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Old Dec 25, 2010, 11:27 PM   #1
RAH
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Hi there everyone I'm new here with a new camera that my brother gave me for Christmas. I have a Pentax K x and I'm so happy with it, the thing is I'm completely new at photography and would just like some tips of where to start my new hobby, from good books to read, what some good lenses are to look for, what to buy next and so on.

Thanks so much. Glad to be here and can't wait to learn
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Old Dec 25, 2010, 11:55 PM   #2
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RAH-

Your Pentax Kx probably came equipped with the Pentax 18-55mm IS kit lens. In addition to the kit lens, most folks want to add a lens with more zoom. There are two consumer grade lens available that fill that role. The first is the Pentax 50-200mm lens. The second is the Pentax 55-300mm lens. The second, the 55-300mm lens is the better lens of the two.

Being new to photography, one of the better ways to get a good foundation in photography is to take a formal class. Check your local Community College. Most Community Colleges offer digital photography courses at very reasonable rates.

If you prefer to learn on your own, Scott Kelby's The Digital Photography Book series is one of the most popular. There are now 4 books in his series.

Welcome to the Forum.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 1:19 PM   #3
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You'll have a great time with your new camera! As far as lenses, I suggest spending some time with the lens(es) that came with the camera. Some people are perfectly happy with one or two lenses, while others almost immediately recognize something they want to do that their kit lens doesn't do. Before you go crazy spending lots of money on equipment, decide what you really want. The nice thing about a dSLR is that the camera will grow with you and you don't have to get everything at once.

As far as books go, while Scott Kelby's books are good, I think that Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure and Understanding Photography Field Guide are better for learning photography as a beginner. The field guide book has some practical exercises suggested that are really useful - if you DO them rather than just read through them, you'll be further along than many, many camera owners.

The big thing with learning photography is to actually take pictures, lots of them.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:19 PM   #4
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Welcome to the Forum,

I would also suggest that you bounce back up to the main forum page and scroll down to the Pentax/Samsung dSLR forum (and there is a Pentax Lens forum also). Click on that and you will find a very active group of folks that shoot all types of Pentax gear. You can ask questions to your hearts content - and no on will think the less of you - since we all started out that way. Folks also post their pictures there too, for comments and sharing.

So welcome and drop in and say hello.....
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 3:17 AM   #5
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Take lots of photos.

Figure out what you like about them, and keep doing that.

Figure out what you don't like about them, and stop doing that.

Enjoy yourself.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 8:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Take lots of photos.

Figure out what you like about them, and keep doing that.

Figure out what you don't like about them, and stop doing that.
This advice reminds me of the sculptor who made a beautiful statue of an elephant. When asked how he did it, he said he just looked at the stone and removed everything that didn't look like an elephant.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tclune View Post
This advice reminds me of the sculptor who made a beautiful statue of an elephant. When asked how he did it, he said he just looked at the stone and removed everything that didn't look like an elephant.
Well, yeah, but in scupture, there's no trial and error. That is, if you happen to remove something that does look like an elephant, you have to start over with another stone.

My uncle used to make custom engines for drag racers. He used to buy an aluminum ingot, and remove everything that wasn't an engine. (See http://www.nhraonline.com/wklynews/1...ly/071301.html )
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Last edited by TCav; Dec 29, 2010 at 10:38 AM.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 11:01 AM   #8
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I will second Bryan Peterson's books. But really any books that deal with PHOTOGRAPHY - not "how to use my pentax k-x". Exposure, depth of field, composition and lighting are completely independent of the brand or model of camera you use. That's a great start, but internet forums are great too. I will advise you though - actively seek out advice on improving photos from people who shoot what you're shooting regardless of camera brand. If you're taking portrait style shots of your children - getting advice from other shooters that take those types of shots is what counts not necessarily whether or not they use the same camera. Try to avoid the trap of the "mutual admiration society" on the web - where every shot taken with your camera is "good" because it was taken with that camera. It helps the ego, but not necessarily help you become a better photographer. I've gotten a lot of help over the years from other photographers a great deal of them don't shoot with the brand of camera I shoot with.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 9:56 PM   #9
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If you go to the Steve's main page, there are a number of beginner tutorials that can help get you started. They are written without a lot of technical jargon (you will pick that up as you go along).
My advice as far as gear, would be to stick with your kit lens for a while as you learn - with some experience, you will start to find things you can't do well with it, and then will know more about what to get. Before lenses, though, you should have a good tripod, and an external flash. Again, some experience will point you to what you need/want.
And feel free to ask questions - among all of the folks here, we have probably made all the mistakes there are - its better to learn from ours than to make your own.

brian
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