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Thread: How long? How often?

  1. #1

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    How long? How often?

    Hello,

    After some weeks out of this community I'm back here - untill I get too much busy with ordinary things again. As some you know, I'm new to the art of photography, my motivation was not spoiling very important trips photographs again. I mean, not that my pictures of my vacations on August 2010 were horrible, but they were simply too 'simple' for such a special moment. Then I started reading about photography and practising a little. I've noticed that I've learnt many thigns so far, some that sound very obvious after someone tells you.

    So, my question is, how long did it take you to feel that "O, now I'm really better than the average in photography, it's not a matter of lucky again. I can make pleasent pictures consistently". And how often do you usually practise it? I'm not sure about the amount of professionals or semi-professional (someone who make some money with photography, but also has a "main" job) we have here.

    Thank you for the attention =)

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: How long? How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pohled View Post
    So, my question is, how long did it take you to feel that "O, now I'm really better than the average in photography, it's not a matter of lucky again. I can make pleasent pictures consistently". And how often do you usually practise it?
    Jonathan

    I don't think we really think about being 'better than the average', because as we begin to reach our goals, we see that the 'average' also keeps rising. In other words, we set our targets at higher and higher levels.

    However, your question does cause us to reflect on our photography and makes us assess what it we do. The key word that you use, and one that I have used in setting my personal targets, is 'consistency'.

    I became seriously enthusiastic about making images in January 2009. It was 12 months later that I began to undertstand what I wanted to do and achieve. I think it was about 6 - 9 months after that (Autumn/Fall 2010) I felt was achieving a consistency in quality.

  3. #3

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    Re: How long? How often?

    The trouble, Jonathan, is that as fast as I get better than the average; the average starts catching me up.

    I started digital with a secondhand 4 mp Powershot G2 and edited with Micrographx 8. After 9 years and some 3000 of extra equipment, I am still average (on a good day).

    Maybe I am taking/processing better images now, but so is everybody else. Well apart from those using basic 'point and shoot' cameras on full auto settings. But even those have vastly improved and the best of the 'bridge' cameras can produce good work.

    One thing that I do find is that now I am more likely to look at a scene from several angles, then shake my head and walk on whilst previously I would have wasted time attempting an impossible scene. But I suppose that is all part of learning.

    My thoughts about what is a good photo have certainly increased, although my ability to achieve this is probably at the same percentage ratio as before.

    Or to put it another way. As my ability improves, so does my expectations.

    As an example; I have, for some time, been trying to persuade a friend to get some better equipment and he recently joined 'the big boy's league' although still in a relatively modest way. And suddenly his photos have taken a massive leap forward in quality. Maybe he still has a bit to learn in the way of composition but he is now well down the improvement road.

    However, a lot, probably most, of my photos rely on luck to some degree. I still take a lot of 'Look at that' pick up the camera and click shots, although my 'thinking time' is a bit quicker now and I sometimes get the quick camera settings adjustment almost correct. Careful forethought and deliberately setting out to photograph a specific scene isn't normally 'my scene'.

    Also, I often look through the viewfinder hoping to see something 'lucky' happening. And if it doesn't occur, I frequently put the camera away.

  4. #4

    Re: How long? How often?

    How long? How often?


    30 seconds and once a month unless its my Birthday

    Seriously though I think that is a very difficult question. I have never felt that I am better than average so that is 2 years and counting but the consistency came after 6 months or so. I think the problem of benchmarking ability in photography is almost impossible. I think you can only judge your ability by the viewers reaction. Whether a positive response from the public means you are better than average is questionable and the opinions of other photographers are rarely in accord with the potential clients. So in the end you have to ask yourself who your audience is and use that group as your sounding board.

  5. #5

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    Re: How long? How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post

    30 seconds and once a month unless its my Birthday

    Seriously though I think that is a very difficult question. I have never felt that I am better than average so that is 2 years and counting but the consistency came after 6 months or so. I think the problem of benchmarking ability in photography is almost impossible. I think you can only judge your ability by the viewers reaction. Whether a positive response from the public means you are better than average is questionable and the opinions of other photographers are rarely in accord with the potential clients. So in the end you have to ask yourself who your audience is and use that group as your sounding board.
    Bless your heart, Steve...I so wanted to go there...but restrained myself...however, I would never have sold myself that short...

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    Re: How long? How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    Bless your heart, Steve...I so wanted to go there...but restrained myself...however, I would never have sold myself that short...

  7. #7

    Re: How long? How often?

    Bless your heart, Steve...I so wanted to go there...but restrained myself...however, I would never have sold myself that short...
    Er....I was exaggerating

  8. #8

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: How long? How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Er....I was exaggerating
    I love you guys.

  9. #9
    rob marshall

    Re: How long? How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post

    30 seconds and once a month unless its my Birthday
    15 secs and once a year. What's a birthday?

    As for photography... It took me about 4 years to get good, and I spend about 30 hours a week on photography (as an amateur). If my wife asks you I never said that last bit, because I'm sure there is some as yet unfathomable connection between the 30 hours and the 15 secs.

  10. #10

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    Re: How long? How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I don't think we really think about being 'better than the average'.
    I find that no matter what I do in life, there will always be those who are better than me, and those who are worse. My philosophy is to learn from the ones who are better, and help the rest to GET better.

  11. #11

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    Re: How long? How often?

    Thank you all for the answers.

    Yes, the "average" thing wasn't a good approach. It's better to think about consistency - on the meaning of achieving to make the images on the screen and print really look like as you imagined before or pleasing your 'audience' as Wirefox mentioned.
    By the way, the average can change a lot. If we consider the average of nice photo-forums as this one, it's not an easy task to be better than the average.

    I'm in that point of the process in which I still don't have a main kind of subject or a proper style, I usually photograph what's easier to me to reach, by the way, I'm still too shy to go out in the street and point the camera to places in a non-touristic fashion (as it was discussed in other thread around here). But when I buy a tripod I'll need to be less shy for sure

    I have seen once in a Brazilian forum some things that indicate that you're becoming a better photographer, but it was in Portuguese, I'll look for it and translate into English to post here, it's a lot of fun. =)

  12. #12
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    Re: How long? How often?

    Jonathan,
    I'm at much the same level of experience as you. Until the beginning of this year I was strictly a 'point and shoot' photographer, although even then I strived to take a 'better' photo, even though I really didn't know the technicalities.

    Since I got my dslr, i have read all the tutorials I can (mainly the excellent tutorials on this site). I have practiced when family and work commitments allow.

    I am nowhere near the stage where I can 'make pleasant pictures consistently', but I like to think that my success rate is going up.

    For me, I am still making the distiction between taking casual photos and taking special photos. For example, last week I was on a family holiday. Mainly, I took 'snaps' of the family and places we went to. None of them would ever hang on a gallery wall, but they are good reminders of the holiday, and with what I have learned so far they are better composed and exposed than the average snap.
    On the other hand, I will also go out looking for a 'special' photo. An example of this is when I was working away from home for a couple of weeks. In the evenings I would get my kit and go for a walk, looking for a good scene, and take my time getting a good shot. I was pleased with the results, and then was really pleased to see that some of them did well in the mini and monthly competitions.

    But, I still look at many of the other photos on here and think 'wow if only I could do that'!

    So much of how good a photographer you are depends on a combination of what you think, what your peers think, and what you are comparing yourself against

    Glen

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