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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 22:41 |  #16

emelvee wrote in post #14211895external link
I learned the most from school, and now from being an intern ... you learn something new every day ... including from your mistakes!

As one that has been through both the academic and the business side of learning - what would you say are the strong points of these? What was the main thing you learned in school and what was it as an intern?

Curious about how schools prepare you in relation to real work-life preparation.




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Stiven
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Apr 04, 2012 22:45 |  #17

Phrasikleia wrote in post #14211916external link
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. :)

Great story. I take it this was pretty much a purely, how do I phrase it - introspective learning experience. Have most of them been like that? How do you find other photographers or magazines in helping you reach those small eureka moments?




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ejenner
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Apr 04, 2012 22:46 |  #18

Phrasikleia wrote in post #14211916external link
The most significant was probably my inaugural use of as tripod a creative tool--not just to stabilize the camera but to hold my composition

Yes, I can relate to this, I forgot about this from years ago. I find it very hard to compose any type of landscape shot without a tripod - I just can't easily fine-tune and deliberate on the composition without one.

I was in Rocky Mountain NP last week with family and didn't bother with the tripod in the middle of the day and tried taking a couple of landscapes and a waterfall shot and even though I could use the shutter speeds I wanted (low and high) it was awkward and the shots could/should definitely have been better.


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Stiven
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Apr 04, 2012 22:47 |  #19

The Fox wrote in post #14211847external link
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

Could you give me an example of what that means concretely? How did you realize that - was it a harsh critique? And how did you pull yourself up to become better from that point? What helped you become better?




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SOK
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Apr 04, 2012 22:55 as a reply to post 14211847 |  #20

Not so much a learning experience...but definitely the turning point;

I was standing on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, trying to take a decent shot of the evening scene below me with a little Canon Ixus P&S.

Although I had a vague understanding of shutter/iso/aperture and that night scenes were tough, all I really knew was that I needed to turn the flash off. I was thoroughly bewildered by the fact that each successive shot (in Auto mode) was different each time in terms of exposure...

After I fluked a shot I was (and still am) happy with, I decided it was time to get serious and learn some of the basics.

The rest, they say, is history...

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ejenner
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Apr 04, 2012 23:06 |  #21

Stiven wrote in post #14211993external link
Have most of them been like that? How do you find other photographers or magazines in helping you reach those small eureka moments?

The problem now is sifting through the crap and taking the good stuff. There is just so much our there.

I think some books that show (landscape) photographs and describe the process the photog went through have been useful for me. Two that spring to mind are Ansel Adams 'The making of 40 photographs' (might have a lot of film exposure/printing details, don't remember, but still good) and 'Reading the Landscape' by Peter Watson. The magazines, not so much.

I will add one more though - The Mindful Eye web site. The critiques, although they can belabor the same point and get a little tedious, helped me a lot in thinking about composition and PP for landscapes. If you can get through them there is a lot of useful stuff in there.

But I think different things inspire people differently. There are a bunch of good books out there beyond the 'Learning to Expose Correctly' genre, but what appeals to me might be boring and not useful to someone else.


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Phrasikleia
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Apr 04, 2012 23:26 |  #22

Stiven wrote in post #14211993external link
Great story. I take it this was pretty much a purely, how do I phrase it - introspective learning experience. Have most of them been like that? How do you find other photographers or magazines in helping you reach those small eureka moments?

Yes, learning experiences often feel like spontaneous events, but I think these moments arise out of a combination of both input and output--study and practice. Looking at, reading about, and discussing photography amounts to a background that works in mysterious ways when out in the field. Sometimes a good point of advice just doesn't sink in until an actual experience drives it home. I find that internet forums like POTN are loaded with great information, but I never quite 'get it' until I've put it into practice.


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The ­ Fox
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Apr 04, 2012 23:53 |  #23

Stiven wrote in post #14212008external link
Could you give me an example of what that means concretely? How did you realize that - was it a harsh critique? And how did you pull yourself up to become better from that point? What helped you become better?

I had to actually do it. In school, I could half ass my way around because I know more them most if not all my instructors about the technical side and gear. The practical I did not have much going and that was my downfall. I never really had the chance(and this was my fault for not realizing everything sooner) to actually do it, just discuss how to do it and get though assignments. I though that because I know what I was talking about, that I could do it. Then I had to do it and that did not work too well for me. I know what I wanted and how to do it, but I was lacking the expereince of "what am I looking at". If I saw a correctly done image I could know it was, but not sure why I know. Now I know what I am looking at and how badly I can do at it. Let me monkey around tomorrow with something that I sent to my buddy in kind of a really interesting conversation about photography and our personally stories of how it all happened. I will but it down and make it good enough for internets use to make fun of and laugh at.

Nick


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Joe ­ Ravenstein
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Apr 05, 2012 01:56 |  #24

I'd have to say being stationed in a totally different part of the world while in the military back during that "police action" in South East Asia. I got to be good customers of the photo shops In Taichung Taiwan and was going through a box of 50 @35mm 36 exp ASA100 Fuji B&W film in about a week. The USO had trips going all over the island every weekend. I have someplace close to 5000 images on film that have never been printed yet, and close to that many color slides as well. I got to work on seeing a good image and then shooting them. I met some waitresses in a Mongolian Barbeque who taught me a few phrases to request permission to take images and I taught them greetings in American to get bigger tips from the GIs visiting their restaurant. I taught darkroom technique in the base photo hobby shop. So I was able to develop all my B&W film while teaching new shooters how to develop film and use enlargers and how to dodge and burn images.Color film and color negative film I let the Base Exchange handle.


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mcap1972
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Apr 05, 2012 09:59 |  #25

Just keep shooting. There is no substitute for experience.


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rick_reno
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Apr 05, 2012 10:19 |  #26

taking pictures while driving. things happen quickly.




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nicksan
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Apr 05, 2012 11:46 as a reply to rick_reno's post |  #27

I think just my general approach to photography. I was a musician for 25+ years before I picked up photography. I burned myself out with music because I took the wrong approach, a more "book-heavy" approach, trying to learn as much theory as possible instead of just letting go and playing what I hear and knowing that there's no right or wrong.

With photography, I made sure I didn't follow into the same trap. I just shot what I saw and continue to do so today. Now that's not to say I didn't learn theory or the various rules and fundamentals. Of course I did. But my emphasis was more on just going out there and shooting what I see and figuring things out for myself and most importantly, just enjoying the ride.


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emelvee
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Apr 05, 2012 20:09 as a reply to nicksan's post |  #28

Stiven wrote in post #14211963external link
As one that has been through both the academic and the business side of learning - what would you say are the strong points of these? What was the main thing you learned in school and what was it as an intern?

Curious about how schools prepare you in relation to real work-life preparation.

Being out in the real world and shooting for a newspaper that will be distributed throughout the city presents many opportunities that are way different from school in a small town. I've learned a lot from the pros that have been working for this newspaper ... I've also learned some of my own insecurities and weaknesses after looking at my pictures and theirs.

Just a small part ;)


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tonylong
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Apr 06, 2012 14:39 |  #29

One nice way of getting out of a rut is to pick up a new/different piece of gear and to get out and learn to use it!

I'm not saying to buy the latest and greatest DSLR, just something, whether it be a camera, a lens, a flash or lighting equipment, a tripod or other support "gear", something though that will "broaden your horizons in some way.

In fact, it's been a few years since I had a point and shoot or other "compact" digicam, I don't even have a "phone camera", they've all died over time, and I've been immersed in DSLR photography, but at times I think "hey, it would be cool to have a pocket camera so that I could grab shots on the occasion when I'm not packing a DSLR kit!"...just thinkin' out loud:)!


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Wilt
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Apr 06, 2012 14:56 |  #30

rick_reno wrote in post #14214322external link
taking pictures while driving. things happen quickly.

Sorry, I cannot let yet another distraction from driving go untouched. It is as bad as texting! STOP THE CAR, get out, take a photo, get back in the car and continue driving.


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