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Photography for a beginner

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  • Photography for a beginner

    Hi everyone so I'm currently a second year in Bachelor of Design at York/Sheridan. More and more I'm realizing that I need to use photography for a lot of our work and and projects. Thing is Ive never actually used photography before apart from a basic canon point and shoot for going out. I also know next to nothing when It comes to photoshop ( I mostly use illustrator and InDesign). I'm absolutely terrified because I know next to nothing on this and it's making it very difficult in my classes enough so that I'm scared of failing and have thought of possibly dropping out. From what I've read online and based on what my teachers have said its best to buy a camera or rent one from the school. Problem with renting a camera at my school is that their all dslr cameras which though I've tried to use are so confusing to me that I'm incapable of using them. Originally when I got into my program I was getting by with 2d vector and typographic work. I'm aiming to work on package design as well as 2d advertising when I graduate. Problem is my inability to use photography is really getting in the way. So I was wondering if other designers more experienced then me could maybe give me some advice. Im thinking if I can afford one I might a basic camera either a point and shoot or a bridge camera and start practicing from their.

  • #2
    Hi jessibren, welcome to GDF.

    We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.

    ---

    Another Sheridan Alum!

    A lot of entry level DSLRs have integral software to help you learn to shoot better. Henry's offers classes aimed to help you learn how to operate your DSLR better, I think Vistek might as well. While you are learning, you should know that most DSLRs also have an auto mode which essentially turns your DSLR into a point and shoot too.

    I would suggest purchasing a camera that gives you a bit of room to grow into like a Canon Rebel, a Nikon D3100 or D5300. Walk into a camera shop and explain your needs and I'm sure they'll help you find something suitable - after you get their suggestions check them out on DPreview.com to see how they stack up against each other.

    Design is not decoration.

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    • #3
      Or for less than a camera, get yourself a subscription to a stock photo site like iStock.

      Here's the thing,
      While I believe a graphic designer should have at least the rudimentary skills of using a camera, I would never expect a designer to take professional quality images or have the equipment available to do a proper photo shoot. For something like that a photographer is often hired. Unless this too has become one of the many hats a designer must wear. I guess it depends on where you work.

      The part that is unavoidable though is learning to use Photoshop. Almost all images, even professional ones, may require some retouching, re-lighting, or silhouette cutting at the very least. For a lot of work I see in the entertainment industry (TV/video/film,) Photoshop is becoming the go-to tool and is perfectly acceptable as a layout tool in many contexts in that industry for physical "scenic" elements (as opposed to chromakey elements which are usually made in a 3D program.)

      Outside of the entertainment industry there are essential photoshop skills all designers need to know. Cutting an object from its background (even one with hair!), placing an object into a new background in scale and with proper lighting and perspective to make it looks like it belongs, general retouching done with extreme care so that it is not visible, being able to take a site shot for placement of graphic elements into the shot for client approval, knowing all about image resolution - what it means - how it's used - and how far it can be manipulated, just to name a few. Lynda.com has some pretty indepth tutorials. See if a 1 month subscriptioin came free with your Adobe software. Adobe TV has some basic ones that you can use for free to get yourself up to speed.
      http://tv.adobe.com/product/photoshop/
      Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-28-2015, 12:45 PM.

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      • #4
        I agree with the Nikon 3200 or 5300 series. I have been shooting Nikon for 25 + years. Also agree with Lynda, they have an in-depth set of videos on the 5300 series. I just purchased a 3200 for my wife and she is using the 5300 lessons from Lynda, the 3200 is a scaled down 5300. Lynda has many other classes on photography, on almost every aspect of photography. You could be up and running in no time. I am using Nikon lenses that I used on film cameras when I was a photography student 25 years ago

        bentrod

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        • #5
          Hi Jessibren,

          Today, you don't need a highly sophisticated device to capture quality images. Actually there's a buzz as to whether you still need DSLRs or just settle with smartphones? Not to mention mirrorless cameras that offer the same images just like from DSLRs but as handy as smartphones.

          The thing with photography is that you need to understand the relationship between the photographer and the subject. You don't need a fancy gear to capture the best image. All you need to do is to have the courage to explore and better yourself with professional or non-professional tips. The internet is one diverse source and even books and magazines are of great help.

          Again, let the creative juice flow from your system. Just capture what you think is a work of art.

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          • #6
            You are not going to get an image of any decent size using a smartphone. You have to be quite aware of the resolution of the image it is capable of captureing, and quite possibly your smartphone will try to outsmart you when it decides to guess at your intent rather than listening to what you tell it to do. And please don't get me started on Instacrap filters.

            While some phones have fairly decent cameras, maybe ok for student work, but rtfm on how the controls actually work, I certainly wouldn't rely on them to produce professional quality work.

            But, again, I am laboring under the impression that quality might still matter. To someone. Somewhere. The past several days on this forum are causing me to suspect those someones might be getting fewer and farther between.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by liz.pekler View Post
              Today, you don't need a highly sophisticated device to capture quality images. Actually there's a buzz as to whether you still need DSLRs or just settle with smartphones?
              Well, smartphones have the advantage of convenience, but considering one as a substitute for a DSLR is a little like substituting a bicycle for an automobile. In some instances, yeah, it'll work out just fine. In others instances, it won't.

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              • #8
                I'm more into the creative part of how you capture things and that's a major thing in photography (may it be using smartphones or DSLRs).
                Last edited by PanToshi; 05-24-2016, 12:52 AM. Reason: Link removed. No self-promotion allowed

                Comment


                • PanToshi
                  PanToshi commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Liz, I removed your link to your blog article. We do not allow self-promotion at GDF. Please review the forum rules and FAQs. Thank you.
                  http://www.graphicdesignforum.com/fo...orum-rules-faq

                • liz.pekler
                  liz.pekler commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sorry about this Pan Toshi. I'm just making a point here that you can actually use your smartphone and have the same quality as that of a DSLR camera.

              • #9
                My suggestion is to let go of your idea that your are "incapable" of using them. We have all been frustrated by new technology or new programs and the truth is, you will not get as great of an image in size or quality by a smartphone. Just think of it as another tool and an investment into your career. You may not become a photographer over night, but having a general idea of how to use a camera, how light works, and how to take a photo that is slightly better then a snapshot can only help you as a designer. It will take a while and a lot of practice to get where you want, but what is a few extra hours of learning another skill in the grand scheme of things? I have always found the best deals on refurbished cameras at adorama.com. Good luck!

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                • #10
                  Again, you might have the same quality as far as framing-the-shot decisions go, but a smartphone is not as good as a DSLR.
                  One of the absolute worst things a printer can ever hear is, ''I took these images with my smartphone. I hope you can print them as good as they look on my phone screen.'' Or something to that effect.

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                  • #11
                    On the point of the original OP's query, clients are not things to be practiced on. A designer who is not skilled at taking good photos has no business offering their photography services to clients.

                    I'm not quite sure how to make the point clear that bad work is bad work. No amount of design is going to spruce up crappy photos, and no amount of good photography is going to spruce up crappy design.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by liz.pekler View Post
                      Sorry about this Pan Toshi. I'm just making a point here that you can actually use your smartphone and have the same quality as that of a DSLR camera.
                      Liz, there is no need to use your blog post to do so. I am not here to debate this, these are the rules of the forum that we ask you to follow. Thanks.
                      Last edited by PanToshi; 05-24-2016, 08:25 AM.
                      Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.

                      Comment


                      • liz.pekler
                        liz.pekler commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

                    • #13
                      I have just found a very useful site for free images in high quality. If you want to make a plain placeholder to replace a future banner, then it is suits for you
                      https://pixy.org/placeholder.php

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Hi Aydan and welcome to GDF.

                        We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
                        Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          First time posters with an ad?
                          And for FPO images?

                          Man, I learned a long time ago never to place an image if you don't intend to print it.
                          Leave it black or blank, but never sub in a photo of something silly like kittens in a basket. It might just get printed.

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