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Thread: Good intro photography book?

  1. #1

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    I just bought a nice digital SLR camera (Canon EOS 20D, with EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens). This is my first SLR camera; before, I have only had point-and-shoot compacts.

    Although the 20D is capable of being used as a very sophisticated point-and-shoot, I would like to get the most out of it.

    Does anybody have a recommendation for a good photography book (or set of complementary books) on photography (esp. tailored to digital photography)?

    I already have this book, which is essentially a user's guide on steroids for this particular camera.

    I would like a book that shows, for example, the effects of different lenses, aperature, speed, etc, on the same shot.

    If anybody out there is an amateur astronomer, a (digital) photography equivalent of this book would be most helpful, as well.
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    I don't have any specific reccomendations, but I'd suggest checking out the local library or Borders. I've found several great books, including some that were specifically on nature photography. But really, there are thousands of photography books out there, probably hundreds that would suit your purposes. Good luck finding something!

    Peter
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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Does your town have some kind of continuing education thing at it's schools? Ours offers photo classes. But a little reading plus lots of practice is a good way to go. And all those shots being free on a digital certainly is nice.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    rattler's Avatar
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    ive got a good one at home somewhere, ill look after work and see if i can find it. its been reprinted several times and could be tracked down in used book stores, amazon or ebay, if i could just remember what the darn thing is called..................
    cervid serial killer
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (herenorthere @ Nov. 22 2005,8:04)]Does your town have some kind of continuing education thing at it's schools? Ours offers photo classes. But a little reading plus lots of practice is a good way to go. And all those shots being free on a digital certainly is nice.
    Yes, we have quite a few community colleges in Houston, and I am sure I will find a photography class there.

    But although she gave (grudging) permission for me to buy this camera, my wife is looking death at me every time I suggest a new camera-related purchase. I do have one excellent all-purpose lens, the one included with the camera, fortunately. But before I will be allowed any new lenses, flashes, tripods, classes, etc, I will need to prove to my wife that this camera is for more than astrophotography and plant photography. I will be doing lots of portraits of her and the kids to show her that.

    I will be able to get away with a few book purchases, and i would Ideally like to cover, on my own, the equivalent of an intro photography course between reading books on my own, and getting out and practicing. I'll wait until I find myself at the level of at least an intermediate photography class before I suggest that again. By then, she may be happy to have me do it.

    Yes, one thing the one book I have did stress is to remember you're not paying for film, and to play with various settings on the same shot to see what they do.

    I plan to do that, and to keep a notebook detailing what is different about each shot. I think this camera even records certain metadata on each image, and that might be enough to tell me what i did.
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  6. #6

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    I'd check out Shortcourses
    They have a lot of free info to get you started concerning apatures, lens, shutter speed ect. also I believe you can purchase some pretty informative info from them. Hope this helps
    I always suspect everything could be a trap... thats why I'm still alive
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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    One tip, given your circumstances: when shooting closeups of people, especially the wife, set the lens for a slight telephoto. On an ordinary 35 mm camera lens, that would be something in 80-100 mm range instead of the "normal" 50 mm. For a digital camera, however, you'll need to divide that number by the camera's focal length multiplier. The number is 1.6 for my Canon D30, but I think more recent cameras usually have smaller numbers. That number means a 50 mm lens on my digital is equal to an 80 mm lens on my regular camera and is great for portraits.

    Anyway, telephotos cause foreshortening and almost always make people look even better than usual. The nose shrinks, the forehead and chin don't slope away - all good things. A shrew becomes human and a human becomes a model. One look and the wife will happily allow you to waste ... oops ... I mean, invest even more in camera stuff. Just for hahas, also try one with a real short lens and you'll see how about 90% of weird rock star portraits are shot. But don't display that one too widely or the camera might become a new body part.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #8

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    Scott, there is not one photography book that will satisfy your needs. In order to understand all the basic technique log into the canon or Nikon website where techniques and compositions are explained. There are many forums you can visit and discussed,too.

    Once you understand the meaning of DOF(depth of field),SDOF(shallow depth of field),OOF(out of focus),aperture and light speed,over exposure,under exposure,you are on your way to taking great pics...Robert

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