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10-24-2012, 10:33 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
Thanks for a comment!
Putting persons off to the sides is common newbie mistake. I was no exception.
As well as shooting only headshot or "belly to head" portraits. Newbies are usually afraid of wider angles, larger aperture settings, as it makes much more difficult to control the background behind your subject.
I will try not repeat these mistakes the next time I go shoot!

Hey! i take offense to that - I *still* put people off to the sides. LOL. Or maybe I am a newbie. Where did you read this proclamation of common newbie mistakes? I have a list of common pro mistakes. .

I actually like those pictures you posted - even if you think it was newbie-ish. I have seen people charging who can't do that. You have to account for style when figuring out composition, and as long as it make sense to you and your client, who cares if it doesnt make sense to some other professionals? Look at that stupid app...with their messed up ratio..whatchamacallit...errr...Instagram! With their bazillion users .

Picture 1 : Great pose - great smile - great dof - sharp eyes - fix the horizon and you are good. Also, over sharpened for the skin texture. Should be okay if you print on canvas.
Picture 2 : Love it - great bw conversion, great dof, great pose/smile, sharp, and great lighting - great backlight/hairlight...awesome.
Picture 3 : Great picture - Incomplete. If you had it as an editorial, or part of a story...right now I have no idea what she is looking at - even though everything about it I like.

If you are going to take glamour/portrait always - Pentax is more than sufficient.
If you are looking to do weddings - you need something with a faster autofocus - and smaller focus box.

There is more opportunity to start a business doing weddings than doing glamour. So you should decide what you'd like to do.

You are correct to research your way now. I am already 6k in pentax - and now I am buying nikon. I am not switching - but i would probably have spent a lot less had I known what i needed early on.



QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
I am always extremely amazed at these questions and no less amazed at the answers! So here we have a (student) start-up with a 1-year history in photography, using a one-body-one-lens kit asking about a $6K investment and questioning pricing policy and "sad" Photokina news.

Am I really the only one who finds this odd?

The last guy waltzing in here not even 4 months ago doing a "Oh my god I want to be a professional, I'm so happy, I bought a K-5 and many lenses, I sold some of my lenses because they suck, Photokina news sucks, how can I not use a FF camera, Pentax sucks, sold off all my equipment" just left a week ago!

Shouldn't the real answer be: "Go find out about photography, post some shots on this forum and learn how to handle light, composition and processing and we'll talk afterwards" ?
Maybe, I agree / disagree with you. A lot of times finding out about photography involves purchase of some sort...a different lens, a different light modifier, etc. Its so easy to go so deep before you realize that now you adequately know photography, and need to switch.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ponosby Britt Quote
Its not the gear, its you. All the equipment has gotten very capable, even the "consumer" level. A skilled, thoughtful photographer could get a good result with any brand. Learn to understand and see lighting. Learn the elements of design and the principles of composition, most often found in Art courses. Connect with your subjects. There is a big difference between being a camera owner and being a photographer.
Its definitely, definitely, the gear.

You can give a professional with almost nothing to work with - a bedsheet, a point and shoot - some reflectors - and they may come up with some gorgeous results.
You can give an amateur with almost nothing to work with - and they will most definitely come up with some crappy results.
You need to give the amateur some gear - and when they have worked their way up to become a professional, then - and only then - can you take their gear away.

A great pianist can play a cheap keyboard with amazing skill...but you can never teach a great pianist how to play piano with a cheap keyboard. When they started out - they had to have a piano.

10-24-2012, 01:25 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Hey! i take offense to that - I *still* put people off to the sides. LOL. Or maybe I am a newbie. Where did you read this proclamation of common newbie mistakes? I have a list of common pro mistakes. .

I actually like those pictures you posted - even if you think it was newbie-ish. I have seen people charging who can't do that. You have to account for style when figuring out composition, and as long as it make sense to you and your client, who cares if it doesnt make sense to some other professionals? Look at that stupid app...with their messed up ratio..whatchamacallit...errr...Instagram! With their bazillion users .

Picture 1 : Great pose - great smile - great dof - sharp eyes - fix the horizon and you are good. Also, over sharpened for the skin texture. Should be okay if you print on canvas.
Picture 2 : Love it - great bw conversion, great dof, great pose/smile, sharp, and great lighting - great backlight/hairlight...awesome.
Picture 3 : Great picture - Incomplete. If you had it as an editorial, or part of a story...right now I have no idea what she is looking at - even though everything about it I like.

If you are going to take glamour/portrait always - Pentax is more than sufficient.
If you are looking to do weddings - you need something with a faster autofocus - and smaller focus box.

There is more opportunity to start a business doing weddings than doing glamour. So you should decide what you'd like to do.

You are correct to research your way now. I am already 6k in pentax - and now I am buying nikon. I am not switching - but i would probably have spent a lot less had I known what i needed early on.
A few weeks ago I attended a photography conference/seminar. Some really good photographers were there, and one of them told these "common newbie mistakes" like avoiding wider angles, masking/blurring the background, crooked horizons, putting persons off to the sides too much. I believe there was more, but these are the main ones. When I returned home, I found these mistakes (maybe except crooked horizons) more of less in pretty much every photo.
But from the same photographer I heard one great quote which is very connected with what is said above : "First you have to grow a photographer, so afterwards you can kill it". What is mean by this, that first you have to learn the basics of classic photography, so afterwards you can brake these rules with purpose.

Also, please share the common pro mistakes

Thank you for your comments on my pictures.
I also really love the second pic, almost fell in love with that girl after the shoot
As for the third one, I decided to leave some mystery, some space for imagination to make the composition a little more interesting.

Now talking about this glamour/weddings thing. I totally agree with what you said that it is more opportunity to start business with weddings than only portraits. So weddings looks kind of inevitable (don't want to sound like I don't like it!).
About these focus issues. At the very same conference I tested K-5IIs (kind of demo version) with Pentax DA* 55mm F1.4 and 50-135mm 2.8. In low light the focus was a little too disappointing, but it was only the demo version of the camera. Also.. why shoot low light? I believe in pretty much every situation you can find good and bad lighting. It's a matter of creativity and this "out of the box" thinking
10-24-2012, 02:38 PM   #33
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QuoteQuote:
Normhead, I didn't know that you two were together. How does that work—are your shooting styles really different, just somewhat, or pretty much similar?
We tend to feed off each other. I'm better trained, but she doesn't suffer the myopic "you gotta do it this way" of a person with training. We both often try and improve on each other's shots. It's amazing how, being in the same place at the same time, we often end up with different looking images. Sometimes mine are better , sometimes hers are better.

As for how you're "supposed" to shoot a photo.

For every rule of composition, there is an award winning photograph that breaks it.

The only rule photographers should be paying attention to is, does the photo catch and hold the viewer's attention. If it doesn't do that, no one cares if you followed the rules. They shouldn't even be called rules, they should be called "the very loose guidelines." or, "a few things you might want to consider when framing a shot."
10-24-2012, 04:34 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Its definitely, definitely, the gear.
My equipment didn't make me a pro shooter, I did.
I also don't recommend giving a Chimpanzee a loader revolver.

10-24-2012, 09:01 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
A few weeks ago I attended a photography conference/seminar. Some really good photographers were there, and one of them told these "common newbie mistakes" like avoiding wider angles, masking/blurring the background, crooked horizons, putting persons off to the sides too much. I believe there was more, but these are the main ones. When I returned home, I found these mistakes (maybe except crooked horizons) more of less in pretty much every photo.
But from the same photographer I heard one great quote which is very connected with what is said above : "First you have to grow a photographer, so afterwards you can kill it". What is mean by this, that first you have to learn the basics of classic photography, so afterwards you can brake these rules with purpose.

Also, please share the common pro mistakes

Thank you for your comments on my pictures.
I also really love the second pic, almost fell in love with that girl after the shoot
As for the third one, I decided to leave some mystery, some space for imagination to make the composition a little more interesting.

Now talking about this glamour/weddings thing. I totally agree with what you said that it is more opportunity to start business with weddings than only portraits. So weddings looks kind of inevitable (don't want to sound like I don't like it!).
About these focus issues. At the very same conference I tested K-5IIs (kind of demo version) with Pentax DA* 55mm F1.4 and 50-135mm 2.8. In low light the focus was a little too disappointing, but it was only the demo version of the camera. Also.. why shoot low light? I believe in pretty much every situation you can find good and bad lighting. It's a matter of creativity and this "out of the box" thinking

I also have attended many of these workshops and seminars - and what I can tell you, after 3 world class photography conference - is that there are multiple experts and pros in each - and they all tell a different technique and list of mistakes. Very quickly you learn that there is no right way. Some even go right against each other - from one session to another!!
And thats one of the mistakes pro makes - a lot of times they refuse to learn and adapt. Photography is art. Sometimes. Its adaptable.
Another often pro mistake is to assume expertise in different types of photography. Some pros are clearly a pro in one type of photography - and that type alone. Sometimes their advice and critiques will lead people astray.

Now...open your typical glamour magazine. Browse through the pictures. These are pro pictures - with medium formats or high level cameras. They cut off heads, limbs, underexpose, put people to the side for text and other design elements, overexpose, and change skin colours. These are pros - they get paid thousands for the one picture in the magazine. Where is the rule here? Like Norm just said - its attractive and hold's the viewer's attention. Thats all that matters. You can have small pros argue back and forth about how skin colour should be so or so or so...but honestly , as i am typing this i am staring at a a picture in Vogue Paris magazine, where a girl has her head and both her elbows cut off, posed in the middle, harsh shadows, red skin. Looks awesome.

I am not saying that you can come up with crap - and break all rules - I am just pointing out that none of these rules are drawn in stone. They were there for a reason - and when you know the reason, and your purpose for the picture was to defy the reason - then you have to break the rule.

Why should you shoot low light?
You should never shoot low light. You should always shoot with proper exposure, lol.

Here is an example :
I have a wedding next week.
7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, 4 flower girls, 5.30PM with sun down at 6ish. I have 30 minutes to shoot 20 people and pose them. THEN, we go indoor. I have 10 minutes to shoot in the bar of the venue, the size of a living room, painted dark, mood lighting. No chance of moving strobes around. Flash on camera will produce a men-in-cave effect. 20 people squished together will cast shadow on each other. Bouncing is almost ineffective on a black wall.

For all intense and purposes...i am shooting low light. What do i do? Err...i am starting to panic - this doesnt sound very easy at all! LOL. Anyway. This is when i put my K5 as a backup, and rent an extra D800, and pray, lol. Oh. And even though the bride and groom says not to bother with the strobes - i have a feeling i am going to. LoL. I rather have 1 great image of them than 5 bad ones.

If you are going wedding, having a camera that easily focus in low light is a must.

Photography is a curious thing. I always take advice with a grain of salt.
- There are people who knows so much stuff about photography - and can't shoot to save their lives. They can tell you all the property of cameras, lenses, technology in and out. You have to listen to these people, and learn what you can. Take a quick peek at Light: Science and Magic from your local bookstore. Amazing book that shows amazing understanding about lighting...and the example pictures are...crappy. Highly recommended by the way.
- Then there are people who knows nothing about the technical stuff. They go around with kit lenses, take awesome pictures...things they see with their mind's eye. They can't take more than one type of pictures - their equipment is limited - and they have no knowledge of the other style they can take picture of. But the stuff they do take, is great. They wont publish a book, so you need to look at a lot of their work, and learn.
- Then there are pros who are businessmen. They are not very amazing - just adequate, but savvy businessmen. They go big, they make connections, and they educate their clients and you, on what is good photography. And then, after they have beat you to their levels - they are now, your superior experts. Watch out for them - learn what you can - but if you are not careful, your creativity will be snapped in half.
- Then , there are awesome photographers. You never heard of them - you never see their work - and they wont publish a book of their techniques. And when you see their work - all the small argument on who is better just goes out of the window - because their work - is good.

What a curious thing photography is : You can teach someone a technique - and if they are talented, the student can IMMEDIATELY become better than the teacher. Like, in an instant. The same technique you have used for years - your student can use it better immediately. Whats my incentive to teaching local photographers then? Never teach everything I know. Or, know that there is no way my students can pass the barriers to entry in the business, like cost of equipment, marketing, word of mouth. OR, draft the student to become a partner.

As a student - knowing this, you should always learn from multiple masters. Or, learn online. People are more generous. I emailed an awesome photographer in Germany once asking for her equipment - and purposely signed it with my name - in Canada. She replied, and first sentence was, Sure, I dont mind sharing - you are not in my immediate area.

By the way, take a look at :
tobias schult photography - people - beauty - fashion"
Chris Crisman Photography

Finally....
I spoke to an awesome photoshopper once...world known, has rihanna in one of her port! And a few world brand make up. She told me - that at the end of the day - the rules you need to learn are still the ones used in paintings back several hundred years. Composition, colour, all that jazz. If you are ever confused about who is right about a specific rule - go back to the basics that no one can argue. You may not like the cubism work, or abstract, or whatever....but this is what she said - you may not like amazing art - but they are art nevertheless. You may also like crap - but they are crap nevertheless. You may never be able to sell art - but they are still art. You may be able to sell crap - and they'd still be crap. Now its up to you - do you want to sell crap - or art?





QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
My equipment didn't make me a pro shooter, I did.
I also don't recommend giving a Chimpanzee a loader revolver.
:P I disagree with this - I bet you I can teach a Chimpanzee how to shoot with a loaded revolver faster than I can teach a talented marksman how to shoot with an empty gun.
Haha. I never said that the person didnt count - I was stressing that the only way the pro (talented person) got to where he was, was with lots of play with equipment. Then, can they easily discard their equipment. See my example about the piano. Of course, without talent, then its irrelevant whether its the gear or the person. You can throw gears and education at them, and nothing will change.

But have 2 total beginner with talent - give one a point and shoot, and the other one a point and shoot and a reflector - and you can already see where I am going . Gear is what help talent gets to pro level. Once a person is a pro - when they are given point and shoot - guess what they are going to be looking for? Some blankets to diffuse and reflect.
10-25-2012, 08:41 AM   #36
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Thank you for such an informative post! Now I need some time to digest everything you said

About this braking of rules. As I understand, the only rule that can't be broken is - your picture must be interesting Even though, I believe that I have to learn and understand the other rules of photography before I can purposely brake them.
10-27-2012, 11:55 AM   #37
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Some pics from the last shoot.

It is strange how I feel attracted to B&W. Don't know if that's good, a well made colored photo, is usually more eye catching. But I feel B&W photos have more artistical/emotional value, as there are no colours to distract.

Last edited by Apapukas; 05-01-2014 at 12:37 AM.
10-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #38
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Just as far as whether or not Pentax is a good deal, I think it still offers a lot. If there are particularly expensive lenses in the Pentax line up, there are always Tamron/Sigma lenses that are less expensive that fill in the gaps.

If you are looking to get into a specific application, like sports, or birding or feel like you will need to purchase a full frame camera in the next year, then maybe Pentax isn't the best way to go. There maybe a full frame option available in the future, but no one really knows for sure.

10-27-2012, 11:29 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
It is strange how I feel attracted to B&W. Don't know if that's good, a well made colored photo, is usually more eye catching. But I feel B&W photos have more artistical/emotional value, as there are no colours to distract.
Well, then...it appears you may be ready for the next stage of your training. Get a ME Super with Pentax-M 50/1.7. Load it with TMax 100 and go forth to create. That's right...no zoom, no chimping, no color, no high ISO. See it in the mind's eye, crop in the camera, and deal with the results in PP (either digital or with an enlarger in the wet darkroom).

Be sure to share the results in the film forum:


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/159796-post-yo...ilm-shots.html


Steve


(...knows only too well, that most of what we today call PP was standard operating procedure in the wet darkroom...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-27-2012 at 11:37 PM.
11-21-2012, 09:23 PM - 1 Like   #40
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Regarding whether my equipment made me a pro shooter-- My keyboard made me a great writer? Right! It was a spoon that made Oprah fat? Right! Equipment is nothing without intellect.
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