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Thread: Photos with WOW Factor

  1. #1
    Member a pocket full's Avatar
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    Photos with WOW Factor

    Hi there,

    I'm new to dslr photography, I have been using my new camera for one month only.

    My question is - Do you really need to have top notch lenses and up to date editing software to produce pictures with a wow factor?

    I'm happy snapping dont get me wrong, but I see so many photos around with the wow factor and I'm wondering if some of these pictures are doable without the expensive stuff?

    I have a 450D with kit lenses and also the nifty fifty.

    Is it more time and experience or just better equipment and editing knowledge?

    Any comments?

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    that's not an esay answer, I think gear is probably the least important factor, but, for certain types of photography is more important. Editing is also important, but you can get wow photos straight out of camera too

    There's no reason you can't get wow photos with what you have.....so...I think time and experience
    Darren
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Amor fati!
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    yes and no... i guess thats the simple answer. I find it best to try and get everything right in the camera so that little processing needs to be done. that said, a photo that looks really ordinary can be made to look exceptional with the correct post processing with photoshop or similar software.

    as for the lens connection, i dont really have any pro lenses or fancy gear but i am quite happy with how my shots turn out (feel free to look thru my threads if you want). I'll always say "learn to get the most out of what you have before forking out money..." but thats me, and mainly cause i am perpetually short on cash

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    Composition, light and knowledge are all you need. Silouettes can produce stunning images, put your camera on a tripod and expeiment with slow shutter speeds. Experiment with different apertures. Get up before dawn and go to some of your favorite spots. Same again for sunset. Learn to understand light and how to make it work for you. Try low angles, try high positions, play with shadows. Have fun and be imaginative!

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    Member woofie's Avatar
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    I would also say sometimes can be a heap of luck, being at the right place at the right time really can help, can't setup a lot of shots.

    With the editing of the photo's I don't like to edit my photo's to much. As I'm just starting out still I'm trying not to get into the habit of editing and editing of the photo's but trying to take better photo's with little editing. As far as I'm concerned anyone with a half decent photo can edit it to look like anything they want if they have the knowledge.

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    I would say taking photos is a must. You have to take photos to get better at it. Look at your photos after taking them and look at what settings you took the shot on. Think of how it can be improved upon to make the shot better. ie, was it over exposed, under exposed etc. As Zac Arias says, when you take a photo and you think ill fix that in post later, stop what you are doing and slap yourself. I think best to get the shot right that minimal editing is required expessially like me you don't know how to use the software well haha.

    Most of the time i forget to edit my shots. If i do i am am only doing basic things like a crop, b&w conversion etc. Better to get the composition and exposure right before you start adding fancy effects in post.

    As with all things everything has its place however and some pppl get some amazing looking photos after manipulating stuff in photoshop etc but i am not there yet and feel no need to atm.

    Gotta get out and take photos and think it though as you are taking them. Get outta Auto modes and put youself in control of the camera in AV/TV/M Modes. Great fun trying to work some stuff out on the fly when you see the shot but hey it all gets better with practice.

    my 2cs, hope it helps

    Mike
    Canon EOS 7D | EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM | EF 50mm f/1.4 USM | Speedlite 580EX II

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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    I would say that the camera you have is, up to a point, not the main ingrediant.
    If you look at pics whic you consider to have the wow factor, most have been the subject of some deliberate thought and planning.
    With landscapes for example, time of day is a big factor as the colour of the light is what makes an image stand out.
    a certain amount of photographic knowledge helps as well.
    you will also find, in a lot of cases, that that wow factor image will be one of many taken.
    so get out there and experiment and try different settings, angles, time of day etc. this will give you experiece and don't be disappointed wehen things don't work out the way you hoped. analyse your results, and ask questions. there is more knowledge and expertise on this site than you may ever need.
    hope this helps
    cc and enjoy

    Photography is painting with light

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    For most people, especially newcomers, equipment is not a limiting factor.

    IMO, the key to a great image is:

    1. an understanding of the nature, effect and quality of light;
    2. the ability to see, and see differently;
    3. being in the right place at the right time;
    4. an understanding of composition and balance;
    5. an understanding of exposure, focal lengths, aperture, etc.;
    6. an understanding of how to operate the equipment; and
    7. a camera.

    Yes, good gear contributes a lot, but without those first six things you've got a lot of not much, and a good camera in the hands of a bad photographer results in an expensively bad image.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    at your stage, definitely no. But I wonder why you got the nifty fifty. You don't need it now.
    you may want a tele zoom tho, and don't worry too much about pp, get the raw right 1st.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    at your stage, definitely no. But I wonder why you got the nifty fifty. You don't need it now.
    I'd have to disagree with that viewpoint.

    A fast 50mm prime is a great learning tool, as it will teach a newcomer to "zoom with one's feet" and learn about depth of field.

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    I'm pretty much a beginner also and I have a 50mm which has taken some perseverance and practice, but its paying off and really helping me to learn about DOF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    I'd have to disagree with that viewpoint.

    A fast 50mm prime is a great learning tool, as it will teach a newcomer to "zoom with one's feet" and learn about depth of field.
    Totally agree. I invested in a 50mm prime and I use that lens the most these days.

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    The WOW factor itself is to subjective to say your gear or processing can create it. What I might think is a WOW shot, others might feel needs to be sharper, softer, bigger depth of field, smaller depth of field, brighter, darker...see the point.

    The WOW factor is how the viewer interprets the photo, not how the photographer takes or processes it. It can be a combination of the above and quote often an emotional link to the photo as well. What one person sees as a WOW photo, ten others might think is just another photo.

    I personally do not believe I can set out to get a WOW photo. I set out to take the very best photos I can, and if someone, even just one person, finds the result to be a WOW photo, I am chuffed, but it is not my goal when taking my photos.
    "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

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  14. #14
    It's all about the Light!
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    As well as taking photos you need to see in a critical manner.
    This helps http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=27404

    So taking and posting images fro CC is a big step forward, also comment on others is important

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    although i hate the term "zoom with your feet", i agree wholeheartedly with what Xenedis is saying. A prime lens is one of the most important things for a beginner to use (or a zoom lens used in such a fashion).

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    G'day apf

    You are asking an extremely valid Q and one that applies to all things
    - a Real Estate seller quotes the mantra "Location-Location-Location"
    - a Photographer will quote you ... "practice, practice, practice"

    May I quote you a paragraph from my course notes...
    "Photography presents a paradox insofar as the act of picture taking is concerned - on one hand, any bright five-year-old child can do it, but on the other hand, few things demand as much devotion, imagination, skill and plain hard work as the making of memorable photographs. The explanation of this paradox seems to lie in the attitude of the photographer towards her/his photography - is the person technical or artistic by nature?

    Unfortunately too many people & magazines seem to spend too much time on the former and not enough time on the latter. It may also be that we are reading the ‘wrong’ sort of publications too. Many of the popular media seem to concentrate upon consumer items - cameras, lenses & accessories rather than advise the reader of ways to improve their photographic results via "seeing photographically" in the first place."
    unquote

    Others above me have responded to your Q in quite valid ways .... my 2-bob's worth here is to get together with other 'togs around you and watch them, chat to them, share ideas with them - and learn from them
    (that's what I did many years ago - and which I now pass on to newbies and others)

    Hope this helps a bit
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    For the moment your gear will do fine.. Learn how to use it intimately and know its limitations..

    For me, images with wow factor come from being in the right place at the right time,, having that photo-op..
    Jurgen
    Canon 50D~20D~G11

    http://www.pbase.com/jurgentreue

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    Member Jeanette's Avatar
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    this is great advice given here Pocket Full... i started back in December 09 with a DSLR and reading this has made me realise how far i have come, still new but the learning curve has been huge.
    I looked back last week sorting photos out i have taken of the kids netball and football and i can really tell the early ones to the more recent ones... and it is not a new lens or camera.. the improvement has been with the camera i got in Dec and listening and taking on board such advice above and more ... and agreed take photos and photos and be critical yourself and then go out again and try some different settings.. angles... one of my biggest improvements was where i stood to take the photos... and learning the intimacy of the camera. JUst fabulous support from this site and going to some photo meets with the wonderful SA gang.




    Constructive Critique and editing of my images is welcome and appreciated.

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    Member Imagenif's Avatar
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    I have a 450d & a 50d, some of my fav pics have been taken with the 450. It's a good quality camera.
    Tony

  20. #20
    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    I'd have to disagree with that viewpoint.

    A fast 50mm prime is a great learning tool, as it will teach a newcomer to "zoom with one's feet" and learn about depth of field.
    I agree with the use of a prime as a learning tool.

    With a cropped sensor camera, I would be inclined to get a 24mm or 28mm prime or even a 35mm. 24 and 28mm lenses are quite affordable with a maximum aperture of around f/2.8 and a 35mm at f/2 is also relatively cheap.

    The 'nifty fifty' makes a good portrait lens on a cropped sensor camera but is too long for general use. I would be inclined to add something wider ASAP and probably a 24 or 28mm lens would complement the nifty fifty quite nicely.

    Anyway, gear is only part of it. What you do with it is more important and learning to live with the limitations of what you have is a great discipline. There is no substitute for more time and experience along with a good does of photographic passion.

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