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Thread: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

  1. #1
    lewtashjosh's Avatar
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    Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    Hey,

    I almost feeling like giving up on photography, i have been on a starter course at college for 12 months, also an intermediate course 20 weeks at a really decent photography school....but i just cant get my head round any of it.....take it out of AUTO they say !!! blur, dark, bright, over exposed, under exposed, but never what i want, photos of the kids are never what i'm looking for, i seem so spend far to much time messing around with the blasted dials and lossing the dam moment, yet when i am away from my camera and my wife has it (shooting in auto) the pictures are better

    Advise would be greatly received, or Ebay will soon be the option

    Thanks Lewis

  2. #2

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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    Hi there,
    I personally was never interested in photography., i went for a black and white photo session but never sink into my head , exactly
    tthe same thing, blur, too dark etc. my son is an architecture student, to this date his been gone physically for 6 months, but his memories lives forever in our heart. he was a good, creative photographer, he was the one that pushes me to get this hobby, now evertime i get my camera and make that shot i always think of him, i guess this is the one that keep me going. somewhat my inspiration.
    anyway, there's always a point that, the " S H O T" your looking for will come out perfect........happy shooting.......

    thanks joey-----------gonna go for a photorun now.....later..(^_^)

  3. #3
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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    A few thoughts... I have been taking pictures for almost 50 years. I am NOT a photographer, yet. And that is OK. I recently bought lots of DSLR equipment and I experiment a lot. Some things work, some don't. I am learning as I go. That too, is OK. Photography is about getting the pictures YOU want, not what someone else thinks you want. If you are happy with the results you get in 'AUTO', that is OK. Be comfortable taking pictures that YOU want. If, someday, you want to try something new with your equipment, do it. If it works, fine. If not and you want to figure out why not, you may find that an enjoyable learning experience. You are supposed to enjoy hobbies, not fret over them.
    As a side-note. I took up golf several years ago. After a year or two I was no longer improving, so I signed up for lessons. After a few weeks of lessons, I really HATED golf! It dawned on me that this is a GAME. It is supposed to be FUN. Golf, for me, is about getting outdoors and enjoying the beauty of it with people I love, not about the score. I still play golf, badly. I still enjoy it. Some days I get lots of good shots, other days are not so good. Just like my photography. I still enjoy that, too.
    Good luck getting the pictures YOU want.

  4. #4

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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    hi lewis

    i'm just new at photography also therfore i cannot say much about it, i got my camera in 2009 and there are lot of times that i am thinking that "is photography really for me?"
    while searching for some answers i still do it occasionally until my friends recommended this website to me, sure there are some other photography forums im reading and i kinda makes me feel that they are in a inner circle that talks only to the people in their level and yeah they do take very impressive photos, but i still can't shake the feeling that makes me intimidated by the members, but this group is very different since i joined i keep on reading and the way they reply is very polite and professional and then it hit me, everyone here all knew and understand the feeling of a novice and they instill it with them, i'm really sorry to say that others already lost it therefore they create that barrier that makes a novice intimidated.

    going back, this group makes me think back on what started me in photography and it started something in me that it thought i've lost already, the beauty of photorgaphy and if you feel that there is something wrong with the photos you take post it here for some comments and suggestions or mabye try to look at different photography styles and you might find what you like, and btw i've learned here is to shoot, shoot and shoot practice will help you find what youre looking for.

    i hope this would help even though im still new and learning also

    cheers

  5. #5

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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    ISTM that, if you enjoy photography when you are in AUTO mode, then the thing that is not for you is that course. Unless you are trying to make a living at it, photography is a hobby. Approach it in whatever way adds to your enjoyment of the hobby.

  6. #6

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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    Lewis,

    Hang in there man.
    You've taken the classes you know what to do. Instead of trying to capture the shots, take some time to set the camera up with some stable lighting and a fixed subject and start taking snaps.

    I suggest, put your camera in Manual mode (as I'm sure it was suggested in your classes) and keep an eye on your exposure value at the bottom of your viewfinder when composing your shot. You should see a scale with a plus and minus side. You want to be in the middle at zero. Take your picture and you should have good exposure.

    If your picture still do not come out, visit your local camera shop and have the camera evaluated.

    Good luck,

    Erik

  7. #7
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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    Although I would not touch auto with a ten foot pole; there is not a darned thing wrong with using a programmed mode when shooting digital. You have all of the control shooting programmed as you have using manual and it is a lot easier...

    Do you want a more narow DOF in order to isolate your subject, simply select the f/stop you want - you can do that using programmed mode...

    Do you want a wider DOF so you can get a deep area in forus, simply selectthe f/stop you want - you can do that using programmed mode...

    The same thing for shutter speeds, you have all the control over the shutter speeds in programmed that you have in manual.

    You can increase or decrease your exposure by several stops easily when you are in the programmed mode.

    You can shoot at virtually and ISO and shoot using RAW capture when using programmed.

    Photographers think that because they manually match a needle with an exposure value that they are creative.

    Just stick your camera in programmed mode, select 160 ISO for outside, have your focus on A/F and shoot... Believe it or not, you will get the vast majority of your images correctly exposed and in focus.

    The technical details of photography should not get in your way of enjoying photography...

    I will admit that learning to use manual exposure will help you learn about exposure generally but, you can be just as creative (and enjoy yourself a lot more) by using the programmed exposure mode for the vast majority of your pictures. You can always tweak the exposure while in the programmed mode by adjusting the f/stop, shutter speed or the + or - EV on your camera.

    I began photography without an exposure meter in my camera or even a hand-held exposure meter. I used the rule of Sunny 16 to get my exposure values outdoors and used guide numbers to calculate my flash exposure indoors. I then graduated to a camera with a built-in exposure meter. Using that meter, I matched a needle in a window at the top of my camera to a point on a dial and had a rough approximateion of the exposure. Then came through the lens metering which was a boon to me. Then came auto and programmed exposure modes. I never used auto but am not too proud to use programmed for a portion of my shooting. I use apereture priority and programmed modes for almost all of my shooting except when using studio flash indoors when I use manual exposure mode.

    I end up with what I want, correctly exposed images with the depth of field and shutter speed I have selected.

  8. #8
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    Hi Lewis,

    You are over thinking it.

    I can't speak to you in person, so please take a moment and read what this gray haired newbie is trying to impart to you in written words.

    I am much more a beginner than you are, as I've had my first ever DSLR for less than 3 weeks. Prior to buying the D90 I spent quite a bit of time on dpreview reading all the specs, details and performance reports on the "latest and greatest"; read reviews till my eyes were near bleeding from the strain, and all it got me was a headache and basic education into what the features were of the various versions of the available Canon/Nikon models.

    All that reading and stressing over this spec. and that spec. amounted to bupkis. Then, I came here to CiC, read as many of the TUTORIALS as I could comprehend, and also listened to the good advice given by the knowledgeable staff and members.

    Bought a D90 with an extra lens, shot it in AUTO for one day, changed over to shooting in Manual or Aperture modes and haven't looked back since. School classes and book learning can teach us the empirical parts, and learning the functions and features of our gear is indeed important, but I don't believe any of those books can teach you how to *feel* the shot you want to take.

    I can only speak from my own, rather myopic viewpoint, but to me photography has become an entirely new and exciting way to express myself. The photograph is much more than simply photons collected in a pixel and processed into an image, and over the past few weeks I've come to see these digital images as an artistic, living thing that can share/impart most any emotion, tell a story, or, in the case of macro images of insects, give me nightmares..

    Ok, so you shoot 100 images and 90 of them are screwed up. So what? Toss them in the bin, and then figure out what you did *right* in the ones that did come out. Then, go out and shoot 100 (or 500) more. Try different settings, use the "review" feature on your camera and see what the results were, and adjust from there.

    Our cameras are little more than intricate scientific instruments that capture photons and store them on a chip, and there is no doubt that we have to work hard at learning the proper settings for various situations so our images can come out sharp or in-focus. Like mathematics, if you use the proper processes or algorithms the images will come out sharp. I've come to understand that it takes time (sometimes years) to fully grasp all the subtle variances of the science of photography, but that doesn't mean we beginners can't take some damn good photographs. We can, but we have to try harder then those with years of experience behind them.

    Aside from the scientific part of the camera settings, let your feelings and emotions select your subjects for you. Take pictures of what stirs you, inside, and most importantly, have fun doing it. If you can visualize an image you want to capture, then make the camera record it for you...it's just a tool, and although it will take us years to master (if ever!), that does not mean we can't use it to serve our desires in the meanwhile.

    Read the tutorials here on CiC and go take some pictures, and then come back and read some more. Aside from reading the manual (aka: Nikon bible) that came with my D90, everything I've learned so far has been from the tutorials here on CiC, and from picking out tips found while reading hundreds of threads here on the site.

    If you are taking college classes you are presumably much younger than I, and since you did not go through the 1970's as a custodian of modern chemistry you therefore have millions of times more functioning brain cells than the few that are still operating in my skull. So, hell yes you can do this, and do it well.

    Hate to sound like a broken record, but go out and have some fun with the camera; quit worrying about every jot and tiddle..take lots of pics, toss the dreck in the bin, and the rest will come in time.

    Most importantly, enjoy the adventure of just getting out and doing it..Am i over thinking it, or  is it just not  for me ?

    All the best to ya!

    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 19th August 2011 at 10:08 PM.

  9. #9
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    Don't give up! I recently 'graduated' from superzoom the full-fledged SLR. I do understand the basics of exposure, ISO, Aperture or Shutter priority - in theory.
    Currently, pictures I take in AUTO come out far better than the ones where I use either A or S settings. I just keep trying, and I just know one of this days I'm going to take an "Oh Wow" picture.
    I learned most of what I do know through a few books, online tutorials and lurking at Photography forums. It will sink in
    eventually, just like it did (and still does) with me.
    Once you "get it" you wonder why it seemed so complicated!
    Good luck - and don't contact eBay just yet!
    Last edited by Kris V; 19th August 2011 at 09:12 PM.

  10. #10
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    I'm a total noob as well. I have found myself to be in a bit of a rut. I've taken some pictures and excitedly got back to the computer to download them only to find out they really aren't that interesting. I think you have received some great feedback and support here. The golf analogy was really well put. I also think setting up some shots so you don't have to fiddle with settings on the fly is a good idea. Perhaps consider doing some natural light portraits of the kiddos.

    There was a recent thread about shooting at an airshow if memory serves. Some of the advice given was how many shots you should take because the "keeper rate" is about 1%. As a noob, it still feels like every shot should be a keeper. I found some solice in the fact that the most experienced photographers have significantly more throwaways than keepers.

    Enjoy the process of learning and don't tackle too much at once. And for goodness sake quit beating yourself up!

  11. #11
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    Lewis, I'm actually glad you posted this. Not because you're having this frustration of course but because it's comforting to know - not only from your own post but also from those who have replied already - that the frustration I'm having is shared by so many others who are having fun with this hobby. Like Mike, I am also a silver-haired newbie to photography, and got my first DSLR three years ago; then went through the "why not just leave it in auto or program mode since the pictures come out so much better?" phase. If I wanted to I could still justify that sentiment because it's still true to a large extent; but then I decided that what this hobby means to me (NOT necessarily to you) is something that I can pursue as a learning experience. When you get to be my age you are constantly bombarded with advice that you have to keep learning ... I have also decided that I'm not going to get frustrated if the pace of learning doesn't meet my expectations; I'm going to do what I can do and what is fun for me and be happy with the result because I know I will continue to learn. Every time I learn something new I am excited about that because it means that I've accomplished something - in itself a 'cha-ching' moment even if it doesn't show up overnight in image quality. This means that "leaving it in auto or program" doesn't work for me because then I don't learn anything.

    I am the last person in the world to tell anyone else how to think ... but the only little bit of advice I will be bold enough to offer is that, if you sincerely want to learn how to get the most out of your camera, then start posting pictures here and ask for comments and criticism, as so many members here do (I confess I don't do enough of that myself ... ). If you keep doing that, then I can personally guarantee that you will keep learning and learning and learning.

    But most important, regardless of how you choose to look at photography - as so many others have said - have fun with it! Cheers .

  12. #12
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    When you are afraid you are going to miss that special shot, go AUTO mode and hope it gives you what you were looking for. If it looks good to you review the settings used (aperture, shutter speed, ISO) and also note the conditions (time of day, light source, visible or nonvisible shadows) you were shooting under. Part of the lessons those courses should have taught you is that every shot will need different settings depending on the environment you were in. Also, determine what your main subject was and how it is affected by the background, how the foreground provides impact or overpowers the subject. There are so many elements of a photograph that adds emphasis to the overall image that as you go along you will begin to notice these visual cues and make changes to your camera settings to take full advantage of everything at your disposal.

  13. #13

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    Re: Am i over thinking it, or is it just not for me ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lewtashjosh View Post
    Hey,

    I almost feeling like giving up on photography, i have been on a starter course at college for 12 months, also an intermediate course 20 weeks at a really decent photography school....
    I'd say to dump the school junk and start getting passionate about your photography. Get some Scott Kelby books. He cuts the crap and explains what to do to get certain results. Obviously, in the real world there is always more to it than that, but you'll pick it up fast if you read and go shoot. Have fun! That will do the most for your advancement. Also, if you have a friend that can show you the ropes and take you sooting, your learning curve will skyrocket.

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