My photography at Deviant Art


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Wow! Recently took up photography? Your pics look very professional to me. Love the Blue Jay pics (I grew up in California, love the Jays). All of your wildlife pics are great. What camera do you recommend to start with?

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My camera is a Nikon D7000, they now have the D7100, It has a few upgrades like better low light autofocus more megapixels, not much more than what was in the D7000 but enough that I would have purchased it instead. My mostly used lens is a Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 sport.

Do not worry about upgrading your camera very often but buy the very best lenses you can afford. Lenses you will own for years and years, camera bodies are always getting better and cheaper.

(exept the pro bodies a Nikon D4 is around 6000).

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Just recently I purchased the Sony Alpha Nex 3N for my wife. We are really impressed with the camera's ability to take sharp pictures. It has a large and sensitive sensor which I think gives it an advantage to have a shorter exposure time verses other cameras on the market.

Edit: Disclaimer: I'm not a professional photographer. This camera was just meant for us to be a middle point between point and shoot and professional cameras. The alpha sensor is not compatible with standard lenses you have to use an adapter.

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Hi Jules, Really good, and you say you're starting in! You've a grand camera in the D7000, I have one and use it still after having moved to full frame D600.

True, good lenses hold their value while the cameras lose theirs fast. That looks very crisp, your Siggy zoom, with a nice, fast maximum aperture.

Mikee, don't be worried to buy second hand from a reputable dealer like Adorama NYC. I've bought refurbished Nikon lenses from them (when the $ was weaker) that are going strong after years.. Save on the camera and spend it on the lenses.

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Hi Dean!

whYNOT I love that lens! It is very versatile and very fast tracking! A little slow with the 2x teleconverter if your exposure/ISO isn't perfect however if light is good it is still pretty good.

For birds in flight though it is amazingggg! With AF-C and 9 points it works greattttttt.

When I go full frame I will most likely go with the Nikon 800E at half the price of the D4 I think I can live with the slower 4 Frames/second as the image quality is incredible! My other wish list lens will be the Sigma 600mm prime. I think Sigma is starting to really put a dent into the Canon/Nikon Lens market.

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The photographs are beautiful but by calling it "deviant" you may lose potential viewers. If that name appeared anywhere but here I might not have looked, but I thought, maybe it is like Ayn Rand rebranding the word, "selfish." Still it took three looks at the title before I clicked on it, and I was ready to click out in disgust.

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The photographs are beautiful but by calling it "deviant" you may lose potential viewers. If that name appeared anywhere but here I might not have looked, but I thought, maybe it is like Ayn Rand rebranding the word, "selfish." Still it took three looks at the title before I clicked on it, and I was ready to click out in disgust.

The word "deviant" may also attract a few people. I remember being attracted to Rand's book "The Virtue of Selfishness". Her use of the word "Selfishness" in the title is what piqued my interest.

Also, Objectivists are deviants as in "deviating from some commonly accepted norms".

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Jules,

Way cool. I love pictures of nature, especially the sky.

(Ask Kat. She always hears me say, "Look at the sky!" To me, that's a present nature gives us every day if we know how to look at it. It always changes, it's usually gorgeous, except where it's an asshole sky :) , and it's free. It's a wonderful prompt to feel gratitude.)

Anyway, you take great photos.

I recently got some training wheels to learn photography, a Canon Powershot SX260 HS (20x optical zoom).

I'm terrible newbie material for learning this stuff, but who know? Someday... :)

Michael

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Peter Taylor, "deviantart.com" is a popular photographic/artistic website. Jules didn't call it that. "JestePhotography" is the only name that Jules is responsible for.

Jules, Does DeviantArt have an option anywhere to download the original resolution of the image?

Cheers,

Dean

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Hi Dean!

whYNOT I love that lens! It is very versatile and very fast tracking! A little slow with the 2x teleconverter if your exposure/ISO isn't perfect however if light is good it is still pretty good.

For birds in flight though it is amazingggg! With AF-C and 9 points it works greattttttt.

When I go full frame I will most likely go with the Nikon 800E at half the price of the D4 I think I can live with the slower 4 Frames/second as the image quality is incredible! My other wish list lens will be the Sigma 600mm prime. I think Sigma is starting to really put a dent into the Canon/Nikon Lens market.

You own the stabilised Sigma? It is very good I hear. I'd really suggest staying with your sub-frame sensor if you want to specialize in birds. Full frame requires a whole new lens kit. You're getting the equivalent of 900mm tele reach with your 2X now, and I bet you often need every bit of it. Go to the D800 and you will have to buy a huge and expensive 800mm ( a mere $18K) to get the same - or something a little shorter plus the converter - still pricy but also slightly degrading the image...and so you are back where you started. Mobility and stealth in the brush are obviously critical, so I advise keeping to the lighter, less bulky equipment.

Its good that the top makes are being kept on their toes by the third party lens producers.

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Very true! I am looking at the Sigma 800mm f5.6 it is about 7000 bucks. So I can buy it and the D800E for less than a 600mm prime Nikon lens. If I opt to use a teleconverter I would only use a 1.4 as the D800E will still autofocus with F8 however I probably would not need it. Also with the D800 series cameras 36.1 megapixel sensor yes the files are large but you can crop and still have tack sharp images. I would still use the other camera as a back up or put the 800mm on it for shooting grizzly bears so I could stay a nice safe distance! I would not be very interested in being less than 200 yards from one! This set up should put me in the pro range where I could start selling images once I build a decent portfolio. Yes I know that the competition is huge and there are many great images out there. I actually have sold some printed to canvas already, not enough to make a living at but it has helped pay for my gear. Gas and other expenses however are a different story. I would still do it though if I did not make a dime! I just happen to have an urge to always improve!

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It seems that photography hobbyists usually focus too much of their attention on equipment. I think it's better to concentrate on lighting. The best advice for a hobbyist would be to study all lighting scenarios, and learn how to handle all of them despite their difficulty. This will allow you to choose the aesthetic effect that you want in your photos rather than conforming to the easiest way to getting a properly exposed image.

J

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I agree Jonathan and wildlife photography has some very unique challenges. Very often the best times to spot them happen to be very challenging as far as lighting. Often deer and other ungulates do not come out until just before sunrise and just after sunset do you literally have about 15 minutes of good shooting light. Above all one musttt learn the features of whatever camera you are using as well as the limitations of the lens you have. Also they don't really pose for you so the more you know about your subject's behavioral patterns will also maximize your ability to catch that special moment. And there is also the luck factor!

Thank you PDS for the comment on the geese picture! That was DEFINATELY a luck factor shot. I took about 50 shots as the first lifted off the water and then came around to be between me and the sun before it was setting, A few of the shots were close but had fence posts in them, that was the only real money shot out of all of them. It was also my first shoot with that lens!

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I think it's better to concentrate on lighting. The best advice for a hobbyist would be to study all lighting scenarios, and learn how to handle all of them despite their difficulty.

Jonathan,

That actually helps in prioritizing from where I stand.

Thanks.

Michael

You're welcome.

A photographer could shoot some fabulous photos -- better than what most amateurs could achieve with the best digital camera -- with something as technologically primitive as a pinhole camera if he has mastered lighting.

J

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I find It helps me a lot to view work done by some of the most amazing photographers that post at deviant art. In this way I can see how I am progressing as I learn. I have also made some great friends that offer advice, people that have been doing this for yearsssss.

http://richardconstantinoff.deviantart.com/

This fellow sets the bar in my eyes and It would not surprise me if he submits work to National Geographic, if he does not he easily could.

I am also going to be taking some courses that are offered online from a National Geographic photographer, which is ideal for me because of work I can digest it all at my own pace, and go out in the field and implement what I learn.

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Jules:

I have been entranced by nature photography for decades.

Also, follow the American Bald Eagles and your shot of that Bald Eagle was beautiful.

I wish you great success.

And welcome to OL.

A...

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There'll be a time you will look back at these pictures and see them as sketches for the real thing. Don't fret about equipment - as you've already been cautioned!

Discipline yourself by going out with a standard prime lens, only, and learn to compose a wide frame... and look for the light. Shoot what the light illuminates, no matter how ordinary the subject. You learn the quality, angles and colors of light, not just the quantity. Predict its changes and movements. When you then go after birds etc, it will be ingrained that they are only as important as how 'you light them'.

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whYNOT this is great advice! I read a great book by a husband and wife wildlife photography team.

They stressed over and over the best times are the golden hour. I remember him saying that sometimes they lamented the days when they were novices and just shot everything everywhere regardless of light conditions! Often when on African safari he would exclaim " Dayum I wish we could move this place to Greenland!". In Africa due to it being at the equator the " golden hour " at sunrise and sunset only lasts about 20 minutes before the sun is too high in the sky and you get horrible contrasting shadow on your subjects. blown out highlights on their backs and very saturated shadows underneath. In Greenland the golden hour is about 1.5 hours where you have this wonderful warm golden sideways light.

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of looking back and seeing my current captures as sketches. This has already happened from when I first shot everything on auto settings, and again when I shot everything in A-priority mod. Part of it too is learning the camera, being able to frame a shot and knowing automatically what ISO to use and what shutter speed to gain the effect I am wanting to achieve. Is it a clear morning where the light is steady? Is it partly overcast with ever changing light? Can I use matrix metering or is spot metering in manual mode the way to go?

Tons of variables! Yes many many mistakes and blown opportunities! I had a white short tailed weasel run almost over my feet a couple weeks ago and I just was not fast enough to frame him! It will take me a long time and a lot of practice before it becomes second nature.

I agree completely with your advice and yes I look at EVERY thing even when I do not have my camera with me differently, I am always looking at angles and different plays of light and shadows!

I have a Nikon 105mm F2.8 macro lens that I have been playing around with as well, it also doubles as a fantastic portrait lens! I may post some shots of my pets in the near future :)

Lol and bugs!, neat plants and whatever catches my eye!

I also have to HAVE to buy a tripod, before I buy anything else a good tripod is definately on the list. Yes I can hand hold the 300mm just fine but it is 9 pounds and after a while your arms DO get tired! For night photography it is a must have item as well as for shooting scenery/landscapes at f16+

Thank you all for the warm welcome btw(I am pleasantly surprised !)

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A pleasure. I was inspired by masters back then (mostly Time-Life and NatGeo photographers) when I started. Eventually - as you are doing - you create your own style and unique approach. Latterly on the Net, it always strikes me how unguardedly and benevolently many skilled, specialist photographers give of their advice and techniques to beginners on forums like dpreview. It is quite something. A bit of a lesson for we confrontational Objectivists, I often feel.

Just had a thought, have you considered using 'strobism'? Because directional lighting for bird pics (detailing in their plumage and eye highlight) is desirable and eye-catching. For instance, fix high up in tree a remotely synched, wireless flash aimed at a spot which you know some birds frequent. You might balance its output with ambient background light to look natural, as well as angling it off from the side for definition. Then pick your spot and sit and wait. This way you can always have a constant exposure, and not worry about slow shutter speeds - e.g. to catch those very tricky alighting/taking off pictures, especially at dusk; or to fill in harsh, contrasty light and shadow.. This is quite different to those fine nighttime shots one sees of owls, etc., as you know done with beam trigger strobes without the photographer even present .

Strobism, for small animals and birds could lend your work an edge- something becoming harder to achieve nowadays.

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