Getting out of a "Snapshot" frame of mind?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Skyclad, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Skyclad

    Skyclad TPF Noob!

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    As it is, I am currently borrowing a basic P&S camera till I am able to get the SX102IS (yes, I know thats another P&S camera, but it will allow me to have full manual controls). The one im using now only allows me to have about 1/3 manual controls. With full manual controls, it is much easier to take more interesting pictures that don't look like a snapshot (mainly due to the fact if being able to control DoF, and shutter speed and what not). Whereas a basic P&S camera, you cannot. Now I know that a lot of taking a good non snapshot picture is creativity. Especially when it comes to composure.

    Thing is, I was outside in the yard earlier trying to take a picture of a Mexican fire bush flower with a lightly cloudy sky as the background. But it seemed that no matter how I tried, it still looked like a snapshot to me. Granted, it looked nice, but I felt like the flower wasn't right (maybe it was too small of a flower to do this with), or there was too much void with the sky (shooting rule of thirds) or several other random thing. I even tried taking a picture of a sun dial thats sitting on top of a rock in the yard, but any way I looked at it, it looked like a plain old snapshot.

    What im wondering is, is it because I am limited with a P&S camera that I only see things in a snapshot way? Or am I just in a "Snapshot" frame of mind which is what's limiting me?

    If im in a "Snapshot" frame of mind, what would be some things I can do to break free of that? Is there some sort of basic exercises that can be practiced to break free of this. Or is it just something I have to gradually learn hands on as I go along?
     
  2. misstwinklytoes

    misstwinklytoes TPF Noob!

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    :addpics:

    Show us the pic and let us see if it looks snapshotty.
     
  3. Skyclad

    Skyclad TPF Noob!

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    I had deleted my earlier attempts, but I went outside and just now took this one after reading your post. Unfortunately a lot of the clouds had moved away, and the sky is getting ready to go into dusk mode so I wasn't able to get better blooms in the picture. I had thought about cropping it to eliminate the little bit of roof I got in the bottom left, but that still wouldn't have gotten rid of the 2 flower branches sticking up on the lower right, and I don't have the photoshop know how on how to get rid of those without ruining the picture.

    But thats besides the point. If you can excuse those 2 things, you can still see what I was talking about. So heres the picture.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A huge part of photography, or any other art form, is the creativity that comes from within. It is not something that can be taught. It can be brought out from dormancy, to whatever degree lies within. Art and photography is about *your* view, or *your* voice. You use various mediums to show the world *your* perspective of a given subject. 30 people can take a pictureof the exact same subject matter, and produce 30 different, no matter how slight, interpretations of that subject.

    Learning how to use composition will have you make the biggest leap towards better photos, but there is so much more to it, that lies in your gut/heart/soul. THAT is the key to really go "beyond the snapshot".

    You also have to look at your subject matter. You may have the most beautiful thing in front of you, but never get that awesome image simply because of it's location. So you have to learn to recognize this and accept it for what it is.

    Good luck on your journey.
     
  5. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A huge part of photography, or any other art form, is the creativity that comes from within. It is not something that can be taught. It can be brought out from dormancy, to whatever degree lies within. Art and photography is about *your* view, or *your* voice. You use various mediums to show the world *your* perspective of a given subject. 30 people can take a pictureof the exact same subject matter, and produce 30 different, no matter how slight, interpretations of that subject.

    Learning how to use composition will have you make the biggest leap towards better photos, but there is so much more to it, that lies in your gut/heart/soul. THAT is the key to really go "beyond the snapshot".

    You also have to look at your subject matter. You may have the most beautiful thing in front of you, but never get that awesome image simply because of it's location. So you have to learn to recognize this and accept it for what it is.

    Good luck on your journey.
     
  6. Skyclad

    Skyclad TPF Noob!

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    Thank you Bitter Jeweler. That was very well put! Hopefully I have the gut/heart/soul to be able to get those kinds of photos as I learn more about composition. That example picture I put up and my earlier cow skull picture kinda makes me think that I do, but its just buried right now, and hopefully hands on experience will help bring that out.

    All the photos ive posted so far have been first tries (meaning I didn't take 25 shots and pick the best one. Though I may have taken 5 or 6 shots prior and deleted them before getting to the ones I posted) and with very little photoshop work.

    Right now, I know it can go either way for me, but im hoping for the best. Time and 5,000 more posted photos will show which way that pendulum swings :)
     
  7. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    How often do you look at other kinds of art?
     
  8. SecondShot

    SecondShot TPF Noob!

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    You may want to take 10-15-25 shots of the same subject, as it may depend on what your camera's sensor picks up based on the angle and available light. I do this quite often, perhaps that's why I chose the moniker of "SecondShot". So what if it's a leaf, if you don't like how it came out, you can delete it - just 0's and 1's. But if you find something that comes out how your mind's eye pictured it, then all those extra shots were worth it. Aaand, you can look at the photo's EXIF data to see what you did in the camera, or what it sensed (p & S) to give you the shot you wanted.

    Look forward to seeing more
     
  9. Skyclad

    Skyclad TPF Noob!

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    I enjoy looking at the photos posted here. And I like to browse through photos posted on flickr. I absolutely love looking at this Industrial pictures blogspot Industrial Decay. Looking at Steampunk/Dieselpunk creations never cease to amaze me. I always enjoy looking at good CD & DVD cover art.

    If any of that stuff counts :)
     
  10. Skyclad

    Skyclad TPF Noob!

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    I will certainly be doing that. Right now im still learning how to do this and that with the limited manual settings of the P&S camera and which settings work best for which shots and conditions.
     
  11. Fatback

    Fatback TPF Noob!

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    I know exactly what your going through, and I mean that in every way. I started out with a little P&S just like you, it was a Samsung S860. When I realized that I wanted to get more into Photography, I bought a Fujifilm S1500(which broke, then I got a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8). That's when I really started to get in photography. I started reading books, watching YouTube videos, and anything else about a camera I could find. It took me a whole year to get to the point I'm at now. I just bought my first DSLR, and I love photography more then ever. It's a long road, and it's not easy. Theres going to be times when you will want to give up, because it seems like all your photos suck. Just keep taking pictures. When I go back, and look at the first picture I ever took, and then look at my recent ones, I'm amazed by how far I have come.
     
  12. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Yeah it counts. It all counts. Music, literature, visual arts, design.

    I was just curious to know.

    You get out of the snapshot frame of mind when you stop worrying about gear and make photographs.

    Contrast is pretty much the most important thing regarding composition. Contrasting colors, like red/green, etc, contrasting subject matter, like crooked/straight, contrasting ideas, like 1 versus many, and contrasting tonalities, which is just using light to create rich tones.
     

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