what SIMPLE thing can people do to make their photographs better?

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by jnantz, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber
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    Composition, composition, composition. A drawing teacher I once had always shouted this at us.
     
  2. tedr1

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    the original question referred to "simple thing" and "regular folks" which suggested to me that learning to use flash, which while perfectly feasible and richly rewarding, would not be appropriate because the outlay required in time and equipment would not likely be available.
     
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    jnantz

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    hey tedr1 :smile: ! i say go for it !
    learn to use a flash, it's not too hard
    places like "strobist" ( i think that is what its called )
    nail it make it ez, even have "kits" they sell through
    a retailer, that are wicked-affordable .. ez and fun :smile:
    or.. one can always get a thyristor ( or is it thymaster )
    and just use the pre-set fstops and color combinations
    ==
    lots of great tips in this thread !
    john
     
  4. Nodda Duma

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    Jon you always ask great questions.
     
  5. NB23

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    I have 2 simple advice!

    1) Use a camera with a viewfinder that matches your vision.
    I’ve used a lot of cameras with viewfinders that didn’t match my personal vision’ threshold. Either too dim, too light, too magnifying, not enough magnifying, not clear enough, too clear, inducing unwanted distortion...
    It all plays a role in what you see!

    For example; I think the image in my Nikon FM2n’s viewfinder is too big. It takes me time to understand the whole image at once.
    The broken bottom line in my 0.72 Leica MP makes me compose much too high, it “pulls” my lens upwards while composing. I dislike it.
    And Ireally like what I see in my xpan. The whole viewfinder snaps the whole image in my brain right away.
    My 0.58 leica MP is also great and matched my brain really well.

    2) Understand what you are looking at. What you are seeing.
    You are actually looking at a 2-dimensional image (inside the viewfinder). Treat what you see in the vf as if you were looking at a photograph.
    Too many times we mix feelings and 3-dimensional imaging into what we are looking at (a 2-Dimensional image) and it creates a distortion between what we see and what we think we are seeing.

    So there it is: realize that what you are seeing is not what you think you are seeing.

    And suddenly there you are, understanding what you’re shooting.
     
  6. John M Austin

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    Yep!!!! 100 points for you.
     
  7. John M Austin

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    ... what he ^^^ said.
     
  8. jtk

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    http://strobist.blogspot.com/
     
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    jnantz

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  10. jtk

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    Strobist is the real thing. It's for people who actually do want to learn and actually do want good results in various situations.
     
  11. tedr1

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    Unfortunately it doesn't meet the criterion of simple, the entry level gear list is

    digital camera with manual controls (those things that are described in the user instructions with lots of jargon and weird symbols)
    off-camera flash
    umbrella
    stand for umbrella
    flash remote trigger

    There are alternatives that ARE simple, forget flash, shoot available light. If need be learn to use a tripod to manage camera shake, that's what I call simple.
     
  12. OP
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    jnantz

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    using a flash can be as simple as can be
    it just takes using a flash and knowing how to .. adjust the settings
    it doesn't require a digital camera just a pc or hot shoe ...
     
  13. jtk

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    .....

    I think most people enjoy learning new things. But some live to block new ideas.
     
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  15. jtk

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    Most smartphones have built in flash, as do most amateur-oriented cameras. Modern times. Better photos through simplicity.

    And, of course, image stabilization is common in today's least expensive DSLRs...makes tripods absurd in most situations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  16. ME Super

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    Shoot in stereo, then you don't have to understand that you're looking at a 2-D image. :smile: No, seriously! I got a Stereo Realist in early summer 2018. It was designed for slower slide films like Kodachrome, but I tend to shoot color negative in it, that way I end up with stereo prints, or stereographs. One particular picture I shot with it looked absolutely terrible as a 2-D photograph. It was far too busy. It was so busy I almost didn't make the pair of images into a stereograph. I'm glad I did though, because as a stereograph, viewed through a 118-year-old Holmes stereoscope that belonged to my grandparents, the image just sung!
     
  17. tedr1

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    Learning new stuff is great, many people love to play with gear. Flash has its uses. On-camera automatic flash is one of the worst.
     
  18. wiltw

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    ^ Do NOT put the face(s) of primary interest smack dab in the CENTER of the frame (bulls-eye placement of the subject)
     
  19. alanrockwood

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    In the last few years I have gotten into stereo photography, at least in a small way. I bought a stereo realist (two of them actually, but only one works) and a Sputnik camera (two of them, but only one works.) I also bought a Fuji digital stereo camera.

    I have also been scanning some old stereo glass slides from my wife's family, most of them going back from about 70 to almost 90 years.

    It's true that there is a different mind set when shooting stereo, and it is a bit tricky to predict what will be a good stereo photo vs. what is a good non-stereo photo.

    By the way, you can also take stereo photos with a conventional camera using what one of our local stereo club members calls the "cha cha" technique, which is to take two separate photos with the camera shifted slightly between the photos. Obviously, this will only work well with a static subject.
     
  20. MattKing

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    Except when you should :smile:
    (this one's digital)
    upload_2019-1-11_20-50-45.png
     
  21. Berkeley Mike

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    So mid-60s. Sheetmetal, heavy chrome before American cars got so huge.
     
  22. jtk

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    Many people love the on-camera flash, that's why it's almost impossible to buy a new camera without it. I've never used it "creatively" but have used it for party pics etc...but digital is better for that as well because it's always fast enough that it works handsomely with available low light.
     
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