recommended courses for beginer

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hi all, sorry if this is the wrong place for this thread but here goes.

In about 3 years I retire from the fire service, ive been thinking of what to do once that day arrives career wise. Im not looking for a full time job just something that I can do as and when I want. Photography is something ive always enjoyed but never taken it past using phone cameras or basic digitals of family days out and places we've been

So basically my question is are there any courses out there anyone could recommend for I total newbie to get into photography as a business, I've looked briefly at the open university course and also the photography institute course and also is it a viable option/path for me to take

cheers
 
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Hi Phil
Sorry for my ignorance, as I'm pretty much starting from scratch will it make a difference, can I figure that out as I get a bit more involved. If I was gona take a specific genre Id prob go for action/extreme sports as I have an interest in mountain bike and kayaking
 
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Instead of going on a course decide on the camera you want and go onto youtube. There are literally hundreds of videos on how to etc. That is where I would go for information first and cost nothing
Depending on your budget and type of camera this list might give some idea of prices

http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/

photography is such a vast subject I would start off with a budget and look at cameras within it . Some come with kit lenses which is not a bad idea, there is also the memory card cost to include as well. Or you could go for used cameras in which case the prime thing to look at is how many times the shutter has been used. One with a high shutter count should be a lot cheaper but nearer the end of its life.
 
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Not wishing to sound disparaging but you probably need to walk before you can run. Without knowing the fundamentals how can you say you'd like to get into photography as a business? I'd say get yourself a camera and use those three years to develop your skills, find out what you really want to photograph and if you've taken to it then that's the time to consider taking it further. A college course might help you learn some technical knowledge but I'd suggest you can learn a lot from experimentation, studying books and the odd workshop with respected photographers instead. Also there's a lot of good free advice to be found on YouTube. Not against courses as such but there seems to be more theory involved than is maybe required and the qualifications aren't worth much against a high quality portfolio
 
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Cheers scirocco, that is pretty much what I had in mind but just wondered if there was something to give me a kick-start as in what sort of camera (I know that's a mine field in itself) and some technical stuff to get me goin
 
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A lens on the camera helps, if that is technical enough ;) :LOL: best to have a look at what you think you might like in a camera retail outlet. You can't beat hands on before deciding
 
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StephenM

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just wondered if there was something to give me a kick-start as in what sort of camera (I know that's a mine field in itself) and some technical stuff to get me goin
Others will have different opinions, but mine (for what it's worth) is that a camera is just a tool to do a job. The camera that best suits what I photograph and the way I work would be worse than useless for kayaking and extreme sports. Knowing what you want the camera for should be your starting point. In the absence of that information, I'd go with buying the cheapest and simplest you can find and let it make the technical decisions for you. Most of the time the camera will get the exposure near enough, and the focus ditto. It's when it doesn't that you'll need to start finding out why.
 
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Hey wave, hopefully by the time I retire in three years I'll be able to start a small business, I'm not looking to make a full time job out of it just something I can do 2-3 days a week to make a little bit of extra cash
 
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Firstly the 'taking up photography'.

I'm not one for making this complicated. There's a 'universal truth' that you should try some cameras out and see what you like, but I think it's b******t. As Stephen said, I f you've no idea what you want to do with it, or any clues as to important features, how can you 'choose'.

Buy a starter kit from Canon or Nikon, you'll soon learn what's important in your next camera, then you'll have 'choices'.

Go out and take pictures, you'll either get the bug or you won't. You'll find what you enjoy shooting and whether you're any good, you'll discover the other specialist gear that you need for that genre etc; then it comes to the important bit.

Running even a part time business as a photographer is a lot more than taking pictures, does what you want to shoot have a market? If not is there a market you'd be happy existing in? The investment compared to most small businesses is tiny, but it's still not to be sniffed at. Depending on your shooting style you might be dropping close to a grand a time on lenses, and you'll need several. Then there's lighting gear, which starts cheap and has a steep spending curve, a decent computer, a good quality monitor, learning about calibration and consistent processing, backups, cloud services, marketing materials, delivery media.

Then comes the tricky bits, marketing, accountancy software, tax returns, marketing, websites, customer management software, contracts and marketing.

I'm not trying to put you off, your aim is definitely achievable, but it takes drive and determination, investment in time, money, training. It's not something you can casually drop into a couple of days a week.

If you decide to only work Thurs to Sat, what happens to the emails you get on Monday night? Do you honestly think you can leave that customer waiting? What about the phone calls when you're at the supermarket? Being self employed means you don't get to choose when you're at work.

If you want a job for 3 days a week, I'd recommend B&Q :)
 
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Errr - I'd love to be able to offer you some advice, but its a bit like someone asking a tour operator

I fancy going on holiday, where should I go and is it viable for me to get there?

Way WAY too vague at this point, but I'll start with...

Courses - Open Uni - NO; Photo Inst - NO; any other course - NO - what's the point when you've no idea what you want to do, unless you do every course and hope to realise what you want to do from that

Cameras - this is a bit like going to B&Q and asking them what tools you need for your DIY project without telling them what the job is - so as Phil says, buy any old kit and just shoot stuff, hopefully you'll find some area that a) really interests you, and/or b) you have an eye for

And honestly - I can't offer anything more than this :(

Soz

Dave
 
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Cheers Phil and dave

Thanks for all your input, some great info to take on board. I'm under no illusion it's something I can go and do after just doin some course. I've got the time from now untill I retire to go out and put the work in...and if it doesn't work at least I'll have a great new hobby to keep me busy, (in between my shift at B&Q Hey Dave)
 
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Cheers Phil and dave

Thanks for all your input, some great info to take on board. I'm under no illusion it's something I can go and do after just doin some course. I've got the time from now untill I retire to go out and put the work in...and if it doesn't work at least I'll have a great new hobby to keep me busy, (in between my shift at B&Q Hey Dave)
I've no idea where you live bud, but if its anywhere near me feel free to pop round for a chat/shoot and maybe I can point you in the right (or a better) direction :)

Cos 3 years is long enough to work on a proper exit / new plan

Dave
 
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I've no idea where you live bud, but if its anywhere near me feel free to pop round for a chat/shoot and maybe I can point you in the right (or a better) direction :)

Cos 3 years is long enough to work on a proper exit / new plan

Dave
Cheers for the invite Dave, unfortunately I live in deepest Suffolk...Ipswich to be precise, as I see your up there in Yorkshire its a bit far to pop in for a chat but appreciate the offer.....
 
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Some fairly blah advice given so far? If you want to take action/sport images for reproduction you'll need a camera that has good resolution (24 megapixels or higher), Lenses from wide (18mm) to big telephoto (7-800mm or more), ability to shoot at several pics per second & some photo processing skills in terms of nice colours, low noise, etc. Your affinity to the sports will put you in a much better place than some d******d photographer ;-)
 
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Some fairly blah advice given so far? If you want to take action/sport images for reproduction you'll need a camera that has good resolution (24 megapixels or higher), Lenses from wide (18mm) to big telephoto (7-800mm or more), ability to shoot at several pics per second & some photo processing skills in terms of nice colours, low noise, etc. Your affinity to the sports will put you in a much better place than some d******d photographer ;-)
Brilliant! :tumbleweed:
 

Fuji Dave

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Hi Lee, I wish you all the best in your journey in to photography and I think you have been given some good advice from Dave and Phil. I am not an expert in photography at all, but the thing I think I know is, you do not need a big bulky camera with big megapixels or a big telephoto zoom. Yes some telephoto zooms may help, but you have to think of the extra weight when carrying it all about, You can have a small megapixel camera and still take great photos, but as Phil or anyone else knows, it is about Light.
 

Marc

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f you want to take action/sport images for reproduction you'll need a camera that has good resolution (24 megapixels or higher)
I've shot sports quite successfully wth a 12mp camera.

Lenses from wide (18mm) to big telephoto (7-800mm or more)
what sports would you need 800mm for??

ability to shoot at several pics per second
Not an absolute necessity but most cameras give that functionality

some photo processing skills in terms of nice colours, low noise, etc
Probably less of a requirement than most other genres of photography

Your affinity to the sports will put you in a much better place than some d******d photographer ;-)
Seriously?

Some fairly blah advice given so far?
As opposed to the advice that you've given?
 

Fuji Dave

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Here is a true example what happened to me. Last year my wife and I went to our local airshow, I was using the Canon 70D with 70-200mm lens and 1100D with the 55-250mm, my wife was using my Point and shoot Panasonic TZ57. The next day I looked at most of the photos we had both taken, the better photos taken were with the Canon 1100D and the wife using the TZ57.
 
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As opposed to the advice that you've given?
You never mentioned the fact the OP never mentioned sports at all ;)


It seems Darren thinks it's more important to give some wildly misleading advice about a particular genre than actually answer the question posed, but, y'know, this is the Internet and apparently all opinions are equally valid.

I'll stick with my blah advice, which answered the question and gave the OP food for thought.
 
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Thanks for all the advice guys, gives me lots to think about. Probably gona start looking at some starter packages just so I can get out there, find the path I'm gona go down, get some pics out there for ppl to scrutinise and take it from there
 
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Some fairly blah advice given so far? If you want to take action/sport images for reproduction you'll need a camera that has good resolution (24 megapixels or higher), Lenses from wide (18mm) to big telephoto (7-800mm or more), ability to shoot at several pics per second & some photo processing skills in terms of nice colours, low noise, etc. Your affinity to the sports will put you in a much better place than some d******d photographer ;-)

I don't wish to be rude, but have you ever actually shot sport (let alone shot it as part of a job)?

I'll give you a hint to start...

That highlighted part of your quote....

...you've just written off the 5 best sports (stills) cameras in the world at the moment.
 
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Blah, more boring old men commenting from their desk chairs...
The guy said he was possibly looking to a NEW CAREER! If you want to be a professional sports photographer then what I recommended is a basic starting point? Realspeed seemed to concur (retrospectively) with my points? Until he got facetious. Which the OP acknowledged as useful? Scirocco pretty much said that 'Courses' weren't necessary these days?
but just wondered if there was something to give me a kick-start as in what sort of camera (I know that's a mine field in itself) and some technical stuff to get me goin
Which I answered accurately if you want to have your photos ready for reproduction?
Firstly the 'taking up photography'.
The guy clearly posted on the sort of photography which you acknowledged you made a mistake on but still you're laying into me?
And flabs! You're supposed to be a 'Staff Member'! Why on earth would you try to, piece-by-piece, take a member's post apart? & have you ever heard of Cricket?
It seems Darren thinks it's more important to give some wildly misleading advice about a particular genre than actually answer the question posed, but, y'know, this is the Internet and apparently all opinions are equally valid.
Justify that! In what way did I give 'wildly misleading advice?'
& finally the passive/aggressive DemiLion... Blah, boring, excluding new people? Those cameras will probably be obsolete in a year.
I GOT TOTALLY GANGED UP ON HERE. IT'S NOT NICE & IT DOESN'T MAKE FOR A GOOD WEBSITE? & MOST IMPORTANTLY IT SUPPRESSES WIDER THOUGHT, FREEDOM OF SPEECH & PROBABLY SCARES OFF THE OP?
 
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Justify that! In what way did I give 'wildly misleading advice?'
...
A guy who's never used a 'proper' camera is asking for advice about training.

Your advice was to go and spend 10 grand or so on gear, as if that's all he really needs. That's misleading*.

Sorry your feelings are hurt sugar plum, but you appear to be all up for slinging about the insults, the general rule is that people who do that are big enough to take criticism. :)

*how many 24mp cameras are totally unsuitable for sports?

How many less than 24mp cameras have pro sports photographers been out earning money with this weekend?

You're not being 'ganged up on' you're being challenged, and it might have gone a bit more smoothly if you hadn't started with the aggressive tone ;)
 
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Well?! Where are the armchair bullies now?
Asleep probably be patient. I'm not getting involved either way though :D.

@lee hayes I'm currently putting together syllabuses for on location learning and post processing tuition, and I live near Ipswich.

I am looking to cover a lot of skills, from beginners working their way around how to use a dslr to advanced Photoshop techniques. Whilst things will be structured the intention and my way of doing things will be to tailor the workshops to the individual.

In due course if you want an informal chat about photography in general feel free to get in touch. If you think you could benefit from some targeted training, and I know it would have sped things up for me years ago, then I'd also be happy to help.
 

sirch

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Sorry your thread got a bit off track, Talk Photography is mostly a really good, helpful and friendly place. One thing that hasn't been suggested is looking at some photos. I know it sounds obvious but I assume you look at kayaking and MTB magazines. So really look at those photos, look at how they are composed, what the light was like, where they were shot from and look at the website of whoever took them, then go and attempt to recreate them. From that you can hopefully start to work at what is involved in getting the shot.

The best training in the world will be taking photos and posting them on here for critique
 

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Asleep probably be patient. I'm not getting involved either way though :D.

@lee hayes I'm currently putting together syllabuses for on location learning and post processing tuition, and I live near Ipswich.

I am looking to cover a lot of skills, from beginners working their way around how to use a dslr to advanced Photoshop techniques. Whilst things will be structured the intention and my way of doing things will be to tailor the workshops to the individual.

In due course if you want an informal chat about photography in general feel free to get in touch. If you think you could benefit from some targeted training, and I know it would have sped things up for me years ago, then I'd also be happy to help.
Sorry your thread got a bit off track, Talk Photography is mostly a really good, helpful and friendly place. One thing that hasn't been suggested is looking at some photos. I know it sounds obvious but I assume you look at kayaking and MTB magazines. So really look at those photos, look at how they are composed, what the light was like, where they were shot from and look at the website of whoever took them, then go and attempt to recreate them. From that you can hopefully start to work at what is involved in getting the shot.

The best training in the world will be taking photos and posting them on here for critique

Hi Lee, the above advice is also worth taking on, with this thread of yours asking for help advice, take what you want out of it. So Dave,Phil,Craig and Sirch are the ones to listen too, as the saying goes as they are damn good photographers and know what they are talking about.
 
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@Craig_85 thanks for that. might have to take you up on those offers, let me know how you get on with putting the syllabus together. Might have to take you up on the offer of a chat, even if its to find out im just on a path to a new hobby rather than starting a new career.

@sirch cheers,
Sorry your thread got a bit off track
been on various forums over the years and this always tends to happen. Everybodys opinion counts, its just what you do with it i suppose, i like the advice about at looking at pictures, up untill now its just a case of, oh i like that pic...i like that pic, but not really anything more than that.
 
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Buy a starter kit from Canon or Nikon, you'll soon learn what's important in your next camera, then you'll have 'choices'.
In general Phil gives good advice, but in this case you might want to consider other manufacturers as well given you have mentioned Sports such as Mountain biking any Kayaking.

If these mean you need to clamber over rough terrain reasonably quickly to get into position for various shots (you'll probably have a better idea of this than me), then a smaller and lighter compact system camera MIGHT be more suitable than a larger DSLR - but it really does depend on where you need to be for the shots, and how close (or rather how distant) your subjects will be.

Once you need longer lenses, the size / weight of the lens becomes the dominant factor in the bulk of the system, but for shorter lenses, a CSC based solution may be significantly smaller and lighter than more traditional a DSLR based system.
 
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Well?! Where are the armchair bullies now?

Right here.

Mod edit: easy tiger!

Fabs shoots sport and I make a living from it. We sort of know what we are talking about.

You aren't being bullied sweetcheeks, you are being ripped apart because you are handing out completely useless advice, on a subject that you know nothing about, to a beginner.

Then you've got the nerve to start crying because people were an ickle nasty to you.

Here's a hint, if you want to avoid annoying people, don't start your posts like this: "Some fairly blah advice given so far?".
Or better yet, don't hand out advice on a subject that you know nothing about.
 
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been on various forums over the years and this always tends to happen. Everybodys opinion counts, its just what you do with it i suppose, i like the advice about at looking at pictures, up untill now its just a case of, oh i like that pic...i like that pic, but not really anything more than that.
You've already had the best advice, but I'll re-echo it.

Buy a basic camera, learn how to use it technically (plenty of online guides) and then just go and shoot.That's the only way that you'll understand and discover what you actually want to do in photography.

Shoot, shoot and keep shooting.
 
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sirch

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In general Phil gives good advice, but in this case you might want to consider other manufacturers as well given you have mentioned Sports such as Mountain biking any Kayaking.

If these mean you need to clamber over rough terrain reasonably quickly to get into position for various shots (you'll probably have a better idea of this than me), then a smaller and lighter compact system camera MIGHT be more suitable than a larger DSLR - but it really does depend on where you need to be for the shots, and how close (or rather how distant) your subjects will be.

Once you need longer lenses, the size / weight of the lens becomes the dominant factor in the bulk of the system, but for shorter lenses, a CSC based solution may be significantly smaller and lighter than more traditional a DSLR based system.
This is well worth thinking about. The temptation is to start investing in lenses and it is that commitment, more than the camera body that gets you locked into a camera brand. Nothing at all wrong with getting a basic kit of any brand, but think hard before you invest a few grand in lenses as to whether a smaller system may be better. The other thing you probably need to consider at some point in the future is weather proofing.
 
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In general Phil gives good advice, but in this case you might want to consider other manufacturers as well given you have mentioned Sports such as Mountain biking any Kayaking.

...
Not arguing but adding detail.

There's a reason most pros shoot Canon or Nikon. Pro level support, any specialist lens or piece of gear that might take your fancy etc.

I do recommend other cameras for specific needs, but there is a good reason for that lineup of hundreds of white lenses at major sporting events, it's not a coincidence.;)

Whilst enthusiasts are poring over dxo scores and slagging off Canon for their crap sensors, the pros are out there queueing for the next Canon pro body or lens (are they daft?).

I know that the others are outperforming in some areas and catching up in others, but the fact remains there's still clear water between how CaNikon service pros and everyone else.
 
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