Your breakthroughs in photography?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Remi M., Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Remi M.

    Remi M. TPF Noob!

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    I'm curious as to what your breakthroughs in photography have been. I think progressing in photography is not very gradual. I think it's doing allot of the same until you learn something new that seems to change everything and brings you to a new level. Honestly, I want to learn from everybody here to become better my self.

    Here are some of mine:

    Depth of field - or - Wow so thats what changing to "A" on the camera does.

    Composition - rule of thirds, keeping clutter out of the viewfinder, diagonal lines......

    Composition #2 - Having fun breaking every "rule"

    Photoshop - And eventually being able to see what the image will look like after photoshop, before pressing the shutter button.

    HDR - and how NOT to make it look cartoonish

    Panoramas - and learning to do them with the camera in the portrait position. (so simple, I couldn't believe I didn't try before)

    Shutter speeds - learning at what shutter speed with a lens mm size will get motion blur or not (lens diameter x 1.6 = minimum shutter speed for DSLR's)

    Weather - or learning to love fog, rain, snow....
     
  2. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    1. Composition
    When I transitioned from a snapshop "photographer" to someone who actually focuses on the picture instead of taking 500 pictures and hoping for a good one.

    2. Photoshop
    When I learned how to effectively post process images to make them better.

    3. Settings
    When I learned how to adjust the settings (aperture, shutter speed, exposure, etc.) myself to make the most of my images. I went from using auto mode all the time to the point now; where I never use auto mode.

    4. RAW
    This is a recent one; it was when I realised that RAW really is better, and offers a lot more control over the image.
     
  3. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    My recent ones (last month, really) would be going to almost exclusively RAW and learning how to use Adobe's Camera RAW software, figuring out how to photograph waterfalls, learning about aperture and depth of field, and learning how to process IR shots.

    The biggest one that I still need to work on is composition and NOT centering everything. It's very difficult for me to remember that if I'm trying to be artistic I SHOULD NOT center everything. :(
     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    My first was reading Bryan Peterson's Learning to See Creatively. It really did teach me to see the world differently, and not just when I was looking through the lens. My photography really improved after that.

    Then there was this shot, which is from Christmas some years back. I was mainly doing landscapes at the time, but was taking some snapshots of the family while we were all gathered at my brother's for a few days. At some point, my on-camera flash broke. I knew enough that I needed a fast lens to be able to get anything after that, but luckily I had bought an 85mm/f1.8 a little earlier. I slapped it on, opened it up, and really like the result. I was so surprised! I've been shooting shallow DOF and available light ever since.

    The next was taking the class "Snapshot to Series" from Bruno Chalifour. He was the first to really expose me to the work of the masters and starting me on the process of reading photographs. (Did you know that some photographers will quote other photographers as writers do?) I went through quite a few of the monographs in the library after that. I also learned how to work in a thought-out series as opposed to simple hunting for shots one at a time.

    The latest was a class called "Finding Your Style" by Kurtis Kracke. It's a really simple concept: your style is just the choices you consistently make, but it helped me to better define what I was doing and what I was going for. I was better able to consciously decide, rather than leaving things to chance.

    There are a bunch of others, like my first sale and such, and I've gone through many stages with my digital editing skills, but those are the big ones for me.
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    My biggest breakthrough was figuring what the f number was and why there were different numbers!!
    I really only figured that out about 3-4 years ago when i got my first DSLR - a Canon Digital Rebel. I could see instant results and what change each variable made to my images.
    I learned a lot more and a lot more quickly when i went DSLR. Before that i had film SLRs and a digital compact.
     
  6. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since last August I've had quite a few "breakthroughs." In fact I have had to slow down a bit a let some of this sink in.

    The main one is putting the camera in manual mode and accepting responsibility for photos that suck.

    No clear sky (or little of it) compositions.

    Small aperture for max depth of field.

    Long shutter speeds & civil twilight (all the up to dark).

    HDR and pushing color to just before it gets cartoony (I go over too much though).

    Without getting gooshy about it, finding this forum has been sort of a breakthrough with seeing a 24/7 display of all levels of work, and some encouragement and advise here-n-there in my otherwise very private little world.

    I'm starting to shoot RAW, and think that this will replace HDR, or at least make it better.
     
  7. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Realizing that there are some kinds of pictures that I just don't want to take. I leave my camera home, or in the bag, and concentrate on enjoting the moment.
     
  8. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    Last year I realized that either I or my camera suck.
    This year I'll try to find out which.
     
  9. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Tell us what kind of camera you have and maybe we can all help you with that decision.
     
  10. BoblyBill

    BoblyBill TPF Noob!

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    Mine was when I was taking pictures every once in a while I was able to get down to a F3.5 but I could never figure out why that most of the time it was a set f5.6. I finaly was able to figure it out when I zoomed out and found out the at 28mm I could shoot f3.5 but at 300mm (or 80mm on my other lense) I could only go down to a f5.6.
     
  11. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    Konica Minolta Dimage Xg

    I just realized we could both suck... :D
     
  12. GoM

    GoM TPF Noob!

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    Taking a closer look. Everyone starts off photographing wide-angle or zoomed shots, but mostly focused on something 'whole'...a fire hydrant in front of a building, etc. What I've been trying to do lately is..not neccessarily macro, but definately focus on the little things at my feet, on the wall beside me, etc. Which has opened up an entirely new world.
     

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