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Author Topic: How do YOU learn?  (Read 2113 times)

Offline greypoint

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How do YOU learn?
« on: September 07, 2009, 06:51:50 AM »
What's been/what is the way you improve your photography? Do you study books and tutorials - other photographers? Do you simply find it's a case of practice trial and error and then more practice? Do you think you have, in the end, improved??



Offline jinky

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 07:01:25 AM »
For me it is definitely more by doing than reading. That said magazine articles and online stuff about photography techniques have encouraged me to have a go. I`ve also found that thinking of themes in fun competitions has been useful in stretching my imagination / skills at times - though not been doing them of late due to time (may have time to upload. a couple later that i got taken at the weekend). We`ve a great Flickr group in Leeds and being part of their monthly worshops and 3 photocamps has given me experience of working with models, off camera flash, hdr and so may other areas that I had not got into which I have really learned from in an atmosphere of working together with other photographers, pro and amateur, more and less skilled who have taught me, critiqued me and ultimately improved me - but still a way to go

Offline ABERS

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2009, 07:43:26 AM »
The old adage "A man who has never made a mistake has never made anything" springs to mind, so trial and error comes into it for me on a grand scale, and over the three years since I've been involved with digital I've learned a lot from just seeing what each slider and tweak does. Whenever I try to follow a tutorial I never seem to get to the end, I have invariably missed a step somewhere, so I just don't bother with them anymore, unless there are just two or three steps, and even then I get it wrong somehow.

I'm a great believer in looking for and looking at images that say things in a different way, not to copy them but to see how the photographer involved has approached his/her subject. So I'm an avid 'looker atter'.

Jinky's experience with the Leeds Flickr group seems ideal, not dissimilar to a camera club, which I always reccommend beginners to join.

It's difficult to quantify improvement, if I thought I'd cracked it I think I'd pack it in tomorrow.
I've got a quote on my website from Robert Doisneau " If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time"

Offline greypoint

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 07:56:24 AM »
Some people do seem to get very earnest about the whole thing which always make me think - just go out there and take some photos. It's possibly one of those times when the complexity of digital cameras can be a curse as well as a boon. The basic principles of taking photos remains the same - light and how to use it, the effect of different aperture/shutter settings on different lenses and trying to capture what you see and getting the composition right - simple really :2funny: :2funny:

Offline Trickee

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2009, 09:09:36 AM »
Trial and error is a must----my recent learning has been to change camera settings a lot more in particular when i have my longer lens attached, in fact i have also realised that to get the best out of my lenses i have to customise settings to each lens within a framework depending on light and the subject in front of me.
The trial and error is why i do photography, getting perfect every time would be boring.
Am i improving? that's very hard to say, probably just learning more and there is a lot to learn.
i don,t read books or tutorials i just get out and do it because its a hobby there is no pressure to get it right. :) :)

Offline Simple

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009, 09:34:51 AM »
I have cupboards full of books on photography. Most of them half read. Some of them read several times. After my retirement I was afraid that to earn an extra buck or two with my hobby was going to destroy my passion for photography as a hobby. I have now found the best way to keep involved with photography and to keep learning. I teach. I have several Adult education classes where I teach Digital Imaging. Someone once said "Teaching is like learning twice" and he/she was right. You quickly find your own short comings when you explain to others.

Offline anglefire

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2009, 08:21:51 PM »
I learn mostly by reading a bit and then going out and trying it. Or just trial and error - when I know what I want to achieve I work out how its done.

To be honest its how I learnt most of what I do at work as well! I'm currently learning how to program about 3 different  types of PLC controllers - all at the same time, (but with the same basic concept!) and as I can find very little on the web etc, its all by trial and error! I might take a bit longer, but I find that I remember how to do things that way!
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Offline Sandy

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2009, 09:06:59 PM »
I did a evening class and had a great time. I also practice and learn by mistakes. For example while in Yellowstone I took several photos of a lovely landscape but when I was talking to someone about them he pointed out the blacken interesting trees had blended into the background so hopefully I will not make that error again.

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2009, 09:49:49 PM »
My affinity for old photos doesn't do much really, as photographic styles and trends change over time. So, I've learned by trial and error... plain and simple, trial and error.

Basically, "What does that do? How does that look? Let's try this. Fingers crossed for feedback. No feedback received, can anything else be gained from the photo? No? Ok, next photo" etc...

Digital's easy. Film isn't so easy.

Offline Oldboy

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2009, 11:07:48 PM »
I just go out and take photos.  ;D

Offline greypoint

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 08:28:41 AM »
Well I don't have the patience for tutorials - but thanks to a couple of recommendations I do now know how to erect a tripod :D :D

Offline ABERS

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 09:02:58 AM »
Well I don't have the patience for tutorials - but thanks to a couple of recommendations I do now know how to erect a tripod :D :D

You have little Amy to thank for that and I am eternally grateful to her for the same reason. 8)

Offline greypoint

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 09:44:53 AM »
.....if only I actually owned a tripod...... :doh:

Offline minky_monkey

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2009, 01:56:35 PM »
Definitely trial and error for me.  That`s the beauty of digital, you can see if it hasn`t worked straight away and if so can bin it at no cost.

Other ways of learning include looking at other people images and really paying attention to how they`ve been put together.  I`ll never forget going to the exhibition in London where Abers and a couple of other photographers were exhibiting.  Their black and white shots blew me away.  And as a result of the inspiration, I got some cracking architecture shots on the way how.  Although the exhibition shots were of people, seeing them enabled be to really look at the way I processed by B&W stuff.

It`s all a learning curve, I like trying new stuff.  I shot a load of pictures as a football match yesterday, never done that before.  Now whilst I was generally happy, it soon became clear that I`d misjudged a few in regards to  the require shutter speed and could do with working harder on focussing technique.  But armed with that, next time out I expect to get better shots.

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Re: How do YOU learn?
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 11:33:21 AM »
I'd pretty much stuck to taking the same type of pictures during film and early digital - that was recording my life at work, during travels and of the family and friends.

But with the advent of the DCM site - i found myself trying to replicate some of the shots - as much to understand digital over film but also to understand the image manipulation software.

But then i managed to attend a DCM Meet with a group of photographers and it was a real eye opener. Seeing how you could show a dozen people the same scene(s) or subject(s) and seeing what pictures they produced.
It was a real eye opener.
Similar in principle to those who say join a photography club. On that basis i would have to agree.

At DCM i never took part in the competitions, but here i have decided to give it a go.
Maybe i'm more confident in my abilities, maybe i'm beginning to understand how to think outside "my box" or maybe looking at all these great pictures and having an urge to go out and just "have a go".
I do still try to replicate some images - but more as a learning experience. As Alan says - getting it wrong is as much a learning technique as getting it right.

I don't have many books on photography - only those bought for me. I have a few books on using Lightroom and Photoshop and also the Mac computer.
I have signed up for a course with the OCA - but this is very much on work flow processes. I'm really terrible at organising my work flow -usually down to time constraints from work. Apparently people want to travel on trains!

Ultimately i think photography is a never ending learning process.

 

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