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advice for complete beginner

Hi all, 

 I’ve worked in the fashion industry in the past but am completely new to photography and would really like to learn more, because it has always been an interest of mine.
My questions is, what is a good camera to start out with , that is a modest price ? Also, I was looking to apply to different schools and their requirements for portfolios are to submit 35 mm slides… I don’t know what those are? Are they specific to a certain type of camera? I would really appreciate any advice or insight to a totally clueless newbie. ; – 0


by Vanessa at 2006-01-22 14:55:15 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Paris , France | Bookmark | | Report spam→


considering the question you ask, you’d be wise to spend about 4,500 Francs on an SLR camera and just start learning. SLR means Single Lens Reflex, which means when you look through the viewfinder, you see out through the lens itself. Those are the cameras that you see most serious photographers with, and that have interchangeable lenses.

With all respect, there’s so much to learn that the only way to do it is to start taking pictures and reading up on the subject as you go. 
35mm slide film looks like the usual rolls of film that you’ll no doubt be familiar with, only it produces positive images as opposed to negative. Most publications will only accept 35mm slide; however, it’s not a particularly easy medium to shoot on, as there is very little lattitude for exposure error, therefore, as a total beginner, you’d be well advised to stick with 35mm negative until you’ve mastered your art.

You could always skip film and go straight for a digital SLR. You see the results of your shooting instantly without having to wait for film to be developed, and that will really speed up your learning process. Only problem is, you’ll probably want to spend over 7,500 F to get a half decent camera.

There are many suitable cameras on the market that would be considerably cheaper, but if you get into photography, you’ll very soon be wishing you’d spent that little bit extra in the first place.

Makes to look at are Nikon and Canon (expensive but the best)
Or Pentax, and Minolta (cheaper but still good) 
Also Fuji if you’re looking at digital.

Hope that’s useful.

Best of luck.


by [former member] | 22 Jan 2006 16:01 (ed. Jan 22 2006) | Wraysbury, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all my questions.. I really appreciate it and i know I need to do more research !

Thanks again ; )


by Vanessa | 22 Jan 2006 17:01 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Dutchy: If you’ve been photographed (who hasnt in this life) and have held a camera (who hasnt in this life) and would like to dip your toes into the mad-spurting river that is photography, do not worry about cameras. Get whatever you want in whatever price range you want and start shooting and having fun! The very first camera I personally ever remember using (and being obsessed with) was a Polaroid: my father owned a real estate company in the early ’70’s and he used to use the Polaroid to shoot houses for his office. As a young boy, i thought it was the most extraordinary "toy" I ever saw. My grandmom (a photographer) had Leicas and Nikons and I had no fucking clue about what they were, only that they were very heavy to me (a boy) and I also loved their sound. I know great photographers who use all types of camera (lg. format, med. format, 35 mm, slr, point-shoot, toy, wedprocess (old camera), instamatics, digital, pin-hole (homemade): hell, i know one photographer from europe who uses his truck to shoot (opens and closes the back of the truck)….)….

shoot, shoot, shoot, have fun, dream, look at photos you like, and listen….

my grandmother once said to me: learn to feel what it means to blink……remember what you saw when your eyes were blinking……

have fun, welcome to the pleasure dome :)


by [former member] | 22 Jan 2006 17:01 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Often if you are told you need to submit 35mm slides for your portfolio, you are being asked to copy, or ‘duplicate’ your original photos onto slides, not to submit original slides. In other words, photograph with any camera, any film, and print the images that you want to submit. Then load your 35mm camera with slide film, and take photographs of your prints. When you have the lab process the slide film, they will give you back mounted 35mm slides.
But this is not easily done well if you haven’t done it before. If you have a lab do it for you, they often have a table with even light, a vaccuum that keeps your print flat, and the camera is mounted on a kind of arm that hovers above the print, and the shutter is released by a cable instead of by pressing it by hand to make sure it doesn’t shake. There are also a lot of people who photograph art work onto slide film as a living, not just labs.
If you really want to do it yourself, you can try to hang your prints one at a time in the same place on the wall, you can make a border out of tape to tell you where they go. Make sure the light is even all over the print, so maybe shoot in the shade, but on a bright day. You ideally would have your camera on a tripod so you don’t have to keep changing your set up, just make sure the camera is level and the photo fills the frame. You probably want a 35mm lens on the camera? You can do it, but it might be better to have it done for you.
There are also ways to go from your negative right to slide, depending on what your labs abilities are. Or if you have your images that have been scanned or are digital, there are plenty of online companies who will turn your jpgs into slides in a day or two.
If this was confusing, feel free to ask me to try to be clearer.

by [former member] | 22 Jan 2006 20:01 | Brooklyn, NY, United States | | Report spam→
Thank you for your advice Bob ; )

Erica, you are totally right. I’m sure that is what they mean. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before ! Thanks ; – )

by Vanessa | 22 Jan 2006 21:01 | Paris, France | | Report spam→

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Vanessa, F€Mm€ Vanessa
Amsterdam , Netherlands


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