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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 04 Apr 2012 (Wednesday) 20:09
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What was your best learning/growing experience as a photographer?

 
Stiven
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Apr 04, 2012 20:09 |  #1

I've found that there almost always is some inspirational lessons and anecdotes in other peoples experience of photography - do you have any?

I'm talking about the moment where you realized you made significant headway towards being better as a photographer. Is there any moment that stands out in your photography career as being a definitive milestone in terms of growing and being better? Any eureka moments?

Thanks for sharing.




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CSMFoto
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Apr 04, 2012 20:13 |  #2

Honestly? As an emerging photographer, it's every time I interact with someone / do a new shoot. No matter what the situation is, I find myself ALWAYS learning something new either about photography(rather inexperienced compared to some professionals), about myself or the world around me! Sounds tacky but it's 100% true while I am only 25(26 on the 28th of April).


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Stiven
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Apr 04, 2012 20:27 |  #3

CSMFoto wrote in post #14211066external link
Honestly? As an emerging photographer, it's every time I interact with someone / do a new shoot. No matter what the situation is, I find myself ALWAYS learning something new either about photography(rather inexperienced compared to some professionals), about myself or the world around me! Sounds tacky but it's 100% true while I am only 25(26 on the 28th of April).

Just turned 25 myself :). Care to share any specific moments? Is it interacting with other photographers and learning from them or just interacting with people shooting?




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j-dogg
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Apr 04, 2012 20:47 |  #4

Haters gonna hate.


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CSMFoto
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Apr 04, 2012 21:04 |  #5

Honestly, I haven't even worked with many photographers. I just solicit myself when I meet new people(don't press that about it though, if it's mentioned I give them a dabble), or through friends. My next step is heavy marketing, but I'm suffice for now I'll say.

Like I stated above I can't honestly pinpoint one specific moment quite yet. I have many moments, I shoot everything from sports, to models, to architecture to automotive! I LOVE photography and every person behind the story that will be told.

My last photographic experience was very pleasing. I got a call early in the morning from a friend of a friend, her name is Ginger. She played in a band(amazing singer) and was set to open up for Boney James. Boney James you say?? I had never heard of him until then, didn't realize he was an award winning Jazz Sax player and only chose to plug his name into iTunes so I could get a little grasp on what the crowd may be like. I listened and cross examined what I thought(from my experiences hearing her play at my buddies) her sound & his sound might do together...had nooo clue. I took the plunge about 2 hours before hand and said "Sure, I'll be there!" I was caught up with a wave of anxiety and nervousness but as I drove mile after mile it smoothed out.

Arriving to the location, I double checked my bag for batteries and all the necessary bits and walked up to meet her. She's a really rad chick so all emotions were calmed as we started speaking. There was around an hour before I'd commence my shoot so I did my walk around, checked out the place(AMAZING) which was quite a unique experience all in itself. Minute by minute, conversation after conversation, it came down to the time to shoot. I ready my hammer and away we go, walk to the back of the stage, up the stairs to where a guy at a soundboard was. The stage manager told her what was going down and I was already dialing in and shooting some photographs. I was extremely sensative to the fact that 1. I was shooting with a camera not very capable of shooting in low-lighting situations and 2.My lens selection SUCKS! With that in mind I said asked myself "Why not?" This is the time to expand my portfolio and see what exactly, regardless of my equipment, I could do. Recalling back on all the locations, I would run to each to get different vantage points before her 5 song set list was over. I had 5 spots. Back stage(start), stairs leading to the front of the stage and auditorium, stairwell that lead up to higher seating, the center ramp, and the opposing side of the front of the stage. All GREAT spots and luckily for me(had a BAD experience with lighting on a previous paid customer for performing arts) the lighting was spot on. Key lights, accents with colors and BAM my musician! I shot and shot until she was done. I ended with 380 frames(had continuous on for a little while since I am new to it). Out of those, I chose +/- 60 frames to post for her(pro bono).

After I did my preliminary editing, I was sizing them down (1920x1080) and noticed that there was a considerable amount of noise! It honestly looked like she was in a blizzard....my throat sank to my stomach and I almost threw the whole lot in the trash. Luckily I remembered another trick that when you downsize, you will lose much of the noise that would be evident if you kept the image large(downsized for FB). I downsized it in LR to about 600 on the long side so I could do my necessary uploads and bam. Small sharpen with it and it was SPOT-ON!

That same night I had about 70+ likes on the whole album and couldn't be more pleased. Only problem is I don't think people understand how to goto my photo page that I use to post the images and press *like*, I think they interpret my tag as *like* the photograph. No biggie.

Overall, wild experience starting off with elation to heavy anxiety to glee, to holy moly, to ahh I knew it'd work out all along. Hahahaha

The whole time also, I met her manager/stylist, who is apparently someone that's widely known in my area so I am going to try and do a shoot with her soon.


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dmcnelly
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Apr 04, 2012 21:04 |  #6

My first portfolio review. "You've got $100 worth of prints in a $150 folio? You could've spent that a lot more wisely. Scrap the whole thing and come back when you have something worth showing me."

I got a written review with actual criticism later on, but that was the initial review. Just about hung it up right then and there, but instead I kept going. I'm worlds apart from where I was at that point.




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Stiven
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Apr 04, 2012 21:32 |  #7

@CSMFoto, that is an awesome story. Its usually the experiences with early anxiety moments that turns out to be the most memorable in the end. Well done!




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Stiven
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Apr 04, 2012 21:34 |  #8

dmcnelly wrote in post #14211329external link
My first portfolio review. "You've got $100 worth of prints in a $150 folio? You could've spent that a lot more wisely. Scrap the whole thing and come back when you have something worth showing me."

I got a written review with actual criticism later on, but that was the initial review. Just about hung it up right then and there, but instead I kept going. I'm worlds apart from where I was at that point.

Was this in a school setting or who was reviewing it? Where you able to let the criticism sink in even after such a bashing?




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ejenner
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Apr 04, 2012 21:38 as a reply to dmcnelly's post |  #9

Honestly, I would have to say my Ah-ha! moment was when I realized how to 'properly' do layers and masks in PP. I only use Gimp, so it is a bit more restricted than PS, but that was it.

Having done B&W film for years when I was younger, I had all sorts of ideas that I just wasn't able to make happen (lack of time, experience and tools). After digital took off and I had to give up rock climbing I thought I'd try photography again hoping I'd be able to re-kindle some creativity. While I certainly don't do the kinds of PP that really stretch the imagination, for me the control in digital PP is key and without it I wouldn't be interested in photography.


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dmcnelly
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Apr 04, 2012 21:55 |  #10

Stiven wrote in post #14211575external link
Was this in a school setting or who was reviewing it? Where you able to let the criticism sink in even after such a bashing?

It was in a school setting. I had gotten too much "Mom critique" up till that point ("Oh that's soo pretty!" type stuff). It was just so damn rough that at the time, it took a few weeks for me to even be able to pick the camera up again. It was brutal.




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chumlee
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Apr 04, 2012 22:15 |  #11

I think that one of the most important things to learn is that your photos can always be better. Sometimes I think an image is perfect and then someone else will come along and point out something obvious that I missed. It helps to look at the image from a bunch of different perspectives, which is really hard sometimes.


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fotoworx
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Apr 04, 2012 22:21 |  #12

Buying a camera.


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The ­ Fox
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Apr 04, 2012 22:23 |  #13

Mine was after I left school and started to work in the real world. I realized that I was not awesome, but rather crappy. That point is when I learned the most in photography after that point. I now still suck, but at least admit it.

Nick


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emelvee
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Apr 04, 2012 22:31 |  #14

I learned the most from school, and now from being an intern ... you learn something new every day ... including from your mistakes!


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Phrasikleia
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Apr 04, 2012 22:34 |  #15

Stiven wrote in post #14211052external link
Is there any moment that stands out in your photography career as being a definitive milestone in terms of growing and being better? Any eureka moments?

Gosh, I've had a lot of these moments, and they always make me wonder what took me so long to get there.

The most significant was probably my inaugural use of a tripod as a creative tool--not just to stabilize the camera but to hold my composition while I watched the light change and the clouds shift around. Using the tripod like this got the camera out of the way and encouraged me to take in my surroundings in a more direct and deliberate fashion. It was a very liberating experience. Of course the real joy was coming home and being able to pick a shot out of the resulting set of photos, all of the same composition but with different cloud patterns and different light. Had I walked away after my first few shots, I would have missed the most interesting moment that came much later on.

I've made countless little discoveries and advancements over the years, but few were as pivotal as that one. The little ones are great too, though, and they are part of what keeps me addicted to photography: every outing either teaches me something new or reinforces what I've already learned. Gotta love it. :)


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