Starting a new journey


EddyKoh

New Member
Dec 21, 2009
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#1
Hi guys,

I'm sure that most of you guys are professionals or enthusiasts, or at least a hobbyist.

Anyway, I already have a full time job in the aviation industry, but there's an urge in me to take my hobby to the next level.
I wanna be an apprentice so I can learn more techniques than magazines or books. I'm not into it for the money.
(Well maybe just a lil bit extra doesn't hurt.. LOL)

Would appreciate any tips or a guide on how to do this.

Thanks in advance.
 

foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
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#2
What level do you rate yourself at and what is this "next level" you intend to reach?

What have you already learned from books & magazines? What "more" techniques you want to learn?

What's your interested genre(s) in photography? You learn different techniques & skills depending which genre you're in.

And how old are you?
 

agape01

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Feb 13, 2003
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#3
What level do you rate yourself at and what is this "next level" you intend to reach?

What have you already learned from books & magazines? What "more" techniques you want to learn?

What's your interested genre(s) in photography? You learn different techniques & skills depending which genre you're in.

And how old are you?
Good questions for anyone who wants to go up to the next level because the next level is relative to everyone.
 

EddyKoh

New Member
Dec 21, 2009
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#4
What level do you rate yourself at and what is this "next level" you intend to reach?

What have you already learned from books & magazines? What "more" techniques you want to learn?

What's your interested genre(s) in photography? You learn different techniques & skills depending which genre you're in.

And how old are you?
Good questions.. as you can see I am obviously a noob.

Well personally, I'm a street/portraiture kinda guy. I dabble in lots of stuff tho.. but mostly street and portraiture.
I am 26 this year and what I really wanna learn are lighting techniques.
I know about fill flash and have tried manual setting on my speedlight with satisfactory results.
But I wanna learn more from experts who can tell you what settings to use just by looking at the available light.

So basically, the next thing I wanna learn is lights. be it studio or strobes.

Thanks guys.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#5
If lighting is what you want to learn, there are plenty of course that teaches that. Just attend those as you don't need someone else to hold your hand for this.

But my question is, knowing the light, does that help you in getting the shot that you have in mind? Or do you have the strong previsualisation skill yet? Without that, lighting or any technique is just a technique and there is no resultant "image".

Regards,

Hart
 

agape01

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Feb 13, 2003
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#6
Good questions.. as you can see I am obviously a noob.

Well personally, I'm a street/portraiture kinda guy. I dabble in lots of stuff tho.. but mostly street and portraiture.
I am 26 this year and what I really wanna learn are lighting techniques.
I know about fill flash and have tried manual setting on my speedlight with satisfactory results.
But I wanna learn more from experts who can tell you what settings to use just by looking at the available light.

So basically, the next thing I wanna learn is lights. be it studio or strobes.

Thanks guys.
If portraits is what you want to learn, I highly recommend The Portrait by Tim Meyer. He's my shifu. You can order from amazon and they should be able to ship to SG. It maybe high but its worth it. One more book to recommend and I didn't write in earlier. Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders.
 

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foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
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#7
Good questions.. as you can see I am obviously a noob.

Well personally, I'm a street/portraiture kinda guy. I dabble in lots of stuff tho.. but mostly street and portraiture.
I am 26 this year and what I really wanna learn are lighting techniques.
I know about fill flash and have tried manual setting on my speedlight with satisfactory results.
But I wanna learn more from experts who can tell you what settings to use just by looking at the available light.

So basically, the next thing I wanna learn is lights. be it studio or strobes.

Thanks guys.
no expert can tell you what settings to use if you don't tell them what style you want in the first place. And if you
already know the style there's no reason why you can't figure out the setting without an expert telling you the
obvious. There is no such thing as a precise setting. Everything is a loose translation.

Defination of settings include not just the flash power, but modifers, distance, direction etc etc.

Defination of why the lighting made the photograph look nice also depends on another number of variables. "Nice"
by itself is a variable.

Hence the fact is, a range of settings will still give the same look, but we had to use 1 setting, so that's what we
say the setting was.

We do testings like the next guy/girl, maybe we take less time than the average person but we still test. We
also do our research before-hand, consult fellow professionals, exchange ideas, etc. No different from a hobbist might.
It'll take a super expert with > 20yrs experience to just step in and dictate lighting ratios from the get-go. And that super-
expert can in no condition just transfer that knowledge & experience over. Gut instinct, intuition, can't teach that.

You having a full time job makes it slightly harder to be an assistant. It's better if you learn from yes, more
books & magazines, youtube, websites, fellow clubsnappers, etc. You can save money to get 1-2 speedlight(s) to
learn lighting ratios etc, get a few different lightstands, light modifiers etc to better control light.

But really though, why the need to do this? What's your final destination? Is this just a curious thirst for knowledge or
you want to moonlight as a portrait photographer? Plenty of hobbist learn from available resources, and also the same
people are able to offer portrait photography without needing to follow an expert. All through old school trial & error,
now made easier with digital. I'm not going to judge their quality of work though, that one you need to do it yourself
and decide what "level" you want to be and reach.

If you're totally serious and needing to learn from an expert, get a full-time assistant job to a good professional, quit your
full-time job, take a significant pay deduction and slog along for the sake of passion.

If you can't do that, then just learn like most of everyone else, financially safe at your own pace.
 

EddyKoh

New Member
Dec 21, 2009
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#8
Great replies guys. I really appreciate it. There were many times that I went home wishing that I had opened my aperture a little bigger so the background was clearer or a lil faster to get an action shot. I'm loving photography and I did wanna take a pay cut for my passion. But most places need a form of certification. And that's what I lack. I wanna go for courses but I'm more of a hands on learner. Thanks guys. Very much. I'm more inspired to push harder.
 

EddyKoh

New Member
Dec 21, 2009
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#10
foxtwo said:
what do you mean by that?
Like a diploma in media design. Or working experience. That's y I wanna start by learning from someone. :)
 

foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
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#11
"Most places" meaning? Higher learning or actual work place like media houses?

I don't think you have a full idea what turning professional entails. Truth is few do. Is indeed safer for you to keep your day job and assist on your off days. You have a lot of learning ahead before being able to fly solo.

There used to be an assistants network, maybe you can organise a new 'assistants meetup' and have a chat with them.
 

2100

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2004
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#12
"Most places" meaning? Higher learning or actual work place like media houses?

I don't think you have a full idea what turning professional entails. Truth is few do. Is indeed safer for you to keep your day job and assist on your off days. You have a lot of learning ahead before being able to fly solo.

There used to be an assistants network, maybe you can organise a new 'assistants meetup' and have a chat with them.
Seriously, you know what, you are correct. I REALLY WANT TO ***** SOME SINGAPOREAN CUSTOMERS nowadays, the young chaps loaded with $$$....thinking they are big F. This place is becoming from bad to worst to worstest.

Luckily I have other businesses. Other photographers, i'd implore you to have a backup route to go.
 

EddyKoh

New Member
Dec 21, 2009
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#13
foxtwo said:
"Most places" meaning? Higher learning or actual work place like media houses?

I don't think you have a full idea what turning professional entails. Truth is few do. Is indeed safer for you to keep your day job and assist on your off days. You have a lot of learning ahead before being able to fly solo.

There used to be an assistants network, maybe you can organise a new 'assistants meetup' and have a chat with them.
Thanks foxtwo. I'm glad you can understand a lil of what I mean and will take ur suggestion seriously.
 

EddyKoh

New Member
Dec 21, 2009
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#14
2100 said:
Seriously, you know what, you are correct. I REALLY WANT TO ***** SOME SINGAPOREAN CUSTOMERS nowadays, the young chaps loaded with $$$....thinking they are big F. This place is becoming from bad to worst to worstest.

Luckily I have other businesses. Other photographers, i'd implore you to have a backup route to go.
Yes bro. I do agree. There are people who think money makes the world go round.
 

zane80

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May 22, 2009
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#15
Yes bro. I do agree. There are people who think money makes the world go round.
Sad but true, money DOES make the world goes round literally, without money, economy will fall, ppl will finally end up eating trees or maybe each other, and all this will last for many years until things settle down.
 

2100

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2004
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#16
Sad but true, money DOES make the world goes round literally, without money, economy will fall, ppl will finally end up eating trees or maybe each other, and all this will last for many years until things settle down.
I don't mind CAPITALISM or "money makes the money go round", short of asking me to beg like a dog or eating s***.....I will do anything and everything. But the issue is - some people, with holier-than-thou mindset and live a high-end lifestyle and earning more than the average joe, think that just a little bit of money makes the world go round, and demand stuff that are above norm/market-rate, and still think that "its basic". That is how some (not all) youngsters who has been exposed to the world/spent some years overseas with a branded degree/western culture think this way.

Not the first time already. Problem is, in some sectors like Weddings or Creative...you are in the direct line-of-fire. And it will get worse.
Same goes for Interior Design. (young couples going for ID)
 

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EddyKoh

New Member
Dec 21, 2009
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#17
Actually, I do know that photography is not all about fame or becoming a big shot photog. I wanna take up photography as it is a passion. I wanna make it as much a part of my life as possible. I sincerely believe that money isn't everything. But it does help. I'm sure everyone agrees that this hobby/profession of ours is expensive, with the 24-70 mm f/2 and spare D700 bodies etc.. But here's where we draw the line.. How far are you willing to go? I'm willing to buy ONE $3000 lens and a full-frame camera. But I definitely don't think I can afford a Leica M9 or Nikon D3 with a 500mm lens. I just wanna do my street and portraits. :)
 

foxtwo

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Mar 11, 2004
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#18
Actually, I do know that photography is not all about fame or becoming a big shot photog. I wanna take up photography as it is a passion. I wanna make it as much a part of my life as possible. I sincerely believe that money isn't everything. But it does help. I'm sure everyone agrees that this hobby/profession of ours is expensive, with the 24-70 mm f/2 and spare D700 bodies etc.. But here's where we draw the line.. How far are you willing to go? I'm willing to buy ONE $3000 lens and a full-frame camera. But I definitely don't think I can afford a Leica M9 or Nikon D3 with a 500mm lens. I just wanna do my street and portraits. :)
Your head's in the right place but still need to be a bit more realistic, don't mix profession/earning money with your genre choice.
How you intend to earn as a street & portraits photographer? There is no direct client demand for street photography. You can sell as limited prints from (online) galleries if you're really good, or as stock photography. This type is shoot first, client later.

Usual type is: Client first, shoot later.

Makeover studios will require portraiture photographers, good training ground but I wonder if it could get boring after a while. Afaik, most wedding photographers do not touch commercial photography (automotives, product, architecture, food, events, etc). While commercial photographers, have a specialisation but are cross-trained in other genres including events/weddings/portraiture. For example, my forte is architecture & interiors but can also do product and events, or even others in a pinch.

If all you want to do is portraiture as a hobbist then easy lar, just learn lighting for portraiture and build your equipment for that purpose. Get a camera body for yourself and everything else can be rented, borrowed or diy.

We don't just jump into the game with a M9 or D3 with profoto strobes, we build our equipment to our preference. Some of us do not come from rich families or switched careers after amassing a small fortune. Few of us started as an assistant before moving up to photographer. Others, newer generation, just jump straight into photographer role. Like I said, assistant pay is low, I remember having to save ~3mths for the extra cash before being able to afford my 2nd hand D700 body. From there add up lenses & speedlights according to my genre requirements. I don't even own strobes or studio, I still rent or borrow when needed.

Think further what you want to do, hobbist or profession? Talk to your parents; Ask the right questions here.
Equipment is small issue. Plan first, be 110% prepared.
 

EddyKoh

New Member
Dec 21, 2009
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#19
Thank you so much foxtwo. That shed a lot of light on the situation. I know that my genre is of photography is not well sought after. ( A lil background info: I used to be a breakdancer and am still very much in love with the scene. I still love listening to live bands and watching people. Hence, my passion for street and portraiture.)

I know I can't jump into photography full time right now. But I just hope that I can learn more. A few courses that some of my friends took, taught them stuff that I learned myself through books/ mags and the internet. So I'd rather learn thru experience. I get what you mean and I appreciate your advice. Thanks.
 

nemesis32

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Oct 16, 2003
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#20
From what i have gathered, you are still fairly new to photography. My advice is to take more courses, different courses, to build up your overall competency. Also, as you are exposed to different genres of photography, hopefully you have a clearer idea of which field you want to specialise in. From there, you should build up a portfolio and approach companies/studios for apprenticeship etc and work your way up.
 

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