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  • SKC - Saturday, November 27, 2004 - link

    Great article. #5, thanks for the reminder that this shouldn't be the end-all book on photography, but it did renew/pique my interest. I also totally support the photography forum idea. Reply
  • rrezende - Monday, November 22, 2004 - link

    Great article! Very nice pics. Reply
  • CmdrFly - Monday, November 22, 2004 - link

    I agree with the thought of adding a Photography forum. AT has always been the first place I would turn to for on-the-line fair reviews of hardware (unlike some biased ____hardwareguide .com's), plus the people are knowledgeable and for the most part friendly about their critique of your articles.

    A place where we could discuss ideas, examples, and experiences with photography would be an excellent source of info.
    Reply
  • kcma - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    #21

    I went to art school. You learn basic techniques, and then you have non-stop crits. You get feedbacks on what works and what doesnt work, you get crits on how 1 color looks and feels next to another, you get feedbacks on cropping, etc. But you never ever learn how to take better pictures or how to compose better, that you do on your own.

    And yes, I am aware that's not how all art school work, there are art classes that teachs common techniques and themes in composition, etc. But that's such a bad bandaid solotion. It makes you feel a bit better and not care to try new things out. Many of you guys are gamers, and I will use an analogy that you all understand. I'm sure many of you know ppl who exploit bugs and flaws and unbalances to win in multiplayer games. well, that works, until they patch it right? How about overclocking your computer? Do you want to be informed on how each CPU, chipset, MB, RAM work with each other? or would you like to be told to buy CPU A, MB B, RAM C, and put it together without any understanding of why you just bought what you did?

    Anyway, I'm not going to argue with you guys. You can't teach ppl who dont want to learn, and I think all the "idiot's guide" books, and watered down shortcut guides eventually do more disservice than they are helpful. same can be applied to cooking, working on cars, etc, etc, etc... If you care enough to learn something, learn it right.
    Reply
  • drwho9437 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    #5
    While you are correct that creativity cannot be taught, why do people take art classes, are not compositional techniquies taught in such classes. Many "fine artists" go to school not all are self taught. There are no rules of composition, but there are themes, some common composition discussed any by me that's fine.
    Reply
  • kcma - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I'll be happy to write up a guide for how aperature/shutter speed/iso/depth of field/filmsize (sensor area)/etc all work together. Things you learn in basic photo. It's a good place to start a journy of learning photography and the very basic tool to allow you to experiement and be creative on your own.

    I think these basics are more useful than composition because once you learned it, you can constructively criticize yourself and try new things out. Taking cuse from lines, etc, might help you get a few good pictures but it doesn't inform you how to get there as much. And composition is one of those things that as you make more photographs, you will develop your distinct style that give your photos personality (give it time, it'll come).

    seems like there are enough of you interested in photography, start a new forum? :)
    Reply
  • stephencaston - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Jeff, thanks for the suggestions. We'll keep those ideas in mind. For a bit of information on F-stops and Shutter speeds, check out our glossary in the Digital Camera Review Guide.

    http://www.anandtech.com/digitalcameras/showdoc.as...

    Also, be sure to read the part about Depth-of-Field. Hope that helps to clear up some things. Thanks again for the ideas!
    Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Stephen... I'd like to see more detailed explanations of how to shoot in "manual mode." For example... people have tried to explain it to me before, but I still don't know what f stops are, or when to change that setting and what to change it to. Also maybe some tips for editing photos once they're taken and transferred to a computer. Maybe some tips for using the flash effectively too. Reply
  • stephencaston - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Thanks for all the great comments! Please let us know if there is anything in particular you would like us to cover in future additions to the guide ;-) Reply
  • Clay1039 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Just want to say that I really liked this artice. Sure it is just touching on a lot of the basics, some of which I have read before elsewhere, but I benefit from being reminded of these things, and from hearing them presented in a new way, as I am a beginning photographer. I am looking forward to the rest of the articles in this series and will enjoy reading them. Keep them coming! Reply
  • Maverick2002 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I have to agree with #5. It's a good beginner's guide, nothing more. Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I found it very informative... like #10, I find my pictures are usually boring and I'm not creative at all. Most photography sites don't discuss the basics of composition. The pictures I take that turn out good are mostly by accident... I'm the type who centers whatever I'm taking a picture of and snaps the picture. Or if I'm taking a picture of something larger like a landscape, I just point and shoot without giving much thought to what's in the picture. I'm not REALLY into photography obviously, but when I do take pictures I'd like them to look nice. Reply
  • yelo333 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Very nice pointers...do you happen to have higher res versions of the photos? I especially liked the ladybug&stop sign for some reason...

    If you don't mind emailing them(I'd only use them for personal use, like wallpaper), my email is gmeena at gmail dot com.
    Reply
  • WooDaddy - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    #11 said it.

    This is who the article was for. Not the rest of us camera jockeys who can go through a roll of 36 in 30 minutes.

    CurtOien, if you really want to get into it, take a camera course at your local community college. Also, check out "Photography" by Barbara London. It's the photography student's textbook.

    And remember, just keep on taking pictures and examining them. That's how you get good at it.
    Reply
  • CurtOien - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I’m not a professional photographer or even close to it. I very much appreciated the article. It makes me want to go out and buy a digital camera It costs too much money to click away and experiment with film. Reply
  • ChrisSwede - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I agree with #5 that this will not make you a professional photographer. But, for someone like me that struggle to take good pictures and do not have a single creative/artistic bone in me, it gives me some hints on how to improve picture quality and get a little excited about taking pictures.
    /Chris
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    #5, you are completely right. However, I am glad for this article as I didn't knew not even a single thing in it. Yes, I am not a photographer

    Calin
    Reply
  • skunklet - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    i was hoping u guys gave up on these photography articles... Reply
  • kcma - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    #6

    brilliant idea!! eat the mattress!! i like them BBQed.
    Reply
  • Dustswirl - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    You can't explain how to sleep to an insomniac but you can show him a bed. Reply
  • kcma - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    i'm a photographer, and i think articles and books like these are just silly... it's like, guide to become creative!! or shortcuts to becoming smart!!

    you learn to compose by paying attention to your photos, and receive feedback from others. there are too many websites out there where you will get valid crits. follow a guide to compose creatively will only let you compose as creatively as the writer and everyone else who read it.

    of course, no one will listen to me, and just think, "wow, bookmark the guide, my photo bible is here!!" have it your way, it's your photos, i'll do my job and you do yours :)
    Reply
  • Dustswirl - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Very good article! now i see opportunities to take pics that were all around me all the time!

    I hope there will be hints on shadows/contrasts, their use and their problems in the next article!
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I can hardly wait for the second article in the series. I've sent this to some people I know, it's certainly worth reading

    Calin
    Reply
  • Seemann - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Pretty good article. I'll remember when I take some photos. Reply
  • apriest - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Some VERY good pictures there Stephen! Good article too. I especially liked the three pictures on the last page. Great first article for this series.

    Aaron Priest
    aaron@coastaltech.org
    http://aaronpriest.smugmug.com/
    http://www.coastaltech.org/photography.htm
    Reply

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