham and we look forward to seeing some shots.
  5. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    No pressure then :eek:
  6. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Welcome along Graham. Learning is the fun part.
    Great post by Alex will help you on your way.:)
  7. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    Evening! ... Camera's arrived. Yippee! I've not taken any photos with it, just yet, as I've been working out how best to use its many many features (I want to limit as many crap photos as I can, right from the beginning, so I'm reading up on composition and how to best combine the use of Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed settings). It won't be long, now before I've got my first batch of photos ... I've decided I'm going to create a website to upload my photos and document my progress. I've got the Lumix FZ1000, so I'll probably post updates of my photos, to the Panasonic section of this forum, if you want to critique them (I don't mind constructive criticism, as it helps speed up the learning process).
  8. lisadb

    lisadb Well-Known Member

    Hi Graham, you'll get more advice if you post your pics in the Appraisal section (and more differing opinions as well). :D
  9. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    Okay, will do :D
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Shoot everything on full auto.

    Ask yourself which of your pictures don't work.

    Then, if you can't work it out for yourself (it's often surprisingly easy) ask us why.


  11. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    Hi Roger ... wouldn't it be better to learn in manual mode? Like in a similar way it's better to learn to drive in a manual car - sure, it takes a bit longer to get the hang of using the manual gears and peddles* simultaneously, but once you do, you've got greater control and flexibility over driving the car, and you can easily switch between driving manual or automatic cars.

    * only, in this case, it's learning to simultaneously work with Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO settings, taking the place of the gears and peddles analogy.

    I'm not knocking your suggestion, and in fact it'd probably be useful / interesting to open this up to others in the forum for a more thorough debate as to whether manual or automatic mode is best to learn in. Not sure whether that should be done here, or move over to another part of the forum? What do you / others think?
  12. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    As with most things, it's really down to personal preference how you start shooting but I"d say the first thing is to start shooting. If you shoot in fully auto to begin with you can concentrate on composition initially without worrying about other settings. You can have all the settings manually (or otherwise) optimised for a perfect exposure but if the composition isn't up to much the shot won't be any the better for being well exposed.

    Roughly, to get started, you want to be thinking about composition, focus and exposure. I'd be starting off by worrying about the first two and letting the camera take up some of the slack on the last. If you get shots you love, take a note of the settings that the camera used and compare it to the lighting conditions at the time and figure out why those settings produced a pleasing result. If you get shots you hate, again, look at the settings and try to figure out why. That way, you can start thinking about whether or not the auto setting is giving you the result you wanted or if you could have manually entered in something to make it work for you.
  13. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    Interesting thoughts, especially the bit about noting the settings in auto mode that made the pleasing results vs. the not-so-pleasing ones.

    So far, then, it's "2" votes in favour of learning in "Auto" mode.
  14. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Hey, I'm in favour of doing whatever feels right for YOU! And also in reading around the subject and in looking, looking, looking and analysing what other people are doing, what you like and why. And what you don't like, and why. Just as, if not more important!
  15. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    Ah, yeah, I did rather make a rash presumption, there didn't I, Geren? Again, you make some more good points ... maybe I should keep on making rash presumptions :D
  16. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Another idea that may be helpful for learning - when time permits, you could try shooting in both manual and auto modes, then having a look at the pictures afterwards, and seeing if one looks better (obviously if you chose the same settings in manual as auto used, they should look similar, as long as the light didn't change). Then, if one shot does look better, think about why the different settings made it look better.

    Digital cameras record a lot of details about the settings used to take a picture in the image file in what's called the EXIF header (EXchangeable Image file Format), and many photo viewing programs can display this - I believe it's even part of the standard system photo viewer in later versions of Windows - click on "properties".
  17. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

    You've got some good ideas there, Alex, thanks!
  18. GrahamWadden

    GrahamWadden Active Member

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