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Thread: Creating a Portfolio

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    Creating a Portfolio

    I started to dabble last year in entering local photo contests and printing more of my images. I entered two contests last year, was fortunate to be accepted into both, and received an honorable mention in one of them. I have an interest in entering more contests going forward and am working to develop a better looking portfolio that only shows my best work. I'll put the portfolio web site on the label I place on the back of the images.

    I've primarily just uploaded photos to Flickr in previous years and shared some of them here and with family. I hadn't printed much in previous years beyond images for the local town's camera club contests. I've enjoyed the results of printing and think I lost some time by not printing sooner.

    As I've worked to identify portfolio grade pictures my eyes have been opened in several areas:

    1. While I don't claim to be anything more than an amateur hobbyist photographer, I was surprised to see just how rough most of my early work was. Probably 75% of my Flickr photos, the ones intended to share, from 2013 and prior wouldn't make the cut now.

    2. As I've put more effort into other things the volume of my output has gone down quite a bit.

    3. This probably sounds dumb, but it shows what I actually most like taking photos of! I haven't done many subject isolation type photos lately. A few years ago this was one of my favorite categories. Faster lenses I used for this purpose have disproportionately high % of portfolio images, but I've sold most of the lenses. That might have been a bad idea :-(

    4. I remember the story behind most of the photos. Where were they taken? Who was with me? What did we do that day? It's gratifying to spend time with people you care about doing things you enjoy. I'm lucky that my wife enjoys photography too and it is something we can share.

    I'd highly encourage anyone to go through their work, identify the images you really like, and have them readily available.

    Regards
    Dave

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Great that you are looking into this. I still haven't tried local competitions.

    As you were asking about f/2.8...here are some examples if you are looking at isolation:

    6S0A8585 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    small-7678 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    then this is 100 mm f/4:

    small-8225 by kayaker72, on Flickr

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    Thanks! My lens collection now is as follows:

    Going to keep:
    16-35 f/4 L
    24-105 f/4 L
    100-400 II L
    100 L

    Probably going to sell:
    50 1.8 II
    70-300 L
    400 f/5.6 L (definitely sell)

    I've sold a lot of lenses. I miss some and not others. Ones I used to have and kind of miss:
    85 f/1.8
    Zeiss 35 f/2 ZE
    Zeiss 50 f/1.4 ZE

    I'm thinking about potentially picking up a prime walkround combo, maybe 35 f/2 IS and 85 f/1.8. The kind of shots I'm talking about that aren't really possible with f/4 lenses:

    85mm @ f/2.2

    2014_12_26_10694_LR_upd by dthrog00, on Flickr

    50mm @ f/2

    2013_09_28_4209_LR_upd_bw by dthrog00, on Flickr

    50mm @ f/1.4

    2013_10_11_4354_LR_upd_16x9 by dthrog00, on Flickr

    50mm unknown aperture

    2013_12_24_5122_LR_upd by dthrog00, on Flickr

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Throgmartin; 03-01-2019 at 09:53 PM.

  4. #4
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    My favorite for such photo's has always been the 35mm f/1.4L

    Alone in a Crowd by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Throgmartin View Post
    Thanks! My lens collection now is as follows:

    Going to keep:
    16-35 f/4 L
    24-105 f/4 L
    100-400 II L
    100 L

    Probably going to sell:
    50 1.8 II
    70-300 L
    400 f/5.6 L (definitely sell)

    I've sold a lot of lenses. I miss some and not others. Ones I used to have and kind of miss:
    85 f/1.8
    Zeiss 35 f/2 ZE
    Zeiss 50 f/1.4 ZE

    I'm thinking about potentially picking up a prime walkround combo, maybe 35 f/2 IS and 85 f/1.8. The kind of shots I'm talking about that aren't really possible with f/4 lenses
    Hi Dave. Nice kit and some nice photos. Kit construction is always interesting, as so much can go into it besides optics.

    I think the 35 f/2 IS could be a great pick up for what you are describing. I generally get the sense that there is a lot of love for both it and its bigger brother (35 f/1.4 II). I had the Sigma 35 f/1.4 Art for awhile, but sold it as I prefer the 50 mm focal length.

    If you want high IQ, and fast apertures, you may also want to look at Sigma. They are really doing some good things. But, it seems like you are also looking at compactness, you may want to look at the Tamron primes. While I have never owned a Tamron, I generally sense there is a lot of love by those that own them for their recent primes (especially) and have a friend that is doing good work with their 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8. But for what you are looking at, you might want to consider the 35, 45, and 85 mm primes they have recently released. All with VC, all f/1.8.

    For example, a quick comparison of the Canon 85 to the Tamron:

    https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1047&Camera=979&Sample=0&FLI=0&API =0&LensComp=106&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

    But, overall, I agree, getting faster apertures is one of the ways to get more distinctive pictures. Then, getting these lenses that are a bit sharper, bit more contrast, another way to have them stand out.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Hi Dave. Nice kit and some nice photos. Kit construction is always interesting, as so much can go into it besides optics.

    I think the 35 f/2 IS could be a great pick up for what you are describing. I generally get the sense that there is a lot of love for both it and its bigger brother (35 f/1.4 II). I had the Sigma 35 f/1.4 Art for awhile, but sold it as I prefer the 50 mm focal length.

    If you want high IQ, and fast apertures, you may also want to look at Sigma. They are really doing some good things. But, it seems like you are also looking at compactness, you may want to look at the Tamron primes. While I have never owned a Tamron, I generally sense there is a lot of love by those that own them for their recent primes (especially) and have a friend that is doing good work with their 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8. But for what you are looking at, you might want to consider the 35, 45, and 85 mm primes they have recently released. All with VC, all f/1.8.

    For example, a quick comparison of the Canon 85 to the Tamron:

    https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1047&Camera=979&Sample=0&FLI=0&API =0&LensComp=106&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

    But, overall, I agree, getting faster apertures is one of the ways to get more distinctive pictures. Then, getting these lenses that are a bit sharper, bit more contrast, another way to have them stand out.
    Thanks for feedback. I've used the Sigma 35 on a rental and enjoyed it. I haven't used the Tamrons or the Canon 35. I have used the Canon 85 1.8 and was very impressed with it.

    I think if I was going with a 2 lens walkround kit I'd pick the 35 f/2 IS and 85 1.8. The 85 1.8 is not perfect, but is far better than the 24-105 and is quite reasonable cost and size. Some 3rd party lenses are really good, but AF concerns and resale value worry me. The other alternative would be to buy the Zeiss 50 f/1.4 again. It does not chart test well due to uncorrected SA, but takes beautiful pictures.

    First world problems, right? Meanwhile the zooms are serving me well.

    Dave

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