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Messages - awinphoto

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Canon General / Re: Switching to Nikon
« on: July 22, 2011, 08:52:29 AM »
I know I will be dating myself to some newer photographers, but when I was in college, at the beginning of the digital revolution, my school had several Nikon D1x's and only a few Canon D30's...

Dating yourself? i think you're dating yourself young, and at a rich school to boot.

What school did you go to if you don't mind me asking? I graduated from Brooks in 04. It wasn't the cheapest school, that's for sure, I was dearly reminded every time my student loans came up for renewal.  The first half of school was all film from 35mm to medium format to 4x5's and then I switched to digital cause post was so much easier than our darkrooms and cheaper. Our instructors were Pains in the butt, but was a good reality to industry expectations...  If your photos were not up to par or if you pissed them off, it wouldn't be uncommon to find your photo assignments in the classroom trash can.  If your overmat you were required to cut for assignments was overcut or your mounting job wasn't glued on enough where they can peel up a corner, they'd rip if off... But after the years of abuse I'm kinda hardened to harsh critiques.  It was rumored that one instructor was so peeved with his class that at the end of the class/term he passed out McDonalds applications to all the students. 

God forbid I bring up film on these forums, it might as well be a f word. I've noticed on these forums there are 2 types of photogs. Those who are Pre-digital and used film and post digital who never shot with film. I'm just enough into the pre digital to be labeled an old timer in many photogs perception.  It's kinda depressing how many "professional" photographers there are who never shot film.  Film you had to know exposure/printing/darkroom because if you screwed up camera exposure, you had to adjust your film development... If you didn't do that, you had to use stronger filters in printing or else it came out like crap and it literally cost you time and money to fix your mistake.  Now people complain about time in post-processing in photoshop now... It just makes me chuckle thinking about the hours in the darkroom testing and trying to get the perfect print and the tiniest thing able to screw it up. 

Canon General / Re: Lets Play Chess
« on: July 21, 2011, 01:01:11 PM »
Am I the only one who's noticed the King/Queen are the wrong way around?

(queen on her own colour, king on the different colour)

There is no rule in chess that I know of that requires you to move the queen only to a space with her color.  This is taking during the game when pieces are obviously not in their original positions.

Dr Croubie is correct, the board setup is wrong.  Yes, it's during play, but given that pawns move only forward, there's no way for the white king and queen to have switched positions at this point in the game.  Clearly, though they are experts when it comes to camera gear, when it comes to chess, the folks at lensrentals are ROOKies (sorry, it just slipped out).

I admit i'm a ROOKie in chess but I'd love to play this game... Now I just have to convince my wife to let me buy haha.   

Canon General / Re: Switching to Nikon
« on: July 21, 2011, 12:37:41 PM »
I know I will be dating myself to some newer photographers, but when I was in college, at the beginning of the digital revolution, my school had several Nikon D1x's and only a few Canon D30's... The D30's were more of an afterthought as far as the school was concerned... you can use them if you wanted, but why would you when you have the nikon d1x workhorse... It would be only about 2-4 months until canon either released the Canon D60's (or 2-4 months when my school got around to buying them, not sure which).  Anyways after learning the D60, everything from menus to interface to lenses to everything was so much nicer, in my opinion, to the nikon and so I stuck with canon and bought my first canon digital when the 10D came out.  It could have changed but I just hated Nikons interface and menus... It was like photoshop, there was 5 menu things that did the same friggen thing and each could counteract each other... I never got comfortable with the D1x. 

Canon does have it's bumps and the grass always seems greener on the other side, but remember it could just be a mirage...

Canon General / Re: Switching to Nikon
« on: July 20, 2011, 10:36:52 AM »
While dead pixels are on the same ranges of death and taxes, on a 3 month old camera would raise some hairs on my neck.  They probably set the camera to "map out" the pixels and fill them in with surrounding data (instead of replacing the sensor), but it is what it is.  While I haven't had any overtly negative experiences, my cleanings and warranty repair has been somewhat satisfactory before... I cant speak for nikons service or any other service, but it's just my opinion overall "service" has kinda deteriorated over the last few years across the board for all companies.  I bought a TV from best buy and it had dead pixels in a cluster and they sent out their techs and determined it was a fluke that wasn't covered by my extended warranty... tough luck.. If you aren't doing something warranty related, I recommend sending stuff for repairs to mom and pop stores... more service, they tend to go over and beyond to meet your needs, and in this economy they need all the work they can get. 

EOS Bodies / Re: New Canon 5D Mark III rumor
« on: July 19, 2011, 02:27:58 PM »
It looks like nikon are announcing 2 new FX camera bodies in late august ( prob the D4 and D800 ) wont even bother asking about the 5DIII, looks like next summer from some rumors, but then thats what they are... rumors, could be longer could be earlier, i cant see canon bringing out the 5DIII before the 1DsIV though.. :-(

Just to play devils advocate... people blamed the 5d mark II for killing sales for the 1Ds being the same MP and a fraction of the cost... Couldn't Canon look at that... release the 5D M3 FIRST, let the mad rush and demand die off, then bring out a much superior 1Ds flagship and rake up the sales on the flagship?  That way instead of people compromising on the 5d and killing 1ds sales, each can have their own hype, have separation between the two, and have people "upgrade" and or "splurge" on the 1ds?  Just saying

Canon General / Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« on: July 18, 2011, 02:53:03 PM »
Actually, I started with a T1i/500D, upgraded to a 7D because the AF of the Rebel wasn't as effective as I wanted, then added the 5DII mainly for improved ISO performance.

Thanks for the clarification on your history...

Agreed.  All else being equal, I'd take a shot with less noise over a shot with more noise.  But...the IQ is only better if the shot is in focus, and if your subject is moving, getting an in-focus shot is a lot more likely with the 7D than with the 5DII. 

AF issues aside, what you gain with the 5DII FF sensor vs. the 7D/60D/550D/600D APS-C sensor is ~1.3-stops of improved ISO performance.  Noise tolerance is specific to the individual and the final use of the image, so it's all relative.  But that means if you find the noise acceptable with the 7D at ISO 1600, you could be shooting at ISO 4000 on a 5DII.

True enough... better noise is always better, but as we agreed its about personal taste and preference.  In my experience dealing with print and customers expectations, I've had more customers comment on lens quality (and that's not often) than ISO... Some clients want me to use their gear for insurance purposes and then are surprised when file quality and IQ isn't far superior... That being said, for my needs the 5d II just isn't enough of a leap in improvement to make me plunk that money down now when I can wait to see what will come and plug away with my workhorse 7D now.  Only the end user can determine if they need to buy FF over crop and what file quality is hence why I always suggest to test before you buy... Nobody is right or wrong when dealing with their individual needs and requirements... While I'd love a Full frame version of my camera, I just have to wait and see what happens with the next 6 months or so with the 5d m3. 

Canon General / Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« on: July 18, 2011, 12:28:41 PM »
For both neuro and mt spokane, if i'm not mistaken first had 5d's and then got the 7D's as a second camera... Those who drive porsche's will always see fords as inferior... Those who drive kias will see fords as step up... everything is regarding perspective and need.  I do shoot for a living and 100% of my income is from my 7d's... I have never had clients complain with High ISO issues with my 7D and especially when printed on commercial presses for magazine shots, etc... high noise up to 1600 is barely noticeable. 

Is the 5d cleaner at high iso, yes, but is the 7D useless at high ISO, especially when the original poster is coming from a Rebel XS, No.  Yes, if i pixel peep at iso 800-1600 on a 27" imac screen, I can make out some noise in shadow/midtones if I really want to nit-pick, but it's not noticeable on my home 21" 1 year old imac.  That is what I'm getting at about perception and monitor to monitor variation.  When i take the same file, print it on my epson at 11x17... it's probably going to fall somewhere in the middle between the two regarding visible detail/noise.  It isn't anything where you should count out the 7D solely on. 

Plus when you take the featureset of the two, considering my car analogy earlier, it would be like a top to the line ford mustang vs a porsche sports car with a 4 speed automatic tranny.  The porsche is still a fine car, but it leaves a lot to be desired in it's current form.  Once it gets updated though, all bets are off.   

Canon General / Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« on: July 18, 2011, 11:43:06 AM »
For low light, you really need FF.  I use a 5D MK II at ISO 3200 and it is just OK.  I bought a 7D as a backup and found that ISO 800 was noisy, and I really would want to set the limit to 1600.

Yes, you will want to trade in your ef-s for a 35mm f/2 or 28mm f/1.8, but being able to use ISO 3200 is a big step up.

Here is a image taken in near darkness with a 5D MK II at ISO 3200 and a old Canon 50mm f/1.8 MK I.  AF was fast and accurate (won't see that on a 7D).

I've had no problems focusing my 7D with my 17-40 with little to no light with no AF lamp assist... AF, to me, on the 7D is superior to the 5D MII any day of the week, however this is personal opinion and I will leave it at that. 

Regarding High ISO, that is why i specified print... Prints to me is the benchmark as to compare noise.  Prints are a tad more forgiving and usually more standard from print to print than monitors are monitor to monitor.  Monitors, zoomed into 100% depending on so many factors may either look acceptable on some and crappy on others given things such as resolution and physical size within the resolution.  Pixel peeping, yes the 5D will have a more buttery smooth look than the 7D (mainly because with NR the 5d has a reputation of smearing the photo a bit to knock down noise whereas the 7d does less smearing so high iso's tend to be a bit noisier but sharper in my opinion and tests).  This is also a personal opinion and only the end user can answer.  I am anxiously awaiting the new 5D to get the best of both worlds, however until then, for my use and my clients needs, I will hang tight until then. 

I will agree about trading in the EF-s for a better prime... you'll be better off regardless. 

Canon General / Re: Switching to Nikon
« on: July 18, 2011, 10:30:41 AM »
I think the best is to rent an entire set for a short period and try them out.

Say, D700 + 14-24, 24-120, and 70-200.

Despite a small investment, obtaining your own experience is probably more
accurate than anything else.

I would concur this sentiment... Play with the equipment first before you jump ship so you dont have buyers remorse later.  Like you i use CPS and canon service regularly, (gold member)... CPS has worked with me in the past given me whatever loaner gear I requested whenever I requested it and when I've called for support they have been more than willing to help... That being said, there's a lot of room to be improved such as email support (they sometimes reply to me via email, other time not) and communication during service work... I usually get an email when they confirm they are STARTING work, not when received which can be 24 hours afterwards, and an email after it ships... almost all my service work was done within 24 hours from when they start and also while they claim they will ship it to you via 2 day service, 9 out of 10 times for me, they ship it overnight for free...

Is CPS perfect?  No.  Will they cater to your every whim and email or kiss your butt?  Nope.  For what they offer and cost, is it more than acceptable?  Sure... For full disclosure, what issues do you have with CPS to give you a bad experience?  With the AF problems, even with the 1d4, you said you were initially impressed but overall not content... how so?  Can you elaborate so we can best help?  The 5D AF is the primary reason why i wont consider upgrading from the 7D to the 5D MII... If the 5D MIII has the 7D AF or better, I will upgrade in a heartbeat.   

Canon General / Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« on: July 18, 2011, 10:14:30 AM »
High ISO noise is a personal issue however for my POV, and I do shoot professionally, I was able to take my 7D, 50mm 1.4 and 35 1.4 (borrowed from CPS) and shot roughly on average 1200-3200.... Noise was barely visable at 100% on most of the shots... Yes, on some of the darker shots 1.4 wasn't quite enough, but so is the life of low-light photography (especially when flash isn't allowed in the venue.)...  For the most part, I was very comfortable showing these photos to clients and bands, however, my opinion is not yours so take that for what it's worth. 

Between the 7D and 5D mII, professionally, I shoot right now with the 7D.  Quality, for a crop camera, is very good or up to 100% at 11x17's.  Unless you are shooting primarily 3200-12800 iso and printing 11x17's and bigger, I wouldn't be too concerned about quality.  That being said, I fully expect to upgrade to the 5d M3 if and when it does show it's face in the wild, however given the advantages of AF, Level, flash commander, multifuntion button, weathersealing and I fully expect the new 5D to have some if not all of those features... I cant quite stomach losing those features to get the current 5D mark II.  But then again my needs aren't your needs.  Do your homework and go to your local store and play with them... hold them... see which one grows on your hand better... and then make your decision. 

United States / Re: Help getting started
« on: July 15, 2011, 12:28:25 AM »
- i love animals too. but anyone can take stuff in a zoo. if they see photos in a folder marked 'zoo', they can think 'ah, i can take that too' and they head off to the zoo with their own camera and you get nothing.

Hahaha +1  Same thing is happening in the real estate photography market... REALTORS are buying 5D's and 7D's (even asking to buy such kits on local craigslist ads)...  If they (any potential client) feel like they can take the same image by themselves, they will never dish out money for someone else to take it for them...

United States / Re: Help getting started
« on: July 14, 2011, 05:23:01 PM »
@sb: I see what you're talking about, and I think I will start to downsize my site to just have the photos in there that I want to be noticed for.  My only problem is, I'm at a three-way tie between birding, landscapes, and architecture  :-\ . Luckily I have quite some time before I have to decide.

Also, I would like to have people simply buy the photos that I take. Is that a wise choice? For now though, I'm going to stick with finding my identity, and will definitely try to enjoy it as much as possible :) .

@Velo Steve: I have noticed how there's more people in the photography market lately, and I think I would prefer to be an art photographer.

Thanks again for the opinions!

From one photographer to another, I specialize in architecture, and this is (of the three you chose) is the toughest to get into and get paid.  Unless you plan on taking pics of things like the sydney opera house or some famous bridge or some common house-hold name, you can literally become a starving artist doing such...  I'm lucky enough to have contracts in place with commercial mortgage companies who want yearly photos of the buildings they have notes on for their portfolio (and to make sure the investment is being taken care of by the owner). 

Birding and nature would be the easiest to sell in regards to getting the emotional element going... ask yourself... you go to a guys house, would you expect to see architecture pictures splashed all over his walls or nature... Just have patience and work at your portfolio... remember it's rumored ansel adams would camp out at a location for days at a time with his camera on tripod set waiting for just the right moment before he takes the photo.  Personally the longest I ever waited for any one photo was one entire afternoon, but taking that much time makes you really dissect a scene and walk through it in your minds eye to help you make sure thats the photo you want to take. 

United States / Re: Help getting started
« on: July 14, 2011, 11:23:21 AM »
Hi T2,

Well for me it's always about the image. If I want to buy something, I buy because of the image.

You are a great photographer, but images are for me just plain boring.

Maybe that's why they don't sell.

kindly don't be mad with me. You asked and deserved an honest answer.

Mind you that is just my personal though. Others might love your image, but think you lack technical side.

Who knows? have fun,

I'm glad I wasn't too off in left field with my comments... They just seem to be missing an element or two or hastily thought out before you took the images... look for that emotional element that would drive someone to buy the image.  Also check the contrast, highlights, shadows, or if a scene is supposed to be dark, make sure there is a bright area that catches the eye that is the focal point of the image (like a ray of light shining on a building or tree or animal or whatever on an overcast day)... sometimes we need to slow down and think about an image before we shoot... try always shooting with a tripod... it will force you to slow down and see a scene a second or two longer and that may help you look for what may be missing or needed to help make it a better photo. 

United States / Re: Help getting started
« on: July 14, 2011, 11:08:16 AM »
Not to be long winded, but in my comments about needing to make photos that people would WANT to buy... this is the fun of "stock" photography... with that said you could try to sell to istockphoto or some other stock photography... anyways, back to photography, for instance you have a nature forest style shot with a nice s curve... that's a 3-4 star image... to make it better... have a little boy or girl walking away from you on the path into the scene, maybe holding a ballon or dragging a blanket or picnic basket... or maybe hang out at that scene until some wildlife comes out, wouldn't it be cool to have a deer or something like that on the path looking back at you...  They may seem like cheesy ideas but they will give that emotional connection needed for a stranger to click "BUY"... You have a LOT of photos that are good, but if you look at them... look for that emotional connection that people would need in order to buy, and think of how to add that final selling element BEFORE you press the shutter button, that's the difference that makes a amateur photographer shooting to himself and a professional photographer shooting for others... 

United States / Re: Help getting started
« on: July 14, 2011, 10:56:39 AM »
Hey... nice shots overall... From one professional to another aspiring professional, here are my 2 cents... It's hard to tell, but it looks like most your outdoors photos tend to be a little flat, desaturated, and about 1 stop under.  I dont know if that's your "style" or if you intended it to be that way, but something to think about.  Secondly, there has to be a reason WHY someone would WANT to spend money, especially in this economy, on a photograph that may have little to no emotional impact (kids photos, family, etc)... People are tightening their budgets and unless you have an image they cant live without, few people are going to splurge... What I would recommend for instance is your zoo pictures, see if the ZOO wants to buy them or at least allow you to have a few prints in their gift shop for sale... pictures of buildings, see if the owners of the buildings wants to buy them... You have a lot of "portfolio" style images on your site which may or may not sell well... "portfolio" style, I mean images that may not sell well but shows your talent/ability/idea in which could drive a potential client to want to commission you to take pictures for them... I would take your best photos, put them in a portfolio gallery.  Lastly, keep your portfolio small... 10 images of VERY STRONG photos is better than 40 pictures of mediocre work.   

Some of your photos are stronger than others and displaying some of what you wouldn't consider 4-5 star (out of a 5 star rating system) work could hurt your overall sales and prestige.  Also get unbiased people help you determine what they consider 4-5 star images because we as photographers tend to get emotionally attached to our photos and our judgement gets cloudy at times.  Lastly, marketing wise, vistaprint.com offers CHEAP business cards or if you want to splurge, overnightprints.com offers better cards... include your website and info and leave them around town.  Go to home and garden shows and leave cards... maybe even make some brochures or flyers with your pictures on it to help drive people to WANT to go to your website... Marketing is constantly changing and evolving and can be exhausting at times, however if you can gain momentum, you can start making money you hoped for. 

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