How to learn to "see"


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Sep 9, 2007
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#1
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 :bsmilie:

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 :)
 

yanyewkay

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Sep 22, 2004
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Cons digger.
#2
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.
 

Lolrence

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Oct 15, 2006
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#3
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 :)
 

ahbian

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May 23, 2006
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#4
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/
 

dorts

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2007
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#6
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. :)
 

genegoh

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Mar 20, 2006
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www.photosbymarbles.com
#7
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!
 

Yatlapball

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May 13, 2006
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Volcano Land
www.emotively.com
#8
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 :bsmilie:

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.
 

pai

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Nov 24, 2004
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#9
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...
 

Sep 9, 2007
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#10
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 :bigeyes:
 

denniskee

Senior Member
Oct 26, 2003
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bukit batok
Visit site
#11
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.
 

ortega

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Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
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#12
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.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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www.pbase.com
#13
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
 

Redsun

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Nov 27, 2005
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#14
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
 

tchuanye

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Mar 4, 2003
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#15
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.
 

ReiszRie

New Member
Oct 15, 2006
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Singapore
#16
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 :bsmilie:

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 :)
 

IONSOON

New Member
Feb 4, 2007
458
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Clementi
#18
for a start, u can use the one-third rule, but if u wan to break the rule for nicer composition, by all means
 

Randius

Senior Member
Mar 9, 2006
3,303
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Singapore
#19
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 :bsmilie:

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".
 

littlejt

New Member
Aug 12, 2006
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#20
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.
 

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