How to practice

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kpizzle, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. kpizzle

    kpizzle TPF Noob!

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    Hello,
    So I got my 1st dslr, read a book about exposure, and have been taking a lot of photos. I've woke up early to shoot some old barns and stuff, took some Christmas photos of kids, other things around the yard to "practice". When I do this I have a hard time focusing on the learning process. What I mean is that when I go out to take photos and try to develop my skills I feel like I am all over the place. Should I be worried about deep of field and sharpness, should I isolate the subject, where to take light reading to make the most creative shot, etc..?

    Any suggestion on methods used when you were in the beginning stages to really develop yourself as a photographer?


     
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  2. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Take ONE (or a few) subject(s) at a time, or it is overwhelming.
    Then slowly build on that.
     
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  3. Jamesaz

    Jamesaz TPF Noob!

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    It's all learning. Take notes. Critique your photos after shooting, then again after some time has passed, then again after even more time has passed. Try, of course, to make every shot count but realistically if you get 1 in 20 that's worth a 2nd look that's really good for a beginner. Have fun. It's only photography.
     
  4. TamiAz

    TamiAz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's all very overwhelming, but the more you shoot the easier things will get. Focus on one thing at a time and it'll become second nature after a while. Keep a portfolio on Flickr and you'll see your pictures evolve and your editing style change. It's fun to go back and look at your first images to see how much you've improved. Just keep shooting!!
     
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  5. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well honestly it does sound like you are all over the place.

    Pick one image to try and make. Picture what you want it to look like in your mind and then set out to make the image you see in your mind.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. kpizzle

    kpizzle TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for the input. I appreciate it. :)
     
  7. rosh4u

    rosh4u No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As per my suggestion, take a shot and learn from each and every of the shot you take. Focus on your subject and it will be better with each new day.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Failure is the greatest teacher. I saw that line delivered in a Star Wars movie. And ya know what? That is true!

    Maybe you can learn a bit from Master Yoda, and learn from your photographic failures, after the shoots? Look through your shoots, and pick out the absolute WORST shots, and look at them carefully, and critically. WHY were the bad shots so bad? What were the issues that went wrong?

    Now...one thing people often do is to simply immediately kill-file the dud shots...just hit Delete, and send the shots down to the recycle bin or trash can...and that is a mistake!

    LOOK at the duds! Learn from the duds what NOT to do!
     
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  9. dunfly

    dunfly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I was first starting out, I made a cheat sheet that listed the important things to consider. This sounds a little silly, but it slowed me down and made me consider what I was doing and why. I can't find a copy of one that I was using, but it was based on an article by Todd Vorenkamp at B & H Explora and some other things I read. The article is here:

    30 Questions You Should Ask Before You Take a Photograph

    This is a checklist I found on line that was similar to what I used:

    http://digitalswapneel.com/photography-checklist/

    It is learning through organized repetition. You eventually do it automatically and you can forget the cheat sheet.
     
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  10. kpizzle

    kpizzle TPF Noob!

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    This is good stuff. Thank you!
     
  11. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are some good concrete steps listed here and I'd like to expand on a few of them.

    1. Keep the bad shots - at least until you know exactly why it was bad, and then you can delete it. But keep a few of them so you can look back in a year and realize how far you've come. Building a skill can be slow work and many times, your attention will be on how much you still need to learn, but it's important to always keep sight of what you have already learned so you don't get discouraged too much during the plateaus.

    2. Keep a cheat sheet - but be specific. You said you have read a book - what parts of it do you think you understand? Do you know how aperture settings affect the image? Shutter settings? If you think you get it then start there and spend some time making sure that you really do get it in a practical sense and not just a theoretical way. For example, you may understand the concept of how the aperture works, but go out and do your field testing so that the conceptual understanding can reliably be put to practice with the camera. Use your cheat sheet to keep yourself focused on that one concept that you are testing. Take notes to remember what your field test results were. Some of these tests will be quick ("Wow, I really did get it!") and some might take some time ("Huh, I thought I understood that...") Do this for the basics and then keep moving on to more advanced cheat sheets.

    3. Limit yourself to a single kind of photograph or subject. Take a gazillion pictures of the same thing at different times of day, different lighting, different settings, different compositions. This gives you a chance to train your eye to "see" certain pictures before even raising the camera to take the shot. You'll see that sometimes the most obvious shot isn't going to necessarily be the best or most interesting angle or lighting, and you'll get a sense of which versions you like better (a start to developing a style.) If you're not sure, take the shot anyway. It's digital, fer cryin' out loud!

    4. Don't be afraid to share your results here and get feedback. It can be scary and it may make you feel vulnerable, but it's important because we aren't always objective about our own work so it can be hard to see flaws or ways to improve. Try not to be defensive when people give critical feedback.

    And of course, keep shooting! :)
     
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  12. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You could look at most of my stuff and just not do it that way........
     
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