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Old Oct 23, 2010, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default Why aren't I a better photographer?

Not that I'm that bad but I always feel that I should be better. And not just because I don't have lots of expensive glass, nor because I still use the GX-10.

I think I have 2 main bad habits.

First, I still treat photography as an "as well as" rather than a prime motivation. What I mean is that I very seldom grab my camera and go and take photographs. It usually that I'm going somewhere and take the camera with me. So, and especially when I'm out with the family, I rush things. And that's rush everything - not taking the time to find the right position from which to take the photo, not concentrating on the settings, etc.

The other very bad habit I have is arrogance! I just assume that when I take a photo, it'll be a good photo. So, a bit like above, I don't give it the time I should. It's a case of see something, point camera, focus, shoot, and move on; another perfect shot in the camera. And this applies especially to low-light shots. Mainly because I love my Sigma 70-300mm. OK truth be told I love the 300mm bit. But of course if the light is bad the shutter speed is still very slow; despite ISO800. Now I am lucky in that over the years I have been able to shoot hand-held at low speeds. But the GX-10 plus 300mm is quite heavy. However, instead of composing myself, breath steadily and let the heartbeat slow down a bit, I do my usual "Oh that looks good" whizz/click only to look at it later and think "Poo!"

And at my advanced age, you'd think I'd learn from my mistakes!!!

Anyone else with bad habits (although the quality of the photos on this site suggests not)?
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 12:44 PM   #2
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First, I still treat photography as an "as well as" rather than a prime motivation. What I mean is that I very seldom grab my camera and go and take photographs. It usually that I'm going somewhere and take the camera with me. So, and especially when I'm out with the family, I rush things. And that's rush everything - not taking the time to find the right position from which to take the photo, not concentrating on the settings, etc.
Pretty long ago I discovered that this doesn't work. Either I take photos -and then that's what I do - or I don't, and then I participate in the gathering/party/conference/whatever.
A camera is a very nice thing to hide behind, when you're not in the mood for dancing, playing or socializing. And as "the photographer" you're not supposed to behave socially acceptable, everyone expects you to be a weirdo anyway. I like playing that character.

Kjell
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 1:05 PM   #3
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Keith, you have described my situation most of the time, and Kjell, you have one method of breaking that cycle.

Last night I went to a coworkers house for a small "darts and cards" party (lost three games of scat but won at darts). I took the camera, the fisheye zoom and the 50mm. I took very few pictures and most were mediocre at best. I just wanted to record something of the event but I did not even do that well. I need a good high ISO point and shoot so that I can just take snapshots at parties and save the "real" camera for those times that I want to stay apart and take photographs.

Today (weather permitting) I will take the camera out and try to get some photographs. Since the temperature will be around -6C I will take the old M-100mm f4 macro since it will probably be least affected by the cold and is very sharp and long enough to get some pictures of the ice fishermen in the harbour (yes, you read that correctly, the small harbour is now frozen enough that people are using it as a short cut for walking and snowmobiling as well as fishing through the ice).

Keith, perhaps you should leave the big Samsung for photo expeditions and get a little snapshot camera for the rest of the time.

One more thing, I am seriously considering one of the new mirror-less cameras, like an Olympus E-P1, with one of the reasonably fast lenses like the Oly 17mm f2.8 so that my point and shoot can still produce quality results.
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Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 2:20 PM   #4
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I need a good high ISO point and shoot so that I can just take snapshots at parties and save the "real" camera for those times that I want to stay apart and take photographs.
Ira, At the expense of being hounded off this forum for promoting a non Pentax product, I find my Canon S90 serves this purpose very well. It is very compact and has a sensor that is larger in size than your typical P&S thus allowing better IQ, lower noise, etc. Also, it has a f/2 max aperture. Only draw back is the zoom is limited to 4X. But for a handy good IQ camera that fits in my pocket, it is top notch. It has been now replaced by the S95, which means the S90 is now on clearance!
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 2:42 PM   #5
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Ira, At the expense of being hounded off this forum for promoting a non Pentax product, I find my Canon S90 serves this purpose very well. It is very compact and has a sensor that is larger in size than your typical P&S thus allowing better IQ, lower noise, etc. Also, it has a f/2 max aperture. Only draw back is the zoom is limited to 4X. But for a handy good IQ camera that fits in my pocket, it is top notch. It has been now replaced by the S95, which means the S90 is now on clearance!
That sounds good, What I would want is a fast start up (without those awful "kitten sounds" so many cameras make as the lens extends), at least some usable manual control, a fast lens and good high ISO (but a longer zoom range is not at all necessary) so this camera sounds very good. I don't think anyone here can deny that Canon really is a leader in the p&s market, I have owned an A60 and it was a marvelous camera in its day.
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 5:06 PM   #6
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Keith,

always remember that we are the worst critics when it comes to pictures we've taken.
It even goes that far that I keep the bad ones (at first sight) for some weeks in another folder before deleting them. They always look better a few days later.

It's normal that if you go after a specific picture and spend time and effort they mostly come out better than when you take the picture when you get the chance.

On the other hand there are a lot of pictures that I took when I'm out with the family, and I know you have to rush. But I wouldn't want to have missed those shots.

And learning from your mistakes is only possible if you know them, you're ahead of me
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 12:04 AM   #7
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I'm not a better photographer because I make the same mistakes over and over again. Forget to check my ISO, white balance, mode I'm in, hold the camera steadier, stop and look before I compose, maybe find a different position to shoot from, forget to bring my tripod or the mount when I'm doing multiple images.......

I think you get the idea. I really need to stop sometimes and think before I put the camera to my eye. Lately, I keep seeing a spot and knowing there's a photo in there somewhere, I've been trying to go back and really look at the spot until I see what my first instinct told me.

As for family photos, I never spend the time I should to really get the good picture. I usually just point and shoot. Sometimes just to make sure I have the memory. My family lives a long way from me and the memories mean a lot to me.

Anyway, my thoughts on this. I'm trying to stop and take more time to think about what I really want to capture before pushing the button.

Patty
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 1:01 AM   #8
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I was once told that, "If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got."

I have been trying to change what I do to get something new.
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 24, 2010, 6:20 AM   #9
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too many times i look at the exif and wonder how i managed to get the settings i used
i really need to pay more attention and not get wrapped up in taking the photo
i am sure i was more attentive with the K1000

i was told if you use middle of the road settings you will get middle of the road photos, so use the extremes
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 12:11 PM   #10
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too many times i look at the exif and wonder how i managed to get the settings i used
i really need to pay more attention and not get wrapped up in taking the photo
i am sure i was more attentive with the K1000

i was told if you use middle of the road settings you will get middle of the road photos, so use the extremes
Interesting comment, I owned an ME Super and a K1000 at the same time and always found that I tended to get better pictures with the K1000 because I spent more time getting it right. The auto exposure system of the ME allowed me to take faster pictures which meant I didn't have to think as much (a bad mistake since I think so little anyway).
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Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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