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November 28, 2012
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Graphic Designer looking to jump into photography

:iconjfresh313:
JFRESH313 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
I've been a professional GD for over six years and have always dabbled in photography but I have never taken it seriously. Now I have come to a point where I would like to put some serious focus on it, and add it into my other freelance work.

What I want to know is...

What kind of equipment should I start out with? ( interested in shooting events, portraits, still life, live music, and the outdoors)

What should I do to make photography a useable skill. I don't want to be one of those people on facebook who say "look at me I'm a photographer." If I can't be taken seriously then I don't want to put photography anywhere in my resume or freelance services.

I may be over thinking but it probably stems from my pet peeve of people claiming to be a Graphic Designer, when they are not. blahh
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:icontrakeen:
trakeen Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
How experienced are you at lighting? Do you have experience with both studio and on location lighting? For pro work half the work/battle will be lighting. Also are you familer with the post-processing workflow for photography? There is some overlap with graphic design but a fair amount is specific to photography. Having a good foundation in traditional photograpic processes will certainly help
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:iconjfresh313:
JFRESH313 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I've had some experience with lighting, so I already have my feet wet there. I've had more post-processing than anything. I haven't dealt with film processing, only digital. I'll need to step it up in both categories.
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:iconstevecaissie-stock:
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Professional Photographer
As a former art director-turned-professional-photographer, I would encourage you to consider the sorts of images you might have worked with during your tenure as a designer. If you’re considering transitioning full-time, then your best bet is to use the contacts that you already have. What sort of images have your existing clients used? Then ask any photographers you might have worked with what sort of equipment they recommend you get. Those fields you’ve listed as your interests are great if you want to stay a hobbyist photographer, but if you actually want to make a living doing this, you’ll need to consider editorial and/or advertising work. You can still do your hobby photography on the side (we all need a creative outlet, after all),. While it’s not commonplace, it’s not unheard-of for someone to make a good living in those areas, once they get good enough to rise above the crowd.
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:iconjfresh313:
JFRESH313 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
I'm definitely not trying to do it full time unless it came to that, but I feel it will be a good creative outlet and an additional skill for my GD work. Will be nice to able to shoot my own photos instead of having to sub out to another photographer.
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:iconjfresh313:
JFRESH313 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
thanks for all the help!

Well I'm definitely going to stick with Canon due to price and I have some friends using it also. I think my biggest hurdle is learning and understanding differences between the lenses and all the tech specs.
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:iconstevecaissie-stock:
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Photographer
When it comes to evaluating lenses, there are usually two numbers that are of paramount importance: the lens length and the maximum available aperture size. When you see something like “70-200 f/2.8”, that means that it’s a moderate telephoto zoom lens (from 70mm to 200mm) and that it has a fixed maximum aperture of f/2.8 (the closer an aperture number is to 1, the more light it’s allowing into the camera, which can help you in low-light situations). If you see “24-85mm F3.5-4.5”, that means it’s a zoom that has a range from moderately wide (28mm) to moderate telephoto (85mm) and that it has a range of maximum apertures from f/3.5 (not quite as bright as the 2.8 in the previous example) to f/4.5 (even dimmer) that directly correspond to how far out you are zoomed. Finally, if you see something like “50mm F1.2” it means that it’s a fixed or “prime” lens (no zoom) with a “normal” angle of view (neither wide nor telephoto) and a maximum aperture that lets in plenty of light.

Personally, I prefer prime lenses with large maximum apertures – the extra bit of light helps with focusing, and if you shoot at that maximum aperture you can get nice shallow depth of field. I don’t have any zoom lenses myself, but if I did, I’d go for the more expensive ones with fixed maximum apertures simply because if I were shooting something at the max. aperture with the lens zoomed all the way out, and then took the same shot zoomed all the way in, I’d hate to have to fiddle with the shutter speed or the power setting on my lights in order to compensate for the difference in brightness from one shot to the next.

:twocents:
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:iconsilentmood:
silentmood Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist
It will come in time. For now just go out and shoot.
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:iconsilentmood:
silentmood Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist
I would have to say knowledge is power. Photography to me is just a hobby and I would not even consider myself as a photographer. I feel the same about the "people who say, look at me I'm a photographer. on facebook." Just because they have a dslr doesn't mean they're "Photographers" yes they are photographers but not "Photographers" I'm pretty sure you get what I'm saying. I hate it when they flaunt their "watermark" saying they're photographers and stuff. Anyway I would stop venting now.

I'm pretty sure you'll do awesome at this, why? because now a days photography is almost about Post-processing and seeing that you have extensive experience on the same thing, you already have a step up vs other people who's just starting.

Pick a brand. Before you can pick your equipment, you have to pick a side first. Like always it's either Canon or Nikon? (For me I went with the underdog, Pentax). One advise that I can tell you is, pick the brand that your colleagues shoots. Why? because you can ask their personal experiences and maybe barrow stuff from them. I would say that Canon has awesome "pricey" lenses and they have an outstanding and advance flash system that you could benefit with. Nikon has awesome SLR bodies and of course they have good lenses and a good flash system too. And Pentax who is recently acquired by ricoh is just again starting to join the battle, "they say" Pentax has "The best" APS-C camera, right now, + awesome primes lenses for the money, but the flash system is way behind the times.

Get your feet wet first, start with your SLR right now, get a couple of good cheap lenses (You can always sell them, I do this all the time.) Know your favorite focal length.

This is not exactly pro gear, but this will get you started towards the "right" path. I would suggest getting a 50mm prime, and a 35mm prime. Canikon offers cheap 1.8's that has awesome IQ this will make you drop your kit lenses really fast. And then get a sharp zoom, preferably one with constant aperture "the 2.8's" I would suggest the Tamron 28 - 75 F2.8 (Very sharp and underrated lens for the money) and seeing that you have your kit lens already you're pretty much covered on the wide angle side at "18mm"

I would also suggest that if you have time. Take some classes, and join a club, It would be a fun way to keep you going and motivated in the art of photography.

Good luck.
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:iconstevecaissie-stock:
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Professional Photographer
Not to be a nag, but post-processing has always played a part in photography, even in the “good old film days”. The best photographers* practice what I like to call “pre-processing”; that is, they know what they’re going to shoot, how they’re going to shoot it, and how they’re going to process the image afterwards, long before they put the camera to their eye.

*Note that I do not include myself in that category. I’ve only had a camera in my hands for 25 years, and I figure I’ve got at least 20-odd more years to go.
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:iconsilentmood:
silentmood Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist
I agree. I did state that it is "almost" about post processing. My goal is to emphasize the importance of post, because I do believe that processing takes twice as much time as photographing, and people that I know spend more time in-front of the computer vs shooting, it's a chore I know, but it has to be done. I also agree with what you said, that pre-processing is what the "best" photographers do. They see the image already developed in their head, they know what they need to do at post, and they attack a shot in a form of art, that in a couple of seconds they've already envisioned what the capability of that images is and have an idea already on how it's gonna look like. Anyway this is just an opinion from a guy who doesn't even consider himself as a photographer.

But like I said earlier, knowledge is power, w/o the proper knowledge and understanding of your own craft, then there's no way someone can be good at it.
And I won't argue with you, because first you're absolutely correct, second your first camera is older than me, thus I'm assuming that your knowledge and experience is far greater than mine(And it shows, I'm a huge fan of your Portrait in the Park BTW (: just awesome!).

I've only been in-love with photography for a year, so I would indeed appreciate it if you can give me some tips. So far this is what I've learned.

/*copied from a facebook post that I made*/
It's almost been a year since I started getting into photography, a year of understanding how to capture light and preserving it in some way. I would just like to share a couple of things that I've learned so far.

1) The camera body or name does not matter. It's the one holding the camera who captures the image.
2) Don't shoot with mediocre glass.
3) A well composed image trumps a sharp image.
4) Learn the Triangle of photography. Take control. Don't let the camera set the settings for you.
5) Shoot RAW
6) Processing is twice much art as photographing. If I had known this I might not have started at all.

Thank you sir, and cheers (:
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