Frequently asked Questions
Here is a collection of questions I get asked quite frequently. If yours isn’t included, feel free to drop me a comment or use the contact form (link below) and ask away – I promise not to bite 🙂
You can find an answer to that question on the about kuschelirmel page 😉
Is this your job?
No, I don’t earn my living doing manips and taking pictures.
I’m a process engineer working for the Engineering and Construction (E&C) branch of Air Liquide. All the views on this website are my personal ones and do not necessarily reflect the company.
So no, I have never studied photography or graphic design at university. However, during my time at university, I made my biggest leaps learning Photoshop skills and I was highly active (and a volunteer for the photomanip gallery) at deviantArt.
Do you take commissions / requests?
Since I work full time as an engineer and this is “just” my hobby, I do not take commissions nor do I license my work. For more information, please click here.
How long have you been doing photomanipulations / taking photos?
Actually, I started out with simply trying to figure out how to do images for a website I was planning (but that never made it online). I got hooked on Photoshop and photomanipulation quite quickly after that. That was in 2002 or 2003, but my manips really took off after I joined deviantArt in late 2004.
I bought my first point-and-shoot camera (a Nikon Coolpix E7600) in 2006 (I think) to be able to take stock pictures for myself. After realizing that photography was a real hobby (not just a means to my manips), I switched to a DSLR in 2009 (when I also had started working as an engineer and finally could afford one – those things were damn expensive back then ^^;).
How long does it take you to complete a photomanipulation?
That very much depends on the complexity of the image and my level of inspiration and if I am in a “fiddling-mood” (if I am in such a mood, I can find it hard to say “this is finished”, but will proceed to tweak it endlessly). Anything from a few hours to days or even weeks is possible. Though of course with breaks for work then 😉
What programme(s) do you use to edit / manipulate?
I use Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Lightroom, after finally figuring out the benefits that Lightroom has over the Camera Raw plugin that comes with Photoshop.
If you are looking for (less costly) alternatives, you may want to try a combination of GIMP (substituting Photoshop) and the photo editing software your camera manufacturer offers (substituting Lightroom / Camera Raw).
For example, from Nikon there is a quite decent (and free) software called Nikon NX-D which actually has one quite significant advantage over Adobe’s products: it will let you see which autofocus point was active as you shot the image. This can be very helpful if you are having trouble with your focus and want to check what the camera was focusing on vs. what you wanted it to focus on.
What kind of Photography gear do you use?
Since July 2016, I’ve been using my Nikon D7200 (anything bigger I wouldn’t want to carry around with me). Before that I had (well, still have) a Nikon D90.
I own the following lenses (and am in love with them all):
- all-purpose lense 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 (if I don’t write anything in the description, this is the lense I used) – it came with the D90 as the kit lense
- tele lense 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 – great for catching animals at the zoo, but also for close-ups of plants (on 300 mm as close as you can get)
- macro lense 105.0 mm f/2.8 – can’t get much closer than this!
- wide angle lense 10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5 – opens up a new perspective for landscape and architecture photos, fascinating!
- “nifty fifty” 50 mm f/1.2 – this is absolutely stunning in low light situations, because it will let you shoot handheld for a long time. Also it gives a wonderful bokeh <3
All my lenses are Nikon lenses, which is not to say that other manufacturers produce worse products. It’s just my personal preference.
Nikon vs Canon vs whatever ^^
Honestly, who cares? You shouldn’t expect the better/other/special gear to make you an expert photographer. Good images result from a combination of having a good eye and learning about your camera. And if it’s a point-and-shoot with some special options that you have, then use that for now until you know you need more options.
When I got the D90, I knew from the internet research plus the fact I only had so much money to spend that it would be the D90 or the equivalent price range from Canon, Sony,… I wanted a well-known brand. Something that would last, something that would not go out of manufacturing making my lenses obsolete (the real money is in the lenses, not in the body). I went to the store and looked at all of the candidates: how does the camera feel in my hands? Is it too big or too small for me to reach all buttons? Does the menu feel intuitive?