A nice long list of photography related questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Rachelsne, May 16, 2008.

  1. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    Ok so as I am trying to learn as much as I can and I keep posting random questions about simple things, I thought I would try and think of all my nooby questions and list them.

    I hope by asking these it will help others too, Ill also link to this thread from the FAQ thread.

    If one question has been answered but you wasn't to add your 2 cents, please do so

    Ok so here goes.

    How often do you use your tripod, and what do you use it for?
    e.g 50% of the time when shooting portraits, never, only land scapes, always....

    What do you think is the most important piece of kit to own and why.
    e.g for portraits maybe you could never be without your flash, or bird photographers without your tripod...

    What has been your best resource for learning ?
    (apart from this forum of course)

    How long did it take you to become a 'pro'?

    (defined by having a real photography business and earning money from it (part time or full time)

    What when using a lens what is the recommended shutter speeds in relation to length?
    I read some where that if you have a lens of 300mm then you should shoot 1/300 is that correct Post a link if you have one...

    How do some people manage to set thier camera settings so fast?
    Assuming they are not on Auto or P, is it because when you take pictures for a long time you look at whats in front of you and you just know what settings you should be using? I seem to be so much slower than other people around me.

    What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    I may add more questions, as I am sure I had more, but now as I come to write them down I cant remember all of them.

    When you crop in your editing programs do you always use photo proportions?
    I have a friend who takes film pictues and she loves long and thin pictures,some pictures look outstanding with unusual crops but is it really practcal as frames would be expensive and hard to come by.

    Thank you for helping me with these and :heart::lovey:previous questions!:hail::hug::
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well I will answer what I can:
    At the moment I use my tripod for almost every single shot - I am mostly using my sigma lens *see sig* and find that handheld its just too unreliable (especially when at the 200-300mm end). Stick it on to my tripod and suddenly I get much better shots and a better keeper rate.
    I have even used it when tracking birds in the sky (once or twice) and I think its a very key part of any kit - especially if you don't have an IS lenses.
    well barring the camera and the lenses I will have to say my tripod - it makes getting those shots right so much easier even if its more weight to carry
    So far my best "resource" for learning has been the Internet and forums (sorry but its the boring truth). I think the only way to really beat the advice you can find online is with a tutor/mentor. Books are good and are great sources of fixed information and great references, but the Internet gives you that interaction with others.
    Not a pro = but if you would like to know its been 5 months and a few weeks getting this far
    I recall hearing and reading that you should never go below your lenses focal length in speed (say you are shooting at 300mm you should not go below 1/300sec) when hand held. On a tripod, wall, monopod you can go much lower if you choose
    I think this is down to several things; firstly knowing your kit and practise with it - the more you do the faster, in time, you will get; secondly I believe many of the high end cameras have more custom button settings - allowing a user to switch settings much quicker
    Get your camera = go out = and play with it as much as you can (note this applies to all cameras, but is mostly a comment aimed at DSLR users - simply because of cost and other such things on SLRs)

    Myself at the moment I crop a shot to look its best (as best as I can at least) mostly as I still have a long way to go to getting the shot perfect in camera before editing. I don't worry about frames at the moment as I am not pro with my stuff - were I to move pro though I would recon that staying within certain limits would be very important - you have to consider getting things framed for your client.
     
  3. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    How often do you use your tripod, and what do you use it for?
    Maybe 5% of the time - probably not often enough. Usually, it's when doing some still life stuff

    What do you think is the most important piece of kit to own and why.
    My brain and a sense of visual awareness?

    What has been your best resource for learning ?
    As it's been quite a while since I started, I'd have to say a whole series of magazines (Creative Camera specifically) and a John Hedgecoe manual

    How long did it take you to become a 'pro'?

    When I manage that I'll let you know how long it took

    What when using a lens what is the recommended shutter speeds in relation to length?
    Think its the inverse of the focal length. So 50mm = 1/60th, 135mm = 1/125th, 200mm = 1/200th and so on

    How do some people manage to set their camera settings so fast?
    It's just knowing your camera and using it as often as you can until it's ingrained - I've had my 350D for over 2 years and still need to get the manual out.

    What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    Don't believe everything you read on the internet

    When you crop in your editing programs do you always use photo proportions?Mostly, because that that's how I've thought about the original framing of the shot. The vast majority of my shots aren't cropped at all. I began in the era where cropping was done in camera
     
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  4. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    How often do you use your tripod, and what do you use it for?
    About 40% of the time I guess. If the subject is being nice and not moving then I will try to get the tripod out so I can focus stack easier.

    What do you think is the most important piece of kit to own and why.
    Besides camera and lenses, my flash. It would be almost impossible to shoot at higher levels of magnification without it.

    What has been your best resource for learning ?
    Other people.

    How long did it take you to become a 'pro'?

    I have made money shooting before, contract type stuff, but never what I would consider a "true" pro.

    What when using a lens what is the recommended shutter speeds in relation to length?
    This has already been answered.

    How do some people manage to set their camera settings so fast?
    Practice, Practice, Practice. I almost always shoot full manual, and know my camera's controls inside and out.

    What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    Shoot as much as you can.
     
  5. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    1. I rarely use my tripod. More often than not, I can find a somewhat horizontal surface and use my custom-made bean bag.

    2. Most important piece of "kit" is gee, I don't know.

    3. In the past, I read a lot. Now, I learn through experimentation. Also helps to call Nikon's hot-line occasionally.

    4. I'm not a pro. Hell, I'm not even a good amateur!

    5. Shutter speed = 1/(150% of focal length) because the 1/(focal length) guideline assumes a 35mm FoV. VR pretty much makes this discussion moot.

    6. I don't know the answer with any certainty. I would think that many years of experience help a lot.

    7. Don't take any wooden nickels.
     
  6. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the answers so far, Ive just added another question at the bottom of the list
     
  7. Jim H

    Jim H TPF Noob!

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    How often do you use your tripod, and what do you use it for?
    Slippery slope. I use it 100% of the time when I know in advance that the situation calls for it.

    What do you think is the most important piece of kit to own and why.
    I know you were looking for specifics - but for me it is good glass. As to the why - all comes down to opportunities. Indoor wedding without flash, wildlife as the sun is going down, etc.

    What has been your best resource for learning ?
    Other photographers

    How long did it take you to become a 'pro'?

    Such a subjective term. Think there are far to many levels of pro. Let's chat again after I get my M.Photog and Cr.Photog (maybe 5 and 20 years from now)

    When using a lens what is the recommended shutter speeds in relation to length?
    You have quoted a textbook answer yourself. My instructor from WAY back always said to double that.
    How do some people manage to set thier camera settings so fast?
    Practice, practice, practice and an excellent understanding of exposure.

    What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    Take the shot anyway.

    When you crop in your editing programs do you always use photo proportions?
    Always crop to by 8x10x72dpi for web display.
     
  8. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    Fun thread. :eek:)

    How often do you use your tripod, and what do you use it for?
    I hardly ever use a tripod. Maybe if I did a different kind of photography... But, IS is my friend. :eek:)

    What do you think is the most important piece of kit to own and why.
    This is a hard question. Can I cheat a little? A good lens, and a capable flash. :wink:

    What has been your best resource for learning ?
    The willingness, and desire, to find insight, information, and advice wherever possible. Way too many hours on forums. Lots of books. Lots of conversations. Lots of shooting.

    How long did it take you to become a 'pro'?
    Years. Hard to say how many... The line between hobbyist and pro is blurry.

    What when using a lens what is the recommended shutter speeds in relation to length?
    This depends on a few things. Focal length - shorter is more forgiving, subject, individual ability, and IS. A good starting place is 1/focal length. But, that's not a rule by any stretch. Watch your images and see if you need to go faster or can handle slower.

    [/I]How do some people manage to set their camera settings so fast?
    Lots of practice is a big part of it. Knowing your camera body with your eyes closed. And, the camera itself play a small part. Do you have two control wheels, or just one?

    What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    Personally, it would be more business related than photography - which says something right there. Photography-wise? Pick up an old art text book - and then a bunch more. Look at the old masters.

    When you crop in your editing programs do you always use photo proportions?
    Yep. Almost always... For clients, it's easier to sell. Other times, people aren't used to looking at strange sizes and it throws them.
     
  9. AndrewG

    AndrewG TPF Noob!

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    1. Tripod. For landscapes and anything indoors requiring long exposures-I never use flash.
    2. Kit. Hand-held light meter because an incident light reading will give a more accurate exposure in some situations than a reflected light reading from the meter in the camera.
    3. Best resource. Books of photographs by some of the greats; Cartier-Bresson, Steichen, Kertesz etc.
    4. Best advice. Buy a fully manual, non-autofocus, non-programmable 35mm film camera, one 50mm f1.8 lens and go out and learn the relationships between aperture and shutter speed, composition and accurate exposure so you don't have the option of fixing a poor picture using digital trickery... THEN, once you know the fundamentals get a DSLR and a computer and use the valuable knowledge you will have gained.
     
  10. PattiS

    PattiS TPF Noob!

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    How often do you use your tripod, and what do you use it for?
    I never use a tripod.

    What do you think is the most important piece of kit to own and why.
    I love my 5D and prime lenses (35mm, 50mm, 85mm. 100mm, 135mm).

    What has been your best resource for learning ?
    early on:
    Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
    classes at BetterPhoto.com
    more recently:
    learning from other professionals at seminars/workshops and in online forums

    How long did it take you to become a 'pro'?
    About a year after I decided it was what I wanted to do.

    What when using a lens what is the recommended shutter speeds in relation to length?
    I don't follow any hard fast rules, although I do try to keep my shutters over 250ish.

    How do some people manage to set thier camera settings so fast?
    PRACTICE! :)

    What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    Keep yourself in your photography- ALL of your work should be your personal work.

    When you crop in your editing programs do you always use photo proportions?
    Yes.
     
  11. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    How often do you use your tripod, and what do you use it for?
    e.g 50% of the time when shooting portraits, never, only land scapes, always....

    I rarely use a tripod, but for longer exposure sunrise or sunset shots they're a must. Even VR/IS won't help you at expsoures longer than 1s, and in general you want to be at the lowest possible ISO or these types of shots anyways. A lot of this is style dependent though. If you're in a studio or you do portaits a lot you'll be on a tripod all the time, but this isn't my thing.

    What do you think is the most important piece of kit to own and why.
    e.g for portraits maybe you could never be without your flash, or bird photographers without your tripod...

    A good "Mark I Eyeball"! :lol: All the gear in the world will not get you great photos unless you have an eye for good shots, and the inspiration to get them. For people shots though, good flash and/or lighting techniques will make a much bigger difference than any fancy lens. And for outdoor and scenic stuff, a good alarm clock! Want to catch that first magical light? You'll need to be up and well on your way to your location while most people are still sleeping. And understanding spouse will help too, when you rudely leave dinner to catch that magical sunset while most people are eating or chatting. :)

    What has been your best resource for learning ?
    (apart from this forum of course)

    Ken Rockwell's Tech Guide is a great resource for anyone into landscape/scenic type work, and for other stuff as well. It's one of the best sites out there for photography. A lot of the tech stuff isn't brand specific so anybody can benefit, although it's mainly a Nikon oriented site. Ken isn't a serious people/portrait shooter guy though, so for that I've just surfed around some of the forums seeing what other people are able to achieve. NikonCafe is a personal favorite for that, in paticular Lens Lust and the People/Portraiture/Weddings forum.

    How long did it take you to become a 'pro'?
    (defined by having a real photography business and earning money from it (part time or full time)

    N/A here, but in 2 years since I got into DSLRs (had a photographic interest long before that) I'd say I've learned enough to easily do part-time or full-time photography if I wanted to, although I still have a lot to learn. I'm one of those people with the mindset that the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know, and the stupider I feel. :confused: Not exactly great for confidence, but I've done professional level work and gigs and wouldn't hesitate to do it given the time. Full-time job and a 1yr old at home with my wife working too = very little free time to do anything even on the side.


    What when using a lens what is the recommended shutter speeds in relation to length?
    I read some where that if you have a lens of 300mm then you should shoot 1/300 is that correct Post a link if you have one...

    Some people say you need to do 1/450 for 300mm (1.5/1.6x crop factor) but I've never had a problem hand-holding at the traditional 1/focal length rule. I think this was more important in the film days where you needed an extra margin since you couldn't instantly review or delete or retake shots if they were blurred. Take the shot, look at your LCD, and if it's blurry delete and take it over. I can commonly get by with some pretty stupidly slow shutter speeds vs focal length, and it's no big deal on digital if you're in marginal light to take a couple of shots and just pick the sharpest one.

    How do some people manage to set thier camera settings so fast?
    Assuming they are not on Auto or P, is it because when you take pictures for a long time you look at whats in front of you and you just know what settings you should be using? I seem to be so much slower than other people around me.

    Most of that comes with experience.

    What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    I may add more questions, as I am sure I had more, but now as I come to write them down I cant remember all of them.

    Your Camera Doesn't Matter :mrgreen:

    When you crop in your editing programs do you always use photo proportions?
    I have a friend who takes film pictues and she loves long and thin pictures,some pictures look outstanding with unusual crops but is it really practcal as frames would be expensive and hard to come by.

    I don't crop in my editing programs - I crop at the printer. I never know what I might do so I just leave it full-sized.
     
  12. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How often do you use your tripod, and what do you use it for?
    Anytime there is time and patience for it.
    Always for panoramas. Often for landscape and architecture, Always at night. For sports I usually use a monopod. I hardly ever use it for speeds beyond 1/1000.

    What do you think is the most important piece of kit to own and why.
    My cameras and my lenses. without them I could not take any pictures ;)

    What has been your best resource for learning ?
    Trial and error since very young, not much reading.


    How long did it take you to become a 'pro'?

    Not a pro, never planned to be one.

    What when using a lens what is the recommended shutter speeds in relation to length?

    People say 1/(focal length) is what you can do handheld on small format (35mm). But this is only a very rough number. As stated by others, with smaller sensors you have to adjust this. But also it really depends on the final print size you want to achieve. For a slide projected on the wall or a huge print, or if you crop alot, 1/(focal length) might be very slow! Also, it depends on the person, how steady your hands are, and it depends on how exhausted you are. On some wilderness trips there were moments where I could not hold my camera steady enough for 1/(3x focal length) ;)

    How do some people manage to set thier camera settings so fast?
    just training ... you get better with time and use your brain less and less. but there are also moments where i miss the shot since i was too slow.

    What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    Hmm, I think when someone said I should not stick to the format of my recording medium (4x3 or 3x2).

    When you crop in your editing programs do you always use photo proportions?
    see above ;) I do not print small scale for albums. Hence I am not bound to standard formats there.
     

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