Why noobies and quit and why they shouldn't (Take 2)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Cooler_King, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Cooler_King

    Cooler_King TPF Noob!

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    This is the second version of this thread as the first was locked due to escalating flaming. But it's sorted now :hug::

    This video was embedded on a design blog that I read but the lessons apply superbly to photography I think.

    Take 5 minutes and 20 seconds out of your day to listen to an expert talking about why everyone sucks when the start, and why he persevered and why you should to.

    Video...
     
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  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I guess I'll just repeat what I said in the last one...

    Thanks for sharing, it's good to know that when I sit down with 25-50 images and don't feel a single one is worthy of uploading, that there's still hope for me yet.

    :)
     
  3. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    It takes very thick skin to continue to post photos that you think are good but really are not, and to learn from the critiques received.
    The ones that can learn from what can be pretty harsh critique do improve and get good eventually, the ones that just get mad and don't learn from the critiques don't.

    Also very important to be careful who you listen to, if on the one hand people are telling you your photos are good...and on the other hand more experienced photographers are telling you it is very bad...that can be discouraging.

    Another big problem and I see it here all the time is new photographers need to keep it simple, bit off little bits of information at a time, grab small victories and build on it.

    People who go out and buy a new DSLR and immediately start trying to learn Photoshop and shooting in raw and shooting in manual and all about f-stops and Iso and composition and lighting and flash all at once are very likely to be overwhelmed and throw in the towel.

    I have told more than one person that if I had known how much there was to learn and what a journey it was going to be to get to where my pictures were good enough to satisfy me that I would have never started down the path....but now 8 years later, I am glad I stuck it out.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I read somewhere, not too long ago, that it takes a person around 10,000 hours of practicing and learning of a craft or skill to become "excellent" at that craft or skill. And old-time master photographer said something like, "your first 10,000 photos are the ones you learn from." I'm paraphrasing on the photographer's quote, but I think he was probably right. 10,000 frames is only around 417 of the old 24-exposure rolls of 35mm film--not that many rolls!

    I took a college photo class about 30 years ago, and students were required to shoot a minimum of 20 rolls of 36 exposures each; a mere 720 frames. We had to make one 8x10 enlargement from each roll as well, plus a contact sheet for each roll. I saw a fair amount of improvement from *some* people over the course of three months, while others did not progress too much.

    Everybody is different, and some people learn well from books, while others might learn better from the multitude of how-to videos available on YouTube--but I think one thing is certain: learning is not linear,and people need to put in a certain number of hours, a certain number of days, a certain number of frames shot, before they really are ready to "soar". There are a few "ah-ha!" moments each person needs to accumulate before he or she can begin to really build momentum and develop their skills. Digital cameras make it easier to shoot and see mistakes immediately, and I really think that most people can become reasonably competent with a camera if they just STICK WITH IT FOR A WHILE, so that they can build a base level of skill. Once the base is built, the skill level will go up quickly, in fits and starts, but overall people WILL get better if they just stick it out.
     
  5. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    On the same token, it takes thick skin to be able to learn from mistakes about procedures and techniques. That's what really makes a man. (Or woman in some cases.)

    Unfortunately, some n00bies do not learn from their mistakes and keep making them and keep trying to argue the point no matter what. Then when the finally DO realize they're wrong, they just go on without bothering to admit it and pretend like everything is ok. Ya know? ;)
     
  6. Cooler_King

    Cooler_King TPF Noob!

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    2 things:

    I could def believe that about 10,000 rolls. In martial arts, the minimum requirement for a move (such as a block or a strike) to happen instinctively is approx 4000 repetitions...I guess it shouldn't really be any different for approaching a photographic shot. To know the light/variables/limitations etc.

    And also -

    I could Google it but...what's a contact sheet? Sounds like something from back in the days before MySpace and iPhones. ;)

    Rekd: Are you still on your :soapbox:?

    It's boring. :er:
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Here is a contact sheet demo. Basically, negatives either loose or held in clear plastic sleeves, and under darkroom safelight conditions, the negatives are placed on top of a piece of photo paper, then held in firm contact with the photo paper, by a sheet of glass held with a spring clamp that holds the negatives close to the paper. In the darkroom, a light is shined on the negatives, and the paper is exposed. The paper is then developed, stopped, fixed, washed,and dried. The result is a sheet of paper with a life-sized positive image of each negative,complete with the sprocket holes and film frame numbers and brand and type of film all visible. On small-format negatives, a magnifier is needed to evaluate the small 24x36mm images; with medium format film, the nags are larger and it is *somewhat* easier to evaluate which frames are the best and worthy of printing.

    http://www.ehow.com/video_4411826_contact-sheet-printer.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  8. Cooler_King

    Cooler_King TPF Noob!

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    That's actually really useful vid. Thanks for that.

    Derrel, can I bug you with another question?

    If you use digital now...obviously no contact sheet...how do you compare and contrast all of your digital images in a narrative?

    The presenter said that a contact sheet allows you to see at a glance how you photograph. I can imagine there are benefits to laying 36 images side by side. How do you achieve the digital effect?
     
  9. Sirashley

    Sirashley TPF Noob!

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    I think one of the big things with photography is that allot of people think that if they have a background in art, they can pick up a camera and be the next Ansel Adams... I know I was one of these people. You show your photos to friends and family, and they think they are great. You think they are great because you are emotionally tied to them. Then you post them, and you learn real quick, they SUCK!!!... What you thought was art, many feel is a snapshot... The first stage is acceptance, that photography is like anything else, you have to practice and be willing to learn to get better. In my personal experience, the hardest part of photography is being able to judge your own photos without being attached to the fact that you shot them. That is very difficult to do. Practice and patience are the keys to getting better as a photographer, well, that and thick skin... :lol:
     
  10. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    Photoshop gives you the option of printing a contact sheet of all selected photos. I am sure there are other softwares that do that also.
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    As Keith Foster said, Photoshop can automatically assemble a digital contact sheet. Contact sheets used to be considered rather private,personal, and were often closely guarded. Even famous photographers often "missed" a good photo on 35mm contact sheets.

    One thing about contact sheets was the entire roll was represented--the mistakes and the successes. Many people feel that seeing what worked AND what did not worked was very helpful,and that digital shooters who simply discard the bad frames are missing out on an important lesson. I can agree with that to an extent. On balance, the ability to review one's entire "take" on a large 22 to 30 inch LCD monitor, with instant magnification options and split-second rating/discarding options allows us to get a good,accurate look at each shot; quite different than looking at a small 24x36mm area with an 8x magnifier.

    Digital capture lends itself to creating minor variations and for zeroing in on the exact,precise framing and exposure in a way that was not possible with film. I use color coding on the Mac OS to segregate my photos. I seldom create digital contact sheets of anything except the best shots from a take.
     
  12. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ahhh...but the flip side is a lot of people think they can become awesome photographers without a background in art. Photography, like just about any skill really, has a technical side, and a creative side.

    Only one side can be taught.
     

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