love photography but getting very frustrated......

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by smalls, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. smalls

    smalls TPF Noob!

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    ive been taking pictures for as long as i can remember with a nothing special camera. a little over a year ago i finally went digital and got a nikon d50. i love the camera but im tired of shooting in what i feel is basically auto mode. i want to move on to other things with the camera so one day i can step up to a nicer camera. im just frustrated with where i am with my photography skills. ive shot features for the magazine or out and about, and im not happy. everybody else tells me its good work. i feel that ive been using this camera for over a year and im not getting anywhere.

    i guess what i am looking for is some guidence as to how i can move forward with my photography because i like i basically said i feel im at a dead end.
     
  2. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Trust me, I know the feeling. I've got the most basic dSLR out there that isn't even produced anymore, the Canon 300D Digital Rebel with kit lens. I feel like I've learned as much as I can with this camera and gotten out of it what I can and it's time to move up. So I ordered a new lens and external flash (50 mm f/1.4 and 430 EX II speedlight).

    I bought these pretty much with the thought that I am either getting a Canon 5D when I can afford it, or the replacement if they come out with one, that way I can use both for my future camera.

    After I get my new gear (tomorrow!) I plan on trying portrait/studio shots. There are a bunch of good sites w/good info and some good books on the subject. I'm also going to build a lightbox to try some product shots of random things around the house. I figure this will be a good way to learn lighting.

    What you need to do is get out of Automatic mode. It is such a waste of money if you buy a DSLR and only shoot in Auto. Try Manual. Just play with it and read up if you don't know the settings. You have way more control with Manual.
     
  3. evo5gsr

    evo5gsr TPF Noob!

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    Understanding Exposure. Buy it.
     
  4. SBlanca

    SBlanca TPF Noob!

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    apart from understanding exposure which might not explain things too well at times, spend a lot of time on this forum, in a few weeks you'll learn so much
     
  5. Fliphishermon

    Fliphishermon TPF Noob!

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    Do the monthly Photo Challenge on this site or try the monthly Photo Assignments (also here).

    I took a basic photo class once and one week we had to set our camera to Av and take just Av shots all week (a minimum of 36 shots, or a typical contact sheet), the next we used Tv, next was DoF, next was view point (high, low, etc.), next low ISO, next high ISO, etc.

    We then had to post two shots a week for class critique.

    At first I thought it was dumb but after the first week I realized i was learning a ton about shooting, settings, etc. Also got to be real familar with the camera's manual. How many of us sit down every evening and read that thing?

    I've got a copy of my manual online and whenever I have a question I do an Edit -> Find auto search through the entire manual, not just the indexed pages for a word match. I find as much good information in "un-indexed" spots as I do in indexed listings.

    Shots. Take lots of shots.
     
  6. smalls

    smalls TPF Noob!

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    I HAVE THE BOOK (I HAVENT FINISHED IT YET) AND YES I AGREE HE DOESNT EXPLAIN THINGS VERY WELL. I STARTED OUT READING IT AND IT WAS PRETTY SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND, NOW IM FINDING MYSELF READING THINGS TWICE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HE IS EXPLAINING.

    ON THE OTHER SIDE IM NOT USING JUST THE AUTO MODE, I USE PROGRAM MODE MOST OF THE TIME BUT LIKE I SAID ITS BASICALLY AUTO MODE. IVE PLAYED WITH MANUAL SOME BUT I FORGET TO READ THE VIEW FINDER ALOT. I GUESS BEING THAT IM USED TO SHOOTING IN PROGRAM.

    IM GOING TO STICK WITH IT BUT ITS GOOD TO SEE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHERE IM COMING FROM. ILL CHECK OUT EVERY SECTION OF THE FORUM FOR SURE.

    THE NEXT TASK I WANT TO FACE IS PHOTOSHOP WHICH I HAVE BUT KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT IT.

    THANKS AGAIN FOR THE INPUT!!!!
     
  7. logan9967

    logan9967 TPF Noob!

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    don't forget to look around at other peoples work. whenever i feel stuck i just look at peoples pictures all day until that one picture hits me with inspiration and i try to duplicate it. Remember that post processing will add so much more. I reccomend learning as much about photoshop as possible. Play around with tutorials, good-tutorials.com is a good place to find some.
    Good luck!
     
  8. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    For Photoshop "manuals", or "how to", check your local used bookstore for books of past versions.

    I have Elements - not very many used books on Elements so I buy a Photoshop CS2 book and the basics are similar.

    I probably have not advanced to those "extra features" area, yet.
     
  9. cecilc

    cecilc TPF Noob!

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    What you need to do (and this is just my opinion, of course!) is to find a situation that will force you out of your "comfort zone" .... something that will get you out of "program mode" (yuck!) and make you "think" while you use your creative skills ...

    Find a photo class somewhere around you - and I'm not talking about some "intro" class .... get into an advanced photo class where you are forced to know how your camera operates and how "light" affects your camera's metering and when you should be shooting in manual mode and .... well, you get the idea. It sounds like you also need a place (and this same class should do it!) where you can get some "no holds barred" critiques ....

    But my guess is that a big reason that you feel that you're "at a dead end." is because you're still wrapped in that "blankie" .... (and by "blankie" I mean a comfort zone of shooting in "auto" and not learning anything else!).

    Get out of that "blankie" and out of your comfort zone .... the "dead end" will open up ...

    And where are you in Georgia ? I'm up north of Atlanta .....

    Edit: I looked at your MySpace page (at least, the opening page). That shot you've got there of the Atlanta skyline is crooked ... the horizon's off and needs to be straightened up a bit. The shot's a nice shot ... but it's not level.
     
  10. apertureandfocus

    apertureandfocus TPF Noob!

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    Taking photos can be time intensive, so make sure you've got a good foundation before you waste too much time. Learn the basics and practice what you learn. Critique new shots from a mentor's perspective. Get a mentor.
    You can take an exceptional course online.
    www.photoschoolonline.com

    Don't get too frustrated. Be thankful you don't have to pay for film and processing of all your practice shots!
    Photography should be fun, so get the fundamentals and enjoy.
     
  11. smalls

    smalls TPF Noob!

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    i am in athens.

    im willing to take all the "no holds barred" critiques from anybody that is willing to give. im open to anyones opinion. i never noticed that the picture is crooked, but i see it plain as day now that you mentioned it. i actually thought it was a good pic and so did alot of people, now that i see the flaw i want to redo it.

    nikon school is coming to altalnta soon. i was thinking about taking the basic class but from the way i take what you are saying you think i need to take the "next sets in digital photography" one. the resason i was going to take the basic class was i thought i was missing something. youre thinking i need to think outside the auto and program mode box.

    thanks for the info, im working on getting some of my confidence back.
     
  12. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    The main thing you must remember as chiche as it sounds, is to HAVE FUN, if your not having fun for any reason your hobby will become a chore, dont feel pressured to go out to see new exciting subjects, stay at home turn your camera button to a mode you have never used and just experiment.
    I have a point and shoot camera which has some great functions including manual mode, and I am soooo glad I learnt about it, My photos have improved alot in just the last few months, and I cant wait to get a DSLR.
    I struggled with books, I found I would read something and end up googling what the subject was, I am a very hands on person, and I need pictures to help me learn.
    Some of your pictures look a bit snap shots, watch for shadows, especially your own falling in front or on the subject (on some of the cars) obviously you dot have alot of control with the sunlight but you will read some great stuff on here to help you.
    When I first joined the site, i just browsed through the different sections of the forums and learnt alot just from that...
     

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