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I finally joined decided to join the DSLR world back in August, and I would have to say I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far. For a guy that works on computers all day I thought it would be right up my alley technology wise, but I have quickly came to the realization that it is far more complex. To start off I picked up a Nikon D5200 with a kit 18-55 lens which has been great to get my feet wet. I then picked up a "Nifty Fifty" as I found everyone suggested picking that lens up first. I also have a wireless shutter release, and Joby tripod as well. Now to get to brass tacks. I have a couple questions on my next move.

What would be the next lens to pick up without breaking into a bank that would allow me to get decent pictures of birds, deer, turkeys? I would also like to do some video with it as well.

What other accessories should a guy be picking up that are have to have items?

Do any of you have any tips or tricks that helped you get better other than just getting out there and shooting?

Here are a few of my pictures from last weekend that I took. I have noticed that I'm getting better, but still feel like I'm falling short of what I'm trying to capture.

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Pelican
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Here's some examples of a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens on a D3200. I'm sure there's better options out there but I'm a budget shopper. I got mine on eBay used for half the price. Just need to be careful shopping and ask questions.
 

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Pelican
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Video through same lens... I recorded 4 different turkeys getting killed with this lens last spring. A couple things I learnt the camera will not automatically focus for you in video mode and to have a full charge on the battery or recording could stop when you don't want it to. Example in the middle of this video. These were flydown toms so lighting sucks.

 

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Only problem I see is the IA state license plate but that's my 2 penny's! ! Nice work
 

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I finally joined decided to join the DSLR world back in August, and I would have to say I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far. For a guy that works on computers all day I thought it would be right up my alley technology wise, but I have quickly came to the realization that it is far more complex. To start off I picked up a Nikon D5200 with a kit 18-55 lens which has been great to get my feet wet. I then picked up a "Nifty Fifty" as I found everyone suggested picking that lens up first. I also have a wireless shutter release, and Joby tripod as well. Now to get to brass tacks. I have a couple questions on my next move.

What would be the next lens to pick up without breaking into a bank that would allow me to get decent pictures of birds, deer, turkeys? I would also like to do some video with it as well.

I'd suggest a zoom lense to help you zoom in for closer shots of those birds if desired. The top of the line is 70-200mm f2.8 or 200-400 f4 but those are $$ so I'd suggest something along the lines of a 70-300mm that will be more budget friendly but still can take sharp pics.

What other accessories should a guy be picking up that are have to have items?

A spare battery is the 1st thing I'd pick up especially if you want to use the camera later in the duck season when it gets cold out, the batteries won't last as long, especially doing video. A external flash would also be on the list of things you might want to look at. Software to process images such as Capture NX-D if you haven't gotten it already or Photoshop Elements.

Do any of you have any tips or tricks that helped you get better other than just getting out there and shooting?

Practice makes perfect but there is a ton of tutorials and other tips/tricks out there online on youtube, dpreview, B&H and Adorama. If you've viewed my photo's on here, look in my signature and click the link that will take you to my lil blog. On my posts, I'll include little tidbits on how I captured the series of images.

Here are a few of my pictures from last weekend that I took. I have noticed that I'm getting better, but still feel like I'm falling short of what I'm trying to capture.

Looks like are off to a great start as this collection of images is pretty good. Good composition/leading lines in quite a few of things. The woodie pic, if software such as Elements was used, you could clone out the blood on the feathers of the goose to help enhance that image.
 

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Looks like a very good start - light years ahead of the images I was getting when I first started.

Not knowing where you're at in the learning curve, the two single biggest things I can tell people (IMO) are shoot in aperture priority or full manual mode and learn to use back button focus. Those two things make the biggest difference in my progression.

Lenses:

The most popular, and probably the best all around walk around lens, is the 70-200. For the types of stuff you're shooting, it would be a great lens. If you're looking for pure "wildlife" photographs (portraits), a great lens without breaking the bank is the Sigma 150-600. I've seen some very respectable photographers give it great reviews.

Telephoto lenses are not very good for video, fyi. If you're going to try to use one as such, you'll need to drop a significant amount of money on a tripod/head.

Mike mentioned Photoshop and another program that I'm not familiar with. Skip photoshop (or elements) and pick up a copy of Lightroom. It might cost you $100 (Adobe offers a subscription service as well, but I would purchase the hard copy if possible). I've literally opened Photoshop Elements twice since I got Lightroom 3 years ago. If you learn to be even moderately proficient in Lightroom, you'll be able to save more photos through post processing and really make the good images you take turn into great images.

While this probably isn't print worthy, this image probably would have even been usable without Lightroom. I was able to make it work with minimal effort...



As far as other tips - there is an endless amount of resources available out there. Blogs, Youtube videos or use the search function on forums to find help with issues you're having. LOTS of info out there.
 
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