Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by bentleya, 25 Jul 2009.
A few night shots I took recently. Trying to improve my composition and technical ability. Do you guys just take loads of photos as a way of improving or do project type things?
loads of pictures. but thats not enough, knowing where you went wrong or right is the most important.
also, to improve composition you could try getting a prime lens (a nice 50mm 1.8 is super cheap for starters). it forces you to think extra hard about your composition and walk around instead of just zooming, which has the benefit of getting you into angles you wouldnt have thought of before.
Loads of pictures, followed by sorting out the good ones and paying attention to what works.
Cheers for the advice guys. Yeah I have got a prime lens which I find useful for forcing me to think about composition which I think is my biggest stumbling block.
On a side note does anyone here use a colour checker chart? I understand that you can use the eye dropper tool in camera raw to set the white balance from one of the grey squares but I'm not sure which one. There are 4 grey squares 8, 6.5, 5, 3.5.
Any neutral grey will work, all it's checking is the colour balance, the relative amounts of red, green and blue light, rather than any absolute values or brightness. It depends how true to life you want the shot to be. I find a little tweak of the white balance can help give shots a different atmosphere or feel compared to the "correct" white balance, that might be closer to how you want it.
My roommate's Ibanez, missing a string:
My roommate, dressed as me for Halloween:
(click for big)
Been out playing with the new toys.
First 2 are from the Enchanted Forest
Path Ligh by Chris Stewart XT, on Flickr
Boathouse by Chris Stewart XT, on Flickr
Second pair from todays walk in Necropolis
Pendant by Chris Stewart XT, on Flickr
Danger by Chris Stewart XT, on Flickr
Dragged some of my floor on a midnight walk of Portsmouth seafront. Turned out to be awesome Only really wanted to go out to get away from my room! Wanted to mess with some longer shutter speeds, and all the photos below were taken with between 5-30 seconds shutter speeds stuffs
^The people, minus me
I really like this picture
Seems like the first day of the winter in here. Not really anything to shoot here, but I just needed to grab the camera to have any excuse to go outdoors to freeze my bawls.
It isn't even freezing yet Jipa. We've got still some +0.6°C here in Ikaalinen.... that's not even close to being winter
It felt freezing as heck as I've lost my gloves. Handling the camera really sucked.
Also I've had a long flu and haven't been outdoors too much, so I'm yet to get used to the cold.
Could do with a little white balance tweak but I like them, especially the last.
Really like that one. In terms of improving, lots of pictures, and then actively trying to decide which I like, and why. Also, looking at photos of the places I'm going to go on Flickr before I go and take my photos helps - again, it's about discovering what you like and don't like, opening your eyes to different perspectives and techniques.
Then it's a case of finding out how to translate what you want into the photos you yourself take. I'm also a big fan of post-processing; not necessarily really heavy-handed stuff (HDR, super contrasty looks) but I'm definitely a big believer that some work in software can really help refine the feeling I want to get with a picture. For me it's an organic process, lots of iteration, feeling my way towards what I want to get at.
From last year's sabbatical, but only recently processed. US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland:
Neat and tidy by Sifter, on Flickr
Cheers thanks for your advice, really appreciated. I think that studying the photography of others would help me a lot probably. This photo you posted for instance. I would never have thought to frame a photo like that but the end result is awesome.
I think it depends on the type of photography you are interested in. For some, taking more pictures helps you improve because your shortfall may be on technique rather than purely composition, but you also need to be able to go through your photos and constructively criticise them, understand what's wrong with those that haven't work and figure out how to do better next time.
For others, like landscape photography, observing and taking pictures in your mind (while on location) can be better than just taking more pictures because you miss the subtleties that can make a great photograph. I have found that going out without your camera can help you to spot the things you often miss because you're too hung up in the process of taking pictures, getting away from that helps you to understand how to anticipate something happening so that you can catch it on film next time.
The other thing to do is to look at other peoples' photographs. Not to copy their ideas, but to give you inspiration and to give those ideas a new twist, making them your own. Over time, you will develop your own photographic vision and, ultimately, style.
One from a very cold Sunday morning up on The Roaches
Misty Roaches, near Roach End, Staffordshire by timsmalley, on Flickr
great feel for the atmosphere tim, feels like i was sat there myself. Surreal!
Thanks - it was a great morning, even though I was wearing a stupid amount of clothing to stay warm (at least a couple of layers more than I would've worn had I been walking rather than waiting around up there).
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