View Full Version : Nikon School and Learning the D50

07-25-2007, 12:25 PM
Hi all,

Has anyone here ever been to one of the Nikon School workshops? I noticed they are an all day affair, but that you are NOT supposed to bring your camera. This kind of frustrated me, since I need some hands on training. I'm not sure if sitting in a conference room watching a slide show of the camera manual will give me what I need (assuming that's what it is)!

I've been taking pictures for a long time and owned many different SLR's, but I haven't really been able to take the time to "know" them like I did when I was in high school/college. I feel that I am better at the creative side of photography, in other words I have a really good "eye" for it...but I've never been great at the technical side of it, like understanding the mechanics of the camera and making it work to get the shot I want. Auto-mode is my friend. I'm embarrassed to say that many of my great shots are dumb luck...my husband has a bunch of them on his office wall (8x10, matted and framed) and people come in and see them and ask if I'm a photographer...I WISH! It's embarrassing to read this forum and not understand most of what is being discussed.

Does anyone have recommendations on the best way to learn this stuff?Certainly trial and error, but I feel like I need more than that. My husband says I should apprentice for a photographer - someday - but right now I am up to my eyeballs with three little ones at home and there's no time for it.

Would a class at the local university help? Or perhaps a day at one of the Nikon School seminars?

Thanks all!

07-25-2007, 12:59 PM
I can't speak for the Nikon school thing.

But, try a couple of good books first... I can't help but thing that Understanding Exposure would be the number one recommended book around here. After / before / during that, start forcing yourself to use different modes on your camera. IOW - Aperture priority. Use this to take test shots of one subject at a time, with several different aperture settings -don't change anything else. When you view them on the computer screen, notice how much the depth of field changes.

Another test on how the focal length can change your perspective, take your zoom lens, and set it at the minimum focal length (like 17mm or 18mm etc). Find a scene with different objects at different distances. Use a aperture setting that is common across the focal length of your lens (like f/5.6 maybe) Picka a subject and frame it (by walking) so that it exactly takes up the space between two of your focus brackets (like the top and bottom ones - this depends on your camera). Now, change to a middle or longer focal length like 50mm and frame the same subject from the same angle using your feet to get the subject to fill the same amount of your view finder. When you bring these images up on your computer screen notice the difference in perpective.

Those are just a couple of exercises that you can do to learn how to MAKE your camera get the perspective, and dof that you are looking for...

Pretty soon you will be creating pictures with purpose. Combing your creativity AND knowledge to implement the shot that you can invent. No more getting lucky with the camera's auto settings.

This is also part of the reason that we all like to look at each others pictures and like to KNOW what settings they used.

So there's my LONG 2 cents. Get a couple books, hang out here, and practice shooting with purpose to learn. Can't guaranttee what the nikon school will teach you, but if you do these things, you will start learning a lot.

07-25-2007, 01:15 PM
I can't help but thing that Understanding Exposure would be the number one recommended book around here.

I second that and completely recommend this!

Think about back in highschool/College - How did you get to know the camera - There is absolutely no substitute for experience. The best advice I can offer you is take advantage of being able to fit 200 or more images on the flash card, shoot shoot shoot. Read understanding Exposure. shoot some more. . . ask questions here... shoot some more. . . ;) Everyone here started out not understanding what was being discussed some of the Acronyms are hard to figure out just ask we're a pretty helpful group here.