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Zefah

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There were previously separate threads for photography and camera gear in previous years, but in the interest of generating more discussion, I decided to start up a new community thread that combined both topics. It's never been easier to get into photography, with most dedicated cameras being extremely capable devices and even most modern smartphones being able to take amazing photos thanks to computational photography, so I hope this thread will serve as a way to both share photographs while also discussing the art of photography as well as to talk about what kind of gear is out there and give each other recommendations.

Feel free to offer suggestions for additions to the OP and I'll try to incorporate them.

Previous Threads:
Photography:
Camera Gear:
Resources:

Understanding Exposure
This is a great book that really helps you understand how the different settings of a camera can affect the resulting image. When I was first getting started a few years ago, this is the book that helped me finally start shooting with manual settings.

DPReview.com
Great website with tons of content, news, and reviews of camera gear and related topics.

Fredmiranda.com
A good community of largely professional photographers. The highlight of this site is its Buy & Sell board, which is populated by a community of folks who regularly buy and sell used gear from each other. A lot more reliable for camera gear than eBay.

Greentoe.com
Great site to score a deal on new camera gear. Basically, you throw out on offer on a piece of gear, and it tries to match you with retailers that will meet your price. Sometimes you can find crazy deals here and get legit new gear with warranties for hundreds of dollars off.

Flickr.com
Great site to host and share high-resolution photographs.

Dedicated Digital Camera Gear Terminology:

Camera Technology:

  • DSLR - Digital Single Lens Reflex camera - A digital camera with interchangeable lenses with a mirror inside which allows you so see through the lens while composing your shot. Canon and Nikon are the biggest brands here.
  • MILC - Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera - Unlike DSLRs these don't have a mirror inside. Instead, you use either the screen on the back of the camera, or an electronic viewfinder, to compose your image. The lack of a mirror means these can usually be more compact than DSLRs, although there's no difference in image quality between the two form-factors.
Common Sensor Sizes:
  • Micro Four Thirds (M43) - These cameras use a sensor which is one-quarter the size of a full 35mm film frame, allowing for more compact cameras and lenses, at the expense of low light performance and depth of field. Panasonic and Olympus make M43 MILC cameras and lenses, and they both use the same lens mount, so lenses are interchangeable between the two brands.
  • APS-C - APS-C is a sensor size that is a little under half the area of a full 35mm film frame. It's long been a popular format for it's combination of affordability and low-light and shallow depth of field. Canon, Nikon and Pentax make APS-C DSLRs, and Sony, Fuji and Canon make APS-C MILCs.
  • Full-Frame - Full-frame cameras have imaging sensors the same size as a 35mm film. Larger sensors gather more light, which makes them better in low-light scenarios, and they also allow you to achieve a shallower depth of field (more bokeh). They are however, generally bigger and more expensive than M43 or APS-C cameras. Canon, Nikon and Pentax make full-frame DSLRs, and Sony, Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic make full-frame MILCs.
  • Medium Format - Medium format covers any sensor size larger than full frame. These cameras (and their lenses) can be very expensive, but can give the best image quality available for professional work. Pentax, Fuji, Hasselblad, Leica and Phase One make Medium Format cameras.
 
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mekes

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Nice O.T Zefah Zefah

I keep meaning to use my camera more, I fall into the hahit of only using it when I have a trip away somewhere. I don’t have a DSLR as I didn’t want to have multiple lenses, opted for a Sony RX10-4 which has been fun to use so far. I love the zoom (24-600) and the autofocus on this camera is a life saver for me, who still currently shoots in preset modes.

Hope the thread takes off as I’d love to pinch some knowledge from time to time!
 

Zefah

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Nice O.T Zefah Zefah

I keep meaning to use my camera more, I fall into the hahit of only using it when I have a trip away somewhere. I don’t have a DSLR as I didn’t want to have multiple lenses, opted for a Sony RX10-4 which has been fun to use so far. I love the zoom (24-600) and the autofocus on this camera is a life saver for me, who still currently shoots in preset modes.

Hope the thread takes off as I’d love to pinch some knowledge from time to time!
The RX10-IV is quite a camera! It's on the smaller 1 inch sensor, but as long as the light is good, you can take some incredible images with that thing. I've only had a chance to play around with it in a store, but it's an incredibly well-done camera for an all-in-one.

Nothing wrong with shooting in preset modes, but it can be very liberating to learn and really know the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings.
 
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Zefah

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A few of my personal favorites.







Tempted to get the EOS R. I have a bit of a backfocus problem on my 6D, and hear that mirrorless will typically get you sharper photos than DSLR with the lens out of the box.
Great stuff! Where did you take the one with the lion cubs? On a safari? I'm a Sony shooter, but the EOS R is a very cool camera. Mirrorless definitely does not have the lens/body calibration issues that DSLRs can have.

Subbed. Great shots, everyone!
Thanks! I think it may not have been the best idea to start this thread in Communities in hindsight. If you're cool with it, would you mind moving it to Off-Topic for at least a little while to see if there's any wider interest from those who don't often check the Communities forum?
 
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rykomatsu

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Great stuff! Where did you take the one with the lion cubs? On a safari? I'm a Sony shooter, but the EOS R is a very cool camera. Mirrorless definitely does not have the lens/body calibration issues that DSLRs can have.
Yup, safari in Tanzania - the lilac-breasted roller was in Tarangire, lion cubs in the Serengeti. Tamron 150-600mm G2 on a 6D.

Canon was offering 20% off the sale price of the EOS R via their loyalty program so ended up ordering the body. Hoping it arrives before I get sent to Germany next week - will give me something to play around with while traveling for work :messenger_beaming:

Niigata from a couple of months ago using my Magic 2 Pro
 
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Zefah

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Yup, safari in Tanzania - the lilac-breasted roller was in Tarangire, lion cubs in the Serengeti. Tamron 150-600mm G2 on a 6D.

Canon was offering 20% off the sale price of the EOS R via their loyalty program so ended up ordering the body. Hoping it arrives before I get sent to Germany next week - will give me something to play around with while traveling for work :messenger_beaming:

Niigata from a couple of months ago using my Magic 2 Pro
Love it! I keep telling myself I need to pick up a drone one of these days... I need to seriously start looking into it.

Do you get send around the globe a lot for work? Seems like that would pair quite well with a photography hobby.
 
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HeadsUp7Up

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Nice OP and thanks for moving this to OT to get some visibility. I’ve been getting more and more into photography and think I’m going to start trying to make some money off of it next year. I’ll be watching this thread from now on.
 
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Zefah

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Nice OP and thanks for moving this to OT to get some visibility. I’ve been getting more and more into photography and think I’m going to start trying to make some money off of it next year. I’ll be watching this thread from now on.
Have you done any paid gigs? I've thought about trying to do some paid stuff on the side, but it's such a competitive field that it seems like it would be hard to build a customer base without really committing to it as a profession full time.
 
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rykomatsu

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Do you get send around the globe a lot for work? Seems like that would pair quite well with a photography hobby.
One would think, right? But with jet lag and how busy you get, not really. I travel with only carry on luggage so that it's easy to change flights, even after checking in, so bringing a drone or dslr is usually at the bottom of my prioritization list.

This trip is a bit of an exception since I'm flying in on a weekend morning, and provided my schedule doesn't change, I have a full day to explore the city. It's also short enough that my carry-ons won't be too full.

I don't like using my phone camera since the quality is pretty low.
 
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HeadsUp7Up

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Have you done any paid gigs? I've thought about trying to do some paid stuff on the side, but it's such a competitive field that it seems like it would be hard to build a customer base without really committing to it as a profession full time.
Nope not yet. I think I’m just going to start with headshots and try to break into doing them for companies. Use a day of vacation and go shoot all day type of thing. Working on building up a portfolio with friends right now. Also someone just approached me about product photography so I guess I’m going to look into that now as well.
 
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rykomatsu

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Have you done any paid gigs? I've thought about trying to do some paid stuff on the side, but it's such a competitive field that it seems like it would be hard to build a customer base without really committing to it as a profession full time.
If you're interested in making a side income with photography, have you thought about starting small? A lot of it is about self hustling, but something as simple as reaching out to your local coffee shops to put up framed prints that patrons can buy is a simple way to start.

Back in the day (when the digital rebel came out) before my camera bag got stolen and stopped shooting from despair, I did that locally and managed to sell a few prints and also got one person who wanted a photoshoot with their dog.

What I think I found was that there are a lot of good-to-amazing photographers out there, but for each one of them, only a small percentage try in earnest to make a living, and also for each one of them, you have a crap ton of garbage photographers that think that it's the camera and not the content / framing / postprocessing / creativity that makes for a fantastic photo.

That said, the responsibility you have when it comes to a gig is far higher, so I felt more comfortable just hustling photos I had already taken.
 
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Zefah

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Nice! I should really try to shoot in black and white more. One of the cool things about mirrorless is that what you see is what you get, so switching to black & white in camera will allow you to see what the result will look like before even taking the photo.

If you're interested in making a side income with photography, have you thought about starting small? A lot of it is about self hustling, but something as simple as reaching out to your local coffee shops to put up framed prints that patrons can buy is a simple way to start.

Back in the day (when the digital rebel came out) before my camera bag got stolen and stopped shooting from despair, I did that locally and managed to sell a few prints and also got one person who wanted a photoshoot with their dog.

What I think I found was that there are a lot of good-to-amazing photographers out there, but for each one of them, only a small percentage try in earnest to make a living, and also for each one of them, you have a crap ton of garbage photographers that think that it's the camera and not the content / framing / postprocessing / creativity that makes for a fantastic photo.

That said, the responsibility you have when it comes to a gig is far higher, so I felt more comfortable just hustling photos I had already taken.
Good idea. I definitely need to get out there and hustle in person a bit if I want to turn it into an actual source of revenue.

I am using APSC based Canon 80D with 18-55mm, 55-250mm kit lenses and 50mm 1.8 prime lens. Maybe one day I am going to have enough money to buy some quality lens, till then here some bnw photos,
That 50mm f/1.8 for Canon is a good lens considering how dirt cheap it is. I loved using that lens when I had a Rebel T4i just starting out.
 
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Zefah

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what do you think photography gaf



Nice stuff! Is that one of those fancy LED mask things? The second one is great. Almost looks like you replaced a cup of coffee with a can of coke!

I haven't shot anything in two years. I need to get back into shooting.
Good idea! Feel free to share old stuff, too!
 
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rykomatsu

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So, after a long set of flights (20 hrs I think...), made it to German - came across the Christmas Market this right outside the terminal:

I only had my 14mm F2.8 MF lens on hand - this lens is pretty hard to use with all the distortion and just the overall field of view you get, but with some focus peaking and use of LCD zoom, I think I was able to get them relatively sharp. Personally, like the contrasting shadow the 3 folks provide in the second one.
 

dcll

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The previous best deal I have got in a long time was a Mavic 2 a few months back for $600 but beat that a few weeks ago with a $500 6dmkii, now I need some suggestions. It came with a 50 1.4, I had a 55-250 STM from my old camera that I can't use but I really liked that. I am also debating about selling the 50 1.4 and just getting the 1.8, I don't think it is worth the extra money. What other lenses would you recommend for normal everyday use and nature pics?
 
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Zefah

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The previous best deal I have got in a long time was a Mavic 2 a few months back for $600 but beat that a few weeks ago with a $500 6dmkii, now I need some suggestions. It came with a 50 1.4, I had a 55-250 STM from my old camera that I can't use but I really liked that. I am also debating about selling the 50 1.4 and just getting the 1.8, I don't think it is worth the extra money. What other lenses would you recommend for normal everyday use and nature pics?
What's your budget for other lenses? I don't own Canon anymore, but when I had a Rebel I loved the 50 1.8. It's not the best lens out there, but I agree it's probably good enough compared to the 1.4 you have depending on how much you can sell it for.
 

Zefah

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Nice!, Finally a new OT for photography as the old ones seem to have died off. Heres some of my work, I mostly do studio portraits (besides a photographer im also a retoucher):

Great work! How long have you been doing this professionally? I'd love to pick your brain someday about skin retouching. If these two photos are any example, you do a great job at cleaning it up without making it look fake/airbrushed.
 
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Great work! How long have you been doing this professionally? I'd love to pick your brain someday about skin retouching. If these two photos are any example, you do a great job at cleaning it up without making it look fake/airbrushed.
Thanks man! Retouching probably now over 5 years. As for having a totally clean skin but still to look as if it was natural its all about technique used. You will see a lot of people, "retouchers" who will literally blur the face and it gives this doll-like + bloom effect on the face which looks absolutely terrible. But they do it because its very fast. Thats Frequency Separation technique (big no no for facial retouching.

What i use (and anyone that knows what they are doing) is Dodge n Burn. Basically you light up the dark pores and darken the brighter ones so the skin gets that super smooth transition and most importantly you can still see all the skin texture. Why a lot dont do this is it can take up to 2-3 even 4 hours per photo. I dont have a prob with that because i enjoy doing it: put my headphones on, blast the music and just zen out :)

Heres a before and after:



EDIT: Guys is a bit easier because they look too wierd if they are super clean. So you want to keep some of that masculinity but still you gotta put equal effort just it might be less time consuming.
 
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Zefah

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Thanks man! Retouching probably now over 5 years. As for having a totally clean skin but still to look as if it was natural its all about technique used. You will see a lot of people, "retouchers" who will literally blur the face and it gives this doll-like + bloom effect on the face which looks absolutely terrible. But they do it because its very fast. Thats Frequency Separation technique (big no no for facial retouching.

What i use (and anyone that knows what they are doing) is Dodge n Burn. Basically you light up the dark pores and darken the brighter ones so the skin gets that super smooth transition and most importantly you can still see all the skin texture. Why a lot dont do this is it can take up to 2-3 even 4 hours per photo. I dont have a prob with that because i enjoy doing it: put my headphones on, blast the music and just zen out :)

Heres a before and after:



EDIT: Guys is a bit easier because they look too wierd if they are super clean. So you want to keep some of that masculinity but still you gotta put equal effort just it might be less time consuming.
That's super impressive work! I'm just a hobbyist and I've only messed around with dodge and burn stuff in Photoshop very briefly, but it seemed very time consuming. Most of the stuff I take is just of my family and friends and since I'm not getting paid for any of it and often processing dozens of photos at a time, I tend to stick with Lightroom and rarely ever go out to Photoshop for any individual photo.

Do you use a tablet for your editing?
 
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And heres the example for the guy:



Yeah thats fine for what you do especially when working with multiple images lets say from a trip. You dont wanna waste time in PS when lightroom is good enough to just make the photos pop and some minor adjustments. Honestly no need do bang your head with DnB especially on street photography. This is more for studio as its really obvious because when the strobe hits the subject every imperfection is visible. However my advice would be, try to maybe if you have time of course, to switch to Photoshop. Keep LR for your usual stuff but man even I started out as street photography and then one day I had this thing a spot removal tool in LR couldnt fix the problem and I was so annoyed because I thought the photo worked better without that issue lol. Now if theres something I ned adjusting or removing I know 5 different ways to reach the goal if the first 4 dont work. Anyway I wish i got into photoshop way way earlier. Its such a powerful tool. If you want to go bonkers you can literally turn one of your daytime Tokyo shots into grim night sky with blazing fire thats reflecting one peoples faces etc. Its amazing once you master some stuff how you can create out of almost nothing a whole new vibe and vision.

EDIT: Yes I use a tablet. Makes life so much easier and I think it took me like only a day to get used to it. I use Wacom Intuos Pro M.

P.S. you live in Japan now?
 
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TeezzyD

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I've got an old Sony a58 that I used to use for videos and the like. Also have more lenses than I really know what to do with. I'd love to explore photography more. Even just being able to grasp the basics again. I dont really know what I'd take pictures of. Birds, and pretty girls interest me.
 
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Bo_Hazem

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I humble photographer here, would welcome any critics indeed. A shot made last year.

Location: Muqurah, Rakhyout, Dhofar, Oman, Asia.

Pardon the big signature. :lollipop_tears_of_joy:

This was after sunset as the clouds cool down and get lower resulting in making that mount look like an island. Had to make the exposure to 1+, but didn't know that the DJI Phantom 4 Pro had a raw photo mode. Didn't do much to the photo as it gets a bit noisy, sadly, as it was a bit darker than the photo suggests.

 
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Chankoras

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I humble photographer here, would welcome any critics indeed. A shot made last year.

Location: Muqurah, Rakhyout, Dhofar, Oman, Asia.

Pardon the big signature. :lollipop_tears_of_joy:

This was after sunset as the clouds cool down and get lower resulting in making that mount look like an island. Had to make the exposure to 1+, but didn't know that the DJI Phantom 4 Pro had a raw photo mode. Didn't do much to the photo as it get a bit noisy, sadly, as it was a bit darker than the photo suggests.

That's very nice, I like going out after rain to get the "sea of clouds " but only getting lucky few times
 
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Bo_Hazem

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That's very nice, I like going out offer rain to get the "sea of clouds " but only getting lucky few times
Yeah, it's much easier around here due to actually having constant low clouds of monsoon between June-September. Some clouds could be as low as 100m high. Some even struggle to lift their weight as you can see from this photo I made back in 2015 in Dhalkout, Dhofar, Oman. Photo is a bit tilted though, as was mainly filming a short documentary for Oman TV about biting midges. It's a cheap compact camera, Panasonic Lumix FZ35.



During monsoon season (called Khareef locally) you rarely see the sun and could spend up to 4-5 weeks of constant drizzles without seeing the sun.
 
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Chankoras

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Yeah, it's much easier around here due to actually having constant low clouds of monsoon between June-September. Some clouds could be as low as 100m high. Some even struggle to lift their weight as you can see from this photo I made back in 2015 in Dhalkout, Dhofar, Oman. Photo is a bit tilted though, as was mainly filming a short documentary for Oman TV about biting midges. It's a cheap compact camera, Panasonic Lumix FZ35.



During monsoon season (called Khareef locally) you rarely see the sun and could spend up to 4-5 weeks of constant drizzles without seeing the sun.
Oman is greener than I expected.
 
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Bo_Hazem

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Oman is greener than I expected.
Not always, only partially and during monsoon season! But most Euro visitors come here during dry season to enjoy the sandy beaches and warmth during Winter. This is a photo that shows you the contrast in some parts of Dhofar region in Oman:

Shaat, Rakhyout, Dhofar, Oman in September when clouds start to fade away more often and landscapes are exposed. Was pushing the drone 500m higher than my spot (950m above sea level). Sadly, it's not shot at RAW as said before that I didn't know that it was capable of raw photography. This is during midday, colors pop out more.

 

Chankoras

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Not always, only partially and during monsoon season! But most Euro visitors come here during dry season to enjoy the sandy beaches and warmth during Winter. This is a photo that shows you the contrast in some parts of Dhofar region in Oman:

Shaat, Rakhyout, Dhofar, Oman in September when clouds start to fade away more often and landscapes are exposed. Was pushing the drone 500m higher than my spot (950m above sea level). Sadly, it's not shot at RAW as said before that I didn't know that it was capable of raw photography. This is during midday, colors pop out more.

Cool shot, beautiful landscape!
 
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Bo_Hazem

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The Red-legged Orb-Web Spider, Nephila sumptuosa, shot with my DJI Osmo Pocket :lollipop_tears_of_joy: This one produces one of the most powerful silks in the world, it can have as wide as 7 meters web that I've seen in person, and can catch small birds as well!

Location: Hashir Hill, Mirbat, Dhofar, Oman.

Here are the 3 shots I made of it hanging between 2 trees in Darbat, Taqah, Dhofar, Oman and I was driving under it!







 
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