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#187312 - 07/12/02 02:17 AM Question for photographers
Linda Ann Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/01
Posts: 106
Loc: Nashua, NH, USA
I love to take pictures, especially of lighthouses, but am very much an amature.

Any suggestions as to how I can learn a bit more about photography? Are classes available and if so where would I find them? I tried searching the internet but have not been able to find anything but what appears to be workshops for more advanced photographers. I am looking for something very entry level.

Would appreciate any and all input/suggestions. Thanks!

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#187313 - 07/12/02 02:34 AM Re: Question for photographers
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
Seems as though High School Adult Ed used to offer photography classes? You could always check. Have you checked your public library? They may also have some books on photography that could give you a few tips.

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#187314 - 07/12/02 03:56 AM Re: Question for photographers
Chesapeake Bryan Offline
Member

Registered: 09/17/00
Posts: 1446
Loc: Dumfries, VA, USA
Check out your local community college. I know there are several community colleges around where I live that offer entry-level photography classes for adults. Alot of the classes that these college offer are also quite affordable too, so that is another advantage to taking a class there.


Hope this helps

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#187315 - 07/12/02 03:57 AM Re: Question for photographers
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7826
Loc: Kokomo, IN
If you have a local university campus many offer camera classes under the continuing education department. Here is a link to an on-line photography school .

Dave

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#187316 - 07/12/02 01:17 PM Re: Question for photographers
Bob M Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 12331
Loc: North Attleboro, Mass.
Make it easy on yourself, Linda. If you don't own a point & shoot camera (auto focus), buy one. Go to a lighthouse and take a bunch of pictures. It's kind of "what you see is what you get" when you first get started. Basically that means "what you see in the view finder is what you see on the photo." Watch out for the sun and try to keep it somewhat behind you. If you shoot into the sun, be prepared to have some heavily shaded points of interest.

Once you get the basic idea about what is going to come back from the developers, then you can concern yourself with photo composition. Photography can be as simple as you want, or it can be as complicated as you want. There are many examples of complicated photography in this forum. The pictures are magnificent!

Photography is an excellent hobby that doesn't require a lot of expensive equipment at first. Start slow and make sure you really like what you're doing before you make a serious commitment of money and time. Most photographers are happy to only get a couple of super pictures from each roll of film. Don't be afraid to ask questions on the forum. You will always get some sort of an answer from one of our members. There is a lot of experienced photographers posting here.

Bob

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#187317 - 07/12/02 04:52 PM Re: Question for photographers
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
Quote:
It's kind of "what you see is what you get"


Except those wires attached to lighthouses, which do strange things when photographed from a certain angle!

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#187318 - 07/12/02 07:40 PM Re: Question for photographers
Gary Martin Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/02
Posts: 998
Loc: Kalamazoo, Michigan
I'm not sure about those wires, Mombo!

Gary
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http://www.coastalbeacons.com

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#187319 - 07/12/02 10:33 PM Re: Question for photographers
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7826
Loc: Kokomo, IN
Actually, Bob, a true "point and shoot" camera is a fixed focus lens - one size fits all. Nothing wrong with one, I have one that I often carry as a spare in bad weather since it is also waterproof. What you have suggested is what I have seen referred to as a compact autofocus. I also have one of these that I carry, and the product is far better than one would imagine.

Look for one with a decent zoom range (probably 35 to 120 or so) and you will also find numerous other features. Should be able to find a nice one in the $100 to $200 price range. Susan has one by Fuji that I really like - when you load the film it unrolls the entire roll and shoots from the last frame to the first. (If the camera back is ever accidentally opened the pictures you have already taken are safely stored in the film canister and should not be ruined.) The thing to get used to is that your pics will all be "backwards" in that the last or highest numbered frame is actually the first.

From a personal preference, I would stick with 35mm instead of APS simply due to the cost differential in purchasing and processing film. One advantage of APS is that many APS cameras allow you to trade out rolls of film mid-roll, then return the original roll and pick up where you left off.

I do agree with Bob that photography does not have to be an expensive hobby unless you become really sucked in (like Gary). As you become more comfortable you can upgrade equipment and either keep the old camera as a back-up, or give it to a child to use.

Dave

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#187320 - 07/13/02 03:11 AM Re: Question for photographers
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
I don't know why you folks keep razzing me about the wires. The proof is here below in one of Bob's photos and also has happened in some of mine. Think you have to be at or around a 45 degree angle to their point of contact with the building.
http://www.lighthousekeepers.com/forums/Forum5/HTML/000515.html

Dave, this kid has a camera like Heather's and it works great. I recently saw one with a 140 zoom in a local discount store for something like $135. Am thinking about getting it.

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#187321 - 07/14/02 02:11 AM Re: Question for photographers
Gary Martin Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/02
Posts: 998
Loc: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Linda Ann, sorry that I've been a little slow getting a reply to your question. I started to the other night and after teasing mombo, we lost our cable modem connection.

At any rate, Mark gave a pretty good treatise on what to do about intro photography courses. Community colleges are a very good idea but I'd look for an adult continuing ed class to take rather than one for a grade, unless you really want the credits for some reason. Another possiblity would be a local art institute if your town has one. Quite often they'll also offer leisure education classes in photography. Taking one of these courses is probably a good place to start as they'll teach you the basics of composition, depth of field (DOF) differences between shutter speeds and aperatures and how the interact, film types and speeds, etc.

As for cameras, Mark and Dave make good points about not spending a ton of $$$ unless you're really addicted the way I am (I'm way beyond obsessed!) A fixed focus point and shoot is the least expensvie way to go. Typically, they'll have a reasonably wide angle lens and will work generally well. The next step is an camera with an autofocus zoom lens. The wider the zoom range the more they'll cost, but at the same time the greater the versatility you'll have. This latter type of camera is probably a better choice for shooting lighthouses than a point and shoot with a fixed focus wide angle lens. You'd probably like to have a camera with a zoom range that goes to about 130 mm or perhaps longer. The autofocus zoom cameras Dave's right, will generally fall into the range of about $100-200. Those with longer telephoto zoom ranges will be at the upper end of the price range.

Going beyond the autofocus zoom cameras you get into 35 mm cameras with adjustable everything and interchangeable lenses. The intro price for these cameras is probably in the range of about the low $300 to start and there literally isn't an upper end to the price range (ask my wife!). Until you're reasonably certain that you're going to enjoy continuing with photography, you probably shouldn't take this step.

For films, print films are easier to deal with for the newcomer to photography. Generally, the speed of print films for comsumer use are 100, 200, 400, and 800. Most photography in daylight can be done with 100 or 200 speed film. The 400 and 800 speed films are more for either low light or action sports. Many of the simpler cameras don't allow the flexibility of changing film speeds and these cameras are generally best with lower speed print film. Personally, I shoot only slide film but I wouldn't recommend them to a beginning photographer as slide films are less forgiving that print films.

I hope that some of this helps you to get started. If you have more questions, don't hesitate to post them here. Someone will have an answer for you to be sure. There are a bunch of knowledgable photographers on these forums.

Gary
_________________________
http://www.coastalbeacons.com

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#187322 - 07/14/02 02:14 AM Re: Question for photographers
Gary Martin Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/02
Posts: 998
Loc: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Gee, I just noticed I've been promoted from newbie back to the number of posts there used to be there. Hope Dave and some of the other saints have been reanointed!

Gary
_________________________
http://www.coastalbeacons.com

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#187323 - 07/14/02 03:08 AM Re: Question for photographers
1of3trees@prodigy.net Offline
Member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 458
Loc: Tewksbury, MA
You've already got some excellent advice so anything I might add would be superfluous, but if you have a question at some point and some of the others aren't around, I could probably answer some as well. (You can probably put me in the obsessed range along with Gary, as I want to be able to get enough of a reputation as a photographer to be able to sell my photos for extra income when I retire, and I just recently spent quite an amount for a 17-35mm Canon Ultrasonic lens along with 2 filters that probably cost me more than what my 2 cameras cost me plus my 70-300mm lens. But boy, have I ever been enjoying taking photos in San Francisco and Boston with it and look forward to Sept. when I'll again be back in Kalamazoo and can see what I can get with lighthouse and other photos with it! (See the Point Montara thread for a couple of my pride and joy photos from SF!)

------------------
Terry (Only my mother, brothers & sisters call me Teresa) Forrest
_________________________
Terry (Only my mother, brothers & sisters call me Teresa) Forrest

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#187324 - 07/17/02 04:46 AM Re: Question for photographers
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
Well I decided to buy the Fuji 140 Zoom today. It was $130 and seemed a good price for that much zoom. Will try it out and let you know how it performs (or is that how I perform using the camera)?!

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#187325 - 07/17/02 06:36 AM Re: Question for photographers
Rod Watson Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 1155
Loc: Akron, Oh
It's completely on your shoulders, Sue (not to create any pressure for 'ya) LOL.

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#187326 - 07/17/02 06:42 AM Re: Question for photographers
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7826
Loc: Kokomo, IN
Suggestion to anyone carrying a camera such as what Mombo just bought...

Buy a small camera bag that has an outside pocket on it. In that pocket always keep an extra roll of film and a battery (or batteries) for your camera. Do you want to be a mile into a mile and a half walk down the beach to the light and realize the battery just died or you forgot film? (Seems to me I remember a story where a person who has posted in this thread had a camera die at a bad time...) You can buy a bag for around $10 to $20. Your local Wal-Mart/Target/K-Mart/whatever will have a variety. Or, go to a camera store and buy one made by one of the "biggie" camera bag manufacturers like Tamrac or Lowe Pro. It provides a safe place to store your camera, and a good place to keep it while out lighthousing. (And the name brands won't be that expensive for the high quality you get. I have several that all cost less than $25.)

Of late, I have found myself taking my compact autofocus zoom and my digital in a small camera bag when I head out to various places where I might want pictures. Lot easier to carry than the big bag with the full size 35 in it!

Sue, I think you will enjoy the Fuji. Susan has really enjoyed hers and the pictures have been very good.

Dave

p.s. Don't forget to take the batteries out of the camera if it will not be used for a while.

[This message has been edited by Dave H (edited 07-17-2002).]

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#187327 - 07/17/02 06:55 AM Re: Question for photographers
wheland Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 08/22/99
Posts: 3866
Loc: Trenton, NJ USA
Dave,

I'm, not sure if you are remembering something I posted or someone else, but yes I did have the batteries go dead on my digital camera just as I got to Lewes, DE and was taking pictures of the Pilot control tower and the Lights near the Ferry dock.

I was lucky- my car was just up in the parking lot and i had my trusty 35MM with a 70mm Zoom. I did not get as good a picture as I would have with the digital with a 10x optical zoom, but at least I got a picture.

I've been more careful since (usually).

Dennis

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#187328 - 07/17/02 07:47 AM Re: Question for photographers
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7826
Loc: Kokomo, IN
No, Dennis, not you....

But this is a good example. I now have 4 sets of NiMH batteries that can be used in my digital or in my flash unit. I always make sure there is a spare set in the camera bag with the digital (along with at least 1 extra smart media card.)

Dave

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#187329 - 07/17/02 03:41 PM Re: Question for photographers
WackoPaul Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 8949
Loc: Indy
When I am shooting with my digital camera I always have a fresh set of batteries in my pocket and a spare Smart Media Card in a pocket carrying case is there also. There are always several spare fully charged sets of batteries in the car or nearby.

Digital cameras eat batteries so you can't have too many and you need to use them up before you recharge them to get maximum life out of them. I also carry a charger (along with my AC chargers) in my car that works off of the cigarette lighter, an hours charge that way can buy you a few pictures you might not get otherwise.
_________________________
Onward to The Land of the Midnight Sun!

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#187330 - 07/17/02 05:29 PM Re: Question for photographers
Webmaster Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 13047
Loc: Arizona
One feature you might look for in a digital camera is the ability to ALSO use disposable batteries.

The Nikon Coolpix series can use a 2CR5 non-rechargable lithium battery. Not something you'll probably find at 7-11, but Wal-Mart and photo stores probably have them.

It's not cheap. I bought one at Wal-Mart in Sturgeon Bay on the Door County Blitz for $19.

But the option -- no more photos -- was a bigger 'price to pay'. It lasted 1-1/2 days for taking lots of photos.

Some cameras can use AA batteries - usually in a special shell.

Also. After paying $79 for one Nikon rechargeable battery, I discovered 3rd party ones for $39 at Best Buy.
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Webmaster@LighthouseKeepers.com

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#187331 - 07/17/02 07:39 PM Re: Question for photographers
eskilady Offline
Member

Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 351
Loc: Freeville, NY USA
Now, I am definately not an expert like Gary but I do love to take pictures - of anything and everything. I usually carry my 35mm and my digital and use both. My digital is an Olympus D460 Zoom and it uses both AA batteries and those lithium. But it is very good on batteries and I don't change them that often but do use it often. I still carry the extra batteries, just in case. I doubt that I will ever be an expert but the pictures are for my enjoyment and for my memories and that is about all that matters, right? I do like it tho when other people enjoy my pictures.

Eskilady

[This message has been edited by eskilady (edited 07-17-2002).]
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Eskilady

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#187332 - 07/18/02 04:23 AM Re: Question for photographers
Bud Schrader Offline
Wacko

Registered: 12/16/01
Posts: 467
Loc: Lancaster Ohio, U.S.A.
for my 2 cents worth, I think most compact zoom cameras reccomend using 400 speed film all the time, at least my Minolta 38-125 does,its a slow lens thing.

Bud
_________________________
Bud

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#187333 - 07/18/02 08:51 PM Re: Question for photographers
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
Dennis, I believe it may have been me who Dave was referring to. That was 2 Fujis ago when I was trying to take photos out in the cold, but that's another story we won't get into here! Bud, I generally use 200 speed film and it works just fine.

Some time ago I purchased a new purse, one of those fabric jobbers with lots of zippered compartments plus a flap covering with velcro closure and even one more compartment. Has an ajustable shoulder strap. Using it as a purse was a tad confusing, trying to remember where things were. But it works great for a camera bag, can carry the digital and supplies in one place and the point and shoot in another.

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#187334 - 07/26/02 03:52 AM Re: Question for photographers
Gary Martin Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/02
Posts: 998
Loc: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Dave's comment re spare batteries is a point well made, even if you're not walking down the beach. I had the batteries go out in one of my Nikons in Mendocino, California. Not exactly the ends of the earth, to be sure. But, for the odd ball battery that that old Nikon needed, rather than the usual $10-12 for the battery, the local photoshop extracted my wallet to the tune of $24! Ouch!!! Moral of the story, always make sure you have that spare battery or batteries with you!

Gary
_________________________
http://www.coastalbeacons.com

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