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New to D-SLR and no idea

Discussion in 'Photography & The Digital Darkroom' started by willnabby, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. willnabby
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    willnabby RS-one day soon!!

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    I've bought an olympus E-500 with a 14-45mm and a 50-150mm lens but i've no idea what i'm doing apart from using the pre programmed settings on it, can anyone point me to a site that would teach me basic skills on using a d-slr, and what do the f numbers mean and whats their purpose? I've got photoshop cs on my comp but it does look complicated at a first glance is this a good program or should i use something else till I get a bit more into it?
    any help appreciated.:)
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  2. Bascule
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    Huge question! so many answers..

    a very simple newbie DSLR site:
    http://www.all-things-photography.com/digital-slr.html
    http://www.all-things-photography.com/digitalphotography.html

    There's LOADS more stuff like this on the net, a quick google search will probably give you more info than you can possibly read.

    However: www.dpreview.com is probably the best internet forum, loads of constructive people there for when you have queries in general or about your specific model

    Lots of the monthly camera mags like 'digital camera' and 'digital photo' include basic tutorials either in print or usefully on CD, with examples and guides and specifically on photoshop - find one you like the style of and start working your way through the tutorials, they're often loads simpler than they look.

    Photoshop is worth persevering with - there is SO much support / tutorials / addins etc, its a great tool and the right tool for the job.. many cheaper alternatives, and while theres an argument that says the right tool is the one you know how to use, I would say if you already have this then its the one to put the effort into!
    Many of the photoshop books available come with tutorial CDs too - have a look on ebay..

    Here's a site with a bunch - again, there's loads more out there!
    http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorials/Photoshop/1


    Have fun - thats important - take lots of pics, work out what you like and dislike about them, and then address those aspects - dont be dictated to by others about what makes a good picture, if you like it then its good - a lot of traditional photography 'rules' are being rewritten nowadays, and thats no bad thing!

    Feel free to PM with specifics - I have a couple of DSLRs, (not your make though) and a son doing Photography at college, also with a bunch of this kit.
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  3. willnabby
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    willnabby RS-one day soon!!

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    Thanks, thats given me plenty to chew on for a bit, just one thing, f numbers what do they do/mean?
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  4. Bascule
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    It's basically a measure of the amount of light entering the lens. It is determined by the size of the opening that lets the light in (the aperture).
    Imagine that as being like the pupil of your eye, which can expand or contract while looking at the same scene, to adjust the amount of light let in.. Most simple 'point and shoot' cameras are fixed aperture, and do not allow it to be adjusted.

    Most lenses on DSLRs allow the aperture to be adjusted, either automatically or manually

    For most people, the important effect of this adjustment is that it modifies the minimum and maximum distances which can be in focus (the depth of field).

    Using a narrow depth of field (a short range of distances which can be in focus, usually acheived with a large aperture opening) is how you produce pictures where one detail, say a flower, can be in very sharp focus, and the rest is softened and out of focus giving a great backdrop to the image. This effect is almost impossible to achieve on fixed aperture cameras as their default is normally a very small aperture, giving a very large depth of field.

    Each additional F-stop cuts out half the light of the one before it. Many DSLRs (but i dont know about yours) have a 'depth of field preview' button - this allows you to see exactly the effect of any change you have made to the aperture size - look in your manual and see if it has this.

    Well worth knowing about and playing with! in automatic mode, your camera will usually set this itself, but its worthwhile understanding if you are trying to acheive a particular shot..
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  5. Bascule
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  6. willnabby
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    willnabby RS-one day soon!!

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    Thanks for your help and quality answers.:salute:
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  7. Bascule
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    aw shucks - you're very welcome!

    Taking decent pics (and enjoying doing it) is rewarding enough to justify some effort - and like most things the more you put in, the more you'll get out! Have fun..
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