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07-18-2019, 06:27 PM - 1 Like   #61
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Taking tons of photos and seeing what did and didn't work.

07-19-2019, 06:07 PM - 3 Likes   #62
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Years of event photography taught me not to go after the "dreamy shallow DOF with nice bokeh" photos.
07-20-2019, 12:06 AM - 1 Like   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
didn't work with an assistant
You definitely need one of those to carry all the gear, sometimes two.

07-20-2019, 08:29 PM - 4 Likes   #64
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I’ve been in and out of this thread several times thinking about how I would seriously (rather than flippantly) answer the question.

Shooting fully manual lenses - non-A manual focus lenses - in Manual mode, Single Frame, DoF Lever metering on my K-1. Doing that slowed me down and forced me to make photographs.


Last edited by monochrome; 07-21-2019 at 09:06 AM.
07-21-2019, 07:19 AM - 4 Likes   #65
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A few Quantum Leaps (not just one), that stepped up my images for a few years until the next Leap:
1. Buying some very good manual equipment and learning the physics of photography - Pentax LX with M50/f1.4, M35/f3.5, M135/f3.5, Tamron SP 35-80mm and Tamron SP 70-210mm, using Fujichrome 50 film (1983-85)
2. Two lenses with perspectives way different from what my eyes tell me, so I learned to see the image before picking up the LX - a Tokina 17mm/f3.5 and a Tamron 500mm mirror lens (about 1990)
3. Digital camera body which is not very forgiving of exposure and focus errors, so I needed think a lot about framing and exposure but had more control of colours and brightness (2008)
4. A clever digital body, the K-70, with great control over white balance, sharpness and unbelievable ISO capability (so that shutter speed is no longer an issue in getting a sharp picture) (2017)
5. Pentax Forum as a constant source of ideas and inspirations, combined with a period of testing my ability to use each of very many lenses, mainly old MF primes (mostly cheap local purchases guided by the user ratings and comments). (2017-forever)

My next Leap will probably be Digital Imaging software combined with testing the capabilities of the K-70, funded by selling a few of my thirty-odd lenses.

All of these points have been covered by others in earlier posts, so I did not even need to think when I compiled the list above, which is not quite within the scope of the question. I am constantly amazed by the spectacular images that members post on PF, and I thank all of you for giving me constant stimulation.

If I must answer within specification , then I would say that the single thing that improved my photography the most was to commit myself to frequent use of my Pentax equipment and then to learn from the other users on the Pentax Forum.
07-22-2019, 05:03 AM - 4 Likes   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Doing that slowed me down and forced me to make photographs.
I think that might be somewhat of a common denominator...slow down! Some folks did it by switching to using manual lenses and others of us did it by starting to use a tripod. But I think it really boils down to simply slowing down and putting more thought into your shots.
07-22-2019, 07:24 AM - 3 Likes   #67
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Switching to slide film in about 1982 was a big step forward, forcing me to start to really learn about exposure and light. But what taught me the really important stuff was the time I spent studying film at NYIT. Nothing can beat learning the elements of the craft at first hand from proven masters whose work and words you respect.

Edit: Of course we were taught very much the Jonas Mekas / DA Pennebaker approach to film-making, by guys who had worked with them, which is why I've never cared overmuch about things like sharpness.

Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 07-22-2019 at 07:41 AM.
07-22-2019, 10:01 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Switching to slide film in about 1982 was a big step forward, forcing me to start to really learn about exposure and light. But what taught me the really important stuff was the time I spent studying film at NYIT. Nothing can beat learning the elements of the craft at first hand from proven masters whose work and words you respect.

Edit: Of course we were taught very much the Jonas Mekas / DA Pennebaker approach to film-making, by guys who had worked with them, which is why I've never cared overmuch about things like sharpness.


Do you think thanking their online photography classes is a worthy investment?




07-22-2019, 11:14 AM - 1 Like   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Discipulus Quote
Do you think thanking their online photography classes is a worthy investment?


Well, I'm not thanking their online classes so I'll take that as a typo for "taking". And really it's a surprise to hear that they are doing that sort of thing nowadays, but I guess that's the modern age. My day was back in the eighties, learning cinematography and editing hands-on with 8mm and 16mm film. As a general principle, I think real-world classes are a much better idea than online, learning from someone whose work you have been able to see beforehand so that you'll respect what they're saying.


Edit: Ah, Google tells me that there's something called the New York Institute of Photography that does online classes, which is most definitely not the same as the New York Institute of Technology that I studied at in the eighties. So no, I don't think that doing the online classes would be a worthy investment at all and would probably be a waste of money. It's a relief to discover that NYIT hasn't been reduced to an online correspondence school though, and that it's still a respectable real-world post-graduate research centre.

Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 07-22-2019 at 11:33 AM.
07-22-2019, 12:25 PM - 4 Likes   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Well, I'm not thanking their online classes so I'll take that as a typo for "taking". And really it's a surprise to hear that they are doing that sort of thing nowadays, but I guess that's the modern age. My day was back in the eighties, learning cinematography and editing hands-on with 8mm and 16mm film. As a general principle, I think real-world classes are a much better idea than online, learning from someone whose work you have been able to see beforehand so that you'll respect what they're saying.


Edit: Ah, Google tells me that there's something called the New York Institute of Photography that does online classes, which is most definitely not the same as the New York Institute of Technology that I studied at in the eighties. So no, I don't think that doing the online classes would be a worthy investment at all and would probably be a waste of money. It's a relief to discover that NYIT hasn't been reduced to an online correspondence school though, and that it's still a respectable real-world post-graduate research centre.
MIT (yes, THAT MIT) offers their Photography courses presented over the last decade or so through the Architecture School as OpenCourseWare, meaning it is free to all comers (the entire MIT curriculum is posted to OCW). Introduction to Photography and Related Media | Architecture | MIT OpenCourseWare

About MITOpenCourseWare

The lecture videos run in most browers or iTunesU

Last edited by monochrome; 07-22-2019 at 12:31 PM.
07-22-2019, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #71
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Ah apologies for the confusion.


07-23-2019, 06:56 AM - 1 Like   #72
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A few of the last posts hit it for me. Sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow down. Modern cameras are too darn fast and it is real easy to get lulled into the PHD (Push Here Dummy) mode.


The book that probably helped me the most was "The Amateur Photographer's Handbook" by Arron Sussman 8th Edition for me from 1973. You can get it for 25 cents US on Amazon right now. Capture technology is different, but the techniques are still valid.
10-21-2019, 02:56 PM - 1 Like   #73
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Smartphones ?
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Puy-Saint-Vincent

10-23-2019, 10:53 AM - 2 Likes   #74
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I did an online course, A Year With My Camera, run by Emma Davies and it was excellent. I learnt an awful lot in the space of that year.
10-23-2019, 06:12 PM - 2 Likes   #75
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Learning how to use a external flash(es). The process of trying to create my own lighting taught me to be much better aware of lighting in general.
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