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digital photography learning curve

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jeff Mims, May 28, 2005.

  1. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I got serious about photography in 1983. I started with 35mm, worked with medium format, set up a BW darkroom, started doing Cibachrome printing. I shot a lot of Velvia for personal work, but also did portraiture and weddings on the weekends.
    While no one accused me of being the next Ansel Adams, I'd reached a point where I had a good grip on the basics of photgraphy. Not a master by any means, but a good working knowledge.
    Then comes digital. I used digicams for the last 3 years, bought my first DSLR (D70) just a couple of weeks ago.
    Now I feel like I"m starting over again. I love that I have so much control over my images, but it seems so much to learn...it's almost overwhelming. :shock:
    I know I will learn it, just like film, with time, patience & practice. I'm just wondering if anyone else felt the same way? Particulary when they got serious into DSLR photography. If I just wanted to shoot on auto all the time, I'd stayed with digicams. :) 
    Digital is wonderful, and I love it...I just have to learn it. Can anyone recommend some good books on the basics? (to include printing). Not "Dummy" books, but not super advanced either.

  2. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    What is it that you need to learn? The photography part is almost the same. Perhaps you could take a Photoshop course at a local community college.
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    You will have not a large learning curve. You have already learned.

    Have funnnnnnn !!!!!!
  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Hey Jeff,

    The camera and lenses are only half the technology you'll need to learn. Since you already are proficient with a camera that part will come easy for you.

    The other half is the computer and software part. While there are a bunch of programs that can work with digital photos, there are two that really excel with processing photos from a Nikon camera, Photoshop and Nikon Capture. And they can be used together if you like.

    There are three books I recommend for learning the software (in addition to the manuals that come with the programs.) First is The Photoshop CS2* Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. It's a cookbook for all kinds of photographic like manipulations of digital images using, um, Photoshop.

    If you choose Nikon Capture to process your RAW (oh yes, did I mention, shoot Raw) files, then you will need to read and understand Digital Photography, Acquisition and Techniques by Ron Resnick. This is definately NOT a 'for dummies' book. If you choose to use Photoshop's Adobe Camera Raw to process RAW files, read Real World Camera Raw by Bruce Fraser. In fact get and real all three.

    Have fun!

    * Photoshop CS2 is the latest. There are versions of Kelby's book for PS7, CS and Elements.
  5. dan_m

    dan_m Guest

    Learning curve

    It is daunting, isn't it? I started using PhotoShop with a scanner to restore old photographs. The stumbling method I chose to learn, "Well, let's see how we can fix that?!" method is not very efficient. I wasted a lot of time. There are so many ways to get similar results that one can get into some really bad habits in a hurry. I would agree that a intro course is a good way to start. Perhaps the two best pieces of advice I can give are: 1) Develop a routine workflow and stick with it. My basic workflow is as follows:

    Raw conversion
    Adjust levels
    Color correction
    Repair any "Defects"
    Size image

    2) Don't do anything until you calibrate your monitor - if you don't you'll waste so much time, ink and paper fighting color problems, you might as well just go beat your head on the driveway.
  6. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Thanks Chris,
    I have ordered Nikon Capture, should be here next week. I hear you about shooting raw. That is what is a bit daunting at the present.
    I do great with auto...and moving to raw is like taking off the training wheels. :) 

    Thanks for the book recommendations. Much appreciated!

  7. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I know how to get photos recorded, it's the post processing/printing I want to learn more about. Guess that's like photography too...no shortcuts.
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    I second that!
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