Learning Photography: Equipment. Settings. Lighting. Post Processing. Oh my!

By Jed Grant

In December of 2009 I finally convinced my wife that we needed to purchase a digital SLR. One of the those fancy camera with more buttons that automagically take wonderful pictures. I started doing my research back in 2007, but decided against buying a camera at the time. I started with Nikon and Canon and quickly realized my limited funds would be depleted by buying the camera body (no lens) alone. So I started looking at Pentax. I read a lot of reviews and talked to some pentax owners. Everyone seemed to really like the cameras (both the K-x and the K-7) and I could get the camera and two lenses for under $600. That’s roughly $300-$500 less than Canon or Nikon without a lens (~$200 value). So I bought a K-x. It has a lot of fancy buttons. I also bought a Metz 48 AF-1 flash on the recommendation of a friend.

I was now going to take amazing pictures. Right? Wrong.

Everything was confusing. I read the manual, lots of online articles, took lots of pictures etc. I was still pretty confused. Even though I understand the barrier to becoming a photographer of any level has been lessened, there’s still some big hurdles initially if you’re doing it on your own.

After a while I just got discouraged. I kept taking pictures but I stopped putting in the necessary effort, or being willing to spend some money. Sure I messed with settings and spun dials, but I wasn’t really getting it. Somewhere along the way things changed and I think I can share what I learned and help other people get there a little faster. I’ll be writing a series of articles that sequentially take you through what you’ll have to have to get some of those pictures you see online, and to be able to do so almost immediately. We all love immediate gratification right?

Stay tuned, we’ll be talking about the bare necessities of gear next.

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