Photography for a newb…


Turbo Monkey
Jun 19, 2003
Yeah I know, another photography thread….

Well, I think I’d like to give photography a try to see if I like it. I have a decent point and shoot (Canon Powershot A640) that has more settings than I know what to do with.

I’ve found P.O.T.N. and Fred Miranda but these sights are obviously for people that know what they are doing…

Internet searches provide lots of results, but seem rather random.

Lots of people on this site are into photography – and everyone was new at it once. Was there a site that you found useful when you were new to the whole thing?

Feel free to PM me



Apr 29, 2004
Miami, FL
Not a PhotoMonkey... but I'll chime in. Wife hates mine becasue it doesn't work that great after less than a year. I blame NorthStar (I dropped it)...

Anyway a freind of hers sent her this when she was talking about getting me a new one
Canon SD1100, all of the Canon Elph cameras are awesome point and shoots and they are a great size too!

If you're looking to save a bit of money you can still find the Canon SD1000 which is nearly identical except it doesn't have image stabilization (although unless you shot a lot of pictures in the dark you won't need this).

Here are some helpful links to compare the two cameras:



Spammer Extraordinaire
Jul 9, 2007
Check out the photography forum at flashkit. Good bunch of people that can help out. All you have to do is ask and you will be helped out.
i got started by shooting 35mm and studying a book i have called Introduction to Photography Fouth Edition by Marvin J. Rosen and David L. DeVries... the book is from around 1993 or so, but the principles of photography jst dont change, so that is not an issue...
its a super good, easy to read and understand book; and while it is based around 35mm photography, the same settings and effects are used in digital... all the camera functions are the same, except for the composition of the image sensor...(film vs. a light sensing chip)

i'll bet that if you took a personal or just real life class, they would make you shoot 35mm, but the only reason for that is that it involves a lot of guesswork and calculation over a digital camera that will let you view the picture right away... boot camp essentially...

but anyways, once you come to know how every setting works and affects the resulting picture, photography really comes as naturally as riding a bike... at least it did for me...

i just did a quick search, and there arent many of these books for sale... there are a few on Amazon though...
worth checking out in my opinion, its a very, very well written and explained book...



Jul 15, 2004
miami, fl
Just the info I've been looking for as well. I was given a nice camera and want to learn how to use it. Cheeta, thanks for the info. I'm going to try to find that book (or similar).
yeah its a great book... i was flipping through it again today and learned something i previously overlooked about zone focusing... which is exactly what i wanted to learn because i'm going to be doing some spontaneous shots when i go down to Sea World here in the next couple weeks and i dont want to mis-focus or lag to get a shot...

its a very long book too... it covers literally every aspect of photography and more things that many of us wont use, ie. 35mm related things(developing, etc.) but its all still very good to know!


Aug 8, 2003
POTN was a godsend for me when I was first starting. At first glance it looks like it's for advanced users, but all of the basics are there. There is a HUGE bank of knowledge on that website. They have a bunch of sticky threads up with all of the basics. And nearly everybody is happy to answer specific questions.

For me, it was super helpful to read through the more advanced stuff (filters, flashes, lenses, post processing techniques, etc.) even if it seemed like getting to that point of proficiency was a long way off. Every little bit of information will undoubtedly help your skills in the long run, so soak in as much as you can!


boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
Many books are going to be mildly worthless with an A640. While it offers a lot of manual control for a P&S, it leaves a lot to be desired (namely in the lack of manual focus and aperture adjustments).

I'd suggest buying an older 35mm SLR at a yard sale if you don't want to take the dSLR plunge, and a decent "Photography for Dummies" book. It can help you understand the basics that are essential, proper exposure and composition, as well as all manual controls (much like a basic HS photo course). Supplemented with a good P&S like the one you have, you should be able to learn quite a bit.