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Thread: Newbi here and to digital

  1. #1
    travis4567's Avatar
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    Newbi here and to digital

    I worked as a professional photographer for a while about 20 years ago..of course shooting film..doing my own B&W Darkroom work, printing my own prints etc..Had to leave it for awhile and just came back to the digital world..I've been searching through all the forums on digital photography and am really disappointed at the lack of knowledge of basic photography by the majority of users of digital. The new younger photographers who never shot film seem to not know much about F stop, shutter speeds, ISO, depth of field etc...Digital has made it too easy to achieve an acceptable photo with little knowledge when everything is set to auto. In my mind, whether digital or film, the basics are the same..Ansel Adams Zone system is not obsolete..it translates to digital as well as I am learning. It has been an advantage to me to pick up my first DSLR and see that all of the terminology is the same (except now it is Noise instead of Grain). I know I am rambling a bit but good photos are made..they just don't happen..everyone is a photographer now..shooting with their cell phones and itty bitty digitals.....My friends look at my photos and ask "What kind of camera do you have that can do that?" The art of the photographer seems to have given way to the technology.

  2. #2
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    While I'd agree there are countless people just snapping away (a good thing if you ask me as everyone is now capturing there own little moment in time) there are many more people these days who have gotten interested in Photogrsphy, learned the principles and are producing outstanding images precisely because digital makes it easier. Look at the number of people out there who are experimenting by putting old primes onto the likes of a NEX or a Lumix. There must be plenty as the prices have rocketed. All of them understand f stops and focal lengths. Look at how well the Leica X1 and Fuji X100 have done, these are bought to be used properly.

    Photography is no longer an elitist pursuit it is open to all. If we go on the basis that it's not the camera it is the person behind it then really the camera doesn't matter. It might turn out that the photograph you look at, admire and wish you'd had the opportunity to take was produced with a mobile phone......no f stops and shutter speeds on one of those.

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    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Hi Travis, I have never been a professional photographer but I did come through the film era and experimented with my own processing. I also left this hobby for around 20 years and came back to digital with the objective of learning all I can.

    I have spent much time learning from forums and have found that in general the participants have a wealth of knowledge and understanding regardless of age. Forums also vary tremendously and you soon get to know which are best for your needs. What I do find frustrating on some forums are the 'I have bought a XXXX DSLR can someone explain how to use it please' questions that can so easily be found in the manual or a quick search online.

    Not really sure that the majority of those shooting with cell phones and P&Ss would consider themselves photographers but I bet some are !

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Hi Travis, the camera and darkroom have evolved tremendously over the years but regardless of how 'smart' the technology has become, there is still a world of difference between a snapshot and a salon print.

    Today's cameras have made tremendous strides in overcoming the technical aspects of taking a picture and there is digital darkroom software that can significantly improve the ease with which some post processing techniques can be applied, but to go beyond the basics, you still need to take the time and effort to learn the craft, particularly in the area of composition.

    Until you have developed a 'vision' for your composition it is very difficult to know what settings would work best in shooting the image. No amount of camera sophistication can solve that issue for you.

    Once you learn that, the technical advances in the camera become far less critical to getting a great image.

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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Travis,

    I grew up in the world of B&W darkrooms, with a camera that had a spot meter but did exactly nothing automatically. I have some sympathy for your reaction. If you look at forums (others more than this), you will find people who have no idea how (or why) to control aperture buying $2500 bodies and $1000 lenses. They post questions like "do you need L lenses to get a sharp image?" Edward Weston, I read once, left a total of roughly 6200 negatives from his entire career. Now people shoot hundreds at a time, assuming that eventually, one will be nice.

    But look at the bright side. Digital has tremendously expanded options for people who really do want to work at their craft. I did my own B&W darkroom work, but I never did any of my own color work back in the wet-lab days. It was simply too difficult. Now I do everything, including most of my own printing. I do a lot of macro work, which requires a lot of failed shots (because of razor-thin DOF and moving subects), but that is no longer a problem. You don't have to manage toxic chemicals. Recently, my wife wanted a cheerful card for a friend, and in a few minutes, I printed the image below, on very nice matte card stock. And on and on.

    Dan

    Newbi here and to digital

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    travis4567's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Thanks guys for the comments..Beautiful photo Dan. Looks like I joined the right forum.
    Travis

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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    My girlfriend's fathers old Pentax K1000 was my camera when I started, so when everybody and their mother bought a digital SLR and started "spraying and praying" I had 36 frames max. I'm really thankful to my girlfriend (who has been a photographer by hobby since she was 10 years old) for making me struggle with the fully manual, analog camera for six months before buying a digital one, as what I learned on the analog was priceless!

    As for the iPhone. I have done a bit of iPhone photography, as I joined Instagram, and I must admit it's fun. There is a saying: "The best camera is the one you have with you!". If you don't have a camera, you don't get a photo. If you see something you'd like to shoot, and all you have is your camera phone, then that's the best camera you get. You don't get f-stops, shutter speed, etc, but you can still use the rules of composition, and move around the subject/object to get the light right

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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Travis,

    You make some good points.

    Keep in mind this website's tagline, "A learning community for photographers." This leaves lots of room for a wide variety of photo skills and attitudes, though implicating that photographers who don't want to learn, regardless of their skill level, probably won't be a good fit here.

    My own story is that I have never gotten out of photography since I took it up 29 years ago. However, I spent more than the first two decades getting my camera out only on vacations once or twice a year. I just now looked up the data in my catalog and realized that it has been a rare month in the last five years that I have not captured some keepers. Though I don't use my camera every week, I do suffer from withdrawal when I don't. And as soon as I capture images, I can't wait to post-process and catalog them, as I find that every bit as enjoyable as releasing the shutter. Most recently, I began making monochrome conversions, so I have another whole new world of photography opening up to me. In a nutshell, digital photography has had a huge impact on how I spend my disposable time and the quality of my photography has increased exponentially.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 26th June 2012 at 12:54 PM.

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    travis4567's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Thanks Mike ..some really great points..I stopped photographing with film because my farsightedness restricted me from doing my own darkroom work..so I stopped taking photos. Picked up a digital camera 10 years ago and sold it after one week of use..the quality of the images was just crap. After reading tons of info here and elsewhere on the internet I decided to give it another try, thinking that the technology had gotten better..Picked up a Canon T3i, upgraded the kit lens and I am blown away at the possibilities this medium has in store for me. Have not explored post processing yet..Only been at this for a month. The ability to shoot multiple images and see the results immediately and make your adjustments is just so mind blowing to an old film photog..spending hours in the darkroom to produce the perfect print. Quite the adjustment for me but I am excited and looking forward to learning this medium and all that it has to offer an experienced film photographer.

  10. #10

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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    I can tell that you're gonna have a LOT of fun, Travis.

    You're in a rather unique position, so I wonder if I can convince you to document your transition to digital photography and keep us posted along the way with examples.

  11. #11
    travis4567's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Will do Mike, having fun with this medium already..Tried to upload some pics with not success..will keep trying..

  12. #12
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Quote Originally Posted by travis4567 View Post
    Tried to upload some pics with not success..
    Uploading is a bit tricky at first but quickly becomes a snap. Take a look at the FAQ at the top of the web page or click this link:

    How can I post images here? I usually use Option "a" as it doesn't require that I have my images posted to a web site first.

    Hope this helps!

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    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Welcome to CiC, Travis, I look forward to seeing your images. As Frank mentioned, uploading is sometimes tricky through tiny pics. What works for me is going directly to advanced when I post.

  14. #14
    travis4567's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Photo of my garden with the new Canon
    Newbi here and to digital

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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Hi Travis and welcome. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say. BUT ... We all had to start somewhere. Just to put things into perspective, my first half-way decent camera (a Pentax S1) cost me the equivalent of 6 weeks wages and took me a long time to save for.
    By contrast, my D700 with 50mm f1.8 cost the equivalent of less than 2 weeks wages and is a far better camera by a country mile.
    The point I'm trying to make is that photography is much more accessible today and no longer the preserve of the purist, or the wealthy. Broadly, I think that's a good thing but it does mean there's a whole lot more amateurs out there than there used to be.
    Still, that's why we're here to help them along the road. I'm sure, with your wealth of experience, you'll prove to be a valuable member of the forum and guide the less knowledgeable on their way to enlightenment.

  16. #16
    travis4567's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    Having fun with the new Canon

    Newbi here and to digital

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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    The second one is lookin' good, Travis.

  18. #18
    travis4567's Avatar
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    Re: Newbi here and to digital

    I'm not sure..yu think I left too much area out of focus??

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