Getting started - how?

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carg0612's picture
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Getting started - how?

(and Meagan if you laugh at me I'll squeeze through this computer and bite you...)

Ok, I want to get started with some photography. Nothing professional but frankly I can't afford to keep paying for my kids pictures with 5 of them! But I want to be able to take better pictures and justify getting a better camera. Plus I'd love to be able to help my sisters out with great pics of their kids too.

I was thinking of enrolling in the beginning photography class at Ohio State (I work there so the class would be free) but I'd have to go through the continuing ed enrollment process (bleh).

I love to lurk here but I'm still slow on the lingo and mostly just don't understand what the heck you're all talking about.

So - are there any online courses I could take that would help me get started?
Are there any books or other materials that would be good for beginners?
Do you mind my dumb questions from time to time?
Any other suggestions to getting started?

Thanks - sorry for the ignorance but I guess I have to start somewhere. It's hard to fee like a dolt, but I'm good at it.

Ladybugsteph's picture
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I learned a lot from the tutorials on this forum. Than also from posting photos for CC. That has been the biggest learning experience for me. If I don't post the photos, I don't know what to change for the next time.

I'm in the middle of reading Understanding Exposure (Bryan Peterson), and it's a really good read. Lots of great info there. I would LOVE to take a class, but I'm not sure it's in the cards for us right now.

Can't wait to see some work from you!

carg0612's picture
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I found the book on Amazon and got it on my Kindle. I guess I'll start there.

I think it'll be a while before we see any "work" from me! Thanks for the advice and the book!

sadieruth's picture
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Yep- the book is a great resource. Need to get my hands on it again. I also suggest posting photos. Always ask what the lingo is if you don't understand. This is a learning place. I lurked her FOREVER, and finally posted. Scared to death, but soooo worth it. I also think ILP is good too. Even more scary, but a lot of good advice. Great resource.

carg0612's picture
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Ok, so here's another question:

If you were to put together a beginners toolkit (camera, lenses, etc) what would you recommend?

I'm not talking top of the line here - just a toolkit for someone to get started with. Digital toolkit.

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Girl you are crazy if you think I'd laugh at you! Wink I think it's awesome you want to learn! Muwah. Smile

Bryan Peterson's book gave me the total 'ah-hah' moment when it comes to properly exposing a photo, and how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO work together. He also explains depth of field, some lighting stuff, etc. It's been a loooong time since I've read so hopefully I'm not misspeaking there.

I also recommend Scott Kelby's series on Digital Photography (I, II, and III). He does assume you have a basic understanding of photography though so I'd read Peterson's book first.

There are a lot of entry-level DSLR kits out there. The Nikon D5000 is supposed to be pretty nice. It should come with a kit lens, but I'd also recommend the 35mm 1.8. It's $200 but is supposed to be an awesome prime lens. It'll be much sharper than the kit lens, and since it is a prime lens with a wide maximum aperture (that's the 1.8 number--lower=more open), you'll be able to use it in low light and avoid using flash as much as possible. Flash=washed out pictures, pin-lights in the eyes, etc.

The stickies here have great tutorials as well.

Bottom line, you are one smart cookie, and if you put your mind to it I have no doubt you'll be awesome. I think a class sounds great too, especially if you're a hands-on learner. Smile

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I totally agree with the either 50mm, 1.8, or the one Meagan said. I don't have the 35mm, but would like it for indoors.

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I would have recommended the 50 1.8 but I know for Nikon it's not an AF-S lens and won't autofocus on a D5000. Sad

If you go with Canon instead, that's not the case and I'd totally get their 50 1.8, which is less than $100 I think.

carg0612's picture
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Thanks - the camera info was most helpful. I also created a login to ILP too.

It'll be a long ride but I made my DH promise me that I could spend 500 on a new camera if I lose 20 lbs. How's that for motivation??