Ever feel like you're at your limit, and it's way too low?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by DSLR noob, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    I feel like I've just plain stopped improving. One thing that bothers me is that I've been into photgraphy for such a short time (7 months). People say to get better, shoot lots of photos, I must shoot at least 30 photos a day and I feel like I jumped leaps and bounds from my start, but have reached the edge of improvement for me..... it's really weird. I got SOOOOOOOOO much better than I was when I opened the box to my XT, but the first 4 months was where I did ALL my improving. The photos from the past 3 months all look about the same in terms of pleasurable overall look. Sure I can take low noise shots, in focus, with good saturation and contrast. My friends all say I am an amazing photographer but I am the only kid in my highschool with a DSLR and part of 10% that knows manual settings of any camera. I get told I'm great by people with nothing but snapshots, I know if I post here I only get responses such as "getting there" or "alright" but I've never gotten the "Wow, that is amazing" feeling I get from some photos by people on here. I don't get them from my own photos, or from others looking at my photos. Closest thing I got was on one car pic, where someone who does automotive photography said "I live for photos that turn out like these" yet I still see car pics better than mine all over this site.(by the way, continue to tell me that I'm not that great if you feel that way, I don't want to be lied to as a pity case because of this thread, it isn't a "Feel sorry for me and give me some false ego strokes" thread, I simply want improvement, and possibly an optimistic statement , but only if you feel what you say is true)
    Maybe comparing myself to people who have done this for years isn't the best for my self esteem, but how do you -kick-yourself to the next level? I know the technical stuff, I know how exposure works, and I know the cliche situations to apply them, but I have trouble getting an overal shot of power. I think, and I hate saying this, as it is the only thing you can't tell me, I have to find it for myself, what subject matter will interest people without being completely cliche. I think I lack the artists eye. I am a technical photographer at this point only...............
    I just feel kind of down, anyone know a way I can go out there kickstart my improvement streak to be set in motion again?

    (P.S. I've felt this way for a while, but it was the photo posted by Sw1tchFX (the HDR on the Workshop of the Damned, so consider that a compliment. Not to make you feel bad for being so talented (jealousy is the greatest form of flattery <actually mocking is but jealousy is a close 2nd>) that I feel my photography is worthless by comparison.
     
  2. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    i've been there man. i know what it feels like. I am sort of feeling that way right now. I guess that "technically" i am a professional photographer, but i feel like i'm in a rut. I can't seem to figure out if I can make this photography work for the rest of my life and actually be "good" at it. Sometimes I wonder if i'm just wasting my time and if I should just try to get a regular job and keep photography as a hobby :meh:
     
  3. Kimber57

    Kimber57 TPF Noob!

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    I feel just the opposite, I suppose. I have an artistic eye and can see wonderful shots in my head, but I'm having trouble with the technical aspects of photography!! I want to be able to set my camera's settings for the perfect shot that I have in my head, but I'm not quite there yet......not even close, actually. The lighting, the shutter speed, the ISO, the EVERYTHING -- I figure if I keep studying it, I'll learn it!!

    I guess we'll just keep learning as we go.........(i hope)
     
  4. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    When I get to that point, I buy an new camera :D haha I wonder what will happen when there are no better cameras?

    Here's what you could do, start to shoot some different stuff, I don't know what you have dome already, but try to mix it up, do something that you have never some before.
     
  5. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

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    When I get to that point, I take a break for a while. Sometimes I get to a point where I feel like I'm *forcing* myself, and the results are always no-good. Then I go back to "living life" without photography (I guess you could call it getting centered), and then when I get the urge to start shooting again, things turn out much better.
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Happens to everyone and will continue to happen throughout your photo journey. Do not be afraid to put the camera down for a couple of days weeks or months. I find that visiting museums and art galleries really helps.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Oh dear! This is the point where I feel I have been at for YEARS now and I am no longer developing! I see such inspired and inspiring photos on here and I realise in a glimpse that I lack the creative or artistic element inside me that is required to take photos this good (for it is NOT always and only the equipment you have, and some just don't have the CHANCE to change their equipment every time they slide into a hole of feeling inadequate and hopeless). I keep trying to work on getting better, but I feel there is a "me" that shines through my photos, and that "me" is - mostly likely so! - only just boring to most. And NOT inspiring, and NOT thought-provoking, and NOT interesting. Somehow at my age (high school is a thing from long, long in the past for me!) I feel I need to accept myself and MY strengths now, I don't believe there is much chance for me to still develop into one of the "young and wild" photographers, mostly so because I no longer AM young ... and have I ever been "wild"? I don't think so...

    So I share your frustration, DSLR noob, and know where you're coming from, and see that this is NOT meant to be a pity thread, and I wish for you, who you ARE still young, that you might also find in you the "wild-ness" that will help you create some real WOWers in the end! (If for my part have to come to terms with the fact that I won't).
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So you know the technical aspects. Time to start developing a style. Do something new. Take the photos you see from other people that make you feel warm and fuzzy and try and imitate them. Once you figure it out adapt it to your own style.
     
  9. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Improvement in Photography is a bit like a game of leapfrog.
    The two players are technical ability and creativity.
    Once one has made a move you have to wait for the other two make theirs.
    Sometimes you have ideas that you can't photograph. This is a failing in technical ability. Studying, reading and asking questions (or better yet, take a class) can usually solve this.
    Sometimes your technical skills are good but your pictures seem empty, dull or just plain boring. This is a failing in creativity. Studying, reading, asking questions and looking at the work of others can often help. There are classes but their effectiveness depends upon the quality of the teacher.
    Once you have improved in one area you will progress until you hit your limits again and then you have to find ways of pushing yourself on to the next level.
    I've been committing acts of photography now for over 40 years and I can confirm that the levels just keep going on up ;)

    A word of caution: Everything finds it's own level and this is true of Photography. Just because the levels are there does not mean that you will ever be able to reach them. This should not stop you trying, though. If you never try you will never know what you are capable of.
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I may throw in my $.02 worth, try a different perspective.

    A camera can only do as it is instructed and if you have the tech side down then the only thing left is the other half of the equation which is you.

    You described growth (improving) in your photography as a mechanical thing of exposures and focusing. What is your plan for growth as a human being?

    Photography is not just a record of an instant of time. It's a record of someone's view of an instant in time. Whether that view is pedestrian or a flash of genius depends upon the person with the original view. A viewpoint being an intellectual thing is best developed by a combination of comparisons between different places and different philosophies.

    The different places part is easily done by just wandering around the planet. The differing philosophies part is going to have to come by your engaging in conversations with people whose demonstrated talents will be of benefit to you.

    You can have these conversations with the living of course but you may also converse with those who have passed on by looking at what they said with their art then noting how it made you feel then they speak again by your looking at how their art was composed and you continue by doing the same with other of their works until you see their philosophy. I'm not just talking about the mechanics but the importance placed on different elements, what their sense of humor might have been by the exaggerations they might have used and so forth.

    Take your camera with you to museums and coffee shops alike and enjoy the trip.

    mike
     
  11. Anita

    Anita TPF Noob!

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    This is about the best advice! I'm going to try to imitate first then recreate. That's what babies do, then teenagers, then adults. We all do this in a normal aging process. It definitely applies to photography and all the arts.
     
  12. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    DSLR_noob,

    I've been shooting most of my life. For a decade ana half I shot news for major Daily's and wire service. Now I shoot for myself and I still feel as if I'm learning ... still trying new stuff ... still looking for new ways to see old subjects.

    An important element in development/education is peer pressure. Join an advance photo group. Shooting similar events/situations and seeing what/how others see will help you improve and develop your own style.

    Take photo classes at your community college. The pre-req's will be very basic to you but after that there should be challenging courses.

    Try some internet courses.

    Without a peer group to help you ... the trick is to challenge yourself into self-improvement. You need to recognize where you are falling short and self-critique yourself into improvement.

    Here are two thoughts on photography which you may or may not already know/be familar with:
    1) When all else fails ... follow the rules; and
    2) Pre-visualization - don't just go snapping around town hoping to get something good when you download. When you see a subject which is interesting ... don't start snapping away. Look at it, figure out why it is interesting ... think about what you can do to enhance the interesting element(s) of that subject ... and finally and most importantly, visualize the final image, in your mind's eye imagine how you want the final image to look, then adjust your camera, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, lens and shooting angle to accomodate what you have previsualize. The closer your shots get to your pre-visualized image ... progress is being made both creatively and technically.

    Gary
     

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