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Bit Tech Photographer's Thread

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Pookeyhead, 25 Jun 2004.

  1. dom_

    dom_ --->

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    sooooo off topic... but Gnome, you would be able to post or link to some of your military pictures? especially if you have some of the aug, which if memory serves if the australian armies rifle. As i need to get some high definition pics for a project
     
  2. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Ooh, Linhoff, now that's a nice camera. 4x5 is actually perfect for my style of documentary because my subjects are rarely animate. I get a kick out of visiting abandoned/rundown places at night. There's just something about spending 30 minutes under a hood in front of a view camera, looking at the glass through a loop, and tweaking the life out of the focus. Traditional landscapes are just as fun.

    I suppose if I had more commercial-type stuff to sell, I would consider a stock agency. Things are pretty busy here nowadays so I don't much time to shoot anything at all. Once my wife and I finally have our own house I'd like to start shooting again, with the end goal of publishing a book. But that will be many many years down the road. Right now I'll stick to my current job until something in my field comes along.

    -monkey
     
  3. reGen

    reGen Minimodder

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    you seem to idolise the DCS14n because of its 14mp sensor, yet seem to overlook the fact that the camera generally thought of as the best is the Canon EOS-1DS...has far far less problems too :p

    I'm 16 atm and am going to begin an A level photography course in september. I am lookin for a summer job to fund the purchase of a canon EOS-10D and a 28-135mm IS lens along with a Canon EX550 speedlight flash.

    In the end i am hoping to make a living from being a photographer. Do any of you guys have any tips on what route i should be thinking of after completion of my course?

    Cheers

    Tom
     
  4. fathazza

    fathazza Freed on Probation

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    im also quite into photography

    fairly amateurish stuff tho, i just like playing about in the dark room, with solarisation and stuff like that just for experimentation.

    i have a wierd obsession with long exposure shots too, have a couple of good shots of a break in pool, and others when i manually zoomed in or out during the exposure ( i forget if there is a word for that).

    i also like exposing the same negative more than once because it can create some really unusual images. The best example i have of that is a picture i took of my black and white cats in different positions on a black and white faux-zebra rug, which actually looks really cool, and is kid of like a spot the cat competition ;)

    ill try and post some pics soon, but ive no idea where they are as im in the process of moving house.

    on a side note, id quite like to get my own B&W dark room equipment, and ive seen some budget kits in the likes of jessops for circa £200-300. Im assuming they are really poop, but if any one who has had any postive experience with a cheap set up would let me know, that would be nice ;)
     
  5. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Well, I "grew up" using Omega enlargers at school, and I have to say I never had any problems with any of them. As far as a darkroom setup goes, I would personally spend a bit more for quality equipment. The two things you should take the most care in selecting, in my opinion, are the head and the lens. The base is essentially a piece of wood and the frame, as long as it is decent quality, should be alright. The lens will be the difference of a good, sharp print vs a poor one. The head will also play a role in the quality of the print, depending on whether or not you go with a cold head or another type.

    Shoot, shoot, and keep shooting. The biggest piece of advice I can give in my limited experience, is get an internship. That will get your in the door and get you some contacts within the industry. Above all that, it will start building your portfolio. The depth of the portfolio can make all the difference when looking for a job. Also, try different disciplines and decide what works best for you. Throughout college, I had many different assignments and lots of different paid gigs. I decided that the area in which I was most comfortable was documentary/journalism. Portraiture didn't do it for me and I was never any good with studio setups (so advertising wasn't the best path). Once I realized how much I liked photojournalism, I got an internship at a local paper. Unfortunately, I left the paper before my last semester to focus on school, and when I graduated the job market started to dry up. Hasn't been good since.

    I hope you have better luck than many of us, and have fun shooting!

    -monkey
     
  6. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Any enlarger is only as good as it's lens to be honest. There are other factors to consider, like how even the light is across the frame, but the lens is numero uno. Meopta make good cheap enlargers, and those Jessops ones aren't bad. THey don't allow you to make very big prints tho as I recall. Come enlargers will swivel thru 90 degrees so you can project on a wall however - not sure if the JEssops one does.

    It's all good fun.
     
  7. felix the cat

    felix the cat Spaceman Spiff

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    anyone use a canon eos series camera...i know this is a really dumb question and its not that important but curiousity killed the cat! :p

    when i put it into automatic shooting mode (eos5) there is the beep that lets you know when its focused...as handy as it is, at times this can get me into trouble if im in a place where cameras are not appreciated, hence i was wondering if anyone knew how to switch it off....i read through the manual and managed to switch it of for when its in manual mode, but havent managed to get rid of it in automatic...

    /sorry if this seems a little off-topic!
     
  8. slaw

    slaw At Argos buying "gold"

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    hi there
    what ya do is that you press the function button on the back of the camera 4 times. untill there is an arrow pointing at the little speaker icon on the top screen. then simply turn the front wheel untill the 1 next to the speaker turns to a 0 then press the shutter half way to confirm!

    theres an online manual here
    http://eosdoc.com/manuals.asp?q=ElanII

    elan ii = eos 50 over in the us incase your wondering!
     
  9. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I don't idolise it! It caused me nothing but problems actually. We did find that the image was better than the EOS-1 however, but at a price. Colour fidelity off chip was nicer from the EOS-1, granted, but as it's a digital image, that could be adjusted anyway... in fact.. it's rare I leave anything unadjusted, so that's not an issue. The extra resolution was a HUGE bonus actually. As most of our stuff is traditionally shot on 120, then resolution does matter. The difference between 120 film and cams like the EOS and D1 was a marked one, whereas the DCS14 ,anaged to get pretty close. Couple that with the fact that all the work is studio based, and then that negates the speed advantages of the other two offerings as well. In short, the DCS14 was the only 35mm SLR based cam that offered what we needed.

    There are still problems however... no matter how high the res, the chip size is still that of a 35mm neg in the DCS. People forget that the PHYSICAL size of the chip is important, not just the resolution of it's output. Take two chips... one 35mm sized, and one much larger like in the Eyelike 16M back, and even if the resolution was the same, the larger chip would yelld the sharpest image. This is because of the lens limitations... the minimum point of focus, or what's called the circle of confusion for a lens is a finite amount... lenses can't resolve things infinitely, not even the best lenses.. and the smaller the chip, or film, the softer the image will become... even if that chip or film had infinite resolution. This was another factor for the 14n... it has a full size chip. Yes... I know the DS has a full-frame chip.... but the DS wasnt available at the time, and the 14n, despite it's speed problems, still has that 3mp advantage.


    Oh... and another thing... when you have a HUGE range of Nikkor lenses already... you can't just go and buy a Canon... Changing from Nikon F to EOS would be HUGELY expensive. You are considering buying a camera and one zoom lens... so it's an easy choice for you. Someone who already has £20,000 worth of Nikkor lenses can't just re-invest at the drop of a hat.

    Fact is however.... they're all pretty awful compared to 120 film anyway. If you were a 35mm user, then they'd be pretty good I suppose, but the only digital capture upto the job of replacing 120 film is that provided by dedicated backs, and with price tags of between 20 and 40,000 dollars for something to rival film, and only to be obsolete in 18 months... you have to seriously consider whether it's a good investment or not.

    As for the rest....

    A-level photography will teach you the technical aspects, but will not offer anything creative. If I were you, I'd do an ND in something design based, then aim for a degree. Not because you will necessarily be taught about f-stops and stuff... cos you wont, not on a degree course, but it does offer a creative freedom, and broader education in art and media than any A level photography course can ever hope to offer - and this will stand you in good stead when you're going up against people with a more mature outlook on life and photography.

    As for being a photographer... just show your work. Make appointments to see editors, creative directors, ad execs... anyone who matters. Just keep showing your book around. What course you did doesnt really matter, as no one will ask about that... they're just interested in your work - you are your work, so sell it.

    Get out there, and show it at every available opportunity. If for instance, you want to shoot fashion, then call every magazine you can think of, and arrange an interview to see someone. Keep doing it... Send samples of work to those you have seen regularly.. keep your name in their minds. If you are thinking of fashion, advertising, or publishing, think about your location also. If you're in the UK.... think about moving to London... if you're in the US... think about NY, or possibly LA. That's where the magazines, publishers and ad agancies are... and they want people accessible to them. No point contacting these people if you can't go and show your work to them cos you live 500 miles away.

    As you're in London.. ignore that... was for the benefit of others really :)
     
    Last edited: 7 Jul 2004
  10. Mr. Roboto

    Mr. Roboto xBurningMikex

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    Time for me to get involved in this discussion.

    As for photography, I consider myself somewhat experienced with professional work and printing. I've only been shooting for about 18 months now, mainly film for over a year and I don't plan on seriously going back to digital any time soon.

    There in lies a serious dislike for digital for this reason:

    Digital has no comparison to a medium or large format film negative.

    Plus, film is what's selling in terms of fine art prints.

    Website: http://mikeandersonphotos.cjb.net

    as for you all speaking of how to correctly photograph something in a pleasing manner, remember this rule:

    2 or more lights help take away shadows, and always position the lights at a 45 degree angle from the object and camera. It takes away reflections.

    Another thing to think about is getting a "circular polarizer" filter to put on the end of your lens. This eliminates any reflections and will make color more brilliant. If you're taking photos for ebay or just showing your rig, use a large white sheet and replace the color in photoshop.

    As for the darkroom equipment, remember that you're most likely going to be messing around with seperate formats and equipment in the future, so get a setup that will allow this experimentation. I was lucky enough to be given all of a school's photography things due to a connection, but it's things like a 4x5 Omega DII enlarger that will allow you to experiment with large format, as I am beginning to now. Try to find used things on ebay, there's always hundreds of old enlargers. Look at getting a 35mm SLR for snaps and the like, but be prepared and dedicated to take several minutes for each shot when you're taking with other formats. It's a VERY expensive thing to get into, first of all.

    Try to get a job in the career either through an internship or just some amateur photojournalism. If you're looking for fine art work, don't plan on making a living off of it, as few people are able to achieve this sort of a career because of the very competative nature of the work.

    Read on http://photo.net

    It will teach you a lot.
     
  11. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Not in London! Pigment prints seem to the thing here now... even mono work seems to be all pigment prints on Lyson or Hahnemule rag papers. Even if like me, you still use film to shoot, you need to accept that wet printing is probably very nearly dead, especially for colour work.

    There are many forms of digital capture that surpass 120 film... they're just very expensive! Plus.... even if the quality is not as good yet.. and the key word there is YET... doesn't mean it's not the way the industry is going. Digital television's quality isn't as good as analogue, but it doesn't mean it's not the future. It's paving the way for HDTV, which IS the future. The same is true for photography. Whilst only a few capture systems can rival larger formats, no one cares, as the increase in productivity easily outweighs these drawbacks. Film is still used, and will be until capture can provide the quality and speed of film, but it IS the future, and it IS happening now. Scanned film and digital output are now the norm for almost all professional work. The darkroom is dead. In 5 years time, the only people in darkrooms will be a few die-hard fine art people, and amateurs. If I'm wrong, you're welcome to revive this thread in 5 years and tell me so :hehe: Even then, this assumes you will still be able to buy R Type colour printing paper.... which isn't looking too likely. There will probably always be black and white wet printing, but again, fine art purists and amateurs only.


    Always? Wouldn't that make all your photos look the same? Are we talking just about photos of our computers here, like in the other thread? If not, ALWAYS putting your lights like that will just make all your images look similar. To be honest, the best rule I can think of with lighting, is that there ARE no rules. Take location work, or landscape for instance: In nature, are there 2 lights placed at 45 degrees? No.. in fact, the most dramatic lighting to be found in nature is often the opposite. If that's the case for location work, then why not for studio work? Just think how crap your landscape shots would be if there were always two suns at 45 degree angles to you! Why limit yourself?

    I almost never place 2 lights at 45 degree angles :hehe: In fact, as most of my shots are composites, with the background shot on location, and the model in the studio, the studio lighting is set up to emulate the daylight conditions that were present when I shot the background... any other way would look awful. How you set your lighting up depends on you, and your style.. your "look". Being so prescriptive as to say "always position lights at 45 degree angles" is a little limiting. Sometimes i'll use 8 lights, with a barrage of reflectors and mirrors... sometimes i'll use no lights - just a window. I often use just one light, and shoot straight into it.. sometimes even having the light in shot. Find me a textbook that recommends THAT. It doesn't mean you shouldnt do it tho. Textbooks are just things to stop your other books falling off the shelf if you ask me. No.. learn these rules by all means... then promptly forget them. The only reason to learn rules so far as I'm concerned, is so you can understand what you are doing when you break them. I fail to see how you can develop your own personal style if you just follow rules.

    Only if you have an autofocus camera, or one with semi-silvered mirrors in the metering system, otherwise a linear polariser will give better results.


    Remember also, that a polariser will usually only work best when the light is at 45 to 70 degree angles to your subject, and won't work at all with metalic objects. They're very useful indeed of course... but sometimes they're just not practical: the 2.5 stops loss of speed is a pain sometimes, and to be honest, they're of limited use in a studio using flash, as you'll be using a hand-held meter, and factoring in the filter value is almost impossible, as the polariser has no fixed value. Outdoors shooting often is improved with them of course, and they are useful to reduce reflections, granted.

    If both Kodak's and Fuji's downturn in film production continues... there is no future for film, apart from a very niche market. There is even less of a fture for R type papers! In fact, Fuji plans on ceasing production of it's R-type papers in the near future, and Kodak has already scaled down production dramatically. The writing is on the wall for wet process printing. Film will survive for sometime, but the colour darkroom's days are numbered. Black and white will continue for a while, as fine art techniques like lith processing of full tone papers, and selenium toned prints etc are still in damand in the art world. However, these processes can now be created digitally, and the quality of papers like Hahnebule Photo rag easily match "proper" fine art papers such as Kentmere and Ilford Gallerie. With Pigment inks now lasting hundreds of years, even the archival problems associated with digital prints are a thing of the past.

    In all honesty, i can't recomend anyone to invest heavily in a multi-format darkroom... it's rapidly becoming a quaint thing of the past. Just check the prices, and the sheer quantity of used darkroom equipemnt. In fact... we threw all ours away to clear studio space, as no one wanted to buy it. Maybe things are different in the US.

    On a professional level here in the UK, almost no one is using wet printing. Labs are just not being asked for it, and one of the few pro labs in London that specialised in it (Joe's Basement) went out of business last year due to their reluctance to go digital. All the big labs in London (Metro, Primary et al) are just offering c41 and e6, and the only wet printing they do is contact sheets (if requested). All proofing is done digitally, and most photographers I know will either be providing their clients with digital files, or if a print is requested, will just produce their own pigment prints. I know of not a single photographer in London who has, or still uses a darkroom (not that professionals have the time to print their own work anyway). That in itself speaks volumes about how the industry is going. I've not been in one for 3 years, and to be honest... have not felt a need to be in one.

    No.. I can't recommend anyone gets a darkroom... I can however, recommend they get a really great film scanner.



    Exactly... why invest so much in a dying technology? Just buy an Imacon scanner instead :hehe:


    No.. there's no living to be made in fine art.. you need to shoot commercially to support your fine art work.

    As for internship.. i think such a thing only exists in the photojournalism arena, and even then it's rare. Photographers are freelance (even assistants are)... im not aware of one who isnt. No one employs photographers as staff anymore, and they very rarely did anyway. The best way to work in the industry, is just to go out and show your work. If you can, get an agent also, although most agents won't touch you if you've not got published work, as they don't want to be holding your hand all the time. The best advice for anyone wanting to be a photographer, is to get a job assisting a photographer. You will learn about 50 times more than you did at college..and useful stuff too.. stuff you really need to know, like how to get clients, how to deal with art directors.. how to create a good portfolio, how to charge people.. how MUCH to charge people.. creating invoices, sourcing props and supplies. You'll also meet people who you really need to meet. No.. you want to work in the industry... then when you leave college, assist!! Plus.. if you assist, you usually have access to a studio for your personal work, and with studio hire costs at around £300 per day, that in itself makes it worthwhile.

    If you're in the UK, join the AOP (association of Photographers) and get on their assistant list, and browse their site for assisting jobs. No other way gets you right in there where the action is... meeting people who matter and seeing how it's REALLY done. 6 month's assisting is worth 10 years in a college.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2004
  12. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    That trend is evident here in the US as well. Maybe not quite at the same level, but there is definitely a shift happening. Every time I go to a museum or gallery, I see fewer and fewer traditional prints.

    Say it ain't so!! Unfortunately, I think you may be right. As long as there are people who can still appreciate a traditional photographic print, I suppose the wet process will hang in there, if only for the few of us that still enjoy the "old ways."

    I think there is still enough of a market in the US to keep the wet darkroom alive for a little while longer, though that may have more to do with just having more people over here.

    As for the wet darkroom/digital darkroom debate:
    I don't know if I would recommend a full-blown multi-format uber-darkroom setup, as that would be prohibitively expensive, but a decent enlarger with 1 lens for 4x5 and 1 lens for 35mm (if you want to print 35mm) should suffice. That's the setup I used back in school (though I rarely printed 35mm) and it seemed to work just fine. But I would only recommend this if someone planned to do fine art or a similar documentary style.

    If you want to get into photojournalism over here, then I would only recommend a wet darkroom for hobbyist/art photography on the side - you'd be better off with a good quality digital 35mm slr. I can't think of a single newspaper that still uses film (unless for some special assignment where the photog expressly wants to use it). The combination of the immediacy and the growing quality of the digital image is driving it to be the method of choice for almost every photojournalist. Remember, when you are priting on newsprint, you will lose much of that extreme detail that a negative will give you. Not to mention the huge cost savings that digital offers. There is a significant cost up front with great savings over time for the lack of chemistry, paper, film, etc.

    Whether you are an intern or a volunteer assistant, pookey is right about experience. I learned more about photojournalism while working at the paper than I did at school. If I had it to do all over again, I would have kept studio art minor and chosen something else fo my major course of study, like design or music. I'd like to make a living with my photography; but, as one of my favorite professors once told us, to be a professional artist you either have to be independently wealthy or have a full-time job. Very few people can make it full-time as artists. I figure if I work my full-time job, I should make enough to afford a basic setup for the 4x5 work that want to do (I really have no interest to print 35mm any more).

    Plus,the place I work has an entire section devoted to imagery, and I'm hoping to find my way over there. It's been far too long and I'd love to get back into my element.

    -monkey
     
  13. Ben

    Ben What's a Dremel?

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    :: off topic ::

    could photographers post a link to there site i know some of you have, if so i would like to put a link from my site.
    If you don't want me to link to your site say so and i will not add it to the links page.

    Ben

    edit:: still working on it link
     
  14. Mr. Roboto

    Mr. Roboto xBurningMikex

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    Good points made, Pookey.

    I have never done and don't plan on doing color darkroom work, as type R is completely dying (except for prints from slides).

    I do operate my own B/W darkroom and I don't believe there's a better or cheaper way to produce good quality prints at your house. Sure, digital prints are beginning to hit the mainstream, but the b/w process will always surpass that, as it's cheaper to pay for chemicals than most ink tanks for large prints above 11x14.

    I'm not ignoring the obvious progression to digital, in fact I'm happy about it, except for fine art work. It still seems that in Baltimore, at least, that fine art is still film and darkroom work, as digital isnt' there for the typical artist in the area.

    I just realized that I don't have a point, so I'll stop there.
     
  15. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    It's in my bit-tech profile Ben... or should be
     

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