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Photo Guide for Newbie

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Biro, May 30, 2011.

  1. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I am about to make a gift of my current Panasonic G1 to a niece. She's an adult in her 30's but, until now, her entire exposure to photography has been via throw-away film cameras and low-end digicams. This will probably be the first time she's been directly exposed to this kind of camera and image control. She has expressed great interest in my G1 and so, I will be tossing the ball in her court.

    So, my question to the best, brightest and most-experienced members of the Mu-43 family is... after I go over the very basics of photography with her in one sitting, what might be the best printed reference I can leave with her for when I won't be around (she lives in Virginia, I in New Jersey)?

    It might be helpful if the book is digital-specific, even though the basic relationships between aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity of the light-gathering medium don't change. I'm trying to not overwhelm her and, as a result, dampen any enthusiasm she might have now. I am aware of a number of aftermarket G1 guides... but do any also cover the photo basics? But what I'm looking for can also be more generic. Inquiring minds want to know!
  2. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.
  3. SMaturin

    SMaturin Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 30, 2011
    New York's Backyard
    Consider suggesting or giving a basic photography course as part of the package.

    Having good teachers and enthusiastic fellow students can really bolster the learning process.

    Local community colleges, art schools or cooperatives, or even adult ed in a local school system are possibilities.

    If she lives in VA, consider a trip to NC for a Penland School workshop.


    I have never done it (although I grew up in NC), but a friend who has attended some of their workshops has raved about them.
  4. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    I second this suggestion...I purchased after a recommendation from flash, and have found it very helpful.
  5. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    What a great thing to do.

    My uncle Bill gave me first camera.. I'm indebted for life.

    There is so so much available on the web now, it's all so fluid and dynamic.

    Sprinke has already suggested a very good book. I'd suggest perhaps something inspirational such as "The Family of Man"

    The Family of Man [Paperback]
    Edward Steichen (Author)

    Here are two examples of web pages that could be very helpful to someone trying to understand composition.

    Rule of Thirds

    Working the Lines in your Photography.

    Cheers, Alan
  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Understanding Exposure would be the second book I'd buy for her. The third would be light: Science and Magic. The fourth would be "The Photographers Eye" by Michael Freeman.

    The first would be the Life guide to Digital Photography, by Joe Mc Nally. It's more general and easier to read that the others above. It's available as an iPad app if she has one and is designed specifically for beginners. It's written in a way that inspires new photographers. It's written for digital. And Joe McNally is the master of the small camera. One of the great contemporary photographers who also knows how to teach.

  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    X a million
  8. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Excellent suggestions all, guys... thanks a ton. I was aware of "Understanding Exposure" but the "The Life Guide to Digital Photography" sound very good for this purpose.
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