Need Ideas for a good shot

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dragoness, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness TPF Noob!

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    While I am waiting for a decent camera I would love to practice with lighting, angles, etc.
    I was just looking in the Photo of the Month area and realized that any pic I have ever taken pales in comparison with just about anything else I have seen on this site... except the snapshots I myself posted.
    I feel beyond inadequate and photo stupid right now.

    So can you provide some ideas on getting the right photos? I am just parcting with a piece of crap camera with lens issues right now (p&s hp), so right now changing aperture etc is not going to happen.

    What can I do to get good poctures of ordinary object? Best please to sit, stand, lie, best angle in relation to the light, up high? down low?

    Physically what can *I* do as the photographer to make my photos better?
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First, forget the stuff about needing a fantastic camera to take a fantastic shot. The camera won't do it for you, any more than owning a typewriter makes you a novelist or owning a Steinway Grand makes you a pianist.

    Next, forget about hard and fast rules. There's no 'short list' of 5 golden rules for taking a great photograph. If there were, anyone could do it almost immediately.

    So if it isn't the camera and it isn't a few rules, what is it?

    It's the ability to take a photograph of a scene, a thing, or a person which has something to say.

    Now, it might say simply 'This is beautiful!' That's OK. It's calendar art, but there's nothing wrong with that. Fine calendar art is well-composed and can hold your interest.

    It might also say, if it's a portrait, something about the person other than providing a recognizable image. A photograph of a friend in jacket and tie in a 'talking head' pose may be only a likeness. A photograph of the same person with a grease smear on his face smiling at you from under a car hood says something else entirely. Both are portraits. Which is more truthful? If both are properly exposed and in focus, which will hold your attention better? Which has more to say?

    And things? Our world is filled with them. Try looking at them from different angles. In different lighting. [Dawn and sunset lighting can be interesting.] In different combinations.

    One of the best things you can do is to take a piece of cardboard [about 5" x 7" is good] and cut a rectangle [say, 3" x 4"] in the center. Carry it with you. Use it as a way to put a frame around things you would like to photograph. Move it around. See how framing the thing/scene/person in different ways can improve the picture.

    And don't be afraid to use a simple disposable camera. They can take good pictures if you chose the subject and lighting and angle with a bit of care.
     
  3. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Dragoness, while you're waiting for the camera, buy a good book on photography. Make sure it has a section on composition.

    There are two things that have helped me a lot so far:

    1) Look at others' work, and try to put your finger on the things that make it appeal to you.

    2) Before you take a picture, ask yourself: "What am I trying to tell my viewers?" and "Will this look decent as a picture, or am I just being impulsive" In this respect, shooting film helps. Since each shot costs you something, it makes you think a bit more.
     
  4. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    What camera are you currently using? if your camera has a quick enough shutter release (time you press the button until it takes the picture) drops are very rewarding to photograph. For this you simply get a pan or a bowl or something (pick a color you like) and fill it with some water (shallower makes more of a crown splash, more water gives you nice drops) and get a dropper to drop water from. Get something colorful to use as the background and then photograph closeups of the drop as it hits the water. Once you get your timing down this will be a moderately challenging but seriously rewarding photo shoot.

    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52750&highlight=water drops

    This can be done with pretty much any camera, obviously digital is a little easier because you can delete the shots that you mess up (because it takes a while to get it down right)
     

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