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Newbie with Questions - Photography Basics

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Previous Entry Newbie with Questions Mar. 7th, 2009 @ 08:41 pm Next Entry
Hi, all. My name is Zanne and I'm a long-time dabbler in photography, but I'm just now starting to get serious about it.  I'm really interested in doing this as a serious hobby and maybe side business if I'm lucky. I'm currently taking a B&W film class at my college, and absolutely love it, but I definitely prefer digital. I'm currently shooting with a Kodak EasyShare Z710 that I've had for a few years, and I'm wanting to expand and get a SLR to use. Which cameras would you recommend for a beginner, who wants to learn and get better, something I can grow with?

Also what kind of things should I get for a basic photo kit? I've got a tripod already thanks to my uncle, who's a serious photographer, but what else? I've heard all this talk about different lenses, and mounted flash, and diffusers, and all sorts of stuff, and it all goes over my head. I want to be able to shoot inside and outside, portraits, nature, and just everyday things too. I also don't have much room either (lovely dorm life) so anything that breaks down, or folds up is a plus as well.

Photography is something of a new/rediscovered passion for me as of now, so any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated as I turn, or attempt to turn, into a serious photographer.

Thanks in advance,
Zanne
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From:texmorgan
Date:March 8th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)
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Hi Zanne! Welcome to the community.

Personally, I'd start with something simple, a SLR with a 17-55mm lens, and then work yourself up from there. Personally, I like to let my lens collection grow only when I feel I've used up all the potential for the lens or I feel limited by the ones I have.

I'd stay away from flash use as it tends to really distort the colors you can get if you just adjust your shutter speed.

I've worked in the past with Olympus's E300 series and currently I'm using a Canon Tsi. Since you're kind of new, I'd look into a camera with presets for the things you want to do and then learn how to use the manual settings.

If you have any other questions, just ask around here as someone will have the answer.
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From:otakudreamer06
Date:March 8th, 2009 08:40 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the nice welcome!

I'm currently using a Nikon N70 in my film class, and I like its style. I'm learning to use the manual settings through that. My teacher recommended either a Canon Rebel or one of the Nikons, for my personal digital use. Any opinion on those?
From:texmorgan
Date:March 13th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
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I've never used a Nikon but if it's working well for you I advise you to keep with it. I love my Canon and the more I learn about it, the more I love it.

Also, you might want to look around for some do it yourself stuff if you want to work with light boxes or things like that.
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From:panophobia
Date:March 8th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
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I agree with the above on the Olympus E300 or even E500 cameras. They're a lot of fun! You can control it a lot (my favorite is the white balance settings can actually be changed in Kelvin, which I think makes it a little more interesting to control than "Sunshine, Cloudy, Tungsten..." even though it essentially can be the same thing). I used to shoot with one quite a bit professionally, and now one of my friends who is just starting in photography loves hers.

For Nikon, go for a D40, D70, or even the D80 is really cheap now. Nikons are great mostly for their lenses (I'd say get a nice all around lens, or two ..17-55, 70-300), so when and if you decide to upgrade the body, you can take your lenses along with you.

For the longest time my camera kit was just the camera and lenses. It's all you realllly need if you're a creative shooter, and willing to try sometimes silly and unorthodox on-the-fly methods. The tri-pod will be handy for indoor shooting, low light situations...I'd stay away from a flash personally, but investing in a good one may be worth it depending on your style. A lot of times it seems this will be based off the type of camera you choose.

For diffusers and filters, you can look into UV filters? Again, my camera bag was only basic lenses and a body for a long time, and if I wanted something to cover the front of my lens I made it up as I went along. (Like if I wanted a crazy fog effect on trees I diffused the light into my lens with different colored nylons.) These are things that you don't really need right away, and can be picked up as your style develops or as needed...easy to add depending on the lenses you choose.

I would suggest, especially for portraits, is to find yourself a light weight, sturdy step stool. Really successful portraits utilize a variety of angles, and it's really handy when you want a more birds-eye view. It's not something you'll want to carry everywhere but if you're finding yourself in situations when you want to scale walls or climb trees to get the shot you want, get a ladder. ;)
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From:conquest_cody
Date:August 3rd, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
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when you say nylons...do you mean like pantee hoses? like under dresses
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From:panophobia
Date:August 3rd, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
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Yes I do!
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From:conquest_cody
Date:August 3rd, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
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lol
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