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Looking for advice please

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by David Mac, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. David Mac

    David Mac Member

    Hi, I've had a digital camera for several years now and am looking to expand my meagre knowledge with an online course. Ideally I'd like to learn more abojt the technical aspect of photography - using a flash, lighting etc. I've looked about online and there are a lot of different courses advertised but I'm wondering if anyone can recommend one or a particular company (open university, institute of photography etc)?

    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  2. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    Honestly, save your money

    Nothing is better than getting out there and doing.

    IF you just have to do a course, the MY opinion is "join a local camera club"

    .you still want a course then I have done five OU courses over the years the backup, staff, tutors, access to help is second to none.

    Also for anyone, retired, on benefits, low income etc they have superb prices

    http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/choose/photography?ps_kw=+open +university +photography&cid=sem-9908678911&gclid=CjwKCAjw34n5BRA9EiwA2u9k35Gfqd-Trg3T7ZCAMphJfkTmbOq_YbApn6YnEPaSeLS23E_OThyTixoCQkoQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I have no idea about courses being self taught but the “teach yourself” type of books were quite good in film days and the basics of photography, as distinct from how to work the thousands of options on a digital camera, haven’t changed a bit. A book by, say, John Hedgecoe, which might still be found s/h or in charity shops or public library, will likely cover basics of flash and lighting and, because it precedes the auto-everything era, do so from fundamentals. Studio set-ups really need some instruction. Possibly locations that hire studios out will also do tuition. I think camera clubs often work that way. Clubs usually meet between September and April.
  4. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Also the tutorials on the CambridgeinColour website are quite useful.
    Stephen Rundle and Craig20264 like this.
  6. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Definitely this ^
  7. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    IF you want to learn about lighting using flash, David Hobby (Strobist) is your man. He has three blogs about it - Lighting 101, 102 and 103 - https://strobist.blogspot.com/
    John Fantastic likes this.
  8. David Mac

    David Mac Member

    Thank you all for your replies and help. I'll definitely look into all your advice.
    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  9. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    #3 advises finding some books by John Hedgecoe, which I endorse. The AbeBooks website is used by hundreds (or more) book dealers in the UK and overseas, and I have used it for many years.

    A search on the the website shows many John Hedgecoe books. At these prices you could risk a few pounds on one about the areas that interest you. Many are 'pre-digital', but the advice will still be relevant (flash equipment may have got smaller, but the nature of light hasn't changed). You could also use the 'keywords' search option to find books about specific subjects.

    https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?an=john hedgecoe&bi=0&bx=off&cm_sp=SearchF-_-Advtab1-_-Results&ds=30&recentlyadded=all&sortby=17&sts=t

    And don't forget to look at the AP website too - something here may be helpful (under the 'How To' tab at the top of the page).

  10. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    NEVER use Abe Books, it is addictive you buy far too many
  11. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Do addicts always blame the ease of supplying their need instead of their inability to control their desires?
    I find that limited funds, and living in a small house with very limited bookshelf space, helps me control mine.
    Also, for some older fiction, I have found a secondhand paperback and postage to be less expensive that the version available for a Kindle which is why I haven't got one yet (my wife does have one, so sometimes I compare prices of particular books). Similarly, a secondhand CD may be much less expensive than an MP3 download with inferior sound quality - but I'm running put of shelf space for CDs now...
  12. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    Sorry, but it is addictive, you see one great book at a good price then another and another, it is compulsive :)

    And there you are look at my email TODAY :( :(

  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The Nikon School has recently gone on-line and may have some useful material. Don't worry if you don't use a Nikon camera there is material appropriate to all cameras. You haven't mentioned a budget, the OU course is great value at just £4.50 an hour but you probably want to fit something in around other activities and it may not be what you are looking for. It sounds interesting.
    I agree with Stephen but I am also aware that there aren't many people who have the ability to work things out for themselves, if you aren't one of those a course or a book is a good idea. I am not sure I can recommend a book because all of mine are 40+ years old, much of the content remains relevant but availability may now be difficult.

    I would start with a book, there are 400 pages of them on Amazon but you should be able to discard many of them because they are about specific areas of photography.
  14. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    What ages about shutter speeds, apertures, film speeds, depth of field, metering, :)

    I can't remember the last time I used anything other than Auto iso and manual mode. I agree 100% with you that it can be hard to learn but I have never ever ever driven an automatic car, my new one arriving in 6 weeks is an Auto hybrid, we all learn as we go.

    When I bought the Siggy 150-600 sport I didn't just put it on and take great images, it took a couple of weeks to get it right.

    Take hyperfocal distance, through years of photography I know without looking or thinking exactly what aperture/shutter speed combo I need to achieve exactly the image with DOF I want, try try and try again :), ALL of my images are spontaneous none setup, NOT because I am clever far from it, just years of doing it. Self taught.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  15. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Stephen, what I said was that most of the content of the books was relevant but that getting hold of them would be difficult because they are 40+ years old. Doesn't matter how good the book is, if you can't get a copy it isn't any use.
  16. Mawkguc

    Mawkguc Member

  17. John Fantastic

    John Fantastic Active Member

    I have not heard of John Hedgecoe for a long time, but I used to read his books cover to cover in the 1990's and I love it. Yes John is a good writer and photographer. :)

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