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  1. #1
    Member bobc163's Avatar
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    next level

    hi,
    being more of a hands on sort of person I have found that I learn more from actually "doing rather than reading" and would like to receive some guidance on who/what /were and when I could find someone who can help/advise on the best way to get more out of my gear.

    I have done a few courses locally but find that there is more "classroom" rather than hands on

    The local camera club is very competition orientated and tend to concentrate more on comps than instuction/guidance to new members

    Of course cost also plays an important part but if it is "value for money" i do not mind paying a reasonable fee (What do people consider to be reasonable ?)

    I do realise "that Rome was not built in a day" and practice, practice , practice is also required to atain a higher level of consistency

    All thoughts / comments appreciated
    Bob

  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Try to get to some meets/organise some for your area?

    You're listed as Intermediate, and that would imply a level of proficiency with gear that you're saying you don't have?

    If that's not right, can you please try to give some specific examples of what you mean.

    We can be quite helpful here, just the same.
    Am.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 21-05-2015 at 11:38am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I'm the same when it comes to learning .. do it rather than read about it.
    But reading about it is still very important.
    That is, if you didn't read about some neat trick on how to use a feature(that you may not even have known of) that your gear offers .. you may have never known that you can use it .. let alone know how to use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobc163 View Post
    .... help/advise on the best way to get more out of my gear.

    .....
    I see a small issue with this statement:
    The issue is what more are you trying to get out of your gear.
    If you can't elaborate on this in a meaningful way, then the gear may not be the issue.
    Could be so many other areas that could help you to get more.

    I'll give you some simple examples of what I'm referring too .. I realise that some of my replies are so general, and people don't understand what I'm on about.

    So you said you are looking to get more out of your gear, and without any more relevant or specific info as to what this 'more' is .. we can only really guess.

    Ok, in one example we can assume that you want to do more/better macro photography. Not knowing exactly what kid of macro, and what gear you currently have/use .. it's hard to describe on how to produce better results. Acquiring appropriate gear is probably the #1 response you will read from many users, but this doesn't strictly mean that you will instantly get super fantastic results(just because you now have uber gear for macro. Depending on the type of macro scenes you want to capture .. the possible answers to your question are multiple and various.

    Another example of a specific genre that would require completely different comments of advice .. say you want to indulge in abstract scenes.
    There is no particular set of instructions in any language on the topic helping you get more out of any gear(let alone yours!!) to assist you in getting better abstract images.
    That is, the gear used to achieve abstract images is completely irrelevant. No matter if you used $100K plus Hassleblad gear, or a simple pin hole shoe box with a sheet of photographic paper .. your ability to see abstract is the key to success.

    So back to my comments 'the gear may not be the issue' ... without more specific data as to what exactly the term more constitutes .. the comments you receive could be so random as to conflict with each other.
    Other avenues to follow up on how to get more from what you are currently doing:
    look at yourself!
    I don't mean this in a derogatory sense of course .. but think to yourself .. do you see what you want to photograph. Do you stop to think about it before you shoot. Do you take time to set yourself up to do the shoot/shot.
    etc, etc.
    software
    Is your software giving you results easily. My philosophy on software is that the first priority on it's usage must be ease of use ... not ability or features.
    (as a side note .. I've now tried Photoshop on a few occasions, but can't get my head around it's convoluted workflow system. It's so tedious just to open an image, I give up on it most times before I even start).

    You can easily read a set of instructions AND use your gear at the same time .. right from the comfort of your PC/laptop/tablet/phone .. right now.
    But the instructions can't be given if there is nothing to instruct on!

    Best advice is to post up some photos in the CC threads(not in the not for CC thread) .. you may find that they are already good.
    But if you think not, then just ask for comments on how to improve them .. and be sure to keep the photos exif metadata intact when you post the images.
    Improvement in photography isn't just about what gear was used, or how it was set up .. it's also about the photographers vision and also what software was used to finish it off.

    ps. also include what actual brand/model of gear is used too.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  4. #4
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    bobc163's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Arthur
    Yes I am with you in regards to the software most of it is very convoluted in its usage and I too give up
    I like to "do" Landscape and street styles of photography but also like to catch the grandkids (amazing how quick a 2-3 yr old can be!!)
    I have some trouble in posting photos but I think that is just me (need more practice especially resizing them it took me at least an hour to put up the last one in the Anzac march Comp as I was getting the file size incorrect)

    What i mean by "getting more" is the finer points IE composition, background etc better
    I will go through some photo's and post them CC Threads?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Try to get to some meets/organise some for your area?

    You're listed as Intermediate, and that would imply a level of proficiency with gear that you're saying you don't have?

    If that's not right, can you please try to give some specific examples of what you mean.

    We can be quite helpful here, just the same.
    Am.
    Landscape and street style photography where I seem to just not get it right IE composition or slightly incorrect exposure/speed
    Meeting and discussing with people "on the ground" about various aspects of a shoot without the ego's that some people tend to bring with them
    I suppose I like to take photographs and produce them without editing the life out of them as some people do
    I like to produce photo's which tell a story rather than a "scene" if you get what I mean

  5. #5
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    There's quite a few members up your way. Maybe try and organise an AP meet revolving around your photographic interests here .... http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ay.php?169-NSW
    Don't be disappointed if you don't get much of a response at this time of year, it's getting colder. Nothing to loose and try again in spring.

    Now resizing to post on AP? How are you trying to do it and what software do you have?
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, Sigma 120-400, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

  6. #6
    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    I like to watch things being demonstrated also. Many of us are visual learners rather than text based ones. If you have a decent enough internet connection to run youTube, I just search for a video on the subject I want, and watch and absorb that. I can pause and rewind as much as I want to. Usually if I watch a video, or two or three, I can normally go out and use my gear the way it suggests.

    We have practical sessions at our camera club, and I usually blunder around and take pretty ordinary photos in the short time we have there. But, I then go home and think about what we were taught, find a few videos, and then go out and play with the technique at my own pace. I like to play and practise by myself, but some people prefer to do it in the company other people.

  7. #7
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I'm hearing 'ya Bob.

    One thing I sincerely believe is that you can't teach(or be taught) the skill of composition.
    It's something that you learn for yourself.
    It's what makes you a photographer. Actually, no! it's what makes you an artist .. and not a simple photocopier.

    Imagine a world where to do photography, you had to do a course. And in that course one of the topics was composition. And that topic was taught in a specific manner, with specific rules or criteria.

    Everyone coming out of those courses would basically be producing the same photos .. photocopiers! We have machines to do this


    For composition .. it's simple(in my thinking) .. go out and try it.
    That is, if you don't seem to like the 'rule of thirds' or 'golden triangle' compositional guidelines, just try something else.
    Try a rule of quarters, or a platinum quadrilateral or something.

    For artistic growth, I think the best way forward is simply just to shoot more, be more critical, try different things yourself, and post up for review(peer review).
    BTW! Review doesn't always mean that the reviewers are right!!. Art (which it seems to me what you want to try to do) is too subjective for hard and fast answers such as good/bad right/wrong.
    One person may love it, and another person with similar tastes may hate it.
    What's more important is that you like it .. or if you are doing it for someone else, that they like it.
    Peer review (to me) is more about suggestions. Alternative views, and so on. That is, you post up an image(lets say for arguments sake, you've used the rule of quarters)
    While the composition proportions may work well, there may well be something else that you hadn't thought of or seen in the image that detracts from the overall experience.

    I hope that all makes sense.

    Anyhow, as for someone to help you in person .. I think there's merit in this line of thought when it comes to the physical handling/operation of the camera .. for sure.
    This can be so important to producing good images.
    You mentioned the term consistency .. good camera handling is important for consistent image quality .. that's for sure.

    You also mentioned your grandkids, and how they are amazingly quick to move about.
    Are you having trouble focusing on them? Are you having trouble keeping them in the frame?

    It's helpful to have some one in person to show you and help you with such issues, but a couple of quick tips on how to work on both of those problems.
    Focusing: set the camera to AF-On button focusing only. That is don't let the camera focus with a half press. I see you have a 5D. I'm pretty sure you can set this up in camera. Only focus with your thumb. if it feels a bit goofy at first, this can be normal, but most folks that have switched won't go back to the half press method.
    Framing: keep both eyes open! it's probably as simple as that. Most people photograph with their non viewfinder eye closed. This is fine for detailed analysis such as manual focus, or precise composition.
    But even then, most folks aren't manually focusing or precisely composing the scene. Keeping the other eye open is simple and allows you periphery vision, which in turn helps to predict subject location.
    Note that both eyes open isn't for everyone, especially if a long focal length is used(say 200+ mm), because of the large difference in magnification.

    So, there's still good value in simply asking .. "how can I do this better" .. receiving a written reply on this site .. and then immediately altering some setting on the camera and testing it out immediately.
    You don't necessarily have to test some newly discovered information out in the wild.
    LOL! my poor kids have had to endure their dad's incessant snapping as I tried to figure out what all those settings did and didn't do.
    This is what wife's girlfriends, cats, dogs, even teddybears are good for!

    My favourite software for resizing now is Faststone's FSViewer. I used to use BD sizer long ago when I had trouble with difficult to resize jpgs, but also had a few issues with it(some weird sharpness issues).
    Anyhow, that was a very long time back, and it's almost certainly not an issue now, but I like FSViewer as my preferred jpg viewer anyhow.
    I now have a lot less trouble with maintaining a certain pixel size AND file size limit than I used too, but to keep a file AxB in pixel size and under a specified file size limit .. FSViewer is simples!

  8. #8
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I am with @farmmax;

    Once you know what it is that you want to learn, youtube is your friend.

    Now this is just an example but the one thing you do need to know is what it is that you want to learn. So say you don't know how to straighten a crooked horizon, then you ask youtube exactly that "how to straighten horizon in photoshop" and you get this : https://youtu.be/_OB-0iYcaNM

    Earlier in your thread you comment that whilst reading helps, that you prefer to do. This suggests you are a visual learner, in that you learn by watching and doing. I am a visual learner. So watch the video through, then open PS and your photo that needs the horizon straightened. Have the video ready to play again and use the pause button, do that bit in photoshop, play the next bit, pause, back to photoshop and do it. Repeat watching/pausing until you are done in PS. I find this a great way to learn a new PS technique.

    The one thing you do need to know is what it is that you need to learn and what it is generally called. No use typing 'I want to twist the horizon a bit" into youtube. But knowing that it is generally referred to as straighten the horizon, gets you what you want. Same as " I want to get rid of that bit of rubbish' doesn't work, but "how do I use the clone tool in photoshop" does work.

    Thus the hard bit can be when you know what you want, but don't know the terminology for it. For that, we can generally help here on AP.

    As for your resizing issue, the answer is on AP and youtube too: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ing-your-photo

    Youtube is packed with photoshop tutorials and they are great for the visual learner. Hope all this helps you achieve what you want to Bob.
    Last edited by ricktas; 22-05-2015 at 7:07am.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  9. #9
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    And also remember... If you have a moment where you're wondering something about photography or PP, take a bit of
    time to post it as a Q here. Make sure you specify as much as you can, like what software and version you are using,
    or what camera and lens, etc, and just what you're trying to do. Eg: "How do you clone out a post in the background?",
    and then post the picture for us to see.
    Am.

  10. #10
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Focusing: set the camera to AF-On button focusing only. That is don't let the camera focus with a half press. I see you have a 5D. I'm pretty sure you can set this up in camera. Only focus with your thumb. if it feels a bit goofy at first, this can be normal, but most folks that have switched won't go back to the half press method.
    I find this true.
    I like using the back button focusing (BBF). Personally I think it should be the default settings in cameras. Very easy to use.
    The Canon manuals don't make it that easy to find how to change to it. So google or look at this (though I have a few issues with what she is saying, though what she says about focus lock is good for things that aren't moving much. Weddings?) to see why and how to change you cameras settings .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0c9PrYZe14

    With kids moving around, try keeping your thumb on the BBF and use AI Servo as you focusing mode.
    Last edited by Mark L; 22-05-2015 at 10:17pm.

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