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Thread: How to learn to "see"

  1. #1

    Default How to learn to "see"

    I'm a newbie, and just bought a Canon 400D recently. Been having great fun taking pictures, but I find that there isn't really a big difference in the pictures taken in my PnS days except maybe resolution and file size

    When I read photography stuff on the web, I'm more attracted to gear stuff and drool over lens and exotic gear, when I should be looking at more pictures instead.

    Can I get advice from more experienced members on how you have gone on to the "next level", like making shots more interesting, "seeing" the world differently... etc. Any links to share?? Thanks
    Last edited by cancan7; 23rd September 2007 at 11:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    just shoot and shoot more. break away from your old styles and shoot again.

    eg: if you like to shoot stand up.. try squatting before shooting..
    if you like to position your subjects in the middle, move it somewhere else in the viewfinder
    Try auto bracketing, which exposure brings out the subject.
    Portrait/landscape? try the other way.

    Sometimes it works out.. sometimes it doesn't. Shoot a lot and review the pictures again. Ask why does it look plain.
    I'm not an expert at it and I'm still learning. However, when I compare my plain shots today, I can safely say they are at least better than what I took 3 years ago.
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Shooting more, focusing more on subjects, understanding them, trying out new angles.. etc.
    Colours, lines, framings, composition, emotions, story etc all play a part in the overall look of your photo

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Quote Originally Posted by cancan7 View Post
    When I read photography stuff on the web, I'm more attracted to gear stuff and drool over lens and exotic gear, when I should be looking at more pictures instead.


    I do not consider myself experienced, but you do realised that you had (part of) the answer in your own posting don't you.

    You mentioned you are having fun, thats important too!

    Besides the forums in CS, I visit this site to "see" how others "see". http://photo.net/

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    You could try google for 'tips on photography composition'

  6. #6
    Senior Member dorts's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Seems to me like you are using Auto mode. LOL. Try Aperture and Shutter priority mode. Learn about them and how to use them. Then play with the settings.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Try shooting with a prime lens...
    After I went on a casual shoot with my 50 1.8, I found my composition improving. It made me think more before I shot cos u can't zoom in or out, and the legs are naturally reluctant to move.
    Might work for you too!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    I can't say this enough (despite the many people that think otherwise)... Photography as a hobby is every bit about making the photograph as it is about technology/equipment whoring

    Purists and Perfectionists of course, need not subcribe to this point of view.

    You could try a few exercises... like going on a outing without your camera. Concentrate on viewing the scene with your eyes without the distraction of "i want to make a photograph". Think about how it would look in a photograph. You will find that after awhile, you develop a more critical eye of the subjects you want to photograph.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    at first, books and web/magazine articles that teach "seeing creatively" will have good tips and exercises to give you a start

    but what really helps is to look at more photographs. lots and lots of photographs. and think about what you see. go library and flip through the many wonderful photo books that they have there. buy your favourite ones from riceball...

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Thanks for the quick replies everyone,

    I do have a prime lens and I love the way it makes the subject stands out from the background. I'm using AV and TV mode now, hopefully I'll be familiar with these two modes and go on to experiment with exposure and full manual mode. Meanwhile, practise, practise and keep my eyes open

  11. #11
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay View Post
    just shoot and shoot more. break away from your old styles and shoot again.

    eg: if you like to shoot stand up.. try squatting before shooting..
    if you like to position your subjects in the middle, move it somewhere else in the viewfinder
    Try auto bracketing, which exposure brings out the subject.
    Portrait/landscape? try the other way.

    Sometimes it works out.. sometimes it doesn't. Shoot a lot and review the pictures again. Ask why does it look plain.
    I'm not an expert at it and I'm still learning. However, when I compare my plain shots today, I can safely say they are at least better than what I took 3 years ago.
    but one can also do the a/m using pns. infact, with their compact size and swivel lcd, it is even more easy.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  12. #12
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    to learn to "see" you need to view lots of paintings
    and open up your mind, free yourself from equipment

    learn to see first (without the limitations of equipment)
    then try to use your equipment to make the image that you see.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    1) take more photos, and always experiment, try something new
    2) don't be afraid to criticize yourself, or let others criticize
    3) look at people's shots, but don't just blindly emulate, innovation or creation by yourself is best

    that's about it, i guess

  14. #14
    Member/Tangshooter Redsun's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Looks at other people's shots.They might have some angles that you never thought of before
    Shoot more
    as you shoot more you'll start to feel that this angle you shoot before,and start trying out other angles to give a new look to the same old thing

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Something I leant from www.nyip.com

    * Step 1. Know your subject.
    What is it that you want to tell in your pic? A particular person? Something in the scenary? etc

    * Step 2. Focus attention on your subject.
    Draw attention to it via composition techniques......leading lines, rules of third, symmetry etc

    * Step 3. Simplify.
    Cut out things that distracts....Background any distracting bits?

    quite good guide, but, do read up on photography books and see what give pics that kick, and learn how to emulate it....expt with your camera and know your camera well on its limitations and make the best out of it......camera is just a tool.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Quote Originally Posted by cancan7 View Post
    I'm a newbie, and just bought a Canon 400D recently. Been having great fun taking pictures, but I find that there isn't really a big difference in the pictures taken in my PnS days except maybe resolution and file size

    When I read photography stuff on the web, I'm more attracted to gear stuff and drool over lens and exotic gear, when I should be looking at more pictures instead.

    Can I get advice from more experienced members on how you have gone on to the "next level", like making shots more interesting, "seeing" the world differently... etc. Any links to share?? Thanks
    well, just use great looking photos as your reference

  17. #17
    Member/Tangshooter Redsun's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiszRie View Post
    well, just use great looking photos as your reference
    lol reference but don't copy
    it wont help to shoot the way others shoot
    Develop your own style

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    for a start, u can use the one-third rule, but if u wan to break the rule for nicer composition, by all means
    http://www.dreamstime.com/Ionsoon_info
    So much Creativity So much Technology

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    Quote Originally Posted by Yatlapball View Post
    I can't say this enough (despite the many people that think otherwise)... Photography as a hobby is every bit about making the photograph as it is about technology/equipment whoring

    Purists and Perfectionists of course, need not subcribe to this point of view.

    You could try a few exercises... like going on a outing without your camera. Concentrate on viewing the scene with your eyes without the distraction of "i want to make a photograph". Think about how it would look in a photograph. You will find that after awhile, you develop a more critical eye of the subjects you want to photograph.
    I agree with Yatlapball. In fact, take a closer look and spend a little thought of your surroundings and think about the possibilities of forming a nice picture. Some times, you may be able to visualize something special from what others deem as "boring stuffs".

  20. #20

    Default Re: How to learn to "see"

    shoot shoot shoot like what everybody says. and you'll see yourself improving. but sometimes you have to appreciate the surrounds to give you a better understanding of what you want to get. note, its a common misconception that compostion only consists of these few thigns mentioned above. colour tone and lighting are also part of composition.

    keep shooting =D if you want to go for shoots count me in too haha.
    Nikon!
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