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Thread: Learning photography. Where to start?

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    Member Jossie's Avatar
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    Smile Learning photography. Where to start?

    Hello. I'm new to the forum I love photography and would like to one day do it as a profession! I have wanted to do a course for a while but with a growing family it seems like i'm never going to be able to afford the thousands of dollars that It costs to enrol. For this reason I have decided that i'd try to learn as much as possible outside of the classroom. But where to begin? I have a Nikon digital camera, although it is not an SLR, I am saving up for one I have basic camera skills, I love taking photos regularly of my family and locations we go to. I try to take good professional looking shots but am not too familiar with the rules. I'm thinking that I should get some books to start off with to learn some rules and techniques and then try putting it to practice. Would this be the best place to start? What books would you recommend? I am in no rush with this. My kiddies are still young so I wouldn't be looking at starting a business for a few years yet. I want to spend the next few years sucking in as much information and practice as possible! Any advice would be appreciated?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    I would first start by saying if you cannot afford thousands for a course,. give up on the idea of being a professional photographer and just focus on being a good hobbyist. To work professionally you need thousands of dollars of gear, etc. So work with what you have and be happy improving your own photography skills, for now.

    read this: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...l-Photographer

    and then just work on learning to be a better photographer for now.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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    RICK
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    Hi Jossie and welcome
    AP is a great place to start learning. Read everything in our "library", do all the exercises and post the results up here for comment. It truely is the best way to learn.
    Besides that, the internet is your friend, scour it, and think about what you like or don't like about the photo's you see- critique it in your head. There are a billion tutorials, and examples of photography "rules", do's and don't etc.
    Treat AP and the rest of the internet as your teacher- it is free, you get to work from home, there is no time limit.... then go practice, practice, practice. This is how most of us have learned, spending thousands in "photography school" is not as smart as teaching yourself at this stage in your life.
    Have fun, and post some of your results so some impartial people can offer constructive advice.

    Di
    D300s and D60. Nikkor 35mm 1.8 & 50mm 1.8, 18-55mm & 55-200mm; Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6; Tamron 90mm, Elements 8
    ...........................................................................................C&C is always welcome......................................................................



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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Gday and welcome Jossie.
    The first course you can do is free and here on AP ..... http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...otography_Book

    As Di said, getting involved here, posting photos and/or simply asking questions will help you on your journey.
    Step by step, who knows where you'll be in 5 or 10 years.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S.

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    Ausphotography Addict
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    Hi Jossie.
    Above is some pretty sound advice. Ricktas has been involved with photography since a youngster. And what he doesn't know about photography isn't worth worrying about.
    Yet as a professional only scrapes by, like many others.

    My advice is to go through the library as others have suggested. It will out do any course that TAFE or other organization will come up with.
    Look at the location of other members on the site. There are some that may live reasonably close by, and be willing to share a day out. I have found that with these meetups, you not only learn a bit for yourself, but maybe able to show a few tricks or ideas for the others.

    It's a tough road.... And there will be times when you'll want to throw the camera out the window... But in the end, after a lot of practice it will all come together. That's when you will decide to go professional, or stay as a hobbyist.

    I have heard that around $30,000 is a starting point for taking photography seriously. And that is only minimal gear and software. There is registration, insurance, overheads and much more to consider. And on top of that, taking photos is only about 10% of the business. The rest is old fashioned hard work to keep the business going. I have spent between $16,000 and $18,000 on gear and software, and have nowhere near what the pros have.

    Good luck with your dream. And I hope I haven't disheartened your passion for the hobby. And if you are ever in the eastern side of Victoria, I'd love to spend a day out with you.
    Geoff
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    Nikon D3000 ... Nikon D90... Nikon D700 Various lenses, Home studio equipment and all the associated stuff
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    Member Jacs14's Avatar
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    Hi Jossie

    Go with all the above advice and try out the different tutorials on AP. Other than that just get out with the camera, play and have fun. Find out what it is you really enjoy doing and taking photos of, there are so many genres of photography. Post photos and ask questions. The only stupid question is the one that you didn't ask.

    Jacs

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    Member dannat's Avatar
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    You could also seek out a local camera or photography club, most let you attend 1-2 meetings to see if you like what they have to offer.
    Oly e500 zd14-54 zd70-300
    35-70/4 70-210/4 (leftover from old camera )

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    A forum is a good start.
    There is a lot of good photographers here who are knowledgeable and willing to share their experience.
    Just remember that a forum is by definition a place to "discuss" photography, make sure you spend a lot more time practicing and studying.

    Good books to start with would be those by Brian Peterson. "Understanding exposure", "learning to see creatively", or a new one by Jennifer Bebb - beyond auto mode.
    They are well written, easy to follow for novice photographers.
    A good book on composition is also "the photographers eye"

    Gear: You will need a decent gear if you are planning to go pro one day.
    Don't get a cheap SLR, unless they are second hand, in good condition and less than 200$ - just to get you started and to study with.. NOT to shoot professionally!
    I suggest, instead: Get a pro-sumer camera, not quite Pro level, but much better than those cheap sub-1000$ kits. If you decide to go pro, you can use them as your second camera which you MUST have if you plan to shoot for money.
    Check Canon 70D or Nikon D7100 ... as a guide.

    I agree with Geoff, you will spend close to 20K for your gear if you want to give yourself a chance to compete.
    Insurance for your gear and indemnity will cost you about a grand annually.
    After that you still need a website, software, advertising cost, etc... etc...

    Photography is an extremely competitive profession.
    Anyone can buy a 3000$ camera and call themselves a photographer. Weekend warriors who will shoot a wedding for 500$... there is no way to compete with that.
    Very few photographers will do better than 100K a year...
    Dont want to discourage you... but the reality is not that rosy...

    But i DO encourage you to learn... Whether you decide to go pro or not, photography is a great hobby and when you do it well it will give you a LOT of satisfaction.

    J
    “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" – Henri Cartier-Bresson
    **Commercial Link Removed by Admin**

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    Check your local community college too. They're usually a good place to start with some face to face training. Books, forums, etc. are great but sometimes it's nice to actually talk to other like minded folk.
    -- Mister Q

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    Hi Jossie, the best way I learnt was to join some camera clubs. There are plenty of experienced photographers that love to teach in each of them. They also may have a library of books you can borrow. Get out and take lots of photos and keep a diary of the settings you use. I hope this helps.

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    A) You dont need Thousands of dollars worth of gear ... ( To learn )
    B) Practice , and practice and practice some more ... All the time aiming a little higher .
    C) Start @ youtube.com , There are lots and lots of video tutorials to watch , if you want . Pick a topic , watch and research , and then practice till you understand and can replicate ...
    D) Photography is as simple , or as complicated as you want to make it ...

    Simple as in Buy a decent camera | lens | flash | combo , run it in full auto and take good pictures ...
    Or as complicated as running manual ( which is not really that complicated ) ....
    Just depends on what sort of photography you want to do !

    DSLR - Pick a brand you plan to gravitate too ...
    You said pro , so I guess that means Canon or Nikon full frame ... ( expensive )
    Nikon has a cropped 24MP camera , or series of cameras .. So does Pentax/Ricoh
    24MP rocks hard ...

    I would suggest a starter camera , something cost effective that allows you to learn , and has the functions you need ...
    With Canon , possibly a 50D as a starter Camera or a 60D with a L lens ...

    Nikon might be better as you can use the old manual lenses : And there are some seriously good deals out there on bodies
    Last edited by old4570; 15-11-2013 at 11:24pm.

  12. #12
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Where'd you go Jossie?
    How you going with it all?

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    Member Drubbing's Avatar
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    I really don't see what an expensive course can teach you, that you can't do yourself. The net has infinite resources. There are a number of books like Understanding Exposure, that are widely recommended.

    I think learning photography is mostly about experience, not formal training. You also need a bit of a creative streak, a good eye for seeing the ordinary as interesting. As others have said, read up, join a club, learn from others more advanced, and take masses of photos.

    Advice that I have seen over the years about 'going pro' with your favourite hobby (and this has applied to budding writers, musicians artists etc), is that once your hobby is already providing an income, and has got to the point where going full time means it can replace the one from your day job, that's the time to start a business.

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    I think the internet is a great place to learn and get a lot of knowledge on photography. Forums like this, youtube videos, facebook, clubs... the list goes on. What you learn online you need to put into practice because the more you take photos, the more you'll learn. You can't get experience without doing it.

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    Member labrooy61's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    I have only just joined this site and already the suggestions in this thread have justified that.

    I am an enthusiastic amateur with no intention of ever being anything but a hobbyist. However I want to be the best I can be and have been looking at how I can achieve this. The suggestions by members on this thread are of great value to one such as I.

    I look forward to learning a lot through the forums on this site and becoming a good photographer.

  16. #16
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    G'day labrooy61. Don't be afraid to ask questions and generally get involved.
    Today someone (g'day waz) posted an interesting link that may help you and others. It's here .... http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...l-in-one-place!

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    2nd Drubbing, photography is all about experience and creativity, throwing thousands of dollars into courses is just a waste of money.

    you give a pro a kid's camera, and they'll turn out a piece of art with it.
    男がニコンだ!

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    Member Reflex's Avatar
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    *removed - please read site rules 3-7*
    Last edited by ricktas; 01-02-2014 at 7:14pm.

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    Member Reflex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reflex View Post
    *removed - please read site rules 3-7*
    My apologies for the oversite

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    Quote Originally Posted by crepuscular View Post
    2nd Drubbing, photography is all about experience and creativity, throwing thousands of dollars into courses is just a waste of money.

    you give a pro a kid's camera, and they'll turn out a piece of art with it.

    So true, Seen it many times , You can have all the best gear But !! You must know how to drive it , My tip, Learn the basic triangle formula , The relationship between , The three important things , ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed, Master this and all the other bells and whistles go out the window , BTW Just my opinion that started with film in the 60's
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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