Photography

CanwllCorfe's picture

Hello all! I know photography is pretty popular with creative types (see what I did there?), so I figured I'd start a topic. I just recently got my first DSLR! I'm pretty excited. This is the first picture I ever took with it, which wasn't very thought out. It was cold, I felt nervous even holding it (my other camera was a dinky point and shoot), and it was also cold. I mainly just wanted to gawk at the quality. My point and shoot had 5 megapixels, so the same as my iPhone. It was an upgrade of momentous proportions. So, is anyone on here into photography?

hrant's picture

Or what about cake decoration? Or goatee trimming?

Really: TYPophile.

hhp

CanwllCorfe's picture

There's a "What are you listening to topic", and as far as I know, you can't listen to type. Is this not the sort of "off topic" section wherein "everything goes"? Maybe not I guess.

hrant's picture

I don't make the rules - so that's just my take on it.

hhp

JamesM's picture

Well if we want to relate this topic to typography, you could use your new camera to document interesting typography in signs, statues, grave markers, house numbers, and so forth. Photos like that get posted at Typophile occasionally.

You'll find your DSLR to be a big step up from your point-and-shoot camera. I used to be seriously into photography and sometimes did my own darkroom work in the old days, but unfortunately I just don't have as much free time as I used to and my Nikon mostly sits on the shelf.

Regarding the number of megapixels, it's certainly a consideration but their importance is sometimes overemphasized (unless you're making a lot of big enlargements, in which case they'll make a big difference). But much of the improvement in quality you'll notice in the DSLR is due to the superior quality of the lenses.

riccard0's picture

You will find a lot of typophiles with a Flickr account :-)

hrant's picture

Like this party-pooper:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/48413419@N00/
(Tellingly though it's almost all letters. So it's not you it's me. :-)

hhp

oldnick's picture

Pursuant ro what James said, just as a poor workman may blame his tools, a novice’s expectation that the right tools will improve his work may be unrealistic. A picture that tells a thousand words doesn’t depend on resolution.

CanwllCorfe's picture

I agree JamesM. Megapixels definitely aren't everything, but megapixels weren't the only real issue. It was just the quality in general (I know the sensor plays a huge part in that as well). My iPhone takes better pictures, to put that into perspective. Sometimes the shots it took looked kinda neat, like in this case, which made the scene far more moody than it actually looked, but the quality is obviously quite bad. Then there's the fact that instead of trying to keep everything in focus, I can actually have depth of field now! But one of the biggest things is that I can take night shots now, which is something I've wanted to do for quite some time. I bought a tripod for my point and shoot, thinking that would help. Nope.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Sorry guys, but if a subject does not interest you, you CAN skip it and don’t react…

@OT: I know what you experienced: a lot of the joy is in the instruments you use. Even though the experts tell us nowadays that pixels do not count, there is a correlation between pixels, price and lens quality. Always go for the best ‘glass’!

My GF (who is a pro fashion photographer) has been enamored by the Pentax 6*7 system and shot with these heavy analog cameras for most of her career. I gave her a Sony CyberShot T-model in 2005 and that cinched it: the first series she shot with it (kind of “let’s try it, I have a fall back”) was published in Grazia (Italian magazine), with no one noticing any lack of quality. After that she sold of the Pentax stuff and went all digital.

hrant's picture

But with an overly free-wheeling attitude it's not hard to imagine Typophile eventually being gobbled up by a broader interest (but probably Graphic Design in general before Photography). The focus of this place is something that I believe has to be guarded.

BTW, to be brutally honest: to me photography is entertainment.

hhp

CanwllCorfe's picture

@Bart, thanks for the tip! I can't wait until I can afford to start getting some more lenses. For now, the kit one (18-55mm) will more than suffice. I figure I'll do all my learning with what I have, and then eventually I can step it up and get more equipment. The one thing I do intend on getting is a polarizing filter. I think that will definitely come in handy for my upcoming trip to Florida.

JamesM's picture

Some photographers use a UV/haze filter all the time, both to reduce haze and also to protect their camera lenses against scratches. But there are also some disadvantages to doing it; Google for more details.

CanwllCorfe's picture

Yeah I've heard of doing that. I gave it some thought, until some people said it could negatively affect the image quality. I imagine if I got one that was well made, that might not be the case.

rs_donsata's picture

When people start into photography the first most common concern is to get a good camera, then many realize it is more important to have a good lens, then some realize it is more important to have good lighting, and then you get old professional photographers toying around with plastic cameras... jejeje.

My point is that in the end the most important thing is for you to be passionate and to think a lot about the photos you take. That way you will develop an area of interest (landscape, birds, portrait, fashion, abstracts, erotic, candid, textures), a style, technical competence and an eye for it.

Having a DSLR is a big step, it will help you gain control over your photography. Experiment a lot with speed and aperture. Learn about light. Having a fast lens (F 2.8), a tripod and a polarizing filter are the three greatest additions to a photographer's kit.

Now I do mostly snapshooting.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hectormunoz/

hrant's picture

the most important thing is for you to be passionate

Indeed, when I look back at the photos I took during my 6 months in Barcelona (with a low-end -even back then- film SLR) I feel like I'll never be able to take photos like that again no matter what equipment and software I use.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

My first digital camera (RDC-7) cost $1300 in 2001, IIRC, and was 3.3 megapixels.
It was awesome, especially the close-up feature.
Now I have a Pentax DSLR, but it is so cumbersome I rarely use it.
Shooting with an older Pentax in the 1970s was a much better experience.
It was smaller, lighter, easier to focus, and more responsive.
It was better designed in general, without the featuritis this new one suffers from.
I spent a long time looking for a simple but adjustable high-res digital camera, but couldn’t find one.
Is there nothing between point-and-shoot and these over-designed clunkers?

JamesM's picture

A friend of mine is a professional photographer. He normally doesn't use an UV lens just for protection as he feels each additional lens can degrade the image, but he feels that for an amateur the added protection may be a good tradeoff.

The tripod rs-donsata mentioned is good advice. There are also telescoping monopods available (one leg); not as stable as a tripod but easier to carry and less obtrusive. A pocket-sized beanbag can also be useful; set it on a rock or railing or whatever and brace your camera against it.

Nick, I agree with you about the featuritis of new cameras. I've never figured out all the settings of my Nikon; sometimes I miss the simple Mamiya Sekor I used back in the 1980s.

hrant's picture

Nick, I'm on my second RDC-7! They're about $50 now. It's an incredible machine, so against-the-grain but functional. I don't use it much these days though, except when I need its still-hard-to-match macro feature, which yields an effective resolution of over 2000 dpi. Examples:
http://typophile.com/files/Ad_4559.jpg
http://typophile.com/files/Md_3469.jpg
Those are sorts from my 60 point Pascal.
And here's Patria at 10 point:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/48413419@N00/4177363425

hhp

rs_donsata's picture

"Is there nothing between point-and-shoot and these over-designed clunkers?"

Old timey looks, state of the art guts. But more appropriate for snapshooting than anything else.
http://www.dpreview.com/products/fujifilm/slrs/fujifilm_xpro1
http://www.dpreview.com/products/Nikon/slrs/nikon_v1/review
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusepl3/

Not old time look but quite the same principle:
http://www.dpreview.com/previews/pentaxk01/

CanwllCorfe's picture

@rs_donsata Ohh yes, that interest is what I'm honing now. I quite like everything, but living in the Poconos sort of limits me to nature shots. As you can imagine, there aren't many cityscapes here in the woods. I did wish I had some access to them, because one of my favorite thing to take pictures of is the city at nightfall. These settings are really what I'm most excited about. I did a brief covering of them back in High School with a film SLR, but it's been so long. I have a basic knowledge, but I'm hoping to improve that by going and renting books from the local library and doing some online research.

@JamesM Yeah I should probably invest in a better tripod than the one I have now. Especially considering a lot of what I've been doing lately is night oriented stuff. Well, mainly right now I'm just trying to nail it all down.

CanwllCorfe's picture

My very, very first attempt at light painting. Not bad. But I definitely have ideas of what I want to fix for next time.

Si_Daniels's picture

Sorry, but what are you digging at? I think you're shooting in the dark here!

dezcom's picture

Si, he is just dozing off.

CanwllCorfe's picture

Don't mind me, I'm just dozing through threads. Recklessly. Nothing is safe.

5star's picture

hrant, those scanner shots of the 60 point Pascal are friggin' awesome!

Here's the money shot of my royal companion's typewriter type (which is 10.5 points in actual size) I flipped it horizontally because I thought it would make cents...

:)

Tim, take some shots of found type like in signage or whatever.

n.

hrant's picture

Thanks. But not scanner, camera - this dinky old one:
http://www.dcviews.com/_ricoh/7.htm
The key is the macro's minimum distance: 1 cm!

Here's a scanner scan of my 60 point Pascal:
http://www.themicrofoundry.com/other/Pascal60.jpg

hhp

5star's picture

Etsy full character shots ... wabi-sabi to the max.

n.

vinceconnare's picture

I have a large collection of cameras from an original Polaroid Land Camera the latest Leica digital.

My favourites
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinceconnare/sets/72157625430414839/

I use to work in the dark at a newspaper 8 hours a day.

Si_Daniels's picture

Do you have pictures of your camera collection?

Cheers, Si

vinceconnare's picture

Nikon D2X from the Type Museum in Stockwell sou'ff London.

5star's picture


n.

John Lyttle's picture

Typography and photography don't always play nicely together, but they sure do in this type specimen from Sudtipos.
Type design by Alejandro Paul
Photography by Stéphane Giner

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