Give me a Tips for Doing Photography on a Budget

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Give me a Tips for Doing Photography on a Budget
  2. Yardsale tripod & cheap used DSLR kit, ancient computer. Don't print, just store! Keep RAW files till you get a decent monitor. Avoid subjects that demand lighting you can't afford. Use reflector (and maybe old manual flashes but batteries and chargers for them become expensive). Don't mess with film!
  3. SCL


    Great ideas above. If you can't use a DSLR get familiar with photography with a more simple, less expensive, digital point & shoot, or even your cell phone's camera. Check out what's available, not only in yard sales, but also your local Goodwill/Salvation Army/charity stores. Often you can find good used cameras there. As far as learning in general, your local library probably has many good books on general photography....give them a try.
  4. Education is not only cheap or free, it will make more of a difference in your work than gear. Ansel Adams said the most important part of the camera is the 12 inches behind it. Learn lighting and composition. We work in light energy. Learn to see, create or modify light. Learn what goes in the frame, after all that is what a photo is, and where in the frame. Learn what the controls on your camera and your lenses do to an image. Then, like when you sit down to type an email, know what you want to express and use the tools to maximize it. As for gear, I would say a used slr and a 50 mm or equivalent lens to start. A nifty 50 can be had used for less than a hundred dollars. Then pick up lightroom/photoshop cc for $ 10 a month and learn to edit your digital negative. You can get Nik plugins for free. Ask questions here when you have them.
  5. Photography is a broad subject for a simple answer. So much depends on your interests. For example, what is your current level of competency? A library is a good place to start. Photography fits the typical public library's emphasis on hobbies and self-help. if you want something more technical, you may have trouble finding it. In Chicago, there is the main library downtown, and the city library in Oak Park.

    Photography on a budget - use your cell phone. Photography as a living (studio) - go to a trade school and/or apprentice yourself to a successful photographer and use the studio's equipment. In the UK and AFIK, the EU, you must obtain a trade certificate or degree before you can hang out your shingle. In the US, everyone with a cell phone considers themselves a photographer. You have a better chance for success with an art history degree.Good luck!
  6. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    The word 'Please' often comes in handy, too.
    tholte, AJG, William Michael and 3 others like this.
  7. Use your phone. ;-)
    Norman 202 likes this.
  8. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    use someone else's gear.
    chazfenn and Tony Parsons like this.
  9. "Budget" is relative. - So stating yours would be helpful.
    I 'd avoid renting Lightroom and Photoshop since it adds up. There will be some free RAW converter available for your camera. Darktable GIMP & Picasa should get you somewhere too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2017
    William Michael likes this.
  10. Get older equipment. Get good used equipment!

    Seriously, digital's value drops like a stone so perfectly viable working digital cameras can be a few years old & you'll get a great piece of equipment for a song!

    I bought a Fuji FinePix S 7000 new about 7 years ago. It has a 35~150mm (35 equivalent) lens, electronic viewfinder, pop up flash runs PASM & a couple of programed auto modes as well. It still takes perfectly good images, but I wanted a bit more lens & I wanted the external pivoting viewfinder as well. When I bought it & its auxiliary tele & W/A lenses it was about $600. Its value today is $50~75.

    I replaced it with a kit, which had a USED Fuji FinePix S 9500. It came with the leather case & the w/a converter I now have 21~350mm lenses (35 equivalent) I paid $100 for it all including a decent external flash.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  11. Budget is one of those words that are so relative that they are often not used much anymore. I like affordable better. When I had only tips from selling newspapers I managed to find a way to make photos. If you are able, you can get someone to pay for your work. If not, then you need to define what you seek and your goals. I guess the best way to answer is to reply, " What are your employment opportunities?" If you are supporting a hobby, there are always ways to do something with whatever spare change you have. My wife keeps a large juice bottle and drops all her change in it. I also found that I could sqirrel away a few more acorns from drinking home brewed coffee over lattes. If you love photography, then consider making your budget scrape a little. If this sound too facile, well, that is what it is. We do wish you well..ideas on saving bucks abound here. Best work does not come from highest price gear. But you know that already we are sure. Keep your dreams. Budget hobbies as you do other stuff. And even, gosh, share things with others around you. If you decide to help a working photog on weekends, consider borrowing some of the older equipment in exchange for services. And idea.
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    What is your budget?
    What type of Photography?
    What is your skill set?
    What is your experience?
    What gear do you have at the moment?

    It occurs to me that you have been inclined to make quite a few very direct but yet general questions and with the expectation of answers from a membership which has a wealth of experience: what concerns me is that you seem not to not recognize that to harness answers that apply to your situation, you need to be more cooperative in supplying answers to response questions that are asked of you.

    Also as already noted the word "please" is often helpful.

    Over to you...

    Tony Parsons, Supriyo and GerrySiegel like this.
  13. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Aside comment:
    I think it is that "budget" is used often when "affordable" or "inexpensive" is meant.
    It is more about the erosion of the meaning of a word by its misuse, rather than the relativity of one person's budget to another person's budget.

    GerrySiegel likes this.
  14. I'm still using a D200 I bought years ago and it does everything I need, both personal and some commercial work. There's lots of free editing software. I only own a few medium sized memory cards. Ongoing costs are near zero. Older dSLRs can be pretty cheap.

    One could do film, but ongoing costs are a lot higher. Some decent film cameras are available for next to nothing, and darkroom equipment is tough to even give away, so careful scrounging might turn up most of what you need. IMO, the problem is time. Most people don't have the many hours it takes to do good wet process work.
  15. Surely this person (assuming it's not a robot) is a troll? Second stupid question in a month.
    tholte likes this.
  16. Little bit of a tangent . . .

    Perhaps evolution of meaning rather than erosion. Erosion assumes that a word's meaning has been destroyed over time. I think it's simply changed with contemporary usage. And, I also think there was always at least a secondary usage for the word "budget.

    The Cambridge and a couple of other dictionaries I checked define "budget" (when used as an adjective) as "inexpensive." An example would be, "The young boy bought a budget guitar in order to save money." Perhaps that is not part of its original meaning. The dictionaries I checked don't go into that.

    So, while the primary of use of "budget" is "an estimate of income and expenses" or "the allotment of a particular sum of money," I don't think it's an erosion of meaning to use "budget" as shorthand for "inexpensive." It's either always been part of the meaning of the word or, at the very least, it seems to have become standard accepted usage.

    William Michael likes this.
  17. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    haha! - the old wordsmith's debate. . .

    I think that there has to be a bit of erosion so there can be evolution.
    If we want to be pedantic re the application in this thread: the OP used the word as a noun, not an adjective - hence a case for a more 'strict' adherence, perhaps.

    In any case, so that my view is clear on this tangent topic - I appreciate and also support your point of view about "evolution of words".
    I think that that evolution is sometimes good, as well as at other times bad.

    Norma Desmond likes this.

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