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Can I borrow your brain?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kimchibrown, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. kimchibrown


    Feb 2, 2008
    There are a lot of incredible photographers on this site. I'm not one of them.

    So to you pros and advanced users, or even beginners, tell me the simple lessons you learned that help you become a better photographer. In my never ending battle to become a better photographer despite an obvious lack of talent, it would be helpful.
  2. I don't know what kind of photography you are interested in , but there are three basic lessons I learned many, many years ago- have a sense of humor, have a sense of humility, and always shoot with a compassionate camera.
  3. You might want to pick up a photography course or join a local club. I always learned more from fellow students than the material offered in the course.


  4. Connahhh


    Oct 27, 2007
    The first time I really understood light was when my photography grew exponentially. I had come home from taking over 200 pictures of worthwhile subjects in light that didn't suit them. When you take a bad picture, look at it. Figure out what's wrong. Then fix it. That's sort of always been my philosophy since I started and it has helped so much.
  5. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    First off shake the negative attitude. Im sure your a great photgrapher, but like everyone else want to get better:smile:. Secondly, Get out there and shoot. than shoot some more. Never walk out of the house without a camera over your shoulder ready to go. Great photographs are every where, you just have to see them. Than show your work to other photographer's. Be prepared to have thick skin. I know the first time I took a class the instructor said "you are by far the worst photographer Iv ever seen:eek: . I was crushed and quit his class. But soon after I decided to get better. And 25 years later I think I have, Im still not "there" yet. Now I see that ego crushing comment was his way of motivation. So in the end I Im gratefull for his instruction. Another great way is to give yourself "little" projects. For instance Im on a macro kick right now. Flower, dragonflys, and product shooting. NEVER be satisfied with success. Always keep working and refining your tech and vision. Study the light and every detail of the world around you, Big and small.
    Oh ya, by the way .
    You are by far the worst photographer Iv ever see:biggrin:

  6. And every one of them started out taking awesome, great shots the first time they picked up a camera. No way.

    Take a class at a community college or whatever is available in your area and then practice, practice, and more practice.
  7. One word: patience. When I first got into photography, I read all the books I could, practiced an awful lot, went out and bought a nice camera with lenses, but for the life of me, I had the hardest time understanding f-stops/aperture/ISO/SS combinations, how to set them, the reasons why, what made for nice sharp pics, and most of all, once I understood it, it seemed I would never get fast enough! But lately, the more I do this hobby, the better I get, without really thinking about it. It just seems to sink in more than it used to. That's not to say I don't need LOTS more work and practice, and I'll never be as great as I want to be! :smile: But just be patient and let it come.
  8. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Shoot in Manual Mode. If you have to, take a shot in Auto Mode or Program Mode, chimp it, see what you don't like about it, check your settings, move to Manual Mode, and fix what you don't like. For instance:

    Set ISO to 200. Go outside and shoot a bird in P Mode. Is the bird blurred due to movement on the bird's part? Check the settings the camera chose; let's say it chose SS 200, F11. Switch to Manual Mode and correct for the blurriness; let's say SS 1000, F8. Your shot is too dark? Go SS 1000, F5.6. Still dark? Go SS 1000, F4.5 (or minimum). Light good, but still blurry? Go SS 1250, F-minimum for the lens, and bump up your ISO...

    This taught me a lot about my lenses, my camera, my settings, etc., how f affects shutter speed, how fast I can shoot with a particular f and lens before I have to raise my ISO, etc.
  9. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    I was also going to suggest coming to MI6 (MIVI?) next year, but yikes, you are on the other side of the world! I learned a ton at MI5 from the visiting bird-shooters.
  10. Learn the Zone System until it is second nature.

    shoot in spot metered manual.

    once a week or so, pick an image from the web, and try to duplicate it- figure out how the lighting worked, etc...

    Don't go and shoot blindly, hopeing to accidently capture a good image. Plan your shots, and shoot and shoot till you can make what you want.

  11. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Rule of thirds
  12. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Learn all the rule's, than break them.

  13. Agreed!

    But like any rule, know when to ignore it...
  14. Define the message

    Isolate the subject

    Simplify the image
  15. Hi Danny
    I'm in the same boat as you, and BTW you don't want to borrow MY brain. A little tattered. I'm going to try to paraphrase the late, great Galen Rowell. He wrote that three things are required for an extraordinary image. They are:

    1. A good working understanding of the technical aspects of photography, inluding post processing. Basic craftsmanship. Read your manual several times.
    2. A clear, strong, uncluttered concept. An unmistakable subject.
    3. Most importantly, FINE LIGHT!

    I try to evaluate my images by these criteria. I fail to achieve all three more often than not, but it sure is rewarding when it all works! The most illusive for me is knowing how to instill the emotional content of a scene or subject in my images.

    Keep shooting! Have fun!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2008
  16. Also get a shot against NAS...that is a very nasty disease :wink:
  17. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    I'd say the best thing that happened to me is;

    Finding the Cafe. Keep peactcing and posting your images here. I've learned so much here in the last 7 months. The wealth of advice is amazing from this site. I still have ALOT more to learn don't get me wrong. But the people here that offer their help and advice is second to none!!

    I LOVE this place. :Love:
  18. the zone system takes the better part of a lifetime to master and its only relevant with chemical processes. most of us are running digital these days, learning the zone system is not going to help.
  19. concentrate on composition as much as anything else. most people will get the technical stuff soon enough. its all based in mathematics so it might be faster for some than others but just about everyone eventually gets it. learning what to actually do with whatever technical skill you have defines what impact you can deliver with your images. learning what to shoot is as important as how to shoot it.
  20. gladjo

    gladjo Guest

    I used to get "your pictures are technically perfect but ......"

    "You have an imagination, use it". :smile:
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