Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-10-2007, 04:49 PM   #1
Junior Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 40
How does one devolpe "the eye"

Short of taking a course in fine arts and composition. I know my equipment. I can usually nail the exposure, but, I just can't seem after so many years to "get it". I create what I think is a good image and someone posts one that uses the same subject but blows me away with it's look.
I was once critiqued by a NG photographer who said that my images were perfect for textbooks but lousy for art. soooo, how does one learn art?
judy

07-10-2007, 05:44 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Arpe's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,372
Go to art school?

I'm not sure you can "learn" art. You may be able to study the pictures you like so much and see how they differ from yours, then try to emulate those features on subsequent photos, but it may be a battle for you.
07-10-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
You're certainly not the only one. Perhaps these links will help:
Taking Your Photography To The Next Level
Taking Your Photography To The Next Level #2
Next Level Part III
07-10-2007, 06:19 PM   #4
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,644
I agree with Arpe to a point but what makes the difference between many levels of photographers or painters is Passion. What are you passionate about? Maybe shooting the flowers in the garden looks appealing but you have no feeling for the subject. Maybe what stirs your soul is "street people" or abandoned buildings. Find a subject that moves you and follow that. Don't worry about what others think and don't shoot what you think will appeal to anyone but yourself. If the subject means something to you then the image will be just what you are looking for. Most artists didn't pick up a brush to create something the masses liked. They created something that was important to them. Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) could care less if you liked his music but It will last forever. One hit wonder bands make music to sell records and disappear as fast as they show up. Picasso stuff looks like crap to millions and he didn't create it to make anyone happy but himself. Now look at the price of that art.

If I may make a suggestion, consider what you talk to your friends about. Pick a subject from that list and shoot 1 image a week for a year that reflects that subject. See what develops. I have a great book that was done by Sherman Hines. It's called "Outhouses of Atlantic Canada" and it's all pictures of "shitters" at old farms and rural homes. It's contains some of the best photographs I've ever seen and the subject is one most would never consider turning the camera on for.

Good luck

07-10-2007, 06:32 PM   #5
Junior Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 40
Original Poster
Great ideas,thank you all who responded.
judy
07-10-2007, 07:43 PM   #6
Senior Member
chrisman's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sydney
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 237
One of the best books I ever read on this subject was/is:

Photographic Seeing by Andreas Feininger - originally published in the early 1970's and long since out of print. However, if you can pick up a second-hand copy I think you will find it well worth the effort.

There are copies for sale here - Amazon.com: Used and New: Photographic seeing

If you want to know something of the author - Andreas Feininger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
07-10-2007, 09:20 PM   #7
Veteran Member
Ivan Glisin's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Belgrade
Posts: 656
Check this article:
The Radiant Vista - Articles

Also, I would recommend the following two books: "Photography and the Art of Seeing" by Freeman Patterson and "The Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing" by by Philippe L. Gross and S. I. Shapiro.

Courses: beware of "art schools" that offer courses or workshops in "art" but in fact focus on technical aspects. (The "rule of thirds" or "linear vs. aerial perspective" are also only technical aspects in my opinion. Not as obvious as shutter speed and exposure kind or stuff, but they are.) I understand you are looking for "how to feel", not "how to do" workshops? Check this out:

Freeman Patterson : New Brunswick Workshops

Hope this helps.
07-10-2007, 09:24 PM   #8
Pentaxian
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,083
Art is subjective. That does not answer your question, though :-)

07-10-2007, 09:46 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jfdavis58's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: 13 S 0357397-3884316
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 882
QuoteOriginally posted by cutterpup Quote
Short of taking a course in fine arts and composition. I know my equipment. I can usually nail the exposure, but, I just can't seem after so many years to "get it". I create what I think is a good image and someone posts one that uses the same subject but blows me away with it's look.
I was once critiqued by a NG photographer who said that my images were perfect for textbooks but lousy for art. soooo, how does one learn art?
judy
Stop fussing over the 'settings'; forget about others with more or less talent who insist on shoving their latest poo into your face and go out and explore your own vision. Shoot things over and over and over until you make your vision what the camera 'sees'.

Be thankful for digital (over film).

Quick now, get out there and start snapping else you fall into the internet quagmire of endlessly seeking advice you have no idea how to implement.
07-11-2007, 06:41 AM   #10
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,951
I think you're overlooking the fact that, barring narcissism, it is common to be more impressed with what others have turned out than with our own work. That you're impressed with how others have treated a particular subject is no absolute indication that there is anything inherently lacking in how you yourself have treated it.

On the other hand...it might really be crappy. Who knows? And who is to say?

We all have different approaches, strengths, and weaknesses. Personally, I'm impressed most by folks who can envision and set up some abstract shot. Not that I'm a fan of abstract art, but that I have zero ability to conceive of such things myself.

I do better at "spotting" scenes that are photos waiting to be taken. Somebody else might be more technically adept and could turn out a better photo of the scene than I could, but if he is more of the "create a photo" than the "spot a photo" type, he'll walk right by it.

Sometimes, to amuse myself, I try to think of some "keywords" that will help me to do a better job of spotting scenes and capturing them the way I want (and maybe even help me develop a thin sliver of creativity).

color, contrast, angles, curves, shapes, blurs, textures, light, shadow, exposed, obscured, vibrant, drab, etc etc etc etc

I find that sometimes randomly running over a list of such terms, just whatever the hell comes to mind, helps one to keep an eye out for elements that will make a photo something more than a snapshot. Give it a try; it's free.
07-11-2007, 10:33 AM   #11
Junior Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 40
Original Poster
I really liked the question someone posted of "what do you talk to your friends about"? That one really has me thinking.
Thanks again
judy
07-11-2007, 12:45 PM   #12
Veteran Member
mattdm's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,948
Here's a practical exercise I find helpful.

Create an album for every month -- if it's online for friends, relatives, or even the general public to see, so much the better. When you're reviewing a new batch of pictures put your favorites into this album, with the simple rule that each added picture must have a unique title or caption. It doesn't have to be really clever, but if the image doesn't suggest a good title for itself, it probably doesn't qualify.

Pick a number to be the absolute limit for each album. At the end of the month, go through and reduce the number of photographs until you fit within the limit. The number you choose should be small enough to be a little bit painful -- that's the important point. I think 30 makes a nice (one-per-day) number, but it'll all depend on how much you shoot.

Even if the pictures being culled this month are better than the best ones last month, oh well -- out the go. Not that you have to actually trash them, of course. They just have to find a new home.

You don't want to choose too harsh of a cut-off, because if you're just picking one or two from hundreds, it quickly becomes a matter of flipping a coin. But if you find that you're not even filling the quota, or just coming close, time to reduce it.

And I think it really works best to do the final selection only periodically rather than as an image-of-the-day -- it's important to look at the photographs as compared to your other work, not just on their own. Having some distance is good too, so it might be even better to do the review process for one month ago, rather than for the month that just finished.

I've found that after doing this for a while, and while some images from older albums are still my favorites, the overall quality of each month goes up and up.
07-11-2007, 08:24 PM   #13
Junior Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 40
Original Poster
Wow, you guys have not only given me food for thought but have helped kick start me into finally starting two (of the many) projects I have been toying with. e
Each will get it's own "Gallery of the Month " and I will go from there. When July's are ready I will be posting links with questions and requests for input. Thank you all again,
judy

Last edited by cutterpup; 07-11-2007 at 08:34 PM.
07-11-2007, 11:21 PM   #14
PDL
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,994
I can only suggest more of the above, read everything you can get your hands on, look at a lot of sites, go to your local museum(s), go to galleries, think - shoot - think more - shoot and think again.

I attended a National Geographic Expedition (Photography workshop) in Sante Fe NM in Oct 2005.
Rules:
Shoot a minimum of 72 frames a day (mixture of film and digital shooters 22 people - 5 all digital, 2 film and digital (my group) and the rest film. Film shooters shot E6 film Ektachrome 100 and 200 mostly. No PP by the digital people - put us on the same level field as the film shooters.
During the daily "pick your best" - line up all your shots and pick the 20 best. The instructors and students would pick and choose. Put the "unchosen" away. From the 20 pick the five best - instructors and students help along the way. After picking the five we all got together in the big room (a gym) and as a group (with the photographer having no vote) picked the best frame. Each student got one image per day minimum - sometimes more - I had two image(s) chosen on Thursday.

Overall we talked about equipment for about 2 hours during the week (bus picked us up at 7:30 AM - dropped us off between 6:00 and 10:00PM each day). The rest of the time the "talk" was about intent, content, subject and qualities of the image.

The interaction between the instructors and students is the one thing I really miss the most - it is nice here on the web -and on this site- but it does not hold a candle to the personal interaction over eating together, being at the same place in the same light, riding in the same bus and being immersed in the act of photography with a bunch of other people as enthusiastic as you are. It was shocking to see the images that other people took at the same place my piddly a*s pictures were taken. Then the shocker - my images are blasted up on the screen (soft JPEG's my Bu*t) and you hear 20+ people react - mostly they were nice - but when nearly all of them say "that's nice, cool, wow or WTH*ll?" ---- now that is photo ego time - it is a drug, an addiction - don't ever try to get over it.

It is all about the image.

If you get the chance to attend a workshop that follows the same basic format - jump at it. The hardest part of photography is the editing - and I mean picking the picture not PP. It is very hard to pick out the ones that are the best to viewers other than yourself, family members are not the best people to ask - they have a vested interest in your attitude. The editing part is the hardest for me to get my arms around - the images I like - no one else thinks are very interesting - what I consider as my "throw always" are consistently picked as the ones that shine. Go figure.

I do suggest that you understand the basic precepts of composition - there are a lot of sites, books and workshops that will give you some direction. Find a photo club or somewhere to be in the same room where your images are displayed - feed off of the reaction of others. Practice - practice - practice.

PDL
accepted PENTAX Photo Gallery
rejected Shutteryfly.com - The Best SHUTTERFLY Resources and Information. -- why lord - why not these?
my cra*pola site PDLanum Images this will be going away next month (ver*zon is giving me issues)
07-12-2007, 12:52 AM   #15
Veteran Member
Mechan1k's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,891
QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Here's a practical exercise I find helpful.

Create an album for every month -- if it's online for friends, relatives, or even the general public to see, so much the better.

Wow ... what an awesome idea.
Never really thought of it ... as I have been trying to get out with the new camera.
But this is a great idea ... making sure you put some time aside to go out there and take shots ... and very your shooting material as well (instead of getting stuck in a rut of just shooting one thing only).

Thanks for the inspiration.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
art, camera, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
pseudo-"Tethering " Eye-Fi hack Linux users bobD Photographic Technique 1 10-29-2010 04:04 AM
Vintage Eye Candy - 1957 Asahi Pentax "AP" woof Pentax Film SLR Discussion 8 06-14-2010 09:50 AM
Interesintg (?) observation about the "field of view of the human eye" Marc Sabatella Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 27 01-18-2009 07:29 AM
Vintage Eye Candy - 1958 Pentax "K" woof Pentax Film SLR Discussion 8 06-21-2008 03:00 PM
which focal length(s) are considered "fish eye"? slip Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 12-13-2006 10:51 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:50 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top