Learning advice.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by WolfSpring, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. WolfSpring

    WolfSpring TPF Noob!

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    I have a goal to learn to be a really good photography, and like others maybe one day be paid for my work on the side. I have a slight problem though. I am currently in a job where my free time is not known and sometimes it is only one or two days off a month, and some weeks I work 0430-2100(9pm) 6 days a week. I have purchased and read several good books, I have tried some of the free online courses. I currently have a Nikon D40 w the 18-55 and 55-200 lens and an SB-600. I feel I take decent pictures, exspecially of my children and of sunsets and clouds. But my pictures never seem to look as good as others. I started with automatic settings, and have moved on to trying Aperature priority and messing with my ISO and WB settings, but I can never seem to get the image just right. I am not the best with PS but can make due. Here is the big problem, I have ADHD(I don't need a bunch of comments from anyone I've lived with it for 30 years and can control it) Where this becomes a problem is if I put the camera down for a week I tend to forget things I've read, which tells me I have not worked on a good foundation and I've jumped around to much. I'm wondering if someone can recommend a good quick reference guide and possibly what is more important for me to learn aperature, lighting, or iso, or is there something I am missing as far as building a foundation? Any advice is greatly appreciated on this. I feel i've got 10 years to get this right before I retire from the army and get a job that will afford me the freedom to do this in my free time and maybe makesome extra cash on the side.

    thank you
     
  2. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    why not start yourself a note book and write down settings that work for you and what pic you took beside it to remind yorself.

    and browse through it before you start shooting.

    how can you be in the army if you have ADHD and forget things easily?
    i dont mean to be rude but if you cant remember camera settings how can you remember army stuff
     
  3. WolfSpring

    WolfSpring TPF Noob!

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    I can remember things greatly why i do them all the time, it's while learning if I put the camera down for a period of time I forget the minute details like aperature settings. I can control the ADHD, without drugs. It's like I do satellite communications and this intrests me I love it so i'm good at it, but if you taught me a car engine it would take me a long time to learn cause I can't focus on it. I can learn the camera, i'm interested it. It's just I'm a Drill Sergeant right now and don't have time to actually apply what i'm reading alot so if I can't read, then exeperience I forget. I know this sounds confusing, but it's all about free time right now lol.
     
  4. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    hjope you were not offended.:)

    try the note book idea and see how you get on and keep reading and re reading hope it helps
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi wolf, have you tried reverse engineering?

    In other words, find some photos that you really like and then try to figure out how they were done.

    If this seems like cheating remember that no one has gotten anywhere all by themselves.

    Unless they haven't gone anywhere or done anything of course. ;)
     
  6. WolfSpring

    WolfSpring TPF Noob!

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    Oh no I don't offend easy and I think the notebook is a great idea, can't believe I didn't think of it. i've even got a 4X7 printer I can print some of my photos and put them in the notebook and the settings I like or even someother peoples photos that have the settings in the data. That is a great help, thank you.
     
  7. WolfSpring

    WolfSpring TPF Noob!

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    thank you mike, thats a good idea too. Another question I see some of these photos and think wow, that can't be an original shot like that and I've looked at the settings and tried to do soemthing similar. Is there alot of edited photos, as far as color balance and brightness out there? or is there more natural unedited? I've heard a lot of debates, but isn't it all about the finished product, as either an Art form or someones memory? so what would it matter what paths were taken to get there?
     
  8. DHammer

    DHammer TPF Noob!

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    0430-2100, Military I am betting. I know every branch of the service has photography courses you may want to look into them. My son is currently a Petty Officer 2nd Class and is also planning on taking it. If you are military that is. Second you could make little cards of important things and laminate them and attatch them to a key ring and then onto you camera strap. Then just review quickly before shooting. Also there is a very good correspondence course that is self paced at nyip (new york institute of photography), I haven't taken it but have looked at all the materials through a friend's participation. Of course this forum is surprisingly filled with an incredible amount information on all aspects of photography I have been impressed since day one here. Hope some of this can help.
     
  9. WolfSpring

    WolfSpring TPF Noob!

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    This forum has a been a great help the last few days. My photos aren't bad, I've had alot of people say I have a natural eye for a photo, it's just the small stuff. Shadowing DOF and ISO settings is what I'm told I need to work on. I've only had my camera since April and I'm learning slowly but I've only got a year left on this crazy job before I go back to normal Army and stop being a drill sergeant. I am taking online correspondence courses through the army and the biggest problem with there course is many of the modules are film based so I have skipped them. I found a course through mourgefiles or some site like that, but it mirrors the main reference book i use now so it was not that usefull. I guess experience and learning from mistakes is my best route. Thanks again for the advice.
     
  10. alexblackwelder

    alexblackwelder TPF Noob!

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    I second the notebook idea. I carry around a journal, and if an idea for a shot comes into my head, I scribble it down. You can also write down what settings you used for each shot, and like you said, paste them into the book. Without my journal, I would be nowhere. I really recommend one.
     
  11. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    I never thought I would hear a Drill Sergeant say "lol"


    I look forward to seeing some of your photos.
     
  12. WolfSpring

    WolfSpring TPF Noob!

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    I put a few on the general, a few from Iraq that I took with a fujifilm P&S and one of my daughter using my D40. As far as the Drill sergeant. I was a damn good Staff Sergeant and loved my job so I never updated my records to make Sergeant First Class so when the time came and my unit had to many SSGs they sent a few to Drill Sergeant and a few to recruiter. Personally I hate my job, I'm a gamer I love BF2 and I love my family. I hate yelling at people. I am a recovered angry person and belive if I am yelling at you you already messed up so why yell? My soldiers love me they can come to me with anything, but when they mess up I make them feel really bad without yelling. I belive that our youth in the Army needs to be strong minded and bodied and yelling only breaks them down, teach them why they are messed up and give them the tools to correct themselves before you rely on yelling. Just my opinion. As far as photography I've got alot of my stuff. I take about 400 pics each time I go out, the lake, a rodeo. Only about 10 are good, but 10 good pics is still 10 good pics and 390 bad pics no one else has to see lol.
     

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