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Thread started 30 Jul 2014 (Wednesday) 13:12
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Why?

 
hollal
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Jul 30, 2014 13:12 |  #1

Hi all.

I'm new to photography. I bought a DSLR a couple of months ago to take quality photos of our baby. I read up a bit about digital photography in general and got excited about it. I've been happily taking photos of the boy, I bought a macro lens for close up shots of insects and 'stuff' and generally all was well.

I haven't really used the camera for the last week or two though, so I took a walk with it, into town and back and I shot nothing.

I've read quite a lot over the time I've had the camera, more time than spent using it. I'm beginning to question why I'm taking photos. I look around and wonder what to shoot and end up with nothing. I question what makes a photo and why would someone want to look at it if I'd shot it. I wonder if I'd ever look back one of them and doubt it. I saw something out of the ordinary on my walk into town by the river. A man ahead of me had got off his bike and was putting down carpet around a bench. I thought about shooting it because it struck me as a bit odd but I didn't, I carried on walking by. Partly it's because I've never taken a photo of a stranger before so was embarrassed and shy. If I'd taken it, it would have been a quick grab, so nothing special about it's composition with harsh shadows galore.

Do photographers see things in things I don't? Do I have to go to new locations to be inspired into taking photos of new things? Should I be finding plenty of stuff all around in general? Am I thinking too much about others and what they think?

Why take photos?




  
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interlopr
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Jul 30, 2014 13:28 |  #2

Thats your problem.. You should be doing photography for YOUR SELF, Don't worry what "Others" think..

Your overthinking when you take photos..

I use photography to clear my mind.

When I walk around the street, I don't "Look" for things to take photos of, I see a moment, take a picture, Keep walking.


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flashpoint99
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Jul 30, 2014 13:38 |  #3

Why? Why not? Shoot for yourself for whatever reason your choose. Its an art form and there are 1000's of different ways to use it.




  
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Qlayer2
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Jul 30, 2014 14:39 |  #4

You have to decide what you want to shoot, and why you are doing it. You only need to worry about what others think of your photos if they are paying clients.

Congrats on the baby! You have a willing subject for about 6 months until he or she can start moving on their own. Give yourself a project or task if you feel overwhelmed or unmotivated- lots of people do weekly or daily tasks to try and improve. Shoot black and white for a week, off camera flash for a week, product photos, objects in motion, landscapes, new post processing style, low shutter speed or high ISO challenges, etc. I find giving myself little challenges help to learn new techniques and tricks.




  
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hollal
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Jul 30, 2014 14:59 |  #5

@interlopr

I feel as though if I don't pay more attention than normal, I would miss a lot of opportunities.

@flashpoint99

I'm not sure of my reasons. I want to use the camera, but not much stands out to take a shot of.

Both replies are exactly what I was expecting. I don't mean any offense by that either, I knew I was over thinking and that I was concerned with what people consider a good/interesting photo when it should all be about my likes. I just can't identify what I actually want to take photos of.

I think it's partly because I've not done anything for a couple of weeks. I feel almost obliged to make use of the camera and it puts pressure on me to find something to shoot, which is turn making me analyse things too much.




  
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hollal
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Jul 30, 2014 15:05 |  #6

Qlayer2 wrote in post #17066459 (external link)
You have to decide what you want to shoot, and why you are doing it. You only need to worry about what others think of your photos if they are paying clients.

Congrats on the baby! You have a willing subject for about 6 months until he or she can start moving on their own. Give yourself a project or task if you feel overwhelmed or unmotivated- lots of people do weekly or daily tasks to try and improve. Shoot black and white for a week, off camera flash for a week, product photos, objects in motion, landscapes, new post processing style, low shutter speed or high ISO challenges, etc. I find giving myself little challenges help to learn new techniques and tricks.

I think I'll do something like this. I like the idea keeping my eyes out for something that'll look good in a kind of high contrast black and white. I've seen some sites that set regular little challenges. I'd forgotten about that. Maybe that'll focus me a bit more and from that will come other ideas. Thanks.




  
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phantelope
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Jul 30, 2014 15:07 |  #7

you could set yourself a theme for the day, for example "red" or "shadows", "triangles" and just look for things that fall into that category. Or take the first 10 random things close to you, put them on a table and play with your macro lens.

I don't care about others, I really don't even know why I take thousands of photos a year, I just like to do it. Few ever get seen by anybody. I guess it's a bit like stamp collecting, get and file :-)

I have several cameras, and there are times where I don't pick them up for days or weeks, I think that's pretty normal for non-pros.


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hokiealumnus
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Jul 30, 2014 15:10 |  #8

interlopr wrote in post #17066314 (external link)
Thats your problem.. You should be doing photography for YOUR SELF, Don't worry what "Others" think..

Your overthinking when you take photos..

I use photography to clear my mind.

When I walk around the street, I don't "Look" for things to take photos of, I see a moment, take a picture, Keep walking.

bw! (Emphasis added.)

I post photos online, here & other places because I seek to improve (and to be completely forthcoming, it's also nice to get positive reinforcement when I get something right). However, the reason I do it is because I enjoy it.


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steelbluesleepr
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Jul 30, 2014 15:26 |  #9

I shoot because it's almost a compulsion for me anymore. I love recording events and moments that most people either don't see or can't capture.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 30, 2014 16:14 |  #10

Have you considered Golf?

Seriously, if it aint fun, then, as you ask, why?

Have fun, and shoot a lot. It's not film, it doesn't cost anything, Takes hundreds of photos. The delete them if none interest.
Lather rinse repeat.
Eventually, you develop skill, and then maybe if your lucky, art happens! :)


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flowrider
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Jul 30, 2014 16:40 |  #11

You sound like Talley here on the board.

If you really want to explore photography then you need to shoot what interests you. Try a 52 week or 365 day challenge. It'll get you shooting and posting. Or photograph and blog about it. Like writing or anything else in life it's a lot easier to do things when you have an interest in them.

One thing I do with our daughter who's almost 22 months now is to do a photo a month. I plan and do a setup portrait with her. I'm primarily a portrait photographer though. imo there's no better reason to photograph than to capture the love of your life growing up.


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phantelope
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Jul 30, 2014 19:45 |  #12

good point there by flowrider, I wish I'd have thought of taking one photo a month of my kids, maybe even in the same location, see how they grow over the years.


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bubbygator
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Jul 30, 2014 20:00 |  #13

I'm an amateur. I typically take sports pics of my grandkids, but I do "go out", like you describe.

It's sooo easy to take pics. I usually take 50 to 150 pics on a walk. I don;t really think about them when I'm taking them - it's not till I get home and start editing that I decide if each pic is good enough to keep and edit. I'll delete 50-60% just because it didn't "look right" ...... but that still leaves me with 50-40% that I find I really like. It's fun !!


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pwm2
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Jul 30, 2014 20:03 |  #14

I may like one out of ten or one out of twenty.

But that's fine, since I don't have to pay for one roll of film + development for every photo I like.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Jul 31, 2014 01:47 |  #15

flowrider wrote in post #17066655 (external link)
You sound like Talley here on the board.

If you really want to explore photography then you need to shoot what interests you. Try a 52 week or 365 day challenge. It'll get you shooting and posting. Or photograph and blog about it. Like writing or anything else in life it's a lot easier to do things when you have an interest in them.

One thing I do with our daughter who's almost 22 months now is to do a photo a month. I plan and do a setup portrait with her. I'm primarily a portrait photographer though. imo there's no better reason to photograph than to capture the love of your life growing up.

That's very good advice, but I think the critical thing to do is to just keep shooting period. As in, even if you can't think of anything that's interesting.

That's not to say that inspiration doesn't come from other places, but good ideas happen from working. By all means, take time off to do research and get inspiration from other places. But as photographers, the work that we produce are photographs. If you photograph INTELLIGENTLY and supplement that with research and analysis, then something interesting will come from it. If you're making work, then it's gonna take on a life of its own. And if you pay attention to it, it'll tell you where to go next. Even if you've got no idea what interests you, do you know what's a good way to find something interesting? Getting out there and shooting anyway. Because good and interesting things have a tendency to happen even in crappy photographs that aren't "keepers". Do the work, go out and shoot. Pay attention to what you're shooting, analyze your photographs and notice interesting things in the stinkers and then try to follow through and do it better next time. But you can't see what's working and what isn't, what's interesting and what's boring, without actually making images. Ideas happen when you're working.

And someone else made a similar comment this week. Used to use the gear a lot and shoot a lot, hasn't done so in a few weeks/months (due to lack of interesting subject matter) and is thinking of hanging it all up. Well, is it at least possible that the sudden lack of desire to photograph is at least in part caused by the whole "not shooting in a few weeks" thing? You can shoot for a lifetime and never get a good image, but if you're shooting then you'll almost certainly get "almost good" images which drive the photographer to do it again (only a little bit better this time). That dries up when you stop shooting, because now there are no longer any "almost good" images coming in to provide the photographer with an incentive to have another go at it. There's no comparison between the actual image and the image in the photographer's mind, because now there's no actual image being made. That comparison is extremely important. If you're shooting but dislike the outcome, there's still constant influx of suggestions of "what could be if I tried a little bit harder." That's what drives people, and that's also what dies once they stop shooting.




  
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