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  1. #1
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    Photographing help needed (Paging summit/ mbs/ anybody else)

    so I was given a Minolta Dynax 60 today wich is a sweet begginer rig with a 28-100 zoom lens with auto focus. I've got a few questions:

    First what kind of film should I be shooting? Does pretty much anybody whos anybody in the photo world shoot slide film? If I shoot slide film is there a device i can get to put in my scanner to scan it to ditigtal easly, or will I have to get a seperate slide scanner?

    Should I shoot using the sequence mode when taking action shots (3 frames/second @1/250)?

    Should I haul my tripod onto the ski hill?

    Do you guys have any tips to help me get good photos techniqule wise?

    Lastly I'm really really stoked to have this new toy any advise for a 35mm newbie would be very much appreciated
    Last edited by ak_powder_monkey; 12-25-2004 at 11:29 PM.
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

  2. #2
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    Go digital. Don't waste your time or money on film...

    Figure around $10 per roll of film developed and it doesn't take long to pay for a good digital and some memory...

    www.stevesdigicams.com

    PS.. Only bring your tripod if it weighs more than your skis...
    Tact is for those not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  3. #3
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    photo advice

    First what kind of film should I be shooting? Before I went digital, I was shooting Fuji Velvia 50 and 100 (shooting the 50 at an iso of 36) but sometimes it is too contrasty for certain situations, so I also carried Fuji Astia or Provia just in case. All of which is slide film. Kodachromes are also good, but I never really used it much so I can't really tell you which types are good.

    If I shoot slide film is there a device i can get to put in my scanner to scan it to ditigtal easly, or will I have to get a seperate slide scanner? Most likely, but it depends on your scanner. Look on the manufacturers website.

    Should I shoot using the sequence mode when taking action shots (3 frames/second @1/250)? Yes, another advantage of shooting multiple shots on a single subject (the faster the camera, the more this rule is true) is that your 2nd, 3rd, 4th shots are usually sharper than your first, especially when shooting at a shutter speed close to the focal length of your lens

    Should I haul my tripod onto the ski hill? Up to you.

    Do you guys have any tips to help me get good photos techniqule wise? Practice. Practice. Practice. Also, I like shooting with my left eye for action shots because I can cradle the camera against my shoulder while panning. Even though it will make you look like a newbie, use a grey card, it will make your pictures better and much more accurate.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Cool! Glad to hear it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey
    so I was given a Minolta Dynax 60 today wich is a sweet begginer rig with a 28-100 zoom lens with auto focus. I've got a few questions:
    AKA Maxxum 60. That is a very nice starter camera!!! I don't know anything about that lens... doesn't look too special.

    Definately buy a 50mm f/1.8 (or f/1.7 or f/1.4). These are CHEAP (usually $20-$50), SHARP, and CONTRASTY. They are also great for learning on because you have less things to worry about and you have wider depth of field control and better low light performance. The performance of a $20 50mm will blow away any $300 zoom.

    First what kind of film should I be shooting? Does pretty much anybody whos anybody in the photo world shoot slide film? If I shoot slide film is there a device i can get to put in my scanner to scan it to ditigtal easly, or will I have to get a seperate slide scanner?
    If you have access to a darkroom, shoot TX Kodak TriX (B&W). This is the best way to learn.

    Otherwise, print or slide. You are probably okay shooting Fuji Sensia 100. If you want some saturation, Kodak EBX Elitechrome 100. If you want to shoot pro film, I like Fuji Provia 100F RDPIII.

    Slide film is more difficult to shoot in that it has a narrower exposure lattitude. This means that you must be more carefull with your exposure. You can't fudge it in the lab. Shooting slide film will make you a better photographer.

    You should look for a "transparency adaptor" for your flatbed scanner. A $300 slide scanner (Such as the Minolta Dimage) will give far superior performance.

    Should I shoot using the sequence mode when taking action shots (3 frames/second @1/250)?
    Turn on the motordrive (3fps) and you choose the shutter speed (Tv Shutter priority or M manual mode). Don't use the stupid modes.

    Should I haul my tripod onto the ski hill?
    Tripods are VERY usefull and VERY underutilized. I rarely carry mine while skiing though (unless I expect it to be dark, or am using a looong lens, or I expect to be in one spot for a while).

    Do you guys have any tips to help me get good photos techniqule wise?

    Lastly I'm really really stoked to have this new toy any advise for a 35mm newbie would be very much appreciated
    0. Remember: Photography is a CRAFT: an art AND a science
    1. Take a Photography class. (With darkroom. You are still in HS right? Or in College whichever take a class.)
    2. Photography 7th Edition, London and Upton
    3. Don't use the stupid modes. Turn on Manual mode!
    4. Turn off the flash. Don't use it unless you HAVE to.
    5. Use the manual focus when needed.
    6. The "rule" of thirds is a simplified suggestion of the golden spiral.
    7. Buy and use a lens hood: increases contrast, decreases flare, protects the lens and yet cheap.
    8. Uhh... be creative?
    9. Think and compose and then shoot
    10. MBS? Midget?

    REMEMBER: The camera is just a light proof box that holds the film. The lens is more important but the lens behind the viewfinder is far more important than the one on the camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by kchri
    Go digital. Don't waste your time or money on film...
    Shut up, JONG. I can explain all the reasons if you want.
    Last edited by Summit; 12-26-2004 at 01:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kchri
    Go digital. Don't waste your time or money on film...

    Figure around $10 per roll of film developed and it doesn't take long to pay for a good digital and some memory...

    www.stevesdigicams.com

    PS.. Only bring your tripod if it weighs more than your skis...
    I second the shut up JONG, what do you think the hundreds of pictures I have posted were taken with

    Thanks Summit
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  6. #6
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    Good luck with the new photo gear AKPM...

  7. #7
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    learn how your meter works. as mentioned use a grey card for an exact reading. if feasible, get a handheld incident light meter (you already have a spot meter in your camera, so you dont neeeed a handheld with both spot and incident) the incident meter will give you a reading of the ambient light as if you were reading a grey card which is the equivalent of 18% grey (considered middle grey or zone 5 and if you ever take a photo course this will make more sense to you). if you get sick of carrying around the grey card and dont have an incident meter or forget one or both, then you can work on metering things like skin or snow or tress or rocks and knowing how to adjust your expsure accordingling. .. but umm...baby steps young grasshopper. . . baby steps. . . . . .

    for action. . . in general you're going to want to shoot at least 1/1000 of a second to stop the action and not get soft photos as a result of motion blur. if you want to shoot a sequence, then throw it on sequence, but if you can only shoot three frames per second its kind of useless unless your subject is moving super slow. so you will want to work on capturing the peak moment of action to make sure you get the best shot instead of hoping your three frames per second caught it (which mostly likely it will not). for example. . if you are shooting someone hitting a jump. . .instead of setting on sequence (since you only have those three frames per second) and clickcing as soon as the guy takes off.... you will want to just watch him through the lens and get the shot when he is at his "steeziest" in the air. if you have the option for continuous autofocus(and i apologize, i dont really know your camera) you will want to use that instead of single autofocus and instead of having to manually focus and refocus on a moving subject, although its a good skill to have to focus that quick manually.

    you shouldn't really need your tripod out there right now. that might be overkill. if you feel the need for extra stability, maybe a monopod, or a ski pole with a screw mount in the top, but really, just leave it at home and shoot with a fast shutter speed (which you need anyway for action)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit
    Shut up, JONG. I can explain all the reasons if you want.
    I know that I would be very interested to hear this. So when you have a moment, please educate us.

    Oh, and excellent photo advice from Lynx. She obviously knows what's she talking about.
    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx
    ....or a ski pole with a screw mount in the top...
    Damn, that's a good idea. Is this a common practise? How does one rig up (or buy) such a thing?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit
    Shut up, JONG. I can explain all the reasons if you want.

    Yes Summit, do please tell all of the reasons why AKPM would be better off using film instead of digital...be sure to list all of the advantages like...

    .not being able to instantly view the shot
    .waiting for the film to be developed only to find out that a few shots actually look worth a shit...
    .realizing that it is much more difficult to control color and white balance with film
    .not having the depth of field as with digital
    .spending even more for better quality film
    .having the photo lady at Walmart laughing at AKPMs pictures before we do (some are OK though)
    .blasting through a roll of film in no time using a winder
    .losing the originals (copies are never as good)


    AKPM

    No disrespect was meant toward you. Just a monetary warning! Serious photography using film will cost you. There are always more toys like exposure meters and scanners that you will need just to do the things you already can do using your digital with trial and error. Instant feedback will not exist and by the time you get tired of it you will already have invested money! If you truely are serious, take a class. It will give you hands on experience, minimize the cost and teach you much of what you need to know.

    Oh, and it is really laughable to hear you calling me a JONG...JONG
    Tact is for those not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kchri
    .not being able to instantly view the shot
    This is a nice thing with digital. However, a good photographer learns previsualization (go read Ansel Adams) and will pretty much be able to know how their shot will turn out before they hit the shutter release (of course action shots can be an exception).

    .waiting for the film to be developed only to find out that a few shots actually look worth a shit...
    If you are mature enough that your entire life doesn't revolve around instant gratification, I'm sure this disadvantage won't be too traumatizing. Many pro places will get your film done in a day or less or you can go to the 1hr. See the previous answer.

    realizing that it is much more difficult to control color and white balance with film
    Horseshit redherring. Unless you are skilled at color balancing in PS and use a monitor calibration tool (like a $150 color spyder) and calibrate monthly, controlling color is actually easier in the skilled hands of a pro printer. If you are shooting black and white, then there isn't an issue. If you are shooting slide film, it is part of the game and you may be digitizing anyway.

    not having the depth of field as with digital
    JONG. What the hell are you talking about? Depth of field is a function of your focal length of your lens, film/sensor size print size + image crop (ie, acceptable CoC determines what aperture achieves the desired DoF), object distance, and aperture. It has nothing to do with whether the recording media is digital or film. (I could go on and start explaining the math behind CoC but I think you are already lost).

    It is worth noting that all virtually non-SLR digital cameras have LESS depth of field control because most digital point and shoot cameras have a min aperture of f/8 (35mm lenses are at least f/16 if not f/22 or f/32) and max apertures depending on the camera are rarely as wide as one can cheaply get with a SLR lens (digicams often are 2.8-5.6 max). This gives a $30 used Nikkor 50mm f/1.4-22 AIS a much wider range versus say my Canon S45 which can do f/4 to f/8 at 50mm TWO WHOLE STOPS OF APERTURE CONTROL WOO!

    Suffice to say, its your aperture setting (limited by lens and light) and your enlargement that you choose that determines your depth of field, not your photographic medium.

    .spending even more for better quality film
    In some cases there is minimal difference between pro film and consumer grade film. In other cases the difference is significant. However, cheap ass Walgreens (actually Konica or Afga) 100ASA consumer film put through AKPMs camera will still blow up far nicer than 90% of the digital P&S cameras out there and better than most of the DSLRs out there (all other variables being equal). It is the nature o the beast.

    having the photo lady at Walmart laughing at AKPMs pictures before we do (some are OK though)
    You took your film to wally world? Well this explains your outlook JONG.

    blasting through a roll of film in no time using a winder
    36exp @ 3fps = 12s of straight shooting. That's a helluva lot longer than 99% of the digicams out there can keep shooting straight (most can do 1 to 4 seconds).

    losing the originals (copies are never as good)
    hard drive crash or a fire could do the same thing to digital. Ask MBS it almost happened to some of his digital work.
    Archive and be careful. Interneg if you are worried?

    -Now... lets look at some print sizes... If one is printing at 300ppi (what a lightjet or frontier would be printing at) on a 11x14 (something properly exposed 400asa 35mm with a good lens has no problem enlarging to even with a little croppong) you need 300x300x8x12=13.86MP... except wait... a 13.86MP camera doesn’t actually have 13.86 24bit (or 48) MP! It actually is assembled in (usually) a bayer patern with each pixel being R, G, or B and each pixel is then interpolated from the surrounding other colored pixels in the bayer patter (unless the sensor is a Foveon 3X CMOS sensor, which is very cool in which as a 13.86 WOULD be a 13.86). Per Sigma, a bayer pattern sensor would have to be ~40MP to equal a 13MP Foveon sensor... or 35mm film.

    Thus you are faced with a problem... if you want to come up with a digital system that approaches what a film system can do quality or performance wise, you will be paying approximately 5X-10X as much on the equipment.
    EOS 1d Mk II + cards batteries and required accessories = $5000
    EOS 3 + PBE2 = $800-$1000. So after you've shot and developed 400 rolls of slide film you reach the break even point.

    -Digital P&S AF sucks ass... just like 35mm P&S. Digital P&S MF is virtually impossible. P&S controls suck. However, a decent Digital P&S setup costs considerably more than the 35mm SLR setups I just recommended to seldon (Canon A2 (5FPS, pro quality and features) + 50mm f/1.8 + 28-105mm USM for ~$300) or AKPMs setup which was probably $300 new. That will buy you a 4 to 5MP point and shoot with no memory card and no extra batteries.

    -Here's a simple issue: black and white:

    NO digital system in existence can rival a black and white print on RC paper much less FB. Lightjets and Frontiers don't print on B&W paper and RC4 paper does not come close. On that note is the feeling rendered in a B&W image by the grain which is unique to each series of emulsions and can be controlled by the photographer during development.

    -For skiing, film cameras do not eat batteries the way digicams do which is an especially bad problem in cold weather when battery performance drops drastically. Digital cameras are also generally more susceptible to the elements and impact in general vs film and LCDs don't like super cold weather either.

    -For those who enjoy wide angle (like me), the multiplier factor that nearly all DSLRs have due to their smaller sensor sizes chops out the wide angle lenses in the former film shooters inventory and leaves the photographer with a choice of "digital only" (smaller image circle, too small for full frame 36x24 135) for really wide angle shots. Most multipliers are 1.3 at least and up to 1.6 which can make a nice 24mm into a 40mm. Not good if you need that wide angle. Of course if you want a longer lens, this can be a great benefit. The multipliers presence in all of the high framerate DSLRs along with their exorbitant cost has prevented my switching to digital (along with the B&W factor).

    -Film has a wider exposure latitude than digital. Digital doesn't come anywhere near the latitude you can get from C41 or B&W. E6/K14 are still wider than what digital can capture and far wider than what a monitor can display. RAW on a few sensors may have close to the range of color slide, but nowhere near B&W, C41, or DR5.

    -Using film also has a mental effect. The film shooter will take more time to compose each shot and value each shot because each shot is valuable. (Similarly a 4x5 shooter slows down and puts more time and quality into each sheet than a 35mm shooter usually does). It is very mental.



    SO

    There is no doubt that digital is great for instant gratification and that it will eliminate 35mm in the P&S market. Digital is superior for snapshooters in almost every way. I love my S45 (and my A70) for that purpose. Perhaps certain people have a negative view on film because all they do is snapshoot and crave the instant gratification while never printing larger than 4x6.

    However, for serious photography, I always pull out my EOS 3 or Elan II. To bring digital into the realm of replacing 35mm for serious use costs great sums of money in the initial investment and still has performance tradeoffs.

    For AKPM to have a DSLR system that matches his current SLR system will cost him over $1500 and that wouldn't be considered a DSLR that would rival the quality of 35mm slide. Digital has a very steep entry cost while with film you can get a professional quality camera and lenses for $300.

    Film has its ups and its down and so does digital. However, to go around claiming that film is a waste is a declaration of your ignorance about photography.
    Last edited by Summit; 12-27-2004 at 02:55 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit
    This is a nice thing with digital. However, a good photographer learns previsualization (go read Ansel Adams) ..blah, blah, blah...

    ....However, for serious photography, I always pull out my EOS 3 or Elan II...blah, blah blah...[/b][/u]
    Summit. Thanks for yet another one of your incredibly long winded, point-by-point replies to a post that questions your authority on a topic. (Have you even heard the expression that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing?)

    But since you are really just an annoying photo hobbyist, I will spare you a lengthy yet potentially informative lecture on the many inaccuracies and misstatements in your post and provide you with this core advice: Sell any film-only equipment such as camera bodies that you own asap, and try and get 20 cents on the dollar for what you paid. Seriously, time is running out. Of the fellow professional photographers that I know, there is exactly ONE who is still using only film. Not surprisingly he also also doesn’t have an email address. (BTW, this debate has been going on in pro photo circles since 2001 and has pretty much been settled. And, no, film was not the winner.)

    Anyways, not meaning to shit in his thread: AKPM, enjoy your new Minolta and make some great photos with it. There's nothing more exciting than a new camera. But try and put a bit of money away each month to save up for a digital SLR and in around a year or two you can make the jump to the 21st century. By then you should be taking wicked good shots and can lever the technology to its fullest.
    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena

  13. #13
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    and I already have a digital wich is pretty fun
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dromond
    Damn, that's a good idea. Is this a common practise? How does one rig up (or buy) such a thing?

    Maybe one of these?



    A pole with a camera mount

    Thanks for the lesson SUMMIT...I hope you feel better...
    Tact is for those not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  15. #15
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    Eldo I'm well aware of all the debate and it's been going on since before 2001 as to when digital will replace film. I've been in this argument many times before. I know many professional photographers, several of them friends, who use film and don't intend to stop any time soon. Most of them shoot digital as well but primarily use film. Maybe you can go ask Ray what percentage of submissions to Powder are slides and what percentage or digital . I suggest your reread my response, especially my conclusion, and get what I was saying: Digital and film both have their pluses and minuses but in my opinion for someone without a lot of money (at least $1500) to invest at the get go, film is more suitable route to full control and maximum quality in imagery.

    My opinion is that digital will fully eclipse 35mm over the next several years for just about everything except for B&W work as the cost of entry continues to drop. I'll be the first to admit that if the EOS 1D mk II didn't cost $4500 and was full frame I would buy one and sell my EOS 3/PBE2 (my 4x5 or elan II could do all my B&W). However, the "film is dead sell your gear" crowd is missing the point which is that there is so much 35mm gear out there that, while film bodies may be rarely used, the lenses will continue in use on DSLR bodies as they are now (we only see one digital specific DSLR system out there from Pentax, eventually there will be more, but guess who has the market share). Nobody is going to stop selling 35mm film either. We may see a few emulsions disappear, but companies continue to roll out new ones (and new 35mm gear). 110 was a consumer only format and it was dead 15 years ago and you can still buy 110 film. 35mm isn't going to just go away. MF and LF film photography certainly not going away any time soon nor will it be eclipsed by digital soon.

    As to my "annoying hobbyist" status, I may do it for fun now. I don't see why enjoying photography for one's self is so ignoble as you seem to suggest my pursuit is. I used to do commercial food photography before I moved to the mountains. I don't see how my ex-professional status is relevant. People here have all kinds of opinions on skiing and their not being professionals doesn't invalidate what they think. However, nobody is going to stop you from dismissing all my point with a wave of your hand and no actual arguments of your own. Please, go on...

    ---

    +1 on Lynx and kchri's monopod/trekking pole. Good stuff.
    Last edited by Summit; 12-28-2004 at 12:41 AM. Reason: clarity*
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

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    pssssst.... hey. . . .

    i have no desire to get involved in a debate over film vs digital, i think every tool has it's purpose, but powder is not really a good example. i'd say they are more an exception to the rule in the amount of film submissions they take in over digital if you are looking at the photo industry as a whole.

    just a couple cents. . . .

  17. #17
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    Lynx has good advice, so does summit.

    Eldo and Kchri, I would sit down and shut the F up unitl you actually know what the fuck you are talking about.

    Im going to stay out of the digital debate since it is stupid to beat a dead horse and that isnt what AKPM was asking about.

    Oh yeah, one more thing Powder submissions are 99.9% film, the .01 % that are digi get sent back unused.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbakerskier
    Eldo and Kchri, I would sit down and shut the F up unitl you actually know what the fuck you are talking about...
    A lot of rude people in here these days.

    MBS, my comments were aimed at Summit. They were designed to be rather glib since he has taken to dismissing other people's posts by telling them "to shut up JONG" on any number of topics. So I dismissed him in my own way.

    Which brings me to your post. I find it rather funny. It reminds of the thread a few months ago where a few of the Baker crew had Baker Bunny pegged as some sort of stupid newbie. It was entertaining to see them eat crow later on.

    Anways, since you have managed to not realize what I do for a living, you might want to dial it down a bit. Keeping your attitude from exceeding your level of success is a good idea in any business, including photography. I'd welcome the chance to "talk shop" with you sometime, but I don't consider being told to STFU to be a worthy conversation.
    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena

  19. #19
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    Eldo, your statements like this :
    Summit. Thanks for yet another one of your incredibly long winded, point-by-point replies to a post that questions your authority on a topic. (Have you even heard the expression that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing?)

    But since you are really just an annoying photo hobbyist, I will spare you a lengthy yet potentially informative lecture on the many inaccuracies and misstatements in your post and provide you with this core advice:

    Is what made me give you the reply above. Anoying photo hobist? WTF? are you supposedly gods gift to photography and better than everyone? I think not. Your right I dont know what you do for a living, but im guessing you either A, sell camera gear or B sell pics. Hey guess what I do the same, and I have never ever called someone an anoying photo hobist.

    Secondly I really dont want to beat a dead horse with this film Vs. Digi debate, but you seem to think that everything that summit said was inaccurate. This couldnt be farther from the truth. are you sure that you arnt the one that has just egnough knowledge to be dangerous?????
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbakerskier
    Lynx has good advice, so does summit.
    They both have great advice and direction. AKPM has already demonstrated that he has learned something by actually helping someone else with his knowledge.

    Eldo and Kchri, I would sit down and shut the F up unitl you actually know what the fuck you are talking about.
    What are you? My dad?! Who are you to determine that I know what I am talking about or not? Why all of the hostility?

    Im going to stay out of the digital debate since it is stupid to beat a dead horse and that isnt what AKPM was asking about.
    I was never in a debate about digital vs film. I was suggesting what "I" thought was the best course of action for AKPM to take. Like it or not I don't believe it earns a STFU.

    Oh yeah, one more thing Powder submissions are 99.9% film, the .01 % that are digi get sent back unused.
    Great!


    It seems strange that what I wrote above could stir so much angry response. I actually hire photographers to produce product shots and I personally do not care whether they use film or digital. I care about the final product and the cost. Neither is better in my mind. They both end up digital and doing what they were designed to do.
    Tact is for those not witty enough to be sarcastic...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kchri
    the photo lady at Walmart
    Wow, you just voiced your incredible knowledge on a subject.


    Good luck with the gear AKPM, shoot me a couple of pow' shots from the Great White Northern North!

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    AKPM- since I'm assuming that you are planning to use this new camera primarily to shoot skiing, here's a few things to consider:

    The 18% grey card is going to be very important. One of the biggest challenges in ski photography is choosing the correct exposure. The snow reflects so much light that you shouldn't trust your in-camera light meter. Your shots will often end up underexposed.

    Second- buy some filters. I'd reccomend a ND, polarizer, and UV filter to start with. You'll love the polarizer when spring comes and you start taking fishing pictures.

    Set up the camera and shoot a few rolls of film with the same subject- playing around with exposure, focus, etc. You'll learn a lot.

    Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.
    "There is a hell of a huge difference between skiing as a sport- or even as a lifestyle- and skiing as an industry"
    Hunter S. Thompson, 1970 (RIP)

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