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Digital Photography talk thread, noobz welcome (questions & answers)


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There's really no good place to just do some reading, even if there was it wouldn't let you nail the practical sides of things. You just need to shoot to do that. You can read blogs, watch YouTube clips, etc... If you're getting stuck on specific areas, but other then that the best way is just to shoot. Take photos every day.

It's like anything new you need to learn. Learning to play an instrument, learning a language. Once you understand the basics the rest comes with time and practice.


I'm assuming you already have an understanding of ISO, shutter speed and aperture, so you've really got the basics right there. Working in real estate photography you're going to want to understand white balance which is also a fairly simple area, and then lighting. The lighting side you should just practice, all the time. In your home, get friends let you use their places to trial some new things.

Remember every situation and every job will be a bit different.


Do you have a tripod? A cable release? If not you should invest in them. You'll be able to use the flash to help compensate for the darker areas and a longer exposure will also help that. Again, trial and error. Also, post your photos here. Maybe not the paid work, but take some test shots.

There's also quite a few blogs that post lighting diagrams after each shot, you can find these fairly easily.

Untitled is probably the best section on the Oontz for getting legitimate replies and help and that's a fact. Everyone here is always willing to offer some ideas.


Photography is just that, a craft. So once you've learned the basics, the rest will come through personal development, taking photos and finding your own way of working, your own style of shooting. Everyone has different methods. I've never done any training in photography, any online courses, no books. Just shooting, all the time. A long process but you'll get there.

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once again, well put. and you're absolutely right, my greatest folly is a lack of zeal.

i appreciate all the tips man, i do have a tripod (pistol grip FTW), thats the one thing

i really pride myself on is shot composition, i've been complimented on it often. these

cats also financed me on a super-wide angle lens (10-24 mm), so that's taught me a

thing or 2 about how to get a better looking image. while i have the glass, i what i really

need to do is some video work with this Nikon, do some interior shots/car shots.


once again, thanks again!

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  • 1 month later...

has anyone been using lightroom for editing? i recently decided to give it a shot after seeing some advertisements for it. i mostly just use photoshop for slight editing to my photos and don't really use it for much else. it seems like pretty intuitive software. do any of you prefer it to PS or have an opinion on it one way or another?

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I can honestly say that the only time I find myself opening PS is for bullshit like DAO photoshop pictures . All of my actual photo editing is in Lightroom. Far quicker and more conveniently laid out workflow than PS. Basically everything I need is easily accessible all at once, without having to pull up different windows and whatnot. I tend to keep most of my editing pretty minimal. Minor touch ups on contrast/shadows/highlights/saturation/exposure/whatever. It's easy to tear through a bunch of photos in Lightroom with really quick adjustments, but it also has a ton of options if you want to get more in depth with your post production.


It's easy enough to bounce between PS and LR too, if you really have something that you prefer PS for. I'm sure some folks in here will also vouch for Aperture, which has very similar functionality to LR. And I think Mercer is an ACR only guy. At the end of the day, I would recommend using whatever you're comfortable with and works best for your workflow. Photoshop/Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Aperture are all good programs.


Edit: I should also mention that I've been using LR1 forever, so it's only gotten better than what I'm basing my statements on. Now that they finally dropped the price along with the release of LR4, I'll be updating in the next month or two. And LR4 looks really fucking nice.

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i use bridge, PS and LR. I use all of them for different things


Bridge/camera raw- too look through rate and catalog the photos and create minor adjustments

PS- when i have to create composites that require layering and adjustments in a non destructive way.

LR- when i want to save time on adjustments and do not need composite anything.


theyre all boss!



You can shoot at 1/8000 at 1.8 with an sb900 or the new sb-910 how the hell did i not know that!!! shits bananas gonna have to borrow one from school when i get a chance

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unfortunately mercer we seem to be in the same boat i have THOUSANDS of photos i would hate too lose for the same reason. im to broke to afford a raid system or drobo and online storage doesnt seem to be an option.


buying a couple terabyte hard drives might be an answer, keep one give someone to your parents or trusted friend who wouldnt get in trouble

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i've wanted to try shooting tethered but i really don't do photoshoots where i take a ton of images at once so it's really not something i need to do. i guess a smartphone does the same shit with instagram or whatever, but i hate smartphones. my wife just got one so i'm sure she'll be all about that shit soon enough.

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  • 7 months later...

By the way, great thread Mercer.

Did not read the whole thing yet, but already found some useful thoughts.

Thanks for the effort and the readiness to help others.


I guess this is not an active debate right now,

but if people are having trouble deciding whether to buy a Canon or Nikon DSLR,

I found some really thorough and intelligent reviews / comparisons of different models on that site.


Are there people on here owning / shooting a Fuji X-Pro1 / X100 / X-E1 ?

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  • 4 months later...


So, my kid needs headshots for college applications

I would love to be able to do these for her.

As much as I can read about it, I figured I would pop in here and see if there are any pointers that could be given.

I think you all are fantastic and know what you're doing.


If theres no simple pointers to be given, I wont hold it against you...I figure it would be worth it to ask.


these are all helpful suggestions..and im honestly excited to try this.i appreciate it more than you know. hopefully soon (after the 1st of the year) i will be able to direct questions like these to a teacher as well.


her school is hosting a few days in December which reps from colleges will come out, interview the kids that are interested, take resumes and headshots. It is very much dance/drama/musical theatre related. She wants to head east...

She also will be auditioning for Disneyland in January as well.




we played around a bit, but soon after this, the photography students at the school had the assignment of doing the shots for the 'potentials'. full body shots, in a certain ballet position. She used a picture from them.


Last Saturday was the auditons. 6 colleges came to her school she was 'called back' to interview with 4 of them.



Columbia College of Chicago.


Southern utah University.


I understand it is nothing that is set in stone, but I am very pround for her to do alot of this by self motivation. ...and wanted to share the update.



hella bumping old shit with updates. I have spent the last hour..possibly two, re-reading this thread. It has great advice and i understand more each time i refer to it. you guys really are a big help. real help.


gotta give an update, though.


Kid went through another set of auditions her senior year.





head and body shot submitted was taken by me.

up against a deadline and a friend (i believe) sabotaging her attempt at the headshots, in her attempt to guide me....I was in tears, fearing i fucked it up for my kid.

the headshot was eh...editing helped (and cannot find the drive with headshots on it currently)

but found some body shots that were a close second to being used.








she ended up in Pittsburgh and finishing her freshman year already.

next set of headshots i post proudly.





also just wanted to bump this thread because it is full of goodness.

thanks all.

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  • 7 months later...

any ears out there?


got a shoot tomorrow, its an indoor fundraiser, basicall taking shots of realtors schmoozing,

taking mini-group shots, etc.


ive got my nikon d7000, thinkin the 18-55mm lens is best right? no need for the 18-200,

im not shooting anyone from across the block. i have my nikon sb-800 flash, how should

i be positioning the flash? straight on? straight up? should i buy one of those rubber diffuser



any advice on the manual settings? thinkin low f/stop, low ISO makes sense, what else?


any advice is always welcome. thanks in advance.

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