Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Question from a Newbie  (Read 7326 times)
Marshal
Guest
« on: October 24, 2002, 12:33:11 AM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']There are many excellent books published for the sake of teaching outdoor photography as well as those simply made as "coffee table" books that you can still learn a lot from.

John Shaw has an outstanding book called the "Field Guide to Nature Photography" or something to that effect. I think John Netherton may have published a similar book. My "landscape photography bible" so to speak is still, after all these years, the late Galen Rowell's Mountain Light. It doesn't get real technical, but is still very readable and close to 20 years later still very relevant, even in the digital age. Some things about photography don't change. All the best and most high-tech gear in the world can't replace the essential and most important computer running that camera,... you.

Spend time learning from not only technical minded books, but also pay careful attention to what kind of light the photos were taken in, what angle, weather, etc. And those things you can pick up just from paying careful attention to the photos in those coffee table type books. Light On The Land by Art Wolfe is wonderful. Gary Braasch's book about the patterns in nature, or was that William Neill? I think both have done educational photo books like that.

Go to a book store like Barnes & Noble where you can sit down and leisurely look through several books and get a feel for whether they have the kind of info you need. Also the photography section in many university libraries. I've spent many hours, entire afternoons at a local university library looking through and enjoying the photo books and magazines.[/font]
Logged
flash
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 151


« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2002, 06:56:17 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']The potential list is endless. I have to agree that John Shaws book is an excellent starting point for everything landscape. Your needs may differ but after much experementation I have ended up with the following.

2x film bodies.
17-35mm
50mm f1.8
70-200 f4L
1.4x
2x
Good quality tripod
Filters: Grey grads, polariser, 81A and 81B.
90mm macro lens.
cable release.
downpour proof camera bag (billingham)

And an Xpan with 45mm and 90mm lenses.

I have other stuff but this is a kit that works really well for me and may help as a starting point.

Gordon[/font]
Logged
Marshal
Guest
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2002, 12:18:27 AM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Very nice pics Matthew. [/font]
Logged
MatthewCromer
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 411


« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2002, 08:23:03 AM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']I think there are probably two answers to the original question.

If cheever wants to start building a collection of equipment to take high-quality landscape photographs, it would make sense to pick up a Canon or Nikon film body and start purchasing top quality lenses.  Using Provia and Velvia with good-quality lenses will equal or surpass in absolute image quality digital systems that cost more.

If instead the goal is to take his or her photography to the "next level", I don't think anything can beat a digital camera.  You can pick up a Sony DSC-F707 digicam for $500.  If you have the money, go ahead and pick up one of the digital SLRs.

Digital cameras have two huge advantages for teaching photography.  First, and most importantly, you can see the results of your photography immediately, or even before you take the shot if you use one of the consumer cams with live TTL LCD/EFV.  Second, you have made taking pictures free, so you are now able to experiment, play around, bracket, try different things without worrying about the impact on your wallet.

I find a lot of other advantages for digital cameras such as workflow advantages.  There are also some disadvantages today, such as a huge price for medium-format image quality or large-format image quality in the digital realm.[/font]
Logged
Dan Sroka
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 594


WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2002, 05:19:11 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Make a pinhole camera. Use a rock as a tripod. The rest is extra. [/font]
Logged
Dan Sroka
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 594


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2002, 06:03:25 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']It sounds like you have the right attitude!

One bit of advice: don't let the draw of new equipment throw you off track. If you are like me, you love playing with the new toys -- it is tough to resist! But what you have now is definitely workable. Will it let you print razor-sharp wall-sized panoramics? No. But so what? Your goal is to learn, and what you have will let you do that.

The best "equipment" you'll be able to buy yourself right now is the time to go and shoot. I've heard of people getting an extra job to afford equipment they no longer have time to use. Being able to isolate a couple hours a day, or a weekend, or a week to go an shoot is an expensive but necessary "tool" to have. Especially with landscape photography -- you need to be able to get to the landscapes (unless you are lucky, and live in Yosemite or Banff!)[/font]
Logged
James Pierce
Guest
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2002, 08:33:24 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']I'll weigh in here with my 2 cents.  You need to find a camera that you like using, that makes pictures you are happy with.  Once that is done - start on a project.  Decide that you will produce 20 mounted prints at the end of the year, or 10 pictures printed as postcards to give away, or whaterver.  The project doesn't matter, just make it a subject and end results that you can get excited about.  It is hard to produce good when when you are just taking pictures aimlessly.[/font]
Logged
cheever
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 95


« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2002, 06:24:04 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Hello!

I wasn't sure where to post this so sorry if I am not posting it in the correct location.  I have been into photography for about seven years now.  I still cosider myself a amateur, but I understand most of the basics of the art.  What I am wondering is if anyone has any suggestions to help me move up to the next level. (I know experience is the most important)  I'm thinking along the lines of a book or even new equipment suggestions.  As you probably guessed I mostly want to do landscape photography.  Thanks for any help you all can give.[/font]
Logged
cheever
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 95


« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2002, 09:45:27 AM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Hey thanks!  Also does anyone have any advice on stuff like must have hardware or a generic list of hardware that would get one started in landscape photography?  Thanks[/font]
Logged
MatthewCromer
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 411


« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2002, 11:32:55 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']My suggestion:  Get a digital camera.

This year, in the 8 months I have had my digital camera, I have been able to shoot 14,000 frames because of the lack of cost.  Plus, I have immediate feedback on my shot available.  I've only been shooting for the past year seriously.

If you can afford it, the new Digital SLRs will provide the best results.  If not, the top-line prosumers will provide good image quality in a reasonable set of focal lengths.  I use a Sony DSC-F707 (5 MP) with a sharp Carl Zeiss lens.  I do expose carefully and use ISO 100 with my landscape images, and don't have any particular problems with noise because of this.

I'll be buying a dSLR over the next year or so, as my budget allows.

Here is a link so you can see some of what I've been able to take with my Sony.

http://www.pbase.com/sdaconsulting/favorite_work[/font]
Logged
AWeil
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 166


WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2002, 04:23:06 AM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Well, there you go. With this simple question you end up in the middle of the discussion on digital vs analogue.
My suggestion? Get traditional equippment first, preferably a camera that lets you do everything manually if you want to. I think of stuff like the nikon F4, there is a similar canon from the same time period and other makers - one or two of the lenses described above are the perfect start. However, when it comes to lenses get the best you can possibly afford.
At any rate, look for a brand that has been moving in a strong digital position and has a system that will let you use your quality lenses on the digital camera you will buy say two or three years from now.  
The reasons:
1. With this type of equippment, you get to learn the craft in its basic structure and the typical automatic features as well.
2. It is available preowned, in good condition and at surprisingly low prices these days since a lot of people switch to digital and sell the entire set to raise funds.
3. Digital is great, but the market moves too fast and really good cameras are still too expensive.
4. You will end up with two great camera bodies and spend the bulk of you investment on the quality of the lenses - and its the lens that makes the difference.

Ok, I was assuming you are talking about 35 mm, you could of course do the same thing with medium format - would cost more, but certainly has its rewards.
A.Weil[/font]
Logged
AWeil
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 166


WWW
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2002, 02:32:04 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Right - I agree.
I realized only after my post above, that I had no idea where Cheever is coming from. After all, he is working on photography for 7 (!) years - so he must have been using something. To discuss, like we do, how to take his work to a 'higher level' needs the information what the present level is.
Otherwise, I still think it had to be (digital or not) the quality of high-end 35mm or medium format. After that only price would be an issue. I figured, it would be a lot cheaper to pick up used quality equippment.
And before I forget:Which ever hardware it would be, if you don't want to be dependent on commercial printing labs you need computer stuff, software and patients. That's another 'don't know.' Maybe, Cheever, you are quite happy to go for that and then, by all means - get high-end digital - saves you the investment in a scanner.
Is it not funny how people start arguing about your hardware needs? I like it. This is one of the best things about this forum. When I posted a question here a while ago, I learned an amazing amount concerning the issue in a short time.
A.Weil[/font]
Logged
jtindall
Guest
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2002, 03:09:19 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Cheever. May I suggest a look at Charlie Waite's book 'The making of landscape photographs' The man has a way of critiqueing his own work which is a valuable insight into the thought process behind lifting landscape photography to an art form.

Look at the images on this site dotted around the various articles by some fellow called err Reichmann I think and if the pictures move you, as they surely will, ask yourself why? What is it about the image that is so good? Critique it in your mind. Go to an exhibition and study the pictures you like, critique them and ask yourself why do they work?

The point is look and learn and ever so slowly the realisation will occur as you look at your chosen scene that the image you wish to capture and communicate is there, or not, as the case may be.

There is also an excellent Sunday morning article on turfing out your picture trash on this website, which may urge you to lift your images to a new height. John.[/font]
Logged
cheever
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 95


« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2002, 02:33:58 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Man! Thanks for all of these replies.  I always enjoy forums that you can get a good discussion started in.  First of all I will clear up some of your questions.  When I say to the next level I not only mean being able to take better pictures, but also as far as equipment goes.  Here is what I am thinking, let me know what you all think.  I want to eventually move up to medium format, but before that can happen (experience wise and budget wise) I need to prove to myself that I am at that level.  Jtindall metioned that you need to critique your pics and I couldn't agree more, in fact I think I'm harder on myself that any other person alive.  Matthew Cromer metioned that a digital camera would be a good investment, again you guys are reading my mind.  I bought one of the first digital cameras and was oh so disappointed at its quality.  Although, now I feel that they are actually getting somewhere with digital SLRs nowadays.  Sorry if this seems a little scatter brained you have all given me so much insight that my brain is going a million miles an hour.  Also another question that I have raised in my mind so many times is whether or not the camera body or lens would have the bigger effect on image quality and I think that a more expensive lense is a better investment than a more expensive camera body.  Now before anyone takes me as being naive I know that there are many many things that effect image quality besides just the lens or camera body for that matter.  My stuff that I have now is basically junk probably to many of your standards, but I will list what I have.  (Keep in mind that I have only recently begun to get more serious into photography even though I have always loved it.  Not to mention the meager budget I am on.)  Here it is:  Canon Rebel 2000 (Good camera for the money),  28-80 mm joe smoe lens that comes with it,  quantaray 80-300 mm with EDO macro (please don't laugh),  a quantaray polarizer filter, and a vivtar tripod.  I know there isn't much there and I still need some equipment for landscape stuff, but it is a start.  I have been seriously considering a D60,  but what do you all think of it?  Also how big of a print can you do with it?  So here is where I stand right now.  1. I think I should look into some books on lanscape photography, possibly this 'The making of landscape photographs' by Charles Waite.  2.  If the D60 is a good camera I think that I can save money on the developing costs and at the same time learn more by seeing my photos right after I take them.  I have all of the computer equipment necessary for working with and printing digital photos so there would be no additional cost there.  I know it will take a long time for the camera to pay for itself in developing costs, but the learning that it will enable me to do will definitely be worth the extra cost.  3.  Finally start the endless proccess of acquiring better lenses and the other necessary equipment needed to move to the "next level".  4.  And last, but not least experience, experience, experience.

Thanks again everyone, and any other advice on what I have said would always be welcome/encouraged at least to help me decide if this is a good roadmap.

P.S.  Sorry it took me so long to reply I was on vacation and sorry for the lenghty post there was just so much info presented.[/font]
Logged
MatthewCromer
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 411


« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2002, 07:10:56 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Cheever, it might not take that long for your D60 to pay for itself.

I've shot 14000 frames with my Sony in the past 9 months.  At, say, $.20 per frame film + developing (which is probably about right for Fuji Slide film) I would have paid $2800, enough to buy a D60 and a decent lens.

The D60 is an excellent choice and I'm sure you will find it tremendously satisfying.[/font]
Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad