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Digital Photography

April 9th, 2012

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Is there any good digital photography forum for beginners like me?

I am new to photography and would like to find a useful and friendly on-line forum, especially if most of the members are in MN. Otherwise an educational and beginner friendly digital photography forum would be nice.

These sites should help you:

http://www.digital-photography-school.com
http://www.kamerasimulator.se/eng/?page_id=2
http://www.illustratedphotography.com/photography-tips/basic
http://www.photonhead.com
http://www.cambridgeincolor.com

Also, all the major camera companies - Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Nikon, Canon - have web sites that offer tutorials on every camera model they sell.

A very valuable resource came with your camera - the Owner's Manual. Reading & studying it will prove immensely beneficial. You have to know all the features of your camera and what they do and how, when and why to use them before you can begin applying any knowledge gained from the referenced sites.

Good photography requires thinking and thinking requires time. You must think about your composition, lighting and exposure before releasing the shutter. If someone tells you to "Just go out and shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot to gain experience" in my opinion you should ignore them. I call that the "machine gunner mentality" - take 300 pictures and hope - HOPE - a few come out good enough to keep. That isn't photography - its just taking snapshots and you can do that with a simple point & shoot digicam. The idea is to use the knowledge you've learned about light, composition and exposure to make a photograph. I encourage what I call the "sniper mentality" - make one exposure, make one good picture. So don't fall victim to the idea that quantity trumps quality - it doesn't. I've never heard of a contest for who can take the most pictures in a day.

Ansel Adams said it best: "Pictures are not taken, they are made."

Remember this: "It isn't the camera its the photographer." I don't care what camera you have and what bells and whistles it has the bottom line is its still just a dumb box. The results are totally dependent on you the person using that dumb box. Your knowledge and skill will determine how good or bad your photographs are. A caveat: Almost all of my photography is done with the camera set to Aperture Priority. I do a lot of landscape photography and my goal is to achieve the maximum depth of field so I control the aperture (aka f-stop) and let the camera choose a shutter speed. Since my camera is always on a tripod when shooting landscapes I don't worry about a slow shutter speed.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/drifter45h/4032748624/ I tried several compositions of this scene but this is my favorite.

For more information about Depth of Field (DOF) visit this site:
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Good luck and enjoy the learning process. Learning about photography is an on-going, never ending process.

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