Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? I asked once before but I'm asking again

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    Looking at your gear list I now understand the noise and fake bokeh. You have slow zooms with entry level bodies which aren’t going to cut it when the conditions become challenging.

    Good luck, may I suggest offloading some of those lenses and buy more suitable alternatives?


    If you are going to shoot weddings (or portraits) for a living, you might want to get different gear.  Better ISO performance is a product of larger sensors and newer hardware and software.  Full frame sensors generally have larger photo sites so each receptor can get more light, which makes a better signal to noise ratio, for less noise in the final result.  Faster lenses can help, too, since you can open the aperture more.

    Another benefit to full frame is that for any given focal length, you can stand closer due to the larger sensor and larger image circle of FX lenses.  Standing closer gives better bokeh.  Some lenses have better bokeh than others, but for now we will think of just one lens for the demonstration, and since I shoot with Canon, my choice of lens won’t be something you will get, regardless of which lens I choose.

    Click the images to see the large version and EXIF data on Flickr.

    Herewith, a diagram.  The line at the top is the backdrop.  The X’s are coffee cans with faces on them, B is 6 feet from the closer can.  A is 10 feet from the same can.  A and B represent camera positions.  L is a light and umbrella, and R is a reflector.


    So, now we know the setup, here we go, …

    This is a Canon 550D/Rebel T2i (APS-C crop sensor) at 10 feet, with a 100 mm lens opened all the way to f/2.8, and focused on the lower right corner of the nose as viewed.

    APS-C at 10 ft

    Moving the lens to a Canon 5D Mk III, full frame body, same settings, same focus point on “subject”, and we see my backdrop is too narrow!  Oh, well, next time I’ll hang a 12 foot backdrop, the blue one is 8 feet wide.

    FF at 10 ft

    We also see the face on the green can looks almost identical to the previous image for sharpness.

    So, lets move the full frame body to the 6 foot mark (B), so the subject returns to original size in the frame.  Same settings, focused on same point on “subject”.

    FF at 6 ft

    Now the face on the green can is almost gone.

    You can get bokeh with a crop body, and even with consumer grade lenses, but if you have lenses that are 2 to 5 stops faster, and a full frame body so you can get closer at the same focal length, you will get bokeh sooner, more bokeh with less effort.




    I actually joined to post this. They did not teach you broad or short lighting at this ?school? you went to? They also should have taught you about noise and ISO’s. You should sign up at KelbyOne.com I think you’ll learn more there in a few hours than you have at your school. Hell, if the schools I went to were that bad, I would demand a refund of all tuition paid. There are a lot more basic rules than just Rule of Thirds for composition… They should have taught you them all also about zones, high/low key, shallow depth of field, deep depth of field, selective focus, exposure compensation, lighting (even just the basics would work), business classes,  and the list goes on and on… Photography is a constant learning experience, but you should have learned the basic technical side and general business side from your school that you paid good money for. I would lodge a complaint with the school board on what you have NOT received in education you paid for.

    Neil van Niekerk has 3 good books out on lighting,  His website has many lighting tips and actual setup diagrams http://neilvn.com/tangents/

    Join the PPA they have great educational information. Go for your CPP. Do the workshops available. Join your local PPA or photography club in your area. There are so many ways to get an education and it’s not from your school obviously.

    Okay, I will stop my rant… It just pisses me off when teachers don’t teach…





    Broad, short, etc.  http://digital-photography-school.com/6-portrait-lighting-patterns-every-photographer-should-know

    Like Kathi, and the rest, I am wondering what your school taught.  Fortunately the information is readily available.


    Okay, I did know broad/short/etc I just didn’t know the terms (or forgot them)

    They should have taught you them all also about zones, high/low key, shallow depth of field, deep depth of field, selective focus, exposure compensation, lighting (even just the basics would work), business classes,  and the list goes on and on…

    I guess I didn’t think of those as composition/cropping but as something else. Yes we did have two Business of Photography classes



    Well alllllllllllllrighty then VK!

    I really didn’t think you would come up with answers on here but am impressed that you gave the questions some thought. That speaks well of you. It sounds as if you have given the whole situation a good bit of consideration. There is nothing wrong with not knowing something and admitting as much.

    Right or wrong, what’s done is done. It would be counterproductive to dwell on what education you received or didn’t receive in the past as regards whatever school/classes you attended. You at least should now know enough to know that there is always a lot you don’t know! And that is a beautiful thing because you are now in a great position to really kick in an awesome learning experience.

    VK I hope you realize that you are getting some excellent advice here (and not everyone does) from some capable folks. Also note the excellent educational materials that have been recommended. That cameraclicker went to the trouble to give us (and others) that little demo speaks volumes.

    So here would be my general suggestion at this point. In your Photographic Journey, take each of these facets of photography one by one. Practice and practice each one until you master it as it relates to the genre you want to shoot. Then (and only then) move to the next one. Learn good techniques for hand retouching a portrait (and Kelby has an excellent book on that you could keep on your desk for reference). Practice your lighting. Get your flash off-camera and when you have to have it onboard learn how to bounce it to get short/broad, whatever you need to have at the time (rather than a full-on nuke!). And the list goes on. Once done, then (and only then), you can shoot successfully in any situation. And that is the definition of a Professional.

    As I said before, the best investment you can make is in yourself. It will take time. It will be huge amounts of fun. It will be unbelievably rewarding. Play for the long game. Shoot second for an established wedding shooter in your area. Set yourself above the fauxtographer. It seems to me that you have both the desire and the potential. Everyone sees things other people don’t. What everyone can’t do (as seen constantly on this website) is translate that into a beautiful photograph.

    Make that your mission. It will be worth the effort.


    Thank you for your kind words Trainwreck, I’ll admit I was getting defensive with some of the others’ comments. Some of my photos are edited certain ways yes due to classes, but also because I (or the bride) like the final result.

    If anyone is still on the thread, I’m posting photos in the ‘People’  gallery, I think these ones are some of my best



    My rant was not at you, but your teachers and the school… You have the desire to learn and have searched out a place to learn from. Unfortunately the school is not doing it’s job correctly. Trainwreck gave some excellent advice as well as some others.  You are the one that can change the course you’re on. Question teachers since you are still enrolled, demand the education with constant vocal thoughts to them. Force them to teach you what they should have been doing all along. Study on your own constantly and practice, practice, practice. It’s not film like when I started in the 80’s and cost a large fortune… Although that may have been a good thing for me. I thought and composed well before hitting the shutter. I am getting lazy now I think and need to work on that myself. Years from now if you do this you will look back and wonder why you thought those images were good that you are currently taking.




    Question teachers since you are still enrolled

    Unfortunately I graduated in September, I walk on the 20th of this month. I’d just thought it was difference of opinion when one of my teachers called for ideas and suggestions and then said “Deanna, you’ve said too much”


    Your teacher needs to be reported to the Dean/Admin of the school for that comment. They will not know he/she is a bad teacher unless someone reports that they have a bad apple in the group. I have seen many teachers who just float through for the pay check and many students who suffered because of it. The only question is WHY the teacher become so lazy or was he always this way! Teachers are suppose to encourage and demand from students, not tell them they talk too much unless they are in the first or second grade and really do talk to much about non class issues. In higher education you are required to voice and debate otherwise you learn nothing. I am sorry you had to deal with crap teachers, there are many that actually care and try. I think since you went through with your education, you do want to be the best you can be at what you are doing. Where are you located, I can ask at the PPA if someone near you wants to be a mentor or let you learn a bit by following them around. I know a lot of the PPA members do this from time to time. What is knowledge if you do not share it, a waste would be my reply.



    I’m from the Greater Pittsburgh Area of Pennsylvania


    Give me a week or so… I will post on the loop at the PPA and see if I get any bites. I know of two in the area off the top of my head, but not sure how busy they are or how willing to help someone. I’m in the Chicagoland area so you are too far for me.





    have you tried dog collars chained to stakes in the ground?

    I’ll keep that in my dossier – it may come in handy! 🙂

    I LOVE the idea of the ND filter (I have an adjustable kind) with a flash. I can envsision this working very well given my limitations.

    The HDR bracketing is also a fabulous choice I completely overlooked.

    I will put both of these to use on my next shoot (in 3 weeks).

    You are “a bucket o’ good ideas,” aren’t you?  🙂



    I can relate to a poor education OP, when I studied A Level, as an adult, I wasn’t so much as told what an f stop was! It was ridiculous. Luckily there is a wealth of information and tutorials and critique out there for the taking, thanks to the net.

    You may have finished school but your education will never stop. Good luck.

    Worst Case Scenario

    Your people pictures look about right for a beginner, but you’re a professional!

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