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backyarder1 Sep 5, 2008 4:07 PM

Hi all. I've been playing around with a digital camera for a few years and I really think I could benefit from a little training. I am looking for a local photography class (Melbourne, Florida area) or a professional photographer who would be willing to spend some time with me to teach me some basics. My theory is that it will be cheaper to pay someone to help me learn than it will be to try to keep improving my shots by buying more equipment.

Betsy S. Franz
The beauty of life is in the details. Pass 'em on!

Hawgwild Sep 5, 2008 4:36 PM

Betsy, welcome. I have visited your website and was impressed with your photographs. If you took those, then you certainly don't need a tutor. You could BE one. That said, the only other reason I can see that you would be here is to promote your website. And while the green movement is a noble and worthwhile cause, this forum is probably not the place to promote it. I could be wrong, and if I am, tell me about it and I will apologize to you. Otherwise, I feel as though I'm being conned. Robert

backyarder1 Sep 5, 2008 5:02 PM

Robert, I completely admit that I HAVE posted to certain websites to promote my green efforts, but this is not one of them. I appreciate your comments about my photos but I really, really REALLY want some education in digital photography so that my percentage of getting usable photos is a little higher. I recently took a trip to Michigan and took 440 photos and only got about 20 that I think are good enough for publication.

If there is someway to check and see what sort of questions I have posed to this forum and other photography forums, I think you will see that I have a genuine interest in improving my technique. However, to avoid any possible misunderstanding in the future, I will remove my signature from future posts! That is, as soon as I can figure out how to do it!

TCav Sep 5, 2008 6:07 PM

Most manufacturers have some sort of on-line training materials available.

You might find something helpful at Canon's website:

Hawgwild Sep 5, 2008 7:52 PM

Hi Betsy, First of all, I will now apologize to you here for my hasty comments. But I still stand by what I said about your photography. You have some outstanding shots on your site. Whether you can increase the number of keepers depends on some factors you have no control over. You shoot wild creatures, for the most part, in their native habitat. You will not always have the sun where you want it, or the time of day or weather is all wrong. There isn't a whole lot you can do about that. If all your photography was in a studio setting, you might approach a keeper rate of nearly 100%. TCav had some good advice, or hang out in the wildlife section. Just think, a few short years ago, we did all this with film. Be thankful you have "instant feedback" and are able to fire off another shot if you don't like the first one, rather than have to wait several days to see that you messed up, without the opportunity to correct.

One other thing, if you can get close enough to use flash for fill, you can brighten up a backlit subject that would otherwise be "flat".

Sorry to have rambled on....Robert

backyarder1 Sep 5, 2008 9:31 PM

Thanks again Robert. I used to take pretty good photos in "the film" days. Or at least I thought I did. Now most of my photos seem incorrectly exposed or I have some other complaints with them. I do admit that I am trying to get more from my photos than I used to. I look at all the great shots here on this forum or on a few of the others and I am frustrated because I can't get the same results. I do think that I have a good eye and can "see" a good shot when it comes to composition, etc. I would just like the expertise of someone else who can say "you need to shoot at a faster speed" or "you definitely need a tripod for this shot" or "you are are never going to be able to capture that shot with that lens".

For most things in life, I think you can learn prettywell from reading the instructions or manuals. But trying to learn photography from reading manuals would be the same as trying to learn painting techniques from a book. It would seem a lot more effective to be in the company of the artist rather than just reading what he said about his techniques.

That's my humble opinion, anyway.

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