Photography Questions and Tips

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Rowdy
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#76 Post by Rowdy » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:00 pm

Finally spent a bit of money.. Got a solid deal from a desperate manager over the boxing day sales. Now the proud owner of a rebel T1i... I had planned on picking up a used 40D or a new 50D, but this way I can spend more $ on glass and other goodies :)

Now I just need to get out and start shooting a ton. STL the shots from your deck are stunning. Lucky bastard!!
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#77 Post by Rowdy » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:05 pm

Oh and I'm sure you saw us buzz by a few times this past summer/fall in that orange and black twotter :wink: haha I figured out where you were shooting from.

Just picked up the 55-250 lens (and a remote for quicker work without the damn self timer) and am looking at a 10-22. That and a decent polarizer. Any reccomends for a Cannon punk, on the polarizer that is?

Heres one of the cooper with the 18-55.. at around f16.. the T1i will do 30 seconds before you have to go to bulb in the settings. I spent a good few hours last week shooting at night before I figured that out.

Image
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#78 Post by enbt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:36 am

Rowdy wrote: That and a decent polarizer. Any reccomends for a Cannon punk, on the polarizer that is?
I have a B+W circular polarizer that I really like and would recommend. Can't remember what it cost but it was well north of $100. I had a cheap one before that which left a yellow colour cast on everything.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts on the 10-22 if/when you get it. Been wanting one of those for a while. Was also looking at the Sigma 10-20 which comes highly recommended and is a few hundred bucks cheaper.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#79 Post by jspitfire » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:48 pm

enbt wrote:Was also looking at the Sigma 10-20 which comes highly recommended and is a few hundred bucks cheaper.
I've got the Sigma and it's an awsome lens. The only thing I would want is a wider aperture, but that's only for my northern lights photos. All in all great lens for a great price.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#80 Post by enbt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:53 pm

Thanks Jason, good to know. I guess a lot of your shots here were with that lens?
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#81 Post by jspitfire » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:25 pm

Yes, I definetly use the wide angle lens a lot. Great for night photos, landscapes, cockpits.
Lots more shots with it here: http://www.flickr.com/jspitfire
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#82 Post by jspitfire » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:27 pm

Hey Ian and STL, what's involved in getting your own webpage started up? Both of you have a great looking sites!

What kind of cost would I be looking at for getting someone to set it up?
How much does a domain name cost per year?
Do your sites actually get you a lot more business? (prints or commercial use?)

I've been thinking about my photography lately and I think I'd like to take things up a notch, both with equipment and getting my photos out there more.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#83 Post by enbt » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:59 pm

Funny you ask that. I just set up a flickr site today since I figured I may get more exposure there. My own site is hosted and managed by an online service called foliosnap. It's simple to set up, just like setting up and managing a flickr account except it costs you money and you are limited in the number of images and galleries depending on what package you get. On the plus side you get your own domain and email which really seems to impress people for some reason. I really do recommend it though.

Whether it's worthwhile or not I think depends on how much traffic you are able to drive to your site. If you are good at getting it linked to and from other sites you'll get more traffic, but whether it would be people who want to buy something is another matter.

For me the amount of extra income it brings in is negligible. Not even enough to cover the cost of hosting the site (about $300 a year - if you are tecky I'm sure you could get way more for way less but that's not something I want to get into). I've made more sales from personal contacts, facebook, and through airliners.net than through my own site although I do get the odd one through there too.

Maybe somebody who's been more successful can comment, but in general I have found trying to sell photos is mostly an uphill battle. It can be very time consuming for very little return. Being able to get your pics out there seems to be way more important than the quality of your shots unfortunately, and everybody has a camera now so there is a much larger supply of images than ever before. Unless you are doing assignments, weddings, sports teams, portraits etc it may be hard to make it worth your efforts. I've sort of come full circle to the point where I realized I'd rather spend the time actually taking pictures, and taking pictures of something I want rather than what I think will sell. Not that it can't be done of course, your pictures are way better than lots of what I see produced from so called professionals. And flickr has some kind of deal with Getty now so who knows maybe you'll get some exposure though there if you are interested in stock. Your northern lights photos especially are pretty unique in the grand scheme of things.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#84 Post by Rowdy » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:57 pm

Jspitfire.. I decided to see what that sigma was all about. Hit up Kerrisdale cameras and tried the f3.5 10-20, the f4-5.0 and the canon f3.5-f4.5 10-22.. I spent a good hour with the manager trying all three back and forth. Heres what I took away from it.

They were all quite close in actual picture quality(when we checked the shots on his laptop), the f3.5 sigma felt the most solid and obviously has the nicest glass. Both sigmas come with cases and hoods. The canon comes with nothing.

For the extra 150 + Tax I couldnt justify buying the canon with no hood and the fact it wasnt a solid f3.5 all the way through. The sigma just felt nicer, especially the manual focus and zoom wheels. The canon felt a little notchy. I was then told that the cost of the canon lens had jumped up this year for no apparent reason. Glad I've got nothing better to do these days haha.

When my tax rebate comes in, I'll be buying that beauty of a sigma F3.5 10-20 :) Thanks for the heads up..
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#85 Post by pika » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:50 pm

I've made more sales from personal contacts, facebook, and through airliners.net than through my own site although I do get the odd one through there too.
Any idea who is buying your pics through airliners.net? Personal or professional application? What do you get paid for a pic?
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#86 Post by enbt » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:36 am

pika wrote:
I've made more sales from personal contacts, facebook, and through airliners.net than through my own site although I do get the odd one through there too.
Any idea who is buying your pics through airliners.net? Personal or professional application? What do you get paid for a pic?
People who have contacted me directly from seeing photos there.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#87 Post by jspitfire » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:27 am

The pics I've sold through airliners.net have been for advertising agencies, magazines, webpages. What you charge depends on how they use the picture, how many copies, etc.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#88 Post by pika » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:13 am

When you upload pictures to airliners.net there is an option to include it in the prints for sale area on the site. Is there a set price for pics through that option or a negotiation?
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#89 Post by jspitfire » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:21 pm

pika wrote:When you upload pictures to airliners.net there is an option to include it in the prints for sale area on the site. Is there a set price for pics through that option or a negotiation?
The price for the print sales is fixed and the photographer gets a certain percentage of the profits. However, I don't think print sales has been working for a good year or so now.

And Ian thanks for the advice about setting up a website, maybe I'll wait a bit to set one up.
I'm glad you like the northern lights shots, but I don't think I'd be comfortable putting a lot of them up for sale; They're all taken at ISO 800 or 1600 so they really can't compete with a lot of the other northern photographers. Maybe once I invest in some new equipment I'll see about selling them!
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#90 Post by pika » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:28 pm

They're all taken at ISO 800 or 1600 so they really can't compete with a lot of the other northern photographers.
Noise Ninja or Imagenomic Noiseware to knock the noise down just a bit...
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#91 Post by Prairie Chicken » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:25 am

A while ago I was looking for a program to organize & edit digital images. I had tried Nikon’s product on a trial basis a long time ago & it was ok, but I didn’t find it met my organizing needs. So I held on with the MS product, Photo Gallery, until I had the opportunity to do more research. I asked around here, but didn’t get a lot of feedback.

In case any of you are in the same boat, I’ll share some of what I learned. I should mention that I’m a PC user so I didn’t explore Mac applications.

Photo Gallery is included with MS Office & is easy to use. It is reasonably effective for organizing photos, but next to useless for developing or editing. It offers basic red eye & cropping & an automatic exposure ‘fix’. Worst, every edit leaves you with the current edit of an image & no versions of the original file. Photo Gallery does offer the option of reverting to the original, but by doing so you lose any good edits along the way. Significantly, it will not read raw files.

I had a look at freeware Picasso & wasn’t impressed so I gave that up quickly.

Adobe Photoshop has been the industry standard for years so that was the first program to investigate. Photoshop Creative Suite (CS) 4 is the current version & it is extremely powerful, and at around $800, expensive too. What I learned about CS4, & later confirmed, is that this program is really, really more than any amateur needs, & more than most professionals. Plus, this program isn’t very user-friendly.

stl recommends Lightroom, one of the Adobe Photoshop family, so that was the next program I was going to check out but at this point Santa brought me Photoshop Elements 8 (pse). I had to spend quite a bit of time with Adobe’s on-line videos, which are really good, and now have a good start on pse. I also found a course being offered by a large local photography store that addressed storage & editing of digital images & I signed up for their 10-hour course.

Elements 8 was only released in September ’09 so it is fairly new. It comes in two parts—the Organizer & the Editor, & also offers good Create & Share sections. I found the Organizer easy to use. It imported the keywords I had been using with Photo Gallery, which was great. I find the Editor more difficult to use as I had never used Photoshop before. I find that pse does crash occasionally for no obvious reason.

The course I signed up for ended up being an introduction to the Photoshop family & would have been exactly what was needed when shopping for a program. We downloaded a trial version of CS4 & were introduced to it. Then we downloaded a trial version of Lightroom (LR), then Elements 8 (pse). All include the Camera Raw program, which permits developing of images—adjusting exposure, hue, saturation, etc. It does much of the same things as LR. I liked what I saw of LR but for some reason it locked up my pse, so I had to uninstall LR before I had much opportunity to assess it. LR did make it easier to open jpegs for developing in Camera Raw than pse or CS4. LR doesn’t seem to be an organizer, & doesn’t include the fixing tools that CS4 or pse include. CS4 & LR include Bridge, which is an organizer, and I liked the look of it. pse doesn’t include Bridge, which makes sense as pse includes a strong organizer section of it's own. At this time you can download the trial beta version of LR3 & it will stay active until LR3 is released in April or so. LR is about a $350 program. Our instructor recommended not buying LR at this time as the new version will be available in a couple of months. Download the beta trial & buy it later if you like it. pse is now $80 at Costco or online.

End result, I’m really pleased with pse. It includes Camera Raw, which does much of what LR does. The Create section did a great job producing a slide show, & our instructor says it is better than LR2 at creating slideshows. pse is priced to be available to anyone. I’m not sure why Adobe priced it so competitively but I’ll take it! I was really pleased to hear from our class instructor just how impressed he was with pse! This instructor was really knowledgeable about the Photoshop family of CS4, LR, Bridge, & Camera Raw but wasn’t as familiar with pse at the beginning of the classes. By the time the classes ended, he felt that pse was an excellent choice to provide an overall product to the majority of photographers.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#92 Post by enbt » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:20 pm

PC,

Thanks for the info about Elements. I downloaded a trial to check it out and wow, that program has come a long way from previous versions. I'm going to use it as much as I can during the trial but so far I can't see anything that my old version of PS 7 can't. Plus the organizer looks useful and is a big part of what I am looking for. Can't beat the price either, only a fraction of LR and/or Photoshop.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#93 Post by Rowdy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:54 pm

Anybody have any info on tokina lenses?
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#94 Post by iflyforpie » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:49 pm

Lots of excellent tips and pics!

I haven't had an SLR since film days (foolishly bought a 35mm Canon EOS 1v in 2000 :cry: ) but just got a Nikon D5000 with the 18-55 kit lens. It was a compromise between me wanting a D90 and the wife wanting a PnS with movie capability and live view.

Any recommendations on further equipment to get? Polarizing filter is way up there and probably a 55-200 zoom next. Anybody use color filters anymore or is this more of a software thing now? (Most of my creative photography was with film).
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#95 Post by Meatloaf » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:34 am

Another difference with RAW and JPEG. When you shoot in RAW, you have all the data from the sensor and all the settings. Everything picked up by the sensor is recorded on the card. In JPEG, when you edit a photo, you are actually deleting data. If you change the levels in the photo, you are deleting the lighter or darker data in the photo to achieve your goal. This results in decreased image quality. I used to shoot JPEG all the time as it kept my card relatively free. Now I shoot exclusively in RAW. The difference has been huge.

Have a Canon 1Ds MII, Canon 50D, 17-85mm, 100mm Macro 2.8, 50mm 1.8, 70-200mm 2.8, 75-300mm f4-5.6, 100-400mm and looking at a 300mm or 500mm telephoto prime. I would like a wide-angle or fisheye lens but I think I would use it so infrequently that it would just be a waste of money.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#96 Post by travers114 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:05 pm

Wide angles are great fun to play with but in all honesty I would use a wide angle for maybe 5% of my photographs if I had one, and of those 5% about 90% of them can be done simply by taking multiple photos and stitching them together later on with Photoshop's "Photomerge" function to create something like this:
Image
Then you would typically take that and crop it to achieve nearly the same results as a wide angle without the cost, granted there are a few extra steps.
(However, you do get a few odd looks taking that many seemingly random photos. The above example was 23 photographs, but doesn't take more than a minute to take with a quick camera. Not only is it cheaper, but I would not be able to get the same results with any wide angle lens as my Canon 50D has a half-frame censor like most sub $3000 camera bodies. A half frame censor basically multiplies the length by about 1.5, so a 50mm lens on my camera has the same results as a 75mm lens on a full-frame camera.)

Also, shooting in JPG is really all most people need, but if you plan on processing an image more than just a slight curves adjustment, then RAW is the way to go.
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#97 Post by sky's the limit » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:22 pm

I always said the same thing, "I'd love a wide angle, but for the money...." Now I find some of my best shots of any given trip are from the 14-24.....

stl
GTL_9502.jpg
GTL_9502.jpg (478.8 KiB) Viewed 3332 times
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#98 Post by travers114 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:29 pm

Yeah, but you've probably got some loverly full-frame to snap it onto. :rolleyes:

STL, what exactly is your job description? You seem to be doing all the things I'd love to. :D
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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#99 Post by sky's the limit » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Job description? Haha, I try hard to make my own these days...

I'm mainly a contract helicopter pilot, so my flying schedule is pretty flexible and I have the ability to make a good amount of money in a fairly short time frame which of course frees up a lot of my year. On the side I work as a contributing editor to a couple magazines, shoot and write for a couple others as well. It's working out ok these days, so steady as she goes for now I guess.

And yes, I shoot a D3... full frame is nice on the wide stuff. Depressingly, a friend showed me an Iphone app for panoramic shots, wow is all I have to say, and for $1.00. Go figure!

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Re: Photography Questions and Tips

#100 Post by travers114 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:19 am

Haha, I've actually got a couple of those apps for the iPhone, depending on the situation. :D
I love that I can take a series of photos, have it automatically stitched together, do some post processing and even upload it to the internet all from my phone. I even have an app for basic 2 photo HDR and even more apps for anything from simulating a tilt-shift lens to modifying an images curves or doing black and white with a selective colour remaining. Now if only my thousands of dollars worth of camera and computer could do all that and still fit in my pocket. :lol:

Actually I've seen your work in Vertical before too.
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