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Topic: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: PWMRamper
Posted 2012-06-08 19:18:29 and read 6747 times.

As the title says, I just purchased a Nikon D5000, with a standard 18-55 lens. I have never used a dSLR before, and am extremely overwhelmed. Reading through the rejection guide did not help ease that feeling in the slightest.

I know there's plenty of work to be done on photographs once they are taken, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I love taking pictures of aircraft. I've been doing it for 3 years at work, with my iPhone. I understand the basic concepts of framing and the like, but until now have never had a camera capable of taking high quality shots.

I have no idea whatsoever on how to configure my camera for these photos. Some good standard, basic settings would be very helpful. Also, knowing what the settings mean would be very helpful as well, so I can adjust as time of day and conditions change.

I'm taking a trip out to LAX on Tuesday, to break in the camera. While I'll be surprised if I get any "site-worthy" shots my first time out, I'd like to do everything I can before I start to snap pictures to help!

(I do not currently have my D5000 manual. I bought the camera used and it did not come with a manual.)

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: MaximLezin
Posted 2012-06-08 19:43:43 and read 6736 times.

Hi! Welcome to the DSLR world! I have the D5100, and believe me there both awesome cameras. Definately will never let you down. For your purposes at this point, use programmed auto with an ISO of 100. Programmed auto means your camera controls your aperture and shutter, but you control everything else like exposure, iso, flash etc. ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor. If the sensitivity is high, you get brighter images, however it produces a lot of something known as noise. The noise is something that can be treated, although it is better to avoid it, to make for a good image, requiring little adjustment. Have a read through the rejection manual also. Also, youre images were most likely rejected for technical reasons. This is quite normal, and will take a lot of practice before you will have images that will be accepted. This means you will need to use graphic software like photoshop to fix things outlined in the rejection manual. These things include sharpness, colour, brightness, noise etc. I highly recommend you also use the photography feedback forum so we can help asses your images and lead you in the right direction. Now in terms of your camera settings, shutter priority mode gives you control of how fast the shutter closes after absorbing the light, allowing for sharp images throughout. Aperture Priorty controls the depth of field, the amount of focus you will get. They both control brightness, and darkness. Manual controls both at once, but that is something beginners wouldnt be overly comfortable with, so I would avoid it. It basicaly controls both at the same time, and finding the right combination is a bit difficult to master. Anyway, so just lets see your images on the photography feedback, and we'll take it from there. Cheers, Max!  

[Edited 2012-06-08 19:45:43]

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: megatop412
Posted 2012-06-08 19:47:45 and read 6733 times.

So, a DSLR crash course would look something like this:
-Exposure mode 'A' and set aperture to f/8. Don't touch the 'scene' modes, that's not what you bought an SLR for.
-ISO 200(highest quality ISO setting with lowest amount of grain)
-AF-A(will detect when what you're shooting is still or moving for you)
-Matrix metering(meters all of your scene not just the center)
-shoot in jpeg fine(can view on your computer right away as opposed to RAW)
-continuous release mode(shutter keeps firing when you keep your finger on the release)

You don't need the actual Nikon manual, I would pick up one of the magic lantern guides. That will be your new Bible.

Look at the LAX trip as nothing but practice to get comfortable with the camera, as you can see this is a different planet than taking pictures with your phone. Forget about this site, and 'acceptance criteria', completely. You will not get acceptable shots on your first outing. Focus only on your shooting technique and holding the camera steady. You will also be limited with the length of that kit lens and should soon purchase either the 55-200, 55-300, or the 70-300, whatever your budget can allow, but you will need a telephoto for this type of work.

Don't forget to enjoy photographing the aircraft, the whole point of what we do.

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: PWMRamper
Posted 2012-06-08 19:57:21 and read 6727 times.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 2):
Look at the LAX trip as nothing but practice to get comfortable with the camera, as you can see this is a different planet than taking pictures with your phone. Forget about this site, and 'acceptance criteria', completely. You will not get acceptable shots on your first outing. Focus only on your shooting technique and holding the camera steady. You will also be limited with the length of that kit lens and should soon purchase either the 55-200, 55-300, or the 70-300, whatever your budget can allow, but you will need a telephoto for this type of work.

That's exactly what I'm viewing the trip as. I was out there last July with just my 3GS and had a hell of a time. 8 hours in that little park, great way to kill time!

I know that I will not get site acceptable photographs right away, not too worried about that. Ultimately I'd love to be able to get those type of shots, as I've had many a shot a work that I found myself thinking, "Boy, I wish I had a higher quality camera!"

I know the 18-55 is limiting, though perhaps not how much. I figure at the In-N-Out I won't need to worry too much about not having a telephoto. I'm definitely in the market for a 55-200 or -300 lens (I couldn't even tell you what that means).

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-06-08 23:55:24 and read 6690 times.

Quoting PWMRamper (Reply 3):

That's exactly what I'm viewing the trip as. I was out there last July with just my 3GS and had a hell of a time. 8 hours in that little park, great way to kill time!

If you want, let me know when you'll be out there on Tuesday. I'm about due for another In'n'Out shooting trip. All the advice in the world can't replace actually going out there and practicing.

I won't have much to say about Nikons, as I'm a Canon shooter, but the basic concepts and settings are the same no matter the brand.

Quoting PWMRamper (Reply 3):

I know the 18-55 is limiting, though perhaps not how much. I figure at the In-N-Out I won't need to worry too much about not having a telephoto. I'm definitely in the market for a 55-200 or -300 lens (I couldn't even tell you what that means).

18-55 is fine for the In'n'Out, for shooting the airplanes as they fly by you.

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: yerbol
Posted 2012-06-09 02:36:50 and read 6668 times.

Hi Gabriel! Greetings from Almaty, Kazakhstan!
Congrats on your first DSLR    ! Now it is time to save some cash for good zoom lens.
Please try to stay enthusiastic as much as possible and do not be lazy   This is the key in my opinion.
All other things will come   

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: PWMRamper
Posted 2012-06-10 21:34:31 and read 6512 times.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 2):
-Exposure mode 'A' and set aperture to f/8. Don't touch the 'scene' modes, that's not what you bought an SLR for.
-ISO 200(highest quality ISO setting with lowest amount of grain)
-AF-A(will detect when what you're shooting is still or moving for you)
-Matrix metering(meters all of your scene not just the center)
-shoot in jpeg fine(can view on your computer right away as opposed to RAW)
-continuous release mode(shutter keeps firing when you keep your finger on the release)

The only things I was able to find to change were ISO and jpeg.

Is there some sort of video tutorial for dummies?

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: NZ107
Posted 2012-06-10 22:27:59 and read 6505 times.

Quoting PWMRamper (Thread starter):
Reading through the rejection guide did not help ease that feeling in the slightest.

Reading the camera's manual will do you far more good than the rejection guide.

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-06-10 22:32:11 and read 6504 times.

Quoting PWMRamper (Thread starter):
(I do not currently have my D5000 manual. I bought the camera used and it did not come with a manual.)

That's no problem:

http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/16431

Again, if you'd like some pointers "in the field", feel free to send me an email or PM and I'll see if I can make it out there on Tuesday.

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: PWMRamper
Posted 2012-06-11 20:54:24 and read 6424 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 8):

That's no problem:

http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answ...16431

Thank you so much!

I've got everything set up based on the comments from earlier in the thread. I have the continuous release mode set, but it seems to only take one picture every couple seconds.

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for LAX, and will be posting some pictures when I get back on Thursday. Hopefully it'll be a good jumping off point.

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: ckw
Posted 2012-06-12 07:07:56 and read 6391 times.

Can I suggest you try and find something like this

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/COLLECTABL...ODUCTION-PHOTOGRAPHY-/221043973589

(I'm not being funny - seriously, I taught a photography course with this as the standard text).

The problem with all current user guides is they are too much about the technology. Basically you need to understand what a shutter does, the aperture does and some basics about focus and depth of field. Once you grasp the basic concepts, then you'll be able to figure out how pretty much any camera works without a manual.

Pretty much every camera manual I've seen of recent vintage goes to great lengths to explain all the different ways you can change or program this or that setting - but very little info on WHY you might want to change the setting.

Understand the underlying principles (and there's really not that much to it), and everything else falls into place. Learning photography from a camera manual is a bit like trying to learn to drive based on the handbook for a car.

Cheers,

Colin

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: megatop412
Posted 2012-06-12 08:19:28 and read 6381 times.

Quoting PWMRamper (Reply 6):
Is there some sort of video tutorial for dummies?

There are many yout*be videos that explain the ins and outs(no pun intended) of these cameras. I'm sure there are several just for the camera that you have. They range from the very helpful tutorial-like guides to guys showing you their cameras while repeating the tech specs(which would probably not be so helpful for you)

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: PWMRamper
Posted 2012-06-12 10:29:26 and read 6362 times.

Quoting ckw (Reply 10):

Exactly. I was online last night, and studied up on how things like aperture and shutter speed affect shots. I feel like I have a much better grasp on things than I even did last week.

Anyways, about to board the flight from PHL-LAX. Thanks for your help guys, I'll be sure to post any more questions I have, and a link to the pictures I take out in LAX so I can be critiqued!

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: darreno1
Posted 2012-06-12 20:43:36 and read 6326 times.

Here is a fine website with great info for beginners and amateurs:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/

There are other great sites like www.dpreview.com and www.photo.net that you can visit as well.

My advice? Start with manual mode and practice till you get good exposures (not too bright, or too dark). Whites must be true to life as possible (white balance) and the image should be in focus. Understand what metering, exposure compensation and ISO are and how they affect the final result and practice as much as possible. Learn about histograms and how to use them effectively. Learn about contrast and how to tell if you have enough contrast, not just by sight but by looking at a histogram.

Also learn about your monitor and how to calibrate it. If your screen is out of calibration you will find it very hard to judge quality, color, contrast and brightness by sight.

In the end though, only time and practice will make you a better photographer.

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: combatshadow
Posted 2012-06-13 18:56:37 and read 6264 times.

I found this PDF document to be a great read and extremely helpful. It also has some exercises you can practice with, which is the best way to learn your camera. It helped me a lot when I started with a DSLR. I've actually gone from the D200 to the D7000 and recently just bought the D3200.

Exposure by John Setzler

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: PWMRamper
Posted 2012-06-13 20:54:45 and read 6250 times.

So I'm currently sitting in T1 at LAX. For the trip, I took 1806 photographs. I would wager 85% of those are awful shots, at least.

Still, had a blast, and looking forward to seeing if I got anything decent, and being critiqued so I can learn how to do better!

Not sure how to go about getting those comments, as I obviously can't upload almost 2000 shots. I'm going to go through and cut out all of the shots where I don't get the full aircraft in the frame, and go from there.

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-06-14 00:06:03 and read 6237 times.

Sorry, I wasn't able to get out to LAX yesterday or today.

Quoting PWMRamper (Reply 15):
So I'm currently sitting in T1 at LAX. For the trip, I took 1806 photographs. I would wager 85% of those are awful shots, at least.

That's alright, as you progress the percentage of throwaway shots will steadily decrease.

Quoting PWMRamper (Reply 15):
Not sure how to go about getting those comments, as I obviously can't upload almost 2000 shots. I'm going to go through and cut out all of the shots where I don't get the full aircraft in the frame, and go from there.

Pick a few shots to start with that you think are some of the best of the lot, and post a pre-screening thread in the Feedback forum. Once you've gotten comments on a few shots, you can apply what people said to the rest of your potential shots to judge them better.

Topic: RE: Just Purchased A Nikon D5000. Help!
Username: PWMRamper
Posted 2012-06-15 21:16:34 and read 6099 times.

Thread posted...

Pre Screening - First Time DSLR User (by PWMRamper Jun 15 2012 in Photography Feedback)


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