Help for a photography newbie!
December 31, 2013 6:00 AM   Subscribe

My mum got a shiny new camera. It has dials and buttons and beeps now and then. Understandably, it's all so confusing. Help!

Mum has a really good eye for a picture. She likes taking images of insects, textures and nature stuff then uploading her work to Facebook. She wants to do more than just use auto, but doesn’t know where to begin. The camera is an Olympus PEN mini. It’s powerful, with a full-manual mode akin to a DSLR available.

I’d like her to learn basics like light and focus, right through to ISO and F-stop. Not to use these things at first, but at least to understand what’s happening when she takes a picture. So:

Can anyone recommend any enjoyable short videos / accessible blogs / simple tutorials about taking pictures and understanding the camera settings? Any practical tips too?

(Suggestions would be best that steer clear of complexity or jargon as much as possible.) Thanks in advance of any help...
posted by 0 answers to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The basic concept she wants to internalize (and so the appropriate search term) is the exposure triangle.

First result there is from, which is a pretty good resource overall for rank beginners.
posted by Naberius at 6:09 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I have an Olympus PEN, and unfortunately, in its default configuration, it's not going to be very good at close-up (macro) photography. I would suggest that your Mum get a macro converter for the kit lens if she is going to take lots of pictures of bugs. At this point, its probably a better option than the full-on macro lens.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:15 AM on December 31, 2013

Best answer: Seconding the DPS site - there are some great user-friendly tutorials there.
posted by jquinby at 6:17 AM on December 31, 2013

Best answer: Get her Understanding Exposure. The author does a great job of showing you a picture and then explaining the settings he used to get it. There's a reason it's a classic.
posted by PSB at 6:23 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone so far, I'll follow these up with her.

○ That site looks perfect Naberius, jquinby
○ The converter is an option 1970s Antihero
○ I'll get the book PSB as I see it recommended a lot in past questions too.

Keep them coming if anyone has anything else...
posted by 0 answers at 10:35 AM on December 31, 2013

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