need help with course work

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by bug72, Mar 10, 2011.

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  1. bug72

    bug72 TPF Noob!

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    I'm taking an online course and looking for some help with the questions at the end of a unit. I'll probably be posting them all as I'm new to photography and most of this is over my head. I read all the material and did research and I'm such a newbie that I'm still not getting it. Just to make it clear I don't want someone to say ok here is the answer, I really do what to know why.

    So here is the question: An advertising agency has hired you to photograph individual “pack shots” of a range of packet soups. The soups come in small rectangular boxes, which have a glossy finish. They want the pack to look heroic and important.

    And this is the equipment we can use:
    ␣Two small format DSLR cameras with full sized 35mm sensors
    ␣20mm lens
    ␣24mm tilt-shift lens
    ␣35mm lens
    ␣50mm lens
    ␣90mm tilt-shift lens
    ␣100mm macro lens
    ␣135mm lens
    ␣300mm lens
    ␣Neutral Density Filter
    ␣Polarizing Filter
    ␣Two quick cycle portable flash units made specifically for your cameras ␣Transportable studio flash gear
    ␣Tripod
    ␣Monopod

    This is the best I can do: I'm pretty sure I will need a tripod to get really clear in focus shots. I'm also sure I will need a polarizing filter to reduce the glare off the packaging. I'm not even sure what they mean by "pack shots". Sigh. A wide angle lens would make the soup packet look bigger so would that make it look "heroic"? I don't really understand what a tilt shift lens does. Ugh I'm so out of my depth!

    Thanks for any ideas, I really want to understand the why of this.


     
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  2. impulsive1

    impulsive1 TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like you are in over your head a bit. IMO you might want to contact the academic advisor to help you decide if this is the right course for you. Or talk to the online instructor to get a better understanding of the project. There are plenty of knowledgeable people on this forum but it's usually best to go to the source to get a better idea of what this course is requiring from you. Do you have any of the equipment you can use for this project or have access to it?
     
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  3. bug72

    bug72 TPF Noob!

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    I do have a Nikon d90 and some lens but this question is just written, you don't need the equipment. I read a chapter, did some online research and I'm just to answer the questions not actually do the work. I just thought there would be people here I could bounce ideas off of. Clearly these questions are difficult for me or I wouldn't have posted! :) But I was hoping experience photographers would be willing to discuss them.

    Thanks anyhow.
     
  4. Jace

    Jace TPF Noob!

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    Just curious, but are you paying for the lessons, or are they some of the free ones online?
     
  5. bug72

    bug72 TPF Noob!

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    its paid at Photography Institute. I've taken some basic photo classes locally. And I joined a local photography club and I'm so dissed there cuz I'm a beginner, they treat me like they don't have time for my questions. They only talk about what competitions they are entering and what they are entering. If I ask a beginner question they all roll their eyes. Everyone tells me go out and take a lot of pictures. Ok I've done that. Read books, done that too. I'm enjoying the other students in this online school and looking over the material in the first chapter I've learned a lot however I do feel many of the students have more experience then I do, some already get paid for their work... they do wedding, senior pictures. So again I'm a rank beginner in a more advanced space. I don't live near any schools that I can actually attend (i'm in the boonies).
     
  6. Jace

    Jace TPF Noob!

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    It just seems like they should have told you what all these items are before giving them to you in a multiple choice. So, I would google what I don't know before answering. (Sorry I can't help, I'm a noob myself)
     
  7. bug72

    bug72 TPF Noob!

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    Well I did get some basics, say a long telephoto lens is useful for wildlife photography and some sports... so one of the questions is about sports so I picked a telephoto lens for that one. And that wide angles are often used for interiors so I picked a wide angle for that question but there are 3 or so questions that I just can't decide on.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    I tend to agree with the others in that if you feel so 'out of your depth', then maybe you aren't in the right class for your knowledge or skill level.
    Normally, a class assignment has to do with material that was previously covered in that class...so what have you learned in class so far?

    Anyway, here is my two cents on the problem.
    When I hear 'heroic', I'm thinking that something looks big...and to get that effect, you want to make it as if the viewer is small. On other words, shoot up at it. I'd guess that it would also help to shoot with a wide angle lens and get fairly close to it, thus introducing some wide angle distortion.
    If they want you to talk about the lighting, then you need to consider the reflectivity of the box. You said it had a 'glossy' finish, which probably means that it has some properties of direct reflection (possibly some polarized direct reflection, but I wouldn't count on it), but I'm sure it would also have properties of diffuse reflection. So if you want a highlight to appear on the box, then you would place a light within the family of angles...if you don't, then you would place your lights outside the family of angle.

    Getting proper exposure is a given, and should be something that was learned well before this type of class.

    Using a tripod may or may not be necessary. The use of flash units means that you can get sharp shots even if the camera or subject is moving, depending on the ambient light and your exposure settings. Again, this is stuff that should be prerequisite to an assignment like this.
     
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  9. bug72

    bug72 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your ideas... some of the other lessons are not quite as hard as this one (at least from what I can tell) some of them I feel I already understand the basics of that particular lesson. And judging from the other students some lessons are hard for some and not for others. So I don't think the whole thing will be this difficult for me. Again I'm not looking for someone to say ok here is the answer, I'm just looking for others ideas, then I'll refine mine I guess (or not as the case may be). Since this is the very first lesson I guess I just need to bounce some of it off someone else. Most of this is about lens selection for the various scenarios they outline.

    Again, thanks you gave me a lot to think about.
     
  10. impulsive1

    impulsive1 TPF Noob!

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    I misunderstood your first post thinking you actually had to take the photo with some of the listed equipment. Was not trying to discourage you or anything. Good luck and sorry I couldn't help out.
     
  11. bug72

    bug72 TPF Noob!

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    Ahhh its all helpful, nope this lesson is mostly about selecting the right lens and we were told that there isn't necessarily one right answer for all the questions but I need to explain my choice. We do need to say if we'd use one of the filters in the "kit" we are working with, tripod or not, and a basic lighting set up. This lesson is all just written, next lesson we start to shoot. I feel more comfortable with the shooting part then this one.
     
  12. rlemert

    rlemert No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A quick google search of "pack shots" and "tilt-shift lens" brought up wikipedia pages that described the terms/devices. The first item, along with the comment about "heroic" shots, should allow you to think about how you might want the pictures to appear. Once you have this in mind, use your understanding of the different equipment (including the second item above) to decide which will give you the effect you want.
     
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