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allynfolksjr wrote:
Do you consider acquiring more gear as the best way to improve your photography skills?


It's a common misconception but no! In this case, I've always wanted to play with light more in my star photos ever since I used a lantern in December 2016.



And it reappeared in other star photos, although not executed very well:

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I felt that having a light brought a focus to the scene. I took this photo with no light and, to me, it just doesn't have the same strength as the other three.



When it came to buying a flash, it came down to necessity over anything. A lantern or flashlight would have been just as great but not as versatile. I've already used the flash for a wedding and portraits, something that a lantern or flashlight just wouldn't have been good for.

The flash is a lot stronger and more evenly distributed than something like a flashlight. I'm looking forward to using the flash as a strobe to put multiple Alex's in the scene, and using it to light up the foreground better than a flashlight ever could.

My next purchase will definitely be a lens. I've shot all my star photos with my cheap 14mm f/2.8 but I'm challenging myself to use my 28-105 f/4. The star photo in my post above was shot at 24mm and I really like it; it's not as tight as I was afraid it'd be. Debating between purchasing a 20mm f/1.4 or a better 14mm prime. Hopefully I'll have a decision by the end of December. I really want the 14mm but I gotta convince myself the increased cost is worth the 6mm.

I certainly don't buy gear because I think it'll help me improve my photos, I buy gear because it'll help me get the photos I want. I didn't go buy a flash because I wanted to try it, I bought a flash because I liked my photos that incorporated a strong light source in them and decided to pursue that more aggressively. Also the fact that my camera doesn't have a flash built-in was another major factor in this decision too.
I am staying in San Diego during my holiday break. I went down to the beach and saw some waves that I needed to take a picture of, but I only had my phone, a Nexus 6P. Here's the one I think turned out the best. It is completely unedited as I did not bring my computer with me.
That turned out really well! Have you considered downloading apps to edit photos from your phone?
Those long exposures with a light are really nice!
Alex wrote:
I'm looking forward to using the flash as a strobe to put multiple Alex's in the scene,

That sounds like a fun idea, it reminds me of a project I had done a few years ago where I had to manually stitch a handful of images together to essentially make a panorama with multiple me's. (I can't seem to find it Sad, but It turned out really bad)
I went on vacation and got a couple cool pictures:






These Indian ruins were out on the backside of the big peninsula in the second picture.
I am always amazed by the buildings in the canyon. Thanks for sharing! Smile
Wow! Such a nice photographer!
Went out this past Saturday night because it was the only clear sky forecasted for the next week or so. This trip served double duty, because I wanted to get out and because I wanted to practice shooting with my 24mm lens. I'm looking to buy a new lens by the end of the year. I currently shoot with a budget 14mm lens, and if I were to replace it with a pro-level 14mm, I'd be spending quite a bit. But, a 24mm lens is almost half the cost. I determined 24mm is way to narrow to capture the scope of the landscape with the Milky Way in the shot as well. So, I'll be renting both the 20mm and 14mm when the skies clear up.

I brought my telescope out with me for this trip and shoot. I wanted to fully extend the tripod but I left the counterweights at home. I still had some difficulty setting up since the telescope kept tilting to one side but I eventually got there! The counterweights would have prevented all that.


IMG_8534.jpg by Alex Glanville, on Flickr

For those curious, here's a gif of the 14mm and 24mm comparison of the same scene. The 14mm lens captures roughly 302% more of the environment within the frame.
Hi. I would like to start photographing. Do you recommend any camera for 300 $? Thank u
Alex wrote:
Went out this past Saturday night because it was the only clear sky forecasted for the next week or so. This trip served double duty, because I wanted to get out and because I wanted to practice shooting with my 24mm lens. I'm looking to buy a new lens by the end of the year. I currently shoot with a budget 14mm lens, and if I were to replace it with a pro-level 14mm, I'd be spending quite a bit. But, a 24mm lens is almost half the cost. I determined 24mm is way to narrow to capture the scope of the landscape with the Milky Way in the shot as well. So, I'll be renting both the 20mm and 14mm when the skies clear up.

I brought my telescope out with me for this trip and shoot. I wanted to fully extend the tripod but I left the counterweights at home. I still had some difficulty setting up since the telescope kept tilting to one side but I eventually got there! The counterweights would have prevented all that.


IMG_8534.jpg by Alex Glanville, on Flickr

For those curious, here's a gif of the 14mm and 24mm comparison of the same scene. The 14mm lens captures roughly 302% more of the environment within the frame.

Do you ever not talk about equipment?
It's 6 in the morning, I'm normally in bed, but I get up anyways on this special day to look at a 'Super Blue Blood Moon'.
Super= Close to the earth.
Blue= second one in a month.
Blood= Because it looks kind of red?
Moon= Well, it's the moon.
This is after fiddling with the image colors. (Maybe a little too much)

Darn trees. Razz

You can view the original photo here:
https://i.imgur.com/XBy6SvN.jpg
Nice shot! That came out really well.

I didn't even try to photograph it. It was forecasted to be cloudy so I didn't really make plans, then I got sick so I definitely wouldn't have made any plans I had made as I favored sleep over staying out. However, it was a somewhat clear sky when I went to work and was able to catch the last 20-30 minutes on the road. It was great!
Darn it, I thought it was supposed to be tonight. Didnít even realize it was gonna be this morning. Nice shot though!
It doesn't look like I shared my first foray into light painting within a local park, which isn't really important. However, I practiced some light painting on Friday. Utilized an off-camera flash again. Can't wait to head out and try this under a dark sky.


IMG_8576.jpg by Alex Glanville, on Flickr

It took some tries, but that's what practicing is for!

In this photo, I tried to do it all myself which created a really ominous shadow. After the flash went off I would turn around and spin the string of lights. Also, the flash was way too strong.


In this one my friend stepped in, and he's visible. We resolved that by having him step in after the flash and removing some of the dead space on the string; so that the the first bulb was practically the center of the circle.

IMG_4589.jpg by Alex Glanville, on Flickr

Took this image about three years ago. I rediscovered it the other day when going through my library looking for corrupt photos and found a bunch; thankfully the back-ups aren't corrupted so I'll be doing a full library restore at some point in the near future after I replace all the hard drives and likely the computer itself.

I'm not sure why I didn't edit this when it was originally taken. Back then I was new to infrared photography and didn't realize IR made for some pretty cool black and white. Granted, this isn't an awesome black and white photo either but it's leagues better than the color version.

My friends and I were dominating a pretty awesome hike. I likely envisioned this a lot better when I initially took this, because of the hot spot behind them. I wanted to have their silhouettes against the light at the end of the tree tunnel but instead I ended up upping the exposure which helped bring detail back since it's kind of awkward to have silhouettes of just peoples torsos. Haha.
Took a trip to Nevada. Got several pictures of the clear waters of lake Tahoe, but this one was by far the best. All I needed was a sunset (more like sunrise in this case) to make it a perfect shot!
That is absolutely incredible. As a side note when Instagram gave us the ability to follow hashtags I started following a lot of island and tropical tags. The light blue water is just amazing to look at. That said, I had no idea such clear blue water was close to home.

I've never been to Tahoe as an adult - only a few times as a kid - and I really need to fix that. I am in talks to do a wedding up there on December 29th, but I should make plans to visit over the summer. Thanks for putting Tahoe on my radar!
Took some pictures at Summit Lake Maryland. Our school went there for Outdoor Ed(ucation). Nice old 16 Mp Fuji Film XP Adventure camera.

A picture I took on the way there.


View of the lake.


A tree that I liked.


A flower that was next to the dining hall.


Leaves on the ground that look like a wallpaper, and that would look good as one.


I have more photos, but they take SOO LONG to upload to imgur.

I'm also looking for a new camera. I use my brother's Nikon DSLR from time to time, but now I want to get my own. Some "requirements":
-Not that expensive
-Around 20 Mp
-Has that satisfying CLICK. (I think most do)
-Isn't too bulky (using shorter lenses and stuff)
-More stuff I'll add to this list when I think of them.

EDIT: I think they look better zoomed out x.x Razz
Nice pictures!
A decent, inexpensive camera could be the Canon Elph series.
However, I'd wait for someone with more experience in photography, like Alex, to give you their opinion. Smile
A mirrorless camera may likely be what you're looking for.

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-mirrorless-camera-for-beginners/

It's a nice way to get more nuanced features and explore much more manual control over your pictures. If I were starting from scratch and didn't already have significant glass resources in Canon EF lenses I'd almost assuredly pick a mirrorless line.

A much better (and more detailed) guide can be found here, which is far better than whatever anecdotal advice we can provide.

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/which-camera-should-i-get/

Let us know if you have any questions!
  
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