What Photography Courses would you recommend??

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by bixbooh, May 2, 2007.

  1. bixbooh

    bixbooh TPF Noob!

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    I am just starting out in photography (for money that is). I have not had any formal training, but I have taken pictures for my family for years. Recently I did some senior pictures for my niece and engagement pictures for a cousin. Word is getting around that I "do" photos. While I think this would be a great profession, I would like to actually learn a little before getting serious. I am really struggling with lighting. I use a Sony F828 with external flash and I have a couple of lights with umbrellas. However when I use the umbrellas my images are burnt. I have received a couple of flyers for a New York Institute of Photography but am wondering if they are the best or are is there another place I can take some online courses? (I live in the middle of SD, thus an actual "in person" class is out of the question.)
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    There are so many different topics in photography...the courses you should look at will depend on what you want to (or need to) learn. Lighting for portraiture, for example.

    Just a quick question, when using external lights, how are you determining your exposure? and are you using continuous or strobe (flash) lights? If you are using flash, you should probably be using a flash meter because your in-camera meter will be useless (although, you can always shoot and then adjust your settings).

    I've heard/seen several people take courses from NYIP, but many of them don't follow through because it they were not 'into' learning in that way.

    Where is 'SD'?
     
  3. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    NYIT has a good reputation for on-line training and they have been doing it for a long time. Some folks would argue that a community college course would be a better choice, and that is certainly a viable option for some. Each option have of course, it's own pro's & con's. I would think that an on-line course such as NYIT would be a good choice for someone whose schedule is such that attending a class locally is out of the question, or where there are no local courses available. Like anything you get out of it what you put into it.
     
  4. bixbooh

    bixbooh TPF Noob!

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    SD, Is South Dakota. When using my lights with umbrellas, they are continuous. My external flash, is just that flash. As far as determining exposure... I have found that my dsc-f828 works best to use the automatic features... I have never used a flash monitor. The professional I used to work for used one but I would have no idea on how to make is work...

    The f828 camera takes excellent nature pictures, very clear and great color. People, especially inside are another story. I am finding that my pictures are coming back soft with terrible color. I use Photoshop and adjust lighting so they look "exceptable" to me but when they come back... well that is another story. (I've tried monitor calibration (Spyder2 express) and if anyone would like to purchase it, I am open to offers.... really)

    What is the learning style of NYIP? You mentioned many people aren't into "that" style of learning...

    Thanks for the help.
     
  5. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    The learning style is all done via internet, reading books and other material provided to you as part of your registration cost and then completing assignments that are then critiqued by an instructor on an audio tape. Some people prefer the traditional classrom environment, so this kind of study may be frustrating for them. But then there are those who like or prefer this kind of study so you just have to decide what works best for you and what resources are available to you.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    The style is just the over the internet, self-motivated style. I guess people find it too hard to keep motivated.

    The Sony F### cameras have a bad reputation, from what I've heard. Especially the color etc. when shooting at higher ISO setting (like you might be doing indoors). They may not be any worse than other small sensor cameras...but for the price, you could get something better. The problem is the size of the sensor, and all the pixels they cram onto the tiny sensor. A DSLR will have a much larger sensor and produce much better results. If/when you decide to upgrade your camera, I suggest going with a DSLR. In the mean time, you seem to know your camera's strong suits and limits...so try to stick to that.
     
  7. bixbooh

    bixbooh TPF Noob!

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    When I upgrade. What kind of equipment is a must. Are there certain brands that are better than others. The photographer I worked for used Mamiya, I think. I would like to use soley digital though. (I like see my image immediately, must be the beginner in me. I also don't mind playing in Photoshop...)
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    The brand doesn't really matter all that much...all of the leading brands make great cameras. The important part is that you should want something with a larger sensor than all those 'digi-cams'. That will probably mean a digital SLR camera. Besides the larger sensor, you would have interchangeable lenses, which gives you the opportunity to use fantastic lenses.

    Canon and Nikon are the leading brands but there are others that are good as well. Pentax, Sony (bought out Minolta), Sigma etc.
     
  9. bixbooh

    bixbooh TPF Noob!

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    As far as sensor size what is recommendable for dslr? Also what would be a range of lenses if you were starting out. There is a lot of money in photography up here (six figures if I want it bad enough...) so it will be worth the commitment once I've improved my skills and feel like I know my head from my....
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    Well, when talking about DSLR cameras, most of the sensors are what we call APS-C sized. They are slightly smaller than 35mm film. Most of Canon's are this size and all of Nikon's. Some have a slightly smaller sensor than that.

    There are a few 'full frame' sensors in Canon's line up...meaning that they are the same size as 35mm film. The 5D and the 1Ds are full frame.

    Typically, bigger is better because it produces a cleaner image, especially at higher ISO settings. Even a 6 mega pixel DSLR will produce better images than your Sony which is 8MP (isn't is?).

    To take it a step further, they do have digital cameras with sensors even bigger. Hasselblad, Mamiya etc....but those are very expensive and usually only for high end pros and rich hobbyists.

    As for what lenses to start out with...that depends. There are plenty of good choices...Canon & Nikon especially have a great range of lenses...from cheap consumer quality right up to top of the line professional lenses. If you plan to make a lot of money as a pro...it would be good to invest in top quality lenses right off the bat. The good news is that pro lenses hold their value very well. You could buy one, use it for years and then sell it for 80-95% of what you paid for it.

    If you narrow down a budget and more specific uses...we could give more specific recommendations.
     
  11. bixbooh

    bixbooh TPF Noob!

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    Wow, you have helped A LOT! Thank you!
     

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