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General photography questions and answers: Discuss which to buy?...Hi, for last few days I've been browsing through various photography books and magazines and the choice is overwhelming!!! I'm ...
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Old 04-12-2008, 18:13   #1 (permalink)
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which to buy?

Hi, for last few days I've been browsing through various photography books and magazines and the choice is overwhelming!!! I'm a beginner starting with my first DSLR camera so can anyone please help me out. Which book would be the best for me? and which of the magazines is really worth buying?

Cheers. Kasia
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Old 04-12-2008, 18:58   #2 (permalink)
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Re: which to buy?

I'd suggest trying your local library to see what they have, before buying anything.

Besides hunting around this site, you can get a lot of usefull information elsewhere on the web.

It's an odd thing, which may be peculiar to photography, but you only seem to find out the best books for your needs, when you don't actually need them any more!

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Old 04-12-2008, 19:17   #3 (permalink)
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Re: which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sejanus View Post

It's an odd thing, which may be peculiar to photography, but you only seem to find out the best books for your needs, when you don't actually need them any more!

I agree with you on that 100%!!!
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:18   #4 (permalink)
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Re: which to buy?

Yes it is all very confusing. So you have at least made a choice of buying a DSLR camera
Regarding the magazines there's almost as much choice as DLSR's!!.I jest of course.

I take on a casual purchase of magazines and have tried most when a particular review or artical interests me.
The two Mag's I find interesting for myself are Amateur Photographer which is published every week and the other one which I think may be of interest to yourself is "What Digital Camera" and is published monthly.
The WDC has a short list (Street price,Pro's & Con's,size etc) appendix at the back.Its a starting point though.
I think first of all you must decide on your budget,its very easy to be persuaded to spend a lot of money for very little return.This is especially true when you are buying you first DLSR.
There are virtually no high street outlets that stock all of the range of DLSR's.
You will find web outlets that have a vast stock which is fine for buying but you can't try so you must make your mind up first before going down this route.
John Lewis mid week will let you play with the Nikon,Canon.Olympus,Sony and the Panasonic Lumix (Avoid weekends its too busy) This way you can see if the buttons are to your liking,weight & size etc.

At least you can then decide which camera is comfortable to you.

Regarding the types of pictures you are likely to take or specialise in taking will then depend on what Lens you purchase.Most manufacturers will do a "Kit" which includes the camera body plus a Zoom Lens.Purchasing this way would give you the Lens at half price if you had purchased the two items separately.
If you give a little more info on this I'm sure you will get some more advice on the type of lens that would be suitable.
As I said you will know your budget and and it will be very difficult to stick to that once you start looking at the range of facilities that DLSR cameras offer if you are not strong-minded.

Probably the best bargains may be had "After Christmas"
Brian
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:27   #5 (permalink)
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Re: which to buy?

As seajanus said local library can be useful but these days some are not so lucky to have a local library (myself included) nearest can be miles away. Yes you can hunt around the web for stuff too but if your not sure what your looking for at this stage in your new found hobby, (hence the reason your here asking for help) then hunting the web is going to be a hit and a miss too.

As your just starting out Bryan Petersons "Understanding Exposure" would'nt go amiss, easy to read and understand Click Here from Play.com at 11.42 inc free delivery. I bought this from Amazon over a year ago and found it very useful, Amazon seem to have increased the price cos I'm sure it was cheaper when I bought it

I'm sure others will drop suggested reading in here to for you to think about. Welcome to the forum by the way.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:23   #6 (permalink)
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Re: which to buy?

Another option is to see if there are any courses at you local evening schools, or a camera club nearby.

The problem with self-teaching is that you can't ask a question if you don't inderstand something, and/or if you get hold of the wrong end of the stick and yet think you know something, nothing else will fit into place.

The mechanics of operating a camera are complex because of the way that everything interacts, but once you have cracked it, it all falls into place.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:54   #7 (permalink)
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Re: which to buy?

Here are some of the books I've found very useful, for inspiration as well as technical instruction :

Studio Photography - Essential Skills (3rd Edition) by John Child. This is one of a Focal Press series of books on photography. It is fabulous! Although it is mainly about studio work, it is full of info which relates to all genres. I got this out of the library + was so impressed that I bought it, + will get around to working my way through it systematically doing the exercises it provides. It shows you how to get predictable results using methodical + precise techniques, i.e. takes the guesswork out of photography, particularly with regard to exposure, colour etc.

Photographic Composition by Tom Grill + Mark Scanlon. "Guidelines for total image control through effective design." This is a must-have book! I first had it on loan from the library but bought this one as well, it is fabulous! It shows you how all sorts of factors contribute to taking a great photograph + how these affect composition, e.g. colour, light, focal length, focus, contrast, shutter speed etc. etc. i.e. It is not just about arranging shapes, as most of us think of composition being just that.

A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Close-up Photography by John Clements. Another fab book I had from the library. It's full of projects, i.e. shots ppl have taken + how they did it. It has a lot of post-processing information too, which is concise + very useful, + shows you practical applications for different tools in image editing software via these projects. It is very very good, with loads of inspirational ideas, tips + tricks.

The Creative Photography Handbook by Lee Frost. Another favourite of mine. Just as the title says, it gives you creative ideas + how to achieve them.

John Hedgecoe's New Introductory Photography Course. "A complete step-by-step guide to taking great pictures, with 65 projects to improve your skills." This one's very good, too.

Digital Photography Step-by-Step by Jerry Glenwright. This one is nice + concise with brief summaries on different aspects of photography.

Digital Photography, an Introduction by Tom Ang. A great little book packed with technical info + advice from choosing photographic + pc equipment to taking photo's right through the process of manipulating + printing photo's. And it's a small size, just right for bedtime reading A little cracker, this one.

I advise getting books out of the library first, then if you think you'll get long-term benefit from them, buy them

Oh, and the magazine I got for 2 years (recently stopped it, as I just didn't read it anymore) was Digital Camera Magazine, which I learned a lot from

And check here for more book suggestions + reviews.

There is so much choice but start with one or two books and a regular magazine. As you go along, you'll know which specific areas you want to know more about, but initially avoid an information overload in the beginning, otherwise you won't know where to start
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Old 05-12-2008, 15:15   #8 (permalink)
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Re: which to buy?

Hi Kasia, Sorry for my first suggestion above I didn't read you question properply.I see that you already have the DSLR camera.
Have a look at the book titled "Digital SLR Cameras and Photography for Dummies" by David D. Busch.
It does cover the whole aspects of the hobby and is understandable.
Brian
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Old 05-12-2008, 21:39   #9 (permalink)
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Re: which to buy?

Chilliman I've checked the Amazon for Bryan Petersons "Understanding Exposure" and coincidently I've been thinking about that book before I've started that thread so I'm glad you are recommending it

brian wright22 thank you for your suggestions on the equipment!! although I've already bought a camera, there is still a lot of other bits and pieces that I''ll have to get eventually!! I've also looked through the Amateur Photographer magazine in WHSmith but I think I would like a magazine with some more tutorials in it...

Dabhand yes I am concidering joining a course starting from next year!! You are right, that It's so much easier if you can ask someone for help when you get stack on something

and finally Charlotte WOW that will certainly give me some ideas of books to browse through!!! good it's Christmas comming so I can add some of it on my 'christmas presnt' list

Cheers!!!!
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