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Old Oct 21, 2010, 10:10 AM   #21
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Although I retired in 2008 circumstances conspired against me and I ended up as a caregiver, which was more stressful than work.I felt so emotionally drained that I did very little (as those of you who know me may have noticed). My Mother is now in a protective care unit for advanced dementia, and I am back at work up here in Tuk. Strangely it is actually a bit of a relief and I am making an effort to concentrate on photography again.My sympathies Ira. My Mother had Alzheimer's for many years, eventually living in a supportive care home. Advanced Dementia, Alzheimer's....these terrible conditions take not only a toll on the individual, but the families.

I don't think I have made that step to the next level yet, I have the knowledge to but I don't think I have applied it yet, maybe this year.I think your time way up north will be of great benefit to your photography. I've never been north of The Pas, Mb....but I think where you are posted is so completely different from Newfoundland and many other parts of Canada...that it will broaden your photographic horizons. The key of course is to take photographs.. make use of any opportunities presented.When I say that...what I mean is as I'm in my early 60's...it's sometimes difficult for me to light a fire... ..if you know what I mean....I really have to work at it to get my aging legs moving sometimes...but I do and I always feel it was worth it.

I look forward to seeing your work from up north, on this forum.

I like these philosophical threads, it shows that we are above the equipment fetish and are truely looking at what we do as something which relates more to the inner spirit.
I always wanted to be an artist, to paint, draw, etc. Unfortunately I quickly realized I have little talent in that area. Photography has been my venue to express my art...such that it is....

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Old Oct 21, 2010, 10:17 AM   #22
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Good topic! Time hasn't helped me at all - I have way too little of it (work full time, long commute). But I try to spend as much time as I can on my hobby (lunches, after I get home, weekends).

Digital has had the biggest influence. When I was shooting film I'd usually only take pictures for vacations - couldn't afford the film and development costs for experiments. The digital camera allowed me instant feedback and freed me to experiment with stuff I never would have tried with film. The more I played around with the camera, the more interested I got with photography in general (already knew most of the technical basics, it was the rest of it that I was clueless about).
Exactly...same here...
The next biggest influence has been all of you and the critiques I've read, both about my pictures and others pictures. They always give me ideas, even if I don't always agree with everyone. But even if I disagree, it forces me to consider the other person's point and decide if there's something I've been missing. If I come to the conclusion that I still don't agree, I've usually figured why I disagree and that helps me understand more.
I eventually have to learn how to post my pictures here...project for the winter.
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 10:20 AM   #23
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I would say my time at steves has escalated my shooting skills ten fold. I used to be a sound guy (recording music voice over, video, etc.) and get photo jobs on the side. While this is still pretty much the case, I believe my photography skills have exceeded my sound engineering/production skills. I actually dont believe this isn't true, but with sound theres a lot more involved with sound, IE you cant make magic out of crap, whereas with photography you certainly can and it is definitely more in control of the photographer! I have a running inside joke with a friend that I could probably get him to hang trash on his wall. I believe with the right camera, lens, lighting condition this can definitely be true and I just may frame him something real nice his next birthday ;-)

Might as well take this time to thank everyone here at Steves for not only providing an enjoyable experience, but helping me push my skills and deciding how to spend my money. I wasted more money than I can count on recording/sound production gear before I settled on the right equipment that worked for me, selling pro gear used that was bought retail and going through about 100 mics alone before I settled on the 25 keepers I now own was expensive. If I did not have the help from you all, I would not be taking images on the level I am now, Id still be juggling equipment and trying to hunt for better gear. The critiques helped greatly, and I always am looking to improve my shooting. Thanks everyone
I never thought of that when starting this thread...but you're right.
Before I decide on a lens or any type of photographic equipment I run it by other Pentaxians in this forum.

As a result of the great input, I've bought my KM body, 50mm normal F1.4, 50 Macro F 2.8, 12-24mm W/A....etc.

I bought this equipment with confidence...after reading the input and seeing the pix from others who have this equipment, before I bought.
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 10:24 AM   #24
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Hi Les,

I'm going to agree with everyone who's answered so far, time, the convenience of digital, information on the 'net, positive reinforcement from friends and family, and the support, encouragement, and technical support from a great sharing Pentax photo community like this forum.

I've also regained a hunger for learning, whether it's about the technical or artistic aspects of photography, the gear involved, the digital tools for processing the images, or the subjects I like to shoot. There's just so much to learn. . .

This is a great subject for a thread here.

Scott
Regaining a hunger for learning....that hits a chord. I'm in my early 60's (61)...and I retired at 59. I was a bit worried about not having enough mental stimulation during retirement...but the learning that has gone on for me since retirement has continued unabated.

I'm a believer in the idea...if you don't use it, you lose it....I'm here to say that as a result of photography....the old brain cells get a continuous 'work out'....
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 10:28 AM   #25
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No. 1 - Steve's
As a newbie here I can certainly attest to the Forum for a big step. I had been reading in this forum for a while before joining. I only joined when I finally decided on and purchased the kx, which I chose partly because of information gathered in this forum. Posting pictures and getting information from those who have more experience and talent is priceless. And as others have already mentioned, just seeing other peoples work, a different perspective, has opened my eyes. The monthly challenges force you to step out of a comfort zone (although I haven't entered, I have been doing them on my own).

I'm going with equipment for No. 2. My wife and I are on opposite sides when it comes to photography. She wants simple point and shoot. I want to have more control over my pictures and change settings as needed. Our pictures never looked great because I would have changed settings for my use, and it would mess up her point and shoot approach. I would reset the camera, but then I wouldn't get the results I was looking for. I put off this purchase for 6-7 years, it was finally time to purchase the DSLR. The kx has allowed me to "play", change settings, take more control, experiment, and has therefore made me think before I click. Because of that I am becoming a better photographer.
I came from a fairly involved film (35 slr's/ 35mm rangefinders, medium format), but started with a good point and shoot (Panasonic Lumix).

Nice camera but shutter lag, little in the way of manual controls or over rides....it drove me nuts after my film equipment.

The DSLR's (K10D/ KM) have allowed me to continue with controlling settings, adjusting, etc.

I know what you mean.
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 10:32 AM   #26
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Les, this is a great topic!

many of those mentioned here have influenced me as well, digital is an easy choice, my time available to photography fluxes with time allowed. but for me my big 2 are.

1. Inspiration/Critiques on forums, mainly this one. back in 2005-2007ish era the photo critiques forum here was ruthless. and that kind of brutal honesty really improved my photography. not only critiques of my own work, but in critiquing others. in a more glass-is-full way, inspiration from others work has really helped my own, many of them on this board.

2. Growing up on a farm. As you have noticed nature is always a focal point of my photography. and that goes back to my days growing up on my dad's farm in central illinois. appreciating nature and being part of nature was something that was always at the forefront of life, whether it was in the fields or in a duck blind, respect and admiration of nature and everything in it was just a way of life. i have since been in the city for school and now my career since then, but photography has given me an outlet to head back into nature when i can and appreciate those things that make up it.I never grew up on a farm, but did work on a farm in my 20's. I have always been an avid outdoorsman...wildlife photography, fly fishing, camping, etc. I am fortunate to live on the prairies, but also very near the Boreal Forests and the Canadian Shield. I spend a lot of time outdoors...with my camera equipment..even if I don't get 'that picture'...it's always worthwhile for the peace and solace that nature affords.


(Les, i hope you don't mind I added a similar thread in the general discussion with a linkback to here for those that don't visit here enough, its just too good of topic to keep here alone!)
Don't mind at all and thanks for your kind words...Les
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 3:59 PM   #27
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This could be a new thread, but does anyone else feel that photography has made a positive change in their life? I can only speak for myself but i see the world around me in a way i haven't maybe since childhood. It's a wonderful place where even bugs are the coolest things and the simple joy of clouds reflecting on water is enough to make an evening. Hmm....I'm getting carried away! But you get the idea, I'm wondering if anyone else feels the same.

John

Yes I know what you mean. I've developed a photographer's eye and I tend to look at the world in a deeper sense than before.

As you say you tend to see things in a different way....and take more joy in observing commonplace elements of life that surround us.

Les
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 4:03 PM   #28
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I think the biggest difference for me was the realisation that what comes out of the camera isn't necessarily the final result!

Back in the old days I shot film and sent it off for processing, so no PP there. Eventually I moved to digital, first a 2Mp camera then 4Mp. But it was still a case of the jpeg on the card = the final result.

Then I bougt my dSLR. However, I still stubbornly refused to "indulge" in post processing. Seemed like cheating to me. However, the more I read (mainly on this forum) the more I realised that it's just part of the photographic process and has been used ever since the invention of cameras. In fact I started to believe that it's the PP that turns a snap into a photograph (sounds a bit pretentious!!!).

Anyway, now it's all RAW plus PP. Which is why I would love to find out how to make the time to do all the PP that's needed following a day out or, worse still, a holiday! Still, it's all part of the fun
At first I didn't like to do any post processing as I had this idea that any processing of the image as it came from the camera...wasn't 'right'.....I came from a longtime film background...even did a bit of darkroom work...still have my enlarger,trays, chemicals, etc.

But I tried it and now post process the majority of my programs...using a very simple program...I'm in the process of learning and using more sophisticated post processing programs.

I now regard PP in the same light as working in the darkroom...I'm enhancing the picture.
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 4:06 PM   #29
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For me time dedicated to learning. When I left the UK to move to Egypt it also involved leaving my job etc so I've spent a lot of time looking at the work of others, I subscribed to an online training service by one of the top UK wedding pros and I've kept looking for ways to improve. The time has allowed me to shoot a lot more so it is not only the study of the photography but being able to put it into practise, see what works and what doesn't and move on.

So basically time and effort have been key.

Mark,

I think your move to Egypt will also provide you with a wealth of different photographic subjects, much as it will for Monza 76, in his move to Tuk.

Les
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 4:15 PM   #30
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I think the biggest help to my photography was stepping outside my comfort zone - getting good, honest critique from people that shot what I shot, regardless of what system I or they shot with.

Doing work for newspaper and other clients - helps open up your mind that others have a different idea of "good" than you do - and it isn't always about technical superiority that we as photographers sometimes get hung up on - i.e. making the technically great, but boring photo.
I'm trying to incorporate other features into my standard, vintage car photos. Up to before this year....I tried to avoid the 'people element' as much as possible....but I've seen other's work and I'm trying to incorporate people into my vintage pictures...rather than detracting from the photo. I find if done right it enhances the photograph.


I found your statement and I quote:

"Doing work for newspaper and other clients - helps open up your mind that others have a different idea of "good" than you do...:


So true.....I used to work for a publishing company 35 + years ago...as an editorial assistant and also some photography. I found the learning process was quick...had to be if I was to survive.
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