I am new to the world of photo. Over the summer I purchased my first camera, a Canon 30D, and have one lens, a Tamron 17-50 f2.8. I'm diving right in without any sort of know how. I found a beginners book and have been reading a ton online. Needless to say getting started in photography can be a little overwhelming, and being one who makes things more complicated than they need to be, my head is spinning. I know practice makes perfect when handling a camera but I could use some clarification on a couple things.
As basic, and stupid, as it sounds, what should I be doing when I am out shooting? I feel like a maniac with the shutter speeds and f-stops. I am all over the place. Is there a general rule of thumb I should be following? And is exposure value something that needs to be taken into account in everyday shooting? I am getting decent looking photos however I feel there is no structure or method behind my shooting.
I'll try and wrap my head around this first before I start asking more questions. I hope I am making sense. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanx.
I wrote a little thing up for a friend who had the same problem. It won't fit here so I will email it to you. It was written in MSWord. If you can't view it, let me know.
Last edited by mrchile; 09-29-2011 at 07:11 AM.
There are two pips in a beaut,
four beauts in a lulu,
eight lulus in doozy,
and sixteen doozies in a humdinger.
Nobody knows how many humdingers are in a lollapalooza.
"What should I be doing when I'm out shooting?" Your question is very broad. Too broad to answer specifically, in my opinion. If you can ask more specific questions it will be easier for others here to answer you. But as a broad answer to your question I'd say you should read books on photography (and websites), starting with the basics, and then go out and practice what you've just read, in specific doses with narrow goals and self-planned lessons. It sounds like you are overwhelmed by it all and instead need to focus on small aspects of photography like building blocks day by day.
I think the best book for beginners and really for everyone is "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. You can get it on Amazon.com.
Yes there is some basic advice, and I am going to give you the same basic advice I give to all new photographers that own Canon cameras.
When in doubt set your camera's exposure mode to the white letter "P" or program mode, this will get you a decent useable exposure in about 80%-90% of your shots. If you are concerned that flash may be needed then switch to the green square mode, this is the fully automatic mode where the camera will set ISO, aperture, shutter speed and even decide for you if you need flash. I do not suggest shooting in the green square mode but it can be an excellent learning tool in that it will give you decent settings to start out with and then you can adjust from there.
For beginners I like the white "P" mode but you need to remember that using it can hinder your learning as much as it can help it depending on you. If you are going to use the the "P" mode be sure to check the settings in the vew finder before you take the photo and then look at the EXIF file while looking at the photo and judge what you like or dislike about the photo and the settings the camera choose.
Many around the world of photography hate the "P" mode and will tell you that it is worthless and do not ever use it. Then there are those who like aperture preferred(AV), still others will tell you that shutter preferred(TV) is better, and there are still others that will tell you that manual(M) is the only way to shoot. Well I am a fence sitter on this issue, there is no such thing as a "Best" exposure mode, there is only what is best for you and the situation you are shooting in. However there are some guidlines that can help decide what mode is best for the situation.
Use shutter preferred(TV) when you are shooting moving subjects this allows you to choose a shutter speed to freeze the action, or to control how much motion blur you get.
Use aperature preferred(AV) when depth of field is most critical, like oyu want to try and blur that ugly background, or you need to keep the foreground and the background sharply in focus.
Program "P" mode can be an excellent general purpose shooting mode as well. With the ability to shift a programmed exposure and to add exposure compensation as well as flash compensation to any "P" selected exposure the program mode"P" gives you about 90% of the exposure control you get on manual(M) combined with about 75% of the ease of shooting in a fully auto mode.
Good luck, experiment, ask questions, posting photos helps to illustrate questions and most of all have fun.
Yeah what G12 said.
use your camera to learn to see your ideas.
Automatic exposure helps get technically good images. that will let you concentrate on make interesting images.
Once you can make interesting images you can learn to use the camera to make those images your vision.
This advice is sort of upside-down to the old way of doing things.
Back in the olden days when Dinosaurs still used film cameras, you had to know how to make a good exposure first!
Today the cameras do that fo you
When you go to process your images pay attention to the EXIF information. That is a record of the camera's settings when you made the images.
Pay attention to what the camera chooses in particular settings, then when you are ready to advance to more control of the image process, you will have a good clue as to where to start.
Mischance nothing, thus idle woe...
Photography is not about how much camera you bring to the shoot.
the first thing you should read is your manual from cover to cover. this will teach you what each control is for. most people i talk to with a new camera is they have never read the manual.