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      07-01-2009, 12:18 AM   #26
TurboFan
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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whew, that's a tall order. I started by shooting an old Nikkormat. No AF, no motor drive, no nada. It was very advanced for its time because it had TTL metering. Sort of. It even had split ring focusing. Thing is a dinosaur, but I love it.

I remember taking 40-50 rolls of film to the lab to have developed, maybe get them to print me an 8x10 proof card for each roll. I couldn't afford to have all the rolls printed, so I'd look at the negatives on a slide board. Maybe even set them in slide holders - you want to trip people out, project your negatives with a slide projector . After a while, when I had some money, I'd buy different photo mags each month. I'd read those, try out some different things, experiment a bunch.

About 5 years ago I got a Nikon D100. I went crazy learning all kinds of new things. I'd shoot 500 frames a week, easy, just learning more and more about what I could do, trying new lenses, etc. I shot 100,000 frames on that camera in 2 years! Still works great, talked to the girl I sold it to and she took it in for routine service - clean bill of health.

All that is to say there comes a point when you need to get off the bench and get in the game. I learned a lot by trying to make an image and failing, trying again, failing again, etc. Each time I'd stop and think about what I was doing wrong, where my MMF could be, and go try again. But each time I would come back to these basics. I still do when I'm getting setup for a shoot. Experience lets me get close on aperture, ISO, WB, shutter speed, etc, but I still meter for final exposure, think about how my camera is setup, and then take 20 shitty pictures while I dial things in. I guess digital makes us all a bit lazy, but at least I'm not going broke in my laziness anymore!

To answer your question, there is a common saying called "Sunny 16" or in other words, f/16 on a sunny day. Shooting on snow? Better stop it down a couple notches.....then you better watch out for shadows....oops its dark....adjust your aperture again, because you want to keep your shutter speeds at a minimum of 1/focal length for a hand-held shot......adjust again because most lenses perform best at their middle aperture settings....adjust again, my camera only goes to 1/8000 for shutter speed.......etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc....
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