general questions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by motophoto, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. motophoto

    motophoto TPF Noob!

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    I am starting from scratch. I have no real knowledge of Potography, digital or other wise. I was hoping that someone would remember being in my position, and giving any opinions or help with this. Very excited to get going, and looking forward to working with all!
     
  2. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    I would love to help, as i am sure many others here will be to, but first is there any specific questions you have?
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Well i'd be happy to give any film related advice. If you'd like to go the film route as opposed to digital, here's a quick run down of some important things to get you started.

    1) Film is critical.
    a) Speed: It's rated by speed in terms of an ISO/ASA number. The lower the number, the more light it takes to expose the film. ISO 50 will take much more light to expose than ISO 400. The time difference is more of less exponential. For example, with ISO 800 film, if I want to take a night shot, I might open the shutter for 45 seconds. With ISO 50, i'll have to open it for about 3 minutes. The lower the speed, the less grain. Lower speed films also show more saturation. They'll produce richer colors, or deeper, more contrasty black and white shots. Ilford is probably the brand of choice for black and white. Fuji slide film is probably the film of choice for color.

    2)Shutter: Is the thing that opens in order to expose the film to the light. Most cameras use what's called a focal plane shutter, which is basically a piece of plastic or metal inside the camera body. It slides open vertically or horizontally in order to expose the film to light. Then there are leaf shutters. Leaf shutters are built into some lenses and are made of "leaves" of metal or plastic in a spiral pattern, that open in a circular fashion when you trip the shutter. Whether you use a focal plane or leaf shutter makes no difference unless you're doing flash work. I can go into more detail about that if you'd like.

    3)Aperture: Aperture is what limits the actual amount of light that hits the film when you trip the shutter. It's built into the lens, not the camera itself. A wide aperture will let more light into the camera when you trip the shutter, while a narrow aperture will let less light in. It's measured in what are called "stops" or "f stops." The aperture ring on your lens will have number that say things like 4.5, 8, 11, 16, 22, etc. Those are the aperture settings or "stops." If you shoot with a wide aperture, this will flatten the perspective in your photo. If you shoot with a narrow aperture, this will give you a lot of "Depth of Field," which is more or less the amount of three dimensional perspective there is in your 2-D photo.

    Shutter Speed: You'll have to change your shutter speed depending on three different things. 1) How wide the aperture is. 2) How fast your film is. 3) How well-lit the area is that you're shooting. Dim light, slow film, narrow aperture, or any combination of those means that you'll have to slow the shutter speed, i.e. keep the shutter open longer in order to expose the film to more light.

    Metering: Most modern cameras will have a built in light meter. The light meter tells you what the shutter speed should be depending on those three factors i listed above.

    The best advice i can give you is to play around with your camera. If there are things about it that you don't understand, then go to your local camera shop and ask someone. They'll be happy to explain it all to you, and then some. Just have fun with it. Toy around with different settings and see how the shots turn out. Good luck!
     
  4. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    the FAQ is technically informative, but I think lacks some context.
     
  6. motophoto

    motophoto TPF Noob!

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    Yes, first, I am basically getting into this to photograph motorcycles, still and moving. What would be the best type of camera, and would you suggest using a digital camera apposed to another?
     
  7. motophoto

    motophoto TPF Noob!

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    And since I haven't purchased a camera, would you make some suggestions on a starter camera?
     
  8. motophoto

    motophoto TPF Noob!

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    Max, Jess, thanks so much for helping. Need to do alot more reading up on the subject. But so excited about researching with you all. I have gone into different stores to look, but afraid they will just be making a sale. Would love to get your input first.
     
  9. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Well if youa re shooting anything moving i would recomend getting some form of mid range comsumer digital, a point and shoot. Canon Power Shot, or Nikon Coolpx cameras are great for starters. The reason i recomend these is because even on the the cheap ones you can change your shutter speeds. That gives you a blurred motion effect.

    Unless you are going to buy a SLR film camera, i would not recemmend starting with film. The good thing is, for about 150$-200$ you can get a good, used film SLR camera such as the Canon AE-1, with a lens.

    It really depends on how much you intend on spending as to which camera to buy. But as i said, i would go for a mid range point and shoot camera. And based on that note this: look at the lens on it, make sure it is a good one, ask the sales men. Also make sure it can go into manual modes, most of the new ones can.

    Happy to help, keep on asking.
     

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