Any obvious pointers (apart from give up)

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Sam Lowry, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Sam Lowry

    Sam Lowry Guest

    Hi All

    Just getting into this whole Photo thing and trying my best to improve.

    Could you please have a look at:
    and let me know if there is anything obvious I should or should not be

    I'm Reading as much as I can on the subject but would like some direct
    comments too.

    Sam Lowry, Jul 26, 2005
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  2. Sam Lowry

    dogma Guest

    "...let me know if there is anything obvious I should or should not be

    Taking pictures... that's what you shouldn't be doing.
    Should be repenting having sex with Thai hookers, good luck at the clinic

    picture this
    dogma, Jul 26, 2005
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  3. Sam Lowry

    Scumbag Guest

    Your momma must be really proud of you, dog ma.
    Scumbag, Jul 26, 2005
  4. Sam Lowry

    Trey Guest

    What equipment are you working with? It looks like a simple Point n shoot
    digital. are you using a tripod for the low light shots?
    Trey, Jul 26, 2005
  5. Sam Lowry

    Mike Kohary Guest

    What is your goal with photography? These pictures are fine, but they
    are merely snapshots. If you want to get beyond snapshotting, it'd be
    helpful to know what you would like your pictures to look like so we
    can give pointers on that. Do you want your pictures to be "artsy"?
    Or do you prefer photos that are more photojournalistic? Do you wish
    to portray stark realism, or an atmospheric sense of place? Do you
    want to focus on whole scenes and subjects, or do you like to look for
    the details within a subject?

    One suggestion I can give for starters is to quit shooting things as
    you naturally see them. Your camera is an eye, and you should try to
    give it a vantage point unlike what you see with your real eye. You
    can see these things "normally" just by standing in front of them, but
    you want your pictures to speak louder than that. So get down on the
    ground and shoot from there. Get up on a high place and shoot from
    there. Tilt your camera and try different angles. Look for
    interesting ways to view ordinary things. Don't just lift the camera
    and shoot...look through the viewfinder and take your time setting up
    a better shot. There are no hard and set rules here, just practice
    and shoot as much as possible. Develop your intuition, and your
    photos will improve with time. Good luck.
    Mike Kohary, Jul 26, 2005
  6. Sam Lowry

    grolschie Guest

    Here are some resources:

    Other guides at:

    Have fun! :)
    grolschie, Jul 26, 2005
  7. Sam Lowry

    Guest Guest

    First take your pictures off of that crappy website. If you enjoy
    photography, where's the harm in it.
    Guest, Jul 26, 2005
  8. Sam Lowry

    Sam Lowry Guest

    I put them here because I wanted a URL for the orrignal post and don't want
    to pay for better hosting until I have something worthy to upload.
    I am enjoying myself, tremendously, but I would like some pointers to help
    me improve too.

    Sam Lowry, Jul 26, 2005
  9. Sam Lowry

    Sam Lowry Guest

    Sam Lowry, Jul 26, 2005
  10. Sam Lowry

    Sam Lowry Guest

    And therein lies the problem.
    I'm far more drawn to the photojournalistic style.
    Depends on the image I'm after, I have read loads on the subject so far,
    and when I don't have my camera with me (or I'm too loaded down or busy to
    get it out) I can spot interesting things, gauge where to take the photo
    from for the better composition, know what I want in and out of the image,
    etc, etc. But when I've got the camera out and I raise it to my eye, I turn
    into an idiot happy snapper.
    Thanks, I'll play around with that.
    I know (see above) but for some reason that's the hard part.
    I am, with the amount I'm shooting I'm glad I'm on digital and not film, it
    would have cost a kings ransom to develop all the film I would have used

    The main reason I used the pix (don't really want to call them photographs)
    from Thailand is almost all of the ones from home get deleted quite
    Sam Lowry, Jul 26, 2005
  11. Sam Lowry

    Sam Lowry Guest

    Doh! Sorry, they are shot with a FujiFilm s5500, no tripod was used for any
    of these thots.
    Sam Lowry, Jul 26, 2005
  12. Sam Lowry

    Sam Lowry Guest

    The fact that you equate Thailand to nothing more and nothing less than
    hookers shows that you need more help with your life than I need with my
    Could be worse, I could troll newsgroups.

    Not the first time I've done this, but it is the first time I've said
    (typed) it:

    Sam Lowry, Jul 26, 2005
  13. Sam Lowry

    Rob Novak Guest

    Weighing in from the east coast of the US here.

    First, use some sort of support for your camera in low-light
    situations. Brace yourself against a wall or other solid object, rest
    the camera itself on top of something that's not moving, or find some
    other way to hold it still. Some of your night shots would be
    interesting if they weren't so blurry from camera shake. Use higher
    ISO speeds to get your exposure times shorter, if you can't find a way
    to hold the camera still. I'd rather see increased sensor noise than
    a totally fuzzy frame.

    As you're composing your shot on the LCD or through the viewfinder,
    pick your focus point and look around the frame for objects intruding
    into the frame. "Breakfast Bar" has potential, but the big plastic
    bag or curtain on the right side is distracting. The blur on the guy
    running the stand shows his action and movement effectively.

    With your interior shots, try to avoid shooting square objects
    straight-on. It flattens the whole scene, and there's no sense of
    depth. Use a wider angle on your zoom, assuming your camera has one,
    and shoot from an angle where you can see the dimensions of the space.
    "Bankok Centre Bar" is what I'm looking at in particular here.
    There's little depth and no apparent subject to this shot.

    Your people pictures are pretty standard snapshots - "Look at the
    camera and smile" pics. Try "sneaking" photos of people. I mean, try
    taking pictures of them so that they don't realize they're being
    photographed. You'll get more genuine expressions and actions that
    way, which is what I think you're trying for. A snapshot of people
    looking straight at the camera and grinning puts more emphasis on the
    unseen photographer than the subject of the photo.

    Good luck, keep shooting, and come back when you've got some more
    Rob Novak, Jul 26, 2005
  14. Sam Lowry

    Rob Novak Guest

    Don't let Owamanga hear you say that! ;-)
    Rob Novak, Jul 26, 2005
  15. Sam Lowry

    dadiOH Guest

    Snapshots are snapshots because they really don't say anything...they
    are merely a record of a moment. To transcend that, a photo should have
    a center of interest and other things in the photo should augment it,
    not conflict with it.

    Point of view can do much to help...high/low/close. Most snapshots are
    made from eye level and either from about 10 - 12 feet (in the case of
    people) or infinity (in the case of land/building/city scapes). In the
    latter, instead of photographing a general view try making some aspect
    of it a center of interest.

    Going from "snapshot" to "interesting photograph" isn't an easy requires thought and requires that you learn to
    see. Try looking at photos - either editorial or advertising - in
    magazines and analyze them...what makes them interesting?


    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
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    Get it at
    dadiOH, Jul 26, 2005
  16. Sam Lowry

    Marvin Guest

    For one thing, find a different place for your photos. I got several unwanted popups.
    Marvin, Jul 26, 2005
  17. Sam Lowry

    Rob Novak Guest

    Firefox and the AdBlock plugin are very nice. Didn't notice a thing -
    I had to open the adblock config window to see the Javascript
    pop-under glorp that had been quashed.
    Rob Novak, Jul 26, 2005
  18. Sam Lowry

    Scumbag Guest

    Just a few quick pointers. You might try taking more candid shots, rather
    than posed pictures. Try to offset the subject in your frame rather than
    centering it and see what affect that has. Learn a bit about depth of field
    and how that can affect your pictures. Experiment with taking photos with
    large and small aperature settings, and notice the differences. Make a note
    of shutter speed and aperature settings for each picture so you can become
    familiar with how they affect your photos.

    Digital cameras will usually default to the slowest film speed, which is
    great for higher quality enlargements, however blurry pictures are often the
    result. Up your film speed to it's highest setting on the camers, and
    consider getting a monopod to steady the camera body which is a bit more
    mobile than a tripod. Practice holding your camera as steady as you can and
    slowly squeezing the shutter button rather than jabbing at it.
    Scumbag, Jul 26, 2005
  19. Sam Lowry

    Mike Kohary Guest

    Don't worry, it's not a "problem". We all started out taking snapshots. :)
    Think of it as an opportunity - now you will be concious about what it is
    that you are shooting.
    Excellent, so am I. A lot of photojournalism is less technical and more
    "feel". There are lots of different ways to achieve that, of course, but my
    own take is that I try to "document" things. I want things as real and
    candid as possible, so I've got a somewhat long lens (70-200mm) that lets me
    shoot from afar and not get in the way or be overly noticed. I taught
    myself to shoot in public and not be self-concious or nervous about it. My
    family and friends all know that when I'm walking around with a camera, they
    should take no notice (unless I ask them to). I mostly don't ask people to
    pose or look at me, but sometimes I do if the situation seems to warrant it.
    I know the feeling. You can see it with your eyes, but then have trouble
    taking that image and putting it in the camera. The viewfinder can seem so
    restrictive once you raise it to your eye. Don't worry, over time you'll
    start to see it through the viewfinder too, it just takes lots and lots of
    shooting, and just as importantly, analyzing your own shots. Pretty soon
    you'll actually start to make changes and take into account the things that
    will make your pictures better, and you'll find yourself raising the
    viewfinder, noticing that things aren't quite right, doing what it takes to
    fix it, and then raising the viewfinder again. THAT'S when you'll know
    you're starting to do things right - you're not just snapping at the first
    opportunity, but you're actually taking the time to set up a nice shot.

    After that, you'll start to notice yourself taking all these things into
    account, but not actually thinking about them. You'll begin to internalize
    your good habits and use them automatically. Watch out - you can
    internalize bad habits too, which is why it's important to continually
    examine your own work. You can learn so much by simply looking at your own
    pictures and deciding what worked and what didn't. The next time out,
    you'll incorporate that new knowledge, and then do it all over again. And
    again and again and again...after a while, you'll be picking up good habits
    constantly, and you won't remember what the bad habits used to be. ;)
    The next time you see a great image, get your camera out and raise the
    viewfinder. Invariably, the image you saw won't be there. Take the camera
    down and find your image again, then raise the camera once more. Compare
    the two scenes - why doesn't it look in-camera the way it looks to your
    eyes? I found that many times, it was a matter of zoom. I'd see something
    with my eyes, and then lift my camera only to find the lens widened the
    angle and showed much more than my eyes saw. Zoom in to frame only the
    scene you saw with your eyes. Most importantly, just take a minute or two
    to examine the scene and make adjustments in-camera before pressing the
    shutter. Even minor adjustments can make all the difference in the world.

    Frame things tightly, and leave out "dead space". Look at your Boba Fett
    picture - it's a snapshot because you took Boba Fett, and all the stuff
    around and in back of him too. Tighten up on him, and don't be afraid to
    make him fill the frame. I used to be real shy about framing things too
    tightly, thinking the pictures would feel claustrophobic, but it just isn't
    so. Framing tightly almost always makes things look better because it
    eliminates all other distracting elements from the shot.

    Want to make him seem bigger, larger-than-life? Get down on the ground and
    shoot him facing up. Too much angle that way? Get down on your knees, or
    just crouch a bit. Look through the viewfinder while you do it, so you can
    judge if you're achieving the shot you want or not.

    See a great landscape in front of you? You snap it and it just doesn't have
    that magnificent feel...that's probably because you snapped only the distant
    landscape, and there's nothing in front to compare it to. Good landscapes
    include foreground, middle ground and background (for example, field in the
    foreground, mountains in the middle, and sky in the background). Most
    people only shoot the mountains, which removes much of the context from the
    picture. Landscapes are a case where you don't want to frame too tightly.

    Consider shooting a subject, then shoot subjects within the subject. You
    get a nice, tightly-framed shot of Boba Fett, now shoot the things that he's
    wearing, holding or carrying. Does he have cool armor? What's the coolest
    thing on it? Shoot that. Shoot his gun and his mask. Get up close and
    frame tightly within the subject. You might even find some nice abstract
    patterns on his outfit.

    Most of all, don't get overwhelmed. Experiment with a few things at a time,
    not everything at once. You have all the time in the world to keep learning
    and growing. Be patient with yourself, and before you know it you'll be
    shooting better pictures. You might not even be able to tell until you
    start comparing directly to your older pictures.
    Digital is a superb learning tool, because of the reason you mention above,
    and also the instant feedback it provides. After you take a shot, look at
    it in the LCD and decide if it's satisfying or not. If not, take another!
    :) After all, every shot is free.
    I like the scenery and the subjects, so you have a good eye for picking out
    things to shoot. Now it just remains to find more interesting ways to shoot
    them! :)
    Mike Kohary, Jul 26, 2005
  20. Sam Lowry

    Mike Kohary Guest

    I remember that conversation. :) I should clarify - just shooting zillions
    of pictures is pointless. But shooting many pictures and then examining
    them afterwards for positives and negatives is priceless. I've learned more
    about how to shoot a good photo from brutally analyzing my own work than I
    have from any other source. After a shoot, I look at my stuff and ask
    myself what works and what doesn't, and why. I find flaws and vow to watch
    out for that the next time I shoot something similar. I look at a shot that
    had potential but didn't quite make the cut, and ask myself specifically how
    I could have improved it. What could I have done differently to make the
    shot better? Similarly, I find pictures I really like and ask myself why
    they work so well, and then try to do those things again the next time out.
    Over time, those things have all added up to the point that they become
    internalized and I don't make the same mistakes over and over, and my
    shooting naturally becomes more and more skillful. Last, a bit of humility
    is important as well: I think I've come a long way and am a good shooter,
    but I have so much farther yet to go. When you're done learning, you're
    done, so I don't believe I'll ever want to stop learning. :)

    Practice does make perfect, but only if you employ good practice habits.
    Mike Kohary, Jul 26, 2005
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