Teenager Photographer (Advice please)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by vontoux, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. vontoux

    vontoux TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, my name is Vontoux and I'm 15 years old. I just start out in photography about a year ago and wanted to see if my skill level increase or not. I did my best to improve my shot as well, like watching tips, viewing pictures online, read photography magazine and lastly go out and take pictures. But, I feel like my picture is not that great and I'm about to entered a depression state. I want to learn how to take much better photos and constantly want to learning new things. Advice and suggestion are welcome, also please tell me about your journey in photography as well as tips. Thank you! :D

    Oh here some of the "BEST" picture I had taken so far (in my opinion) aho1807 Photos - 500px


     
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  2. vato_loco

    vato_loco TPF Noob!

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    You have a nice eye for composition, your 500px pictures are really nice. Are you looking to become a landscape photographer?

    My suggestion would be to never stop learning and sharing and asking for critiques because everything makes you grow so much. I know it sounds like a generic advice but it's very common to think that you can't do better than what you do or that you need better and more expensive equipment (you don't, most of the time). Maybe you get discouraged by a harsh comment on a picture, but you can always, always be better. Learn, share, ask. Always.
     
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  3. BananaRepublic

    BananaRepublic No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think these are good for someone who has being doing it for 12 months and if your only 15 then all the better cause you have huge scope/years to improve. From the images posted in the link I would say a bit of know how with some editing software will improve the final image, things like straightening, noise reduction and so forth, no money need be spent there.

    I was always into photography, picked it up from my dad, but only got "half" serious about two years ago. What I did first was buy a dslr, not an expensive one, and joined a camera club, which is populated mostly by dullards, but thats neither here nor there as I now had a reason to use the camera on a regular basis and learn new things myself.

    You have a number of nice street style images and the architecture images are good to just keep working away. There a magazine I get called Practical Photography its UK based, I get it on subscription but it can also be found in most news agents, and a online edition can be had also I find that good. this site is also good for tips and getting opinions on images you post.


    A lot of the replies here tend to want to baffle you with , what camera are you using or which lens and hit you with numbers and generally things that you may not understand and or find unhelpful but again stick at it. Use the Google to search a topic or tutorial video, you don't need to spend money, and what camera you use doesn't matter but pointing it does.


    Practical Photography Magazine | Greatmagazines.co.uk
    Extremely Essential Camera Skills eBook | Photography Ebooks
    • I don't buy anything from exposure guide but I get ideas to try.
     
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  4. vontoux

    vontoux TPF Noob!

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    Wow.... You make me wanted to go out shoot even more now. Hic Hic, Thank you so much. I will take better pictures, that is a guaranteed. :) The truth is, I start out Photography less than a year ago. I started in March of 2015. Picked up a 700D (I should have go with Nikon). Then I take a photography class, learning Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my picture. I went out with my classmates and as well going on my own almost when I had the opportunity. I fell in love of photography because I can express my ideas and view in an image. I wanted to become a better photographer, not just in Architect and landscape. But I also wanted to do things like light painting car, abstract style, etc. But like you said, I do need to get better at photoshop.
     
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  5. vontoux

    vontoux TPF Noob!

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    I think composition rule is important, but not to the point where you have to follow it strictly. Most of my shot I didn't even think about the composition at all. It just there, except for portrait. I do still need to work on composition and as well image editing software like photoshop to make the picture even better. though I still need to shoot better.
     
  6. soufiej

    soufiej No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your selected "best" photos emphasize line and shape. You work with those values well for a young student photographer. Your images tend to be rather simple yet have the ability to keep the viewer's eye and mind engaged. What is commonly termed "negative space" is being used to invite the viewer into the image in an active, participatory manner where exploration of what is not in the image is as important as what has been included. From that I would assume you may have also had some experience with other types of image creation; illustration or painting perhaps. If not, you're doing the line and shape thing well. The problem becomes whether that's all you can do. Or can you take it to the next level?

    There are always more opportunities to explore the line and shape motif. Judging from your selections, you probably see these lines and shapes rather easily. It appears you have access to a fairly modern cityscape so simply head out and explore what can be found. Push yourself to not become repetitive in your work.



    As to stalling out, most people go through that stage whenever they are learning new skills. They bring with them those innate talents and ideas which simply exist in their head and eventually, when they've run through enough of those to become noticeably repetitive to themself, they stall.

    It doesn't much matter whether you're learning to play a musical instrument, learning to cook or learning photography. At some point you need fresh ideas and new concepts to keep your fires burning. Problem being. where do you get the new ideas?

    You can go on any forum to find suggestions for how to break out of those day to day sameness issues. If you are playing guitar, maybe you need to learn a new scale or a new scale position or mode. If you are learning cooking skills, maybe you need to challenge yourself with baking bread. If you are learning photography, possibly you need to shift away from lines and shapes and explore colors and tones. Or circles. Every forum has some sort of challenge going; The Photo Challenge | Photography Forum

    Take the challenge and take the observations and criticisms that go with it. Just do that much. Step outside of what's already comfortable for you.



    No matter which way you go, first, you need a critical exploration of what you've been doing. What have you accomplished? And, what is lacking? You should do this on your own. And you should allow others to do the same. Let others into your world and recognize we don't all see things in the same way. We don't all play the blues in the key of A.



    I assume you are self taught, which often creates the greatest problems with frustration.

    "I did my best to improve my shot as well, like watching tips, viewing pictures online, read photography magazine and lastly go out and take pictures."


    Some would tell you to simply go out and take more photos first. That, though, usually just puts you back doing what you've already done. You fall back on what's comfortable and never grow beyond that point.


    The most glaring issue with being self taught is you don't know enough to know what you should be learning and when you should be learning it. So you scattershot everything. Most people will simply then jump from one bright shiny object to another bright shiny object without a plan. And, before they realize it, they've gone nowhere and often are right back doing what's easy and comfortable again. Time and effort wasted.



    So, what are you doing with all this reading and tips you're finding? How are you putting it to use? If you don't have a plan, you also don't have a destination you can recognize. If you don't yet know how to set goals, find out. Use a search engine or ask a teacher.

    If you don't have a destination, then you are going to wander aimlessly for a long time until you either get a plan or give up. That's just how this goes, no matter whether you're playing music or taking photographs. Been there, done that, seen it happen dozens of times before. They want it all and when all doesn't instantly appear, they give up. OK, better IMO to never have tried. Don't waste time. Don't waste effort. See it through or don't start.




    Therefore, IMO, you need a plan. It may be taking a style you have seen from someone or in some exhibit or magazine and working on it for awhile until you find you are no longer confining yourself to the easy and comfortable. Push yourself.

    Then you take another plan and another style and you explore what it has to offer your very young and fresh mind. At 15 you have lots of room for lots of new experiences. And only you feel you should have them all mastered by the time you're 16 and 1/2.

    How to proceed is up to you. If you have a photography class or group of students interested in photography available, get with them. Put some structure into your work even if you detest what you'll be doing momentarily. At times, forcing yourself to do something mundane and repetitive is what's required to grow.



    For example, if you were teaching yourself to play guitar, maybe you've reached the point where you know your pentatonic scales in each significant key up and down the neck. You've learned, note by note, how to play a lick someone else created. But you don't know how to create a lick or a riff or a chord progression for you own use and from your own imagination. Now you can't get beyond playing the same scale formation and the same licks for every chord. Get's pretty boring pretty fast.

    First advice you'd probably get from a seasoned player? Use a metronome.

    A metronome has nothing to do with scales and it is a purely objective device which informs you of your strengths and weaknesses in timing. You'd be given that advice because it's quite common for a self taught music student to have never done the hard work of learning timing. Of never sitting for hours playing the same scale exactly in time with the metronome. Of working with the metronome set to 40 beats per minute and never being able to move up to 50 bpm until you can play at 40 in your sleep.

    It's hard and tedious work and that's why you didn't do it in the first place. But it is almost always what needs to be done to start the player off on becoming better.

    And when they are forced to play to an objective measuring device, they almost always find out just what they don't really know and the skills they don't really have.



    Photography is pretty much the same way. When you find yourself in a rut, go back to the basics. Realize what you didn't bother to learn the first time through. You can do this on your own, though, doing it in a structured class setting is best.

    What you need to do is be hyper critical of what you haven't done that will make you better. And, just as when you are self teaching yourself whatever pops into your head next, doing this on your own is often not the best way to learn about yourself. You need a structure to build on.

    You either find it or create it.

    If you live in or near a large city, there will always be camera shops and photographers. Start hanging around them. Don't be a pest and don't go there when things are busy. Don't go just to show off like the kids at the music shop playing the first twelve bars of "Smoke on the Water" over and over and over again on a dozen different guitars. Trust me, no one wants to see them come back.

    Take in a few shots on a slow Wednesday afternoon and just ask for some opinions. Poke around and be aware of what's going on in the shop. Don't look like you're there to lift anything. But be curious. Ask about anyone needing an assistant on an infrequent schedule. Soak up the atmosphere of the place.

    If you make yourself interesting to the staff, they will take an interest in you. If you simply become a bother, they'll ignore you. And some shops are just going to ignore you anyway, go in knowing that.

    Go to galleries and talk about photography with photographers. Again, don't be a pest. Be a sponge. Once again, the student guitarist may hang out at a venue and after the show just ask a player to take just a moment to show them a particular riff they played during the show. Or ask about the player's gear - in a very innocent way, mind you - and just begin a brief conversation that stays aware of the player trying to get the heck out of that place some time tonight.

    Don't isolate yourself. Guitarists learn more form one night at a casual jam session than they can in most cases by wading through lesson books for months. Photographers can do the same. Just be respectful of others but make it known you are interested in what others have to say. Like I said, be a sponge, not a critic.



    You really have to develop your own way out of frustration with doing the same thing over and over. The easiest way, IMO, is a class where you are forced to do things you wouldn't do on your own. If that's not a possibility, find your way to get there yourself.

    Others have done it. So can you.
     
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  7. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hey Vontoux-

    I used to be a pro, a photojournalist, back in the film-only days of photography. In grade school my Uncle and cousin taught me how to shoot, develop and print B&W. By 6th Grade, I decided that I wanted to be a news photog and work for the newspapers. In Middle School, (junior high back then), I became a stringer for the local/weekly newspaper. I would ride my bike to local 'assignments'. In early high school I started stringing for the local daily newspapers. I'd get rides to high school games, (when I wasn't participating), and hand my film to the reporter. When I could drive, I expanded my shooting base and developed and printed the photos. When Vietnam exploded, I basically ran away from home and freelanced overseas. Photography paid my way through college and after college I worked for major market newspapers and wire service.

    Much of what you are doing is correct, devour all you can about photography. While I am self-taught, I have great respect for photography classes and course that provide structure with their curriculum. Be your own worst critic. Remember that a pro doesn't care what friends think about your images ... What matters is what others, in particular, the client/editors think about your images. Find mentors and teachers who will kick you butt to work harder and improve ... After your butt is all bruised and sore ... Think about what they said and kick your own butt harder. They next day go out and reshoot until they are pleased. Remember no matter how successful the image may be, you can always do better.

    Much of photography is a craft. Experience will increase your skills. The more you shoot, the better you will become. So:

    1) Shoot;
    2) Shoot some more: and when you think you're done for the day ...
    3) Shoot again.

    Good Luck and Good Shooting
     
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  8. DrumsOfGrohl

    DrumsOfGrohl No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have to agree with all of this. I'm super new to photography, so I'm kind of jumping on this thread to hear the advice. But I've been playing drums for much of my life, and I am so easily able to relate the two. So all that talk about guitar totally makes sense.

    Sometimes its boring, but going back over the basics is always a good place to start when I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what to do next.
     
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  9. beagle100

    beagle100 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    you've only shot 12 pics ?
    but it's a good start
     
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  10. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your work is pretty alright for being a year in. See those selective desaturation shots? Never do those again. Ever.
    Other than that- keep shooting
     
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  11. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Composition Rules, Photography Rules - all useful as background learning. BUT!, look at a picture and if you like it then take it and see later what turns up. Some people will also like the shot and others won't, That's just a fact of it.
    Sometimes the shot will actually follow the rules and other times it won't even come close but you'll still like the shot and so will others.
    No matter how many years you enjoy photography as a hobby or even as a job, there will be times when the creative juices absolutely leave you. It happens to everybody, and some even admit it.................
     
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  12. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You should firstly go out and take pictures. The rest is not that important.


    Sent from my A1-840 using Tapatalk
     

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