How I started...


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Hacker

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Someone asked about a Nikon 800mm lens that I used before. So very interestingly, here is my story. Hope more people can also share their stories...

There is also a related thread here http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=171415

==============================

Started with the EOS 630 in NS after a classmate introduced me to a Canon A1. Was in secondary school and coupled with a National Geographic subscription that my father had, it opened my interest to photography. Drooled at the Olympus and Minolta ads for some reason. Never had any $$, so only in NS was I able to buy my first camera using my first "paycheck". Father passed me a Zeiss Ikonflex 6x6.

Had very little money, and everything was DIY. Reflectors, slave flashes (real $20 cheapos) and even tripods were all made of things that I could find in the house. Even used art paper to correct color on the flash when shooting indoors. Learnt a lot through trial and error. To fund my hobby, I started taking weddings and pictures of my parent's friends' kids. I was refered to when people liked the shots. Knew nothing about marketing. Then started shooting commercially for a person who became a friend when he had no time (for free). He would buy me lunch and let me play with his equipment. I was introduced to many top photographers in SG and very expensive large/medium format stuff.

My friend started to give me $$ for the assignments and I earned enough to buy Nikons, Minoltas, Canons, Leicas, and my last camera which was a Contax (for the Zeiss) before selling everything to study overseas. In NS, made friends with the full time photographers and learnt darkroom techniques. As the staff were freelancing for weddings, I got a couple when they could not make it. They would critique my work almost every single day.

In university, I got voted in as the yearbook editor, so had cameras and a very good darkroom at my disposal.

Most memorable shoot?
Went up in a helicopter with out a door and shot Singapore's first missile corvette for the Navy's advertisements. It was a commercial shoot for my friend. Used a Hassleblad for the job. Still remembered the $1,400 fee to engage the pilot and his constant reminder that we can't shoot anything while flying over land.

Another one was shooting Michael Chang using a Minolta 9000. Got published.

Fast forward to the present. Last year, found out from my uncle that my family comes from a very famous line of photographers (one of the pioneers in SG). Has some published work which traces the history and the names are mentioned. Of course, this has nothing to do with me but it may be in the blood if you believe what some relatives are saying.

Today, I take photos purely for fun. I don't fret if the shot is messed up or over or under exposed. In November last year, my wife got me the E500 for my birthday. Age is catching up with me and I shoot to destress. Don't know much about PS and post-processing techiques. That is why my shots are not cropped or color corrected most of the time.
 

wind30

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actually,

since you are sharing your experiences, I was quite curious why you chose olympus. Is it because your wife bought for you E500? Or was there another reason? Considering the amount of money you are spending, why not Canon/Nikon. They have "better" or at least more expensive bodies :)
 

OlymE1

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Dec 18, 2005
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Why i like abt Olympus (E1)

1) A lot of the controls are on the camera and not menu driven (e.g. Image Quality; WB)
2) Love the one-touch WB button.
3) Love the catch to open the CF compartment and Batt compartment.
4) The sound of the shutter being depressed.
5) Best of all, the anti-dust buster.
__________________
 

Hacker

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wind30 said:
actually,

since you are sharing your experiences, I was quite curious why you chose olympus. Is it because your wife bought for you E500? Or was there another reason? Considering the amount of money you are spending, why not Canon/Nikon. They have "better" or at least more expensive bodies :)
Ha, this is the question that I did not give the answer to. How I chose Oly:

If you are a follower of the best 35mm work which I did in the past, I found a few things:

Almost every camera can generate the type of pictures suitable for magazine publishing. For the very high end photography, people shoot with large and medium format. So you got a good Nikon shot of a waterfall? So what, you get good shots with Minolta, Canon, Olympus, Fuji and many more. So if you read all the tests, they look at resolution and color correctness. But this is still not the full picture. If you look at the 2x crop factor and blow up the FF 5D to the same field of vision, it may lose out to the E500. But if we do it the other way, the reverse is true.

Our eyes compensate more than we know. So even if we say this is the color, it would mean different things to different people. Now that I got these things out of the way.

(a) I calculate better with 2x rather than 1.3, 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7.
(b) Oly has the lenses that cover the type of photography that I need. (I found out only later that a few were only in the brochures...:cry: e.g. 14-35 and 35-100.
(c) Colors are very natural. Somehow, I find lots of people drawn to colors instead of sharpness (unless you are shooting stills and landscapes which I don't do now). I've given horrible photos to couples because they prefered that I not thrown the pictures away. They loved it. They paid for it.

The trick that I learnt when I was a NS teenager with no $$, is to find the optimized setting. I do it for all the lenses that I own. If I found that a particular cheap 28mm was sharp at f5.6-f11, I will only take shots using those apertures. It forced me to think before I took the shot. There are lots of lenses that are very sharp at the optimized settings. I got the Platimum series because this is purely a hobby and I'm too lazy to work out all the details.
 

KrY0LiT3

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14-35? 35-100? they're on their way. relak! lol. i oso wan to test drive those lens. like go showroom test drive new cars. haha.

i started wif a minolta 700si. still using it but onli wif my 50mm f/1.7. for fun lah. my uni has 2 darkrooms and free unlimited usage of chemicals. which is gd for students on a budget like me. lol.

i dun have much of a story to tell. simliar to stephen/hacker, my interest started early. i started in jc and the hobby developed through my ns years. i take photos for my battalion in the army and helped out in ndp. got my c5050z before army and my e1 as a bday present from my parents during. it's the best present i had :D i helped out wif an online magazine for a while, covered some events, did some fashion shoots... i did some shoots for smu too, that's about it. some paid some free. but mostly favours and nominal reimbursements.

:) short history lah. i'm not tt old. lol
 

Hacker

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OlymE1 said:
Why i like abt Olympus (E1)

5) Best of all, the anti-dust buster.
__________________
Ya, forgot that one. ;)
 

noelleong

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Mar 29, 2005
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Hacker said:
I mentioned an 800mm lens that I used before. So very interestingly, here is my story. Hope more people can also share their stories...

==============================

Started with the EOS 630 in NS after a classmate introduced me to a Canon A1. Was in secondary school and coupled with a National Geographic subscription that my father had, it opened my interest to photography. Drooled at the Olympus and Minolta ads for some reason. Never had any $$, so only in NS was I able to buy my first camera using my first "paycheck". Father passed me a Zeiss Ikonflex 6x6.

Had very little money, and everything was DIY. Reflectors, slave flashes (real $20 cheapos) and even tripods were all made of things that I could find in the house. Even used art paper to correct color on the flash when shooting indoors. Learnt a lot through trial and error. To fund my hobby, I started taking weddings and pictures of my parent's friends' kids. I was refered to when people liked the shots. Knew nothing about marketing. Then started shooting commercially for a person who became a friend when he had no time (for free). He would buy me lunch and let me play with his equipment. I was introduced to many top photographers in SG and very expensive large/medium format stuff.

My friend started to give me $$ for the assignments and I earned enough to buy Nikons, Minoltas, Canons, Leicas, and my last camera which was a Contax (for the Zeiss) before selling everything to study overseas. In NS, made friends with the full time photographers and learnt darkroom techniques. As the staff were freelancing for weddings, I got a couple when they could not make it. They would critique my work almost every single day.

In university, I got voted in as the yearbook editor, so had cameras and a very good darkroom at my disposal.

Most memorable shoot?
Went up in a helicopter with out a door and shot Singapore's first missile corvette for the Navy's advertisements. It was a commercial shoot for my friend. Used a Hassleblad for the job. Still remembered the $1,400 fee to engage the pilot and his constant reminder that we can't shoot anything while flying over land.

Another one was shooting Michael Chang using a Minolta 9000. Got published.

Fast forward to the present. Last year, found out from my uncle that my family comes from a very famous line of photographers (one of the pioneers in SG). Has some published work which traces the history and the names are mentioned. Of course, this has nothing to do with me but it may be in the blood if you believe what some relatives are saying.

Today, I take photos purely for fun. I don't fret if the shot is messed up or over or under exposed. In November last year, my wife got me the E500 for my birthday. Age is catching up with me and I shoot to destress. Don't know much about PS and post-processing techiques. That is why my shots are not cropped or color corrected most of the time.
Then, I will apprecaite if you can give me some guidance/critique/comments. I started photography about 4 years ago. Still a newbie. By the way, how old are you Stephen? :embrass:

I am waiting for your 150mm F2 post to see what you can do with this lens. Have you found the sweet spot yet? I have just been experimenting shots with shallow DOF.

No I am not a pro but I enjoy photography, I will like to volunteer if there are any events but maybe my skills are not there yet. :thumbsd:

Here is my link:
http://www.photo.net/photos/noelleong

Ben
 

Hacker

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noelleong said:
Then, I will apprecaite if you can give me some guidance/critique/comments. I started photography about 4 years ago. Still a newbie. By the way, how old are you Stephen? :embrass:

I am waiting for your 150mm F2 post to see what you can do with this lens. Have you found the sweet spot yet? I have just been experimenting shots with shallow DOF.

No I am not a pro but I enjoy photography, I will like to volunteer if there are any events but maybe my skills are not there yet. :thumbsd:

Here is my link:
http://www.photo.net/photos/noelleong

Ben
No lar, digital is totally new to me. I'm a newbie in this area. The rain was bad, so I'm thinking Tuesday go shoot something, not sure what. SMU and Esplanade holds a lot of promise. Actually, the way we learnt photography is using only one lens. Use that lens until nothing to shoot. Then we found out that the possibilities are endless once you mastered the lens. And I compose without cropping.

I checked your site, many pixs have strong composition, a few too central. I learnt the hard way. One lens, and then one particular topic. If it is texture, then go shoot texture. If colors, then go shoot colors with the one lens. After one day, sure learn a lot. In the past, lessons can be very expensive. We go learn together. I'm thinking of mastering the 150 lens on architecture, that is why SMU and Esplanade. I drive past both buildings every working day, so always looking at the angles and the lighting.

Your shots of birds and buildings are extremely good.
 

noelleong

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Hacker said:
No lar, digital is totally new to me. I'm a newbie in this area. The rain was bad, so I'm thinking Tuesday go shoot something, not sure what. SMU and Esplanade holds a lot of promise. Actually, the way we learnt photography is using only one lens. Use that lens until nothing to shoot. Then we found out that the possibilities are endless once you mastered the lens. And I compose without cropping.

I checked your site, many pixs have strong composition, a few too central. I learnt the hard way. One lens, and then one particular topic. If it is texture, then go shoot texture. If colors, then go shoot colors with the one lens. After one day, sure learn a lot. In the past, lessons can be very expensive. We go learn together. I'm thinking of mastering the 150 lens on architecture, that is why SMU and Esplanade. I drive past both buildings every working day, so always looking at the angles and the lighting.

Your shots of birds and buildings are extremely good.

Thanks Stephen. That is what I have been doing. I will buy one lens half a year and learn what I can do with it. I started with the 14-54, 50, 50-200, 150.

Wow, with 150mm, got to stand far far away, unless you want to capture details of buildings. I have been shooting insects and flowers with it though for th pass one month.



When do you want to go down on Tuesday, early morning or evening? Better pray hard that it would not rain.
 

Hacker

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noelleong said:
Ya, any idea what is selective depth of field? Is it a function on a cam?
DOF. Function of the lens aperture and distance between subject and shooter. With the Oly, got DOF preview which I only found out is possible. Yeah...:thumbsup:
 

Hacker

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Dec 6, 2005
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noelleong said:
Wow, with 150mm, got to stand far far away, unless you want to capture details of buildings. I have been shooting insects and flowers with it though for th pass one month.

When do you want to go down on Tuesday, early morning or evening? Better pray hard that it would not rain.
It used to be one lens, one film also. I think I'll shoot shapes tomorrow. However, you must enjoy what you do, otherwise, no fun.
 

selamatlzh

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Sep 29, 2003
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Hacker said:
I mentioned an 800mm lens that I used before. So very interestingly, here is my story. Hope more people can also share their stories...

There is also a related thread here http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=171415

==============================

Started with the EOS 630 in NS after a classmate introduced me to a Canon A1. Was in secondary school and coupled with a National Geographic subscription that my father had, it opened my interest to photography. Drooled at the Olympus and Minolta ads for some reason. Never had any $$, so only in NS was I able to buy my first camera using my first "paycheck". Father passed me a Zeiss Ikonflex 6x6.

Had very little money, and everything was DIY. Reflectors, slave flashes (real $20 cheapos) and even tripods were all made of things that I could find in the house. Even used art paper to correct color on the flash when shooting indoors. Learnt a lot through trial and error. To fund my hobby, I started taking weddings and pictures of my parent's friends' kids. I was refered to when people liked the shots. Knew nothing about marketing. Then started shooting commercially for a person who became a friend when he had no time (for free). He would buy me lunch and let me play with his equipment. I was introduced to many top photographers in SG and very expensive large/medium format stuff.

My friend started to give me $$ for the assignments and I earned enough to buy Nikons, Minoltas, Canons, Leicas, and my last camera which was a Contax (for the Zeiss) before selling everything to study overseas. In NS, made friends with the full time photographers and learnt darkroom techniques. As the staff were freelancing for weddings, I got a couple when they could not make it. They would critique my work almost every single day.

In university, I got voted in as the yearbook editor, so had cameras and a very good darkroom at my disposal.

Most memorable shoot?
Went up in a helicopter with out a door and shot Singapore's first missile corvette for the Navy's advertisements. It was a commercial shoot for my friend. Used a Hassleblad for the job. Still remembered the $1,400 fee to engage the pilot and his constant reminder that we can't shoot anything while flying over land.

Another one was shooting Michael Chang using a Minolta 9000. Got published.

Fast forward to the present. Last year, found out from my uncle that my family comes from a very famous line of photographers (one of the pioneers in SG). Has some published work which traces the history and the names are mentioned. Of course, this has nothing to do with me but it may be in the blood if you believe what some relatives are saying.

Today, I take photos purely for fun. I don't fret if the shot is messed up or over or under exposed. In November last year, my wife got me the E500 for my birthday. Age is catching up with me and I shoot to destress. Don't know much about PS and post-processing techiques. That is why my shots are not cropped or color corrected most of the time.

You sounds like an old timer to me.

My SLR days
=========
I was a little abit luckier than you. I started with my dad Nikon FE3 with 50mm f1.4 back in 1987. A year after my brother and I shared a Nikon F301 (S$600) plus a cheap sigma 28-80 lens. End of 1988, we bought our 1st zoom lens, a sigma 70-210 APO (that was manual), I still remember it cost like S$600. After using electronic camera for 3 years, I bought a black FM2 (body) because I am sick of electronic camera.

My electronic days
==============
I stop photography shortly after school, and after 10 years I am back. After getting to know clubsnap I have started photography again. From 750UZ, then 8080, not E300.

My nikon compatible lens cannot be used anymore, and the Nikon bodies is RIP in my dry cabinet.

I chose Oly because of its colour, WB, anti dust, and Zuiko award winning lens.

AND I still insist Metz for my flash.
 

Hacker

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My favourite rig would be the Nikon F3 and the Metz flashes all set on manual. When AF came, it was the Minolta Dynax 9000. Brings back the old days of the Nikon FM, FM2, FA, F2!
 

KrY0LiT3

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Hacker said:
My favourite rig would be the Nikon F3 and the Metz flashes all set on manual. When AF came, it was the Minolta Dynax 9000. Brings back the old days of the Nikon FM, FM2, FA, F2!
haha. old timers alrite. i still remember my nikon FE which i traded for my FL50 2 yrs back when Olympus had their promo going on. it was a relic alrite. kinda miss it though.
 

nightpiper

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Oct 20, 2003
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Hacker, u r one lucky chap to have played with so many cams. :) share ur tips with us all. ;)

how to take nice portrait both indoor & outdoor? lighting control? these shud keep the ball rolling!! :lovegrin:
 

abhivachan

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Hacker, wow you have lot of experience in the photography field. I dont have anywords to say. Because I have only four months experience in the photography world.

I started photography from sep'2005 onwards. Before that, i dont know anything about the photography.One of my friend (Ashish - he is also clubsnap member) introduced me into the photography field. I got very useful tips from Ashish, Sulhan and John Arifin. The credits goes to this three persons for the guidence and clubsnap.

Initially started using the Panasonic FZ20 and changed to Olympus E500 from nov'05 onwards.

Here's my site http://photos.darethoughts.com Your comments will improve my skill.
 

Hacker

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Dec 6, 2005
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abhivachan said:
Hacker, wow you have lot of experience in the photography field. I dont have anywords to say. Because I have only four months experience in the photography world.

I started photography from sep'2005 onwards. Before that, i dont know anything about the photography.One of my friend (Ashish - he is also clubsnap member) introduced me into the photography field. I got very useful tips from Ashish, Sulhan and John Arifin. The credits goes to this three persons for the guidence and clubsnap.

Initially started using the Panasonic FZ20 and changed to Olympus E500 from nov'05 onwards.

Here's my site http://photos.darethoughts.com Your comments will improve my skill.
Overall, you have good fundamentals. Your shots are very uneven though. For example, in the first pic, the subject are the birds, and the whites on the birds are very over exposed. I see no details. The colors and the composition is nice, shows the birds flowing in the correct direction, that is, into the frame. Same for the white macaw (or parrot, not sure). The camel/rhino shot has details, but you focused on the neck instead of the eyes. If you could wait for the camel's head to turn, it would be more interesting.

Shot #22 is good. But this type of shots can be easy to do if you pay enough attention to the composition. The leopard shot has the distracting leaves. A good picture is something you can stare at it for a long time before a person registers all the info.

Hope this helps. Better if you put a single pix and the camera info. Easier to give feedback.

Clue: Before I snap the shutter button, I look at all 4 corners of the viewfinder.
 

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