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Hi there! Advice for a newbie? :)

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by Vickib010, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Vickib010

    Vickib010 Member

    Hi there!

    I have always enjoyed photography but at a completely personal level. I have been told a few times that the photos I take of the children in school capture the personalities of the children in the Special Needs School that I work in :) I was thinking about taking a more serious look on photography and I was just wondering if anyone had any good advice?

    I was thinking of doing a course? Anyone had any experience of good courses run online or in south wales?

    Also what is the best camera for a newbie on a teacher assistant budget!:p What computer programmes do you use?

    And last but not least where should I look for amateur photography competitions?

    I would really appreciate any advice and information or personal experiences you would be able to pass on to me! I am a complete novice so any time that you can take to help me out is really appreciated!

    Thank youuu :)
  2. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    Hello good evening and welcome. You might want to post a few of your images in the appraisal gallery first so someone here with a keen eye for a goodin can give you advice on whether you are as good as you've been told.

    Tell us what camera you're already using are you using any programs on your own PC. Elements is the most common but there are lots of free ones you can down load for editing.

    I'm not doubting your ability as a photographer but as I say we can evaluate your abilities best in the appraisal gallery before we offer advice.
  3. mediaman

    mediaman Well-Known Member

    Hello, and welcome to the forum.
  4. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Hello, Vicki, and welcome to the AP forums!

    I don't know of courses as such - I'm mostly self taught, from books, this site, and other websites - but here's a few tutorial sites you might find helpful:

    Cambridge in Colour
    Ron Bigelow
    Digital Photography School

    Some of the techniques described are a bit advanced, so don't worry if you don't understand it all at once.

    The Appraisal Gallery on this site can be a very helpful learning tool - both by posting your own pictures and by reading the comments about other people's efforts. Also, don't be shy about asking any technical questions in the appropriate forums.

    As to "best camera" - how long is a piece of string? :) Any camera with full manual controls can help you learn - all have some form of auto, so you don;t need to jump in the deep end. It does help if the camera feels comfortable in your hands, and you can reach the controls easily, so try to get to a shop where you can try out some models.

    As Frank said, Adobe Photoshop Elements is probably the most widely used image editor program, but it does cost money. There are several free programs available to download - try Googling "Free photo editor". I use The GIMP, which is quite powerful, though possibly not the easiest to learn.
  5. Chris Cool

    Chris Cool Retired

    Hi and welcome.

    Let us know your budget re camera so we can give you some choices.

    As for editing software. The free ones in my signature are as good as they get and there are 32 video tutorials to get you started plus mine.
  6. Vickib010

    Vickib010 Member

    Thank you ever so much for your feedback! I will definitely have a look over the sites that you've posted!

    I also don't doubt that anyone with a keen eye and actually knows what they're talking about would rip my photos to shreds lol in a very constructive way obviously :) I may have sounded more experienced than I meant to.. I am extremely novice and wouldn't feel comfortable posting any photos untill I've done abit of reading and practising :) most of my photos are taken on my digital camera my boyfriend bought me for my birthday!

    as for budget I'm thinking of around £300 and possibly second hand.. As I am just trying my hand at something new at the moment :)

    I'm currently working full time as well as having three part time jobs and studying part time in uni! Next year I'm going to be resting lol! And I am hoping to do an a level in photography and one in art and design.. I've always been very creative and would love to do something purely for enjoyment next year! ;)

    thanks ever so much for your help everyone! :)

  7. Chris Cool

    Chris Cool Retired

    Second hand cameras.

    When you're ready. Have a look here MPB Photographic Clicky for second hand cameras as recommended by What Digital Camera editor Nigel Atherton.

    If you want to post on here and are a bit nervous. Send me a PM (private message) and I will hold your hand for you :D

  8. Vickib010

    Vickib010 Member

    Re: Second hand cameras.

    Thats really kind! Thank you! :) I'm just home from work so going to start looking through all the info everyone has sent me! :) Even though I probably should be doing my dissertation for uni :p haha
  9. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Welcome. :)

    Sorry can't offer advice, never done a course myself. :D
  10. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome.

    Photoshop here, but using Elements as well much better value for "normal" use. As for camera I like SLR's so obviously I would suggest you look at the entry level one.
    But again welcome.
  11. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    Welcome! If you are looking to take photography more seriously, I think you should be looking for an interchangeable lens camera. This may mean going for one of the "new" breed of compact system cameras (CSC) rather than a "full blown" DSLR, although some of the pricing issues could see a DSLR available for less money than a CSC. You ideally want a camera where you can set the aperture or shutter speed yourself to give the right control over the photo's exposure/focus.

    However, if Argos are still doing the Nikon D3000 kit for under £300, is that too much? - actually ther are currently doing the D3100 + non-VR lens for under £300, a bit of a bargain

    or from Currys, a Panasonic CSC for under £200
    or for a little more, an Olympus CSC

    You really need to get a hands-on demonstration first though, to make sure that you feel comfortable with any intended purchase. A second battery is always a good idea, and genuine manufacturer's ones can be very expensive, so it could be time to haggle when purchasing.

    If all the above are still too expensive, let us know and we wil have to do a little head-scratching

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