Need help...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bytch_mynickname, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. bytch_mynickname

    bytch_mynickname TPF Noob!

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    I am having trouble deciding what to do with my pictures. I have no problem going out and shooting and coming up with ideas while I am shooting but after I get home and view them and whatnot, I can't figure out how to edit them. I open them in photoshop and sit there and stare at the screen. I am not sure if I just don't have an eye to get the technical stuff down pat or if I just don't know what to do b/c I don't know how to use photoshop. I know you have to be able to be creative but I just can't the creativness in me to come out. For exampleI took this photo today, this isn't a very good example as the composition could have been better and it was taken at a busy intersection.

    [​IMG]




    That is the only thing I could think to do with it. It seems as though at some point in time all of my photos are B&W, that is what makes me think I can't come up with any ideas b/c I don't know how to do anything in photoshop. I do know how to turn a photo B&W, adjust curves, and use the channel mixer, and I just figured out how to add grain. After I do what I know how to do, I can't tell if it looks good. I mean it looks ok to me but what do others think about it?

    Here is the original
    [​IMG]

    I can only sit here so long and do the things I know how to do before I get tired of doing it them I go watch TV or something. Do you guys think I am limiting myself b/c I don't know what to do with photoshop or am I just not creative enough? I do have a photoshop book but it doesn't explain what certain features do, it just tells you what to do to achieve a certain look (Scott Kelby CS2 book.) Photoshop is very intimadating to me and I don't know where to start with it.
    I can't figure out what to do with certain photos because can't learn how to do something b/c I don't know what to look up how to do it. It is like a viscious circle, if I am making any sense.

    What should my next step be? Thanks

    (I know the above picture is not good because it is too busy and no way to really crop it without losing something more. Not a good example but I thought the building was interesting and chose to mess around with it in PS to see what I could do, not much)
     
  2. pacereve

    pacereve TPF Noob!

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    Hey there!

    I wouldn't say you're limited because you're not up to par with photoshop. Photoshop mainly used to colour correct, sharpen, etc. to photos; not use effects and digitalize the image (its ok if that's what your into but most photography is pure).

    What I do is take a shot with my camera then correct a bit of the contrast. Everything else is set and done by my camera.

    There is no real right or wrong way to take a photo. It's really all on personal preference. You say your image might be a bit too busy, it might be if your just trying to capture the red building. But maybe you're wanting to portray the city life, if so, a suggestion would be to include more of the road and city life. Back up a bit and get some of the street hussel in the photograph. If you're wanting just the design of the red building; try more up close shots and different eye-catching angles (up close, looking up towards the sky).

    In short, determine what you want as the 'centre' of your photograph (the American flag blowing in the wind). After that is set, choose how you wish to show it (staring from the street up to the flag with that red building blurred in the background). Once you've established your topic and your setting, try taking random shots at different angles and distance.

    Does that help at all? A bit of a brain dump :$
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I think it's just to keep taking more pictures. My view on Photoshop is that it's not where the creativity takes place. For me, it happens before the shutter clicks. What I do in editing is to realize what I visualized when looking through the viewfinder. I do most of my work in b&w, so I have to know what the scene will look like whithout color, through a red filter, and higher contrast, which is what I tend to do with Photoshop. My adjustments are more about getting a specific look I want. The creativity comes into play in what I photograph and how.

    I know people like to play with Photoshop to try out new and interesting things with various manipulations, but to me that's more graphic design. To me, photography involves an image in you mind based on what you are seeing in font of you (or one that you have completely previsualized), and then making that image become real.

    In order to get to the point where you know what you will get before you hit the shutter, you have to practice, practice, practice. Once you understand all the choices you have available to you and what they do to the image, you might decide to start making similar choices over and over because you like them. If so, that becomes your style.

    But then I started out with film. With digital, a lot of the choices you would make in-camera are now done afterwards. Color vs. b&w, low vs. high contrast (though you can at printing also), how much grain, etc.

    Personally, I'd concentrate on learning about what the various choices in shutter, aperture, and focal length offer and keep the software editing rather simple. Maybe basic converstions to b&w or color balance and level and curves adjustments to get a contrast you like.

    The image itself is based on your subject choice and it's composition. Most everything else is style applied to that.
     
  4. bytch_mynickname

    bytch_mynickname TPF Noob!

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    I completely understand what you are saying but sometimes there is little stuff like someones eyes being too dark that ruins a picture, it ruins it b/c I don't know how to fix it. I am just staring out in the dslr world so I am having a bit of difficulty getting things just right before I press the shutter button. I am trying to use that as an opportunity to learn how to use photoshop and to improve my pictures. I know the only way to get better at taking picutres is to go out and practice, and I do, I just get overwhelmed b/c I have so many pictures that could be good if just a little tweaking was done to them but I am having trouble seeing exaclty what needs done to them. I guess I don't have the technical eye for that kind of thing b/c I can change for example the saturation and it looks good in different places, but I don't know what would look good to other people. I am not sure if I am conveying my feelings well enough, maybe this is more of a whine than a question:lol:

    I know the above picture was not good, I was standing across the street and I nticed the building was interesting. I was visiting my Mom and they are doing construction work so I couldn't get any closer. Someday, I will get better shots of it. Thanks guys
     
  5. Je-C

    Je-C TPF Noob!

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    bytch, You seem like you're pretty hard on yourself. Cut it out! I'm pretty self-critical as well, but sometimes you've gotta just stop and say "Ya know, it wasn't bad!" Oh by the way, unless you're trying for commercial photography, screw what others think! lol If you like it, then that's the most important opinion! (o:
     
  6. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A few thoughts:

    For any exposure -- what do you want the final print to say? It can be as simple as 'Isn't this pretty?' or 'Wow! This street is busy!' or 'What a lovely flower' or 'Isn't this an interesting texture?' or it can convey something deeper. What you want it to say will affect how you frame it and print it.

    Post processing -- if it doesn't look very good in the viewfinder, it probably won't look very good no matter how much you patch it up later. The time to think about composition is before you click the shutter.

    A painter starts with a blank canvas and adds to it until he/she has added just enough. A photographer starts with the entire universe and subtracts until what's left is just enough.
     
  7. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    When I started my classes in Autocad, the instructor said that there would be days where you would have writer's block. This is natural. So he said instead of trying to create something, just start with a line. One line, then draw a second. After time, a building would appear. The trick is not to focus too hard on what you don't have, but on what you do have. Look at other work for inspiration. You never know what you will see, and you may like it.
     

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