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Photography-the guide to great photos

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Picture of Photography-the guide to great photos
Learn the skills you need to start taking photos that will draw attention.
In this guide i'll take you through the stages leading up to becoming a good photographer.

 
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Step 1: Step one-buy a good camera

-This is of course if you don't already have one.
If you do, you should consider whether the camera you have is good enough for the pictures youre aiming to take. This might be a hard decision and in this step i will take introduce you to the types of cameras and what each type could be used for to help you understand and choose the right kind.

Key: ***** (five-star, highest)

-Basic
Point n' Shoot cameras- easy to use with good automatic controls that help you take a good picture.
(also: compact and energy efficient)
Point and shoot cameras are aimed at the general public who want a way of easily taking decent photos. These kinds of cameras are very rarely used by professional photographers as they don't have good enough manual operation modes. Good for shooting at parties. If you are a beginner and want to learn the basic scene modes and photo setups then a point and shoot camera will both be a good way to start as well as being relatively cheap.

Price: ** (large range of prices- usually below 300 USD)
Ease of use: *****
Photo quality: *** (depends on camera)

-Semi pro
Super Zoom cameras- provides the ease of use of a point and shoot and the functions and manual
control of an SLR while offering extensive optical zoom.
This new branch of digital photo cameras is growing popular among the general public for their ease of use yet multitude of functions. New features such as HD video recording, optical stabilization and higher resolution electronic view finders (EFV) have made these cameras worth their price.
Super zoom cameras cost more, but offer very high optical zoom (as high as x24) and have decent manual operation modes with adjustable exposure and aperture. These cameras are probably the most versatile as they are compact, have an easy shoot mode as well as manual.
If you are considering serious photography and have had some previous experience with point and shoot cameras i would suggest buying a super zoom camera as they still have an AUTO mode to take those difficult photos.

Price: ****
Ease of use: ***
Photo Quality: ****

-Professional
Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera (D.SLR)- preferred by professionals for their optical viewfinders,
fast shutter speeds, large photo sensors and manual
operation.
The DSLR camera is most commonly used among professional photographers today. These cameras sport interchangeable lenses, powerful high-res photo sensors and a multitude of functions. But all this comes with a price. Some DSLR's exceed 5000 USD, and thats just the body.
I strongly discourage beginners to get a DSLR. A DSLR is harder to use and it's not like you can be at a party or hanging out with friends and ask someone to take a picture for you, as specific knowledge is needed to take good pictures. So you'll probably be stuck doing all the photography for the evening yourself. If you have had previous experience with photography and understand how to manually control a camera then a Nikon D60 or a Canon EOS Rebel 400D would be relatively cheap and easy cameras to move on to.

Price: *****
Ease of use: *
Photo quality: *****

I personally own a Canon SX1 IS Super-zoom camera with which i'm very pleased.
When choosing the type of camera first decide what you will be using it for and how much you are prepared to pay for good photos.

(all photos in this instructable are taken by me personally- (c) Daniel Feidal 2009)
G3ML1NGZ2 years ago
Flash is good, but flashing head on is never good. It's just done that way on point and shoot cameras because the people that use them only want to capture moments, the actual photo doesn't bother them that much. If a flash must be used, try not to flash directly on the subject, try bouncing it off the ceiling and get a more natural look to the image. (people are used to seeing light coming from above in real life)

Taken at a party, flash aimed up, and aperture about f/2 for shallow focus and less need for extra light.
[img]http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/181624_1730275811538_1077758711_1907298_4189658_n.jpg[/img]

[img]http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/182820_1730282331701_1077758711_1907311_3616050_n.jpg[/img]

I'm not trying to preach here, only to help and give pointers.
hi, I tried the two links you provided but they didn't work. I'd like to look at the effect of the settings on the resultant photos, can you help me with that?
Your treatment of the camera flashes is wrong. The flash will not wash out the photograph and can help create extremely vibrant colors if you use it correctly. Professional photographers (the ones that should be writing this article) generally use 3 or more flashes when taking photos in the studio.
I tried flash and flash less at low light condition. It's true pictures of shiny object taken with flash have "white lamp" in them (example here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Recipe-Pattern-and-Story-Book-Stand/)
what you pointed out is also true that Professional photographers generally use flashes when taking photos in the studio.
Now what should I do?
Yes but notice these photos are mainly all taken outside or in a confined, tight area... not exactly the place you want to bring flash stands along with you.
babybayrs1 year ago
Detailed enough for me. Very helpful. I'll read your Instructables more times to benefit from it. Thank you for your time writing it.
G3ML1NGZ2 years ago
About aperture : When you go for bigger aperture you're letting more light through, but it also gives you a narrower field of focus. Smaller aperture gives you a bigger area of focus. When a lens is wide open it is not as sharp as it could be, usually a rule of thumb is that they reach their optimum image quality 2 stops above "wide open" but it's not a holy rule.

ISO: High ISO also means that you are more likely to get "noise" that is grain in your pictures that you don't want. But In optimum ligh conditions ISO can also help you get more range of dark to light without losing info (burnt out whites)
You can't have sincere moments if you are asking your subject to pose for you. Your best shots will come from candid photos taken when your subject is reacting to actual stimuli from the environment. Capturing real moments on camera is how you win pulitzer prizes. Not by asking your model to give a fake smile.
Fake smiles don't win anything. Pulitzer Prize winning photos HAVE been posed though. Sometime real moments have to be manipulated.
Which pulitzer prize winning photo was posed? Because I just flipped through the book I have with all of them, and I didn't see any of those photos.
Marines Raise the flag at Iwo Jima. Posed. Look it up.
WAY beyond the subject of this instructable but here it is. A Pulitzer is the pinnacle of awards yes, many award winning photos are out there. Famous even. Candid shots are a dime a dozen. Everyone can TAKE a photo. When the subject gives back that is when the photo is worth looking at. So getting back to it, "Migrant Mother" was posed. You'll have to find the proof sheet of that shoot with the kids running around and having loads of fun. That wasn't going to sell the disparity of the situation during that time. "Look over there" "Turn your head like this" I think there is a bound book containing the proofs from that shoot. You can add that to you awesome book collection.
Boppo33 years ago
how do i make sure that my lines are correct? is there a grid option on the cameras itself?
Cyrus Boppo33 years ago
I think that will depend on the camera you have. I know a large number of them have grid options these days.
marioski3 years ago
Great Pic ! the natural light looks really nice.
Do you think i can get close results with a Fujifilm S2500HD?
I understand you took those photos with your canon powershot, am i right?
daniel2008 (author)  marioski3 years ago
thanks :) after a bit of research on the camera you mentioned i would say yes you could, it is a PowerShot SX1 , a camera that is in the same class as the Fuji with similar specifications. Just mess around with the controls...try manual and see how it turns out :)
i read all the information and it was really helpful for me
thanx

J@50n4 years ago
 Awesome instructable!!! You can count on my vote!
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KnexFreek4 years ago
holy crap no way!!! i have that camera !!
daniel2008 (author)  KnexFreek4 years ago
which one?
the black one
KnexFreek4 years ago
the last pic is sweet
daniel2008 (author)  KnexFreek4 years ago
thanks, long exposure using LED to "draw"
will it work with any slr
daniel2008 (author)  KnexFreek4 years ago
yess, and many point and shoot's too-Canon point and shoot cameras have a long exposure setting at least and i know of others
i have that exact slr that is pictured in the first step the black one
daniel2008 (author) 4 years ago
thanks for all the good response- suggestions and ideas are very welcome. I appreciate your rate and vote :D
rimar20004 years ago
Very interesting and complete guide.

I want to add a suggestion, rule, pray, request, cry, you name it:

PLEASE, DON'T ROTATE THE CAM AGAIN AND AGAIN.

I hate to see a images gallery , some of which are rotated 90 degrees. As for me, I NEVER rotate the camera.
Then opt for a square format (I know, there's none in digital, or may be). Very nice instructable anyway. Just a few opinions. Taking photos is a very social thing, that is you are interacting with the people around in a complex way. Selecting your equipment should include the way you want to look like and get on with other people. With basic equipment, you can be more intimate, especially if you travel. You will not expose money or technical superiority which is nice (generally, unless you want to dramatize). Composition is fundamental. Take wide shots. People think close-ups are cool because there is more detail. But you will have less freedom in arranging the composition of the photo. This is a photoshop world, so use the data for large views, not details (as for all rules, there are obvious exceptions). Read about classic composition. The experience of the last 2000 years (at least) is very valuable, even if you want to walk away from marked path. Light is the second key to emotion. Photoshop can do great things, but the shadows of a sunrise are hard to fake and have a very special feeling. So wake up early or profit from sunset hours. Last thing. Have fun. I am old enough to have dabbled with silver techno. But these are the days of Photoshop (or equivalent). Be Andy Warhol without the 15 minutes of fame. Have fun with filters. We are not condemned to use the cameras to reproduce the exact reality. Have fun with the tools (and share).
Thanks for the detailed response. I think the people accustomed to rotate the cam, would rotate it although the format be square! I am not a photographer, I only use my cam on vacations. But I love the digital technology, it is cheap, customizable, and cheap again. I always advise my grandson and granddaughter don't abuse on flash, I think as you about the shadows. (Pardon my Google Translator English).
KnexFreek4 years ago
i love the 3rd and 6th pic
Oblivitus4 years ago
Great guide, I was thinking about making one, there's no need now though.
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