Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Equipment and education… yes they matter!


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    To add to my lengthy comment (heh.. got a bit overdramatic there, didn’t I, sorry) .. I really DO appreciate people’s comments, lest anyone think I ask for feedback but then don’t regard it. I do.

    Can I ask for something specific then, in the way of assistance here?

    Would someone make a suggestion of an assignment so I can give it thought, and get to work on a concrete task? I’d be happy to upload the result for critique. I want to be evaluated based on gear and knowledge I have NOW, rather than propelled along with advice about what I have to get and learn first.

    Does that make sense?

    Suggest a photo assignment. I’ll take on the first one that’s up my alley.  🙂


    I know you’re not marketing yourself as a pro, but I just mean if you are currently limited to equipment that you know can’t get you a good image, it may be best to not advertise yourself to the public, rather, maybe do small shoots for family and friends and treat it also as practice (while maybe making a little money).


    Gotcha, browneyedgirl,
    Thanks for clarifying that. In the meantime I’ll still let my friends, etc know that they can certainly ask for a bargain photo shoot (which gives me experience).
    The Canon I have now is capable of much better images than perhaps you saw earlier – I took the bulk of them with the Olympus C808oWZ. I myself find the images grainy most of the time ..
    Was it you who were saying a Rebel XS is not very good?



    I’m a chef not a photographer  and I see both points of view here , I know excellent Chefs who break all the traditional rules and use inferior equipment and put out outstanding fare. But they understand the rules they are breaking and I know people who call themselves chefs who have great equipment sad put out a mediocre product. You can be self educated , school educated but you need to be educated and be able to understand why you are doing what you are doing. There is no luck in photography and like in cooking you are  just following a recipe / taking a picture you are not creating a piece of art you are just duplicating. So I think photographer and Chef denote an artist and someone who cooks or takes pictures a craftsmen. For a once in a lifetime event I think I’ll go with the professional.



    I like to consider myself one of the rulebreakers who has an idea of which rule is being broken, and why.
    I may not know anywhere near enough to rank as a marketable photographer, but I have a hunger for whatever knowledge I can acquire (free online tutorials, library books, social meetups with other photographers, etc), therefore I’ve learned to a rudimentary degree what NOT to do.
    I am and have been an artist most of my life, and my camera is simply another medium… easier to clean than paintbrushes, lol.

    Your comment, while I get the gist of it, seems to come across as sweeping away anybody who hasn’t got the training or gear to qualify as an ‘artist’ in your books. Please correct me if I’ve misunderstood you.

    For the record, I am a beginner/amateur, but that doesn’t make me untalented or clueless.

    I mean this with the best regard for your opinion, just had to state my own as I felt it pertained to me somehow.


    I think you misunderstood him. he’s (she’s?) just saying that proper knowledge trumps equipment almost everytime. i believe (keeping with the chef theme) gordon ramsey (spell check??) once took a bunch of gas station fried chicken and turned it into a 5 star plate that critics were practically having an orgasm over. you can be a photographer with what you have , ypu even got it right the first tim when you said youd enjoy what you have instead of worry about the things you dont have.

    You asked for an assignment, my suggestion is to first reaf the entire manual for your camera and then read online reviews for it (because they often include good visuals on the limitations of your camera model). After that get yoursepf a model, not a real model as in a person, a barbie/stuffed animal/rock work just fine. and use what you know to try to create the image you want. learn how to angle the model to create short light,long lighting, backlighting, etc. Being self taught isfantastic,but it is important to get feedback from a knowledgable source (i suggest dps instead of here). so when you’ve created a portfolio go ahead and ask for honest constructive criticismyou feel has pushed yourelf to ypur limits and are proud of


    Holy crap, this forum is NOT mobile friendly. i’m also clumsy with touch screens, ignore the typos. anyway, the end of that was to just upload your portfolio and getting a good critique.



    first your  aviator picture is beatifically in both subject and composition

    second I do think I came across as u tried too.


    in a nutshell I’m trying to say that you should be open minded and if you don’t care for someone’s work understand Why you don’t like it .

    try to learn from everyone and use technique as a core talent. Don’t lean on technology understand the basics and then after that


    blow the doors off and create to your hearts delight. I’m not sure if that clears things up or not bit I just see people in here saying too mu h information cramps my style and that shouldn’t be the case. You should be able to explain why you are doing the things you do.






    Sorry trying to write on my phone as my daughter is using my iPad what a disaster sorry again lol what a mess


    I wouldn’t say the Rebel XS is bad. I have never used one, but my friend used to have one and she felt limited with it’s potential. It has fewer megapixels (few enough where it’s noticeable when making a large print and zooming in to edit) and she felt it was pretty grainy. But I don’t know how it shoots besides that. You can definitely read reviews and do comparisons. I know lensrentals.com has a little pro review on each of the lenses they rent out, and I believe they rent bodies also… It may have a good review or comparison. Definitely check them out.


    Kimera, first I’ll state that if you can’t afford the equipment to go into business, then you simply cannot go into business. No use being upset about that.

    If you are actually serious, you could write up proposals for grants and loans, but the pressure will be quite severe to survive in a difficult market.


    Suggest a photo assignment. I’ll take on the first one that’s up my alley.

    I have no idea what your level of skill is, so here’s an apparently easy one.


    Set two vases with flowers (or some other vertical item) on a counter, separated by 1 foot. Set another vase 2 feet behind that, so that you can see all three flowers in a row behind each other, with a flower, a foot of distance, a flower, two feet of distance, and the last flower.

    From 1, 2, and 5 feet, take three shots in succession with each flower in focus with both other flowers out of focus. You may make any adjustments to your camera or lens desired, but you must stand in the same line with all three flowers visible in the same angle to the camera (i.e., you can back up and move forward, but not to either side). You may not “chimp” — take all 9 shots and never look at your camera’s LCD until you’re done (in fact, you should turn off the LCD completely, if possible). You should have a total of EXACTLY 9 shots. No more, no fewer. You may use a tripod if desired or warranted. If your lens doesn’t focus at 1 foot, use 2,3, and 6 feet (but that does make it a little harder). Take as much time as you like.

    Each shot should be properly exposed, and the exposure should be consistent across all shots. Each flower should be successively in focus.


    It’s quite possible that your lens won’t physically allow this to work, but knowing your camera’s limits is part of the process.


    Wow, very wide range of views here; one says ‘you can be a photographer with what you have’, and ‘if you can’t afford the equipment to go into business, then you simply cannot go into business’ .. hmm.

    I stand by my idea to ‘enjoy what I have instead of worry about the things you dont have’.  🙂

    I DO like the vase assignment, and the manual readup which, by the way, was already started… that’ll wait for a visit to Mom’s as she has the vases and the room to arrange them.

    chefdarren, thanks again for the clearup. Now I have another question – please remind me where you saw the aviator pic. I’d like to study it again, and I don’t know which one you mean. It’s probably because I didn’t title it that, so it’s not a word I’d immediately refer to my photos.


    stef is right. Going into business costs a lot. There are expences other than equipment. If it is your goal to be in business you will also have to worry about the cost of: a business license, insurance,  a website, a domain name, & if you dont want to learn then paying someone to get the seo on your website correct as well. advertizing : print & web. A studio or office : optional but helpful. &




    ^ I forgot you cant edit posts. I was using my phone and this website is not a great mobile site. You can probably tell how bad of a speller I am. Oh well.

    Anyway to continue: a good computer monitor and desktop computer to edit on, Photoshop and/or lightroom (though there is also Gimp which is free and is a ok program). External hard drives to back up your work. Umm have I missed anything? Probably but you get the idea.


    I appreciate all the feedback. At this time I’m serious all right: serious about forgetting the whole business end entirely, and just focus (har har) on the craft.
    One way or another, I will have a few bucks in my pocket resulting from doing something I really enjoy. That, to me, will be success.

    As for all the hundreds of thousands of bucks required to actually make a living at this, that’s not my dream or goal at all, so I’m not worried.

    By the way, I see a pattern; it seems whenever I or anyone requests critiques of photos, it tends to drift toward how much money a business costs. This amuses me since repeatedly I’ve said I DON’T want to advertise myself as a pro, or even BE a pro. I have no ambitions in that direction at all, but it doesn’t mean I would refuse to learn to be a better photographer!

    Thanks again for the input. I do take it all in. Once more, tho’, I DO NOT WANT TO BE A PROFESSIONAL, AND I’M NOT ADVERTISING A BUSINESS. If I make some money, it’s incidental. That’s all.

    Have a great day everybody.


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