Sat 07-Sep-13 03:19 AM | edited Sat 07-Sep-13 03:21 AM by km6xz
Since there is the issue of money lurking in th background blurring and focus on technology I thought I would put my view on ROI, just what level of improvement in results can be expected based on cost: 1. Workshops, training or other aids in learning technique and esthetics. 2a. For people shots:Light, lighting aids, modifiers, reflectors, speedlights/strobes, even in daylight shooting. 2b. For landscapes: tripod rigidity 3. Post processing chops, training, practice, add ons. 4. Lenses 5. Camera body
Attending a Nikonians workshop or similar event not only gives practical real world techniques but also helps in visualizing just want is a good image and getting help with diagnosing your own trouble areas. Light is the whole point of photography and a great lighting plan coupled with a poor camera and lens still trumps a pro level camera/lens with poor light, every time. Even just a speed light, and knowledge of its proper use will transform a photographer's options and image quality more than any other piece of hardware or accessory. It is very common to read posts that preface a comment that "I do not like flash" is sure, absolute proof they never learned proper or creative use augmented light under the control of the photographer. A better statement from them would be "I do not like poor use of flash".Any quality image of people indoors or out, printed in glossy mags or ads, fine art photography, commercial imaging, almost any gallery wall worthy photographs involved skilled use of controlling or modifying light. Just the simple task of fill light on an outdoor, full sun grab-shot of your grand kids will transform it from a snap-shot to something worth printing large.
The higher the resolution the more important a sturdy tripod/support becomes when taking time exposure shots like with landscape.
Post Processing is often disliked by shooters but if you shoot film or digital, it is a key part of every image that seen in galleries or media that is considered important. It was an important part in iconic images dating back the earliest days of photography in the 1800s. With digital, it is essential for every frame that will be seen by others. You are collecting data in the field and in the digital darkroom of your computer, you make a picture out of that collection of data. Even revered landscape arts such as Ansel Adams were known within photography circles more for their inventive skill in darkroom post processing than in the field image capture.