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Author Topic: For Photo Geeks  (Read 302 times)

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Offline MuninnTopic starter

For Photo Geeks
« on: March 19, 2010, 08:17:19 AM »
(Note: I am hoping this is the right area for this!)

All right E-people, I need any of your photo enthusiasts, hobbiests, semi-pro or even professional photographer's input and idea sharing.

Ya see, long story short: I've been interested in photography for years but just recently got myself a DSLR camera as of about 6 months ago and have been steadily working out my photography muscle (it's still on the weak side if you ask me).  I know one of the ways to improve my skill is to get better equipment, experiment and practice, practice, practice.   I have also been doing some reading both online and through buying some recommended literature that has me really inspired.

So far I have been shooting with just one lens (my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8) since I am being a cheap bastard but I am in the market for a second lens, as well as some other gear such as a tripod, a ballhead, and a polarized filter. I've spent the good part of this week reading online reviews and comparing prices for these very things and it all has my head spinning with numbers (you see, I am currently living in Japan and the price for gear is usually around $50+ more expensive than what is listed on B&H).

I'm even thinking of starting a quiet little photoblog to get myself to take more pictures and to talk about them...

Anyone have any tips/suggestions/stories?

My Gear:
- Canon EOS 40D (my baby! :D)
- Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD (it's my little lens that could)
- Kenko 67mm UV filter (Yeah.. I've read Kenko isn't a very good brand but it seems they have a monopoly over here in Japan!! I can't find anything else)
- Small Lowepro bag (that holds my camera and has space for two lenses)
more soon!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 08:19:15 AM by Muninn »

Offline stormsfury

Re: For Photo Geeks
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 09:49:42 AM »
Good luck in the endeavour, first off. Photography is a a hobby for my partner as well. I take some shots too, but I mostly do wildlife in some form or another. She's set up with a Canon Digital Rebel xTi, a macro lens, and a telephoto that she's quickly outgrowing, as well as some other stuff...tripod, UV filter, etc. Practice seems to be the best advice, out there as you can take great pictures on inexpensive equipment. Take several shots of a photo you're trying to snap to ensure that at least one turns out the way you want, and I know that's somewhat easier to do on a Digital Camera as opposed to a film camera, but that's a rule of thumb even before Digital. Taking pics of wildlife I shoot through a ton of shots just to try and get the "money" shot, so to speak. It pays off in the end. I used a telephoto lens and got close enough to get a shot of an alligator that looks like I am literally a few feet from him, and that was well worth the effort. You said you're experimenting and that's a great way to learn new techniques or take interesting shots too. :D One of the most important things to learn, no matter what else, is how to frame a shot to get the best picture quality. It's as important as how an artist lays out their canvas, and really browsing photos to look at the composition is the best way to learn outside of taking a photography class.

Also, Visit photography web sites and forums, we've found that most photographers are very willing to give advice and tips to those new to the field. You might even save a few bucks on literature if you find the right sites. This is one my partner found very helpful: http://www.photographytips.com/ , but there are tons out there. I couldn't even begin to list all the sites she's found that offer great advice. There are ones devoted to styles like wildlife photography and that sort of thing, so whatever you're looking for is out there.

Offline Ket

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Re: For Photo Geeks
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 04:14:40 PM »
Put a Canon lens on a Canon body.  No ifs ands or buts about it.  When it comes to glass, Canon has some of the best there is. The color will be brighter, the image sharper. I'm not saying run out and toss thousands on L series glass, but you can pick up a decent 75-300 for around $150 which will work fine, especially if you're using a tripod. You're in Japan, so you're in Canon country.

When it comes to filters, I'm cheap. I have one circular polarizer and one UV filter. Most filter effects can now be done in post processing, but if I really want a particular filter, I'll rent it. Renting lenses can be a way to go as well, especially if you're only going to use it for certain shots.

Photography equipment doesn't come cheap.  But many times you can find used equipment that is still in great condition for much lower prices.

If you're ever thinking about starting out in macro - try starting out with a Canon S3 or S5.  It's a higher end point and shoot, but will run you less money than a good macro lens, and takes awesome macro shots. I have one that I use for macro or for when I don't feel like lugging around my big body. They have a great lens on them.