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Old 06-18-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
l'oiseau
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Getting into Photography

My wife has expressed a particular interest in learning photography and I told her I would prod here for some opinions...

She is interested in still life and landscape photography. I told her to read everything she could about it, try to find a class and look on forums for recommendations for equipment.

My current camera is a waterproof/shock-proof, point and shoot. It rarely takes a spectacular picture and it is cumbersome to get it set right. She is looking for something better. I like mine because it is tough and requires hardly any skill (although I have missed some rare wildlife shots because I couldn't get it on turned on and focused quick enough).

Anyway she is looking for something high end but still digital I think.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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Look on Craigslist and pick up a used Nikon D80, a DSLR...easy enough for a beginner, yet versatile enough for an advanced user. And the lenses can be as cheap or expensive as your need for quality.
Going rate for body only is now under $300, lenses anywhere from $50 to $1500...
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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Excellent, thank you. I will pass that on. I see they are abundant, most with lenses.

I have no idea what lenses she would want/need...
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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I have been raised on Cannon cameras. I use a T series (Digital Rebel) that has boated with me for years and has always been faithful to me. I am not one of those Nikon Vs. Cannon people, as I am sure the Nikon is just as good. Both make great products, I am just offering another option. Prices seem in range of Stripperguy's post, although over the years they have offered newer versions and I am not sure of the lettering. Look for Digital Rebel on Craig's list.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:56 PM   #5
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Yeah, it really doesn't matter Cannon or Nikon, it's the quality of the lens that matters most.
A great site for independant reviews of current and older equipment is Ken Rockwell...he gives a no nonsense review of most modern and recent lenses and bodies.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:50 PM   #6
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Disclaimer: I am an amateur photographer. By no means do I consider myself to be an expert.

That being said, the following has been my experience with outdoor photography:

I'd had a simple point and shoot camera for about 6 years before constantly being in the outdoors finally caught up with it. At first, outdoor photography was something I occasionally did. I didn't actually carry a camera with me the woods all that often, and when I did, I didn't take that many pictures. After about 5 years or so of being in the outdoors on a regular basis, I started to find that as time passed, the trips I remembered the best were the trips I'd taken photos on, as having those photos helped me to remember particular details of the trip, like where I camped and who was with me.

So, coincidental with an increased desire to take more photos in the outdoors, and to get better at it, I found myself in the market for a new camera.

I experimented briefly with a waterproof camera. Upon viewing the results, I was shocked at how bad they were. Like noticeably, there's no way I can every get these photos printed, bad. They were worse in quality than the photos my 6 year old digital camera took. After only having the waterproof camera for a few weeks, I ended up returning it. It seems that there isn't really a market for a camera that takes decent pictures and is at least water resistant, much less waterproof, because no such camera exists.

After some shopping around, I selected the Nikon P7000 as my next camera. Nikon simply because my original camera was a Nikon and I'd been pretty happy with it, and the P7000 for a few reasons. First, I didn't want a DSLR because I wanted something I could take with me all over the outdoors without having to worry as much about keeping it protected from the elements. The P7000 was Nikon's top of the line non-DSLR camera at the time, and I was able to purchase it for about $300, so it wasn't something that I was going to be too terribly upset over if it stopped working after a few years in the woods. The first few trips more than justified my choice, as I was extremely satisfied with the quality of the photos the camera took.

I ended up running that camera into the ground in about a year and a half. A bit less time than I'd hoped to get out of it, but again, I wasn't to terribly disappointed for what I'd paid for it. Now I'm using a Nikon P7700, which is essentially the latest version of that same model. Again, I'm extremely satisfied with it- the price is right, it takes beautiful outdoors photos, and if it breaks after the warranty is up, I won't be distraught over it.

I like to think that my photographic skill and ability has improved over the years, but I know I still have a lot of room for improvement. I've never really gotten any professional instruction, rather, I've looked at what works and what doesn't work in my photos. Occasionally, I'll read articles and forum discussions online to pick up something new. I've been pretty satisfied with learning at my own, slow pace.

One thing that I have found is that for me personally, as well as for many of those with whom I've shared photos, what really resonates well is pictures of people in nature. I can only surmise that the presence of a human being provides a reference that better imparts a sense of scale than a landscape alone. Perhaps also having people in images better conveys emotions, that is a sense of wonder and awe with regards to the landscape, to the viewer.

I have no idea if that's useful or not. But maybe it helps. I hope so.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I have no idea if that's useful or not. But maybe it helps. I hope so.
Madame said it was. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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"One thing that I have found is that for me personally, as well as for many of those with whom I've shared photos, what really resonates well is pictures of people in nature. I can only surmise that the presence of a human being provides a reference that better imparts a sense of scale than a landscape alone. Perhaps also having people in images better conveys emotions, that is a sense of wonder and awe with regards to the landscape, to the viewer."

Well said Dsettahr!
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Last edited by Yakker; 06-18-2013 at 09:13 PM.. Reason: did not quote correctly..
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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Well said Dsettahr!
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:16 PM   #10
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Ooops!

Sorry, I sort of trainwrecked the "Quote" option button..
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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:48 AM   #11
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Dsettahr, do you mean like this one?

also,sorry for the hijacking of the thread a bit...



I thought this was a pretty neat photo because my wife did not think I was taking it and she was just resting temporarily on that rock..glad she did n`t move at all because I had the shutter speed very low...

WB
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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Yes, that's exactly the kind of picture I'm referring to.

Here's another example from my own photos that also illustrates the same point (sorry for the size):



IMO, the presence of the person in that picture adds quite a bit of extra... something that makes the picture a lot better than it would've been otherwise.

I read an article once that backs this up- studies have shown that people react more favorably to landscape and outdoor photography that also features people.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
My wife has expressed a particular interest in learning photography... She is interested in still life and landscape photography. I told her to read everything she could about it, try to find a class and look on forums for recommendations for equipment.

Anyway she is looking for something high end but still digital I think.

If she is interested in b/w film, it makes a great hobby. Cameras & darkroom gear go cheap on ebay and craigs list. Classes are still taught in colleges. I watched an Omega B22 enlarger (basic, but solid) go for $5.00 at a camera club auction. Wonderful art form.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:14 PM   #14
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One thing she should have also is a really good tripod It can make the difference between an ok shot and a really great shot especially in low light .

another thing that helped to learn was using the manual settings and experimenting with exposure and depth of field Its easy with digital I learned on film and have the file cabinet to prove it .
As for the gear go to the store and touch it . It is all different get stuff that feels natural to you and makes good sense in the way it works to you or rather your wife . If she likes the way it works she will want to use it

that's my two cents worth
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