I am a beginner and I need HELP!!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bangyourdead, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. bangyourdead

    bangyourdead TPF Noob!

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    Hi my name is Roy and I am from Lakeland, Tennessee.

    Here is my deal! My wife and I are looking to get into simple in-home photography. We have a 5 month old daughter that we are constantly taking to the photo studios around Memphis to get pictures taken. After some bad experience with customer service from the studios and feeling like were getting ripped off. We have finally decided to do our own thing. Now, here is my line of questions.

    What camera should I buy?


    What kind of lighting should I buy?


    What type of lenses should I buy?


    Thank you, thank you, thank you for any input that you put forth. We are wanting to take the correct steps in buying all of these items. I realize that I am going to have to invest a lot of money to get going. But my daughter and and other family members are worth every penny! Thanks, Roy
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ...because photography is so easy, anyone can do it.

    :popcorn:
     
  3. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well....

    Camera. Nikon D3X.
    Light. Couple of SB-900's with stands and shoot throughs.
    Lens. Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8G gets a lot of good reviews. Might wanna pick up a Nikkor 10-24 f/2.8 for some wide shots.

    If this is out of your budget, you might wanna let us know what your budget is. Also, what your experience level is with photography.





    p!nK
     
  4. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    Speaking as an amateur myself, I can't emphasize enough that the best thing you can do right now is RESEARCH research research! Before you even spend a penny on any type of photography equipment, learn about the art itself. Learn what makes a great picture- and THEN learn what "gear" you need to achieve that. Learn about aperture, exposure, composition etc... Perhaps spend a bit on some books before you buy anything else.

    There are some very helpful people on these forums, but I have to admit, the tone of your post seems to imply you've fallen under the mistaken impression that the gear is all that makes the pictures- when it's just not true. It's more about the person behind the camera. A computer is only as useful as its user is competent to use it. A camera will only turn out the results you want if you learn how to make it do what you want to achieve.

    Once you have had time to really delve into this, I'd say go try out a few cameras at the shop. Research reviews, and hold some actual cameras in your hand. Youtube is GREAT for reviews and information, as well as these forums.

    Then- seriously consider if what you need is an SLR. If you're just doing it to save money and not spend it on professionals in portrait studios, but you're not really "into" photography as a hobby, you might be happier with a good point and shoot. A great SLR isn't going to give you much better results than a point and shoot unless you really are interested in learning how to use it.

    Lastly, why do you feel you're being ripped off by portrait studios? Have you considered the time and money they've put into developing their art? The equipment they have to maintain, the insurance, the back up gear, the work at building a customer base, the education, the experience... and ultimately the professional results EVERY time? I have yet to come across any photographer or studio that I felt was "ripping people off..." especially the more I learn and understand what is involved in what they do.

    Best of luck, if you decide to take up photography, I hope you fall as much in love as many here have :)
     
  5. bangyourdead

    bangyourdead TPF Noob!

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    I knew someone would have something smart to say. I am just looking for some help man and this looked like the place for some info. I am sorry.
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No no he will need
    Profoto D1 Studio Kit 1000/1000 Air Flash Head + 1 Profoto Air Remote - 999-547B - 901054

    one of these
    Hasselblad H4D-60 camera - without lens on Dale Photographic Online
     
  7. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, sorry. I forget that I am only allowed to post positive reaffirming remarks. :meh:

    Good luck on your endeavor.
     
  8. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    I also wanted to add a short story to help demonstrate what I was trying to say.

    My husband enjoys using our new camera also, but he's not quite as into it as I have been. Last night, he wanted to step outside and take some shots of a garden near our home. When he came back, he was very disappointed as he downloaded the results to the computer. They were all either overexposed or blurred.

    So... he spent some time reading, learning, and testing some settings. Went back out later, and took shots that were vastly improved. Good focus, good exposure, pleasant to view.

    What was the difference? He didn't need to buy the best gear. He didn't need to upgrade our camera body, buy new lighting or change lenses. It was about HIM using the tool we have to the best of HIS ability, and producing far better results than just relying on the gear alone.
     
  9. bangyourdead

    bangyourdead TPF Noob!

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    Wow. I guess I took the wrong tone also huh? Once again I am sorry if I went about this the wrong way. I really didn't know where to start with my questioning. I have always liked photography, my mom always owned really nice cameras growing up. So I was always tinkering with them. I do realize that it seems that everyone and there brother "thinks" that they are a photographer and I respect any and everyone that truly does this as a job and hobby.

    What I meant by ripping off is we have been going to the JCPenneys and or Sears photo studios to have the pics done. We have not felt the quality of the pictures have been that great. I do recognize that is not the only places to have photography done. But we are on a budget and have to be careful with the money that we spend.

    As far as my budget. I am willing to put about 3 to 4 grand into this to get me up and running. I know that I have a lot of learning to before I can have decent looking pics. My wife and I are enrolling in a couple of photography classes once we decide on our camera.


    Once again, I am very sorry if I insulted anyone. I am not here to downgrade what photographers can do. I am here to learn you art.
     
  10. FattyMcJ

    FattyMcJ TPF Noob!

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    I don't think you insulted her, she didn't sound offended in her post, in fact she was very helpful IMO.

    Good information can be had here on this forum, but you have to do a little digging for it and wading through the useless posts and snide remarks of some.

    My $0.02...

    First you'll want to decide which brand you'd like to buy into. I say buy into, because you're not just buying a camera, you're buying into a line of products including the camera body/lenses/accessories. The big one is lenses, but we'll get to that.

    So, for the camera here is a link of what I'd consider the top three "Entry Level" DSLR's. Trust me, they each have more functions than you'll know what to do with, but the basics are all the same so all will be good in your future photo classes.

    Compare cameras

    Obviously I'm biased toward Pentax, but it's mostly personal preference. Get them in your hands and feel which one you like. Ultimately, if you don't like holding it, you won't want to take pictures with it.

    Lenses, for portrait work a lot of folks use the "Nifty Fifty" lens, some like a longer focal length for a bit of an extended "personal bubble" and different look in the photos, while others like a shorter length for a much closer "in your face" look. For a kid, I'd suggest just use the kit lens that comes with the camera and maybe pick up a cheap manual focus 50mm f/1.x to play with and learn until you decide whether you like closer or farther shots. Those two lenses will give you excellent photos to begin with, but eventually you'll want to upgrade. By that time, you'll know what you want and won't need suggestions.

    Lighting: This is pretty basic. You can make do with cheap materials "DIY" style, or you can buy a more "Pro" kit. I'd suggest using what you have first, i.e the sun coming in a large living room window diffused by a thin white curtain; then go from there. Start small, buy a simple 24" reflector first, learn to bounce light from the window to fill the shadows; then maybe an off camera flash using an umbrella or softbox, and keep going.

    Also, here's a thread from a member on this site regarding kid portraits. She's fantastic and uses VERY simple studio equipment that can be had for much less than your budget, not to mention she uses the window/curtain method I mentioned above and get's fantastic results.
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/people-photography/190903-pullbacks-set-ups-hth.html


    Another thing I'd consider essential for portraits/studio work would be a tripod. Get a good, sturdy, rock solid tripod with your choice of heads (Ball head or pan/tilt head). You're not going backpacking so the big metal tripods work great for in-home/studio use.

    If you're wanting to go all out and buy everything up front...don't. You'll end up buying stuff you may not need/want, or you'll end up wanting to upgrade to larger/different proucts. Start slow, trust me.

    But...if you must buy everything up front, here's some links of products that I think would work well for starting out, they aren't too pricey and won't kill you if you want to upgrade down the road.

    Lightstand/Umbrella combo pack. SPOCFAKIT Studio Pro Off-Camera Shoe Mount Flash Accessory Kit, with Lightstands, Umbrellas & Case

    Tough/Rugged Flash (fully manual): 233965 Vivitar 285HV Non-Dedicated Shoe Mount Flash with a Maximum Guide Number of 140 @ ISO 100

    Tripod legs: 190XPROB Manfrotto 190XPROB 3 Section Black Aluminum Pro Tripod Legs (Height 3.15" - 57", Maximum Load 11 lbs)

    Ball head: 496RC2 Manfrotto Compact Ball Head 496 with RC2 Rapid Connect Plate, Maximum Load: 13.2 lbs/ 6 kg
    Pant/Tilt Head: 391RC2 Manfrotto 391RC2 Pan & Tilt Head with RC2 Quick Release - Supports 11.00 lb

    The camera/lenses you'll have to research on your own, it's too much of a personal choice.

    I hope that helps! :mrgreen:
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  11. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Yes.


    No problem. You just need to go back and read your post, and then realize that we see a lot of people on here who just show up and think that they can throw thousands of $$ at this and get pro results right away. Many on here have been at it for a very long time, and this is very off-putting real quick. There are many here who are very generous with their help, but also like to help those who are willing to put in some effort.



    Don't worry about him. You just had the pleasure of meeting our own town Shrek right off the bat, but he's actually a pretty good guy once you've been around for a while (sorry Bitter :lol:)
     
  12. er111a

    er111a TPF Noob!

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    canon xsi with a prime lens
     

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