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Thread: What cannot be learnt from a book?

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    Member Beefa69's Avatar
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    What cannot be learnt from a book?

    Hi Guys,

    A question for the long timers here and in a semi tangible way is related to the Stay at home mums thread.

    There are a heap of forums, books and other literature teaching us all we apparently need to know, but I am interested in the opinions of the experienced in regards to what we simply cannot learn from a book/text/forum.

    I am sure the french would refer to it as a je ne sais quoi ... but what is IT that only time and experience will give.


    Cheers,
    B

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    Member jeffde's Avatar
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    One : How to deail with people...
    Jeff - Jeff D Photography
    Canon -
    http://jeffdphoto.ifp3.com/
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Two- how to 'see' a shot, including lighting and put that into the resultant photo.
    "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
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    1. Creativity - you either have it or you dont

    2. Originality and style - this is developed over time and cannot be studied

    3. Communications - self explanatory

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    Theoretically it can ALL be learnt from a book - it just cant be applied withoutr experience
    Darren
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Yep , It's like all the Engineers I met on construction sites , Really good on theory , But you have to put it all to work (EG ; Seeing the shot,People skills,etc) , Hands on experience is the way to go , "Practice" ,
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    All these things others mention here really take time, lots of it. What you are asking about is known as the "Theory/Practice gap". Getting out there and putting the theory into practice, experimenting, following the great lesson guides on here and posting them for others to help you with critique...and having a go at entering the comps. If you don't get anywhere with the comps post the pic for a critique to see where you can improve.
    Imagine a world without photography... one could only imagine. - Berenice Abbott

    I Shoot Canon


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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Theoretically it can ALL be learnt from a book - it just cant be applied without experience
    Darren has hit the nail on the head. just about anything can be learned from a book... but then you only have the theory down-pat... its practice and experience that you gain not from a book but from actually using the camera

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    Monkey see, monkey do
    Nothing can replace it
    Col

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    Ummm ... let's see; patience, persistence and practice.

    IMHO all the really great 'togs are patient in seeking what they are after, persistent in getting it exactly "right" and practice to repeat what they've learned over and over in different contexts.
    Waz
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I think that one can learn to 'see' with the help and guidance of books and/or a forum(but obviously not via text only literature) as sample images help you define what it is you want to concentrate on as a particular subject. Whether it's macro, landscapes with a particular style, abstracts.... etc. each and every sample you absorb helps to define the style of photography you eventually end up concentrating (mostly?) on.

    I think the one thing you definitely will never learn from any of the sources you listed, is instinct.
    Waiting for a particular moment to happen, or even knowing that a particular moment is going to happen or unfold.
    Not a very important aspect to successful in all genres of photography, but helpful nonetheless.
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    I am going to expose my feelings here and i don't want to sound like a W#$Ker but here goes.

    Something we can never learn from books is "Passion" and how to convey that passion through an image.
    Two examples of what I am saying are as follows:
    Dylan (dtoh) obviously has a real "Passion" for landscapes, the textures, the colors, the light etc. and when I view his images I often feel that I am there and feeling and/or seeing what he is experiencing.
    Kiwi obviously has a real "Passion" for sport, particularly football and when I view his images I can almost feel the "pain" in the faces of his subjects.
    I believe these two gentlemen have crossed that line from Snap-shooter to Photographer and that transition can only come from practice and experience.
    Cheers
    Darey

    Nikon user, Thick skinned and wanting to improve, genuine C & C welcomed.

    Photographs don't lie ! - Anonymous Liar

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Another thing is 'location'.If you are seeking a location for a shoot, a book cannot generally tell you where to find it. It is about scouting around, finding them for yourself. Yeah you can grab a landscape book of photos and wander off to the 'usual places', but if you want to get a unique landscape, you need to find the spots yourself.

    Same can be said for outdoor portraiture. Wedding photographers will scout out locations before the big day, looking at light, shade, where the sun comes up, sets, etc.

    Finding locations cannot really be learnt from a book. It can be copied, but to learn to find your own, and get a unique view/place, is something each of us has to do for ourselves. It comes with improving your photography, as you understand what compositions, light, etc make the best results, you can then start to find the best locations in your area.

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    All great info guys and pretty much what I had anticipated, but good to see it written down

    Darey, certainly not a w___ker, passion is essentially what motivates us all to get out there and do something they love and I hear you 100% To be able to successfully convey that passion through image is a wonderful talent.

    Thanks kindly !
    Last edited by Beefa69; 07-09-2011 at 7:25am.

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    Whats the first thing we do when we get a new camera. Play with the dials and buttons take a few pics. Then "read the book on how to use it".
    The book is a guide to photography,its up to you how you use that knowledge becomes experience.

    John
    Last edited by campdog; 07-09-2011 at 7:59am.
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    All Great answers. it does boil down to Practice, Knowing your equipment thoroughly, and having a Passion for what you are doing, Practice,Practice, Practice, The Art of seeing a photograph is learnt over time.
    I have been involved in Photography since I was 18 and I'm now 64 and I'm still Learning you never stop , I shoot 4x5 and Digital, my passion though is 4x5 B/W Landscapes.

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    some great tips here - thanks!
    ---------------------------------------------
    Craig


    Canon EOS 550D | Tamron 18-270mm | Tamron 10-24mm | Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II |

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    The thrill you get after a shoot and looking at the photos taken - it's that one, just one, that makes it all worthwhile.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webuser View Post
    The thrill you get after a shoot and looking at the photos taken - it's that one, just one, that makes it all worthwhile.
    and then sharing that one with others so they can learn how to do the same.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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