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Thread: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

  1. #1
    GreenTea's Avatar
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    What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    What are the technical topics that I should continue to after I've studied and practised:

    Light metering
    ISO
    Aperture
    Shutter speed
    Flash
    Focusing
    White Balance
    Exposure compensation
    Macro

    Also, have I missed any of the basics?

  2. #2

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    Re: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    RAW
    Noise
    Dynamic range
    Colour management

    Regards.

  3. #3
    iPhillip's Avatar
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    Re: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    Dof, which comes under Aperture is O-so important.

    Get some basic composition skills - otherwise umm looks good to me, and maybe I need to read up on a few of those topics myself.

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    Re: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    Perhaps another approach is to compare "where you are" photographically to "where you'd like to be" ... work out what's stopping you getting from one to the other - and then you'll have a new list of things to work on.

    Personally, I find that after a while the technical execution of a shot becomes almost 2nd nature, with the bulk of the "brainpower" going into things like the light / tides / wind etc (from a landscape perspective).

    What kind of things are you shooting at the moment? What kind of results are you getting? Perhaps you'd like to post a few examples?

  5. #5
    GreenTea's Avatar
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    Re: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    Thank you all, I see now that the topics they cover in the beginners' course I'm taking are like learning to drive a car. sooo look forward to the moment when the basics are 2nd nature. Right now it's not very creative, what with having to read my notes before every shot and check the WB, light metering, etc. - all the manual parameters, reminds me of when I was learning to drive.

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    Re: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenTea View Post
    Thank you all, I see now that the topics they cover in the beginners' course I'm taking are like learning to drive a car. sooo look forward to the moment when the basics are 2nd nature. Right now it's not very creative, what with having to read my notes before every shot and check the WB, light metering, etc. - all the manual parameters, reminds me of when I was learning to drive.
    After a while you kinda / sorta "transcend" to a higher level when you start thinking about "this is the end result I want - so what do I have to do to make it happen" ... and the fewer mistakes you make the easier the results come.

    It can keep you quite busy at times - when you're shooting landscapes at sunset you're constantly having to make decisions in changing light; you might want very long exposures to smooth water, but shorter exposures to not blur moving clouds too much - so you might be changing F-Stops - which impacts on DoF - so you're refocusing - and allowing for the fact that it's now a bit darker etc. Tell you what though, it's worth it in the end when you finally nail it - and people go "wow - how did you manage to capture that - whenever I try my results aren't anywhere near as good as yours" to which you reply with an understated smile "Oh it's not too hard when you know what you're doing"

  7. #7

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    Re: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    You never stop learning or in my case relearning. It's funny how you can forget things when you haven't needed to use them for a while.
    A classic case was the other night at my Brother in law's house, his future SWMBO wanted me to take some interior shots to send back to the rellos in Thailand, all went well until I came to the bathroom. Very well lit so I turned off the flash, wound the iso up a bit and away I went, NOT, shutter wouldn't fire. Panic! Went out to the kitchen and lined up a shot, bingo, shutter fired. Back into the bathroom, shutter wouldn't fire. Then old dumbo looked at his flashing focus indicator and the penny dropped. White bathroom!

    For the first time in a bloody long while I was in a situation where there was not enough contrast for the lens to focus, lined up the edge of the dark window for focus, recomposed, and bingo, took the shot.

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    Re: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    Not sure if you would consider this to be 'technical' but one of the most important aspects of photography is subject composition.

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    Re: What technical topics to study after the basic ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Not sure if you would consider this to be 'technical' but one of the most important aspects of photography is subject composition.
    For me, this is - without a doubt - the hardest part. Usually the actual capture is just a matter of following standard techniques, but finding a scene worth capturing - finding a composition that works - and then being there when all the conditions are just right is 99% of the battle!

    In this respects I find that there's no substitute for driving around with eyes open "thinking like a photographer" - trying to visualise what a particular scene might look like in ideal lighting and conditions; generally, if something makes me go "wow" as I drive past, I know that I've probably got a winner if I capture it under fairly ideal conditions.

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