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taking pics

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by nps, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. nps

    nps Well-Known Member

    some of you may know that im new and that ive just bought my first DSLR a pentax K30, I dont know anything about taking pics apart from pointing and shooting.
    Ive been thinking about what I can start taking pics of and is there a knack to it, can any pic be a great pic if the right settings are chosen? or is a great pic a pic that is taken in a certain way and are most great pics thought about before the button is pressed (i dont mean thought about in the way of changing settings)

    oh and while im here am i best off getting a lens hood considering IM having a moths holiday in greece in the summer and will take loads and loads of pics

    hope all that lot makes sense
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Good idea to get a lens hood. What fun to be a moth!

    A great pic is one you enjoy looking at in my book. If you get too heavily too quickly into " is it good?" then that can start to spoil the enjoyment so take your pace. Get a book out of the library - doesn't have to be digital - the old photo-course for beginners by the likes of Hedgecoe explain the basics of focal length, perspective, shutter speed etc. and you can learn a lot from these forums and AP. The Appraisal gallery is largely speaking the best place to see discussions about composition but it can be a harsh place - it is critique not flattery ( that is the exhibition gallery where being "honest" isn't properly allowed).

    Welcome and enjoy!
  3. nps

    nps Well-Known Member

    cheers PetRob for your reply and advice, after the camera arrives ill go read some more and go look to see if there is any books in the library too
    ill head over to the exhibition gallery too

    ye what fun to be a moth pmsl (wheres the edit button lol)
  4. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Hi nps,

    I'll reiterate, mate, take a photo course :). Until then, I'll offer you the advice I was given, by a PJ/high school mate, the day I bought my first (SLR) camera ........ "shoot lots" ... :D


  5. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Very good points so far, I would like to add few points that can help geting from a "casual snap" to a good photo. The great ones are (at least in my case) very depended on luck:rolleyes:

    But two things that set photographers apart from snappers are "the rule of thirds" and "eye level"
    There are many good links a discussions about the rule of thirds on the net but the basic idea you can see for example here

    By eye level I meen you should get your camera aprx. At eye level with your subject, going down for pets and kids.

    One more if you take pictures with strong lines like buildings and so on try to keep the camera back straight in line so things won't look like they are faling over.

    And yes every now and then brake the rules ;) But most of all take lots of pictures
  6. nps

    nps Well-Known Member

    thanks jack for your reply, the camera is going to be here next week so I'll have a read of the destructions, have a play about with it and then go get some books to read, if i have the time before i go ill go see if i can get some lessons rammed in, but if i dont im planning on shooting lots!!

    mmmmm rule of thirds and eye level :confused: mmmmm something else to read about
    'One more if you take pictures with strong lines like buildings and so on try to keep the camera back straight in line so things won't look like they are faling over.' not sure i know what you mean, but im sure i'll get the hang of it sooner or later
  7. NosamLuap

    NosamLuap Rebmem Roines

    Some great advice already given above.

    A couple of other suggestions. First, if you're shooting in bright sun, a polariser can really help cut down on glare and bring out the blue sea/sky.

    And that's the end of the "Oooh, buy lots of toys" list ;)

    If you're totally new to photography, I always recommend the book 'Understanding Exposure' by Bryan Peterson. If you want to move out of 'Auto' mode, and understand what the impact of changing shutter speed/aperture etc is, this is a very good book. I bought it after having my dSLR for about two years, and still learned lots - I really wish I'd bought it *before* I bought the camera!!

    It's also worth checking Flickr or similar sites to see if there's a group local to you - most towns/cities/areas have a dedicated group on Flickr, and most have meetups where you can go along with a few like minded folk and take pictures of something. You get to chat with folk, compare kit etc and I find it's a great way to 'try before you buy' as someone normally has the bit of kit you're thinking of buying :)
  8. nps

    nps Well-Known Member

    a polariser, ill have a look for one on the net am taking it just fits over the lens? it sounds like a good bit of kit because ive taking loads of pics with a point and shoot camera ant the sky always looks whitish making it look like ive holidayed in cold country lol
    cheers NosamLuap
  9. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    As I am no good at explaining I'll throw in a link :rolleyes: check this out
  10. southonline

    southonline Well-Known Member

    buy one of the Idiots Guide books and I'm sure theres probably one for your camera..If not just a generic DSLR Idiot book

    I started getting back into photography late last year and needed a refresher and bought the Idiots guide for my camera and it really kick started me along...Then once you have a few basics consider a
    photo course
  11. NosamLuap

    NosamLuap Rebmem Roines

    Yup, it's a filter that goes over the end of the lens.

    There are two types of polariser - a 'circular' and a 'linear'. For digital cameras, you need a 'circular' type (often shortened to 'CP' for 'Circular Polariser').

    There are also two mount types - screw in or 'square'.

    Screw-in types are round, and match the size of the front of your lens. These screw in directly to the lens, and allow you to still use lens hoods etc. You need one for each size of lens you use.

    Square types are large flat sheets (of plastic or glass) which fit into a filter holder. They are larger than the lens element, and can be used on many lenses (assuming you buy the appropriate 'mount' for each lens. But they do prevent you from using lens hoods.

    If you only have one lens, and want to use a hood, it's probably easier to get a screw-in type.

    Here's a page with some pointers on using polarisers: http://www.dslrtips.com/workshops/How_to_use_polarizing_filters/reduce_haze_deep_blue_sky.shtml
  12. nps

    nps Well-Known Member

    cheers chaps for the replies and tips
    ill have a look at the links and ill have a look on ebay for an idiots guide

    (could do with a 'like' button to let you all know ive seen and liked your posts)
  13. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Others have posted lots of good advice & suggestions, so just a couple of points. Hold off getting a lens hood until you receive the camera / lens kit - there might be one included. There certainly is when you buy the 18-55 WR separately, though not with the cheapo non-WR 18-55 DA L. The Pentax made hoods are good because they have a removable cutout at the bottom which makes it a lot easier to adjust a polarising filter when the hood is fitted, however it is expensive.

    Otherwise you can get something like a 52mm screw on rubber lens hood for about 4 quid from somewhere like PremierInk. Rubber hoods are good if you want to take pictures through glass, e.g. snake tanks, because they can exclude reflections in the glass and still give some flexibility in where you point the camera.

    Also, see my post on the introductions thread giving links to on-line tutorials.
  14. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    You've made me think about what single piece of advice I would give to a potential or new photographer.

    For starters, it's all about light. Writing with light. :)

    So, get to know light. Familiarise yourself with light. What it does at different times of the day and night. Its direction, its strength, its qualities, at any given moment.

    Do this even if you do not have a camera with you or to hand.

    Have fun.
  15. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    But don't forget, you are allowed to take snaps as well as "photographs". It has to be fun.
  16. Mark ormond

    Mark ormond New Member

    Go find a big black light absorbing dog, stick him in some nice reflecting snow.
    Start shooting at different settings right down what youre doing then go look at the results, you most likely wont be impressed.
    But its crucial you learn all about reflctance GOOGLE IT some great tutorials out there for you
  17. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    In trying to answer questions from new photographers about lenses I have had to take on board that many do not know what an f stop is, don't know the relationship between shutter speeds and f stops to produce identical exposures. If you learn this you are on your way.
  18. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    A realy good advice there :) What ever you do have fun.
  19. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That's just an evil suggestion for someone waiting for first camera !

    Ignore that post but print it out and keep it for next year!
  20. George W Johnson

    George W Johnson Well-Known Member

    Well done for getting into the most fun hobby you can do outdoors! You're going to love it!

    I personally do think about every image I take but I tend to shoot more "arty-farty" landscape shots so the thinking can sometimes start months in advance, waiting for the right weather, time of year, yadda, yadda. Even when you see a supposedly spontaneous photo, what you see is years of experience that the photographer has, executed almost instantly the second they spot the shot to clicking the shutter.

    It's not so much a knack as lots of experience. It can take months and years to start to see the results you really want. It's taken me about 3 years to start seeing the sort of images I wanted to shoot. Don't let that put you off, we all learn and practice at different rates. It won't come instantly, photography is one of the greatest ways I have ever found to learn patience. You can't rush it, it moves at its own pace and you have to keep working it. Lots of people fall by the wayside as they get disappointed quickly when they can't shoot like David Noton or Moose Peterson but they've been shooting for over 25 plus years, so they have bags of experience of almost every situation going.

    You can have the most perfect setting possible and the picture can be so incredibly dull or poorly chosen that its all a complete waste of time. The "trick" is use the appropriate settings to achieve the creativity for the image you are looking for. If six snappers head out to shoot exactly the same mountain range, they'd all use different settings depending upon how they wish to portray the image.

    The key to good photography, to me anyway, is to always practice with a purpose. Even just a vague brief, "Today I will go out and take pictures of dogs on the street.". You have to have something to, pardon the pun, focus on. Simply going out and hoping to find something interesting is rarely productive. When you first start you don't often know what you like to to shoot, so best thing is to head out with some basic ideas ( dogs, flowers, tramps, signposts, whatever you fancy ) and see what you come back with. Then after a few weeks or months you start to get an idea on what you like to work with.

    If you're shooting in the sun, definitely get a lens hood, help to keep that unwated flare off the images.

    Good luck and I hope you get as much enjoyment from photography as we all do!

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