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02-15-2009, 01:22 AM   #1
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I hate my girlfriend...

Well, actually, I don't.
However, every once in a while, when we're on a hike, or on a beach, or some such thing where I'm firing away with my trusty K10D and producing gigabytes of crap, she would grab my camera, click a couple of times and have THE keepers for the day. And then my train of thought goes something like this: "God damn it, how does this happen and why is she better than me at everything....."

The point I'm trying to make is that I am a horrible photographer. But I can't quite figure out why?
The pictures coming out of the camera always look different than what I have in my head. It just doesn't quite happen, doesn't quite connect.

Maybe I lack perspective, maybe I'm just an idiot.

Oh well, maybe I'll try yodeling for a hobby....

02-15-2009, 01:41 AM   #2
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keep taking pictures. ask your girlfriend to show you some pointers lol.
02-15-2009, 01:52 AM   #3
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Maybe the "firing away" and the "gigabytes" have something to do with it.
02-15-2009, 02:00 AM   #4
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perhaps you're over thinking the technicalities of what makes a good photo, rather than just snapping what feels right?

just a thought...

02-15-2009, 02:39 AM   #5
Damn Brit

Tim I have a solution for you.
Buy an OEM 53 Eyepiece and two eye patches. Make a cutout in one of the eye patches for the eyepiece and insert said eyepiece into the eyepatch. Wear this over your shooting eye. Wear the other eye patch over your non shooting eye. Walk around like that for a week and you will start producing the shots you see.

There is another response but it involves broken fingers and I am most definitely not recommending that.
02-15-2009, 03:45 AM   #6
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Perhaps you give yourself too much stress to get a GREAT photo. On the other hand, your gal just shoots to remember.
02-15-2009, 04:23 AM   #7
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Reading this thread reminds me of the fact that most (80%) of my above average shots are those that I just fire away. Shots that I took time thinking mostly ends up bad (then again so is most of the shots that I fire away, maybe it's just sample issue?). When shots that I thought up turn out good, I kinda take pride in them

Not that I've done much work of considerable value.. but they mean something to me!
02-15-2009, 05:03 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TimB Quote
The point I'm trying to make is that I am a horrible photographer. But I can't quite figure out why?
Photography is often about taking an uncommon view at things, finding a perspective/take on things that isn't boring.

Perhaps you like the images of your girlfriend better because they expose a point of view to you which is different from yours? Perhaps she likes yours better for the same reason?

If you both agree that your images are lacking in some way, have you tried reading a book on composition or taking a course? Sometimes one just needs a kick into the right direction and then can take it from there.

In any event, I guess you should be passionate about what you are taking a picture of. Don't focus on taking pictures, try to stage what is there in the best possible way. I find that the rewarding images will then come to you, sooner or later. If something worked, try to analyse why. If it didn't, do the same and avoid the mistake next time.

02-15-2009, 05:09 AM   #9
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I'm in the same boat, your girlfriend also takes better pictures than me. Not to fear, because all the reading I've done say the same thing... you can train your eye to see the picture the same way your camera does. Some people are born with an eye, some people work to develop it.

Having said that, there's also the possibility that you are just being too hard on your own stuff. What you SHOULD do is post some pics in this thread so we have something to talk about.

- Andrew
02-15-2009, 05:14 AM   #10
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The point I'm trying to make is that I am a horrible photographer. But I can't quite figure out why?

What is your measuring stick for "horrible photographer"?? Hmmm, where would I fall?? <grin>. My bottom line with any of my leisure activities is "how much fun do I get out of this?" If you love to shoot and enjoy the journey, then I would be willing to bet you are far from horrible. I prefer the "fire away" approach myself. I'm grateful for what I've learned over the past five years about the technical side, but I much prefer working on composition and seeing things in new ways.
02-15-2009, 05:41 AM   #11
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When I was first getting going, I found one of the best ways to gain a little experience and knowledge of "how to take a shot like ______" is to make sure you check the EXIF data from photos ( by other photographers ) that you like.

Now, what works for one won't necessarily work for another, but it does give you at least a general idea of what settings you should be using as a starting point and then experiment from there.

Also, do regular checks in the "photo critique" thread. There are always constructive hints and suggestions for improving all aspects of your work. And remember, in the end, if you love taking photos, keep doing will come....
02-15-2009, 08:32 AM   #12
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I understand your frustration. My wife seems to be immune to
all attempts at education in the technical aspects of photography.
After 25 years using a K1000, she still just "centers the needle"
with no regard for the implications of aperture and shutter speed.
Despite this, she still consistently turns out better photos than I do!

02-15-2009, 09:11 AM   #13
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Here's an exercise you can try that might help you:

1) Look through all your shots after a firing-away session, and pick out the best ones.

2) Now - ask yourself - "why are these better?"

3) Remember the answer - it may be lighting, composition/framing, aperture/bokeh, perspective, whatever.

4) Now, next time you're shooting, instead of firing away at a subject, slow down and try to re-apply those 'good' criteria to the subject you're shooting - maybe you need to move a little closer or farther than you would have before, maybe you need to stop down or open up aperture, maybe you need to move and shoot at just a bit of an angle, or kneel and shoot up from below more, etc, etc.

If you remember what made the last images good, you start to 'see' better when you're out shooting the next time. And you'll also see good potential images in your surroundings that you would have missed before - believe me, great images are all around you.

Do that every time, and within weeks or months you'll start to develop an eye for images that never fails you.

(Also - make sure you have the fundamentals down - even with SR, with anything but great lighting you need to make sure you hold the camera very still to bring out the sharpness and pop in an image. I'm convinced that a lot of people think their lenses are soft when really it's their shooting style.)

02-15-2009, 11:06 AM   #14
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I go through this with my daughter all of the time. Though maybe not technically better, her composure is much better. And she's only 10! She's the same way with music too.
02-15-2009, 11:51 AM   #15
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Wow, I got to my computer this morning to see a bunch of replies to the thread and figured maybe others have come to commiserate with me. Maybe they also hate their loved ones .... Maybe we can stage some kind of uprising to somehow get rid of this problem once and for all! Somehow...
But, alas, it's just suggestions on how to improve my photography instead of destroying hers.

Thank you all for the suggestions.
As far as the eye patch solution goes - my doctor claims that is why I am unable drive at night anymore.

I think I got the shutter/aperture business covered. It's composition and perspective that I'm having problems with (I think); stuff that can't be explained with formulas. Oh, those dreadful formulas.....

I'll definitely be trying the suggestions people proposed.
In the end, I shoot because I like it, and I'm not giving up yet.

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