Suitable DSLR for A level student

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Mark, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Mark

    Woody Guest

    in message

    I think the point that has been missed (and likely will be
    in the course) is what all we old-fashioned snappers who
    were brought up with film all know - you should do as much
    as possible to get the picture right in the camera. To the
    non-pro film was expensive and processing and printing even
    more so, so unless you had your own darkroom the only/best
    option was to get it right first time.

    Basically budding photographers need to be made to think. I
    was always told that if the subject is of something
    predominately upright - even a person - then you should turn
    the camera upright to be able to get the most effective shot
    or to emphasis the height. You only have to see how many
    people these days think that you can only use a camera
    horizontally and waste perhaps 2/3 of the frame with a tiny
    subject cowering in the middle.

    I fear that there is now so much post processing on the
    computer that the true skill of photography is gradually
    dieing. Yes, someone who knows their way around
    PS/Elements/Lightroom/PSP can do an awful lot, but the final
    result is often nothing like what the eye originally saw.
    Surely that is what photography as a skill as distinct from
    an art form is all about? I know I try to do as much as I
    can in-camera such that post-processing is often limited to
    cropping and perhaps a little sharpening here and there and
    I would encourage anyone new to photography to do the same.
    Only when they have achieved the capability to see and take
    good 'pictures' should they be let loose with software to
    turn their results into something more artistic if that is
    what they feel it necessary to do.

    I'll get my flame-proof suit..........
    Woody, Feb 2, 2014
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  2. Mark

    NY Guest

    Conversely you get people taking movie clips with their camera held in
    portrait mode - and video/cine is *always* shot in landscape, unless you
    want the audience to turn their heads on one side every so often!
    You could argue that darkroom/Photoshop modifications are part of the
    process of photography - though I do agree that there is no substitute for
    getting things as good as possible in the original in-camera photograph.

    What I do disagree with is the assertion that film is the best way to
    acquire the skills of being a good photographer. I think those skills can be
    acquired equally well with digital equipment and Photoshop post-processing,
    as opposed to film camera and darkroom post-processing. Either way, the
    skills need to be learned, but the immediate feedback with digital may make
    it easier to learn those skills.

    What is important is to have a camera whose automatic adjustments (which are
    very useful for quick results in many situations) are capable of being
    over-ridden where you want greater control over the results.

    I'm always a bit unsure whether auto white balance is a good thing or not.
    Auto-balance against a white card in the relevant lighting (sunlight, shade,
    tungsten, warm fluorescent, daylight fluorescent) but then fix the white
    balance at that setting for that lighting - otherwise (in my experience)
    dominant colours in the subject can alter the white balance. And yes, I do
    tend to leave AWB turned on - but I'm not sure whether I really ought to!
    NY, Feb 2, 2014
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  3. Mark

    Ian Guest

    Hello Stephen.
    I've done darkroom work albeit only in B&W. There wasn't, for me, a firm
    relationship between backing out a room, keeping chemicals at 1/2 degree
    temperature tolerance and framing a decent picture.

    Regards, Ian.
    Ian, Feb 2, 2014
  4. Mark

    Ian Guest

    Hello Mark.

    I suggest browsing the LCE web site (especially if there is a branch near to
    you). Canon EOS350D with basic lens will be well under £200. It is old but
    it is a good DSLR.

    Regards, Ian.
    Ian, Feb 2, 2014
  5. Mark

    Rob Morley Guest

    But you do deal with stuff like film speed, push/pull processing,
    choosing a paper grade (or filter), dodging and burning, enlargement
    factor, all of which contribute to the production of good pictures.
    Rob Morley, Feb 2, 2014
  6. Mark

    Woody Guest

    I would agree with that - my son has one - but beware that
    the 'standard' lens with that camera, a 18-55mm zoom, is not
    really up to the standard of the body and a country mile
    worse than the 18-55 that is current and was probably
    supplied as standard with the EOS1100D. Consider getting
    something a bit longer, say something like 18-135 which is
    far more useful. I would also advise NOT to get the IS
    version - it will make your daughter learn more about
    shutter speed and hand holding. Also you don't have to stick
    to Canon; Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron also make some very nice
    Woody, Feb 2, 2014
  7. And all of that can be learned much more quickly and with immediate
    feedback with digital camera and (simple) processing.

    Michael J Davis
    [photographing the public for over 50 years]

    "I never have taken a picture I've intended.
    They're always better or worse."
    Diane Arbus
    Michael J Davis, Feb 4, 2014
  8. So you recommend we return to plate cameras, then? ;-)

    Michael J Davis

    Now with added pictures on

    The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
    Dorethea Lange
    Michael J Davis, Feb 4, 2014
  9. Mark

    Rob Morley Guest

    There may come a time that film stock is no longer available, then wet
    plates will be the easiest option. :)
    Rob Morley, Feb 4, 2014
  10. Hey, give a newbie a 5x4 camera and tell them that each exposure is going
    to cost them at least a quid and *then* you'll see discipline!

    Stephen Thomas Cole.
    UK Usenet Head of Social Media and PR.

    This post was sent from my iPhone, likely whilst walking, so may have typos
    or bizarre auto-corrects.
    Stephen Thomas Cole, Feb 4, 2014
  11. The "slowness" of the analogue process, compared to the instantaneous
    response of digital, does tend to build somewhat more discipline into the
    budding photographer though, and that's where I think the extra value comes
    in. It encourages, and rewards, a thoughtfulness in methodology that
    digital doesn't.

    Stephen Thomas Cole.
    UK Usenet Head of Social Media and PR.

    This post was sent from my iPhone, likely whilst walking, so may have typos
    or bizarre auto-corrects.
    Stephen Thomas Cole, Feb 4, 2014
  12. Mark

    NY Guest

    You'll also see them learn very slowly because they won't want to
    experiment. I learn best by making mistakes when I try "I wonder what
    happens if I break this rule" and "I wonder what correction I need to make
    to the metered exposure in this situation".

    Being able to see the result in the viewfinder or on the back screen allows
    you to say "not enough, too much, just right".

    If every exposure costs money, you'll always go for the safe approach and
    you may still miss unrepeatable shots because you won't take a lot on the
    basis of "at least for some of these I'll have pressed the shutter at the
    right moment". Ideally you'll learn eventually *when* the right moment is so
    as to avoid taking a lot of other pictures when you haven't framed the
    subject correctly.

    The ability to analyse your mistakes and work out *why* some pictures work
    and some don't (in the technical rather than artistic sense) is an important
    one to acquire.
    NY, Feb 4, 2014
  13. I don't agree with that at all. I think it's more accurate to say that if
    every exposure costs money, you'll be considerably more invested in getting
    it right, quicker.
    And can be just as well acquired in analogue, plus the inherent lag and
    expenses when using film makes the acquisition a much more valuable prize;
    "I'd better stop making mistakes sharpish, let me put some *real* thought
    into the next exposure".
    Stephen Thomas Cole, Feb 11, 2014
  14. Mark

    Mark Guest

    I wasn't trying to start a war about film vs digital ;-) In this case
    the school insists on digital cameras and I doubt they have any
    facilities for developing film.
    Mark, Feb 11, 2014
  15. No, I'm sure. They do tend to flare up easily though... Heh. I'm not even a
    huge advocate/zealot for Film=Proper Photography, indeed, I make my living
    through digital. But having learned both analogue and digital from scratch
    at more or less the same time getting on for a decade ago I feel I can be
    quite objective when I argue that learning on film makes for a "better"
    (more disciplined, more thoughtful, more understanding, more fluid)
    photographer than learning on digital.
    I don't doubt it. It is for this reason that I'm currently negotiating
    hiring the darkroom I run to a few local educational institutions. They all
    jacked in their darkrooms years ago and are living to regret it.
    Stephen Thomas Cole, Feb 11, 2014
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