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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 11 Mar 2013 (Monday) 02:37
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Advise for newbies

 
ddinh301
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Mar 11, 2013 20:33 |  #16

melcat wrote in post #15701239 (external link)
#1, swings: Showing one set of supports for the swings at the left but not the other at right leaves me with a sense of frustration. (Same advice as not cutting off someone just below the knees.) What story are you telling? If it's "someone's got off the swing and gone into the open door behind", then show only that. You'd use a longer lens.

#2, play equipment: The eye's being led all over the place, by the tree, the ladder, the yellow slide etc. Stand somewhere else.

#3, waitperson: This is a good shot, but just try cropping the bottom off and I think it would be better. As it is, the face on the magazine/menu competes with her face.

#5, gazebo: You broke a "rule", if knowing those matters to you: the path leads *away* from the subject (the gazebo) off to top right. EDIT - of course *I* say this because my native language is written left to right...

#6, geese: This is close to being a very, very good shot. It tells a story - somehow those geese didn't read the signs. The only fault here is that too much of the background is in focus, so it takes a little while to pick up on the witty comment you made. I'd probably use a longer lens shot nearly wide open to blur the building slightly. We don't need the building details, just enough to show it is one. This will also make the geese seem closer to the sign. (With what you have now, try cropping the top off just above "No Swimming" and see whether you like that better. I just noticed that now scrolling this thread window.)

Hi, thank you for your thoughts here. However ,I dont quite get it for number 5. What rule is applied here? which path are you talking about? Can you help me understand more about it?

rjx wrote in post #15702118 (external link)
ddinh301

Books:
The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman (external link)

Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color & Composition in Photography (external link)
Or his new book Bryan Peterson's Understanding Composition Field Guide: How to See and Photograph Images with Impact (external link)


Street Photography:
This is a VERY heated debate. IMO, generally I feel a wide focal length of around 27mm - 35mm is optimal for street photography. These focal lengths allow you to get close to your subjects and will help you fit your subjects environment into the frame (use small apertures) to give the image context.

Some people use a longer, telephoto lens either because they're a bit nervous / intimidated to get close to their subjects, or because they're making cropped portraits with blurry backgrounds.

I use an 18mm (27mm equivalent) and 24mm (36mm equivalent) lens on my 1.5x camera for street photography.


You'll just have to practice and find the right set of exposure combinations for various lighting situation that yield the results you're after. You're right, try to keep your shutter speed high. In MANUAL mode, set your desired aperture, then your shutter, and adjust ISO as needed to maintain your desired shutter.

Research the following:
Sunny 16 Rule (external link)
Zone Focus (external link)
Hyperfocal Distance (external link)

Do you think MANUAL mode is going to be good with street photography? I read people recommened using program mode for faster reaction to capture the right moment?




  
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Luxornv
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Mar 11, 2013 21:01 |  #17

I tend to stick to shooting something that I'm interested in. For instance, I like roller coasters. I know the angles and types of shots I like and what other enthusiasts like, so I can stick to that. I also have occasionally found some things I didn't expect and get some even better pictures. When you know what you're shooting, you know what's interesting about it and how you want to portray that interesting side to someone else. That's how I would figure out composition. Find one of your other hobbies and start photographing within that.


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ddinh301
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Mar 11, 2013 21:37 |  #18

Well, I like taking people on the street or street photography, so they are always changing and different in every minutes. Therefore, it is hard to have a same angle, point of view every time.




  
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OhLook
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Mar 11, 2013 23:51 |  #19

ddinh301 wrote in post #15704441 (external link)
[responding to melcat: "#5, gazebo: You broke a "rule", if knowing those matters to you: the path leads *away* from the subject (the gazebo) off to top right."]

Hi, thank you for your thoughts here. However ,I dont quite get it for number 5. What rule is applied here? which path are you talking about? Can you help me understand more about it?

I know what melcat meant. The path is a literal path, the paved walkway in the foreground. A viewer would imagine stepping into the scene and walking along this path, but the path would then take the viewer out of the scene because it's cut off at the right edge. This path appears to curve around and go back behind the gazebo. If you had stood farther back, you might have included its whole bend in the shot. That would have been better.

In some of your photos, I can't tell what you intended to take a picture of. One is the people eating at a table. What interested you about what you saw? Is this photo about one of the diners, or the whole group, or the table and food, or something else? Similarly, in #2, there are many objects in the scene. What did you mean to point to?

#6, geese: I agree with melcat about the focus. I also think you were too close. If you stand farther away, you give yourself some room to improve the photo later by cropping.


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | Comments welcome

  
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ddinh301
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Mar 12, 2013 01:20 |  #20

OhLook wrote in post #15705091 (external link)
I know what melcat meant. The path is a literal path, the paved walkway in the foreground. A viewer would imagine stepping into the scene and walking along this path, but the path would then take the viewer out of the scene because it's cut off at the right edge. This path appears to curve around and go back behind the gazebo. If you had stood farther back, you might have included its whole bend in the shot. That would have been better.

In some of your photos, I can't tell what you intended to take a picture of. One is the people eating at a table. What interested you about what you saw? Is this photo about one of the diners, or the whole group, or the table and food, or something else? Similarly, in #2, there are many objects in the scene. What did you mean to point to?

#6, geese: I agree with melcat about the focus. I also think you were too close. If you stand farther away, you give yourself some room to improve the photo later by cropping.

Hi. That is exactly what I am trying to explain that I am lack of. I do not know how to explain it, but maybe lack of knowing which target or part of target to shoot at? Like when I look at a thing, or the whole area, I do not know where look at and which angle or which part will be interesting if it is in the photo? I just blindly try to shoot randomly and hope it will turn out to be interesting.
That is why in some photos, when I look back, It does not stand out, does not show interesting to me, it just feels so normal, but I do not know why and how to improve them. If you understand what I am trying to say.




  
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olafs ­ osh
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Mar 12, 2013 02:11 |  #21

rjx wrote in post #15702118 (external link)
ddinh301

Some people use a longer, telephoto lens either because they're a bit nervous / intimidated to get close to their subjects, or because they're making cropped portraits with blurry backgrounds.

Let's not generalize. Especially when giving advice to newbie.


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tonylong
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Mar 12, 2013 03:50 |  #22

When you are doing "street photography", well, by nature it's "on the fly". You have to then pick composition "on the fly", both as you shoot and then as a final composition.

When reading this, this shot came up randomly from some street shooting I did, where I "picked and choosed" a composition with the two musicians, the lady in the "background", and the passer-by "on the fly". Is it a "fine art" photo? Nah. Does it "capture the moment" I was after? Yeah, I think it did OK at that...here it is:

IMAGE: http://www.pbase.com/tonylong/image/117963034/original.jpg

Tony
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melcat
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Mar 12, 2013 05:35 |  #23

ddinh301 wrote in post #15705215 (external link)
Like when I look at a thing, or the whole area, I do not know where look at and which angle or which part will be interesting if it is in the photo? I just blindly try to shoot randomly and hope it will turn out to be interesting

The thing about a DSLR is that you don't have to wait until you get home and look at the pictures on a computer, or even until you chimp, but you can see what the picture will look like through the viewfinder. It's all right to try various angles, distances and focal lengths by looking through the viewfinder without ever pressing the shutter button.

A lot of beginners look through the viewfinder but see what they imagine instead of what is really there. The classic example is someone who takes a picture of a bird and when they get home it's a tiny dot in the middle of the frame; they got caught up in the excitement and didn't look.

One big way a photo is different from real life is that it has a defined shape and frame, whereas in real life your eye is looking around all the time. Your job when composing the photo is to guide the viewer's eye around the frame for them. There are techniques or "rules" to do this, but no one right way and the rules are often creatively broken.

An advanced photographer is probably composing the photo before even picking the camera up. At first, a beginner will be relying on looking through the finder to work out the compositions.




  
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olafs ­ osh
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Mar 12, 2013 07:36 |  #24

I am so efffing tired of people calling pictures taken on the street "street photography". Why some [even those, who consider themselves knowledgable in this field] calling just random images of people passing by as street photography. OK, maybe it is some kind of street photography, but it's not an art form in the slightest bit. Damn, I could just take out my cam and on the way home from work double my Flick in size.

This is a very serious issue. It degrades how street photography is perceived in general. So seemingly easy entrance into genre does a bad job.

Oh, and then there are wide angle elitists....


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ddinh301
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Mar 12, 2013 15:12 |  #25

melcat wrote in post #15705535 (external link)
The thing about a DSLR is that you don't have to wait until you get home and look at the pictures on a computer, or even until you chimp, but you can see what the picture will look like through the viewfinder. It's all right to try various angles, distances and focal lengths by looking through the viewfinder without ever pressing the shutter button.

A lot of beginners look through the viewfinder but see what they imagine instead of what is really there. The classic example is someone who takes a picture of a bird and when they get home it's a tiny dot in the middle of the frame; they got caught up in the excitement and didn't look.

One big way a photo is different from real life is that it has a defined shape and frame, whereas in real life your eye is looking around all the time. Your job when composing the photo is to guide the viewer's eye around the frame for them. There are techniques or "rules" to do this, but no one right way and the rules are often creatively broken.

An advanced photographer is probably composing the photo before even picking the camera up. At first, a beginner will be relying on looking through the finder to work out the compositions.

So from my understanding what you mean is whenever I come across an interesting subject for a beginner like me, I should put in the view finder and walk around to see every angle?




  
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ddinh301
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Mar 12, 2013 15:16 |  #26

osh_sekta wrote in post #15705781 (external link)
I am so efffing tired of people calling pictures taken on the street "street photography". Why some [even those, who consider themselves knowledgable in this field] calling just random images of people passing by as street photography. OK, maybe it is some kind of street photography, but it's not an art form in the slightest bit. Damn, I could just take out my cam and on the way home from work double my Flick in size.

This is a very serious issue. It degrades how street photography is perceived in general. So seemingly easy entrance into genre does a bad job.

Oh, and then there are wide angle elitists....

Oh i am so sorry if this upset you. My understanding is street photography is not only taking people on the street but also taking things that on the street. I really appriciated your thought, but it would be nicer if you go ahead and explaining what is the true definition of street photography. That will definitely enlighten us. Thank you.




  
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tonylong
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Mar 12, 2013 16:24 |  #27

osh_sekta wrote in post #15705781 (external link)
I am so efffing tired of people calling pictures taken on the street "street photography". Why some [even those, who consider themselves knowledgable in this field] calling just random images of people passing by as street photography. OK, maybe it is some kind of street photography, but it's not an art form in the slightest bit. Damn, I could just take out my cam and on the way home from work double my Flick in size.

This is a very serious issue. It degrades how street photography is perceived in general. So seemingly easy entrance into genre does a bad job.

Oh, and then there are wide angle elitists....

Hmm, not sure how to respond to that...

In your sig you mention the idea of a "Street Photography sub-forum", well, I dunno if that will happen, but you might want to start a thread in the "Urban Life and Travel" sub-forum dedicated to "analyzing" and critique-ing so-called street photography. However, I'd avoid the negative "tones" if you want people to participate!


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OhLook
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Mar 12, 2013 22:51 |  #28

ddinh301 wrote in post #15705215 (external link)
Like when I look at a thing, or the whole area, I do not know where look at and which angle or which part will be interesting if it is in the photo? I just blindly try to shoot randomly and hope it will turn out to be interesting.
That is why in some photos, when I look back, It does not stand out, does not show interesting to me, it just feels so normal, but I do not know why and how to improve them.

There's nothing about a camera that automatically turns an ordinary scene into an artistically excellent one. That's the job of the human being behind the camera. The camera is mindless. It merely records light. You learn to look for pleasing compositions or interesting stories that can be made by choosing elements of what's in front of you.


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Sikaranista
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Mar 13, 2013 01:11 |  #29

ddinh301 wrote in post #15707339 (external link)
So from my understanding what you mean is whenever I come across an interesting subject for a beginner like me, I should put in the view finder and walk around to see every angle?

Hi ddinh, for a beginner I think one of the best things you can do is find an interesting subject and actually photograph it from many different angles, and with many different settings. Pay attention to where the light is in relation to your subject, and observe what the effect the light has on your subject. I sometimes like to take notes while I shoot of things I want to keep in mind when I go to process the images.

While I think melcat gave you some outstanding advice throughout this thread, there's a small point where I disagree. One of the great advantages to digital photography is that our "film" is so inexpensive. Go ahead and press the button, and take a lot of different shots. You can experiment and try many new things without worrying about running up additional costs. Shoot lots!

There was something else you mentioned that jumped out at me, and was your comment about museums? A visit to the museum may make more sense by learning a bit about art history, which reveals a lot about compositional style I had to take a year of it in college. I loved the class, I wish I could go back and take it over again so I could revisit my professor's insight through the eyes of a photographer. Many professors will give public talks on subjects that interest them; watch museums in your area to see if they have talks or guest lecturers for an exhibit. You might even be able to find museum workers or volunteers who can take some time to chat with you in person about certain works of art.

Awhile ago I watched some of the "Sister Wendy" videos with some family members, and we all enjoyed them a lot. Sister Wendy is an 80+ year old Catholic nun from the UK who is also a self-taught art historian. A lot of her TV shows have made it on to YouTube and other such places. Her TV material is very approachable and easy to understand, and it may be a good starting point to learn more about art.

Personally I think you are asking some excellent questions, I look forward to seeing more of how you explore your photography. :)


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Luckless
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Mar 19, 2013 10:06 |  #30

"Shoot Lots" comes with one kicker.

Shoot lots, but THINK about what it is that is going on in the photos. Stop and analyse your result, then go work on figuring out different tests and experiments you can work with.

Shooting lots is great, but only if you're thinking about what it is that you are getting at the end of the day. If you don't apply any critical thinking to your photos and the shots you are taking, then you may as well wander around town pointing the camera at random while holding down the shutter button till your card fills or your battery dies.


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