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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:06 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1437
Location: Gold Coast Australia
Ian, perhaps if your post your field of interest, it may encourage members who have a similar interest to post some advice/tips here.

The link you posted is interesting.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:07 pm
Posts: 716
Location: Taiwan / Sweden / Scotland
- Mostly practice a lot
- Read books and magazines and even go online, here for example :P
- Get the photo books from the photographers that inspires you
- Attend lectures
- Attend workshops
- Go to different photographic events

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:45 pm 
I think most of us on this forum are amateurs just starting out, Its not very polite to say this photos to blurred around the edges, slightly out of focus etc, so we don't voice our opinion. However we do look towards the people with a lot of postings for their views, to lead us in the right direction. And I think we are all critics in our own way, I have shot over 1,200 photos, sorted the best ones out and maybe I have 100 or so posted on the net that I like. When I look at a photo and think I realy like that! It's because I would have loved to have taken that photo myself.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1437
Location: Gold Coast Australia
blindasabat, I have to disagree.

Quote:
However we do look towards the people with a lot of postings for their views, to lead us in the right direction.


Posting a large number of shots does not qualify anyone to be an expert. It's the way you tell someone of your view there is some camera shake or blurriness.

That is not enough, I generally look at the Exif if available and in the case above would suggest a higher shooting speed. in some cases. In most cases the shooter will know from the photo if it has camera shake but not know or realises to increase speed or increase the ISO if a certain aperture is wanted.

If we do not have factual comments, how will we improve? 8)


Cheers

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:23 pm 
@4xxxx

so when you look at a photo, do you look for the facts first, or do you look at the photo?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:50 pm 
I think the folks opinion I'd take most notice of are not those with high post counts but those who have posted significant numbers of images I think are good or better than good.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:35 pm 
Hi anganderton,

This question is one that we all ask ourselves with some regularity - I think.

I do agree with everyone's suggestions about practice, books, galleries, critique etc. All those things can help us become more aware of strengths and weaknesses in our compositions.

However, for me at least, the biggest challenge is to become more "self aware" when it comes to my taste and preferences.

I believe that THE most important thing for a photographer is to come to understand and analyze - in great depth - what it is about her/his pictures that make them good, bad, great, horrible etc. Given the vast range of options to create and shape a photography, it's not really any different than creating a painting - although it is with different tools.

Point being that the most crucial part - in my view - is to find a personal and unique way of expressing yourself creatively. And that is more of an inner journey full of harsh self-critique and painstaking disection of what's good and bad.

...but that's perhaps just me...

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1437
Location: Gold Coast Australia
@blindasabat, always the photo first, lets leave it at that and enjoy the forum. 8)

Cheers

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:07 am 
Thanks for your replies, they are all much appriciated.

I guess just the desire to be a better photographer and then thinking about the best way to go about that are big steps in the right direction. I've got a bit of a plan and if you don't mind the self indulgance I'll share my thoughts here. Some others in a similar position may find the info useful.

In asking the question I came across another interesting question that seems useful to answer first. "What kind of photographer am I?"

My current thinking is that my photography is journalistic and travel orientated. The photos I take tend to have strong subject matter and I'm trying to communicate that and the stories around them. I'm a regular contributor to an outdoor magazine so they need to also meet press quality standards. Most of the time I'm opportunistic, snapping an image I've seen.

Nest question is "where am I at now?"

I think I'm not a bad photographer but that doesn't mean I'm good. I understand basic composition and the fundamentals of how a camera works and I produce photos that are acceptable. Because of the places I get to the subject matter helps the strength of the photos more than the way I currently compose them.

The key areas I think I need to improve are:

Composition- this is where I can make the biggest difference to my images. I need to "see" better and learn to implement more than just the rule of thirds.

Light, colour and tone- I need to learn more about the composite parts of images and how the work and fit together.

If I can learn to think more about the graphic design and construct images around these it will help massively the photography. If I can learn to think more artisically I think it will massively help the way my journalistic photos communicate their subject.

Constructing images with intent- I'd like to be able to see images before they happen, how they could be, rather than snapping.

Post processing- I need to properly get to grips with image processing software.

So how am I going to do this?

Firstly I need to have my camera in my hand a lot and to use it. Doung is key to learning.

I need to challenge myself as a photographer and not just keep snapping the same old same old. Septembers "on assignment" was an interesting process. Looking for an image on a subject that is not "normal" for me was a great challenge and learning process. Trying to make interesting images from subjects I don't find interesting is great practice.

I need to hang out with other photographers more, preferably excellent ones, so that some of their experience will rub off. One way to do this will be participating in photowalks. I really need to find a "mentor" too. I'm hoping the magazine I contribute to will help with this by assisting on some of their photo shoots.

I don't subscribe to just practicing, practice can just reinforce bad and or old habits. Only perfect practice makes perfect. To become better I need to find exercises to promote perfect practice.

I've brought 3 books:

The Photographers Eye by Michael Freeman which is all about composition.

The Speedliters Handbook by Sly Arena which is all about lighting with intent

Gimp 2 for Photographers by Klaus Goelker

Gulf Photo Plus, in Dubai, have a fotoweekend coming up in November. If I'm not in Sri Lanka then I'll attend some of the workshops.

Lastly I'm going to post more photos in places where they will hopefully attract critique. This feed back will be invaluable. I'm also going to start providing more critique to thos who request it. By learning to critique other peoples images I'll become better at critiquing my own.

So this is my plan (for now), any thoughts greatfully received

Ian


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:15 am 
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Posts: 1437
Location: Gold Coast Australia
Ian, sounds like this strategy was designed for a change management program, it looks good to me as you know how to get to where you want to be.

I did comment, "decide before you shoot what you want to practice and then evaluate to see if you achieved your objectives, I should add, how will you evaluate if you reached your goal.

I think for most westerners, seeing something different from everyday city life will always appeal to viewers even if all the rules are broken. Dubaiphil takes shots that are not in our everyday life and to me, he has also mastered the art of photography and produces some stunning work.

Don't forget to have fun. :)

Cheers

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:45 am 
the internet is your oyster! tutorials,lessons,books,youtube tutorials by photographers,forums.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:59 pm 
Taking photos all the time , I try to walk around all the time with my camera , I look there and shot ... look here and shot .. then get back home and I see it in PC and... ok no one shot looks great but well next time I can change the settings and get better angle try another mode adjust the EV -/+ and well and try all the time or maybe I'm CRAZY !! :XX


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1819
The Photographer's Eye - a great book and learning tool! Fantastic to understand thought processes, approaches (literally to subjects as well) and composition behind travel portraiture and photography - highly recommended.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1819
Regarding Processing, it's a difficult subject to pick up. If you see courses in GulfPhotoPlus for HDR and processing I wouldn't recommend them as they're not particularly well run or user friendly. I'd stick to straight photography if you're dropping $$$ for a course there.

Processing is a difficult topic to pick up, and very much like corporate courses for Microsoft Office programs it is difficult to take your learning from a course into images of your own.

One of the tutors at GPP, David Nightingale, is very advanced in PS techniques. I don't know if he's still doing it, but on his blog/website/facebook he used to run informal competitions where he and other photoshoppers would take a common image and process in their own way before publishing and a winner being voted for by subscribers. Part of the process involved a step by step run through of the processing. This could be a good alternative learning tool if it's still up and running.


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