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Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

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  • Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

    Members (and lurkers passing thru) vary in their knowledge and experience with using their cameras. I know there are a few pros and very experienced folks who check out the board to help and to look at others' images, but I suspect there are more folks who are still using their camera in automatic mode because it's the only way they can be sure to capture their shot. Some of you would like to take your camera off automatic pilot and learn something about exposure ("proper" and creative), shutter speed control, aperture and depth of field, fill flash and external flash, and other subjects that you've heard about, read about, but haven't yet tried.

    I'm not going to pretend to be an instructor, but there are so many resources available on the internet (including our members) that I'm beginning to feel guilty for not making sure we link up to some of those good resources. I believe that we can depend on our members to help answer questions that pop up as people try using their cameras in something other than AUTO mode. Janet Petty's thread on composition ( http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...otography.html) is a great example of how we can work together to learn, and motivated me to add some subjects to the discussion.

    I've looked at internet resources before, and linked to explanations of photo terms, but I believe that videos teach better than articles.

    DSLRtips.com has produced a number of videos that explain some basics about aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and fill flash to improve photos and give a few examples of before/after photos. (Not the best examples, but pretty typical, and a place to start. We can always add our own examples if we want.) The videos are done by a man named Gordon Laing -- he speaks clearly, follows a script, uses close-ups when showing how to change camera settings - things that some other FREE instructional videos do not do.

    Aperture control

    DSLR Tips: How to blur backgrounds on portraits
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAxJR...eature=related


    DSLR Tips: How to get lots in focus (depth of field)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhJMd...eature=related

    Shutter speed control

    DSLR Tips: How to blur action shots for a feeling of speed
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlnsV...eature=related

    DSLR Tips: How to blur water for a dreamy effect
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOZf1IRsl9o&NR=1


    Exposure compensation --

    DSLR Tips: How to darken your exposures
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNvpjSBSiIY


    Use of flash:

    DSLR Tips: Using the flash to boost daytime portraits (fill flash)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox4BS...eature=related

    I didn't find a video by Mr. Laing on the histogram, so I'll add some other folks on this and other subjects --

    Reading the Histogram
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3yiz...eature=related

    Digital Camera- Highlights and Histogram Tools
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_DyV...eature=related

    NON-video info about histogram reading/use:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...stograms.shtml

    http://digital-photography-school.co...ng-histograms/



    The following links have some good info, but might not be as clear - I'd suggest adding them to your viewing after you have gone thru the above links.

    Camera Exposure

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg7_m...eature=related


    Shutter and Aperture
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edotf...eature=related

    photography - shutter
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9s4M...eature=related

    Aperture
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-XbHqpLcQc
    Last edited by CJ Swartz; 06-05-2008, 12:19 PM. Reason: added links

  • #2
    Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

    It never hurts to go back and review the fundamentals. Those automatic settings tend to make us all lazy from time to time, myself included.

    The composition thread was a great motivation for me to go back and take a second look at some of my old photos.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

      Boy, do I need those. Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

        This is a great subject for a thread.

        I've found that due to the "I've slept since then" syndrome, I have to constantly relook up techniques that I don't often use.

        My hint is to take the book that comes with your camera, sit down in front of the TV. Go through the book one page at a time and take pictures of the TV screen using the settings, etc. on that page. It is a less boring method of practicing, at least for me.

        Now if I can just learn how to use the flash unit for better results.

        Janet

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

          What I am looking for is something on reading a histogram. Take the picture look at the histogram, that I can do but I don't know what to do with the setting on the camera if the gram is bad. Let's say that everything is pushed to the left side. What changes need to be made with the settings. If anyone knows of a good article on this that would be great.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

            Originally posted by yvonne View Post
            "...I...Take the picture look at the histogram, that I can do but I don't know what to do with the setting on the camera if the gram is bad. ...
            I added a couple of links on this subject (you are definitely NOT alone with this question!!) - let me know if they help and what else you need to know.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?


              what timing CJ as i have said before i fall into that catergory and have enjoyed Janet's composition thread immensely.
              Over the last 6 months or so i have been attempting to take my camera off automatic and putting into practice the bits of info i have picked up through this board and a few others site's
              In fact i have just been today and bought another camera ( fuji finepix S5800, great value at the moment ) this is to be my "thinking" camera, where i try to do things properly ( ha ha) maybe not a big step for some but a huge one for me
              But i will be keeping my other camera as i don't want to give up being a happy snappy either

              so far i have just opened the box and had a peep, the manual is HUGE with lots to go through and i know already that there is a lot i don't understand,

              But luckily enough I know where there is a GREAT forum with friendly and helpful people who are only to willing to help even if i ask the most stupidest questions
              SO
              I expect to be asking you all some questions in the near future
              The links are going to be great to go through (after the manual) so thank you for them

              here is a link that i have found a few tips from
              http://potd.chrisempey.com/tips/arch...l_camera_1.php


              Palms

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

                Ok, all those out there who are experimenting with camera settings, flash, or whatever, I have a question. Do you or have you used second-curtain flash for anything useful?

                I recently took a class in using second-curtain flash. After I finally caught on and the capture was turning out like the instructor said it would, I tried it on ceiling fans, the school bus going down the street, the cat ( ), and some other things. Now, I admit to being extremely challenged when it comes to people shots. But what else can I use this for creatively? Nothing I tried worked as well as the studio lit, people shots.

                Janet

                example attached--This photo shares joint copyright with the model, the model's employer, and me. It is NOT to be duplicated or used anywhere else. Thank you.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

                  Hey CJ:
                  I like the links and thanks ever so much. But are there people out there like me who just got a new camera (Rebel XSI) and do not learn well from reading the manual due to a learning disability or just plain do not do well with learning in this manner ..period.. who would like to be able to ask questions of people who are good at using SLR camers and are willing to respond to questions and HELP people like they do in the other forums?
                  I am just learning the terms like ISO, AV, P and things like that. They have been like a foreigh language to me. It takes time to learn and even understand all of the terms of using an SLR, let alone learning about and using lens.

                  I would sure like to be part of a forum spot like this!! Thanks Neb

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

                    Originally posted by nebgranny View Post
                    Hey CJ:
                    I like the links and thanks ever so much. But are there people out there like me who just got a new camera (Rebel XSI) and do not learn well from reading the manual due to a learning disability or just plain do not do well with learning in this manner ..period.. who would like to be able to ask questions of people who are good at using SLR camers and are willing to respond to questions and HELP people like they do in the other forums?
                    I am just learning the terms like ISO, AV, P and things like that. They have been like a foreigh language to me. It takes time to learn and even understand all of the terms of using an SLR, let alone learning about and using lens.

                    I would sure like to be part of a forum spot like this!! Thanks Neb
                    Neb you might find that you are already in that forum I too struggle with all the learning about camera's for some reason it just goes straight over my head, which is hard for me as i can usually grasp most things, but i know i can ask questions here about anything to do with camera's and photography ( however stupid it may seem) and get some sound good friendly advice or some real good links to look at, and my bit of advice for you is keep practicing that's what i am doing

                    Palms

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

                      Thanks Palms1:
                      I just bought a Canon Rebel xsi. I have learned a lot of the buttons and their functions. I have the 18/55 lens and also bought the 50mm f1.8 to try and take some portrait pictures of my grandchildren. I want to learn how to take pictures in other modes besides the auto, like Av and TV and P and some day Manual. I have learned how to set the camera for raw and jpg at the same time and also learned about the Adobe Ding Converter so I can open them in photoshop thanks to people here at retouch. I am also learning how to use the DPP software program to edit my pictures. It is the program that came with my camera. I have learned a lot of things..EXCEPT how to get the kind of pictures I want in other modes. So now that is the most important thing I want to learn. I am still confused about apature and shutter speed. I do have ISO settings figured out. I like video tutorials and learn th ebest with them. Reading is just not my way to learn, visual hands on learner here!! Do post back and let us know your camera and what you hope and want to learn . Thanks Neb
                      Last edited by nebgranny; 07-15-2008, 09:35 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

                        Originally posted by nebgranny View Post
                        Thanks Palms1:
                        I just bought a Canon Rebel xsi. I have learned a lot of the buttons and their functions. I have the 18/55 lens and also bought the 50mm f1.8 to try and take some portrait pictures of my grandchildren. I want to learn how to take pictures in other modes besides the auto, like Av and TV and P and some day Manual. ...I have learned a lot of things..EXCEPT how to get the kind of pictures I want in other modes. So now that is the most important thing I want to learn. I am still confused about apature and shutter speed. I do have ISO settings figured out. I like video tutorials and learn the best with them. ...
                        Neb, if you're able to view videos on YouTube.com, there are some that might interest you --

                        Choosing the right exposure mode - Canon XSi

                        Shutter and Aperture modes

                        Setting Custom White Balance

                        Auto Exposure lock

                        Canon XSi - external buttons

                        Post what you think about the videos - there are more available on YouTube and might be a nice way to learn.
                        Last edited by CJ Swartz; 07-16-2008, 12:09 AM. Reason: added links

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

                          CJ, thanks for starting this thread. i am trying to learn a little about my new camera in other than auto mode but don't really want to get caught up in a site dedicated to photography as i have enough distractions from the photoshop skills i'm working on! i've already learned from a couple of these links i watched. they are short, to the point, give before/after examples and for me work better than reading about settings. now to try them out before i forget. maybe my next sunset and rainbow pictures won't be so washed out!
                          doreen

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

                            Thank you CJ for the links, i have looked at a couple of them and found i liked the manner and style of the first one so i have bookmarked the other links by the same author and will study them in the near future (even though they are not specific for my camera)

                            Palms

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Do you want to LEARN to USE your camera?

                              CJ, Got it right this time..Wink-Wink:
                              These are really great ! I have watched the first two this morning already. I like that I can watch them over and over(You know the ole memery is not as it used to be)! You found some good ones. When I did a search for myself some came up on UTube and were not that good. How did you find such good ones?

                              I am going to call the Camera store today as think there might be something wrong with my camera. I was taking a picture last night and the flash just kept flickering!! The other day I was taking a picture of a flower and getting close to get a nice close up and when I hit the shutter button to take the picture it just made a continious clicking sound. Something is not right. I am not having the best luck with cameras . I origionaly bought the xti and had to take it back and then the xsi came out so I added a little more money to the pot and bought the xsi. I sacrificed the telephoto lens though as I used it for awhile with the xti and was a little disappointed in it. So I decided not to get the kit and wait and get a better telephoto lens down the road.

                              I think with people like you, I will learn this camera and how to take some nice pictures in other modes than Auto. I had joined a group for a short time on Yahoo 2 days to be exact and posted a few questions about live view(someone else had the same question and no one responded ..should have gotten a clue then) The response I got was to read the manual!! The person said , what difference is there in reading the manual or reading a response to your question!! I said alot!! The manual can not respond back if I do not totally understand the reading and have a question, but on a GOOD forum or group people can respond and help you find some clarity. Needless to say I did unsubscribe. I remembered your post on Camera's and came back to old faithful Retouch where there ARE the best and friendliest people on the net!! That is how the other group promoted themselves !! LOL

                              Well thanks again for the links and great help, I appreciate it more than you know. When you invest in a decent camera one wants to learn to use it to it's full potential!!
                              Thanks so much. Neb

                              Comment

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