I'm currently working to create photo refs with my Canon T3 Digital SLR.
My personal interest is, mostly, in nature photography, first, and general refs for my cartooning interests, second.
I'm looking to create an ongoing thread where those striving to produce refs for art can discuss their personal knowledge and experience with photography.
As a potential topic starter, I'm considering purchasing Canon's 70mm/200mm (non-IS) zoom which is considered to be a pretty dang good lens for the money beyond the issue "kit lens" that comes with the camera.
What is YOUR knowledge? What are YOUR experiences with photography?
After years of battling it out with reference photos, I have concluded that I am wholly incapable of working from them. :-)
On the other hand, I like taking photos, if only with my simple point-and-shoot model, and do not mind at all sharing them with those who want to use them, absolutely free of charge and no strings attached. Thus if you want any, I'll be happy to post them.
Yeah a 200mm lense is a good lense. If you really love telephoto lenses though, you should think about getting a teleconverter. Those things will turn your 200mm into 400mm. The only real problem with those though are that your aperature is doubled too, so you need good light.
I have a 70-300 lens with "macro" setting (apparently not true macro, according to camera geeks). It's what I use most for nature photography- it's fantastic for insects and other small animals, because you can stand several feet away while photographing them.
I'm not a great photographer by any means, and my camera is ancient for a DSLR (only 6 megapixels), but hopefully these shots will indicate the value of a long lens.
Hey blogmatix: thanks for the offer! But, what I looking to do is engage people who have made the jump to digital SLRs and what it is they are doing to both make ref photos and work from them.
My own point-and-shoot—an ancient 3.2 megapixel Nikon Cool-Pix, is a damn good camera. But, my Canon T3 offers much more CONTROL and the ability to stick whatever long lens on it that I can afford.
Hey art-of-tennis: you’re reading my mind. Only thing I know at this point—it’s better to stick with less powerful teleconverters for better resolution. But, a 1.4X with a 200mm lense would put me in the “closer to 300mm” range that appears to be the standard for good nature photography—with 400mm being even better. Problem, though, is that a good 400mm prime is, probably, worth more than the car I’m currently driving—thus my concentration upon: “crop factors,” and tame, habituated or zoo animals that are easy to get close to with a 200mm and a converter.
Hey Notophthalmus: Those are some pretty nice pictures. What DSLR and lens makes and models are you using? I was contemplating getting a Canon lower end 70-300mm, but most of the stuff on the web I have been reading indicates that the Canon 70-200mm “L series” lens is a better implement for the money and the ability to enlarge images, afterwards, makes up for the 200 vs. 300mm difference re quality.
Hey Xeon: I think we may have same or similar cameras based on one of your SB postings. Are doing anything re getting bigger/better lenses?
Last edited by Kamber Parrk; April 13th, 2012 at 11:40 PM.
I have a Nikon D80 and I use an 18-135 lens for shooting landscape pictures. I used to use a 70-300 lens with it but found I want things farther away and let me do the cropping and correcting distortion at home in PS. I am thinking of going over to a canon T3i for the 18 megapixels which would give me an almost double the image size.
Just got a cannon T2i... very pleased with it. Incredible resolution and no jpeg artifacts in sight even when zoomed way in to the pixel level. Probably good enough to shoot art prints with. Excellent sensitivity to value and color. (Even more miraculous when compared with the Powershot, off the rack POS I was using.)
Some philosophical thoughts on reference:
Photos are a dime a dozen. Photos record facts. The world is awash in facts at the moment. We are starved for honest integration of facts.... the gestalts, the paradigms, the world-views that only a comprehending and humane imagination can provide. (As opposed to partisan integrations provided by our corrupt media, marketing, political and religious industries.) Truth is the way we integrate information into a conception while still retaining the integrity of the information.
Art deals with truth. Our sense of truth is personal, based on our conceptions of life, as filtered through our experience and our capacity to visualize. We synthesize truth in our imaginations. There is no human truth that we can prove outside our own minds in a scientific way. Truth is valuable just because it is a uniquely human understanding, about our shared consciousness of the vagaries of human life. And because we are unique, the way we share truth is uniquely personal as well.
Your sketches from your imagination, the images you previsualize in your mind's eye... those are the foundations of your artwork, your personal views about life unfiltered even by your own linguistic conditioning. These images must come from your subconscious. You can't go hunting for them. You must let them come to you in reverie or day dreams when your verbal consciousness is napping or idle.
When using reference never let it interfere with your daydreams... do not let the facts you find behind a camera lure you into being a reporter if you plan on being an artist. Reference is there to provide some facts to ground the transcendent truth you are trying to express, the transcendent truth your imagination has synthesized into a vision and presented to your consciousness (for expression through art.)
A prerequisite for using reference to assist your imagination is; you must be able to visualize your art in your imagination. (To the greatest extent possible.)
Last edited by kev ferrara; April 14th, 2012 at 11:22 AM.