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Thread: Am I a failure?

  1. #1

    Default Am I a failure?

    Hi,

    It has been months since I bought my canon 400D and had read quite a few of books...but whenever i tried to take a picture...it all came out wrong? am i a failure?

    i tried taking picture of a clock on top of a TV and behind is the window with light spilling in. But no matter how i adjust the setting on my camera, the picture never came out the way i want. I want the clock to be sharp and yet the background light shining in. But my pictures all came out with the clock too dark or the background too bright.

    I tried taking ceiling fan inside my house but the picture cannot come out the way i want. I want to show the movement of the fan so i slow down the shutter speed to 10mins....but it never show the movement. then maybe my hand shake they also came out blurry.

    i wanted to take a picture of the calendar hanging on the wall. I want to give it a retro kind of feel but the picture came out too sharp. I tried various angles but they all came out wrong.

    so am i a failure? i tried many ways but all came out wrong. but i really want to master the skills....how?
    Canon IXUS 850 / Canon EOS 400D 18mm-55mm Kit Lens

  2. #2

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    practise. and follow my signature at the bottom. =)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    u hand held ur shots for 10mins to take the fan?

    well practice makes perfect... i'm more into trial and error than follow closely by the books... shoot more, try shooting in manual mode, fix ur shutter speed, varies your aperture and vice versa... roughly u get the idea liao, den u'll know what u want...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    try and use a flash.

    and btw what have sharp got the do with the angle of shooting?
    Last edited by ExplorerZ; 17th March 2007 at 05:42 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    join an outing

  6. #6

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Mastering photography skills is not a matter of months...
    It takes years n years...
    To deem urself a failure now is indeed a failure, if u get wat i mean.

    U bought urself a fine cam, u read up books, u took lotsa pics.
    But all these doesn't add up to a perfect pic.
    Photography isn't mathematics, physics or chem.

    Get into group shootings, learn more from fellow photographers, attend digital workshops..

    Gif urself time, dun rush.
    http://thepeepingthom.com/ :: pre-weddings :: portraits ::

  7. #7

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    the best way to master the 3 functions of the cam (ISO, F/stop, shutter) IMO, is to use a manual film cam.

    if you hand held your cam for 10min to take a shot, and it turns out right, you must be d*** good.

    Reading books on photography is a good way, but if you do not understand it, you can read 50 books and yet get it all wrong.

    take your time to understand what each factor does and how it will affect your shot.
    from there it will come to light.
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  8. #8

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Hi Cheekiang, for your first scenario, there is too much contrast between the light from the window and the clock on top of your TV.

    DSLR sensors (and film too) can only record up to a certain intensity of light before it saturates (maximum) and can only detect light more than a certain intensity (mininum). Together they define the dynamic range of the camera and your scene has probably exceeded this range and cannot be recorded properly with one shot.

    There is a method where you shoot the same scene two or more time with different exposure settings so as to get the clock bright in one shot and to get the window dark enough in the next, and then you combine them using software like photoshop to get the picture you want. It is called HDR(?) photography if I remember correctly.

    For your second scenario, a shutter speed of 10min is way too long for anyone (at least those I know) to handhold without introducing significant amount of camera shake. For this case, you should mount your camera on a tripod and then you can play around with the exposure time to get the effect you desire.

    For your third scenario, you can switch your lense to manual focus and try and get the defocused effect that you wish.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    cheekiang,

    You didn't fail. You just learnt the many ways NOT to take a picture.

    In the clock situation, the light shining in from the back is called backlighting. Without seeing the picture, I am assuming the clock face is dark compared to the background. In this case, did you use the on-camera flash to light up the clock face?

    10mins is too long a shutter speed for the ceiling fan. The picture came out all white right? I dunno the how dark or light the room was when you took the picture. If at night and you have the room lights on, start with a time of 10-15 seconds, and use a tripod or else there'll be camera shake!

    Retro feel? Oh boy, this one I cannot help without knowing or seeing a sample of what you really want to copy.

    Lucky you are shooting digital so you can learn from all the mistakes you can. Imagine if you had shot film.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    No one gets it right the first time.

    Some need longer, some need shorter. There is no such thing as someone never ever getting it, it's just the time and effort factor that comes into play.

    Don't worry, dude, I'm sure you'd eventually get it right, one way or another. Sometimes, you gotta listen to yourself, and be honest about whether it's good or not, it'd help.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by cheekiang View Post
    Hi,

    It has been months since I bought my canon 400D and had read quite a few of books...but whenever i tried to take a picture...it all came out wrong? am i a failure?

    i tried taking picture of a clock on top of a TV and behind is the window with light spilling in. But no matter how i adjust the setting on my camera, the picture never came out the way i want. I want the clock to be sharp and yet the background light shining in. But my pictures all came out with the clock too dark or the background too bright.
    With a backlit subject like that you could try using fill-flash or reflector to brighten up the subject.

    I tried taking ceiling fan inside my house but the picture cannot come out the way i want. I want to show the movement of the fan so i slow down the shutter speed to 10mins....but it never show the movement. then maybe my hand shake they also came out blurry.
    I doubt anyone can handhold for 10mins without any blurs.
    1/60 secs is probably the best I can do, handheld.
    Get a tripod if you're using slow shutter speed.
    You don't really need a shutter speed that long to show movement of the fan blades.
    Experiment with faster speeds till you get the effect you want.

    i wanted to take a picture of the calendar hanging on the wall. I want to give it a retro kind of feel but the picture came out too sharp. I tried various angles but they all came out wrong.
    Just need more practice.
    Look at similar photos taken by other photographers and take note of their framing, exposures, composition, etc.

    so am i a failure? i tried many ways but all came out wrong. but i really want to master the skills....how?
    No, you're not a failure .... yet.
    You're just starting out.
    But it's good that you're thinking before taking pictures.
    Read up more on exposures, get to know a camera's limitations, and practice.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    You have not fail, But just fail to master the technique of taking pictures.

    Photography is an art and passion, you have to understand ISo, apreture, dept of field control and various technique to acquire your desire result. there's no one way to achieve
    the same result. An experience photgrapher can achieve outstanding result via various mean because they understand the rules of photography, and the strength/weakness of their camera.

    In many case, reading books does not helps because tip are given straight away. You have idea why its set that way?

    Its the real experience and guidiance that your missing.

    I would strongly to encourage you to join Photography Society of Singapore where
    there are instructors to to guide you and phot critic session for comment.

    If photography is really your passion, then you should really think of investing in a basic photography course to kickstart your interest.

    Cheers..

  13. #13

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    hi hi,

    thanks for everyone's golden words of encouragement and advice...

    hmm now i only know how to use aperture priority: smaller one will give u sharper images(hope i am right), shutter speed priority: slower will give you movement(hope i get this right too)....but then i tried using manual and then...BOOM....i mean i don't know why when i used manual mode the picture came out different that i expected(i used manual during night to take river angbao during new year...but the pictures came out black....maybe my fault or what)

    okie i know there are much more to photography...like lens focus length, your camera's limitation etc etc there is what i lack in....haiz....still need to do alot of reading and playing with my camera....

    i will go for basic photography course....to learn the tricks and trade of photography....

    and anyone can tell me what is bokeh and IMO means???
    Canon IXUS 850 / Canon EOS 400D 18mm-55mm Kit Lens

  14. #14

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by cheekiang View Post
    hi hi,

    thanks for everyone's golden words of encouragement and advice...

    hmm now i only know how to use aperture priority: smaller one will give u sharper images(hope i am right), shutter speed priority: slower will give you movement(hope i get this right too)....but then i tried using manual and then...BOOM....i mean i don't know why when i used manual mode the picture came out different that i expected(i used manual during night to take river angbao during new year...but the pictures came out black....maybe my fault or what)

    okie i know there are much more to photography...like lens focus length, your camera's limitation etc etc there is what i lack in....haiz....still need to do alot of reading and playing with my camera....

    i will go for basic photography course....to learn the tricks and trade of photography....

    and anyone can tell me what is bokeh and IMO means???
    u dun really need a course dude. u just need to practice. Till this day i look at my photos and i still cringe. So take it easy. I am a f***ed up photographer IMO(in my opinion) but i dun stop trying.

  15. #15
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by cheekiang View Post
    hi hi,

    thanks for everyone's golden words of encouragement and advice...

    hmm now i only know how to use aperture priority: smaller one will give u sharper images(hope i am right), shutter speed priority: slower will give you movement(hope i get this right too)....but then i tried using manual and then...BOOM....i mean i don't know why when i used manual mode the picture came out different that i expected(i used manual during night to take river angbao during new year...but the pictures came out black....maybe my fault or what)

    okie i know there are much more to photography...like lens focus length, your camera's limitation etc etc there is what i lack in....haiz....still need to do alot of reading and playing with my camera....

    i will go for basic photography course....to learn the tricks and trade of photography....

    and anyone can tell me what is bokeh and IMO means???

    i learnt photography by giving up on things that i cannot take and things that i know is not easy to get at the start. why push yourself against difficult lighting and losing heart over it? well, that is when you are starting. try something easier and dun set difficult targets that is either difficult or impossible.

    the 10mins shooting the fan is a bit off. a few seconds will do. you are not shooting star trails, that is unless your fan moves as slow as the stars on the sky by proportion.

    if by now you have read a few books and have not yet know what is bokeh, perhaps the books you read didn't cover enough. bokeh refer to the features/characteristics of out of focused areas in photography, or more commonly in usage, the existence of the out of focused areas itself. when i'm shooting a portrait 1m from me using 50mm f/1.8 lens at f/1.8, the background that is 50m from me will all be thrown into blurriness in blotches due to light that does not fall exactly in one point but over an area causing an area of diffusion. in practise you just have to recognise it and know how to produce it. on stricter grounds, i can describe the bokeh as soft and pentagonal as a feature of that blurry out of focused areas.

    i noted that you are asking for recommendations of books that feature collections/works of professional and do not want books that shows you the theory. i would suggest that you do not aim too high and skip the basics - get a book with theory and pictures and diagrams that shows it. you can check out the books that i recommend in my thread in my signature. or if you dun mind some misinformation from a fellow newbie, you can read my thread through. it may help in getting some concept right.
    Last edited by zoossh; 17th March 2007 at 06:46 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member asterixsg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Bro,
    You've got such wonderful advice here. Now you know the real meaning and value of Clubsnap.

    My suggestions are very simple.
    1. Shoot more. Practice makes perfect. Try simple things. Get out of the house, shoot landscapes/citiscapes when the light is nice.
    2. Understand the basics of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.
    3. Join an outing and learn from the experts and gurus in this forum.
    4. If you can afford, join one of those intermediate courses on photography.

    Go to marina promenade between 7 and 9 am. shoot the Singapore skyline.
    Walk around in Little India, China Town - take photos of the temples/shophouses etc.
    Take your tripod, stand on Esplanade bridge and shoot the Merlion at night. Try different things. So what if these have been shot a million times by thousands of people.
    Setup your tripod on a pedestrian overbridge and shoot trails of vehicles passing.

    Then move on to advanced things.

    Wish you the best. Not everyone can be a famous/great photographer, but most people can shoot reasonably decent photographs that capture what they 'felt' when they saw the scene - with a bit of practice.

    Have patience. This is one thing I've learnt myself. The more you rush, the more frustrated you will become.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt....

  17. #17

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    don`t lose heart what ppl said to you !! hehe .. keep practice !!! =D keep playing with ur camera until u familar it ...
    Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Yup true dun lose heart. I must admit Im not a gd photographer as well and I tend to lose heart pretty often. It would be good to take your camera out and take a stroll at the CDB Area, Bugis or any other places in fact. Chinatown's not bad too. These places are really inspiring. Gd luck and all the best =)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Use a tripod....

  20. #20

    Default Re: Am I a failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by cheekiang View Post
    Hi,

    It has been months since I bought my canon 400D and had read quite a few of books...but whenever i tried to take a picture...it all came out wrong? am i a failure?

    i tried taking picture of a clock on top of a TV and behind is the window with light spilling in. But no matter how i adjust the setting on my camera, the picture never came out the way i want. I want the clock to be sharp and yet the background light shining in. But my pictures all came out with the clock too dark or the background too bright.
    The contrast in the lighting is too much, you may want to try to fill in the clock with a flash.

    I tried taking ceiling fan inside my house but the picture cannot come out the way i want. I want to show the movement of the fan so i slow down the shutter speed to 10mins....but it never show the movement. then maybe my hand shake they also came out blurry.
    10 mins? 10sec or 1/10sec?

    i wanted to take a picture of the calendar hanging on the wall. I want to give it a retro kind of feel but the picture came out too sharp. I tried various angles but they all came out wrong.
    In this case, I think you will need to do some post processing.

    so am i a failure? i tried many ways but all came out wrong. but i really want to master the skills....how?
    Shoot more, discuss with people, share ideas. Put up your images for people to criticize and give constructive comments.

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