Biggest eye openers?!

DGMPhotography

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Hey folks! I'm curious what have been your biggest eye opener techniques that you've discovered/learned? Whether in shooting or editing. Things that you look back on and you're like, "duh, why wasn't I doing this before?"

For shooting, one of my biggest eye openers to date has been to use single-point focus. Simple, but crucial.

For editing, I'd say frequency separation, masking, and high pass sharpening in Photoshop.
 

Samuel.z

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Manual mode - When i started out i only shot with TV, AV, P modes. I was afraid of using manual since i didn't want to miss the moment.

Long Exposure - When i discovered long exposure it changed my way of shooting. Since i am awake at night (Working night shifts) i keept my night sleep rythm and shot mostly at night. at first i was cranking that ISO up.

Single-point focus - As you mentioned. I did not know that it would make such a difference.

Histogram - Not that big of an eye opener to me but i think it still affected my way of shooting.

Tripod - Using a tripod was not in my mind when i got my first camera. Now i can't shoot without it. 90% of my shots are from a tripod. Sadly i also limit myself using it to much.

Good clothes - Some good outdoor clothes help you to stay outside and reach those places. Also when you want to get low you don't want to get dirt on your everyday clothes.

These are the ones that came up in my head instantly.
 

SquarePeg

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Soft light - as a total novice I was surprised to learn that mid day prime time sunshine was not the best for taking landscape photos. D'oh!!! Of course it makes sense now but you really don't think about the quality of the light until you realize that is what was drawing you to the photos you were trying to emulate in the first place.

Editing - Unsharp mask! Thanks Traveler! I'm still a beginner at editing.

Equipment - UV filters are a waste of money
 

greybeard

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Back button focus for Nikon. Simple camera adjustment that makes life easier
 

adamhiram

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Continuous focus AF-area modes - single point, D25, group, 3D. When I was shooting a D5100, I was limited to 11 focus points and only 1 cross-type, so I was basically limited to single-point (center) AF when shooting in continuous focus mode, everything else was pretty useless. Now with a D500, I can actually track a moving subject and nail focus almost every time. I am still learning the nuances of each mode for different scenarios to increase my keeper rate, but having a better AF system has opened up a world of possibilities.
 

jcdeboever

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Don't take pics of oil refinery's, unless your into cavity search's.... very wide eye openers....
 

Trever1t

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I've never had a great revelation but rather have learned a technique and moved up a level. It's a continual process
 

table1349

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Probably when I was 16 0r 17 and my boss/mentor/teacher stuck me behind the view finder of the Pentax 6X7. We were shooting a fashion set for an international entity and he turned the camera and shoot over to me. I quickly learned what pressure was as well as learning how important it was that I had paid attention to details up to that point. I was slower than he was but he and the company were satisfied with my work. From then on I had lots of behind the finder time. I still did the grunt work, but I also was a photographer at that point.
 

smoke665

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The newness of the ability to edit photos wore off, and I realized it was more fun taking pictures then editing them, so my concentration has been on getting it right in camera. I also took the advise of @Derrel and @Ysarex and learned to use LR. Last month's trip accumulated over 700 images, processed in no time thanks to their advice. I still think PS has a place and purpose, and still use it, but not as much now.
 
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DGMPhotography

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greybeard

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Back button focus for Nikon. Simple camera adjustment that makes life easier

I've been meaning to look into back button focus, myself.
Easy to setup and once you get use to how it works, you'll love it.

Yeah, I did some reading on it and now I definitely want to use it!

This video, explains Back Button Focus. Nikon's are easy to setup. I even was able to setup my Sony A6000 for back button as well.
 

phogan2292

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I realized it was more fun taking pictures then editing them

I'd echo this. I enjoy post-processing to some extent, but I never feel totally satisfied with an edit and have much more fun getting out and taking the photos.

Also, bringing myself to print photos even if I'm not 100% satisfied with my LR work. I'm much more pleased with having a "finished" product than a bunch of projects constantly in flux.
 

smoke665

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I'm much more pleased with having a "finished" product than a bunch of projects constantly in flux.

So true!!!!! I find once I print an image I rarely go back to it, but if I haven't I'm always tempted to "improve" on it.
 

jtran76

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For me learning how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO control the amount of light going into the lens of the camera and not be afraid using full manual mode of my camera just to see what each individual setting does and how they effect picture quality.
 

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