Old 06-12-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
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Default Give one piece of advice to a beginner photog:

not that I'm any good, but I want to hear what others say:

I would say always carry a camera with you and look for opportunities.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
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Wow, photography is so complex, hard to think of one piece. I will do three:

1) doing: what Hatch said
2) seeing: look at your pictures and think, really think, about why they "work" or don't
3) learning: look at lots of other pictures and think, really think, about why they "work" or don't
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:40 PM   #3
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Once you learn how to take a technically correct (focus, exposure, etc) photograph, stop listening to everyone and do your own thing.

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Old 06-12-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchetman View Post
not that I'm any good, but I want to hear what others say:

I would say always carry a camera with you and look for opportunities.
You can do that, and you can go back an shoot things that you saw and composed in your head.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:05 PM   #5
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Find a better hobby, this one sucks. (only half kidding)
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post
Once you learn how to take a technically correct (focus, exposure, etc) photograph, stop listening to everyone and do your own thing.

Loyd L.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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However, before you are technically correct, go out and copy what you have seen others do and find that you like. Begin by imitating and then move on to your own style and vision. The imitation will teach you much about how others did it (through your failures and your successes).
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nikos1 View Post
Find a better hobby, this one sucks. (only half kidding)
Why would you do a hobby you don't enjoy?
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:10 PM   #9
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  1. Learn how to take technically correct photos with your camera in manual exposure mode. This part is easy. You can take classes or learn it on your own. Neither takes very long.
  2. Get proficient with your processing software. This is a HUGE part of making stunning photos. Again, you can take classes or learn it on your own. The latter will be a struggle if you are a perfectionist.
  3. Learn to "see" shots before you take them and even before the scene develops. The only way to learn this is OJT. Get out and practice with people who are better at it than you are.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
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My piece of advice would be, "Don't let anyone tell you how hard photography is. Just go out and do it." Then I would point them to this thread from bits of advice starting at #2.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
My piece of advice would be, "Don't let anyone tell you how hard photography is. Just go out and do it." Then I would point them to this thread from bits of advice starting at #2.
Are you saying you don't like my advice?
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:00 AM   #12
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Why would you do a hobby you don't enjoy?
I ask myself that same question alot. Theres still enough interesting things out there but you have to travel further and further, and the future looks pretty boring with standardized locomotive fleets and infrastructure (signals), all the shortlines taken over by the orange borg, not to mention always having to worry about whether your going to get bothered by the police.
I wouldn't discourage anyone but can't say I'd recommend the hobby to anyone either.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:33 AM   #13
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First, and foremost... Remove the lens cap.

Afterwards, a few tips:
Get off Automatic - learn what each setting is and how they affect the final image.
After you find your subject, find your light and shoot to best capture it. Start with the sun over your shoulder and work your way towards trickier lighting.
Get a good editing program and learn the basics.
(levels, dodge - burn, shadows /highlight (fill light), cropping, ect.

Buy a lamp shade if you are so poor you can't afford a true lens hood.

/Mitch
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:53 AM   #14
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Learn your camera and all it's features. Don't ignore the manual out of laziness or pride.

Shoot through it, not behind it, be one with it.

Then forget it because is it's the least important part of photography.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
Buy a lamp shade if you are so poor you can't afford a true lens hood.
Or if you find yourself needing an extended lens hood to shoot in a blizzard and don't have time to hunt one down, use a small lamp shade from the dollar store down the street.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Or if you find yourself needing an extended lens hood to shoot in a blizzard and don't have time to hunt one down, use a small lamp shade from the dollar store down the street.
Necessity, the mother of invention.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:45 PM   #17
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Don't take it to seriously... it's just a hobby.

Met a few folks that take criticism as if someone verbally attacked their child.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:14 PM   #18
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Make sure you could operate your camera blindfolded. Not quite as easy as it used to be with digital, but make certain you know how to use the camera and all of it's features. Do your own thing.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:18 PM   #19
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Don't turn the camera sideways in the camera bag, or all the pixels will fall out!

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Old 06-14-2012, 07:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
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However, before you are technically correct, go out and copy what you have seen others do and find that you like. Begin by imitating and then move on to your own style and vision. The imitation will teach you much about how others did it (through your failures and your successes).
This is really good advise! Just do it and learn as you go, and remember the only one you have to please with your photographs is yourself.

If you are not having any fun, you are doing it wrong.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:52 AM   #21
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Be creative.
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:17 AM   #22
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Accept criticism. As an example, the rejections that I get from this website have really helped me learn to take better photos everywhere, not just trackside. I think many have a tendency to get defensive because they are emotionally invested in a photo (like what they had to go through to get it, or it being a special subject to them, etc.) and scoff at any notion their shot is deficient in some way (been there). I have really learned from other people's eyes.

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Old 06-15-2012, 06:08 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rosnick View Post
Make sure you could operate your camera blindfolded. Not quite as easy as it used to be with digital, but make certain you know how to use the camera and all of it's features. Do your own thing.
I must respectfully disagree with Mark here. As a beginner I suggest not using a blindfold initially.

/Mitch
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:39 AM   #24
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Lightbulb What you don't want to do.

Take a good hard look at all the images in this photostream, and then don't do anything like it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sd40e_images/

That will save you a year or two of frustration and heartache right off the bat.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:59 AM   #25
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If only I had listened to my Mom..............

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