Beginning photography?

I love checking out pictures of stuff all the time. Whether its conceptual, abstract, sports, etc. I love photography. I plan to make this a permanent hobby and I've been wanting to get into it for a while.

However, I don't know how to start out.

I'm not sure which camera to buy, what supplies to get, how to take good pictures, etc.

The only thing I've done is use my friend's normal digital camera and take some pictures.

Any photographers out there willing to share some tips?

Greatly appreciated =]

14 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I do it the other way.

    I used to use a film SLR camera years ago.

    No longer.

    I bought my digital camera at a time when it was the best on the market and digital SLRs were not yet available.

    It is a Sony DSC707, 5mp only, which has a fixed zoom lens but that lens is a Carl Zeiss lens and is perfectly fine for most purposes.

    Since I retired, I have become lazy. I use fully-auto ALL THE TIME but I know how to cheat the camera's intentions.

    With the best digital that you can afford, whether SLR or not, just shoot lots and lots of different subjects, using as much creativity as your brain can generate. Look hard at what you get and make up a hard-copy portfolio or, perhaps better still, a CD of your best shots.

    As you progress, do take the time to look at what others are doing. SEE why others are succeeding or failing. See where good composition of the final product raises visual power. Look into the conventions of composition and apply them to your own work.

    It will be the combination of all these experiences that will serve you well.

    You DO NOT NEED an expensive camera right now - unless you have too much money and don't know what to do with it.

    It is the experience that you need and any camera will do.

    Give a cheap camera to an experienced professional and you will see far better photographs than from an outright beginner with the best equipment available. The equipment is NOT the key. Your brain is.

    Note - I do not have a camera bag. I do not have a tripod. I do not have a choice of lenses. I do not have an SLR. Your choice, but take a look at

    and have a wander through those pages. See for yourself and make a decision that makes financial sense.


    Source(s): Retired Pro Photog - now just playing at it.
  • Lisa
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    If you can drop about 5000. dollars on a digital camera you can get pretty close to the crisp photos of an analogue. If you love photography go analogue for now. By the time you have a good grip on f stops and depth of field maybe the digital's will also. I love them both, but until a digital camera can give me what film can I'll keep my analogue handy. Learning photography takes time and yes film. More reason to study hard before opening that shutter. Remember it is the photographer's eye and talent that make a great photo. The camera can help or harm depending on how well you know your gear. I've helped digital owners at indoor events that did not have a clue what shutter speeds were good for. Read photography books until you start blurting out photo mumbo jumbo, then read some more. When you are ready young Jedi master the camera will find you.

  • 1 decade ago

    As a teacher of digital photography the first thing I tell students to do is figure out their budget and if they know what kind of photography really grabs them. You'll save yourself a bundle of money and grief. If sports is your love then a dSLR is the only way to go. Fortunately you can get good ones for around $500-600 (new) with the kit lens. Since most sports require you to use a long lens I suggest you get a camera with image stabilization built into the camera body rather than into the lens. Of course, if you have a big budget then it doesn't matter.

    For almost all other types of photography you will do just fine with any number of P&S cameras. I sugest getting something like the Canon S5IS (12x optical zoom) or the Sony equivalent. Panasonic makes a number of minature looking dSLRs with 12x optical zooms and these are good except they are noisy at high ISO settings.

    If you like something a little more compact then you might want to look at the Panasonic TZ3.

    Another important feature you want to check are LCD brightness and size (check this out in DP Review or ImageResources). Many of the more compact cameras do not have an optical viewfinder so the LCD is your window to the world and if you can't use it in bright light you are screwed.


  • 1 decade ago

    Photography is so dense an art form that one can never truly learn even half of what there is to know about it. Even if you could, a big part of taking good pictures is being original and showing the viewer how you see the world. . .which isn't something you can learn from a book or class. In short, the best way to learn is to go out there and DO.

    First off, when buying a camera, go to local photography store--the staff will be more knowledgeable, will take the time to help you, and can offer you some great advice (and possibly a few connections). Plus, you say you want to make this a permanent hobby, so smaller stores give you the opportunity to make some friends and meet people in the "community." Avoid chain retail stores such as Best Buy or Circuit City, since the staff likely won't know much about what they're selling. And whatever you do, never, ever buy a camera off of eBay or another online auction site. You never know for sure what you're getting. In fact, don't purchase anything online until you're more experienced and know if it'll be what you want. Go to an actual store and see the physical product.

    As for what camera to buy, this depends somewhat on your budget. You should buy the best camera you can afford, but don't worry too much if it's not the cream of the crop--good pictures depend much more on the photographer than the camera. Get a quality camera--Nikon or Canon are both good bets for beginners--and buy one with manual controls. I would even discourage you from buying one with any automatic controls at all; force yourself to learn to really operate the camera. I know I probably won't persuade you to do this, but hey, I'm old-school.

    A few more hints on camera shopping: metal frames are much better than plastic--they're much more durable. Plus, you'll want a camera with interchangeable lenses. Even if you have only the one lens now, as you become more serious, you'll want to buy more. Most plastic-framed cameras do not support interchangeable lenses. Nikon is your best bet in this department--almost any sort of lens is compatible with it.

    Buy an excellent camera bag to protect your camera from scratches. (It goes without saying that you should always be careful with any camera; keep the lens cap on it and take care not to drop it.) If you can spare the money, a tripod is also a good idea. Buy good film - I recommend Arista B&W to start out with, or Ilford HP5 if you can afford it.

    Now, read your manual, buy a few books (I'm a particular fan of the Ansel Adams guides) and go take some pictures. Get them developed for you, or take a class and learn to do it yourself. (Be warned, though; processing and developing your own film is a huge commitment of both time and money. You'll want to learn it at some point, but possibly not right away.)

    You'll soon learn more about your interests and what you like, be it architecture, landscapes, portraits, athletics, and so on. Take specific classes in those, read up on those specific types, and expand your equipment as you are able, catering to that interest. Go to gallery openings and look at the pictures. You'll get ideas and some new inspiration, as well as developing a more critical eye. Your community college probably offers a photography class, and--bonus!--it often comes with access to a darkroom.

    Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!! You've found the best hobby in the world. :)

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  • 5 years ago

    Try Trick Photography Special Effects :

  • 1 decade ago

    It seems to me that many people will recommend that you spend several hundred dollars on a DSLR, get a book from the library, read up on the web, and just start shooting. However, you'll spend the same amount of money buying an analog (film) camera and signing up for an inexpensive class. The advantage of that method is that you have a person standing next to you to answer your questions. The investment in time and energy in these early months of interest will pay enormous dividends.

  • travel
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Go to your local library, check out a few books about photography, learn about composition, rule of thirds, exposure, lighting etc. look up the bookstore, keep a good reference book for keeping. just 1 good one will do.

    once you've acquired skills, start shooting, start by borrowing a digital camera from a family or friend, shoot everything, anything, as much as possible, and along the way learn from mistakes, come to YA and post your photos for critique or get someone to tell you what's right and what's wrong, keep going at it.

    shoot at learn.

  • 1 decade ago

    That's like saying "Show me the ocean" There's so much. When you want to know something about photography be very specific. Hone in on your subject and you'll learn a lot!

  • 1 decade ago

    You should look into auditing a class at your local college. I took a photography class and there were a few people who did that and really liked it.

  • 1 decade ago

    That is refreshing. You said, "permanent hobby" and not the "Professional" word.

    Seems like you got your head in the right place.

    Get a good book from the library, go down to the thrift store and find a Pentax K1000 or Canon AE1, buy some film, and go have fun.

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