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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 14 Jan 2013 (Monday) 07:42
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Ever feel you're going backwards?

 
Paulstw
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Jan 14, 2013 07:42 |  #1

I'm not looking for sympathy, a magic wand or a book with all the secrets, however, lately I've certainly felt I'm going backwards with regards to my photography.

We all look for inspiration in the form of forums, Flickr, 500px and the like, and a while ago I'd look at a nice landscape and tell myself I'll get that one day.

There's people taking amazing images with the same kit as me, and while I know kit isn't everything, it does help, and is especially harmful when you look at your images, and theirs and see a drastic difference.

The general consensus suggests that if you're not getting the right results, then change a lens, a body or your subject matter. I don't earn a lot so changing lenses and bodies isn't an option. Changing scenery would be ok, if Scotland wasn't so grey all the time.

Kit
Canon 600D
18-55mm Kit
50mm 1.8
75-300mm f4-5.6

I only ever upload my best work here -- http://500px.com/PaulS​tewart1 (external link)

I say my best because I feel personally it is.

I had a quick look over older stuff from a year ago and i'm not really changing or moving forward, and this weekend was a washout completely.

Would be good to know if it's something that everyone goes through, :)

Thanks,

Paul




  
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philwillmedia
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Jan 14, 2013 07:51 |  #2

Quite often...
Usually when I put the car in reverse.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Don't know that I feel as if I'm going backwards, but sometimes you do have a bad day "at the office".
For me, it usually comes from trying too hard to be creative instead of just letting it flow.
Sometimes, the trick is not to look at others work, but concentrate on what you do.
Instead of trying to replicate the work of others, just relax and do your own thing and you'll find that the improvement will follow.


Regards, Phil
2019 South Australian Country Press Assoc Sports Photo of the Year - Runner Up
2018 South Australian Country Press Assoc Sports Photo of the Year
2018 CAMS (now Motorsport Australia) Gold Accredited Photographer
Finallist - 2014 NT Media Awards
"A bad day at the race track is better than a good day in the office"

  
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Paulstw
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Jan 14, 2013 08:31 as a reply to  @ philwillmedia's post |  #3

To be honest you've made it plain and simple, and I think that's exactly what i've been doing. Trying to hard to emulate something else. Putting myself under pressure to do better all the time.

i've been stuffing my head with info, theory and lenses for weeks. It certainly was a bad day at the office this weekend.




  
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cdifoto
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Jan 14, 2013 08:33 |  #4

Phil makes a great point about trying too hard. It's easy to fall into the trap of trying to make a specific photo and getting tunnel vision. Then of course you miss out on other possibilities that may have been far better.


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breal101
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Jan 14, 2013 08:50 |  #5

Paulstw wrote in post #15486387 (external link)
To be honest you've made it plain and simple, and I think that's exactly what i've been doing. Trying to hard to emulate something else. Putting myself under pressure to do better all the time.

i've been stuffing my head with info, theory and lenses for weeks. It certainly was a bad day at the office this weekend.

What phil and cdi have said is reflected by my sig. What I most admire about Jay is his ability to make beautiful images from nothing.


"Try to go out empty and let your images fill you up." Jay Maisel

  
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orena
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Jan 14, 2013 08:55 |  #6

if you spend 10,000$ on equipment you will for sure be an awesome photographer


Always do right, this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
5DIII-7D-70-200L 2.8IS II-24-70 2.8 II L -50 1.4--28 135(4 SALE)-580exii-430ex -
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Paulstw
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Jan 14, 2013 08:57 |  #7

cdifoto wrote in post #15486395 (external link)
Phil makes a great point about trying too hard. It's easy to fall into the trap of trying to make a specific photo and getting tunnel vision. Then of course you miss out on other possibilities that may have been far better.

Lately i've tried to get a specific shot due to time constraints and 'other' things getting in the way. I had an idea for pics I wanted from being about with no camera, and I guess when you set goals its always pressure from day 1.

breal101 wrote in post #15486446 (external link)
What phil and cdi have said is reflected by my sig. What I most admire about Jay is his ability to make beautiful images from nothing.

His images are amazing. Food for thought, and I love the quote :)




  
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CrossEyedPhotography
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Jan 14, 2013 09:22 |  #8

orena wrote in post #15486465 (external link)
if you spend 10,000$ on equipment you will for sure be an awesome photographer

Even though this is a joke I thought like this. Wait I still do...I just ordered a 200mm f/2L lol

But I'll echo what others are getting at. Trying to copy someone's style or look will only get you so far. Your work is great just keep shooting. After getting back from my first shoot I was sooooo disappointed with my work but I kept at it and kept at it until I found my own style and the pictures in my mind would get better and better. Take care and good luck!


- Andrew
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My Gear: Hasselblad H3DII-39, Canon EOS 1N-RS, 5D Mark III, 30D, S95, 14 2.8L II, 24-70 2.8L II, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 85 1.2L II, 200 2LIS, 580EXII Flash and a bunch of Alien Bee's

  
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Paulstw
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Jan 14, 2013 10:01 |  #9

CrossEyedPhotography wrote in post #15486560 (external link)
Even though this is a joke I thought like this. Wait I still do...I just ordered a 200mm f/2L lol

But I'll echo what others are getting at. Trying to copy someone's style or look will only get you so far. Your work is great just keep shooting. After getting back from my first shoot I was sooooo disappointed with my work but I kept at it and kept at it until I found my own style and the pictures in my mind would get better and better. Take care and good luck!

Thanks :) and i'm starting to see a trend. It's not a build it and they will come, but a relax and flow with the go.




  
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romanv
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Jan 14, 2013 11:31 |  #10

Would the irony of taking a same-same photo of a plateau, be considered art? :lol:

But yes I've been in a similar boat I think,

I started out with a point & shoot and some amount of curiosity, and went out and about taking some pictures which were reasonably interesting in composition or whatever else, but very much technically lacking.

Then I got a DSLR and wanted to understand the technical side of things, then struggled to think about anything else apart from how to set up a shot to be 'technically good'.

I then mastered the art of technically proficient, highly boring shots. (I'm not implying you've done the same, haha)

Went through a few different lenses, most really cheap old manual ones to see what kind of focal distances etc I'd prefer.
Bought the Samyang 8mm and despite being a weird lense, it just kinda gelled with me and now I use it more than anything else.

Possibly part of the reason for this, is that you dont really have to do anything technical to take a good shot. Set it to F8, set focus to infinity, ISO 100, exposure time to suit anything it's pointing at (since it's pretty much all in the picture anyway), then that's that.

As well as that by virtue of being such a wide angle, it's very forgiving for hand held shots.

Something else that has helped me get over the technical overload, is shooting in raw - I dont bother setting white balance or even bother exposing how I want it (always expose as bright as possible without clipping highlights) But even though this is technically a good way to do things, it's rather liberating when you dont have to worry about any of that stuff either, while out to take a pic.

Although it seems counter intuitive to buy an expensive camera with lots of options and then actively shirk most of them, it's helped me get out of that technical mindset, which is slowly helping with my shots with other lenses too.

My only task when out and about with it, apart from initial setup is finding an interesting composition, even if it's just weeds (external link) that wouldnt normally get a second look.

Regardless of focal length, I do think there's some merit to the idea of taking just one lense out and about.
It's highly distracting when you are bearing the persistent burden of opportunity cost.
(This photo might be okay... but what if I use xyz lense instead?!)




  
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RichSoansPhotos
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Jan 14, 2013 11:52 |  #11
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I'm sure most photographers on here, including myself, had at one time a serious mess up in their photography, for me it made me, in my opinion, though I am certain some will to some extent agree with me, that I have learnt the hard way. No one is perfect the first time, if they say they were, then they are probably fibbing, unless they have a really fast learning curve, I mean in terms of formula 1 car racing speed at learning




  
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Kolor-Pikker
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Jan 14, 2013 12:59 |  #12

CrossEyedPhotography wrote in post #15486560 (external link)
if you spend 10,000$ on equipment you will for sure be an awesome photographer

Even though this is a joke I thought like this. Wait I still do...I just ordered a 200mm f/2L lol

Ahrg. I know what this is all like. I'm in a photography slump right now too, and haven't had anything I was genuinely pleased with for nearly half a year now! (Just printing my good ol stand-bys in the mean time)

None of that however, is discouraging me from seriously considering the move to medium format digital, where the entry price is upwards of $30,000 if you actually want something better than a D800 (not touching Noink with a pole, no sir, things not to like there for me).


5DmkII | 24-70 f/2.8L II | Pentax 645Z | 55/2.8 SDM | 120/4 Macro | 150/2.8 IF
I acquired an expensive camera so I can hang out in forums, annoy wedding photographers during formals and look down on P&S users... all the while telling people it's the photographer, not the camera.

  
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dexy101
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Jan 14, 2013 15:17 |  #13

Yeah sometimes we can all have a wee creative block from time to time, the best thing to do is not let it get you down.

I looked at your images on 500px and they are pretty damn good.

Just keep plugging away, winter will soon be gone and the days will get longer, hey I even ventured out today in the show just to take a few shots and have something to edit now and again.

I also like when i have photographers block, is to edit a photo or two I've saved and try new things, go through all the filters and effect, or even try and make something silly out of my images.

Whatever you do, keep shooting, and keep showing off Scotland for what it is. ;)




  
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Somiac
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Jan 14, 2013 15:20 |  #14

Sometimes when I browse through photo galleries online such as flickr, sometimes I start running into those photos that you know is bad, and you feel like it will rub off on you and make you worse! So I usually try to stay away from those types of galleries online...




  
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Paulstw
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Jan 14, 2013 15:48 |  #15

Thanks to everyone that replied, it's nice to see and hear that it's not only me :) Some nice comments. I shall endeavour to look out for less boring stuff :) Paul




  
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Ever feel you're going backwards?
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