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Thread: Professional???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602

    Wink Professional???

    Two points to this thread. First practical. Second somewhat philosophical.

    As some of you well know by now, my particular passion is architectural and low light photography. Now, I've been asked by a friend who is a lighting designer to photograph one her large house projects. The goal ... to capture the mood and lighting as it exists in this house (interior and exterior) as provided by the lighting itself. Any helpful suggestions are most welcome.

    On the more philosophical side, I'm interested to know what the members of this forum think about this question ... When is a photographer a "professional"????

    a) Because I say I'm a professional

    b) Because I'm tired of being referred to as an amature

    c) I've been doing this so long ... do you really need to ask

    d) Someone actually paid me to do what I love doing

    e) I've made more $ in photography than I've spent buying my gear

    f) I make more than the National poverty level through photography
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
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    1,903
    i suppose it is when you get paid for it and when it becomes your primary source of income!
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Agreed, primary source of income. I know an Orthodontist, who calls himself an amateur and shoots free lance for the Green Bay Packers football team with some serious gear.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545
    Pay to play ... the only way
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,087
    Quote Originally Posted by DWessel View Post
    As some of you well know by now, my particular passion is architectural and low light photography. Now, I've been asked by a friend who is a lighting designer to photograph one her large house projects. The goal ... to capture the mood and lighting as it exists in this house (interior and exterior) as provided by the lighting itself. Any helpful suggestions are most welcome.

    On the more philosophical side, I'm interested to know what the members of this forum think about this question ... When is a photographer a "professional"????
    For the latter, same as anyone else, I'd say when your primary source of income is your camera.

    For the former:

    Indoors:
    1. Use your widest lens at the widest setting you can that doesn't show serious distortion. Distortion CAN be corrected via software but it degrades the image and rarely turns out "perfectly". You can test this with a piece of graph paper.
    2. Keep your ISO as low as possible and shoot from a tripod (obviously). Use custom white balance for everything. Shoot RAW+SHQ. You'll likely ending up shooting at somewhat small apertures. I'd suggest that you either trigger remotely or use a shutter delay.
    3. If you get a period of exceptionally good lighting, say from sun from outdoors, take as many pictures as you can, messing with every possible variable (aperture, shutter speed, white balance, height, shooting angle). Remember the old adage "the secret to being a great photographer is never show anyone your negatives reel" - don't be afraid to take hundreds of pictures and only use a few. I mean, this is why you shoot digital, right?
    4. If you're using mixed lighting scenarios, don't be afraid to experiment with HDR techniques to take in the dynamic range of the scene.
    5. If anything at all, slightly underexpose. Detail in shadow can be brought back to a point via software and RAW development, but overexposed areas are gone forever.

    Outdoors:
    1. Make sure you've leveled your camera when shooting straight on from any side. Again, distortion (in this case trapezoidal) can be corrected via software, but it does degrade the image. Don't be afraid to use longer focal lengths and a VERY high tripod setup to prevent this.
    2. HDR can be useful for "wow" shots here.
    3. Don't be afraid to post-process to clone out power-lines, trees, dirt stains, etc.

    I should say that it's fairly normal to use wireless strobes to highlight certain features that aren't well lit, and still have it look "natural", but I'll have to leave that to someone else as it falls outside my area of expertise.

    Hope that helps.
    E-510
    E-1
    Zuiko 14-54 F2.8-3.5 MkI
    Zuiko 70-300 F4.0-5.6
    Konica Hexanon 52mm F1.8
    Cullmann 2503
    Benro KS-0

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,756
    there are not supposed to be pro's in the olympics but what do you call it when that is all you do???

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161
    I'm still trying to work my way up to amature photographer from picture taker! LOL There is probably some obscure formula, or we could just make on e up to determine when you become pro. Like how much income you make in a year from photography subtracted from the total value of your gear, then divide by the focal length of your largest lens...etc. just havin fun guys!
    Sony A700_____________Minolta AF 50mm. F/1.7
    Minolta AF 70-210mm F/3.5-4.5 Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DiII LD Asp. [IF]
    Tamron SP AF 70-200mm. F/2.8 DI LD [IF] Macro
    Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
    Tokina AF 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5
    Tokina AF AT-X 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6
    http://flickr.com/

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