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Old May 11, 2007, 8:03 AM   #1
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I recently purchased a K100d and absolutely love it. I have an overseas trip coming up during which I will need to take a ton of photos, so I go the camera now so I have time to practise. Is there a place on the net that has helpful tutorials on how to get the most from your SLR (possibly for k100d specific?) or is it just trial and error?

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Old May 11, 2007, 11:58 AM   #2
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I'm going to suggest you research general photography - not camera specific tutorials. If you understand the principles of exposure (and the components of ISO, shutter speed / aperture that control it), dof, white balance, achieving / eliminating motion blur, lighting, composition & framing, etc - within 10 minutes and a user manual you can adapt to any DSLR out there for the types of photography we're talking about (i.e. you're not a pro who needs to control custom functions to eke out every bit from the camera - until you can get the other 95% right - there's no point worrying about this last 5%).

The library is a great place to start. Even books that deal in film cameras are still relevant. Not much has really changed regarding the principles of photography. I say that with 2 exceptions:

1. White balance - you have to pay attention to that in digital - so do some reading on it and see how to set it on your camera. Also get info from other photogs who use THAT SPECIFIC CAMERA where white balance issues occur and where auto WB works just fine.

2. Histograms - this is a huge benefit to photographers today. Here is an article on Luminous Landscape called Understanding Histograms. It's a good place to start to learn and understand how to use this important tool. With this tool you can take a test shot and using feedback from the histogram, adjust your exposure to get the shot right.

There are other tutorials in the 'understanding' series on luminous landscape that are good.

The reason I recommend a book is you can more easily take that with you into the field.

The above will give you a general background, but to get the most out of your shots you'll want to research the intracacies of the specific genre you want. For example, do you like taking photos of buildings, of landscapes or of people? If you have a strong incling towards one type - do research on that particular type - and practice those types of shots before you go. Use the forums to seek constructive feedback on th photos you've taken. This way you can learn some specific hints/tips about that type of photograpy so you can plan accordingly on your trip. For example: if you like landscape shots - noon is really a terrible time of day for those types of shots because the lighting is so harsh. If you like architecture shots, you might plan it so the light is coming from a particular angle for the type of shot you want of a very important scene for you - and not just rely on chance so you end up taking the shot when lighting is poor. You'll also get hints on compositiion and find out where some of the pitfalls are. In the end, I think this last part has been the most useful for me as I've grown - asking for and digesting feedback from other photographers who have been doing this longer than I have or are simply better than me at it (even if they've been doing it shorter). The sooner you get this type of feedback in your process of becoming a photographer the faster you learn and the sooner you can prevent bad habits.

Anyway, hope that all helps!
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Old May 11, 2007, 4:08 PM   #3
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This book is an extention to your user manual.

Magic Lantern Guides: Pentax K100D / K110D[/b]

Along with that, I would buy or go to the library and get some books on photography basics.
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