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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 29 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 13:09
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I am a beginner, and I am stuck!

 
BrickR
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Jan 30, 2014 11:17 |  #16

Sibil wrote in post #16649339 (external link)
???

Put the camera in Manual mode and shoot something every single day. It forces you to use the camera and play with the settings, every single day. Changing settings will become 2nd nature, as well as understanding how changing one setting means you have to compensate with another setting change.

Experience is the greatest teacher, and 365 days of experience will accelerate your learning curve MUCH faster than trying to figure it out shooting once or twice a week.


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DutchinCLE
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Jan 30, 2014 11:18 |  #17

If you have to force yourself to take pictures and play with the settings then you probably picked the wrong hobby..


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joeblack2022
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Jan 30, 2014 11:58 |  #18

YEGenesis wrote in post #16647481 (external link)
I apologize if this became some what of a ramble, but locally I have no means of getting much guidance (none of my friends are into photography).

Maybe you need new friends... :D

http://www.flickr.com/​groups/edmonton_flick_​meet/ (external link)

https://www.facebook.c​om …dmontonstreetph​otography/ (external link)


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BrickR
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Jan 30, 2014 14:42 |  #19

DutchinCLE wrote in post #16650029 (external link)
If you have to force yourself to take pictures and play with the settings then you probably picked the wrong hobby..

Not necessarily ;)
It can be frustrating trying to learn something new, especially when you don't feel like you're making as much progress as you imagined you would. No need to give up :)


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OhLook
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Jan 30, 2014 15:39 |  #20

I don't understand why people tell the OP to do the hardest parts first. Start in Manual? Learn all the settings? That, I think, would be intimidating and not much fun. What I'd do is take a few thousand pictures and alternate picture taking with reading the camera manual (a little at a time, after getting through the basic instructions) and posting and reading here.


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gonzogolf
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Jan 30, 2014 15:40 |  #21

DutchinCLE wrote in post #16650029 (external link)
If you have to force yourself to take pictures and play with the settings then you probably picked the wrong hobby..

Some people need a structure, even if its self imposed.




  
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nathancarter
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Jan 30, 2014 15:48 |  #22

OhLook wrote in post #16650734 (external link)
I don't understand why people tell the OP to do the hardest parts first. Start in Manual? Learn all the settings? That, I think, would be intimidating and not much fun.

The first post stated, "I would prefer to have a foundation and move on to bigger and more complicated things afterwards." If the exposure triangle isn't a solid foundation, I don't know what is.

Running around taking a thousand snapshots, hoping for a happenstance success, doesn't build a solid foundation.


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Phoenixkh
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Jan 30, 2014 15:57 |  #23

First of all, I know lots of people on POTN and in real life who live in the northern regions of our continent. (and a few from other northern countries as well)

This time of year is frustrating for many of us. We lived most of our lives up north and winter was a tough haul some years. That could be what the OP is experiencing as well as the sometimes frustrating goal of becoming a better photographer... just a thought.

YEGenesis: a suggestion. As soon a spring hits your area, find a spot you love like a botanical garden or some other place that inspires you. Plan to spend several hours there and take a bunch of photographs of things you love. That really made a difference for my own journey.


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YEGenesis
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Jan 30, 2014 16:31 |  #24

AntonLargiader wrote in post #16649556 (external link)
You're going to have to shoot a lot and try stuff. The 365 is actually a great tool; it makes you come up with something every day and eventually you just HAVE to try something new.

There are also plenty of ways to get critique on your images, which can lead you to working on specific aspects. For instance, the little girl in the pink shirt, if you look at the light on her face the color isn't flattering. There are slightly warmer tones in the background but the light on her cheek is a bit blue. You can fix that in post, but you could also take that as a 'study item' to think about light temperatures and white balance. Also, there are no shadows on the face; the light is very flat. Read about portrait lighting and try to create the classical lighting effects by bouncing the flash or positioning your subject differently. These are skills that take practice.

Read the "Composition and arty stuff" thread. Look at your crosswalk light picture. Did you intend the elements to overlap? Why or why not? What does that tree top add? Where does the eye go? There are details in everything that can be analyzed.

See, everything you mentioned here about my photos, I would have never saw that, and those pictures in JPEG was pretty much hopeless in post processing. But regardless, they were literally the first few pictures I took for the very first time using a DSLR, without knowing what any terminology means.

nathancarter wrote in post #16650758 (external link)
The first post stated, "I would prefer to have a foundation and move on to bigger and more complicated things afterwards." If the exposure triangle isn't a solid foundation, I don't know what is.

Running around taking a thousand snapshots, hoping for a happenstance success, doesn't build a solid foundation.

This is probably the advice that I decided to take up on, the camera sim someone posted on the first page helped me understand how the three work together way better than the words I tried to read on them.

Phoenixkh wrote in post #16650777 (external link)
First of all, I know lots of people on POTN and in real life who live in the northern regions of our continent. (and a few from other northern countries as well)

This time of year is frustrating for many of us. We lived most of our lives up north and winter was a tough haul some years. That could be what the OP is experiencing as well as the sometimes frustrating goal of becoming a better photographer... just a thought.

YEGenesis: a suggestion. As soon a spring hits your area, find a spot you love like a botanical garden or some other place that inspires you. Plan to spend several hours there and take a bunch of photographs of things you love. That really made a difference for my own journey.

You're bang on. I haven't been very inspired lately, which is why the last time I took the camera was probably back in November when a huge snow storm happened and everything looked really nice; however, since then, it's been nothing but warm weather that melts the snow, turns everything a dirty brown, and then over night cold weather to have all of that dirt freeze up again. Our city is not a place of scenery (unless you go to a spot overlooking the skyline). I am a full time University student trying to take up a hobby, capturing moments because I didn't buy a DSLR to take "selfies". I understand that practice makes better, which is why I am all for doing more shots, but with my busy schedule I also know it will take me much longer than someone else who might have a bit more free time.

I really appreciate every single advice that has been posted on this thread, I picked up the Exposure book (yet to read), I've been playing with the CameraSim, and I already feel like I am understanding it a little better than before starting this thread, which should be a good sign right? :lol: I have also taken up the 365 challenge, I will be starting this Saturday, as a new month starts!


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joeblack2022
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Jan 30, 2014 16:38 |  #25

YEGenesis wrote in post #16650855 (external link)
I am a full time University student trying to take up a hobby, capturing moments because I didn't buy a DSLR to take "selfies".

Depending on which U you are attending there may be a camera club and also maybe consider volunteering for the campus newspaper.


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YEGenesis
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Jan 30, 2014 16:41 |  #26

joeblack2022 wrote in post #16650882 (external link)
Depending on which U you are attending there may be a camera club and also maybe consider volunteering for the campus newspaper.

No clubs where I go unfortunately (But there are at least four League of Legends clubs...) I might seek up some local clubs during the summer though. Our newspaper is pretty picky, they only seek photographers with moderate experience so for the most part the only thing I would be able to do is write columns...haha.


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joeblack2022
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Jan 30, 2014 16:49 |  #27

YEGenesis wrote in post #16650885 (external link)
I might seek up some local clubs during the summer though.

Why wait till the summer? I think the Flickr meetup group (link in my first post) is planning to hit Ice on Whyte if they haven't already.


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YEGenesis
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Jan 30, 2014 16:52 |  #28

joeblack2022 wrote in post #16650910 (external link)
Why wait till the summer? I think the Flickr meetup group (link in my first post) is planning to hit Ice on Whyte if they haven't already.

Because I haven't got the time to commit to it yet. It's tax season so a lot of my time is currently dedicated to helping set up for where I volunteer and what not on too of my job. I'll be taking way less courses in the summer so I feel like it's a good time to commit to meeting and learning in the local groups. It's also nice to be able to practice from now to then on my own.


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OhLook
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Jan 30, 2014 19:19 |  #29

nathancarter wrote in post #16650758 (external link)
The first post stated, "I would prefer to have a foundation and move on to bigger and more complicated things afterwards." If the exposure triangle isn't a solid foundation, I don't know what is.

Running around taking a thousand snapshots, hoping for a happenstance success, doesn't build a solid foundation.

Sure, knowing exposure is important, but why learn how to set custom WB and how to use all the scene modes at the beginning? I would have got pretty discouraged if I'd been advised to master every function of the camera before I started using it. The OP did say "move on to bigger and more complicated things afterwards."

You don't take a thousand snapshots. You take several thousand photos and critique them.


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Snydremark
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Jan 30, 2014 19:48 |  #30

As a number of others have said, learn the basic foundation of proper exposure. If you don't know what a "correct" exposure is, then all of the focus, white balance, composition, etc in the world isn't going give you a pleasing result.

Start at the very bottom. Shoot snow, given the time of year; in M, until you get a shot where your snow comes out, actually, white instead of some sort of dreary gray or completely overblown. Understand WHY you have to set the things you do to get those results. Peterson's book is a good reference for figuring that part out.

Then move on to other subjects; take a ton of photos of different things, in different light, with the sole goal of getting a correct exposure on them. Learn to read the histogram and what it is telling you about your shots to help you make that determination. This is a good reference for that purpose:
http://www.cambridgein​colour.com/tutorials/h​istograms1.htm (external link) (be sure to read both pages)

Once you understand those, start taking pictures and asking yourself what you do/don't like about them; if you really get stuck, post some of them up in the C&C forum with some specific questions you'd like answered and then take that feedback and use it to answer those questions.

When you're comfortable with your exposure and your composition, start setting some small goals for your shooting and just take the camera for a spin; or work on a "365" project, where your goal is to take an interesting photo once a day for a year.

Just keep practicing from there. If you feel you need the structure, and don't have a class, just create your own structure :)


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