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Beyond point and click
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Doofy
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Sep 25, 2009, 09:09 AM
 
Doof is a complete moron when it comes to photography. And has decided not to be. So it's time for some lernings.
Since there's some awesome photographers here on the old 'NN, I thought I'd ask.

What books or web sites do you folks recommend to take someone from "what's an ISO?" to "not a moron"?

Thanks chaps.
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Laminar
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Sep 25, 2009, 09:16 AM
 
If only we had an entire forum dedicated to that.

http://forums.macnn.com/83/art-and-g...tography-tips/
     
Doofy  (op)
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Sep 25, 2009, 09:28 AM
 
While we're at it, can someone point Lammy to a book which details the difference between "thread" and "forum"? Thanks.
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Laminar
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Sep 25, 2009, 09:52 AM
 
By "forum," I was referring to the "Art and Graphic Design" subforum. But it was nice of you to automatically assume I was mistaken and ignore the fact that I just gave you exactly what you were looking for.
     
turtle777
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Sep 25, 2009, 09:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
While we're at it, can someone point Lammy to a book which details the difference between "thread" and "forum"? Thanks.
Actually, I think he meant it would be good to have a whole photography forum, but for now, a thread is all we have.

-t
     
Doofy  (op)
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Sep 25, 2009, 09:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
By "forum," I was referring to the "Art and Graphic Design" subforum. But it was nice of you to automatically assume I was mistaken and ignore the fact that I just gave you exactly what you were looking for.
No.
I distinctly remember asking for a book or website which will teach me how to do this stuff. While that thread looks very informative, I still don't know what an ISO is.

I don't need "art" or "graphic design". I need instruction in the basic mechanics of photography.

Thanks for playing.
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That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
wallinbl
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Sep 25, 2009, 10:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I distinctly remember asking for a book or website which will teach me how to do this stuff. While that thread looks very informative, I still don't know what an ISO is.
ISO = I Search Of. When reading personal ads, it lets you know what the other person is into. Even though they're a chick and you're a dude, they may be into chicks or only hairy dudes or chubby dudes or whatever. Helps you to zero right in on the ads that are looking for you.
     
paul w
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Sep 25, 2009, 10:17 AM
 
As for forums to go ask questions, you should head over to dpreview.com. Photo.net has some good content as well.

You could always learn by going back to the beginning, get a film camera, some film and a copy of Horenstein's Black and White Photography and start shooting.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 25, 2009, 10:20 AM
 
Doofy, there is no need to be so aggressive: Laminar's link does provide very good information on basic photography. Don't expect all your questions to be answered in one thread, one book or one website.

Another good resource is Tips from the Top Floor and its related websites. They also have a forum. The two key ingredients in photography are lighting (+ exposure) and composition. Forget about ISO and everything else.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
turtle777
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Sep 25, 2009, 10:26 AM
 
Guys, don't be n00bs.

It's iSo, not ISO. Geesh...

-t
     
Doofy  (op)
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Sep 25, 2009, 10:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Another good resource is Tips from the Top Floor and its related websites. They also have a forum.
I don't need tips or forums - I need total instruction. Words cannot describe just how noob I am at photography.

Imagine it in computer terms. It's no good telling someone to go to MacNN to learn about Macs if they don't even know how to open Safari.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The two key ingredients in photography are lighting (+ exposure) and composition.
Compostition is easy - I already have a good eye. It's the mechanics I need.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Forget about ISO and everything else.
Isn't that like saying "forget about tuning your guitar" to a guitar noob?
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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Doofy  (op)
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Sep 25, 2009, 10:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by paul w View Post
As for forums to go ask questions, you should head over to dpreview.com.
Thanks.
Had a look at the noob section of their forum. It's still too advanced for me. I wouldn't even know what questions to ask. Hence needing a book or site to get me up to speed so I'm at the point where I can ask questions.
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OreoCookie
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Sep 25, 2009, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I don't need tips or forums - I need total instruction. Words cannot describe just how noob I am at photography.
If you need total instruction, take a photography class or participate in a workshop. Books won't help you. You won't learn how to take pictures by reading a book, only by practicing your skills.

Tips from the Top Floor has lots of pod and video casts on specific subjects which are understandable by noobs.
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Compostition is easy - I already have a good eye. It's the mechanics I need.
Composition is usually the hardest part, the mechanics is relatively easy.
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Isn't that like saying "forget about tuning your guitar" to a guitar noob?
No, it's not the same. Since I don't play the guitar, I can't give you any good metaphors, but it's like insisting to know what a carburetor does just because you want to learn how to drive.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
James L
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Sep 25, 2009, 11:48 AM
 
     
Doofy  (op)
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Sep 25, 2009, 11:59 AM
 
Cheers James - I'll check that out.
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Ham Sandwich
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Sep 25, 2009, 12:22 PM
 
This is a good overview. The rest of the site is pretty good, too.

Photography Kick-start Guide: How Your Camera Works - Phototuts+
     
Doofy  (op)
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Sep 25, 2009, 12:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by screamingFit View Post
This is a good overview. The rest of the site is pretty good, too.

Photography Kick-start Guide: How Your Camera Works - Phototuts+
Thanks man. That looks like the kind of stuff I need.

Edit: Cheers - that looks like what I needed. I now know what an ISO is! (and a f-stop).
( Last edited by Doofy; Sep 25, 2009 at 12:57 PM. )
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reader50
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Sep 25, 2009, 01:05 PM
 
ISO refers to the sensitivity. On traditional film, it was a quality of the film you bought. Higher ISO numbers were achieved with film that had larger grains. You could get a shot in low light, but the film's resolution would suffer.

In digital cameras, it becomes a quality of the image sensor. The photodiodes on the image sensor go through an analog amplifier step before being recorded to digital. At minimum ISO for your camera, no amplification is applied. For higher values, the amplifier is kicked in. Sensitivity goes up, but at the cost of added noise.

ISO is used mainly for low-light situations. Those are a problem for cameras, and you can use several approaches to compensate. All have their drawbacks.
  • Increase ISO: will add visible noise to picture, if you crank it up too much. What qualifies as too much? It varies by camera. Some have better analog amplifier steps. Larger image sensors such as those found in DSLRs (expensive) result in lower noise across the board.
  • Increase exposure time: works, but any movement will result in blurred pictures. So you need the camera to be steady, usually by using a tripod. And what you're taking a picture of needs to be steady too. If living people are in the shot, that's a problem.
  • Use the flash: works pretty good for close objects. If the background is farther away, such as in a large room or outdoors, then you end up with normal illumination of foreground objects, with the background black or very dark.
  • Open the aperature more: this lets more light into the camera, at the cost of focus depth. You'll end up with a very narrow focus range, where the subjects will be in focus. Anything slightly closer will be out of focus, and anything a bit behind the subjects will be out of focus too. This is sometimes done deliberately, to blur a distracting background.
In practice, a digital camera in auto mode will use a combination of all four tricks. If you still can't get an acceptable shot, you might be able to fiddle the controls manually to a better combination. Or set up more lighting. Or buy a better camera. Or have everyone return for the shot the next day.
( Last edited by reader50; Sep 25, 2009 at 02:58 PM. Reason: forgot to add aperature to the options)
     
Doofy  (op)
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Sep 25, 2009, 01:26 PM
 
Cheers reader.

Now I've read all that stuff and got the basic mechanics sorted, it sounds like it's time to go buy a camera and get stuck in with the experimentation.
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mattyb
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Sep 25, 2009, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Now I've read all that stuff and got the basic mechanics sorted, it sounds like it's time to go buy a camera and get stuck in with the experimentation.
If you think that PC vs Mac arguments bring out the worst in people, wait til you see what fookin eejots there are ranting about cameras.

I'll get in their first, get a Nikon
     
ort888
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Sep 25, 2009, 05:54 PM
 
You can buy a book just for your camera. I bought my dad the D40 for dummies book and it's actually a pretty good resource for starters. It's nice to have a book just for your camera as well, because it gives you specific answers on exactly what you will be using.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
Face Ache
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Sep 25, 2009, 06:09 PM
 
I'd suggest getting a DSLR and taking a lot of pictures. Experiment.

Sign up for the free newsletter at Digital Photography Tips: Digital Photography School . They'll deliver loads of cool tips, weekly, to your email account.

I've got Tom Ang's Digital Photographer's Handbook and Digital Photography Masterclass here. You should find those handy.
     
James L
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Sep 26, 2009, 09:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
I'd suggest getting a DSLR and taking a lot of pictures. Experiment.
Totally agree! I personally think if you want to understand exposure, learn in Manual mode. It isn't hard, and you will truly learn the relationship between aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

That book I recommended describes this process very well, as well as the different metering modes, etc.

The other piece of advice I would give you is to refrain from buying lenses for a while (I was even going to write for a long time). Lenses are the most important thing you will invest in (and I say that being a lighting fanatic), and newbies often make the mistake of thinking because something is lacking they should run out and buy more kit.

The best thing to do is just work with the kit lens for a while... make notes of what you like to shoot and times you feel you couldn't get the shot... perhaps because your lens lacks macro ability, telephoto zoom, etc.

After really figuring out what you want to shoot and working within the limitations of your kit lens then go out and find good glass.

Cheers!
     
   
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