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Thread: Learning This Passion

  1. #1
    yobenny's Avatar
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    Learning This Passion

    I have to say thank you to whoever create the tutorial pages, they are very good for a beginner and the information is clear and very easy to understand.

    I just priced an online degree in photography from the Art Institute Of Pittsburg.

    They only wanted $96,000 for it.

    I am usually totally out of my mind anyway from just being human, but 96K for an online degree in much of anything is so crazy that even I can't fathom it......

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    Re: Learning This Passion

    I am sure if you ask the right questions you will get the answers for free here and elsewhere on the net. That is despite many of the knowledgeable people do not have degrees either. A degree may help you get a job but is not neccessary to be a good photographer ... that you aleady have in you or never will.

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    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Interesting what do you think it is "in you" that makes or breaks it?

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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    Interesting what do you think it is "in you" that makes or breaks it?
    A professional needs to have great business skills, 90% business and 10% photography in terms of time (as a solo operator) I've heard said.
    As a great photographer - depends on your target audience? If it is popularity you wish, that's different to being accepted by your peers.
    Another way of thinking about it - everyone has 'something' in them that makes them great to someone else. .
    I know, not very helpful, but until the target audience is identified - difficult to assess.
    Thinking of the Gursky pic recently sold for many millions - most people here were not impressed, but enough people are to pay a fortune for it. I've seen many pics on this site alone that I consider to be far far better. But I don't buy multi-million dollar valued paintings, so who am I?
    Graham

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    Re: Learning This Passion

    IMO... Money is made in photography with technically good photographs that also include some artistic skill. The avant-guarde types of images: crooked, out of focus, fuzzy, grainy, badly framed etc., may get some kudos from some folks but they are really only good for hanging on coffee shop walls while the photographers who produced them are bussing tables to make money.

    IMO, a photographer would be best off equipment wide to have one decent camera (full frame is nice but not required), one top-notch mid range zoom lens such as the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L (series); 24-105mm f/4L IS; or the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS for 1.6x crop cameras. A good hotshoe flash capable of high speed sync, a flash bracket and a flash modifier such as the Joe Demb Flash Difuser Pro.

    If weddings or other one-time events are on the photographer's agenda: double the above gear. A wedding or event photographer cannot thake the change of not having back up equipment.

    A degree in photography is certainly not necessary but, a good portfolio IS PARAMOUNT.

    Shoot, shoot and shoot some more until the camera and lens + flash are just an extension of your eye.

    A wedding or event photographer needs to know his equipment so shooting is second nature.

    There are enough forums (this CiC is one of the best), websites and YouTube videos available to enable a photographer to become skilled in our art.

    A piece of paper, expecially from an online degree, is not required, nor will it necessarily get you any work. OTOH, classes in person from a photo oriented educational institution (not a college that incidentally has photo courses) will help you be gaining you contacts.

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    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Thanks for the input, I bought a nikon 3200 that came with two lenses and quickly learned that I had bought a beginners camera for sure and wasn't too happy about some things about it.
    However I think that when I learn enough to become frustrated with it's limitations is when I need to consider upgrading.

    I have a relative who has a degree in photography and has been shooting weddings etc for several years.
    People who have seen both his and my images say mine are better than his are.
    (the consumer)
    Which to me says a lot about taking them. Consumers can look at a picture and have no clue how it was done, they just know if they like it or not. When they prefer raw amateur to seasoned professional, it says something about how they should be shot in the first place, but I don't know what that is.
    Good business skills seem obvious and I DO have a degree in that one, but to me, you can wave paper and degrees and this in that in people's faces until the cows come home, what tells the story is the work, and how they react to it. Nobody cares if you have a degree if you can deliver stunning images.
    Thats why I would at least learn about it fairly in depth, just to see how people reacted to them, before I would even remotely consider paying 90k to learn how to do it. No, thats wrong, I would NEVER consider doing that, it's ridiculously overpriced and I cant think of a word more outlandish than ridiculous.

    I have wondered about how our emotions shape what we see and what comes out in our images, just like someone is heartbroken from a fallen love and they write a song that paints how they feel. Expressionism. Not just what you see but how it makes you feel. I dont know if I can do that, but I think that if I could, I would have to be really paying attention to how I really do feel to be able to see it in the world around me and capture it.
    Like for instance, trust. How do you depict trust? Or sorrow? A raging house fire does not depict sorrow to me, the horror on the little girls face that lived there does. Or is it just horror?
    Also interesting to me is how to depict the unspoken rules of nature that govern the living from the Apex predator to the timid herbivore without depicting a bloody finale to the law?
    Anyway it is certainly an interesting activity with scores of levels in it.

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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Hi Benny, I wish the D3200 was available when I bought my D3100 but I don't feel that I've learned how to get the best out of my D3100 yet so lusting for a D3200 is not all that critical to me at this time.

    Some day when I get good at photography and have the budget for it, I may upgrade but so far my camera has not stood in the way of getting images within my current shooting skill set.

    Over time you will develop a sense for what is holding you back and you'll know what makes sense to upgrade and why. Meanwhile, keep shooting, posting, learning from the feedback, and improving.

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    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Something I am really frustrated with is a maximum shutter speed of 1/200 to sinc with a flash. For stop action in places where additional light is needed, (such as a hummingbird feeder in the shade) I am having to settle for less than what I know is achievable by some camera somewhere.
    Ramping the ISO up and opening up the lens instead makes them grainy and hardly enough DOF to catch them clearly.
    I also wish that instead of having these "automatic" settings for child, landscape, portrait etc., they would leave those settings open, so that you could put your own set of parameters in for those situations for a quick jump to a basic setting when the situation appeared that is yours, and one look at the viewfinder and you know exactly what you need to do to it. And the dang thing allow you to do it, which it doesn't in these settings from the maker. Each one has it's own restrictions and I just dont like that. I find myself always in Manual except when something is happening so quickly that I jump to auto just to capture it in some form.
    I guess Im saying I wish they were ALL manual but programmable to your idea of what they need to be.
    I know the technology for that is there right in the camera, it's no leap in space.

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    Rebellion's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    I totally agree with this thought

  10. #10
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Hi Benny, I shoot primarily available light and rarely use flash but from what I've read, both Canon and Nikon focal plane shutters are limited to either 1/200 or 1/250 sec. I believe some cameras have electronic shutters that can sync at higher speeds but I'm not sure which ones have that or what the tradeoff's might be.

    Perhaps you can find a camera that meets all of you needs and if so, I'd appreciate hearing about your research results.

  11. #11
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Hi Benny, if high shutter speeds with flash is what your after you can use high speed sync which should allow you to go up to 1/8000. with nikon this feature is called auto fp, but unfortunately i dont think your cam has it. but all is not lost, im pretty certain you will be able to do it with a set of pocket wizards, but i could be wrong, youll have to do a bit of research

  12. #12
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    Something I am really frustrated with is a maximum shutter speed of 1/200 to sinc with a flash. For stop action in places where additional light is needed, (such as a hummingbird feeder in the shade) I am having to settle for less than what I know is achievable by some camera somewhere.
    There are two workarounds to this problem.

    1. Set your camera to low ISO and low aperture and use your flash at synch speed. This will minimize the contribution of the ambient light to the picture and the 1/1000th or faster flash will freeze the hummingbird in flight; and

    2. Get a dedicated flash for the camera that supports High Speed Synch (HSS). This allows you to use the camera at any shutter speed, including the fastest speed your camera has. In this mode, the flash pulses during the entire shutter travel.

    If you want a camera with a faster maximum synch speed, you will need a camera that has a leaf shutter, rather than a focal plane shutter. These were quite common in film cameras with fixed lenses a few decades back, as the shutter was built into the lens. The only camera that still has this feature that I know of is the Hasselblad. These shutters sych up to 1/500th sec.

    I also wish that instead of having these "automatic" settings for child, landscape, portrait etc., they would leave those settings open, so that you could put your own set of parameters in for those situations for a quick jump to a basic setting when the situation appeared that is yours, and one look at the viewfinder and you know exactly what you need to do to it. And the dang thing allow you to do it, which it doesn't in these settings from the maker. Each one has it's own restrictions and I just dont like that. I find myself always in Manual except when something is happening so quickly that I jump to auto just to capture it in some form.
    In the Nikon line, both the D7000 and D600 have this feature; really two user programable buttons. I don't know about the Canons or other lines. With some of the other Nikons, they have programable "banks" that do the same thing, but are accessed from the menu.

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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Hi Benny,

    You make some interesting points here, many of which strike a cord with me too

    I think, with the right flash gun/strobe, you may be able to shoot at higher shutter speeds, even with the D3200 - but I may be mistaken, I have no personal flash use experience to call upon.

    UPDATE reading Manfred's post above, it seems I may well be mistaken

    For Canon, this is much of their range, but for Nikon, I have read it may only be the top of the range SB900, but if you can afford it, it wouldn't be something you'd grow out of quickly - unless (perish the thought) you swapped to Canon or Sony (etc.) when you decide to 'upgrade' on the D3200 body.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Learning This Passion

    This to me is the argument between the focal plane shutter and the leaf or compur shutter. HSS Flash was introduced to overcome the dissadvantage of the focal plane shutter of the low 'sync' speed ... it used to be even lower with film cameras.
    The leaf shutter cannot achieve the high speeds that the FP does but does sync at whatever speed you use. These days the leaf shutter is only found in P&S, bridge, MF and LF cameras. Though with adaptors one might be able to organise one for an ILC.

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    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    " Set your camera to low ISO and low aperture and use your flash at synch speed. This will minimize the contribution of the ambient light to the picture and the 1/1000th or faster flash will freeze the hummingbird in flight"

    Grumpy are you saying shoot @ 1/200 with a low ISO (100) and open the lens?

    Well I am hearing that this problem isn't really a problem with this camera, it's with the process. I wonder why the sinc above that is so hard? Perhaps it would have to calculate distance before launching the flash and there isn't enough time? Anyway I guess I could avoid this all and just move my bird feeder into the sun ha ha ha ha.

    Well I have a lot to learn and thank you people for helping me wit dat a little bit.....

  16. #16
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Dave - I don't know all of the Nikon's and I don't know which features are / are not available on every model, so my answer was a bit generic.

    I do know Auto-FP (as Nikon refers to it) works on the D90 and D800 as I've used it on both, but it has to be activated via a menu setting. The built in flash on the D90 will not work at all in this mode and the one on the D800 is limited to 1/320, I believe. According to my manuals any of the CLS flashes other than the SB400 will work; up to 1/4000th on the D90 and up to 1/8000th on the D800.

    I have both an SB600 and SB900 and have used this feature with both.

  17. #17
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Here is a link to an explanation with images that shows what happens and why when synching too high a shutter speed with a focal plane shutter: http://digital-photography-school.co...ur-photo-shoot

    Hope this helps!

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Sorry Benny; I should have said small aperture, not low aperture. What you are trying to do is minimize the effect that the ambient light has on your exposure; so low ISO and SMALL aperture and shooting at the synch speed.

    What you are trying to do is get a camera setting that gives you a very dark image without the flash. When you hit the subject with your flash, the intense, but short burst from the flash will be the only effective light will be from the flash and will freeze the motion. You are going to have to experiment with your equipment to see what works.

  19. #19
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    Benny...

    Getting the first couple of wedding gigs are the most difficult! You don't have anyone to refer customers to you and you very likely don't have a portfolio showing a wedding.

    I belong to a losely knit group of photo clubs that occasionally "stages" a wedding for beginning wedding photographers. The consortium of clubs hires subjects to portray the wedding party and somehow gets the use of a church. Usually a skilled photographer is there to help new photographers.

    The new photographer learns a lot about shooting wedding images and usuallly ends up with a nice wedding portfolio. The bride is always pretty (and sometimes beautiful) and the groom is good looking so the wedding portfolio most often looks good.

    Another need, besides a portfolio is a decent, professionally printed business card. DON'T TRY TO PRINT YOUR OWN ON AN INK JET PRINTER. Those cards are seldom professional looking. Avoid the term: "FREE LANCE PHOTOGRAPHER" like the plague. That is sure to identify you as a neophyte.

    One you start getting wedding gigs, if you do a decent job and impress the wedding party and guests, you should start getting word of mouth advertising.

    I would look at the website of every wedding photographer you can find and see what the current trends are in that line of work.

    The more people you know (especially women) the more free advertising you will get. Men don't usually hire the photographer but, daddy usually pays. The bride and to a greater extent the mother of the bride and to a lesser extent, the mother of the groom are the folks you want to impress.

  20. #20
    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Learning This Passion

    My better half's daughter is getting married this weekend and I have been assigned backup photo duties for the pro who was hired to shoot it. I have talked to her she has no objection to that though I wasn't sure. And it's one of those sho nuff weddings too, and both bride and groom are adorable. So I will get some practice but I think hoping to use them for marketing is a little aggressive for a guy who has owned a decent camera for about a month. They really liked (and framed a couple) of the shots I took at the Bridal pics thing. I'm looking forward to it but sight unseen I am worrying about existing light inside a church, nothing to bounce off because the ceilings are so high and being able to swap out lenses if need be it seems like it will be a task to try and keep up with the pace of it. So I am going to try and go for a few less shots with a little better quality rather than try and produce a rounded presentation of the whole event. I have seen numerous places to host your images in a professional looking delivery so I plan to put them on one of these like smugmug etc.

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