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Thread: my photography skill not consistent :(

  1. #1

    Unhappy my photography skill not consistent :(

    I found that my greatest problem is still technical. That sometimes photo's exposure is what I want and sometimes the exposure is not.

    My skills are not consistent. Thus, it seems that I am shooting based on technical luck.

    I think technically, I should have mastered exposure and get the exposure I wanted. But whenever I fire, I have to check the LCD to see if got over or under exposed.

    How to make myself so familiar with exposure??? Shoot in film???

    I am relying on the auto setting in camera. I dun mean tricky scenario like backlit etc. But even in normal situation, I am not good at exposure

    Any solution?

  2. #2

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    I think technical skills should not be a luck thing. After shooting and hope for the best. It should be a trained skill whereby I reused and not a trial-and-error shooting

  3. #3
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    erm, experience...?
    shooting in film or shooting in digital is actually abt the same (imho)
    just that film u learn ur lessons the "hard" way...

  4. #4

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Arcanic~
    erm, experience...?
    shooting in film or shooting in digital is actually abt the same (imho)
    just that film u learn ur lessons the "hard" way...
    I think I am too use to seeing the LCD to cheat or check my photos. If my camera dun have LCD, all my shots will be rubbish exposure

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ding Shan Ben
    I found that my greatest problem is still technical. That sometimes photo's exposure is what I want and sometimes the exposure is not.

    My skills are not consistent. Thus, it seems that I am shooting based on technical luck.

    I think technically, I should have mastered exposure and get the exposure I wanted. But whenever I fire, I have to check the LCD to see if got over or under exposed.

    How to make myself so familiar with exposure??? Shoot in film???

    I am relying on the auto setting in camera. I dun mean tricky scenario like backlit etc. But even in normal situation, I am not good at exposure

    Any solution?
    Seems that u said u're shooting in auto and expect to control exposure?

    I used to think ur way, 'auto=perfect exposure' until I realised how dead wrong I was when I got my DSLR and shot in auto modes. Its a surefire way of getting crap photos.

    I'd suggest u read up more regarding aperture values and shutter speed and meditate on the relationship between these 2. Focal length on lens is pretty straightforward business.

    I follow a rule of thumb given by a friend: Aperture big (ie, big hole), fast shutter. Aperture small (ie, small hole), slow shutter.

    A tip given by a great master to me that further enlightened me: Learn your lens well, minimal focus and infinity focus mark.

  7. #7

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    I should say that I shoot in semi auto (aperture priority). Even if I shoot in Manual mode, I have to trial-and-error eg, f5.6, 1/60, overexposed, then 1/125, still over, then 1/500, yes, there.

    yes, I am a chimping chimpaneze

    I am too dependant on LCD.

  8. #8
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    If you are using auto mode then how do you control the exposure? Also do not depend on the lcd to check for exposure. It is only meant as a quick reference check.

  9. #9

    Default Some suggestions

    My suggestions for perfect exposures is as follows :

    (1) spend more time on understanding your existing equipment than having the concept that better lens or body will result in better looking photos. Its not true and has been proven wrong.

    (2) Go try to read up some materials on middle greys, identifying different greys lighting conditions and how apeatures + shutters + compensation affects the overall picture quality. Also , try to learn the various meterings in your camera that you're using (extremely Important !!) and apply what types of meterings in various situation.

    (3) If you have time, read something on Black and white photography. BW pictures emphasize on tones, contrast & exposure. Once you grasp it, coloured shots are a breeze ....

    (4) If you have time to burn, don't spend too much time being "trigger" happy.. Tons of people just take shots and showcasing their friends how sharp it is ... Before you take a shot, pause for a moment, think of how the overall picture composition and the exposures you want to achieve. Play with the manual settings on the same location. Go back review what you've done even its only 5 to 10 shots for that day itself.. You'll find that you've learnt a greater deal than shooting 1000+ shots without pausing to think what you're doing ..

  10. #10

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    I can't see anything wrong by using the LCD?
    don't SQUEEZE yourself in difficulty,
    the LCD indicare the Aperture/Speed/Flash indicator/Metering mode and you just look at them and anything wrong with that?

    and IF you say very depending on the LCD< and if you are only using the aperture/speed indicator then i think you are normal, even some pro, i mean those affordable pro even pay for the lighting meter for partly exposure measuement, so, what's the problem by using the built in Aperture indicator? if u dun want or insist not to use it, then why you need TTL ?

    Just play around with Aperture VS Speed, then u can make it.

  11. #11
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    3 ways to learn, which do you prefer?

    1) read a book like understanding exposure, then go shoot.

    2) call your photographers friends go shoot together, and do post review together discussing about the technical aspect.

    3) attending workshop/course, learn from those who loves teaching/imparting technical skills (like in basic course?)

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    good that you think this way, its a very good start. well, don't depend too much on the auto everything function of your camera. if you are brave enough, use manual all the time (or Tv or Av).

    Anyway, when shooting with film, many will try to bracket their shots to ensure that they don't miss a good shot due to poor exposure.

    There are certain rules to follow, but those are just rules. at the end, you must know when to use it and when to break it to add some compensation to achieve the "EXPOSURE YOU WANT" - remember you are the photographer not the camera.

    Even pro uses light meter, and compensate from the light meter results, unless you can train your eyes to be a light meter...........

    With film you still have to develop it and record the settings, lots more effort and time and money, and you may still give up (probably faster). BTW photo from film can turn out bad due to the lab fault for using bad chemical or lack of skill etc etc.

    Shoot more, use more manual settings. know some of those rules and start from there.

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    Anyway, I laugh at my friend a couple of times when he showed me his shots from holiday and a relative wedding. (I know I shouldn't) but it is crazy because, a lot are underexpose (especially those difficult shot due to indoor lighting or ambient lighting). BTW he is using a digital camera, so i asked him, didn't he look at the LCD? well the obvious answer is no, save battery power.

    What's the lesson here, if he used the LCD, he would know that the exposure is wrong, try agin, and learn from it that he needs to compensate in difficult lighting conditions. Otherwise by the time he review the photo, you don't get another similar situation for you to try out.

    well my final advise to him: buy a film camera. hee hee hee

    I think to learn (for a start - besides all the suggestions above especially those about shooting with people who are willing and can explain very well). You should keep the first shot (wrong exposure) and the final one with right exposure, study the photos, note the differnce in settings and determine why the difference.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ding Shan Ben
    I should say that I shoot in semi auto (aperture priority). Even if I shoot in Manual mode, I have to trial-and-error eg, f5.6, 1/60, overexposed, then 1/125, still over, then 1/500, yes, there.

    yes, I am a chimping chimpaneze

    I am too dependant on LCD.
    f/5.6 1/60, 1/125, 1/500?

    Dude, kinda curious. For 1 single photo, how many shots do u actually churn out on the average?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn
    f/5.6 1/60, 1/125, 1/500?

    Dude, kinda curious. For 1 single photo, how many shots do u actually churn out on the average?

    I guess, from his posting, its 3 shots........kind of like how bracketing shots work.

  16. #16

    Default Don't trust your camera to do everything

    Just to point out that the camera's built in modes try to do an approx. estimation of what the correct exposure should be.

    If you pick up a few photog. books, (I recommend the Ansel series)
    you realise that where u meter on (in A, S, P) will determine the exposure the camera takes, and this isn't always accurate.

    For eg, sometimes you have to meter on an object not in your shot, and then recompose.

    18% grey is always the key.. hope that helps.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Restless
    Just to point out that the camera's built in modes try to do an approx. estimation of what the correct exposure should be.

    If you pick up a few photog. books, (I recommend the Ansel series)
    you realise that where u meter on (in A, S, P) will determine the exposure the camera takes, and this isn't always accurate.

    For eg, sometimes you have to meter on an object not in your shot, and then recompose.

    18% grey is always the key.. hope that helps.
    Actually...it's dun trust the pic in your LCD... but take the histrogram seriously.
    Gallery | Facebook Page Spreading the Good photography.

  18. #18

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    Photography means writing with light.

    1 So first step is to learn to see light. And then, understanding how the sensor (film or digital) works, use ASA, aperture and shutter speed to get the right amount of light to be recorded on the sensor

    2 Time and again, I read something like this. "Photography is about feelings, about expression, about art. I want to be an artist. Techniques are not important. Afterall, great photographs were made with the the simplest of point and shoot camera."

    What do you think? Do you think technique is important? BTW, the photograhers who make great images are people who know their equipment and techniques better than their wives.

    3 Whether you use auto, program, aperture priority or shutter priority, you are still surrendering your control (or lack of it) to the camera's computer. Just because one can fire a volley of 5 shots backetting -2 to +2, and have one properly exposed image have nothing to do with your knowledge about light.

    So for a start, read a basic book on exposure. Then give yourself an exercise/assignment. Make this exercise expensive. Engage a model on a one-to-one shoot. The most expensive you can afford. Then bring her out to the most horrendous light you can find. Tape over the LCD. Then shoot! Use what you learn and expose accordingly.Ttake your time, but only one shot per scene.

    No cheating.

    When you come home, look at the images. I think you will learn more in this one single session than trying to learn from learning from all the blind volleys.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn
    f/5.6 1/60, 1/125, 1/500?

    Dude, kinda curious. For 1 single photo, how many shots do u actually churn out on the average?
    i didn't do bracketing. I manually adjust the shutter speed by 1 stop loh.

    sometimes, i chrun out 4-5 and sitll cannot get exposure i want ; so try and error!

  20. #20
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    Seems that u really have a problem or u're really new.

    Ok, I've got a suggestion for u.

    Read up on aperture and shutter speed. Know the relationship between these two and start shooting in manual mode. Like wad student had mentioned, make it the most expensive lesson u'd ever learnt.

    If u don't even know ur basics well enough, there is no point even in shooting using plain auto or program mode as it'll churn out equally crappy photos.

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