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  1. #1
    Jill H's Avatar
    Jill H is offline Stepping into the light
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    Default Question - what is the best way to learn photography in your opinion

    I am curious to hear peoples's responses to what they think is the best way to learn photography in your opinion. What way is best for YOU?

    ie
    reading how to books
    on line courses
    internet forums
    DPS forums
    attending a photography class or school
    intense weekend courses
    camera clubs
    just practice?

    What ways have you found the best for you and why?

    I look forward to hearing from you and reading your responses. Thanks!
    Last edited by Jill H; 11-16-2010 at 02:47 PM.
    Stepping into the light - www.lifeimagesbyjill.blogspot.com/ - and - http://picasaweb.google.com/lifeimagesbyjill

    Canon G11, Power Shot Pro1 (L series 28-300), Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi) (18-55 & 55-250), Canon EOS 330X (film) (28-90 & 90-300)

  2. #2
    gturner is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    1. Read the manual for your camera.
    2. All of the above.

    The more you understand your camera and the more you shoot, the better you will be. If you want to top it up with classes, that is up to you.

  3. #3
    elle s'ennuie is offline I'm new here!
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    I don't really like learning anything in a class/school setting, as the pace of learning is controlled by someone else, whether that be the teacher or other students advancing faster or slower than me. I prefer reading and studying on my own, at my own pace, whether that pace happens to mean staying up all night immersing myself in everything on the internet that can be found on a particular topic, or taking a long break from doing anything if I feel like it.

    For photography, my style of learning has generally been to go out and take pictures and learn as the need arises, i.e when I run into a problem or a limitation, then that will be the next issue I tackle (usually by way of google).

  4. #4
    milosh's Avatar
    milosh is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    IMO:

    - Read the manuals
    - Practice
    - Look at works of others and examine them
    - Analyse the photos you take and try to figure out what could be done better
    - Take your time when shooting, and don't expect to come home with jaw-dropping stuff every time!
    - Learn to PP
    Nikon D60 + Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 DX + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX + Tamron AdaptAll 80-210mm f/3.8 Macro

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  5. #5
    Photologyst is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    Read the manual. Read it again and again.

    Practice, practice, practice.

    I hate going to classes! They seem to always be geared to the lowest common denominator.

    Workshops are better, depending on who is teaching.


    However, these are expensive no matter if the person teaching is good or not. I know a local ďproĒ who doesnít take very good shots, canít use Photoshop well, hasnít got a clue about other software available, canít make up his mind about getting a new computer, printer and installing his now outdated copy of Lightroom, yetó is planning a workshop in a foreign country for people who have more money than brains.


    Books are always best for me as well as internet sites and videos.

    Look at the works of others whom I consider great and not so great. Draw lessons from those.

    Try to make every exposure the best possible.

    Practice, practice, practice some more until the end of your days, when everything should be automatic and perfect every time.

  6. #6
    RichardTaylor is online now dPS +1000 Club
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    Now days for learning a new photography skill.
    (1) A good technical book that covers the subject and will hopefully cover the aesthetics as well.
    (2) The internet - forums/flickr and sites like DPS
    (3) Practice - review - practice - loop.

    In the past - in chronological order: (late 1950's to 1970)
    (1) Reading dad's photography magazines and him teaching me the very basics of exposure, lighting & composition. Shooting 6x9cm (120) B&W film on a fully adjustable camera (without a light meter & rangefinder)

    (2) Camera clubs & magazines & a fair amount of practice. Shooting 35mm slides with a fully adjustable camera with an external light meter but no range finder..

    (3) Camera clubs & books, especially the Kodak "Here's How" series.
    Shooting slides with SLRs and a whole pile of lenses. Doing a lot of shooting (for film)

    I then discovered motor cycles, girls and sailing so no serious photography (only family/vacation) stuff for the next 30+ years.
    Last edited by RichardTaylor; 11-16-2010 at 12:57 PM.

  7. #7
    LMAshton's Avatar
    LMAshton is offline geek
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    For me, it's:

    Shoot a lot of photos
    Read the manual
    Watch videos
    Read forums, blog posts, online articles, etc.

    Years ago, when I first got involved in photography, I had a job at a camera store selling photographic equipment and supplies and later developing the negatives and film in the one-hour photo lab. I had a great boss who was quite insistent about "here, take this camera, this roll of film, and go shoot a bunch of pictures in the mall so you can see for yourself what difference the various settings make". And did this on the company's dime. The whole lot of of us learned a *lot* that way. And, because we had the lab on premises, we got to see our photos fairly quickly, like an hour after we shot them. Then we'd analyze the heck out of them, both our pictures and the film that customers brought in.

    Cuz, you know, when pictures don't quite turn out, back in the film days, people would ask the staff who developed their pics what went wrong. And our manager, in his wisdom, insisted that we be able to answer their questions intelligently.

    The analysis part made a huge difference, I think. Really helped solidify a bunch of things. Not that I'm done learning or anything, of course. I've still got a long way to go...

  8. #8
    NicoleScraps's Avatar
    NicoleScraps is offline \m/\>.</\m/
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    Well, for basic operations and functions of my personal equipement, I read the manual (s). I also bought a book specific to my camera which is a little more detailed than the manual. That helped alot.
    For less complex techniques, problems, etc, I search the internet, forums, you tube, blogs, etc.
    For more complex things, like learning to use my new speedlite, I turned to a book written specifically for the flash. I love that with a book, all of the information is in one spot. With the internet, I might find one piece of information here and one piece of information there, but it overwelms me to keep track of each piece of information, specifically when dealing with something complex.
    Of course, I practice a lot. I keep a journal of "things I have tried". I keep notes of what worked well and why. What did not work well and why, etc.
    Then more practice.

  9. #9
    Jill H's Avatar
    Jill H is offline Stepping into the light
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    thanks everyone for your replys. Have you ever been a member of a camera club and did this help you? Or do you find doing a course with other people helpful? Is being with like minded people motivating / inspiring?
    Stepping into the light - www.lifeimagesbyjill.blogspot.com/ - and - http://picasaweb.google.com/lifeimagesbyjill

    Canon G11, Power Shot Pro1 (L series 28-300), Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi) (18-55 & 55-250), Canon EOS 330X (film) (28-90 & 90-300)

  10. #10
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    Krusty79 is online now Not in Service
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    I have considered joining a camera club, but I have read mixed things about them on this site. I guess I should just go out and give one a try for myself.

    Reading the manuals and reviewing your own work is important, but I find getting (honest) feedback from others helps a lot too. That's why I read the critique forums a lot. It's vital to hear what others think so I can expand my thinking and stay inspired. So, DPS is kind of like my online camera club. It's so convenient because it's accessible 24/7.

    So, sharing ideas with like-minded people is motivating, whether they are in Australia or Alaska.
    GREG - Canon XS with 10-22, 18-55 & 55-250.
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    "You can't be young forever, but you can always be immature." - Larry Andersen.

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