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Just Getting into Photography

Khayembii Communique

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Just bought a Nikon D300 with f1.8/50mm lens and I'm looking to get into this a lot more. My friend who is a photo major lent me his intro photography book which covers all the technical and some extremely basic theoretical stuff.

I still have yet to purchase a tripod, which will probably happen in the next couple weeks. But I was looking for some recs on some photographers to check out or some books maybe that'd help me out, being a beginner and all.
 

milosz

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Pick up Stephen Shore's The Nature of Photographs - ~50 photographs from various photographers and styles/periods, along with Shore's thoughts on the formal characteristics of photography.

If I had to make one recommendation for a photographer to study without knowing your specific interests, I'd say Walker Evans.
 

Milpool

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I personally learn better by doing.

Get a lamp, and some object (it could be a piece of fruit or a little statue, etc) and some black cloth. Stick the black cloth up as a backdrop/base upon which to set the object. Start photographing the object from a fixed position and move the light all around. Then start tweaking your aperature and shutter speed. An afternoon spent on that will teach you an incredible amount about the basics. From there, you can move into two lights and three lights.
 

Kas

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Doing and knowing are different things. Experimenting is the best way to get better. You may read something, but when you put it into practice it really starts to tick and allows you to use that "trick" when it suits you.
 

Khayembii Communique

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Thanks for the tips everyone. I've already got the basics of shutter speed/aperture/ISO down, I'm just wondering on where to go from here in terms of either experimentation or theory or just what to look into first. I know everything can't come from a book, but it's a good supplement to experimenting!

I'm also looking into a tripod right now and was looking at Feisol's and Gitzo's, any tips on that? Going to be traveling so looking for something lightweight that doesn't take up too much space when collapsed. That also means I'm not going to be carrying any massive lenses.
 

TRINI

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I'd shoot more before buying a tripod.
 

Blackfyre

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like others said shoot first, its the best way to get started.
 

pinchi22

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Originally Posted by Notreknip
Understanding Exposure (Bryan Peterson) [/url]

+1. Great start on fundamentals, even if it hardly makes adjustments for digital photography.
 

ter1413

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Originally Posted by SkateAndDestroy
go out and shoot.
don't get too absorbed in the books.
Develop your own style.
have fun.


this^^
 

milosz

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I don't really understand the advice to just shoot. There's a tradition in all art disciplines (from painting to writing) to study the works of the masters - whether that's sketching a Caravaggio at a museum or pulling a Hunter S. Thompson and re-typing The Great Gatsby.

Going out and shooting 10000 frames, you'll get keepers, but having some intellectual understanding of why things happen (why light works as it works, why some compositions are more successful) is not exactly an impediment to getting better.
 

TRINI

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Originally Posted by milosz
I don't really understand the advice to just shoot. There's a tradition in all art disciplines (from painting to writing) to study the works of the masters - whether that's sketching a Caravaggio at a museum or pulling a Hunter S. Thompson and re-typing The Great Gatsby.

Going out and shooting 10000 frames, you'll get keepers, but having some intellectual understanding of why things happen (why light works as it works, why some compositions are more successful) is not exactly an impediment to getting better.


I meant before going out and buying a tripod, he should shoot more first and then figure out if his style will even need one.
 

ter1413

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Originally Posted by milosz
I don't really understand the advice to just shoot. There's a tradition in all art disciplines (from painting to writing) to study the works of the masters - whether that's sketching a Caravaggio at a museum or pulling a Hunter S. Thompson and re-typing The Great Gatsby.

Going out and shooting 10000 frames, you'll get keepers, but having some intellectual understanding of why things happen (why light works as it works, why some compositions are more successful) is not exactly an impediment to getting better.


i don't think that any responses meant that the OP should disregard books/history/etc. but many times people get caught up in them...sitting at home reading vs being outside shooting. OP needs to go out and learn what his camera can do....

i do think that OP chose a "complex" camera for someone " Just Getting into Photography."
 

Blackfyre

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Originally Posted by milosz
I don't really understand the advice to just shoot. There's a tradition in all art disciplines (from painting to writing) to study the works of the masters - whether that's sketching a Caravaggio at a museum or pulling a Hunter S. Thompson and re-typing The Great Gatsby.

Going out and shooting 10000 frames, you'll get keepers, but having some intellectual understanding of why things happen (why light works as it works, why some compositions are more successful) is not exactly an impediment to getting better.


Photography is a medium best learned through experience, not reading and studying. Those do have their place of course but I feel that learning your camera though shooting is the best way to go. Than incorporate reading material once you're comfortable.
 

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