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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Borrowing & Learning :D...I had spent the previous weekend with some friends 3 hours from my home. It had been so much fun! ...
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Old 07-09-2012, 17:32   #1 (permalink)
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Question Borrowing & Learning :D

I had spent the previous weekend with some friends 3 hours from my home. It had been so much fun!

One of my friends, what a sweet soul, surprised the pants off of me. I never even asked, but she offered me her Canon EOS Rebel XS/1000D to borrow for a month to experiment and learn this DSLR. I'm like, OMG! I've used her camera once, but have very little basic knowledge of it. So, I'm trying to learn the basics, and hopefully, learn how to do more of the advanced techniques.

I'm not sure if one month will be enough time, as my learning capability is being stunted by my medical conditions.... Not that I have any learning disability. The manuals are like, so beyond my head..... I don't think I can really figure out certains things that way. I've tried reading manuals, no matter what with other cameras, no matter how confusing it got for me. I keep trying, even though I don't learn stuff through manuals.... I've always learned through experimentation. But, it takes a very long time that way.....

Do you have any suggestions on how I may learn better? Maybe I should google for a manual for dummies or something like that. Hehehehehe. I can't wait to start doing the advanced stuff! I have no experience whatsoever with DSLR's.

My friend is not proficient in this department, either. She admitted that she didn't learn through the manuals, as she couldn't do it (I've met her twice before, so I don't know if she has a learning disability, or not).

Right now, I'm struggling with my Meniere's Disease. Those who are affected in their right ear will have cognitive effects, while it does not impact their intelligience. It's not like dementia or anything. My memory-retention is on the blink these days. Of course, the brain damage I have adds insult to that. :P So, I'm trying so hard to learn........ I don't have any photography proficient friends locally that could help me.

I appreciate some assistance, if possible....
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Old 07-09-2012, 17:51   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Borrowing & Learning :D

Photography is a complex subject and you should not set yourself any targets. Regardless of the camera, the principals are universal. So I'd suggest you start out using the auto mode to allow yourself to 1 start getting some pictures and 2 get to grips with composition. No matter how expensive the camera, if you cannot compose a good picture you will not get the results that you want. although rules can (and should) be broken, the rule of thirds, avoiding centralised subjects and horizons, ensuring that your pictures have a subject and finding the best angles to include/omit elements is a good starting point. Don't compare your results with those from people who have been taking pictures for years. See how they have presented the picture and see if you can work out why their pictures have been presented as you see them.

Of course there are overlaps in the various techniques and methods so the next step could be using focus points - especially for off centre subjects. When you are confident in these areas you can move onto exposure and the different exposure modes.

Don't try to do it all at once. It is a long process. You might find a local college doing photography for beginners could be of help.

If it is of any help, I've been taking photographs for over 58 years now and I'm still learning.
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Old 07-09-2012, 18:15   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Borrowing & Learning :D

Good point, you can win awards for stunning photgraphs. I've never seen anyone get an award for owning an expensive camera.
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Old 07-09-2012, 20:55   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Borrowing & Learning :D

While there are many people on PIxalo who can answer questions along the way, there are also some useful 'quick guides' on youtube and also probably from Canon there may be a video guide, usually promotion stuff. I appreciate that deafness will limit you from being able to hear what is said but sometimes these videos alone will give you some idea of what you can achieve with the camera and how to do it. First just put the camera in auto (P) and just let is work for you while you compose.

Think of your favourite subject and then just go and find pictures on the Internet. Somewhere you will find something that clicks with you and the way you want to present your images. The next step is learning how to get there, and then expanding your ideas. Some pictures you see here are pure extensions of people's imagination, created by making excellent use of software. In my mind these guys are magicians, and I stand in awe of their ability. If you are a visual learner then I guess videos are the best way to go.

It's a pity that while computer software has for quite a while attempted to take disabilities into account, other product providers are somewhat lacking - what's wrong with putting a video on the product CD / DVD Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony .... ??
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Old 08-09-2012, 00:19   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Borrowing & Learning :D

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Grease Spot, I totally agree with you on that! Dabhand, thanks for the advice. I wish I could take a class, but I miss out on so much of what teachers are saying. I will check the Youtube videos.... Forgot that one, even though it had been suggested to me before..... Hehehe.

I've been doing shots by Auto. I'm having trouble with the super macro shots, as I had been doing so much of with the Nikon Coolpix S60. I've recently came across the rule of thirds for the first time somewhere on the net, so I've been paying more attention to that. It's impossible to use that rule when you have reach out to get a shot in weird spaces, like tree caves and such. Or even the blind spots, where you can't get to, like a mini cave that you can't see directly except on the screen and have to do a weird holding position just to get a shot. Hehehe. I'm not sure if I can manage it with the bulkier camera in those spaces, but I sure will try.
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Old 08-09-2012, 00:19   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Borrowing & Learning :D

Um.... did the pic show up on my response????? I guess, that didn't work. Buggers. But, no worries. It's in my gallery.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I've "explored" a TON of photography pics on the net. I love doing that. There are some things I wish I could create something similar to what I've seen. Like the night photography, for example..... Now, that, I'd die for. It's just for me, my passion, nothing else. Not for profit, of course.

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:17   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Borrowing & Learning :D

Maybe when you wants to move on from Auto, try using the AV setting, this will let you control the depth of field but the camera will still do all the metering and set the speed for you. You can get some nice out of focus backgrounds then without having to think about too much else.

All you need to remember then is that the small mumbers like f2.8 will make you background blurry and the larger ones like f16 will make them sharp.

Just try it with a few shots until you get an effect you like. Digital costs nothing so take loads and have fun.
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