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November 19, 2012


Replies: 2

First timer

DarkLightOo Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012
I really want to get into photography, always had an interest in it just never had the money to follow it up. I'm doing a TV & Film production course and got more interested in the quality of an image so would like to do this as a sort of side hobby. Can anybody help me with advice on cameras, settings etc? I don't have a lot to spend on a camera as I've just bought a HD video camera. Any help greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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Devious Comments

DarkLightOo Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012
I'm good with a video camera, the lighting, framing etc. are what i like doing, I'm hoping to leave the course in May with a distinction. I enjoy making a normal shot look a bit more interesting than it actually is. Which is why I'm interested in photography. When you said buy a cheap film camera, which models are good? and which are a good idea to stay clear on. I know about the video cameras, it can sound good in the description, but then when you get to use it you realise it's not the best. I've used a professional video camera which cost about 2,000 used and I could have got a better quality video from a camera which cost less than 600.
Thanks for the help, and that second paragraph was helpful. I've seen photographs on here and thought I'd never be able to make one as good as that. I've got experience in photoshop so that should help? It seems as if photography and video production are more similar than I thought, Everybodys video footage looks blah untill it's all edited and nicely put together.
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Professional Photographer
Learn what you can about video production first, both the technical and artistic aspects of it. A lot of that knowledge – things like lighting, composition, framing, etc. – will cross over into still photography. Both have shutters, both have apertures, both make use of either film or digital sensors whose light-sensitivity can be adjusted. Buy a cheap, used film camera and put what you learn in your course to use. You won’t get the immediate feedback, but eventually you’ll get how it all works. Then, when you’ve figured out what that camera’s limitations are and decide you’ve outgrown it, you can spring for a fancy DSLR and keep learning that way. Just be careful not to fall into the trap of gear-lust. No camera is going to make you a good photographer.

And if I can leave you with one more thought, this is something I tell my students when I teach beginner courses in photography: it’s like playing golf. The camera is a rough instrument that will get you onto the fairway. Every once in awhile, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a hole in one (and the odds of that happening will increase the more you do it), but most of the time, you’ll need to switch tools and finesse your image either in a darkroom or on a computer, much the way a golfer switches from a heavy driver to a putter once he gets close to the hole. Most of the amazing images you see here or elsewhere have been retouched in some way. How much retouching goes into an image depends a lot on what that image is being used for (photos for editorial use rarely have more than simple tonal adjustments, cropping and straightening; whereas photos meant for advertising can be as far from reality as you want) but it’s very rare to see an amazing shot that came “straight out of the camera”. So don’t worry if your shots initially look a little blah; everyone’s photos look a little blah when they are shot.
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