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I would like to help the Beginner's
I've come to realize that I'm the type of person that likes to learn things, simplify them, and then show everyone how easy it really is after all. However, these type of comments are usually not well-recieved by anyone else except Begginer's, so that's why I'm here. I also don't want to ramble on forever, so I'd just like to share few thoughts quickly, and hopefully other people can add to the list if they think of something..

- Photography is easy. It just is. You can make it hard if you expect 100% perfection, but anything becomes hard if you expect that..

- Culling: Really great, famous photographer's are probably showing no than 5% of their pictures taken, the rest are trashed. Simply show other's ONLY your top 1% of photograph's and chances are they will think you have a gift.;-).

- Manual Mode is NOT hard, it's easy. The other modes are [i]easier[/i] still, but make no mistake that Manual mode is easy..

- A Beginner should start in Manual mode, not to punish them, but so that they understand the basic controls of the camera, so that when they switch to an 'auto' mode, they will understand which part the camera is doing and which part they still need to do. Doing it backwards...that is starting in P mode, then A mode, and finally Manual...seems completely counter-productive, as the person often sees Manual mode as a test in which the user must achieve the correct settings, the first time with no mistakes..

- REALLY expensive lenses make a REALLY big difference in image quality. It's not just that they're 'faster' (allow lower F numbers) even though people often talk as if that's the primary consideration with these lenses ("Well, I don't shoot in low-light, so F3.5 is fine etc.) - no, the entire image is improved considerably by the use of better, clearer glass. The lenses may cost a fortune, but pro's quietly buy them because the image quality is far, far and away better than what the average photographer is getting with a mid-priced lens. You can get this image quality on the cheap by buying primes. Better lenses can transform your photography, and that is my honest opinion..

- Shoot in RAW. At least for the photos you really care about. You can truely salvage any photo in RAW in ways that can't be done once it's a JPEG. It's insurance on important shots..

- Exposure....it's either too bright or it's too dark. I honestly can't see makeing a big fuss about it beyond that. If this were the film days, I'd care big-time, but it's not. Little LCD can tell me in 4 seconds where I'm at, and I can adjust exposure accordingly. If I'm still a little wrong, I can fix it in post because I shot RAW..

- Aperture and Shutterspeed are the 2 variables that play off each other, and the relationship between these two variables should be understood for different types of shots. A book from the library with examples is a great way to learn these 2 variables...- Then you gotta focus your camera. You probably can manage that..

- Then you hope the coloring is correct (WB). But guess what, with digital it can only be too blue or too red, so it's a matter of moving a slider later in your post-processing program. It's helpful to get good at guessing the WB settings you need by analyzing the light you're shooting in, but if you're wrong you can adjust the slider either left/right in post. NOT something people should overly stress about imho. (Unless you're shooting in JPG, and then that's what you get for doing that).

- Then there's ISO...which is used to save your bacon when you've selected the Aperture and Shutterspeed you want, but still don't have enough light..

Anyway, that's it for now. I mainly just want to express that photography is really easy in a way. It may look complicated with all the numbers and symbols and gadgets, but most of the people using the stuff are like "Hey, that looks cool." or "Hey, that sucks." Then they figure out later the numbers that correspond with cool/suck. But no ones out there knowing they are going to capture the ultimate picture that day. It's being able to adjust and use the luck you're given, knowing what your camera needs to do, and taking your best shot..

Peace all.http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcovert..

Comments (12)

I like that you've provided this. I think that a website with graphics would be better though. Maybe something like this, http://photo.net/equipment/digital/basics/.

Also, while you bring up some excellent points and I agree with most of what you say, you're going to have to remember that beginners rarely ever would start with a dSLR and even more rarely than that would they spend $1500 more on a good lens. While you may have a lot of money to throw at photography, a beginner at anything is going to first only get their feet wet. Only a wasteful spender would buy full-bore into a new hobby without testing the water first..

Also, you seem to like portraits alot. A new photographer might be in it because s/he saw a beautiful sunset, waterfall, picture of the moon, or mountain picture. Getting really good results in a landscape image isn't easy. In fact, it requires the knowledge of all sorts of things such as framing the shot with trees in a good composition, using magic time (the time just before sunset), requiring a very dark neutral density filter and lagging the shutter for that silky water effect on a waterfall, realizing that even though it's dark the moon is in bright sunshine, and knowing when that wide-angle lens is making your mountain look like a mole hill. Photography is not easy to a beginner..

To really help beginners, you could type in "beginner's guide to photography" to a google search & research all the websites that come up. The type in "how to make a good picture", "rules of photography", and everything and anything you can come up with, then look through everyone else's work and find websites that you think would help people, note them, put them in order, and make a 1-sentence statement about what it is so that people don't have to read much from you, but can have a general idea about where that URL address is going take them when they click on it..

Your knowledge is so far removed from the beginner that you have a hardtime even remembering what it was like not to understand white-balance or depth-of-field. And also think about how impatient people are with beginners. Sure people are nice to new people, but after the third time explaining something without even comprehending the underlying reason why the beginner is missing it then the expert is going to get impatient. It's mostly because s/he can't remember their own learning curve..

I disagree that a beginner should start with manual mode. There's already too much going on in their head at that point. But, they should move toward manual mode as swiftly as possible because you're absolutely right that any good photographer that uses manual mode has a far better understanding of the aperture to shutter speed relationship..

I disagree that a beginner should start with RAW. There are advantages to RAW and you know all about them, but for the same reason that you want them to use Manual Mode, you'll want them to use JPEG for quite a while. The reason being is that RAW can easily, EASILY, be used as a crutch for bad habits. A person that uses JPEGs will quickly find out that their LCD is a good friend when they ruin a perfect sunset or two. Next time they go out they'll try harder. But if they used RAW, then they'll just adjust some sliders and call it good enough without learning why they blew it in the first place..

Look, your heart is in the right place. I wrote all this not to attack you, but to admire you for your heart. But you don't remember what being new was like anymore. That's why all of your peers in that D300 forum are jerks to people that just don't seem to get it. They're too old in photography and too set in their ways to understand that a new person really does have a heck of a starting learning curve that they are battling and trying to wrap their mind around. It is difficult.



I really do hope you consider doing the research. Heck, brushing up on fundamentals can't hurt anyone, you might even learn something. But websites with graphics is going to teach our new people far more than a large post that most people will just ignore. That's not what you want. That's not why you wrote all that. You are trying to help.

Talk to someone at work about photography and really try to get them to understand. You'll quickly learn what new people "get" and what eludes them. Research graphic-filled webpages. The work you're trying to do has already been done many many times and far better and with pictures that help people to "see" what the teacher is trying to explain. I think that having a word doc with some reference websites and useful 1-liners will help people and if you see someone utterly floundering here at DPReview, you could break that out and they would learn, and I mean really learn.

You'll find that years later someone will post pictures that inspire you! And in conversation they'll say, "Well it was you that first helped me", and they'll copy/paste your word doc back to you & you'll smile inside that giving heart of yours. That's what it's all about my friend. Good luck, whatever you decide...

Comment #1

I'm a beginner (7 months into the learning curve). I think I'm close enough to the beginnings to understand how useful your comments are to a novice photographer so I have provided some feedback on your comments..

Jizzer wrote:.

I've come to realize that I'm the type of person that likes to learnthings, simplify them, and then show everyone how easy it really isafter all. However, these type of comments are usually notwell-recieved by anyone else except Begginer's, so that's why I'mhere. I also don't want to ramble on forever, so I'd just like toshare few thoughts quickly, and hopefully other people can add to thelist if they think of something..

- Photography is easy. It just is. You can make it hard if you expect100% perfection, but anything becomes hard if you expect that.- Culling: Really great, famous photographer's are probably showingno than 5% of their pictures taken, the rest are trashed. Simply showother's ONLY your top 1% of photograph's and chances are they willthink you have a gift.;-).

I think the most important thing a teacher can do for a student is to provide encouragement and to give them confidence. The above comments do that and even if you hadn't said anything else beyond this your post would be worthwhile..

- Manual Mode is NOT hard, it's easy. The other modes are[i]easier[/i] still, but make no mistake that Manual mode is easy..

Yes and no. To me using manual mode is about understanding when it is necessary to override the camera's metering system and purposefully choose certain aperatures and shutter speeds to get the desired exposure. A beginner can't do this. Yes, a beginner can play around with A and S and come up with a good exposure but if they're using the meter as a guide I see this as just a variation of auto mode..

- A Beginner should start in Manual mode, not to punish them, but sothat they understand the basic controls of the camera, so that whenthey switch to an 'auto' mode, they will understand which part thecamera is doing and which part they still need to do. Doing itbackwards...that is starting in P mode, then A mode, and finallyManual...seems completely counter-productive, as the person oftensees Manual mode as a test in which the user must achieve the correctsettings, the first time with no mistakes..

I've had many teaching opportunities (outside of photography) and I've found that regardless of the subject it's generally more effective to start with simple concepts and build from there. From my experience starting with manual would not be the best place to start..

- REALLY expensive lenses make a REALLY big difference in imagequality... Better lenses can transform your photography, and thatis my honest opinion..

I agree. Most beginners to photography aren't starting with a dslr but there are some..

- Shoot in RAW. At least for the photos you really care about. Youcan truely salvage any photo in RAW in ways that can't be done onceit's a JPEG. It's insurance on important shots..

Shooting raw is more of an advanced topic - you need some understanding of post processing..

- Exposure....it's either too bright or it's too dark. I honestlycan't see makeing a big fuss about it beyond that. If this were thefilm days, I'd care big-time, but it's not. Little LCD can tell me in4 seconds where I'm at, and I can adjust exposure accordingly. If I'mstill a little wrong, I can fix it in post because I shot RAW..

No raw for a beginner..

- Aperture and Shutterspeed are the 2 variables that play off eachother, and the relationship between these two variables should beunderstood for different types of shots. A book from the library withexamples is a great way to learn these 2 variables....

A beginner would appreciate the name of a book or a link to a site you found helpful..

- Then you gotta focus your camera. You probably can manage that..

Not much substance or encouragement in your comments here..

- Then you hope the coloring is correct (WB). But guess what, withdigital it can only be too blue or too red, so it's a matter ofmoving a slider later in your post-processing program. It's helpfulto get good at guessing the WB settings you need by analyzing thelight you're shooting in, but if you're wrong you can adjust theslider either left/right in post. NOT something people should overlystress about imho. (Unless you're shooting in JPG, and then that'swhat you get for doing that).

No raw for a beginner..

- Then there's ISO...which is used to save your bacon when you'veselected the Aperture and Shutterspeed you want, but still don't haveenough light..

A link or book reference would be helpful..

Anyway, that's it for now. I mainly just want to express thatphotography is really easy in a way. It may look complicated with allthe numbers and symbols and gadgets, but most of the people usingthe stuff are like "Hey, that looks cool." or "Hey, that sucks." Thenthey figure out later the numbers that correspond with cool/suck. Butno ones out there knowing they are going to capture the ultimatepicture that day. It's being able to adjust and use the luck you'regiven, knowing what your camera needs to do, and taking your bestshot..

Very encouraging comment. I appreciate your interest and effort in helping a beginner. Mary.

Peace all.http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcovert..

Comment #2

It sounds like you're advocating a philosophy of jumping in headfirst, with all of your time and all of your money. I think in reality that's likely to discourage people. They'll get mired in the technical aspects and forget what it was they liked about photography..

Those who express interest in really taking it to the next level will do the research they need to figure out how to get there. Those that are happy with where they are won't be stuck screwing around in photoshop because all their manual mode shots are 3 stops underexposed and shot in the wrong white balance..

However, I do generally agree with the concept that "you get what you pay for" and that people should be aware of that up front. Buying a nice P&S is still not going to get you dSLR quality, and buying cheap glass isn't going to get you pro quality..

Also, due to the silly megapixel war, people really need to have an understanding of sensor size and it's implications...

Comment #3

Jizzer wrote:.

Here. I also don't want to ramble on forever, so I'd just like toshare few thoughts quickly, and hopefully other people can add to thelist if they think of something..

You have very good intentions. Bravo!.

- Photography is easy. It just is. You can make it hard if you expect100% perfection, but anything becomes hard if you expect that..

You are right. Partially. Photography is easy like drawing. EVERYBODY can draw a house, but some will do it better..

- Culling: Really great, famous photographer's are probably showingno than 5% of their pictures taken, the rest are trashed. Simply showother's ONLY your top 1% of photograph's and chances are they willthink you have a gift.;-).

I've come to realise that there are quite a lot of people who can't tell what their best 1% images are..

- Manual Mode is NOT hard, it's easy. The other modes are[i]easier[/i] still, but make no mistake that Manual mode is easy..

I guess you've never been approached by somebody asking to "set up" their camera for them to take pictures. Picture being handed a fully manual film camera, without knowing what film is inside and being asked to set it up so the person can use it all day long. No ideea whatsoever regarding the exposure parameters and very bad distance estimation..

- A Beginner should start in Manual mode, not to punish them, but sothat they understand the basic controls of the camera, so that whenthey switch to an 'auto' mode, they will understand which part thecamera is doing and which part they still need to do. Doing itbackwards...that is starting in P mode, then A mode, and finallyManual...seems completely counter-productive, as the person oftensees Manual mode as a test in which the user must achieve the correctsettings, the first time with no mistakes..

While you do have a point, it won't work well with digital. There is basically no need to manually adjust the exposure using the internal meter if the camera can do it automatically. It would work much better using an external meter and learning to calculate the exposure..

- REALLY expensive lenses make a REALLY big difference in imagequality. It's not just that they're 'faster' (allow lower F numbers)even though people often talk as if that's the primary considerationwith these lenses ("Well, I don't shoot in low-light, so F3.5 is fineetc.) - no, the entire image is improved considerably by the use ofbetter, clearer glass. The lenses may cost a fortune, but pro'squietly buy them because the image quality is far, far and awaybetter than what the average photographer is getting with amid-priced lens. You can get this image quality on the cheap bybuying primes. Better lenses can transform your photography, and thatis my honest opinion..

True, expensive lens tend to be better and improve your experience. However, for a given purpose, a cheap lens might be more fit. For example, let's consider a beginner and a choice between a 100$ Sigma 18-59 f3.5-5.6 and 750$ Canon 17-40L f4. If you shoot at f8, it will be almost no difference. The Canon is larger, heavier, shorter on the long end and it takes much more expensive filters..

- Shoot in RAW. At least for the photos you really care about. Youcan truely salvage any photo in RAW in ways that can't be done onceit's a JPEG. It's insurance on important shots..

Agree. But learn to process RAWs and learn to backup..

- Exposure....it's either too bright or it's too dark. I honestlycan't see makeing a big fuss about it beyond that. If this were thefilm days, I'd care big-time, but it's not. Little LCD can tell me in4 seconds where I'm at, and I can adjust exposure accordingly. If I'mstill a little wrong, I can fix it in post because I shot RAW..

You mean, learn to read the histogram .

- Then you gotta focus your camera. You probably can manage that..

Hmmm... do you look at friends' snapshots? The non-photographical friends, I mean. Focusing is something one must learn to think about. I've asked a perfect stranger on the ski slope to take some pictures of me and the scenery. I have some nice images of a perfectly focused Matterhorn and a blob in the foreground that might equally be me or a mountain goat..

- Then you hope the coloring is correct (WB). But guess what, withdigital it can only be too blue or too red, so it's a matter ofmoving a slider later in your post-processing program..

That's not true. It can be also green or magenta..

- Then there's ISO...which is used to save your bacon when you'veselected the Aperture and Shutterspeed you want, but still don't haveenough light..

Especially with digital, ISO is (almost an equal) part of a shutter speed/aperture/ISO triangle..

Anyway, that's it for now. I mainly just want to express thatphotography is really easy in a way..

Yes, in a way it's easy and fun. It's a perfect way to remember that perfect moment... and to bore to death friends with 1000 bad images from your vacation. It's a way of capturing that sunset... or taking flash pictures of the moon. A way of developping one's artistic views...



As I was saying, you have very good intentions. Maybe you should materialise those intentions in a educational web site..

Good luck..

/d/n..

Comment #4

As much as I want to help, a visual website like Eclipse mentioned would be better. Heck, that's how I learned...from reading the Kodak "Basic Photography" lesson they had online..

I was just feeling a lot of frustration last night, because I read so many comments from people that seem extremely eager to learn, but they have it in there head that this stuff is rocket science..and I just don't think it is..

When I said photography was easy, I meant compared to many other things in our life like..fixing a car, programming a VCR, baking a Dutch Apple Pie...all of these seem harder than photography to me. I think to myself "there's only 7 controls in photography, and 4 of them don't need much adjustment..so how hard can it be?" So my comment about focusing for instance, was me just trying to convey that there wasn't THAT many options to consider..

But ultimately, I admit that I don't have the communication skills to do what I was trying to do. I'm a good learner, but not a good teacher, so I should definitely leave that to others. It's just frustrating to hear the "jerks in the d300 forum" (LOL!..and not just that forum, but every 'pro-ish' forum) tell all the beginner's that it will take YEARS of practice, and they should study composition etc. I feel there is a reluctance to share the specific tips that are known to work for pros, maybe they feel like a person has to 'put in dues' before they are allowed to know the truth..

Just to clarify....

- I'm not advocating people spend huge money on camera equipment. But they should know that if they do, all else being equal, they will produce substantially better images technically. You still need practice, composition, and a sense of zen  but still...the better glass makes a better image, and everyone should see for themselves whether or not this improvemnet is worth the $$..

- If I make a distinction between learning photography vs. active photography, I mean to say that using Manual Mode is the easiest way to LEARN photography imho. If you're a beginner in Auto, you're taking pictures, but you really aren't learning a darn thing. As a learning tool, I think Manual mode intuitively (and more importantly quickly) explains to the user exactly how each control affects the picture. By chimping with the LCD, and changing settings one-by-one yourself, it's obvious what control is changing what..

(I am *not* advocating shooting Manual as some sort of torture or badge of honor! That's the silly stuff I'm trying to avoid. I'm not implying in any way it's a better mode to shoot in either, I think it's just the best learning mode, that is all.).

Anyway, thanks for the comments all, I really do hear where you guys are coming from. Take care..

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcovert..

Comment #5

No need to apologize to me. If it werern't for people who said it was easy/ learnable etc. I would not have bothered to try. Your comments will help someone starting out...

Comment #6

Jizzer wrote:.

As much as I want to help, a visual website like Eclipse mentionedwould be better. Heck, that's how I learned...from reading the Kodak"Basic Photography" lesson they had online..

I remember reading a Kodak advice page, something like 10 tips for better photography. If I remember correctly, about 8 were wrong, probably the worst was keeping the subject in the middle..

I was just feeling a lot of frustration last night, because I read somany comments from people that seem extremely eager to learn, butthey have it in there head that this stuff is rocket science..and Ijust don't think it is..

Well, some is, some is not. It's quite easy taking a technically good picture in good light. It gets pretty stringy setting up a portrait shot with 4 or more lights, reflectors, etc..

When I said photography was easy, I meant compared to many otherthings in our life like..fixing a car, programming a VCR, baking aDutch Apple Pie...all of these seem harder than photography to me..

I strongly disagree about VCR programming. If one can't master the influence of three SIMPLE parameters (start time, end time, channel), playing with three quite complicated parameters (ISO, exposure time, aperture) will be quite an adventure..

Ithink to myself "there's only 7 controls in photography, and 4 ofthem don't need much adjustment..so how hard can it be?" So mycomment about focusing for instance, was me just trying to conveythat there wasn't THAT many options to consider..

Again, you are mostly right. But maybe your count was not exactly unbiased .

Position, angle, focal lenght, depth of field, shutter speed, maybe bokeh, color, monochrome, duotone, etc (composition), shutter speed, aperture, ISO (exposure), shutter speed (hand holdability), ISO (noise), exposure compensation (mental calculation), flash, fill flash, flash exposure compensation, first curtain or second curtain flash, diffuser, bounce, filter (circular polarizer, ND, gradual ND, special effects), white balance, focus, metering modes, focus mode, focus lock, exposure lock, focus and recompose, focus point selection, cross sensor or not, high sensibility sensor or not..

Monitor calibration. Color spaces. Color space conversion. Postprocessing. Croping and resizing. Sharpening for a destination.

Backup. Digital asset management..

Printer, ink and paper calibration. Pigment selection. Paper selection. Frame selection..

I really don't think your VCR comparison holds water .

But ultimately, I admit that I don't have the communication skills todo what I was trying to do. I'm a good learner, but not a goodteacher, so I should definitely leave that to others. It's justfrustrating to hear the "jerks in the d300 forum" (LOL!..and not justthat forum, but every 'pro-ish' forum) tell all the beginner's thatit will take YEARS of practice, and they should study compositionetc..

I am not defending the "jerks". There are some in every forum. Think it the other way: how many master photographers you know or have heard of? Very few succeed to master their craft - and that takes years.It's a bit like driving - you can get decent results pretty fast, too..

However, one sees quite often total beginners asking in the "proish" forums questions like: I bought a camera today, next monday I shoot a wedding. Any tips?.

I feel there is a reluctance to share the specific tips that areknown to work for pros, maybe they feel like a person has to 'put indues' before they are allowed to know the truth..

Hmm, you might be right. On the other hand, the internet provides such a wealth of information that a grumpy answer in these fora means nothing..

Just to clarify....

- I'm not advocating people spend huge money on camera equipment. Butthey should know that if they do, all else being equal, they willproduce substantially better images technically. You still needpractice, composition, and a sense of zen  but still...the betterglass makes a better image, and everyone should see for themselveswhether or not this improvemnet is worth the $$..

Let's agree to disagree here. Do you think you can tell the difference between 100$ and 750$ lens shot in good conditions, print A4 size? Nope. Only when the going gets tough you'll get differences at that print size. I feel in common conditions you _won't_ get _substantially_ technically better images from a better lens..

Anyway, thanks for the comments all, I really do hear where you guysare coming from. Take care..

Good luck, and I still suggest building a site for beginners..

/d/n..

Comment #7

Your original post subject topic says "I would like to help the Beginner's". That's what I was trying to help enable you to do. But you don't need to make a visual website. THey're already out there. Just collect the ones you like & refer new users to them. That was my suggestion..

I knew exactly where you were coming from, why you wrote it, and what you see in the D300 forum. And you're exactly right, it is in all of the Nikon & Canon higher end model forums. All of them. The problem is that there are two types of people in those forums; 1 is the people who really are professionals who know photography inside and out, and 2 the people who have way too much money in their life and feel like since they own four SB-800s, seven lenses, a D3, a D300, alienbees studio lighting, and three Gitzo tripods that they've earned the right to be arrogant to anyone that doesn't understand equipment like they do..

The former have forgotten what it was like to learn photography from the start, while the latter are so elitist that they simply don't care what anyone thinks. Those guys with all the money make fun of everyone from Thom Hogen to Ken Rockwell, but don't actually have review websites of their own. They learn all about the specifications of their gear, but when you ask them to post some recent pictures they have nothing really interesting to post. This place is a sounding board for them to get up on the soapbox and speak as loudly and often as they can that their camera brand and their equipment is the best. When they get bored, they attack the rival brand. When they get really bored, they attack individuals and insult them because they don't know as much about gear as they do.



You know a long time ago this place had a family atmosphere. I'm not talking rated G either. I'm saying that you could expect most people to be honest with you and help you, friendships developed, people met out in the real world and took pictures together. Now you're very lucky to get some honest help. It's either ego grooming or anonymous internet bashing. It will only get worse..

I come here because I like to learn and occasionally teach. But it is getting more and more difficult to find good threads. I liked your thread. I think it is a good thread. I like the way you think and so I've spent time suggesting things that you can do to really make a difference in some people's lives here. It will take some time to sift through lots of websites looking for what you think would best help new photographers, but if you do it then people will be thankful and they will respect you.

It's up to you. I would do it myself (I really honestly would), but I'm just too busy at the moment with my businesses to do that research right now. That's about 20 hours of work if you want to do it right. 10 if you're good at internet research. I have time to poke my head in and type for ten or twenty minutes every now and again, then it's back to work for me.

Your heart is in the right place..

I still disagree with the manual mode stance you have, but only because you're forgetting that part of the steep learning curve is becoming comfortable with your camera. The menus, the controls, and simply experiencing the camera so that you can press the buttons without looking. All that takes time. After that initial phase (probably 2-4 months or so), then comes stuff like Manual Mode and setting white balance when auto isn't cutting it. Then after a few more months comes RAW. And you're right, learning photography isn't rocket science; but it does require time.

You have to remember what it was like to struggle yourself to help someone struggling. It takes a lot of patience to teach someone. They'll keep asking the same questions because the thing they're misunderstanding isn't the thing that they're talking about, it's that unspoken thing beneath it that's causing them confusion; and most of the time it's just that people don't spend time and gain experience with their cameras. They make it hard because they try to learn too many things at once..

The difference between you and the others on the D300 or simular forums is that you want other people to do well. That's a good reason for me to spend some time typing. Good luck whatever you choose. You can make a copy/paste document or you can help them 1 at a time. It's all up to you my friend...

Comment #8

Devnull wrote:.

Ithink to myself "there's only 7 controls in photography, and 4 ofthem don't need much adjustment..so how hard can it be?" So mycomment about focusing for instance, was me just trying to conveythat there wasn't THAT many options to consider..

Again, you are mostly right. But maybe your count was not exactlyunbiased .

Position, angle, focal lenght, depth of field, shutter speed, maybebokeh, color, monochrome, duotone, etc (composition), shutter speed,aperture, ISO (exposure), shutter speed (hand holdability), ISO(noise), exposure compensation (mental calculation), flash, fillflash, flash exposure compensation, first curtain or second curtainflash, diffuser, bounce, filter (circular polarizer, ND, gradual ND,special effects), white balance, focus, metering modes, focus mode,focus lock, exposure lock, focus and recompose, focus pointselection, cross sensor or not, high sensibility sensor or not..

Monitor calibration. Color spaces. Color space conversion.Postprocessing. Croping and resizing. Sharpening for a destination.Saving. Backup.



Printer, ink and paper calibration. Pigment selection. Paperselection. Frame selection..

I really don't think your VCR comparison holds water .

Remember he was directing his comments to a beginner. You've got to simplify. He was starting with a few basics. I agree with the car/vcr analogy but I've got to say the apple pie is do-able...

Comment #9

Devnull wrote:.

Position, angle, focal lenght, depth of field, shutter speed, maybebokeh, color, monochrome, duotone, etc (composition), shutter speed,aperture, ISO (exposure), shutter speed (hand holdability), ISO(noise), exposure compensation (mental calculation), flash, fillflash, flash exposure compensation, first curtain or second curtainflash, diffuser, bounce, filter (circular polarizer, ND, gradual ND,special effects), white balance, focus, metering modes, focus mode,focus lock, exposure lock, focus and recompose, focus pointselection, cross sensor or not, high sensibility sensor or not..

Please don't do that to me again  When I see it written out It scares me. No doubt it would intimidate a beginning photographer too..

I agree, an illustrated guide with examples is the way to go. Teach the basics first and most importantly give simple assignments and constructive feedback to build up confidence and teach the person to take decent photo's in a subset of circumstances. This also builds communication between the student and mentor. After that expand their knowledge and capabilities in a methodical way...

Comment #10

I'm reminded of a quote from the creator of the programming language C++, Bjarne Stroustrup, "I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone". Considering today's digicam is a computer (programmed to take pictures) I believe the quote relevant..

One option is to lose the computer and learn manual mode with a film SLR. Better yet get a dSLR such as the Nikon D40/D40x and set it to Manual. Swap the kit zoom for a non-autofocus 28mm f2.8 Nikkor Series E lens from the 1980's (used US $75 and only 1.5" in length) and you'll be *forced* to do everything manually to get a picture, with the resultant feeling of pride that YOU took it. And don't use flash. BTW, the aforementioned rig will shoehorn in a good-sized jacket packet or a purse, unlike the body with the kit lens mounted..

You'll be manually setting ISO, shutter speed, and turning the aperture ring and the focus ring. For all your efforts you'll be rewarded when you capture that glowing portrait in a restaurant by the magic light through the window just after sunset at 1/50 sec, wide open at f2.8 with ISO set to 1600. After learning some introductory photography concepts and then through experimention, the instant feedback of the LCD will demystify controlling exposure, depth of field with aperture, freezing action with shutter speed, and even setting white balance..

My advice is based on helping people who ask me how to use their digicams more effectively. (Unfortunately many just want a human instruction book.) Although I believe I'm clear and patient, today's computerized digicam obscures photography basics to the point of beginner frustration. For example Scene Modes. If your kid is playing baseball, should you use Kids & Pets mode or Sports mode? Do we know what camera settings the computer program makes in each mode?Best,GeorgeLucky to have learned through the film era, happier with digital.disclaimer: I use the D40 and 28mm lens, along with other equipment...

Comment #11

I didn't read all the comments you got. I could tell from your reply that they were not encouraging..

I think you might have had some sense that Beginners might read your post? Not a chance! They just ask their question(s). You would have to constantly monitor this Forum and reply to every Beginner with a link to your opinions (this can be a link to the beginning of this thread or a link to your website, where you have a page dedicated to your philosophy. BTW, I like your basic tennet, that photography is not as difficult as some people pretend it is..

But often the reasons WHY can be very complex. I got frustrated at how little many experts knew about IQ and put up a page on my BridgeBlog. I'm preaching a bit in places, but I tried to at least cover all the facets:.

Http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/?page_id=11.

My current frustration is with how few people REALLY understand how a digital camera captures data and produces a picture...you know, the Bayer demosaicing process. I plan to do a page on THAT soon....

I also got the idea that you are frustrated at some of the incredibly stupid "experts" that prowl this and other Forums. Yes, they are immersed in their own juice and have a need to be recognized. Ignore 'em as long as you can. When it gets too deep, give'm a broadside and sink 'em on the spot. .

Jizzer wrote:.

As much as I want to help, a visual website like Eclipse mentionedwould be better. Heck, that's how I learned...from reading the Kodak"Basic Photography" lesson they had online..

I was just feeling a lot of frustration last night, because I read somany comments from people that seem extremely eager to learn, butthey have it in there head that this stuff is rocket science..and Ijust don't think it is..

When I said photography was easy, I meant compared to many otherthings in our life like..fixing a car, programming a VCR, baking aDutch Apple Pie...all of these seem harder than photography to me. Ithink to myself "there's only 7 controls in photography, and 4 ofthem don't need much adjustment..so how hard can it be?" So mycomment about focusing for instance, was me just trying to conveythat there wasn't THAT many options to consider..

But ultimately, I admit that I don't have the communication skills todo what I was trying to do. I'm a good learner, but not a goodteacher, so I should definitely leave that to others. It's justfrustrating to hear the "jerks in the d300 forum" (LOL!..and not justthat forum, but every 'pro-ish' forum) tell all the beginner's thatit will take YEARS of practice, and they should study compositionetc. I feel there is a reluctance to share the specific tips that areknown to work for pros, maybe they feel like a person has to 'put indues' before they are allowed to know the truth..

Just to clarify....

- I'm not advocating people spend huge money on camera equipment. Butthey should know that if they do, all else being equal, they willproduce substantially better images technically. You still needpractice, composition, and a sense of zen  but still...the betterglass makes a better image, and everyone should see for themselveswhether or not this improvemnet is worth the $$..

- If I make a distinction between learning photography vs. activephotography, I mean to say that using Manual Mode is the easiest wayto LEARN photography imho. If you're a beginner in Auto, you'retaking pictures, but you really aren't learning a darn thing. As alearning tool, I think Manual mode intuitively (and more importantlyquickly) explains to the user exactly how each control affects thepicture. By chimping with the LCD, and changing settings one-by-oneyourself, it's obvious what control is changing what..

(I am *not* advocating shooting Manual as some sort of torture orbadge of honor! That's the silly stuff I'm trying to avoid. I'm notimplying in any way it's a better mode to shoot in either, I thinkit's just the best learning mode, that is all.).

Anyway, thanks for the comments all, I really do hear where you guysare coming from. Take care..

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcovert.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #12

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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