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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 18 May 2018 (Friday) 10:35
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Share the things that made you a better photographer.

 
sjnovakovich
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May 23, 2018 07:46 as a reply to  @ post 18629782 |  #46

Exactly what you said, but I started my 35mm photography in the very early 70's. When I started out, I didn't even have a light meter.


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joedlh
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May 23, 2018 08:37 |  #47

Other than learning the operation of the camera, the physics of the lens, and details of post processing...

Study the subject in every aspect until its essence jumps out at you.
Decide exactly what you want to capture.
Be conscious of composition and direction of light, even if you break the rules.

Wait for the moment.

Be open to criticism.


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PhotosGuy
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May 23, 2018 09:14 |  #48

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18630849 (external link)
.
Excellent advice. . This is why it pays to spend a lot of time with our subjects. . Creativity often takes time, and comes after we familiarize ourselves with the subject and the situation. . We have to "get in the groove", so to speak, before the creative juices start to flow.

Case in point:

I spent an hour and fifteen minutes photographing a Rattlesnake yesterday morning. . In this time I shot hundreds of photos. . The half-dozen images that I like the most all came in the final 30 minutes of that session. . It simply took that long for me to discover the most interesting compositions and what angles and points-of-view and focal lengths would allow me to capture those compositions.

If I would have left after photographing that snake for half an hour, I wouldn't have gotten any of the best photos. . Some people might say, "it was just a snake on a rock - how much time do you need to get a picture". . To those folks I would say that I need as much time as I can possibly spend.

I would have stayed much longer, but the sun got very high in the sky and the light became downright harsh. . If the light would have been nice, I would have spent another 3 to 5 hours photographing that one snake on that one rock, and the images would have kept getting better and better and the compositions would have gotten more dynamic.

.

I agree, & said so regarding shooting as a process in post #15 of this thread: How do you guys get your IDEAS?

I also mention the time that I went to the zoo with a 50mm, a 1,000mm, & one 20 exposure roll of B&W film & came back with 4 shots that I liked enough to blow up to 16" X 20".

So whichever way a person chooses to shoot, don't restrict yourself to just that. Try both methods when you are able to do so. (These are copies of the prints. Don't know why the penguins aren't sharp!) ; (


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May 23, 2018 10:49 |  #49

The zone system helped me out in the digital darkroom.


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Luckless
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May 23, 2018 11:23 |  #50

-Aggressive use of the delete key, and accepting that photos are easy to take, and therefore rarely worth investing extra time into a photo that isn't working for me.

-Studying of the subject I'm working with over multiple years, and careful study of the images I had made in the past: Figuring out what I didn't like about past images meant that I could address those issues when taking future photos.

Experimenting and exploring have been important to improving my photography. I've taken a lot of bad photographs, and expect to continue to take a lot of bad photographs, but if you're going to mine gold, you'll be digging up a lot of dirt that gets thrown away. I figure that if I ever reach the point where I'm feeling truly happy and impressed with more than a handful of all the images I take on an outing, then I'm probably not demanding enough of myself.

While I am becoming more selective with when I press the shutter release on my camera, and can see a noticeable increase in overall quality of images I'm getting as my current 'average' is now what my 'very good' was back when I started, I don't really see a need or useful reason to increase the volume of images that I make which I consider to be good images. If anything, I kind of hope to take more photos, and produce even fewer photographs over time.


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airfrogusmc
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May 23, 2018 11:53 |  #51

I also have become more selective when on the streets. But the difference in the type of personal work I do now is everything is in the moment. Seeing, recognizing and being able to capture that moment that is usually measured in fractions of a second take a lot of discipline and practice. Bresson called it a developed instinct.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Post edited over 1 year ago by airfrogusmc. (2 edits in all)
     
May 23, 2018 12:19 |  #52

A few zone system inspired photographs. And I also take some of these sensitivities to exposure on the streets when I'm working.

IMAGE: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/airfrogusmc025/L1030785_zps2a659f34.jpg

IMAGE: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/247ElSantuariodeChamiyoBW3.jpg

IMAGE: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/IMG_9403-1.jpg

The final print of this there is slight detail in the shadows that are not showing on my monitor in the jpg in the bushes on the right.
IMAGE: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/233Domingo09.jpg

IMAGE: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/IMG_6101.jpg



  
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PJmak
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May 23, 2018 12:54 |  #53

Luckless wrote in post #18631118 (external link)
-Aggressive use of the delete key, and accepting that photos are easy to take, and therefore rarely worth investing extra time into a photo that isn't working for me.

-Studying of the subject I'm working with over multiple years, and careful study of the images I had made in the past: Figuring out what I didn't like about past images meant that I could address those issues when taking future photos.

Experimenting and exploring have been important to improving my photography. I've taken a lot of bad photographs, and expect to continue to take a lot of bad photographs, but if you're going to mine gold, you'll be digging up a lot of dirt that gets thrown away. I figure that if I ever reach the point where I'm feeling truly happy and impressed with more than a handful of all the images I take on an outing, then I'm probably not demanding enough of myself.

While I am becoming more selective with when I press the shutter release on my camera, and can see a noticeable increase in overall quality of images I'm getting as my current 'average' is now what my 'very good' was back when I started, I don't really see a need or useful reason to increase the volume of images that I make which I consider to be good images. If anything, I kind of hope to take more photos, and produce even fewer photographs over time.

You know this couldn't be more true.

Plus making a big deal out this will have you chasing equipment for newer things over and over and over.


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airfrogusmc
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Post edited over 1 year ago by airfrogusmc.
     
May 23, 2018 13:09 |  #54

Bresson once said you have to milk a lot of cows just to get a little cheese. You learn more from mistakes than you do from successes.Also make sure you are making judgments of what is good or bad on real things like does this image reflect who I am as a photographer or does it fit into a particular body of work you are working on instead of does it fit into ________ rule that may not have any real relevance to anything important.

Look at art of all kinds. Look at work the masters of art and photography have created not to copy but to be inspired. The more you do that the more those sensitivities become part of your subconscious. We all have influences. I'm full aware of mine. Bresson, Winogrand, Frank Weston, Adams, Manos, Webb, Siskind, Callahan there are so many more. Painters also. Especially the impressionists, modernists and abstract expressionists. They are all part of me as a photographer. Don't use them to copy but mix it all up and hopefully it will flow out changed and if you are lucky will reflect you in some way.




  
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OhLook
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May 23, 2018 13:39 |  #55

airfrogusmc wrote in post #18630955 (external link)
In my opinion, and I have said this many times before, you are starting to arrive when someone looks at your work and they recognize that photograph as yours before they see the name attached to it.

That's one kind of success–but I don't want all my work to look alike. To develop a style and then stay on a plateau, how could you do something new, how could you learn something, after that?


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goalerjones
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May 23, 2018 13:59 |  #56

OhLook wrote in post #18630848 (external link)
I understood goalerjones's advice to "keep walking around" differently: move around the scene when shooting, try different views and angles.

Yeah, that's actually what I meant, but I've found that things trigger unintended responses in different people...

Another key I've found is accidents can be a great thing. In college I was developing film I'd shot downtown Chicago. I have no idea what I was thinking, just sloshing the developing container around and waiting for the timer to sound. I prematurely opened the developing film container. I was horrified and afraid that I'd accidentally ruined all my film. Then I found out my mistake was actually a happy accident, the pictures I'd taken were "solarized". I'd never heard the term before, but it made my pictures, not all granted, look other-worldly. Three homeless guys looked like they had insect eyes, the mannequins in the Saks window looked alive.

I don't have them to show you, my sister wanted (stole) them, while I was away in the military.




  
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kf095
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May 23, 2018 14:47 |  #57

I was taking it all in M and RAW for first half-a-year. My family was mad at me because it was taking tremendous amount of time.
Looking at EXIF data of others photogs pictures was helping. And reading and reading manual for camera and flash.
It helps to get familiar with the tools.
Switching to LR only, helped to make it nice and easy in processing.
Switching back to film and learning DR printing helped with creativity, opened classic photographers and helped to realize what to be better photographer art needs to be studied first.
But I still prefer to use my film cameras in M mode. Fully mechanical. :-D


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Savethemoment
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May 24, 2018 08:37 |  #58

1) Reading this forum
2) Looking at other people’s photos and figuring out why I like them, or don’t
3) Trying to incorporate elements I like - for example the use of interesting perspectives - into my own photos
4) Reading good books and websites on lighting, composition & photography generally
5) Practice, practice, practice and more practice. There is no substitute :-)
6) Really learning my gear, what it can do & how to adjust things quickly as circumstances change
7) Working out some custom settings which are best suited to the things I shoot often (currently, junior soccer in bright morning light)
8) Repeating step 2 endlessly with my own photos, & a very critical eye
9) Not being too discouraged by bad results; they’re best seen as a chance to learn & do better next time
10) Seeking out new & different challenges: subject matter, lighting conditions, techniques.. all the learning involved helps broaden my skill set & understanding of photography generally.


Always learning
Always looking for the good light

  
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moose10101
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May 24, 2018 15:47 |  #59

Not thinking about composition "rules" when I'm shooting.

Reviewing my photos, looking for missed opportunities, and going back and shooting them.

Moving around; changing elevation.

Ruthlessly cropping an image to get the best result, no matter how many pixels I lose.




  
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daleg
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May 25, 2018 08:38 |  #60

Savethemoment wrote in post #18631654 (external link)
1) Reading this forum
2) Looking at other people’s photos and figuring out why I like them, or don’t
3) Trying to incorporate elements I like - for example the use of interesting perspectives - into my own photos
4) Reading good books and websites on lighting, composition & photography generally
5) Practice, practice, practice and more practice. There is no substitute :-)
6) Really learning my gear, what it can do & how to adjust things quickly as circumstances change
7) Working out some custom settings which are best suited to the things I shoot often (currently, junior soccer in bright morning light)
8) Repeating step 2 endlessly with my own photos, & a very critical eye
9) Not being too discouraged by bad results; they’re best seen as a chance to learn & do better next time
10) Seeking out new & different challenges: subject matter, lighting conditions, techniques.. all the learning involved helps broaden my skill set & understanding of photography generally.

nice list.

semi-jokingly, I list but 3:

1) canon 5D. still.
2) slow down (not so much for sports, & wildlife/weddings - same dif.)
3) look and see (sounds simple, but..._)

& optionally:
4) enjoy and have fun.




  
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