Where to start??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by DanielleGoodPhotos, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. DanielleGoodPhotos

    DanielleGoodPhotos TPF Noob!

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    I have a Nikon D60 with 18-55mm & 55-200mm lenses. I use a Mac, so I have iPhoto for basic editing. Funds are extremely low right now, but I want to start working towards what I need. What did you find was most helpful to have when you were first starting out? What couldn't you live without? Basically, where in the world do I start!?!
    My main focus will be infant/children, family photography and occasional senior pictures in natural outdoor environments. Thanks so much!
     
  2. mammarazzi

    mammarazzi TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to it all too and others have told me that for portraits a good fixed lense like the 50mm f/1.8 is a good one. Only thing is with that you have to shoot manually with a D60. I'm waiting on mine to come in. It's only around like $125.
     
  3. stierzy34

    stierzy34 TPF Noob!

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    Although I just got a DSLR, the camera I had before it, I had to buy a circular polarizer. I shot a lot of pictures of cars though. A tripod is always a good addition as well for low light or long exposure pictures.

    Really though, go out, shoot, and have fun. You should have enough lens there to last you awhile!
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think one of the best investments you could make is to do a bit of research and find out how to make some light modifiers, like large,rectangular (NOT circular!) reflector panels using PVC pipes and fabrics in white, silver lame,and also transparent white fabrics for softening and diffusing natural light or electronic flash. Common words are panel, reflector, scrim, and reflector panel--they all are referring to a frame which has a fabric fitted to it, to either reflect light, subtract light, or to diffuse light. "Scrim lighting" is remarkably versatile,and is an entire discipline unto itself. Simple, and incredibly versatile and variable and suitable for many situations,and actually pretty inexpensive compared to larger softboxes,etc.

    To do successful outdoor photography, a person needs to be able to find good light, or to make good light out of marginal or poor light. Reflectors will allow you to fill-in shadows both indoors, and outdoors. Rectangular reflectors are MUCH easier to prop up, or to clamp, and you can make them yourself out of PVC pipe and pipe elbows,and a bit of DIY sweat equity. They are low-cost,but the value they give is very high. Round, collapsible reflectors are very portable, but they do not reflect nearly as much light,and they need special, high-priced grip equipment to get them to stay in position.

    A single 42x78 inch reflector panel can be fitted with white reflective, silver reflective, gold reflective, or subtractive black fabric, OR transparent white fabric--all held in place with 4 corner elastics. Look at the Scrim Jim line of factory products. These panels can also be used to bounce flash units off of, or you can shoot flash heads through the panels when the transparent white fabrics are mounted,and you have the ability to custom-adjust the light source to your needs, based on how far the lights are from the scrims. You can even remove the fabrics and place them on the ground,and you can also use the panels fitted with other fabrics for tight head shots. The guy who has the Lighting Magic web site has a ton of free lessons that you might wish to check out.

    One of my mentors told me about "scrim lighting" in the late 1970's. It is a commercial photography mainstay,and well worth checking into. It is remarkably adaptable to family photography.Diffusion Panels
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  5. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    "Really though, go out, shoot, and have fun. You should have enough lens there to last you awhile!"

    Good advice. Go out and take pictures. What you buy depends on how and what you shoot. So, shoot and see what you need.
     
  6. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In terms of equipment, a 50mm f/1.8 is probably your best purchase right now. Its a great portrait lens on a crop sensor camera like yours, and will help greatly in low light shots. However, on Nikons, you might have to get a more expensive version that has an autofocus motor in the lens. Nikonians can chime in in more detail on this, I shoot Canon and dont have that issue with the 50mm. If you get the cheapy $100 version, you will be manual focusing. Which can be good as it will force you to take time to setup a shot.

    After that, you are looking at getting an external flash unit, one that mounts on your hotshoe.

    If you are still into portraits, looking at ways to get that flash off camera (strobes, transmitters or extension wires) will be your next stop.

    Then looking at upgraded lenses and further down the road, camera body
     
  7. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    For me a fast mid range zoom is something I've found I 'need'... I had a Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 and sold it, regretted it and just bought a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 to replace it.

    Not only are they great walk around lenses but they are quite capable of portraits and around the house photos of the kids in action as well.
     
  8. DanielleGoodPhotos

    DanielleGoodPhotos TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone!!! I have a lot of researching to do now!
     

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