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I've been running up against this wall ever since I chose photography as a hobby. I get new kit, I go out and use it, even enjoy it, and then somewhere along the way I start to lose interest, or get frustrated. Is it the kit, or is it me? Do I need to go buy a new lens because I don't go out as much anymore with the camera, or do I need to press on and go out with the same old kit, come home with a hundred or so pictures on the card, and delete them. What is the answer?
I think I've found the answer for me; it's to work harder, and become more focused on the basics, develop my skills, get more out of the kit that I have. Another thing that helps me is to look at more photos, study the ones I like, and try and discover why I like them, and learn from them. It seems to me, we have to stop once in awhile, and go back and review what we've been doing, work on correcting our mistakes, instead of repeating them, the way I do.
One thing I've discovered with my photography recently while editing some of my older photos with new software I've been using is that I'm finally beginning to understand the histogram, and seeing why it is so important to get the dynamic range of the scene right when I take the photo; I'm beginning to see the flaws when I don't do it right, and I have deleted numerous photos from my library recently that I thought were ok with edits made in software. On closer examination of the photos, I was able to see where I made mistakes, and learn that I don't like many of the fixes I've been doing in the editing processes. In a nutshell, I have to be more aware, and much more particular about the basics when I'm shooting.
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Took a look at your port, it's difficult to answer your question.
I think you hit the nail on the head.
Since shooting with the D800 I look at what I am doing more because imperfections are bigger
But as you say going back on old files with new software has also, provided me with another look at the way I shoot.
Yes, for some reason I see more flaws in my photos since I started using onOne Perfect Photo Suite, and most of the flaws I'm seeing are obviously because I didn't pay enough attention to the exposure. It could be that I'm just learning to see more.
Quote: One thing I've discovered with my photography recently while editing some of my older photos with new software I've been using is that I'm finally beginning to understand the histogram, and seeing why it is so important to get the dynamic range of the scene right when I take the photo
The histograms just another of them tools, if it works well for you then use it
I would not call it essential though, in fact I never use mine.
I use the histogram to help me get the full dynamic range when taking the image, and again when editing. For me to edit some images, I look at the range of each colour, and others just to ensure I don't have blown highlights or shadows with no detail. If I remember correctly Paul, you do a fair bit of B&W; I find the histogram quite helpful for conversion to B&W.
My original post may have given you the idea that this thread is focused on the histogram; that was not my intention, I only mention that as an example, I'm talking about learning to properly use the kit I have, before purchasing more. I'm beginning to come to terms with the Olympus 17mm f1.8, which I absolutely adore, and the Panasonic 100-300mm I've taken about 25 to 30 thousand images with, so I'm fairly familiar with that. However, I have 3 more lenses, filters, and flashes to conquer yet, it's a never-ending quest, and that's what makes it important to me as a hobby.
I definitely don't envy anybody who knows it all.
Nobody knows it all. And I reckon never will. As for the cameras and skills mix I can completely agree with you. Many users get rid of their still immaculate camera in favor of newer model - which they also will never use to the fullest. There are twofold reasons for that. Some believe that the camera is smarter than them and will do everything for them. Maybe, they have some merit with the first part Others are after convenience - like me. I keep my old Canon EOS10d and bought quite recently EOS550d for it is considerably lighter (helps my back), quicker, and has live view. The last one is important point - it allows me to save on lens by using old great manual ones form my collection ( and recently bought too). Am I into models 600,650,700 and and 750? Most likely I will pass on them - while still keeping the 10D for what I see as art work. The camera you know the best is better than the newest one.
What is particularly good about skills though - they are usable with any camera, don't break and can't be left on a car seat. For that they are definitely worth investing some money and a lot of time.
Histograms - good guide if not overdone. After all, we are after an image, but not it's statistical representation.
I agree Michael. I include my own images when I say that most photos that are posted on the web in galleries are overdone. I'm not talking about images that are intentionally manipulated and not meant by the poster to represent reality, I'm talking about most images generally. Many of those I used to admire and think; I would like to be able to do that someday, but now I'm beginning to recognise what's a good image, and what's window dressing. I hope I'm entering another phase of learning.
Quote: I'm beginning to come to terms with the Olympus 17mm f1.8
Yes I`m very envious of you Denny
On the subject of histograms and getting the best out of a camera Denny, a fully calibrated workflow makes for a good starting point, not just your monitor but your camera`s as well.
For the more serious stuff I do I have found the colour checker passport a superb bit of kit and it is not to expensive.
Thanks Brian, I'll look at that. I posted a photo a few days ago, and one comment was "even with the harsh light." I don't know why he said that, if anything, it was dark on my monitor.
I did just hit the link to your PF and came out surprised ... very surprised.
Now I am getting confused, Denny thanks Brian but Brian hasn`t been here, and Mozzy`s going on about a phantom portfolio
sell the house and get all new top end kit
bound to work
Sorry Paul, I'm sure I saw Brian's name, must be getting close to Halloween.
Quote: I'm sure I saw Brian's name, must be getting close to Halloween
Hmm, do I resemble that remark or not?
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