Very Disappointed

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by pbelarge, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. pbelarge
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    pbelarge New Member

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    Well, I went out and purchased one of the "L" lenses from Canon. I have been shooting for just under 1 year and I thought it would help me become better with my skills as a photographer.

    Not so...
    For any who may think that the equipment helps. That is probably only so if you know how to use it.
    I am very disappointed in myself, not the lens.

    I can see this road is going to be a lot steeper than I thought it would be.
  2. reznap
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    reznap New Member

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    That's funny pbelarge, I've been feeling something similar with my $500-ish 70-300..

    I predict you'll grow to love that lens though, whichever L series lens it is. Just keep a positive outlook.
  3. Hardrock
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    Hardrock New Member

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    What lens did you get? Loan it to me until you think you are ready and I will give it back!!:mrgreen:
  4. JillH
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    JillH New Member

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    I hear you. Every time I think about sinking serious money into a new lens I think about my skill as a photographer, and realize I'm still just a rank amateur and that until I can get great shots consistently with what I have now (a measly 38-80 mm Nikon lens that came with my camera!), I can't justify another expensive toy.

    Except for that wide angle lens that I really, really want!

    Keep at it though, and don't give up!
  5. Abby Rose
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    Abby Rose New Member

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    Don't be sad! I used to feel the same way when I looked at really good photography, thinking "now why can't I do that?". Then I decided that maybe I could, if I practiced enough. So now I am practicing, and having a great time! :) Even though my pictures still dont look like those really great ones, I think I may have improved a teeny bit since I decided to be better. And I can always think that they might be good someday.

    So just practice with your lens. :)
  6. Bitter Jeweler
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    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    :addpics:
  7. Dominantly
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    Dominantly New Member

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    I had quite the opposite experience.

    Whenever I rent expensive lenses, I find my photos improving dramatically. The same when you start to incorporate off camera lighting.
  8. Phranquey
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    Phranquey New Member

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    Within your own statement lies your problem. No piece of equipment is going to help your skills. Once your skills do improve, though, the L glass will allow you to progress further than a kit lens would have.


    Yeah, but the nice thing about photography today is it's just the equipment investment. Once you have it, you can shoot as much as you like without any additional expense. Try learning at $10 a pop for film/developing.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  9. c.cloudwalker
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    c.cloudwalker New Member

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    Agreed. Hopefully, you learned a lesson.

    And it is a good one. Gear is nothing more than gear. Without the technical knowledge, without the creativity, etc, gear is never going to do that much.

    But it is a cheap lesson because when the lens is able to help you it will still be around. :D
  10. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think there's some confusion as to what premium lenses do: they do not necessarily, in and of themselves, make a person a better photographer, but instead they help make images with higher quality--not necessarily do they help make "better pictures", but only pictures with higher "quality".

    Somebody recently wrote that it takes 10,000 hours to become really skilled at anything--skiing, tennis, photography, etc. I think that might be true, and so with less than one year of photography, you have to accept that you'll need a bit more time at the craft to become really skilled. In the meantime, I hope you feel contented that your new lens is producing images of good optical quality,and that as your skills improve you will catch up to the lens!
  11. usayit
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    usayit Well-Known Member

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    The next thing you'll notice is that no matter how many times you say this to others.. they don't believe you. (especially with a Leica in hand.. people fixate on the equipment)

    Better equipment is an enabler... nothing more.. nothing less.. On the flip side, shooting with nice equipment can be very enjoyable as long as you keep reminding yourself that its you not the equipment. As long as you keep that in mind, you'll get passed disappointment and refocus on yourself to practice (after all you no longer can blame the equipment).

    The key.. is to enjoy what you are doing. If it takes a nice piece of glass .. fine.. but enjoy learning.
  12. sleist
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    sleist Well-Known Member

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    "Owning" a lens/camera/whatever for a year doesn't mean you're shooting with it enough for you to "learn" how to use it. I bought a Tokina 11-16 ultrawide a month ago and have been forcing myself to use it for everything over the past 4 weekends - 200 - 400 shots per weekend - and I expect this to continue for a long time before I'm comfortable with how and when to use this lens. And when I say everything, I mean everything - even things I know won't work. I do this because I know the failures are what teach you the most early on with anything new. Then I look at everything and take notes on what I like, what I don't like, why I do/don't like it, how I could make it better, or what situations are NOT suited for this particular set up. I'm trying to teach myself to see things in ultra wide angle before I take the shot much like people need to learn how to see in black and white. I am not good with this lens yet, but I have improved quite a bit. My 70-200 arrives tomorrow and I will be doing the same here - thank god for the warm weather! Cold fingers don't help things much.

    I read everything I can, but I think I get the most out of looking at other people's work and trying to figure out what they did to create the effects I find pleasing.

    Mostly, I make sure that when I go out to shoot I have a goal - either a specific subject matter or a specific technique or lens. I don't just wander around aimlessly - that's the best way to come home with a pile of crap snapshots. Also, without a goal you have no way to measure success or failure.

    Finally, some people will never be "any good" at photography/painting/golf/softball. They just don't have whatever minimal skills that are required, and no amount of anything can change that - no matter how expensive the lens/brush/clubs/bat. But luckily none of that matters, as long as you're having fun. So go have fun!

    If it's not fun, don't do it.
  13. Vinny
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    Vinny New Member

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    The art of photography is a personal thing IMO unless you are trying to become a professional. Finding what you like or love about photography is important. I love taking nature shots and hate taking people shots other than quick candids.

    I stopped carrying my camera years ago because everywhere I went the people I know wanted me to photograph something (usually people) and it became less enjoyable. These were the days before the point and shoot dslrs that are out today (try focusing a split prism after a few drinks :lmao: ).

    As was said, the equipment just takes what you point it toward and it requires the person to see the photo - all that takes time to develop. I am not into black and white photography but Ansel Adams was THE greatest photographer IMO and love all his photos but he photographed nature and may have been lousy if he photographed sports.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is to find a subject in photography you like, stick with it, experiment with it and as was said enjoy it. Don't be overly critical of yourself, be proud of the artwork that you are making, hang some of it up (part of enjoying it), think about what you would like to see if you were to retake the shot again, retake the shot again (learning experience) ((do these last 2 steps over and over if need be)) and put the info you learned into your learning portfolio for the next time.

    One last thing which may or may not apply to you - In the new age of digital you can take shot after shot without waiting for the film to be developed (we used bracketing in the past) and the printing of the photo has to be just as good as the equipment you are using. I have returned P&S photos to the store because they came out like garbage and looked great on my screen.
  14. dyyylan
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    dyyylan New Member

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    Well, at least you have one side of the equation solved now. You don't really need to worry about whether your equipment is holding you back, it's all you.
  15. Aye-non Oh-non Imus
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    Aye-non Oh-non Imus New Member

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    I will only buy expensive, top shelf glass. That way I can see how much I suck at a hobby that I love.

    Motivation, in other words.
  16. Johnboy2978
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    Johnboy2978 Well-Known Member

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    Let me save you a few dollars and tell you the same applies to golf. My putting is just as bad w/ a Taylormade Rossa putter as it was w/ the $20 topflite putter. It does feel better in my hand though. Feel free to paypal me $500 for that tidbit of info. :)

    I think we've all probably been there with photography as well though. The upside is down the road when your knowledge grows you will have the benefit of a really nice piece of glass and will be glad you spent the cash. Quality lenses only increase (or at least hold) their value. It's kind of like quality firearms....it's money in the bank, and these days probably a better investment than CDs.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  17. JimmyO
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    JimmyO New Member

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    Any new equipment for the first 1-2 years just makes things more complicated and stressful IMO. While new equipment now doesnt make my work any better, some of it inspired me to try new things.
  18. pbelarge
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    pbelarge New Member

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    Here is a shot from my EF 70-300mm IS USM
    I have to go back to see the settings on the camera, but knowing me, it is probably 275mm, f/18 or f/16, exposure -.66, and I either had my tripod or was braced against a fence. The shot is of the Palisades on the Hudson River in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY - one of only 6 such types of land form in the world. The Palisades in this shot are about 1 mile from where I was standing. I shot this directly across the river from where I am standing, approximately 75ft above the level of the river.
    1.
    [​IMG]

    2.
    A shot of a field while traveling to a frozen waterfall. I took out my EF 18-55mm IS kit lens.
    I was probably set at 45mm with the exposure around -.33. I usually set the ISO at 100 or 200 - all of these shots are generally at manual. I have been forcing myself to do that for about 3 months now.
    [​IMG]



    Here is a shot where I believe the focus is somewhat better.
    again, 70-300mm - only I shot this mounted on a good Manfrotto tripod and ball head. I shot this aiming down river from me, I am guessing about 1 1/4 miles from where I am standing.
    3.
    [​IMG]



    Here is the same Hudson River, shot kneelingdown as low as I could and still see the viewfinder - it was too bright to see the LCD. I shot this with the 18-55 at -1 EV and I think around f/11-16. It was like -1 degree f that morning. The river is almost frozen solid. That does not happen too often anymore.
    4.
    [​IMG]


    I will load the shots I took yesterday with my new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM and post them tomorrow.

    I have thick skin, so do not be afraid to provide your thoughts about these 4 shots.
    All of the shots have not had any PP applied, straight from my Canon T1i.
  19. Vinny
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    Vinny New Member

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    The only shot that I really like is the last shot but to my eyes the focusing in not right, don't know what is supposed to be the focal point.

    The second shot might have been more interesting IMO if you zoomed onto the tree in the center and cropped the sides out taking the photo in portrait (?- tall vs long) style.

    Of course this is just my opinion and may be my style of photography. Then again I haven't posted any real pictures and for all I know I suck!
  20. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    You **definitely** need to avoid shooting at small apertures like f/16 or f/18 with a high-resolution d-slr like the T1i that you own. Shooting at such a small aperture will cause diffraction, and will also lead to slow shutter speeds which can cause unsharp results. I would not be surprised if the T1i suffers from diffraction beginning around f/8, and the use of any smaller aperture (f/9, f/10,f/11, f/13,etc) probably causes significant sharpness loss.

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