where to next?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by johngordon, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Good thread and forum!

    I'm just having a look around - basically have had a canon ixus (elph in the US?) for 3 years or so, and have loved it, and more recently playing around a progressively more with iPhoto and elements. But basically love taking photos whenever we're out and about, and have amassed a reasonable collection of reasonable photos.

    I've also started doing DVD slideshows for wedding photographers - some of whom take amazing photos, and am kind of inspired by it all - the mac, their photos, and now seeing Aperture which looks amazing.

    So its now at the stage where it would be great (in an ideal world) to get a new camera - a canon eos / rebel or similar, and Aperture. Really its all about exploring it as a hobby - but it would be an expensive hobby, and just involve taking photos for the sake of it - so the idea of maybe being able to get better at it and maybe even sell some is pretty appealing.

    But like others, I wouldn't have a clue where to start - I've done plenty of web design with dreamweaver, so could put together a reasonable site - but where do you go from there - what sorts of avenues for advertising are there for anyone with just their camera and laptop to explore - and be taken seriously?

    I also had a look around for photography courses - I saw this mob that looked pretty good : the photography school. it would really be to learn about depth of field, and aperture settings, taking better night shots etc

    Anyway, I'm just rambling / thinking aloud really - but I've enjoyed doing the DVds for photographers, and would like to explore photography more.

  2. macrumors 6502a


    I have a Nikon D50 SLR and I will never go back to point-and shoot camera's again. If you are looking for a upgrade, skip the prosumer stuff and head right on up to a SLR. The cheapest is the D50 for around 700 you can get a 2 lens kit. The Canon digital Rebel is good, but i found it to be hard to hold and kind of flimsy. a good site for camera comparisons is http://www.dpreview.com/ it has in depth reviews of all cameras ont he market. I do it as more of a hobby, so the buisness aspect i am not familiar with, however, as far as classes, I found that the best classes are none at all. You can learn quite a bit just doing some internet reading and going out in the field with your camera. Hope that wasn't too long-winded:D
  3. macrumors 6502


    The best learning solution I have found (out of school) is to go on a shoot with someone who is a pro, semi pro, or a friend who knows their stuff. One day with someone who knows what they are doing can be priceless.

    Just makes sure you explain what you want to learn and have an idea of what kind of photographs you would like to achieve, such as playing with DOF, taking time lapsed photos etc! And just have fun with it, and do plenty of experimentation!

    I jumped from Several POS digital's to a Digital Rebel XT previously owning several older SLR's so I had a good start with many advanced features. I had some older canon len's (which I actually don't use) and have mainly grown up with Canon's thanks to my dad. Once you make the jump to DSLR you won't regret it!

    Aperture is a great investment too, but you may just want to continue with iPhoto or Photoshop (elements maybe?) until you feel you want to make he jump. There are complex image editing abilities with Aperture and having a sound knowledge of color management helps a great deal.

    Just my 2 cents

  4. macrumors 603


    Aperture is pretty much a waste if you're just exploring as an in depth hobby.

    Save the money for another lens or addons.

    If you're going to spend money on photo software, Photoshop should be your first step.
  5. macrumors G4

    [What next? Buying a camera is easy. Anyone with a credit card can do that. The trouble is that everyone has. Millions of DSLRs have been sold. The hard part is taking photographs that other people would be willing to pay you for.

    I use the 5-star ratting system and reserve 4 stars for an excelent image and 5 stars for an image that is so good, even some one with no interrest in the subject would like it. Picturs of my kid doing something cute almost never make 5 stars, neither do my vacation shots and so on. As a pro you want to shoot consistent 5 star photos.

    What you need to develope is a "vision" and a "style". Even comercial artists always tries to comunicate some kind of emotional content with an image or design. Maybe all yu are doing is trying to sell beer but then the image has to make the beer look good.

    An analogy. A writer needs to have and know how to use a word processor but having one and knowing how to use it will not be enough. He has to have something to say and have the skill tosay it well. Same with a camera and a photographer.. There are milions of camera owners and word processor owners out there but few ofthem who make stuff people want to see,

    OK, bottom line is if you want to go to school, think "art school", not "technical school". and yes "school" not "a class".

    As for equipment. Any canon or nikon SLR. Digital if you like but any intro to photography class will want you to have a film camera loaded with black and white film. They might let you used color or digital in later classes. Used Canon or Nikon film SLRs are dirt cheap. Pick one up and add a digital body to the system and then maybe another lens.

    When picking between Nikon and Canon remember you are choosing a system not a camera, look at the set of bodies and lenses and stobes you mgt have in 5 years and then pick a brand.
  6. macrumors G4

    Out side of school, yes the above is good. But also you can read and look at the lwork of masters. This you can do at home after dinner. Two works I concider "basics" are
    The "Aperture Series". Low priced and a "must have" in any student photographer's library http://www.aperture.org/store/books-detail.aspx?ID=228 This is simply a collection of the best photos from the 20th centrury. Well printed and afordable

    The other is "The Camera" by Ansel Adams. Find it at amazon. It is a clasic and written for beginers but covers everything "old School" for sure but if you are serious you need to know this stuff. Reading this book is like learning the multiplication tables in a world that has calculators. Kids ask "Why?" and you just have to tell then "trust me you need to know"
  7. macrumors 6502



    Good advice :)
  8. macrumors 68000


    I've been shooting for my college paper for 2 years now. I spent th elast year as their chief Photo Editor and learned a lot. I've taken a few photography classes (I'm a CompSci major, not a photoJ major), and when I have learned the most is when shooting with other photographers. Second up is having a good photographer cratique your art and having the state of mind required to have someone shred what you thought was a good picture. But take it all in, and in time you will look back at what you thought was a "good" picture and find that you are shooting 10x better.

    If you are unsure about the basics of photography, Shutter speed, Apature(not the program), and DOF, than perhaps a basic class might help. But past that you are going for a certificate* which doesn't make you a better photographer. Shooting with more experienced photogs and having PHOTOGRAPHERS (not grandma) look at your work is what is important. I can impress a number of people with crappy photos, but I know if I ever tried to get a nickel for them my photog friends would look down on me for selling a POS :p


    *I'm speaking of US certification, which isn't worth much to you unless you go into serious business... I dunno how it works else where in the world.
  9. macrumors 68000


    I'm not so sure I agree, or at least, what you said should be expounded upon.
    Photo Journalism Classes/Majors here in the US use digital. Every one of them I know starts with digital, and they may or may not be required to take a film class at some point, but not to start. Also at our college we have a few 101 Photography classes, only one of which requires a film camera and it is called "B&W Photography" and teaches dark room techniques, as well as some shooting aspects. Now my school isn't the end all to University progams, but I don't think it's right to say that any intro class will want you to have a film camera.

    Of course film cameras are cheap these days. However unless you take a passion to the dark room (and have one your self) I highly doubt anyone with a DSLR interested in the Photography aspect will stick with a film SLR for long.
    But that's just MHO.

  10. macrumors 6502a


    Forget Aperture, it's not as good as hyped. Go with Photoshop CS2. As for an DSLR, I would go with either Canon or Nikon, Canon's 20D or 30D are great for what you want, I guess the Nikon D70 is a good rival to the Canon line.

    Spend money on glass for the camera, don't but junk lenses.

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