Another Beginner with No Self Esteem

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rebelnewbie, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. rebelnewbie

    rebelnewbie TPF Noob!

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    I was kidding about the self esteem. I thought it might arouse interest ... hehe.

    I am getting into photography by way of my decision to be a freelance designer. I have been a graphic designer for a while, but in office situations where the photography is taken care of for the most part. The majority of my work to date has been product photography.

    I have a couple of basic questions in order to get the most out of my camera and lens I purchased. I went with a the Sigma 18-50 EX Macro lens with a new Rebel XT.

    With the photography I have done, I almost always prefer sans flash photos. The photos with flash seem "cold" in the color department and too bright to me. However, they seem to focus better. The photos without flash seem a little on the orange side (probably my lightbulbs?). I like the effect, but I want to be able to achieve more natural color as well.

    Speaking of focus, I have noticed sans flash can be more easily out of focus, or is this my imagination? This is even while autofocus is intact. Should I be using manual focus instead?

    Lastly, I have only used lights around the house and whatever is available at the time. Can someone suggest some compact, affordable, versatile lights?

    I have more questions, like any beginner, but I know I've rambled enough. Oh yeah, my very last question:

    Do you consider photoshop cheating? I almost never get the exact coloring and lighting/tint I'm looking for otherwise. I have extensive knowledge in photoshop. If I were to have a nice collection of photographs taken by me, would that make me a "good photographer" or just a "good photoshopper?" In short, is it only "good" if your desired results come from extensive knowledge of lighting etc. rather than post editing?
     
  2. rebelnewbie

    rebelnewbie TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    no flash. lighting consists of household lamps. blown out in one area. hence the need for lighting tips suggestions.
     
  3. rebelnewbie

    rebelnewbie TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
    product photography. LOTS of daylight behind me. no flash.

    The last photo is blurry at the tip of the boot. Is this okay?
     
  4. rebelnewbie

    rebelnewbie TPF Noob!

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    eample of "orange" or "yellow" light. I actually like the way it looks. Is this considered to be "bad" in practice? Again lighting. What should I use for a more natural look?
     
  5. crystal_lynn

    crystal_lynn I am sure I sound childish

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  6. rebelnewbie

    rebelnewbie TPF Noob!

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    Lastly, this is my example of "cheating." Frowned upon? I make the photo black and white and repaint with a multipied layer to acheive a vintage film kind of look. Kind of like the old Coca-Cola girls.
     
  7. pregnantcowlady

    pregnantcowlady TPF Noob!

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    1. i've heard home depot lights work pretty well if you don't want to get a hot shoe flash or expensive setup.

    2. the focus could be the lens not being able to get enough light to actually focus well.

    3. natural color comes with natural light. i never use flash either, that's why you have to go somewhere where the light is good. or you could just pp it later. either way. and yes, they can turn yellow sometimes ( i dont know if its due to bulbs)

    4. i used to consider pp cheating, but you have to think that a good photographer looks for composition, moments, light, and unique shots. pp only makes these things better. you can tell a good photographer by his picture no matter what, but if you see a picture with great pp, and you can tell that the focus is offcentered, compositionally it just sucks, there's a difference in my opinion. some people just cant get the shot.

    donno if that helps. ask me to elaborate more and i will. my mind doesent do a good job of explaining. :)
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm guessing that what you don't like about the flash photography you have done...is the quality of the light. The built-in flash is small and rather close to the lens, which results in very flat lighting. You can use flash and still solve all of your color issues, but it would really help if you had an off-camera flash.

    I'm betting that the focus isn't an issue...but you are probably getting blurry photos because of longer shutter speeds...which are a necessity because of low light levels. Long shutter speeds will cause blurry photos when either the camera or subject are moving. So putting the camera on a tripod (and using a remote or the self timer) would also help. You don't have this problem with flash because the burst of light is actually much faster than the shutter and freezes the movement/blur.

    There are any number of choices. What is your budget and what exactly are you shooting?

    So do, some don't. As long as you aren't trying to pass off a photo as something it's not...I don't have a problem with it. (don't say it's untouched when it is). Altering photos has been around as long as photography...ever hear of a dark room :er:
    Today, a 'good photographer' is usually someone who has good ability both with the camera and 'digital darkroom' tools.
     
  9. pregnantcowlady

    pregnantcowlady TPF Noob!

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    sometimes i've seen if you get a cheapo lamp and put it out of the picture, it helps. she looks great except for the top of her. maybe next time turn on some lights on the ceiling? i would have loved to see the natural light from the half-open window
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For lighting advice, I suggest looking for a book about portrait or studio lighting. The type of lighting matters much less than actually understanding light and knowing what to do with it.
     
  11. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    This site will really help you also to understand many different lighting techniques, setups, and where to get equipment:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/

    There is a lot of helpful info there. They have "assignments" you can do and post to a Flickr group.

    They show you how to get a relatively cheap setup using off-camera strobes, I'm starting to build up my lighting setup using this site.
     
  12. rebelnewbie

    rebelnewbie TPF Noob!

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    So, not to be an idiot, but can you link me to specific examples on Home Depot's site? Budget is definitely a huge concern for me, since I recently went freelance. I'm not exactly making a killing yet. I want to see what kind of light, what kind of bulb for the best coloration, and how many watts they should be. I am assuming two lights will be good?

    Another question. Is it important for me to get an external flash? Can I go on learning more without using the flash at all. I just don't like the stock flash one bit. Is flash photography neccessary for certain things? I have notcied externals run a few hundred bucks, and I just don't have the cabbage right now. Also - what is the major (function and price) difference between the external flashes you attach and the big triggered umbrella flashes (what do you call them)?
     

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