Dazed and Confused, Did it all wrong


TPF Noob!
Jan 17, 2012
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Latrobe, Pa. USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Think maybe I got so excited about all the aspects of photography that I went somewhat nuts. I bought a nice camera(canon T3i and a couple of lenses) not the best by far but thought good for learning. Then decided maybe I needed Photoshop to make it all perfect. After confusing the hell out of myself I realized I probably needed alot better computer to run the programs. Also I decided that a medium Wacom Intuos4 tablet would make everything simpler. Next I purchased and read many books on photography and post production along with internet articles and the very informative threads in this forum. All this equipment is cool and fun and in general USELESS at this point. My camera has been in the bag more than out. I have deleted most of the shoots I have taken. I have travelled alot and have tons of "snapshots" that served the purpose at the time. I plan to move to my sail boat in a year or so and need to be able to capture the images I want. I know knowledge comes with practice and time but I have read and studied myself into an angxiety. Any help (however harsh) is welcome.
Start with the basics. Learn about 'photography'...'Exposure'.
An often recommended book is 'Understanding Exposure' by Brain Peterson.
Okay... after reading your post, I'm confused. You've got some gear, software, etc, but aren't sure where to go from there?

Have you read your camera's manual? If so, then do it again. Do you understand your camera's manual? If not, ask questions, and then re-read.

Take some pictures and post a few (1-4) here for review and critique.
Im kind of confused at what you are looking for? Motivation maybe?

You have all the tools it looks like, but the camera isn't going to shoot pictures by itself. Maybe check out the images of other photographers and study them, then go out and try and do something similar if you don't have ideas at the moment. Like anything, photography takes study and trial and error.
Just an fyi, there is no "best" camera, and its difficult to say that some cameras may even be "better" then others. A camera is a tool, and what You make with it depends entirely on you. Some cameras, the more expensive ones for example, merely give you more options on how to make it. Just remember though, that some of the most beautiful things in the world were crafted with the simplest tools.
Start from the beginning.
Take one of your basic photography books and then read about one tip/technique a day and then shoot that day using that tip. If you don't really know what to shoot whilst you are learning then look at some of the photo challenges on here. Also if you find you enjoy one aspect of photography focus on that so you really get to know it.
I'm not clear on what you need help with. There are no shortcuts. You will not become a great photographer overnight. You need to put in the time. Now that you should have a good amount of knowledge, go and practice what you've learned. It will all start coming together eventually if you work at it. If you're not willing to then as gsgary would probably say "it might be time to take up knitting" :D
It's the knowledge and skill of the photographer, not the gear.

If all you want/need are snap shots you wnr overboard.

If you want to be able to make high quality photographs you have to invest in your knowledge of photography, visual image composition, photographic lighting, image editing, skills, not cameras and software.
Take a break from the anxiety. Get casual. Big Mike mentioned "Understanding Exposure," and though I'm a newb too, I'll second that. Pick it up and just start taking it in. Read a chapter or two and then find an excuse to get out and shoot. Come back here with the shots and ask for comments. If you're doing this as a hobby, then make it about having fun and personal growth. Don't worry so much about deadlines and details.
Learning takes time. Be patient but most importantly have fun with it. If you do not enjoy doing it, then just do not do it at all. Like everyone already said, start with the basics, understand how your camera works and then build your knowledge. Good luck.
You're clearly just overwhelmed and need a starting point. Great advice above. You weren't in love with the first photos you took, and you don't think you're an original, professional photographer, so I'd say that's a step in the right direction!
worlddrifter said:
Any help (however harsh) is welcome.

Okay Mike....it time to "get your chit together man!":lol: No, but seriously speaking, you have the tools to make and process photos. Camera's in the bag? Outta' sight, outta' mind. Don't put it away in a bag,but instead leave it out, where you can see it, pick it up, practice with it, get a feel for it. Don't delete the bad shots--keep them on your computer to see what errors you are repeatedly making, and to force yourself to live with the dreck you're turning out, as a way to motivate yourself to shoot better so that you do not have to look at drecky photos. Bad photos on a computer are the modern equivalent of the old learning tool, the contact sheet or proof sheet. All the ugliness, is right there; the missed focus? it's there; the bad flash exposures? they are there; the off-kilter compositions that ain't quite right? staring you right in the face--as long as you KEEP the bad shots, and review them, and learn from them.

Take the best pictures, and put them in a separate location. But please, review your efforts, and see where you need work. YOU CAN DO IT, if you want to.
how about some pictures?
How did you learn to sail? Did you just buy a sailboat and then expect to subconsciously "Know" how to sail? Most likely you had to learn how, most likely it took a while, and most likely you learned by doing. That camera isn't doing you a bit of good sitting in a bag somewhere.
Agree with most of the above. I am totally amateur, so take it for what its worth, but don't worry about having a bunch a bad shots. Just take lots of pictures and go from there. I would recommend going out on a walk in the woods, along a shoreline, whatever and go very slow. Take shots of anything that catches you eye. Figure out why it caught the eye and try to capture that. Last weekend I took 75 shots of water dripping off an icicle. Got a couple of interesting shots. Sat there for 30-45 minutes in the middle of a hike taking shots. Another example is walking through the park with the grandkids, took a bunch of interesting shots of a corn cob laying in the grass. Spent 30 minutes taking shot after shot of an old corn cob. Different focal lengths, zoom vs. wide angle, speed, ISO, play with them all and learn how they impact the image.
My 2 cents

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