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Learning to use a DSLR

 
Old 11-09-2011, 05:52 PM
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Question Learning to use a DSLR

So, new owner of a Nikon D3100. I want to get out of program mode, so what is the best way to learn the ins and outs? Online tutorials? Camera shop lessons? I'd like to have some idea of which setting does what before I go out and play around with it.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:12 PM
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Well, for the most part, Program or Auto mode will serve you pretty well for most general photography. Manual settings are definitely fun though, since you can really just "force" the shots you want (like silhoutteing and blurred backgrounds and such). I've only been doing photography for about five years, but at least for me the way I learned how to use the other settings on my camera was just by going out and taking lots of photos. =) Just playing around with the settings, seeing what worked and what didn't. Reading online helped too, and youtube always has great tutorials. But mainly....just go out and shoot! =) Have fun with your new camera!!
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:12 PM
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Nikon D3100 for dumies. Great book, thats how I learned to use mine. Explains everything.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:24 PM
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I've been into photography all my life but just recently got big into it about 4 years ago. I learned by practice and reading a ton online. YouTube also has some great videos which taught me a lot
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:32 PM
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Taking pictures on the auto settings and looking at how the camera wants to set itself up gives you a good ball park on where to start with your own settings.

Plus it's a digital so just snap tons of shots on all different settings and keep what you like and take note!
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:16 PM
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Congrats on your new camera. I've been teaching photography going on 8 years now and shooting for over 20. The best way to learn in my opinion is by photographing a ton and looking at a lot of photographs to see what's been done and find some inspiration. The photo journalist Cartier-Bresson said it best when he stated, "... your first ten thousand [photos] are your worst..." This always reminds me that it takes a lot of shooting and reviewing to get good at photography (okay maybe not ten thousand but you get the picture lol)

Digital Photography School has a great website with a lot of information for beginners. Here's the link: Digital Photography Tips and Tutorials Read through it to learn about the basics of exposure, depth of field, and shutter speed. Getting involved with a local camera club can be helpful or taking a class at a local community college/community center. Having someone who knows a thing or two about photography to act as a mentor can be extremely helpful so be on the look out for someone who's willing to do this as well as critique your photos. Now, go change that mode dial from P to M and start experimenting. Hope this helped.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:20 AM
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What editing software?

I have Lightroom but what else should I get? I want to use HDR but Lightroom doesn't seem to have the function.

Sent from some string and a few tin cans.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:58 AM
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Buy the book "Understanding Photography" by Bryan Peterson. Can buy it pretty much anywhere, but ive found amazon is the best. Ive been shooting for about 5 years now and nothing had helped me more than that book. Also just pop it in manual mode and try to figure out what everything does. Reading your camera manual will help significantly too. Once you learn the basics, ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture, every camera you pick up you will know how to work it besides its special features. Its like learning piano! Once you learn you can play any piano.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CerOf View Post
What editing software?

I have Lightroom but what else should I get? I want to use HDR but Lightroom doesn't seem to have the function.

Sent from some string and a few tin cans.
Photomatix or Nik Softwares HDR Efex pro are what i use. I prefer the later though.

You can also purchase photoshop and learn how to do HDR's via Masking to get a real natural look.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mbsliwa View Post
So, new owner of a Nikon D3100. I want to get out of program mode, so what is the best way to learn the ins and outs? Online tutorials? Camera shop lessons? I'd like to have some idea of which setting does what before I go out and play around with it.
In addition to the good advise already given, I'd add the Histogram.
Once you study what it is and how to interpret it, you'll acquire deeper understanding of photography and of individual photographs. You'll know what to change and the 'why' behind it.
Many times, I take a look at the histogram, rather than at the image. I know what picture I shot, the histogram reveals data like contrast, color saturation, etc'.

Last edited by GJeep; 09-04-2015 at 11:45 AM.
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