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Thread: Photography (& its challenges?)

  1. #1

    Default Photography (& its challenges?)

    Hi.
    I've a entry-level DSLR with me for a few months and I really like photography.
    However, I feel that I'm not doing justice to my camera due to the lousy shots I get out from my camera.
    Any advice?

    Hmms... I understand that photography is a form of art and I cannot expect to be shooting brilliant photos overnight.

    (additional info: I love all sorts of photography espcially landscapes, portraits and night photography.. but I don't really have an interest in insects..)

    Can any pros out there advice me...
    When you first started out, were you actually disappointed with crappy shots of your own?
    If you were, how long did it take you to master photography? - (i.e. every shutter you press is an excellent shot?) - how long should I give myself to practice on photography?

    Does good photography depend on natural/coincident arrangement of things, or does the photographer actually need to shift things to get good shots?

    How much post production do professional actually do to the photos? Is it drastic? Or very minor to a professional's eye?

    I'm still quite young and I've only got the financial means to have kit lens and 55-250lens. So that means I cannot afford for L lenses and such.. or even wide-angles.
    Will that actually hinder my photography? Especially due to the soft photos they generates?

    Or do I need higher ends camera for better photos? (I don't think that's the case right?)

    I like viewing clubsnap's critique corners. Most of the time, I can tell a snapshot apart from a well composed picture. However, sometimes I come across pictures in other sections of the forums where it receives quite a number of compliments... but I'll be like "huh? nice meh?" Hmm....

    Well basically over these couple of months I've been taking RAW + L.. and those poorly taken photos are eating up a lot of memory on my computer, so I cannot afford that!! everytime I go back to those I thought were initially nice photos, I'll defintely find some fault with them.... Haha is there anyway to take RAW + S or something? X_X

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.. All replies are greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    well it all depends...do you have the time and resources to compose a picture? It all depends on what kind of photography you do.

    for me was quite straightforward...take enough bad pictures until able to produce better ones.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    When you're starting out, feel free to take 500 shots at a single photo outing. Then spend some serious time going through them and looking for the 10-20 "keeper" shots. Then think about why you like them so much, and then try to focus your skills that way.
    Alpha

  4. #4

    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    For me, i started out with film photography which forces you to learn all the basics, shutter speed, iso, aperture and all that. Especially with a manual film camera. Thats not a very expensive way to go. Right now i think you can get a mint condition camera and lens for 400-500? And after awhile you start to realize the type of photography you're in to.

    Q: Does good photography depend on natural/coincident arrangement of things, or does the photographer actually need to shift things to get good shots?
    A: It really depends. If you're a street photographer, theres not much you can shift around. However, you might want to shift yourself for a better shot. On the other hand if you're a product or fashion photographer you'd want to manipulate your model or subject to get a better angle or feel. It all depends.

    Q: How much post production do professional actually do to the photos? Is it drastic? Or very minor to a professional's eye?
    A: Many photographers edit their photos but im a purist. I don't edit.

    Q: Or do I need higher ends camera for better photos? (I don't think that's the case right?)
    A: NO.

    Q: I'm still quite young and I've only got the financial means to have kit lens and 55-250lens. So that means I cannot afford for L lenses and such.. or even wide-angles.
    Will that actually hinder my photography? Especially due to the soft photos they generates?
    A: It CAN hinder your photography but i wouldn't say it WOULD. It really all depends on what you're doing. Your lens is pretty versatile so it shouldn't really be much of a problem, however, you might want to look at investing in a wider lens in the future for shooting in tight spaces or when you're doing your favorite landscapes!

    Hope this helped!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Welcome to the world of photography . . .

    how long it takes for you to get that 'shot' will be determine by yourself . . . after every photo session, download and critic on the photos that you have taken.
    here in CS, there are outings organised by the pros/seniors, join them and you will learn faster.

    Personally, i am also from the film arena, hence i don't do much pp . . . especially when i will shot alot alot nowadays, hence to pp each photo is a chore to me . . .

    as most ppl in CS always said, it is the person behind the camera that takes great shots. I still enjoy taking with my entry camera and kit lens . . . i don't know what is wrong with that.

    hope i help a bit . . .
    Shot more cos digital is FREE !!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    if you keep shooting, there's no way your images become worse. there are possibly more efficient ways to learn of course, such as reading photography materials and websites.

    still, i pretty much bought my first DSLR out of the blue. the run-of-mill shots -- simple stuff like daytime landscapes and portraits -- all turned out quite okay. harder stuff which require you to go beyond the P on the dial -- such as fast action, night landscapes, indoor portraits -- learning through trial and error was painful. so i decided to read up more on those aspects. i'm of the view that the best way to learn is to check out all the good pictures on this site and others. read the comments by others. then try to "reverse engineer" the shot and apply it to your own shots thereafter. there's also post-processing, which can make a very difference in certain situations. not hard to pick up the basics.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    The thought behind making a beautiful shot can be even more beautiful. Look at the works of more people, u r already doing it. There will always some learning points from good or bad photos.

    While often times people say the more you shoot the more you improve, but there are loads of people with "lots" of shooting experience who failed to appreciate or be more self critical and yet self congratulatory with lacklustre photos. With a positive attitude, you should be your guiding light in learning and improving

    Ryan
    Last edited by giantcanopy; 4th November 2010 at 11:30 PM.

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    Deregistered arikyeo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Hmm... sounds a little like me last year

    Back then, I was a p&s person. Then, I yearned to have the features that a dslr has: manual focus, aperture tweaking. Then, the school (back then, it was great times;now its what you can call cheapo) let us play with d40s with disappointing auto settings, and an even more disappointing kit lens who needed 5 seconds just to focus to the stillest of objects (therefore you can infer that most subjects ran away just when the autofocus had done its job)

    Anyway, I decided to go into manual mode, and I was very shocked at first. I found out how to take great images the very very hard way. Too dark image? Pull back the zoom, increase aperture, set a slower shutter speed. Too bright? Increase shutter speed. Honestly I have never touched the flash before then.

    Anyways, I then bought my first dslr, a 400d, made some $$$, bought a bazooka, lost the 400d, bought a 350d, sold it, bought a 400d again, got the bazooka broke by someone, and got back to my (almost) old days. I don't have any links to my recent random pics of my 'mates as that web host banned me for using too much bandwidth but I'll show them to you as soon as I get my money back.

    Cheers

  9. #9

    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Erm....it takes time and effort for a person to get a good picture (maybe except for pros). For me I read quite a number of books on basic skills mentioned in this thread then try to experiment and apply these theories when I go out in the field to shoot. I may take 1/2 an hour or more to shoot a single object, because I have to try out various settings to meet my requirement. Also I tend to be a little slow, slowly stand there stare at the object and the environment and think how to compose (my composition is still lousy).

    Initially I just snap and snap many hundreds of pictures without planning and thinking much and hope I will have a couple of good pictures but somehow seeing the galleries here, it made me slow down and think how to get a good picture within a few shots (for adjusting settings). It's like plan, think and aim for that one or two shots.

    Then maybe experience comes in, as you might face similar situations and your experience might help you think of ways to get a good shot faster.

    End of the day: Go out practice more and also refer to more galleries/ pictures to gain more insight of various photography skills.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    TS,

    One thing I would say is that taking tonnes of 'bad' photos doesn't necessarily mean you'll start taking better pictures eventually.
    You need to grasp the fundamentals, then through serious analysis of your photos (as well as looking at many many good photos), you've got a chance
    Exploring! :)

  11. #11
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikepy View Post
    When you first started out, were you actually disappointed with crappy shots of your own?
    If you were, how long did it take you to master photography? - (i.e. every shutter you press is an excellent shot?) - how long should I give myself to practice on photography?
    Up till now, I am still disappointed with many of my pictures. I will take another shot, or go back to a certain location to re-shoot a scene. The day you get satisfied with every picture you take is the day you should give up photography.

    Does good photography depend on natural/coincident arrangement of things, or does the photographer actually need to shift things to get good shots?
    yes, good photography depends a lot on natural and coincidental arrangements. At the same time the photographer needs to be there to capture it. And need to capture it in a nice way, so the photographer needs to shift his camera around, and get the settings right, in order to capture that moment. In shoots with controlled lighting (like a studio), yes, photographer needs to shift everything around.

    How much post production do professional actually do to the photos? Is it drastic? Or very minor to a professional's eye?
    It depends on the requirements of the client. Some work requireds 90% PP. Some work is SOOC (straight out of camera). No definite.

    I'm still quite young and I've only got the financial means to have kit lens and 55-250lens. So that means I cannot afford for L lenses and such.. or even wide-angles.
    Will that actually hinder my photography? Especially due to the soft photos they generates?
    Nothing hinders your photography. Even if you are shooting with iphone or PnS, it will not hinder photography. And kit lenses on DSLRs are pretty good actually. If the pictures are no good, it only reflects on the person behind the camera. And the kit lenses are by no means "soft".

    These were shot with an old 5mp Fuji compact PnS camera F450:



    These were shot with old Nikon D40x with 18-55 non-VR kit lens:


    Or do I need higher ends camera for better photos? (I don't think that's the case right?)
    I have said a lot above, and shown you sample pictures. What do you think? You have to draw your own conclusions.

    I like viewing clubsnap's critique corners. Most of the time, I can tell a snapshot apart from a well composed picture. However, sometimes I come across pictures in other sections of the forums where it receives quite a number of compliments... but I'll be like "huh? nice meh?" Hmm....
    People say nice for different reasons. Art is very personal. Some people can love a piece very much while another group of people will think it is rubbish. Some people just view anything as nice. So it all really depends. You should strive to improve your own work in the way you would like it to be. Some people will like it, some will hate it. You cannot please everyone but yourself.

    Well basically over these couple of months I've been taking RAW + L.. and those poorly taken photos are eating up a lot of memory on my computer, so I cannot afford that!! everytime I go back to those I thought were initially nice photos, I'll defintely find some fault with them.... Haha is there anyway to take RAW + S or something? X_X
    I mostly shoot in RAW + BASIC. If using the image SOOC, I will just take the basic jpeg and send it out, or for web, resize it. If I need to do any PP or adjustments, I will use RAW anyway.


    I've a entry-level DSLR with me for a few months and I really like photography.
    However, I feel that I'm not doing justice to my camera due to the lousy shots I get out from my camera. Any advice? Hmms... I understand that photography is a form of art and I cannot expect to be shooting brilliant photos overnight.
    Good start here:

    Basics of camera operation:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=309544

    Composition
    http://www.amateursnapper.com/photog...position-rules
    http://digital-photography-school.co...mposition-tips
    http://www.digital-photography-schoo...ps-illustrated

    Flash photography
    http://www.gentleye.com/photo/photoa...ash/index.html
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=171657

    More topics covered here:
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

    Newbie guide to buying lenses:
    http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Guid...g_guide_01.htm

    Newbie guide to buying DSLR:
    http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Guid...g_guide_01.htm

    Singapore Camera equipment price guides:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=124
    Last edited by daredevil123; 5th November 2010 at 09:45 AM.

  12. #12
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by arikyeo View Post
    Hmm... sounds a little like me last year

    Back then, I was a p&s person. Then, I yearned to have the features that a dslr has: manual focus, aperture tweaking. Then, the school (back then, it was great times;now its what you can call cheapo) let us play with d40s with disappointing auto settings, and an even more disappointing kit lens who needed 5 seconds just to focus to the stillest of objects (therefore you can infer that most subjects ran away just when the autofocus had done its job)

    Anyway, I decided to go into manual mode, and I was very shocked at first. I found out how to take great images the very very hard way. Too dark image? Pull back the zoom, increase aperture, set a slower shutter speed. Too bright? Increase shutter speed. Honestly I have never touched the flash before then.

    Anyways, I then bought my first dslr, a 400d, made some $$$, bought a bazooka, lost the 400d, bought a 350d, sold it, bought a 400d again, got the bazooka broke by someone, and got back to my (almost) old days. I don't have any links to my recent random pics of my 'mates as that web host banned me for using too much bandwidth but I'll show them to you as soon as I get my money back.

    Cheers
    D40 and D40x disappointing?
    18-55 non-VR disappointing?

    Take a look here: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=39

    Don't blame the equipment if your skills suck eggs.

  13. #13
    Deregistered arikyeo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    D40 and D40x disappointing?
    18-55 non-VR disappointing?

    Take a look here: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=39

    Don't blame the equipment if your skills suck eggs.
    Er... I said the AF on the kit lens was disappointing, not the kit lens itself. The AF needed to push itself out all the way, pull itself back, push out again, then lock itself to the object. Usually takes 5 seconds. Now my Canon 18-55 IS handles AF a lot lot lot better, though planning to get an L series lens.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    I remember being astounded by how fast the AF system was on the D40, when compared with my Lumix superzoom at that time.
    Though it's probably slower than the latest breed of DSLRs, I would say the speed difference is negligible to a hobbyist like me.

    D40 was (and still is) a damn good camera....
    Exploring! :)

  15. #15
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by arikyeo View Post
    Er... I said the AF on the kit lens was disappointing, not the kit lens itself. The AF needed to push itself out all the way, pull itself back, push out again, then lock itself to the object. Usually takes 5 seconds. Now my Canon 18-55 IS handles AF a lot lot lot better, though planning to get an L series lens.
    I used a D40 w 18-55 (non VR) kit lens for a while, and the AF speed was nowhere close to 5 seconds for objects in good lighting. In fact it was but mere fractions of a second.
    Exploring! :)

  16. #16
    Deregistered arikyeo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I remember being astounded by how fast the AF system was on the D40, when compared with my Lumix superzoom at that time.
    Though it's probably slower than the latest breed of DSLRs, I would say the speed difference is negligible to a hobbyist like me.

    D40 was (and still is) a damn good camera....
    Well, I don't know how your AF worked so well, the school cameras took very long to focus in Full auto and M mode.

  17. #17
    Deregistered arikyeo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I used a D40 w 18-55 (non VR) kit lens for a while, and the AF speed was nowhere close to 5 seconds for objects in good lighting. In fact it was but mere fractions of a second.
    Again, I don't know how your AF worked soo well, I usually played with it in good lighting

    Anyways, I'm now a Happy canon user

  18. #18
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by arikyeo View Post
    Er... I said the AF on the kit lens was disappointing, not the kit lens itself. The AF needed to push itself out all the way, pull itself back, push out again, then lock itself to the object. Usually takes 5 seconds. Now my Canon 18-55 IS handles AF a lot lot lot better, though planning to get an L series lens.
    When I had the Nikon 18-55 kit lens, if sure focuses very fast, even in low lights, when I shoot during the relatively dark pre-dawn hours as seen in those photos I shot.

    Either those lenses/cameras were abused till breaking point, or the users were doing something wrong, maybe trying to focus on a subjects that lack contrast (like a blank white wall). IMHO I think you got better over time. Not that the canon 18-55 IS is a lot better. . If you let me try your lens, I am sure I can find a situation where your canon 18-55 will hunt for focus for 5 secs too.

    Glad you are a happy Canon user. Need people on the other side as well.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 5th November 2010 at 10:17 AM.

  19. #19
    Deregistered arikyeo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    When I had the Nikon 18-55 kit lens, if sure focuses very fast, even in low lights, when I shoot during the relatively dark pre-dawn hours as seen in those photos I shot.

    Either those lenses/cameras were abused till breaking point, or the users were doing something wrong, maybe trying to focus on a subjects that lack contrast (like a blank white wall). IMHO I think you got better over time. Not that the canon 18-55 IS is a lot better. . If you let me try your lens, I am sure I can find a situation where your canon 18-55 will hunt for focus for 5 secs too.

    Glad you are a happy Canon user. Need people on the other side as well.
    Thanks but the only time it cannot focus is when the object is 1 cm away from the object Apart from that I've never got that kind situation before

  20. #20
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography (& its challenges?)

    Quote Originally Posted by arikyeo View Post
    Thanks but the only time it cannot focus is when the object is 1 cm away from the object Apart from that I've never got that kind situation before
    Trust me. I can make it hunt in many situations.

    Try 2cm, that is one. LOL... or aim a blank white wall.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 5th November 2010 at 10:25 AM.

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