What to get when just starting?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by beginer1, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. beginer1

    beginer1 TPF Noob!

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    Any suggestions on what I should purchase for portraits? I will be working out of my home, probably in the basement :confused: and I'm not sure what I need to get started.
     
  2. ajkramer87

    ajkramer87 TPF Noob!

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    Not to be rude but if you dont know what you need your not ready for that. Also google is a great tool to start with.
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^ +1
    Do you have any specific questions? I mean, you'll need a background system, lighting, camera, lenses, etc etc. Where do you want to start?
     
  4. beginer1

    beginer1 TPF Noob!

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    :er: I realize I'm not ready to take photos "professionally"...I'm simply wanting to get started and I am practicing on family. Thought I would ask for some tips on where to "step up" a bit...
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    I'd suggest starting with reading several books (websites) and maybe some classes etc.

    You really don't need a lot of equipment to take portraits. With just a window and a reflector, a good photographer can create fantastic portraits. Of course, there is a lot of equipment to choose from....but it's not really a matter of 'what you should purchase to get started'....it's more of getting what you need and/or using your creativity to work with what you have.

    One bit of advice...when looking to purchase lighting, I'd suggest flash/strobe type lighting instead of a continuous type of lighting.
     
  6. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I dont get this at all.

    Someone wants to start doing portraits and asks what equipment is needed to start out and therefore they shouldn't be doing portraits?

    How is one to learn if they aren't supposed to buy gear to learn with?!?
     
  7. beginer1

    beginer1 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you! That's helpful!
     
  8. beginer1

    beginer1 TPF Noob!

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    THANK YOU! I thought that was the point of this beginners forum...to ask questions that may seem kinda stupid!
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'd say if you want to "step up" a bit, you ought to purchase something like a 30 to 32 in reflecting umbrella, a decent eight to ten foot light stand, and a flash of some type, to go with the umbrella. I suggest the smaller umbrella size of 30 to 32 inches because it gives some directionality to the light, and creates crisper, more-defined shadows than a larger umbrella does at the same distance. By reflecting umbrella, I mean something like the Photoflex RUT model white-interior, black-backed umbrella that they call a convertible umbrella. I am not a big fan of shoot-through umbrellas for beginners, since they spread light all over the shooting area, and I thin k the look is less pleasing than a reflecting umbrella. With a smaller umbrella, like a 30 to 32 inch sized one, you will be able to see how the exact positioning of the main light source works,and you'll get some shadows at normal portrait lighting distances, which will help you learn how and where to place the umbrella. At longer than normal distances, a 30 to 32 inch reflecting umbrella will give just slightly hard light--softer than a bare flash by a significant margin, but not mushy.

    If you want to progress, you'll need information and understanding. The Strobist blog spot is a good source of both for beginning off-camera flash users--the articles there are pretty easy to understand,and they have a Flickr connection that's hard to beat. Whatever gear you get, try and use it regularly, to get a feel for it. Shoot, download,review,learn. Don't wait too long between shooting and reviewing. I think the Adorama FLashpoint 320 monolight, light stand, and 40 inch umbrella for $139 shipped from Adorama's web site would help you, since it has a modeling light in the monolight flash head, and the modeling light will show you the shadows created by the flash, before you shoot AS YOU POSITION the light. THat is one big difference between studio flash and speedlight flash; with the studio flash units, you can literally SEE where the catchlights and shadows fall, before tripping a shot. Not so with speedligts. A 40 inch umbrella will be close enough to a 30 or 32, but still, the smaller umbrella is a different type of source than a 40 to 43 incher--the smaller umbrella is crisper, and well, smaller and more compact.

    Have fun.
     
  10. Nameless

    Nameless TPF Noob!

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    Can you be a little more specific on what your looking for? Are you asking about camera equipment or studio setup? If your asking about studio setup, then like Big Mike said, you really don't need much to take portraits.

    Can you be a little more specific? Also, if you give us your budget, it will be easier to point you to what you can get/need to get.
     
  11. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You might want to list what you already have. My first reaction to your post was- a camera. List your gear specifically and you will get some very helpful responses.





    p!nK
     
  12. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    Considering i am still a noob a portraiture,

    this is the stuff i got when i started.

    i got myself a 50mm 1.8. its a great portrait lens for someone on a budjet.
    i upgraded my d60 to a d90 since the d90 have the commander mode and a fewer more option that i wanted.
    to get more out of my money, my choice stopped on a sb-600/tripod and a softbox and a large reflector.
    since its easily portable (no need for power cable or batery pack) i can use it on camera and off camera using CLS.
    a gray card.
    and a bounce card ( cheap really usefull)

    overall this is pretty much the only stuff you need to get yourself busy for a while.
     

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