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FastFreddy2

Photo's ..... The Big Question.

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I completely agree. 

I prefer primes that perform, and I've never been one to upgrade for the sake of it - despite working in the IT industry for years. I just don't like consumerism.

It may be the mix of (my) age (being born in an era of HAVING to 'go without') the subsequent tendency of being careful to live within my means, that has combined to instill in me the need to care for (treasure) anything I own. It means I tend to shop on value, (to me) rather than the perceived value as provided by a manufacturers marketing department. 

The recent camera/lens purchase was made only after a lot of soul searching. I got a good price (maybe too much really) for the body I sold on, and with promotional discounts meant I got a camera with in-body stabilisation, wifi, together with a two year warranty for around £100/£125 on top of what I got for the previous model I had sold on. The only new purchase I plan is either an Olympus 45mm f1.8 (£209) or a Sigma 60mm F2.8 (£149). 

I've a lot to learn about digital, and current photographic technology. I've also to learn how to listen better to my peers when they try to educate me, rather stubbornly/foolishly thinking my experience has great value. ;)

 

 

 

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I have to admit I do not get too immersed in the technology side of digital, the ins and outs of sensor technology and the latest patents, or pixel peeping in post; my focus is still on composition and light and I rely on the camera to do my bidding. No doubt I would do well to acquire better background knowledge but whenever I start my eyes glaze over and I find myself thinking how is this really going to matter in the field? And if it does, or will matter, at what level?

I do understand the need for sharp high quality lenses, though, and spend good money there.   

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On 05/01/2018 at 12:51 AM, Shyheels said:

I have to admit I do not get too immersed in the technology side of digital, the ins and outs of sensor technology and the latest patents, or pixel peeping in post; my focus is still on composition and light and I rely on the camera to do my bidding. No doubt I would do well to acquire better background knowledge but whenever I start my eyes glaze over and I find myself thinking how is this really going to matter in the field? And if it does, or will matter, at what level?

I do understand the need for sharp high quality lenses, though, and spend good money there.   

Were I to write a dissertation on the 'camera' (image recording) market, I might begin by declaring there are probably two (book) ends to it, with vastly different interests but using similar tools to meet their needs.

The more obvious one, is the creative person who 'sees' an image they want to record. That might be a landscape, an object, a person, or it might be something they want to create, using a camera to begin the making of a final image. Someone with an 'urge' to create or record.

At the other end, the technophile. They might have gotten into cars, audio, trains, but got into cameras. They will buy the latest 'all-singing-all-dancing' kit' simply because it happens to be the best available. 

Most buyers/users will sit inside those extremes, if being creative can be called an extreme.

Being 'technically' aware is something that gives me confidence. When I did my photography course, I could afford the equipment I needed, so I acquired it. I don't remember anyone else in my class having a colour darkroom at home, but they were mostly interested in recording a good image, and letting someone else take care of the processing/printing anyway. The college had some studio lighting and processing for black and white film, but I had (and have) the whole kit. It would be fair to say I was seriously immersed in the course, putting in twice (or more) hours than anyone else, because I'd made the opportunity to do that. I had access to a lot of pretty ladies at the time too - which of course had no effect on my enthusiasm. :rolleyes: :D   

 

If I'm going to have another stab at this, I need to be competent, and at the moment I suspect I'm not. Sure the camera records images most would think were okay, but I need to get myself good enough so people will pay for what they see. I've a lifelong belief that people lose their creativity as they get older. Youthful frustration (I think) develops into that creative need. As we get older, we become less dissatisfied, which (I think) removes that need for creative 'venting'.

That said, my photographic course tutor was at least 60. He was still doing weddings, and told us of a short set of pictures he took using the bottom of a bottle as a lens.... Lovely man, I remember him still. :) 

So first orders for me ... Work out what the buttons and wheels do, and reprogram them if I need to. Find out what the camera can/won't do. These modern cameras are significantly more complex than film cameras, not least because each additional feature is designed as much as a sales opportunity, as being a useful tool for a photographer. Meaning 80-90% of them are likely to be redundant throughout the ownership cycle of the camera for owners, though the core set will always be used by most owners. I'm still working my way through the manual... :huh:

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I find the histogram quite handy, and refer to it often when I am shooting, but otherwise I tend to do much the same as I always have, and simply rely on the technology rather than try to understand it. 

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I've been watching a lot of You Tube video's lately, mostly about equipment, it's use, and making money around it (if possible).

There are well trodden routes for the money making: Selling your work/time (commissions). Revenue from the advertising possible from YT and other social media. Sponsorships, full time or per article. Affiliate programmes where buyers use promoters discount codes to provide a kick-back for the code owners. Many of the media incomes are dependant on subscriber numbers. 100k is good, 200k is better. These numbers don't happen overnight, obviously.... 

One of those I've found quite interesting to watch is a landscape photographer, which isn't really my thing, but he seems to be quite a good story teller and narrator. I've linked three of his 'blog' type videos that I watched recently, and found entertaining.

 

1. Why would anyone bother? Really, why? 

 

 

2. I really enjoyed this. Especially around 14.25...

 

 

 3. Street photography on my 'home' turf. (Shows how easy it is to photograph people in London.)

 

Keep your eyes peeled at 9 minutes in. ;)

 

 

Very likeable chap. B)

Edited by FastFreddy2

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Interesting.

I do a lot of landscape/travel work and love it. Each to his own. It is surprising sometimes how specialised each field can be. I was travelling once on a travel assignment with a photographer who was quite successful in advertising wrk. Did a lot of big budget shoots wit modes and stylists and production crews for some major soft drinks firms. You would think shooting a travel story would have been a doddle for him. He was utterly clueless. On the other hand, were you to drop me into one of his shoots and told me to get on with it, I'd have been overwhelmed and scared silly!    

Edited by Shyheels

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Todays portrait gig went okay - ish. ;) :D

I got the pictures I was after anyway, though I would have preferred more in focus. Too much laughing had people moving around, and light levels meant slow shutter speeds and largish apertures. My Nikon lens and MFT sensor was good enough to count eyelashes and open pores on noses if did my bit. More light would have had even more detail visible, as I could have used slightly smaller apertures and had greater depth of field. Ho-hum.

Despite (everyone) being told to wear plain dark tops, two men had large logo's on their T-shorts, one women had a multi-coloured top and the remaining woman and girl had check shirts on. The latter hadn't washed her hair either, and taking a photo of her would not have worked. (It would have looked so bad I would not have been given a second attempt.) 

Although it was all good-hearted and everyone helped holding onto the background and hair rim light source (a torch),  everyone complained about holding these in the air. I have everything needed to remedy this (full studio background system) but it wasn't worth taking it all for what was supposed to be a short session. My priority is acquiring at least one electronic light source compatible with my digital camera.  

Money money money. :D :D

 

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Another day, another story of photography in the snow.  (Rather him than me.)

This 8 minute clip has very little "photo" business in it, but I found it quite entertaining anyway. B)

 

 

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I only found out earlier today, the Photography Show is on at NEC this weekend. In theory I could go tomorrow (Sunday) but the weather is poor and Birmingham is close to an area marked with an "amber warning" for potential (deep) snow hazards by the MET Office. A remark I never thought I would make regarding weather half way through March ...

I'm currently scouring Ebay to find cheap/reliable studio equipment. Stuff from China is unbelievably cheap, and explains why UK businesses (Bowens) have gone under. Not only are Chinese products cheap, they seem to have seem to have been quick(er) to adopt new technologies. I've no idea about reliability, but could they continue to sell this stuff if it didn't work? 

 

My second 'family portrait' gig is booked for next weekend. It would be nice if I had a strobe to use on the day .... Money solves that dilemma....  But is the time right to invest? :rolleyes: Will it be another 30 years before  Oops, I haven't got thirty years to get around to using it have I? :D I think I should consider developing an interest in studio work again. It's not like I don't enjoy it, and it's less dangerous than strolling out in 5" heels. :huh: And it should keep me out of any trouble ...

 

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The second family photo gig did not happen. I didn't manage to get a strobe for the day, as my car decided to have an unplanned vacation, which stopped any travel plans to buy one. [Car is now fixed, and I am £97 poorer. Good to have reliable transport back though, despite the reasonable (surprisingly reasonable) cost.]

Poor weather continues, and with it poor light. Last weekend the weather was overcast and by the time I'd get people in front of a lens, it would have been impractical/impossible to use natural light.

 

Since then, I have been on something of a purchasing 'spree'. Last Saturday I bought a cheap/working strobe for under £25 delivered. (Not yet arrived.) A real bargain considering what I'm getting for the money. Another 4 to be collected this weekend, and another 2 to collect next weekend (if a better offer to the seller has not been made). Not that I plan to keep them all. I will (hopefully) end up with 3 or 4  and certainly no more. I have a second attempt at the second portrait session booked for the middle of April. I will be well 'strobed up', and be able to have the session last as long as I like, providing my subjects don't get too bored. :)   

 

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Weeeeeeellll....

My spree hasn't taken the shape I thought it would. Reason being, lack of uniformity in firing off the different types of flashes. I cried off buying the four as they were incompatible with others I'd planned to buy. Instead I bought a higher powered pair that use more modern technology. The first (cheapo) one tuned up, and for the £200 I spent (total) on strobes, I had a fairly well configured set of studio lights. Being the 'collector' I seem to be, I bought a second pair, same make/model at the the first pair .... All four use the same firing technology, so No.5 (cheapo one) might now be surplus. 

To my surprise, these strobes that claim moderate power levels, seem to carry enough 'zap' for pretty much any portrait challenge, so why do I still want more power? A: "'Cos I'm a bloke?" :rolleyes: I just don't know if I have quite enough 'power' for a group photo if asked to produce one. Circa £250 could guarantee I had. (Can't take it with you. :huh:)

 

 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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Currently, I have 8 strobes here.  :o

1 x older one I'm trying to sell (and not having any success.)

2 x modern 'kit' pair, with light modifiers (keepers)

2 x modern pair (same make/power as 'kit' pair) but could be returned as they were damaged by the courier. Hopefully, keepers.

2 x lower power 'kit' pair with light modifiers/stands. Bought to sell on really, as I was really after the extras.

1 x even lower power modern strobe, that since I got it for a song (£16) I might donate to a family member or use it at the end of a boom arm.

 

All the modern stuff was bought (lightly) used and so far has only put me back £400. I have everything (and some) to create a fully functional mobile studio. B)

Just need to find some victims sitters...... :) Anyone? :D

 

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An unexpected very long hot summer has kept me away from studio type photography. Bad enough we had to endure South European grade heat, without me making it worse by getting people to sit in a room with a camera pointing at their melting faces. 

Getting a job that required longer hours than I had been used to, hasn't helped. I'm not as fit as I need to be to do the work I have been doing, so I've been arriving home fairly tired of late. The heat hasn't helped. We have had 3 or 4 weeks of more temperate weather, and life is getting back to some sort of normality. Longer nights are fast approaching, and we've had one or two particularly cool nights already. Now September, leaves are showing signs the season is turning. 

Even though I've had next to no use out of my new camera, the extra income has had me interested in upgrading already. To keep the same style of camera (Micro Four Thirds) and increase pixel count, I have to more than double the budget. That would get me 20mb (up from 16mb), but a change of camera entirely that would get me 24mb, comes in at almost the same money as my current one. I mean the Canon M50. Why more pixels? Better low light capability (usually) and more importantly, more room for cropping. (Using the bit of the image you want, not the whole image.) With an adaptor, Canon's whole range of lenses can be used with the M50.

Maybe later in the year... 

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On 9/2/2018 at 11:30 AM, FastFreddy2 said:

An unexpected very long hot summer has kept me away from studio type photography. Bad enough we had to endure South European grade heat, without me making it worse by getting people to sit in a room with a camera pointing at their melting faces. 

Getting a job that required longer hours than I had been used to, hasn't helped. I'm not as fit as I need to be to do the work I have been doing, so I've been arriving home fairly tired of late. The heat hasn't helped. We have had 3 or 4 weeks of more temperate weather, and life is getting back to some sort of normality. Longer nights are fast approaching, and we've had one or two particularly cool nights already. Now September, leaves are showing signs the season is turning. 

Even though I've had next to no use out of my new camera, the extra income has had me interested in upgrading already. To keep the same style of camera (Micro Four Thirds) and increase pixel count, I have to more than double the budget. That would get me 20mb (up from 16mb), but a change of camera entirely that would get me 24mb, comes in at almost the same money as my current one. I mean the Canon M50. Why more pixels? Better low light capability (usually) and more importantly, more room for cropping. (Using the bit of the image you want, not the whole image.) With an adaptor, Canon's whole range of lenses can be used with the M50.

Maybe later in the year... 

I know what you mean about being fit and working in the heat (I'm in my early 50s and live in Texas). Keep us posted on the photography project.

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On 9/9/2018 at 7:18 PM, pointyboot said:

I know what you mean about being fit and working in the heat (I'm in my early 50s and live in Texas). Keep us posted on the photography project.

Will do.

The up side to "all work and no play" is my bank balance is looking very healthy. 

I can't tell you how jealous I am you live in Texas. I will PM you why. ;)

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