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Old Jan 10, 2006, 11:33 AM   #1
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Ok.. I'm pretty new to 'actual' photography.. I've taken thousands up thousands of photos.. I think I'm inline with basic composition.. But I think it's about time that I 'grew up' .. at least to the level where I can move outside of all the auto - lazy ass camera settings. I'm bad with just fixing things in photoshop.

Is there a decent 'kindergarden' book that takes you step by step through shutter speeds, camera settings, lighting, etc...

What I'd like to do is work day to day.. kinda like lessons.. That way I don't get overwhelmed.. and it just may stick.

I'd love to take a short little course, but don't have the time with my sons to get out without them.

I'd love for a book (dummies series maybe??).. or even a good site that has all the basics stepped out. I'd prefer to stick with one book or site.. do that.. and then move on. I'm still learning terms, etc..

Of course.. This forum.. you guys are stuck with me.. sorry..lol

FYI.. I'm not interested in drowning myself with SLR type info.. All digital right now.

Canon S2 IS
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 3:22 PM   #2
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Well, a lot about photography is still the same with digital as it was with film. So books from the library about photography are still very valid (i.e. how aperture, shutter speed, film speed (ISO) affect exposure).

For a website, you might try the Canon Learning center at the link below. Choose the link for Digital Rebel. The first set of tabs in the tutorial are about general photography and apply to any camera that has creative modes (aperture priority, shutter priority, manual). So I think they'll give you a decent start on some of the fundamentals of photography and shooting outside the fully automatic camera modes.


I would also recommend after you get the basics, learning how to use your camera's histogram to determine if you got your exposure right, rather than just viewing the image on the LCD screen. The histogram is a great tool. Here's an article from a great site: Luminous Landscape on how to interpret histograms. But, master the basics above before diving in to the histogram:


Finally, there is one remaining aspect to digital photography that is different than film - setting a 'White Balance'. You may have noticed that pictures under different lighting conditions look 'too warm' (yellow or orange) or 'too cold' (usually a blue tinge to the color). This is the White Balance. I don't have a link for you on this, but I'd save it for last anyway. Once you understand how Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO work together to determine exposure and what Aperture does to Depth Of Field and Shutter speed does to motion blur or camera shake you'll be well on your way.

You mentioned already having an understanding of basic composition so the Canon Courses should be a good start. A good Book to find at the library or buy is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I prefer books because you can take them with you.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 4:09 PM   #3
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I liked Rick Sammon's Guide to Digital Photography. The book has a lot of breadth rather than depth, so its pretty good if you just want to cover lots of ground but not get into any 1 topic hard core. It has lots of pictures where he varies camera settings so you can see a direct effect of a setting.

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Old Jan 10, 2006, 11:48 PM   #4
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Thanks!! That gets my ball rolling.
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 2:33 AM   #5
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I have a Hints and Helps page on my site, which I change every so often. It usually has various tips, andhelps on a beginner level. You might check this out every so often, I probably won't be making any changes -for the nextfew months though. The message board has a tips category on it also, it gets an occasional post.

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Old Jan 11, 2006, 2:48 AM   #6
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Cool!!.. So far I'm using sites like this and others as my 'encyclopedia'.. Simply because there's just SOO much information.. Allmost too much. It gets overwhelming and confusing when given too much at once.. I'm sure everyone understands that..lol

It's amazing even on that thought.. The web.. you can find the answer to almost anything.. Gosh.. I remember doing school reports in school with stacks of encyclopedias all over the table! I think I could now count the number of 'referance' books in my home with fingers from only one hand! Just the idea of 'consumering'.. 10 years ago, you'd buy a magazine to read 'pro' reviews on items.. Now.. you can pop online, get pro reviews.. and reviews, comments and thoughts of hundreds of thousands of people.. Even being able to take a 'referance' tool, and making it interactive by asking questions and disussing with others..

Simply mind boggling and amazing.

Sorry.. it's late.. I tend to think too hard past bedtime.. lol
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 3:10 AM   #7
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I'll add my endorsement to Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. He presents the information in an easy to understand manner, and it's a fun read. All the basics are covered, and the latest edition is updated to include digital photography.
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 8:08 AM   #8
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This might help too....


It is geared towards the SLR but applies equally to most digicams.

All the best,


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Old Jan 12, 2006, 2:18 PM   #9
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Hi vwmom,

Though it was published in the predigital era, it is still a great tome!

The Art of Adventure Photography by (the late) Galen Rowell.

It has lots of "lessons" with lots fantastic color photos!

You can find it on Amazon, etc used for less than $10.

It should get you inspired to take photos!

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Old Jan 27, 2006, 3:40 PM   #10
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Hope these sites can help you



Gotta make it picture-perfect!

You can even use it for online printing and other printing needs! This may help -


Say cheese :|!

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