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Help and advice for beginners If you don't classify yourself as being particularly expert or experienced and you have a question or problem that you need help with in the area of improving images, this is the board to get the assistance you seek.

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Old 04-01-07
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Question Where Do I Start?

Hello Everyone!
I am pretty sure I can take good pictures by the comments i get. So here is my question, I there any thing I can do with my point ad shoot camera to get myself started. I understand that my options are limited using it, but I need to save up enough to buy a good SLR. I don't even know how to get started . But this is burning me up doing nothing with it. I LOVE to take pictures. Any suggestions or ideas? Oh and also I love doing both portraits and nature or senic shots.

Jennifer
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Old 04-01-07
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Re: Where Do I Start?

Jeniffer.

One of the least thought about with most folks is composition, and learning how to use it to take good pictures. There is the old rule of thirds, which says your subject should never take the center. Well that is a mater of opinion, I don't always abide by, and nether have some of the greatest and best of photographers.

Its not an expensive camera that makes a good photographer, it only broadens their horizons. Its learning how! to take pictures that make great photographers. The internet is filled with articles on composition, some good and some not so good.

Second but not least, is learning how to use light. How and when it works for you, and when it works against you. These two basic photographic elements are what make good photographs, not necessarily the price you paid for your camera. Give someone like the late Ansel Adams a brownie hawkeye, and he would take pictures with it I could not touch.

By the way 95% of the photos on my website were taken with point & shoot cameras. I am not saying they are great, but some of them are not to bad. Take a look at some of them, especially the B&W portrait of my daughter made with a Fuji A-205 P&S camera. You might get a few ideas from them.

Have a good one Jennifer, and just keep plugging away. The more you learn, the more use you will be able to get out of a better camera.
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Old 04-01-07
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Re: Where Do I Start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowcrzy06 View Post
Hello Everyone!
I am pretty sure I can take good pictures by the comments i get. So here is my question, I there any thing I can do with my point ad shoot camera to get myself started. I understand that my options are limited using it, but I need to save up enough to buy a good SLR. I don't even know how to get started . But this is burning me up doing nothing with it. I LOVE to take pictures. Any suggestions or ideas? Oh and also I love doing both portraits and nature or senic shots.

Jennifer

Hi Jennifer,

The following has a metaphoric meaning and I will explain what I mean:

"A good picture is taken first by mind and then by the camera. They exist even extreme nice photos in mind that haven't been taken by the camera yet"

What my previous sentences mean is that in order to take nice photos, first and most important is that you need to exercise your imagination and then to experiment with camera settings.

You don't need a DSLR (or at least you don't need a DSLR at this stage) in order to take good pictures. All you need is imagination!
Exercise your imagination and then you will find by yourself how to adjust your camera's basic settings.

Also have in mind basic photographic rules as Steve40 explained to you, but also try to avoid stereotypes. By avoiding stereotypes you leave your imagination to work better and take better photos.

Now, if you need specific advice on specific type of photos (e.g nightshots, portraits, e.t.c) please state so, in order for us to suggest you some basic settings to have in mind and experiment with.


Regards

George
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Old 04-01-07
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Re: Where Do I Start?

Jennifer, show us some more pictures and we can give you some idea of any obvious limitations, if any, that might be being imposed on you by using the camera you currently have.

Ian
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Re: Where Do I Start?

Hi Jennifer,
You have already been given some very sound advice from the other more experienced on the site, however I think light, and the quality of light, being the basis of nearly every photograph, you should try to take early morning and evening/late evening photographs of landscapes, try to avoid portraits taken in harsh light, or mid day landscapes, at least until you are more experienced, portraits can also be taken in context with the persons environment, ie: their home, workplace etc:
Good Luck.
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Re: Where Do I Start?

Another thought to consider is if you feel you have a favourite type of photograph you feel more comfortable with.
i.e. portrait, landscape, buildings, candids, macro etc etc.
If so then maybe you can spend some time developing this feeling.
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Re: Where Do I Start?

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned, so far. Most people just starting out tend to take pictures, yep that's what I said! great big pictures. They usually include so much in them, you can hardly find the subject.

So the thing to do is get closer, then when you think you are close, get even closer. This eliminates a lot of useless clutter, and places more emphasis on your subject. Unless there is something close to it that either compliments it, or directs attention to the subject. You will also find, you wont have to do as much after the fact cropping this way. As the old saying goes - Less is More!
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