August 28, 2014, 07:18:35 AM

Author Topic: Advice: If you had a month to learn anything about photography what would it be?  (Read 3390 times)

Peter C Photography

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
    • flickr
This is my first post on this forum but I've been a fan and observer for some time.  I decided to get into photography late last year as a way to help me "smell the roses" and take a break from work and escape a little.  I've loved every minute of it, however I was in an unfortunate accident over Memorial Day weekend and spent the last 3 months in the hospital.  I have learned a ton from all of you, and have about one month to go before I return to work.  I've learned Lightroom pretty well, I have a 5DIII and feel that I have a comfortable knowledge of getting around it and look forward to getting out and about and taking photos again and growing and learning as a photographer.  Since I have a lot of respect for this group I'd love to tap into all of your experience and ask the question of "if you had a month where you could dedicate hours a day to learning and becoming a better photographer, but had limited mobility and likely couldn't spend a lot of time 'behind the lens', what would you learn and how?"  I'd love to get to a point where I could put some very large prints on my walls that I was proud of and that I will continue to find interesting.  I'm open to learn anything and I appreciate any advice or input that anyone may have.  My Flickr account is pmcpmcpmc in case anyone wants to see what I've been up to until now; I'd love any feedback or suggestions.  Thank you in advance

Peter
5DIII⎪60D⎪50 f/1.2L⎪100 f/2.8L IS macro⎪24-70 f/2.8L II⎪24-105 f/4L IS⎪70-200 f/2.8L IS II⎪100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS⎪EF 2x III⎪ST E3 RT⎪2 x 600EX RT⎪Fujifilm X100 ⎪GoPro Hero2

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

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
Rapport with models / sitters / subjects, how to direct a portrAiture / studio session.

dirtcastle

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 391
    • View Profile
    • Eric Nord Flickr Page
1. strobe lighting techniques
2. video shooting (plus magic lantern and Premiere)
3. focus stuff (hyperfocal distances and microadjustment settings)
4. AI Servo and fast action shooting
5. stitching and panoramas (plus interiors stitching software!)
6. Photoshop layering and coloring
7. I could keep going on, but I'll stop here.

Damn, can I get a month off too? ;-)

Hillsilly

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 738
    • View Profile
What makes a photograph "art".  What are the visual elements that make up an acclaimed photograph?  Why do some photographs work, and others don't?   
1000FN | 7E | 3000 | 3 | LS-100TS

drolo61

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 83
    • View Profile
couldnt find your profile on flikr, can you post a link?
5D & 5D3  -  50 1,4  -  24-70 2,8L II  -   135 2,0L  -  70-200 4,0L IS  -  100 2,0  -  24-105 4,0L IS

Peter C Photography

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
    • flickr
couldnt find your profile on flikr, can you post a link?

All - thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.  The link to my flickr site is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmcpmcpmc/
5DIII⎪60D⎪50 f/1.2L⎪100 f/2.8L IS macro⎪24-70 f/2.8L II⎪24-105 f/4L IS⎪70-200 f/2.8L IS II⎪100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS⎪EF 2x III⎪ST E3 RT⎪2 x 600EX RT⎪Fujifilm X100 ⎪GoPro Hero2

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

RobertG.

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Hi, after looking at your flickr account, I would add composition to the list of topics. Your pics are good but composition is often a weak point. Look up "leading lines", "open space" and things like this.
5DII | TS-E 17 mm L | TS-E 24 mm II | EF 35mm f1.4 | TS-E 45mm | EF 50mm f1.4 |
Tamron SP 24-70 f2.8 | EF 85mm f1.8 | TS-E 90mm f2.8 | EF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 L

drolo61

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 83
    • View Profile
Peter, just took a brief tour through your portfolio.
Lots of very nice shots in there. To me they look "random by subject".
Some are really, really good (to my taste) others a little more average.
You have good intuition on framing (unsure if while shooting or later at the computer)

For the next 4 weeks, choose a subject. Portraits could work, landscape could work, animals could...

Try to shoot no more than 12 shots a day (the equivalent of one roll of medium format film, but you could alow yourself 36 shots).
Try not to review while shooting. No changes in post (at least for the frame).
Go through "your day" in the evening.
Identify those shots you really like.
Find out, what sets them apart from the others.
Concentrate of improving the difference.
Plan your next day to change not more than one or two things (Try to "see differently" - I am not shure to what degree your mobility is limited, but maybe you can e.g. change the hight of your view point).
Review your progress after a week. If you are satisfied with yourself, go for the next subject.
The technical stuff is also important, but I personally learnt most when moving to medium format and needed to carefully watch my budget. On a 5D3 currently I swamp myself in pictures, which does not make for a steep learning curve as you spend a lot of time with reviewing.
I am curious to follow you development.
All the best
Olaf
5D & 5D3  -  50 1,4  -  24-70 2,8L II  -   135 2,0L  -  70-200 4,0L IS  -  100 2,0  -  24-105 4,0L IS

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
@Peter C

Some nice stuff there, nice sharp images, lots of saturation, lots of nice geography and patterns.

One thing I do notice on the Americas Cup stuff and your dusk architecutre shots.. you could brush up a little on your white balance control..

I find the presets are really handy and are close enough  99% of the time, bin AWB.   If you shoot RAW you can always fix easily in post, and a wee read up on kelvins and a play about with the kelvin slider in your RAW software will help you here.

Nice thread, white balance trips a lot of folk up, and AWB is a notorious weak point of Canon DSLRs.

KKCFamilyman

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 442
    • View Profile
    • Nicholas J Allo Photography
Peter, just took a brief tour through your portfolio.
Lots of very nice shots in there. To me they look "random by subject".
Some are really, really good (to my taste) others a little more average.
You have good intuition on framing (unsure if while shooting or later at the computer)

For the next 4 weeks, choose a subject. Portraits could work, landscape could work, animals could...

Try to shoot no more than 12 shots a day (the equivalent of one roll of medium format film, but you could alow yourself 36 shots).
Try not to review while shooting. No changes in post (at least for the frame).
Go through "your day" in the evening.
Identify those shots you really like.
Find out, what sets them apart from the others.
Concentrate of improving the difference.
Plan your next day to change not more than one or two things (Try to "see differently" - I am not shure to what degree your mobility is limited, but maybe you can e.g. change the hight of your view point).
Review your progress after a week. If you are satisfied with yourself, go for the next subject.
The technical stuff is also important, but I personally learnt most when moving to medium format and needed to carefully watch my budget. On a 5D3 currently I swamp myself in pictures, which does not make for a steep learning curve as you spend a lot of time with reviewing.
I am curious to follow you development.
All the best
Olaf

+1

I wish I had the time and patience to do that but instead I spend so much time reviewing pictures that it really slows you down. Also when your month is up find time to keep shooting that is the best way to stay consistent. I find if I put the camera down for a few weeks to a month it's a little harder when you grab it for a shot.
1Dx, 5D3, 16-35 f4 L IS, 24-70L II, 70-200 f2.8 IS II L, Sigma 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.2 ii L, 100mm 2.8L macro, 70-300 L, 40mm 2.8, 3 x 600ex rt, ST-E3

charlesa

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 319
  • I shoot with my eye!
    • View Profile
    • 16 stops to Heaven
How to master black & white photography!

Orangutan

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 643
    • View Profile
"if you had a month where you could dedicate hours a day to learning and becoming a better photographer, but had limited mobility and likely couldn't spend a lot of time 'behind the lens', what would you learn and how?"

Peter

Peter, speaking as an amateur myself, I'd say you've learned the most important lesson: to allow your mind the freedom to see photographs in everything.  You seem capable of learning technique on your own, so I won't address that.  I'd say your biggest area of focus should be composition, either before the capture or cropping after the fact.  Your photos are nicely selected scenes, but many lack the framing/composition to have a strong effect.  I'd make two suggestions: first, try photographing without a camera.  By that I mean look at scenes you'd like to photograph and really study them with your eyes.  What part is essential to the image?  What can be excluded?  What *must* be excluded?  Ask yourself where the eye rests first on the scene, and how would  the composition lead the eye through various elements of the image?  Which areas of the frame are lacking content, and would be "dead" in a final image.  Study a scene for several minutes before you shoot each photo.  The second suggestion is related: get books of photos by successful photographers whom you admire, whether they be landscapers or PJ's.  Study their compositions.  Where do their photos draw your eye, and where does your eye travel from there?  Study every part of the image: what does each area contribute to the image? 

There are the skills I've been working on.

Best wishes for your recovery.


distant.star

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1457
    • View Profile
    • Tracy's Shooting Gallery

.
I second this suggestion. It's great foundational work.

With limited mobility, keep shooting what you can -- maybe spend some time doing tabletop/macros kind of stuff. With the rest of the time, read what's available on the "Art" of photography. Lots of that stuff is also available in video format. Use that knowledge to analyze every picture you see, including your own. Keep shooting, keep analyzing, keep getting better!

Have fun!




What makes a photograph "art".  What are the visual elements that make up an acclaimed photograph?  Why do some photographs work, and others don't?
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

Peter C Photography

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
    • flickr
All -
these are all wonderful suggestions and I definitely agree that there are a large number of ways that I can improve.  Very helpful, and thanks for offering up suggestions on how to improve in areas such as composition.  I've definitely had the experience where I know I'm looking at something that I find interesting, but have been disappointed with how the pictures have come out when they don't "pop" as much as I'd like them to.  Some of this is due to mobility limitations and it being tough to get close to subjects, but I know a can improve a lot with a better understanding of composition and what turns certain captures of scenes from good to great pictures.  I'm looking forward to getting better and all of this input is very helpful to me.  Thank you all for taking the time to respond here and if anyone else has suggestions, I'd certainly welcome any more homework that anyone else may want to hand out,

All my best,
Peter
5DIII⎪60D⎪50 f/1.2L⎪100 f/2.8L IS macro⎪24-70 f/2.8L II⎪24-105 f/4L IS⎪70-200 f/2.8L IS II⎪100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS⎪EF 2x III⎪ST E3 RT⎪2 x 600EX RT⎪Fujifilm X100 ⎪GoPro Hero2

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

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
@Peter C
Quote
Some of this is due to mobility limitations

Hi Peter, PM me, when I worked in education we came up with a couple of ways that assisted students with mobility limitations to use a camera more easily.  I'll tell you what kit we used (mostly inexpensive) that may help you.

Cheers