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Old Dec 20, 2004, 8:27 AM   #1
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Which camera would you need to take true artistic prints? A Canon A95, G6, Rebel, Nikon D70 or something even more expensive? Thanks!
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 11:31 AM   #2
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I've always felt that a really good photographer could take better pictures with a disposable camera than I can with a bag full of the best gear. Composition and subject matter are more important than the camera.

Of course a good photographer can take better pictures with better gear. If you can afford a DSLR with a decent range of lenses you are off to a big head start. You also have to learn more to be able to use the capabilities.

My advice would be to buy something like a G6 or S70 and carry it everywhere. Get a big memory card and fill it daily. Read and re-read the camera manual carefully. Carry the manual with you if you can. Absorb as many sites as you can on composition and take some books from the library. Be critical of your own photos and get comments on the ones you think are great.

Once you have the basics down consider a DSLR. You will have a lot more knowledge about whether your normal subject matter requires wider angles or long telephotos. And even after you buy it you will still have a smaller carry camera.

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Old Dec 20, 2004, 11:50 AM   #3
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I agree with slipe, get a good P&S camera, something the G6 that cango Full Auto and let you switch to full manual when you are ready. The first step is to get your vision going, I like Freeman Patterson's title "the Art of Seeing" among others. When you start to feel the camera is beginning hindering you, then it is time to think about moving on up to a dslr and all the expenses that entails.


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Old Dec 20, 2004, 12:21 PM   #4
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well, i was thinking about getting a canon sd200, so i'd have an ultra compact p&s. Then later, i'd probably want a camera with higher capabilities, so i was wondering which camera you'd need to make Ansel Adams-like photos.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 12:47 PM   #5
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echo99 wrote:
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well, i was thinking about getting a canon sd200, so i'd have an ultra compact p&s. Then later, i'd probably want a camera with higher capabilities, so i was wondering which camera you'd need to make Ansel Adams-like photos.
What do you mean by "Ansel Adams-like" photos? Of course, Adams did not use 35mm slrs (someone with better photo history could help me out, but I'm guessing he used a large-format camera) and he was also a master in the darkroom. I know very little about non-35mm (or their digital equivalent) cameras (like medium format with film or digital backs), but I'm sure there are some pros around here that could tell you something about them... Or you can read articles at places like the Luminous Landscape (written by a somewhat Adams-like pro). But, as previously mentioned, you can create great art with just about any camera. An SLR allows you to change lenses for flexibility in shooting in different light, settings, focal lengths, etc. Medium format cameras allow better enlargement capabilities. Good lenses mean sharp pictures.... But, with all of that, I watched one of those Sports Illustrated Swimsuit specials where the photographer used a disposable camera to shoot (his logic was something like-- 'well, they do so much retouching anyway, why spend the money on a really great camera... I just need a beautiful woman and a beautiful location [and, of course, the ability to compose the shots correctly and use a camera to accurately capture the image]").

So you can take "serious" shots with just about any camera -- but some will help with that endeavor (ability to change lens lengths, better ability to control light, better ability to see what you're shooting, etc.) As I've said in other posts, check out some of the posts from photosbyvito -- he uses a digital rebel with the kit 18-55 lens (that most people agree is average or worse) and takes fantastic shots...
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 12:51 PM   #6
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The SD200 is a pure point and shoot camera. They list a manual exposure, but that just takes you to a screen that lets you choose from automatic modes. If you are going to a pocket camera at least find something with aperture priority and manual exposure.

For near Ansel Adams quality you might slide by with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II and about 10 years of hard work. For Ansel Adams quality you need a giant large format film camera and at least 20 years of dedicated study – and lots of smarts and native artistic ability.

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Old Dec 20, 2004, 1:19 PM   #7
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I believe Ansel Adams worked with a bellows-type camera; according to one account I saw recently the type of camera was so large that f64 was required to give it adequate depth of field. A few of the prints I've seen reference 6-1/2 X 8" glass plate negatives.

If you're serious about wanting to take "Ansel Adams" photos, you should maybe check out his books - "The Camera", "The Negative" and "The Print"; also "Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs". I haven't read them myself yet but they come highly recommended. More bio on Ansel Adams is available at: http://www.anseladams.com.

Good Luck!

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Old Dec 20, 2004, 1:29 PM   #8
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If you want to shoot like Ansel Adams,I'd first recommend reading his
three books, The Camera, The Negative, The Print. They are very valid even today. Although very dry and academic.

Then learning how to use a View camera since it has many more controls than just shutter, aperture and simple focus.
You are now also dealing with rise and falls, swings and tilts,
Focusing a View camera requires learning and understanding the Scheimpflug principle and Hinge rule.
You also have to learn how to calculate light loss due to bellows extension. Among many other things.

I'd then go on to learn how to use Ansel Adams Zone System, developed by Ansel for Black and white, and the many ways people have tried to adapt it to color.

If you are really up to this task, I would start by getting a small Wista or Cambo 4*5 field camera(Ansel used a much larger version), and start learning by shooting film, when you get proficient enough try mounting a scanning back instead of a film carrier. A good scanning back will set you back 30k-40k$. Large format in the digital world is seriously not inexpensive. However a 4*5 negative scanned on a flatbed at 4800dpi does produce one monstrously huge output file.

You also have to get very proficient in the digital darkroom, Ansel seriously manipulated each image in the darkroom and created a recipe for printing each individual image just the way he wanted it to look.

If you have the time and inclination I'd suggest signing up at RIT or Brooks and heading for a masters program in photography.

Peter.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 3:46 PM   #9
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ok well, Ansel Adams might be a bit of a reach for me if it takes 20 years and native artistic ability. Perhaps, National Geographic pics or images good enough to be in a travel or modelling magzine without going overboard on the effects.

i'm a complete newbie; what i'm wondering is what the minimum camera necessary to do really professional image work. Ansel Adams photography is good enough to display in musuems, obviously i will not reach that level anytime soon.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 3:48 PM   #10
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slipe wrote:
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The SD200 is a pure point and shoot camera. They list a manual exposure, but that just takes you to a screen that lets you choose from automatic modes. If you are going to a pocket camera at least find something with aperture priority and manual exposure.

For near Ansel Adams quality you might slide by with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II and about 10 years of hard work. For Ansel Adams quality you need a giant large format film camera and at least 20 years of dedicated study – and lots of smarts and native artistic ability.

OK, the camera you suggested runs $8,000. What kind of camera would i need to produce pics for use by a travel magazine or for National Geographic or (near that quality)?
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