Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photography Help

When Dave and I first bought a DSLR in early summer of 2009, I was completely overwhelmed.  We purchased the Rebel XTi.  It had so many buttons and functions, I had no clue where to even START learning about it.  I survived on automatic mode for a good year.

Over time, through practice and a LOT of reading, I am slowly but surely learning how to use the darn thing.  In the beginning, it was total hit or miss as to whether or not my pictures would come out good.  Over the last year, since Krewson has been born, I've learned a lot and really improved my skills.  I don't always take the time to edit my shots in a way that makes them professional-looking (because, yes, it does take a lot of work), but when I do try, I'd say 7 times out of 10 it works. Which is oh-so-exciting.  :)

This winter I finally felt that I knew what I was doing enough to venture out and buy some additional lenses.  I ordered a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens (for portraits) and 70-300mm telephoto lens (for outside, primarily for Dave's frisbee tournaments).  Each new lens is requiring me to learn a whole new set of skills.  I also recently got Adobe Photoshop for my computer, which has required an immense amount of learning but has enabled me to do so much more with my pictures.  All of it is so exciting, but definitely time-consuming and challenging!!

For all my friends who are interested in improving their photography, I thought I'd share the steps I took and the resources I used along the way.

Step 1.  Get a DSLR.  There are some really great point-and-shoot cameras out there, but if you want to be able to have full control of your shots, a DSLR is the way to go.  Dave found mine on Craigslist, practically new, at a great price.  If you don't even know where to start looking, check out a guide here: http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/how-to-pick-a-digital-slr-camera.html.

Step 2.  Learn the basics of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.  This was the biggest hurdle for me, and the reason I pretty much only used automatic mode for the first year of owning the camera.  Unfortunately, I don't have any particular article or book or blog post that led to a certain "aha!" moment for me.  All I can suggest is to Google "aperture", "ISO", and "shutter speed", read read read, and then practice practice practice.  You could start with this blog post: http://www.photoble.com/photography-tips-tricks/a-beginners-guide-to-exposure-shutter-speed-aperture-iso.  Keep in mind that you're going to take a lot of horrible shots.  A lot.  When you get frustrated, switch back to automatic mode for a while and take a breather.  Also, if you're with a friend who understands how to use DSLR manual settings, ask for advice.  Some of my greatest learning moments have been when someone else has explained to me what settings they would have used in a particular situation.

Step 3. Learn to do some basic edits of your pictures.  I recommend using Picasa for starts.  It's free, it's fairly simple and intuitive, and it can even handle pictures in raw format. (More on raw format later.)

Step 4.  Read the following online article: http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/best-digital-slr-lens.html and decide on what future lenses you might like. Seriously, this article was AWESOME.  Go through it, step by step.  You will learn SO MUCH about your camera.

Step 5.  Order some lenses you would like and practice using them.  (And make sure to look for deals!) As I mentioned previously, I ordered a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens for portraits and 70-300mm telephoto lens for long-distance shots.  A ton of my pictures of Krew are taken with the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens.  And I'm oh-so-excited to use my telephoto lens to take pictures of Dave playing frisbee this summer.  My next lens will probably be a standard focal length lens with a wider maximum aperture.

Step 6.  Take editing your pictures up a notch.  I now have Adobe Photoshop.  I've also heard good things about Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Elements.  Photoshop has enabled me to do soooooooooo much with my pictures.  It is absolutely amazing.  So if you are really devoted to having great pictures, I'd suggest investing in one of these products.  You can check them out here: http://tryit.adobe.com/us/photoshopfamily/.

Step 6.  Learn to use your new editing software.  There are oodles and boodles and snoodles of free tutorials, blog posts, and videos out there that will teach you how to do endless things with your photo editing software.    Just do some searching on the internet.  I promise you'll find something.  There's also the option of having someone teach you.  I purchased a one-on-one mentoring session with Mandy at A Sorta Fairytale and that's what really got me started using Photoshop.  Check her out if you're interested. :)

Step 7.  If your editing software works on pictures in raw format, start shooting in raw.  Editing a raw image with the appropriate software enables you to make much cleaner picture edits than you would be able to do if the picture were in jpeg format.  You can do more reading on this topic, but basically raw format contains a LOT more information about the picture you took, so your edits are more precise and will look more real.  It oftentimes allow you to darken an overexposed picture or brighten an underexposed picture to the point that you can't even tell the picture was over- or underexposed.  It's pretty neat.
*** Update: Since writing this post, I have changed my stances on JPEG vs RAW.  You can read about my decision here: http://www.just1step.com/2011/09/jpeg-vs-raw.html. ***

Step 8.  Keep reading and keep practicing.  I am a regular reader of many photography blogs.  You can check them out on my "Photography Blogs" blogroll over there ----> in my side column.  I also look at others' pictures quite frequently to learn ways to frame a shot and also new ways to edit my pictures.  I've actually reached the point where I will look at an occasional professional picture and think, "That's not what I would have done with that picture."  Which is exciting to me, because it means that I'm learning and developing my own style.

I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but I'd highly recommend the 31 DAYS TO A BETTER PHOTO SERIES over at My 3 Boybarians.  I really love this website, and it appears that this series will cover in more detail almost everything I've mentioned above.  In fact, I think that's the next place I'm going to head for more photography reading.  Because, trust me...there's always something else to learn.
*** Update: Since writing this post, I went through and read the entire 31 days of the series. I HIGHLY recommend it! ***

Happy photo taking!!

37 comments:

  1. Comment Pirater un Compte FaceJuly 27, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    amagin, wow, really very good post it.Thank you for share.good bye.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Comment Pirater un Compte FaceAugust 1, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    eminent post with effective and useful information.its really nice post include a lot of resource.keep posting this kinds of article.thanks for share with us.good bye.buy google plus follower

    ReplyDelete
  3. liquid handling robotsAugust 6, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    really this site is very good site and the post include a lot of resource.thanks for share with us.good bye.buy soundcloud follower

    ReplyDelete
  4. This post contain a lot of information about recent wheel of events.i hope this article will be helpful for the reader’s.thank you very much for sharing with us.liquid handling robot

    ReplyDelete
  5. i was just read your article that was really superb got much pleasure to read that post. please keep sharing post like that.thanks for share with us for this post.good bye.get google plus circle followers

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh i am really shokking, this post is very nice. I really enjoy it. Thank you for sharing with us. Thanks again very much.buy vine likes

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I'm quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next! Thank you for share.good bye.liquid handling robots

    ReplyDelete
  8. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I'm quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next! Thank you for share.good bye.buy soundcloud like

    ReplyDelete
  9. this is very good site, i really enjoy it, thank you.good bye.buy google share

    ReplyDelete
  10. increase instagram followersSeptember 2, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    This
    is really great site and it's gives more good information.thank you for share.I
    like this site.good bye.buy facebook photo likes

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have actually checked out in the blog.Thank you for posting and sharing with us.good bye.buy soundcloud plays

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like the helpful information you provide in your
    articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.

    I'm quite certain I'll learn lots of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

    Here VoIp
    Business Solution
    and Free
    VoIP Call
    > for you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey very nice web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. its a really great blog post of i enjoyed lot.thanks again for share with us.good bye.buy soundcloud like

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for
    such a nice post. I found a lot of useful tips from this post. Keep blogging.thanks
    for sharing. good bye.pirater facebook

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for
    such a nice post. I found a lot of useful tips from this post. Keep blogging.thanks
    for sharing. good bye.Comment pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for
    such a nice post. I found a lot of useful tips from this post. Keep blogging.thanks
    for sharing. good bye.it is best site to another web.Comment pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, its a really great blog post of i enjoyed lot.thanks again for share with us.good bye.buy soundcloud like

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for
    such a nice post. I found a lot of useful tips from this post. Keep
    blogging.thanks for sharing. good bye.pirater facebook

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey there, I really appreciate your post, it was really informative. I’ll be looking forward for your next post. You can get free porn password from here.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks
    for such a nice post. I found a lot of useful tips from this post. Keep
    blogging.thanks for sharing. good bye.liquid handling robot

    ReplyDelete
  21. What
    a great post, I actually found it very thought provoking, you just never know
    sometimes when a golden nugget of information is going to land at your feet,
    thanks.Comment pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am very glad to be here. I hardly Interested to read your content. I think you will be continue your job. Thanks.
    Don't miss the chance Online price comparison on shopping

    ReplyDelete
  23. liquid handling roboticsOctober 2, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    It is nice post,I found everything this web.It is very useful,best of
    luck.pipetting robot

    ReplyDelete
  24. liquid handling roboticsOctober 2, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    It is nice post,I found everything this web.It is very useful,best of
    luck.pirater facebook

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think this article has been good for me, you can Share it. thanks all blogger bdtrainer

    ReplyDelete
  26. liquid handling roboticsOctober 5, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    One more talk just awesome post. I
    really enjoy for it.thank you for share with us.and this blog is very enjoyble
    for us.good bye.Comment pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks a bunch. I really appreciate you reading through all of them.




    WaTcH: : Ivan Redkach vs Tony Luis live Stream BOXING 2014



    Click Here To read

    Click Here To read


    Click Here To read



    San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks live stream HQD


    Click Here To Watch

    Click Here To Watch

    Click Here To Watch

    ReplyDelete
  28. Most compelling uptime. Precision and ergonomics. Low working overheads. Our degree of master cutting instruments and clearing apparatus for the boondocks business has what it takes for you to thrive in todays compelling nature's turf. Our things are subordinate upon the needs of the most asking for capable customers, and that is the reason you know you can rely on upon Husqvarna to perform the occupation husqvarna parts..

    ReplyDelete
  29. A compressor is generally of service in changing over force originating from a gas or diesel motor and electric engine into active vitality through air pressurizing and layering. This vitality may be released in quick fits.atmosphere Caulking Gun. Having an air caulking firearm supplies a more steady level of weight than the regular hand controlled weapon offers, thus, empowering one to accomplish more quality work.quick discharge times capacity exceptionally well with the quick strike times and moderate discharge times work extremely well against the moderate ambush times. Discharge settings are essential, in light of the fact that in the event that its set to brisk, it can climb commotion that is between the notes and when its set to low, it can layer a quieter note that takes after the note the was over the verge Kohler small engine parts..

    ReplyDelete
  30. Briggs & Stratton, the American assembling organization of the Lo206 motor, will give the Can-Am project with a set number of motors to give as rental bundles. RLV has given the spec deplete frameworks for every motor, with Inferno Racing Clutches likewise going up to give a "Fire" grasp for each of the rental motor bundles. Both CMC and Kart-O-Rama will be trackside to give tires and Briggs backing to racers every weekend Briggs & Stratton Parts Briggs Parts.

    ReplyDelete
  31. md. saiful islamJuly 6, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    This is very informative post. i like it. this post is very helpful post in this time. thanks for sharing the information.
    Make your life style?

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is a very informative and Useful post and help me out
    to get all valuable information regarding this topic. Great work..

    http://illoy.com/

    ReplyDelete
  33. Rezaur Rahman RajibDecember 14, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Very useful post. This post is very helpful & very informative post in this time. i like it. thanks for sharing the information.
    Human Development, Open Source Organization.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Indian people discuss with each other about bike review, problems, used bike buying suggestion ,bike care tips, problem solution in various blog, forums website. But in Bangladesh there are no such platform. Then I think to build a website about all Bangladeshi peoples motorcycle related topics.In the year of 2011 about 1,12,723 bike sale in Bangladesh. It’s a growing industry, people now a days prefer bike because of traffic jam & low maintaining cost.After 2 years of research & planning I create this blog. My goal is to help the Bangladeshipeople to get the right knowledge about bike and biking.

    Always ride safely, Happy BikingSee More

    ReplyDelete
  35. I like your article so that I read all of your articles in a
    day. Please continue and keep on writing excellent posts.

    http://www.jeux-concours.net/

    ReplyDelete
  36. This special blog is without a doubt cool and exact. I have
    selected positive a lot of Useful information out of this source. I’d love to
    visit it more than and over again.

    http://kino3.ch/

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is very informative post for us ad thanks for sharing.
    Dignity College of Healthcre
    "Quality online healthcare education"
    Become a nationally certified professional!
    We work with you to success.

    ReplyDelete