Author Topic: Getting Started  (Read 875 times)

Paul.S

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Getting Started
« on: January 15, 2018, 11:42:58 »
I am two weeks into my photography tenure..... :) Actually just discovered this wonderful craft with a camera donation from a colleague of mine. I have posted already in the critique section so I just dove right in. I have a lot to learn. Cameras, lenses, menus, processing.

My main question is about methodology. How did you learn? Did you find a particular methodology or system that allowed you to grow as a photographer? I have no plans to do this for a living as I have been working as an exercise physiologist for 27 years.

I am already getting caught up into adding equipment just ten days into this hobby as my colleagues are unloading their "old gear". A good way to dump money and get nowhere photographically.

Paul

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 13:52:40 »

My main question is about methodology. How did you learn? Did you find a particular methodology or system that allowed you to grow as a photographer? I have no plans to do this for a living as I have been working as an exercise physiologist for 27 years.


I believe everyone has a different way of learning. And more importantly, everyone has a different set of goals for their photography. It is not always clear what the goal is. But it tends to reveal itself through practice.

So
My recommendation is to go out and practice. It will teach you what you like and what you don’t. It will make you familiar with your equipment and what it can and cannot do. It will teach you the importance of light and the consequences of too much or too little.

Jacques Pochoy

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 14:01:03 »
Hello Paul, welcome to NG... :-)
We all learned in different ways and at different ages, the best way is always to go out and take pictures, but also to look at pictures at galleries or photo books from diverse well known photographers and then make your very own choices !
“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2018, 15:41:39 »
How did you learn?
Read, look at a lot of photographs, analyze photographs that work and those that don't, ask questions and practice, practice, practice.

---

Paul,

New gear gives new options. Don't get caught in the some form of optical poverty. Don't feel guilty about new gear but don't let new gear become and end in itself. Strike a balance.

A great thing about the digital ages is once you own the camera, a few lenses and a few memory cards shooting is free so do a lot of practicing. You want to get so you don't think much about the camera or lens when shooting. Practice builds reflexes and the fingers know what to do. With reflexes when an important opportunity arrives you are ready.

Best,

Dave Hartman
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Oh no, must be the season of the witch

armando_m

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 17:08:34 »
+1 on practice, read, see others images, also learn to delete your bad images (but if it is bad, try to determine why )

I'll also add that it was important for me to  share images in a photo community, be ready to receive all sorts of comments (sometimes none, but do not get discouraged), pay attention to the comments  from photographers that you like their style

I learned lots from photo communities and critiques, practicing and sharing my images, but also I took a few classes from photographers that I liked, only in one of those classes someone explained what it meant to see the light and that was a turning point for me
Armando Morales
D800, Nikon 1 V1

Paul.S

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 17:22:46 »
Can we further break down how to practice? Do I print what I have captured? Do I just analyze on screen? Print before processing and after to see the differences on screen as well as in print?

I have a copy of LR4 and a MacBook Air 11" circa 2011. I also have access to an Epson 3880 printer.

What is the best way to save photographs? I already know how to delete bad pictures!

Do you have some particular recommendations regarding books on this subject matter?

I will post pictures when I can as I look forward to critiques of any kind. It is one of the better ways to learn.

Thank you.

Paul

armando_m

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 17:40:01 »
practice = shoot anything you like
Try challenging situations, like low light, against a bright light, low speed, high speed, shallow or large depth of field,  handheld, or in a tripod, ambient light, flash, closeups , night images, the idea is to understand how the camera works in the different situations, and what parameters are needed to obtain the image that you are looking for.

I have no need to print unless I really like a picture , I review my images on the computer

Everyone will have their own method to save pictures, my method is as follows:
- I save the raw images (I rarely shoot jpg)
- Also save the processed version if I really like the image
- Keep 3 sets of copies of my images in separate hard disks, which I sync monthly or more frequently if I went to an important photographic event

one more comment.... it does take a while to learn, so be curious about new things but also be patient
Armando Morales
D800, Nikon 1 V1

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2018, 19:50:12 »
Can we further break down how to practice?

Do you have some particular recommendations regarding books on this subject matter?


Here are some suggestions on how to practice:

Work with the same subject over a period of time.
Every February a certain type of plum tree flowers in my area.
I've taken photos of them for many years. They are easy to get a pretty image of, but hard to get a good image of.
Here is the earliest digital photo I thought was good about ten years ago. It shows what I saw at the time. It is a pretty faithful record of the event. But it doesn't really do much beyond that.
ume-1


Here is one I took last year. I think it is better, but still has some issues. It is less about the blossom and more about the structure of the tree. It simplifies. It is about pattern and texture (which for some reason I find interesting and rewarding to find). It has a composition which I am happier with with stronger lines and which fills the entire area instead of just the center. I would even say it has no center - and that is the point. You can learn a lot about what you like and want to do by choosing something to work at over time.
DFJ_3578

By doing this you have constrained your practice which is helpful in keeping your mind free from other distractions. Random subjects are hard to draw conclusions from.

Work with the same place over a period of time
This is a variant of the above, but adds some more depth. The same place will have different things which are interesting about it at different times of day and year. Sometimes you will find nothing interesting on a large scale there so you will have to look close. Sometimes you will want to come back at a different time of day to see sun rising instead of setting. Or see it in the rain...
In this group I see many who have familiar locations that they return to often.

Go somewhere different
Part of the fun of photography is going places and seeing things which you have never seen before. Bringing your camera allows you to capture it, and may make you work harder in thinking about it. Sometimes it can add richness to the experience. Sometimes it is better just to leave the camera in the bag and experience without a camera over your face. Going somewhere different may not mean travelling far. It may be finding a different vantage point - maybe higher, lower or around the back side of something.

Books
If you have access to a library, start there. They will likely have many of the classic works. Browse until you find something that speaks to you.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2018, 23:55:24 »
practice = shoot anything you like

~~~

one more comment.... it does take a while to learn, so be curious about new things but also be patient

+1 to this and all that came between.

Dave

---

To sharpen reflexes I practice focusing on the eye of a friend's large cockatoo. Even standing in one spot the head moves frequently and the eye is smaller than a centimeter so it's challenging.

When forced to shoot hand held in low light steady yourself on something solid: a kitchen counter, door frame, a wall out doors, etc. Free standing the old 1/focal length rule for shutter speed rarely works for me but sometimes I can shoot slower by bracing myself on something sold.

Buying a tripod is a challenge. Buying to cheap and you'll have to buy another and that doesn't save money. Buy to heavy and you won't use it.

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch

Paul.S

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 01:30:29 »
Thank you for all the great advice and suggestions.

Jack, your example was very helpful so thanks for giving some of your time.

I will have to give this some thought. My kids would be the obvious choice but in many ways the most difficult to photograph. I will experiment and post when I can for help and critique.

Paul

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 01:44:41 »
Great advice so far. You ask how to practice and I like to add:

"Never save on film" was one of the first pieces of advice that came to me.

What does it mean to me?

I walk around a subject to see where and how the subject is lit.

Subject can be anything that catches your interest. Do not question why, shoot and explore!

Use different perspectives. Eye height, kneeling, flat on the floor, on a leddar, on a huge leddar, from a house, from a drone.

Try to make the subject part of a context and try to isolate it from the context.

Try to overexpose, underexpose .... Direct light, back light, stark light flat light ... Directed light, diffuse light.

So you can have one place one subject and work it from dusk till dawn, come home totally exhausted with 1000 different shots on one subject
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2018, 01:47:09 »
Go to the museum. Analyse lighting, perspective and composition. Keep in mind what works for you and try to deconstruct and reconstruct = imitate it.
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Erik Lund

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2018, 08:42:55 »
Welcome to NikonGear! Enjoy ;)
Erik Lund