You need to make the main subject in any shot the focus of attention. There can be other elements in a shot to give it support and context, but the initial gaze of the viewer must be directed to a particular thing in the shot, or a particular area of the shot. There is quite a lot going on in this painting, but your initial gaze goes to the lady's head - no? http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth...i/wtrpitch.jpg
So, to get a better understanding of what I should be doing . . . what should be my main focus in the flower picture, because to me it is pretty obvious that it is the yellow flower . . . what are you seeing in that photo than I am not seeing?
In the leaves photo . . . are you saying I should pick out one leaf and have the main focus on that leaf instead of the grouping of leaves in various shapes and color?? I guess I thought that is what made that photo interesting. Maybe I should have focused on the big red leaf in the forground and have a blurred background -- is that what you are trying to tell me? Thanks for your input.
After the shower by rob marshall images, on Flickr
Yes, it would have been better to have perhaps the foreground lead in sharp focus, and then the rest OOF. Or you could have done what I did with this shot. I was in a very similar situation and it looked a bit messy. So I picked up just one leaf and placed it on a tree stump. That way, I isolated the best leaf, and gave extra emphasis to it. Hope you don't mind me posting these. I'm just trying to illustrate some points. And my opinions are not necessarily 'correct', in any case.In the leaves photo . . . are you saying I should pick out one leaf and have the main focus on that leaf instead of the grouping of leaves in various shapes and color?? I guess I thought that is what made that photo interesting. Maybe I should have focused on the big red leaf in the foreground and have a blurred background -- is that what you are trying to tell me? Thanks for your input.
Leaf study by rob marshall images, on Flickr
Last edited by rob marshall; 8th December 2011 at 03:23 PM.
I definately respect your opinions and they are very helpful and thanks so much for the visual examples I really do learn more from the visual examples. I have just recently started takning photos as a hobby, I bought a Nikon Coolpix L120 this summer, it is the first really nice camera I have owned and with that said I know that most people who post pictures on here have a dslr and really nice software to touch them up with. I know my camera is not the top of the line but it is what I can afford right now, and I just really want to learn to take really good photo's with what have. So please bear with me if I post pictures that are not very good, and ask some questions that may really seam stupid. I really want to learn so that maybe I could take some really good photos that I could enlarge and display on my walls. Taking photo's does really make me happy and relaxes me on my days off from work. Yesterday I went running around in our city park taking photos while it was snowing, it was so much fun!! Just wanted to let you know that I really do appreciate your (everybody) help and a little background on myself.
Hi Kathy,Originally Posted by Kathy O
We're glad to help
It's good to have a little background.
The photographer is far more important than the camera (model or type); an experienced photographer will know how to achieve the most with what they have in their hands, but even that doesn't necessarily make them 'good', they still have to have the imagination to see the scene in their "mind's eye" before taking the shot.
Having just had a quick look at the spec and a review for the L120, it isn't a bad camera at all. It could be said one that allowed manual exposure control and shot RAW would have allowed you to grow more as a photographer, but to get those features at that price level (even if possible) would undoubtedly have also brought lower image quality, or 'bust the bank' to get it all in one package.
The good news is that the comments above are things you can influence and become better.
I wish you good luck on your journey with us,
I think the most important thing is that you are enjoying your photography.
I agree, having a 'super-dooper' camera does give you more scope / control over your pictures, but it is the photographers vision that makes the picture. There is that old saying "got all the kit, but got no idea"
The good thing with this forum is that everybody just want to give the best advice and guidance they can; too members with less experience than themselves. I hope and believe that nobody here, judges a member on what type of camera they have, I would be extremely sadden if they did.
I have seen a number of your pictures now and like all of us some are better than other, nothing to do with your camera but all to do with the fact we are all still learning, even the professionals.
Please keep enjoying you photography and keep posting, we love seeing everybody's pictures and watching you all grow in both confidence and technique. I've said this before, but I'll say it again, "Photography is a life long hobby, we have plenty of time to learn and grow, take small steps each day and enjoy"
That, as John says, is what makes this forum so good - People can ask what they want without fear of getting ridiculed.
The thing is Kathy, that everyone on here was once at the stage of learning and development that you are now at. It's all about practicing, listening to constructive comments, analysing what people say about your work and you analysing images posted by other people. And then practicing some more. That's the way that you'll learn. And just keep on being excited by all the new discoveries that you make along the way.
I already quoted dear Pops Carter on here already today. Pops, who made a huge contribution to this forum (Pops - You still out there?), had a whole battery of wonderful expressions. One of the best was - "The camera is a box in which you store photographs. The picture is behind your eyeballs."
The camera is fine, and if you get to grips with some basics on composition and technique you will be able to take good shots with it. Recently, I have been leaving my expensive Canon camera at home, and using my cheap Panasonic G1 (about £380), and I have got some very good shots with it, including, as it happens, the blue flower shot that I posted above.
The important thing is that you enjoy photography, because it's that enjoyment that will motivate you to try new things, and to learn more. Don't worry at this stage about the camera.
Hi Kathy, I'd just like to reiterate what everyone else has said. You are in the right place and please don't ever feel shy about posting or asking stupid questions - not here! And believe me you will not be the only one learning from your questions. I enjoy looking at some of the great shots posted here, but I'm still learning myself and I learn so much more when people post something less than perfect and get feedback. The same goes with anything that I post. I love positive feedback but critique is what really helps the most - even if I can't implement the suggestions sometimes. Still gives me something to think about.
Your comments about Silos and running around in the park taking pictures makes me feel like we are on the same wave length. I hope I never get to the point where I am so concerned and worried about getting the perfect shot that I don't enjoy just going out and observing and shooting whatever catches my eye. Like you I find it very relaxing and for me there is no better stress relief. Don't let that go. Keep shooting and keep posting, and keep asking questions. Don't expect everything to fall into place all at once. You will surprise yourself when you see what you are doing a year from now. Just take it one step at a time. When I got my camera and software I was so overwhelmed (still am but it's getting better I think) I thought I would never get anything figured out. Now I actually get some shots that I really like, but the main thing with me is that getting out there with the camera takes my mind off other things and makes me look at the world differently. I love when I get a good shot, but I love the process more.
Thanks for all of the good advice . . . I will definately keep shooting and see what I come up with!!
Hi Kathy! Your postings are coming along very nicely. Basic photography involves, among other things, learning the rules (guidelines, really) of what generally works best. Advanced photography is learning why and when to break the rules! Have fun!
I'm really enjoying watching your progress!
We all have to start somewhere. Keep practicing and use the features of your camera to the max.
Just a couple of other thoughts, Kathy.
Many, if not all, digital photos need some editing so I suggest, if you have not already got one, that you get a photoeditor.
Some are expensive but their are also free ones around. Google for free photoeditors. Two free ones that I use regularly are Photoscape (it does not have a lot of features, but is very easy to use) and GIMP(can do much more, but is more complicated), however there are lots of others.
When you looking through the camera to take a shot try to look at what you are not taking. Does it interfere with the subject of the photo? The classic example are people who appear to have road signs growing out of the tops of their heads (I've done that a few times), but it can be more subtle, eg a strongly lit or coloured object that draws the attention away from the subject.
Just keep the photos coming.
Thank you FrankMi . . . right now I am experimenting with photo editing software. I had a trial version of Lightroom 3.5 and now I am using a trial version of photoshop elements 10. Love the idea that I can work in layers wth the elements 10 but love the way I can make my photo's so much sharper (clearer) in the lightroom.
Thanks for the advice Dave and as I mentioned in an earlier post I am experimenting with photo editing soft ware.
Proof that the camera doesn't matter so much: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6lNCSHH7Vg
Seriously though, if you're getting started, expect a lot of critique! Ansel Adams didn't just pick up a camera and start selling prints right off the line! The important thing is that you're getting started. Also, I do my editing in GIMP. It's free and more than capable of doing the job .