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05-21-2007, 01:28 AM   #1
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help me experiment, please

I got into photography a while back and recently upgraded to a k10d (decided to upgrade because I got an amazing deal on it). I hoped that the added control and versatility that a SLR offers would lead me to be more creative with my photos. Iím now feeling comfortable with my camera and controls but still need help experimenting with my photography. I was wondering if some of you wonderful photographers here could give me some advice on creative and interesting techniques that will help me grow as a photographer and best make use of my k10d. Iím mostly a ďshoot what I seeĒ photographer and donít do many lighting setups. Lately Iíve felt that my photography has stop growing and would appreciate some tips to try before a trip to Korea and Japan next week. Thank You.

05-21-2007, 04:08 AM   #2
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When shooting landscape scenes, try to have something in the foreground, the dramatic perspective when combined with a wide angle and getting close, the other thing that i find helps is shooting vertically for landscapes. Creats a differen tway to look at the images.
05-21-2007, 04:30 AM   #3
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What you need is inspiration.

I would suggest buying a good quality 'How To' photography book that explains the techniques and settings for different types of shots - Close-up, landscape, fashion etc etc.

Find some photos that inspire you and make you want to emulate what you have seen. Follow the instructions until you get it right and then start to play around with settings, lighting and angles.

You will get some good shots, make plenty of mistakes and learn a great deal in the process about the art and technicalities of photography. It's not quick or easy but it is the only way if you really want to improve.

Of course you are not going to be able to do this before your trip next week so I'd suggest, that while you are travelling, for every shot that you take using wide angle, take another one zoomed in and vice-a-versa or from a different angle just to get a feel for the different perspective this gives.

Whatever else, Enjoy your trip...
05-21-2007, 05:37 AM   #4
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One of the most obvious, perhaps, and common methods is to change one's physical perspective. In other words, shooting from other than a standing position. Get way down low or way up high. I'm thinking about working on the "camera-on-a-stick" idea I proposed to Sailor for his yacht shooting and trying some shots using my camera raised overhead on the end of my monopod, using the self-timer to shoot.

Another thing you can do to help keep things interesting is to impose some limitations on yourself and challenge yourself to work within them. Use a single focal length all day, for example. In my case, I typically limit myself to primes and limit my shooting position to the driver's seat of my truck. Everything gets shot with a prime (typically a 135 or a 200) and from wherever serendipity happens to stop me at a red light or in a traffic jam. I can scoot or lean in the seat, but everything is from that vantage point and about 8 1/2 feet off the ground.

05-21-2007, 07:30 AM   #5
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Three thoughts:
1) First, find a photographer(s) who's work you like, and study his/her photographs. Figure out how they captured particular images, and try it yourself. Repeat until you are comfortable with your technique.

2) To follow-up on Mike's comment, set assignments for yourself. Impose limitations on your shooting to force you to take a closer look at your subject and maybe make some shots you otherwise would never consider.

3) Read a good book or two on composition. My personal favorite is Freeman Patterson's "Photography and the Art of Seeing", but there are others.

By the way, your already off to a great start; some nice images on your site.
05-21-2007, 01:26 PM   #6
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This is something everyone struggles with (inspiration) and everyone has equally good ideas on how to deal with it. For me, I like reading the magazines and seeing the shots. When I see one that strikes my fancy, I think about how I could copy that shot the next time I'm out. Also, limiting yourself to a specific lens, location, time of day, etc. can sometimes get the creative juices flowing.

I've found that the way I look at things has changed. I still don't see most of the photo opportunities out there, but I'm getting better. I can look back at my older shots and see what I'd do differently (and hopefully, better) now.

National Geographic and Kodak (among others, I'm sure) both have little field guides to travel photography that are handy. They have technical tips, plus suggestions for taking travel (or outdoor, or other types of) photos. I found a Kodak book at Half Priced Books for ~$5 and it's been pretty handy.
05-21-2007, 02:17 PM   #7
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You could create a travel series, starring your thumbnail puppet in your profile pic. I think it would be funny to see him (her?) standing in front of prominant landmarks, landscapes, people shots, etc.

Its family (pinky, tall man, ring and pointer) could also attend the trip and be part of the shots.

You may think I am totally joking, but there is a serious side to it. You have shown that you are creative with that shot, so why not explore that fun side of your pesonality?

Jeff
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