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Old 12-10-2007, 14:42   #1 (permalink)
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Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

If the light's not quite right for the landscape you've chosen to shoot, don't go home yet ...

Use the time to potter about, framing up, moving around the scene, trying different viewpoints + angles, to decide on the composition of your final image. Then you can go back another day, when the light's just right for your planned shot, get straight down to setting up from your chosen viewpoint, frame up, and shoot! Thus you saved time, got your shot, with time to spare to go shoot another location - which will also have been pre-composed, if you're really organised

And you don't need to take all your equipment with you for this exercise either! Just use your compact, if you have one.

Or use a home-made viewing card: Simply cut a hole in the middle of a piece of A5 or A4 cardboard (preferably black) which is relative to your camera's image size, i.e. 24x36mm for 35mm format / full-frame dslr. Hold the viewing card close to your eye for a wide-angled preview of the scene, or move it further away from your face for a telephoto preview. When you've found a composition you like, you can work out the FL of the lens you'll need to use for your final shot by measuring the distance of the card from your face: e.g. Holding it 10mm away from your eye = a 10mm FL, and so on.

Not a unique idea by any means, but not something we think about doing very often, so I hope this inspires you to get out there - with or without your camera
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Last edited by Charlotte; 12-10-2007 at 17:02. Reason: Removed bit about 1.5x sensor - still figuring out how to convert viewing card for that size :ponders:
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Old 12-10-2007, 14:48   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Right light? Planning? Return? Knew I must be doing something wrong, seeing as I just turn up and take the shot!
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Old 12-10-2007, 15:27   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

I have to say I do this to some extent but I'm not sure I'm keen enough to travel back to a specific spot if I haven't got a reason to pass it again anyway.

On the other hand, there's a certain viewpoint on my drive to work which would look fantastic with that early morning mist - you know the inversion type effect when the low areas are filled with fog/cloud but it's clear above a certain altitude? Well I've been waiting for such an inversion event for ages but no luck yet.

Good tip though Charlotte, thanks.
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Old 12-10-2007, 15:34   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

everytime I'm out and about I'm always on the lookout for prospective shoots (even when my camera's at home!) - but if I do have the camera with me - I normally just stop the car (luckily I live in the sticks!)...
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Old 12-10-2007, 16:52   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

hmmm my other half is well used to me yelling "stop" im more of a capture the moment type of photographer than a planner. It would take half the fun out of getting out there and seeing what turns up i guess. although now and then something catches my eye that ust demands a return !
pity i cant stop the car in the middle of the kingston bridge in glasgow cos there is a fantastic night shot i want to get from exactly that view point........ havent quite worked out how to get round it yet tho!

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Old 12-10-2007, 17:04   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Ok all you "shoot the moment" types, this tip might not be for you

Being a methodical person by nature, I'm a "plan the shoot" gal myself. This little exercise occurred to me today, and I thought it might be a useful task for others to try, to at least get a composition visualised of a scene they've been wanting to shoot, even if the weather's cr@p, e.g. on an overcast day but you'd really like to capture it on a sunny day, you can still make use of the time as outlined. Anyway, I plan on giving it a go sometime when I have nothing better to do.

Last edited by Charlotte; 12-10-2007 at 18:45.
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Old 12-10-2007, 18:37   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte View Post
Ok all you "shoot the moment" types, this tip might not be for you

I won't read it then
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Old 12-10-2007, 18:56   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

I see this thread is drawing, shall we say less than positive, comments from some of the more experienced photographers on the forum who clearly have no need for methods or planning ... knock it all you like, I still hope it might be helpful to the less experienced players, like myself, who enjoy learning photography in a structured way
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Old 12-10-2007, 19:03   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Apologies for my comment above Charlotte
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Old 12-10-2007, 19:10   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

No problem P-E. Maybe my structured approach to photography is where I'm going wrong
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Old 12-10-2007, 19:15   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot




Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte View Post
Maybe my structured approach to photography is where I'm going wrong
Going wrong with what ?
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Old 12-10-2007, 19:51   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

I think there is a time and place for both methods in photography. If you know you want to catch early or evening light then, yes, a certain amount of planning is required.....even if it's just setting your alarm clock! And many great shots will have been captured in the way Charlotte describes. But equally many great shots will have been captured by the sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time.

I'm not organised enough to be structured so my photography tends to be a bit on the hoof!
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Old 13-10-2007, 10:51   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

I have to agree with both points of view expressed on this thread: that there is a place for both ways of working.

However, after many years in this game as a pro and as someone who loves to teach others, I have come to the conclusion that most amateurs never realise their potential directly because they are unwilling to devote time to making images in a structured/controlled way. Mastery of any craft requires a controlled and structured approach for the time needed to gain the highest level of knowledge and expertise. All of the great 'masters' of Art went through the process of learning their craft and the same applies to photography.

Only once the structured approach has been mastered is it then, and only then, possible for the artist to have the skill and confidence to explore 'uncontrolled' and 'spontaneous' art. This is even more important in photography since we require technical skills to record the desired image with the camera. Most beginning students of photography have good ideas but poor technique and so never realise their ideas properly (I know, I also went through this process in my college days). Only after mastering their technique can they fulfill their ideas effectively.

In the famous words of Ansel Adams (who was re-quoting a french mathematician):

"Chance favours the prepared mind"

Boy is this soooo true!

So for all you "I prefer to be intuitive with my photography..." types (which I read as "I'm too darn lazy to learn even if it will make me better"), reflect on the benefits of applying a little time to Charlotte's suggestion (now Charlotte, where did you get the viewing card idea from??? Hmmm??).

Now the reason I began by saying I agree with both points of view is because you CAN work in both ways BUT ONLY if you have mastered your craft, since without this mastery your intuitive approach is flawed and doomed to fail more than it succeeds.

Cheers

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Old 13-10-2007, 12:39   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Glad you came along just then Les ... being in the minority with my views here, I was starting to wonder if I was going about it all wrong; however, I shall persevere, in the light of your wisdom

Quote:
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now Charlotte, where did you get the viewing card idea from??? Hmmm??
From a magazine But I got the measurements + how to make it from you I have made one, but yet to try it in the field, although I fully intend to do so.

As a side note, the main reason I study photography in a structured way - learning from books in addition to trial + error - is because I don't have much time or freedom to devote to photography; most of my free time is at night, and I can't go out + shoot landscapes then. Hence I plan what I want to go + shoot, + try to pre-plan how I want to shoot it, so's not to waste time faffing about once I'm there. Of course, it doesn't always work out like that - I still end up faffing about - but I try to start out with an idea of what I'm going to do, in order to make the most of the time that I am out with my camera. I use my free time at night to study techniques from books, mags + of course pixalo Sadly, there's not much time left over to edit my photo's, and that's why you don't see me uploading very much However, I took myself off to the zoo on Thurs., + am determined to produce some decent images from that little excursion

Besides the time constraints, I like to get things straight in my head before I go charging into anything (not just photography), it's just the way I am Must be the Libra in me

Yes, of course, I have days when I just pick up my camera + have an impromptu shooting session, but not often enough unfortunately I certainly don't have the time or freedom to just pick up + go wandering in search of scenes to shoot. I wish I did, but that's just the way it is for me.

At the end of the day, we all learn in the way that suits us, be it structured or impromptu, but usually a mixture of both is best to get the know-how as well as practical experience; personally, I need to ensure I get more of the latter.
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Old 13-10-2007, 13:01   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

A very useful technique for improving your visual skills is to use your camera as an artist uses a sketch book: that is as a visual development tool.

By simply wandering around a location, without pre-planning, looking for interesting design elements (lines, shapes, colour relationships, light and shadow effects, textures) and allowing your mind to wander freely and snapping anything that grabs your interest can be a very rewarding experience. Without trying to produce 'great' pics, you tend to record your purest perceptions of the things around you. I call this 'right-brain photography' and recommend it as a stimulating exercise.

Of course, having mastered your craft to the level of being instinctive, you can be assured that the images you create in this way will be technically good enough to match your vision. Once you get the hang of this 'photo sketch book' technique, you will be amazed at how often you end up with interesting images. The semi-abstract image of stainless steel chair legs in my gallery is an example of what can come out of such a session.

Cheers

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PS Charlotte, don't you have my 'Creative Exposure Control' book? In it I describe how to make and use a viewing card.
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Old 13-10-2007, 13:55   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Meehan View Post
Charlotte, don't you have my 'Creative Exposure Control' book? In it I describe how to make and use a viewing card.
Indeed I do Les, that's where I got the measurements + how to make/use it

I'd seen the idea in a mag but they didn't explain how to make/use a viewing card, so when I spotted one in your book, I picked up on it straight away, as I knew I wanted to make one + try out the technique. So thanks for that
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Old 13-10-2007, 14:06   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

i think something different is being read from some of the replies, here.... obviously i cant speak for anyone else, but certainly in my reply i did not mean to imply that i merely pick up the camera and shoot without actually putting any thought or effort into it.

I may be spontaneous in shooting, in that i meant that i dont plan out where or what i am going to shoot, a lot of the time i leave it up to alan so i dont even know where im going until i get there, but i DO indeed "think" about what i am shooting and can often spend a fair bit of time over the one shot. an example of this was last night in Glasgow, standing in a not to safe environment with the camera and tripod set up for more than half an hour sorting settings etc.

i do tho think that some peopel are able to shoot instinctively... and that does not necessarily have to come thru experience.. learning something is NOT the same as being able to do something instinctively. Its a bit like someone who instinctively know how to frame and compose a shot....... they have a natural eye and no amount of technical knowledge can teach some people that. so i think its a bit of both that is needed, and i think its wrong to categorise it into to HAVING to shoot a certain way to be a great photographer.
I know people who have done numerous photography courses and their photographs still look as if they have never picked up a camera before, simmilarly i know people who have never done a photography course in their life nor read a book and they produce stunning images.
Its all about finding your niche and what works best for you, and above all listening to others.
I dont think i have read a photograhic book ( apart from photoshop ones) all the way thru yet, cos basically i get bored, BUT i have learnt more from listening and taking the advice of others on forums like this than on any book i have or havent looked at

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Old 13-10-2007, 14:21   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Fiona, I think we all agree that it's a bit of both ways for most photographers. When each of us, being amateurs, tells how we do things, we're not dictating that it has to be done like that by everyone, we're just sharing ideas with each other. The whole purpose of this thread was to share an idea

Having said that, Les on the other hand is a published author, professional photographer, as well as a teacher of photography, so he knows what he's talking about with regard to learning the art of photography, and so his advice is certainly worth giving a try
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Old 13-10-2007, 14:44   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

FionaB, I tend to agree with most of what you have just said. Like you say, many people don't plan where or what they will shoot before going somewhere but when they see a possible image they work at it as you explain for your Glasgow image.

When you talk about people doing things instinctively, which in this context I assume you mean producing visually interesting images, you are of course correct. Such people do exist and in my experience they produce interesting images because their minds are more 'right brain' than others. This means that whatever medium they chose to work in they would produce interesting things 'instinctively'. However, this is not a special ability but rather an indication that their perceptual skills are functioning more than in some other folk.

However, where photography becomes a problem for such folk as opposed to say painting is in the technical aspects of creating a photographic image (this is not to say that the craft of painting is any less difficult, just that 'mistakes' in technique are not so obvious to the lay-man). Even with the most advanced perceptual skill, it is still necessary for a person to master the craft of photography if they want to make the most of their ability (as explained in my previous offering).

I put forward the view that EVERYONE can increase their perceptual skills (the drawing courses I do are based on this well accepted premise) to improve their imagery just as the perceptually aware can increase their technical skills to improve their images. Learning something nearly always improves ones skills if the learning was really that and not merely taking a course without learning (blame the teachers for that).

You say "Its a bit like someone who instinctively know how to frame and compose a shot....... they have a natural eye and no amount of technical knowledge can teach some people that." True, technical knowledge will not improve your perceptual skills and in fact MOST people have a natural ability to compose (look at children's drawings and painting for evidence of this) but in most people this ability is stifled by western education that puts too much emphasis on logic and science. However, it can be re-awakened very easily. BUT, improved technical skills WILL improve an already good visual eye!

I also agree with you that it is wrong to try and impose one method of working on everyone (unfortunately so many courses and workshops in art/photography do that, the instructor simply teaching their way rather than a flexible approach). What is useful though is for people to at least have the open-mindedness to try different ways (possibly learned on a course) and then to make an informed decision (and thats the important point and phrase) about how they will choose to work. Unfortunately, too many people just won't make the effort to learn anything from anyone (for whatever reason).

You mention that " I dont think i have read a photograhic book ( apart from photoshop ones) all the way thru yet, cos basically i get bored". To me this just shows you have a particular style of learning and books are not it for you (but why should photoshop books be different for you? Are you resistant to being taught about photography from books but not about photoshop??). Most educated teachers know there are different styles of learning and that the most effective learning takes place when the method of teaching fits your own style of learning. However, one has to already have the willingness to be taught and to learn.

For me, the good point about learning from books (or better still direct from an expert) is that it is certainly quicker and more structured than learning mainly from the advice of others. This I feel is why many amateurs learn so slowly. As an example, I once taught a man and wife couple how to print fine prints. The guy was a 30 yr veteran with all the RPS stuff weighing him down. His wife had never printed before. In three days she was printing better than he was. Why? She was a blank slate receptive to learning, he was a suitcase full of itty bitty advice accumulated over years and thought he knew how to print. Fortunately, after three days he was wise enough to let his ego and past knowledge go and then he too learned how to print.

This is an interesting debate that we could go on for a while with. I like it!

Les
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Old 13-10-2007, 14:46   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

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Fiona, I think we all agree that it's a bit of both ways for most photographers. When each of us, being amateurs, tells how we do things, we're not dictating that it has to be done like that by everyone, we're just sharing ideas with each other. The whole purpose of this thread was to share an idea

Having said that, Les on the other hand is a published author, professional photographer, as well as a teacher of photography, so he knows what he's talking about with regard to learning the art of photography, and so his advice is certainly worth giving a try
Wow, thanks for that Charlotte

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Old 13-10-2007, 14:58   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Sometimes I think it depends on the person, I know everything i have planned which is mostly the stuff Im getting paid for or wanting to learn, comes out quite well if not better than expected as Im quite flutterby minded if I go out and think ooo look at that and point and shoot I tend to miss the boat mostly because I forget something silly like checking settings etc.

OH bless him found me lots of PDF tutorials and info on different aspects and every week I try to at least once have a go at one or the other, I deffinately think planning has a lot to offer.
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Old 13-10-2007, 14:58   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

First of all you are absolutely right in saying that reading from books does not fit with the way i "learn". i am far better learning from hands on than reading and I am going to "try " to explain why i find it easy to read photoshop books and not photography books

the majprity of photography books have a lot of text and a few images to show examples. and whilst i am an avid reader ( i can read a book a night easiily) I cannot "learn" from reading text, i have to see it to learn it. Most of the photoshop books i have or have read all have step by step "screen captures" so i look ..i see "how" it is done rather than have an explanation of how it is done.
Once i have seen it i remember it and more importantly i UNDERSTAND it.
I am lucky in having an extrmely good memory so once i have read something o usually remember it, but remembering it means absolutely NOTHING if i dont understand it.

A good example of this goes back a while ago to when Robbarron was trying to teach me the laws of reciprocity......... no matter how much i read what he had typed i couldnt get my head round it ...... eventually we spent a long time on MSN with him taking me thru it step by teeny step and suddenly it fell into places cos all the reading wouldnt allow my brain to understand.

hopefully that explains why i dont/ cant learn from photography books, but prefer listening to what people say and their examples of things.

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Old 13-10-2007, 15:06   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Fi

Yep, its definitely about leaning styles. You are the hands-on type that needs visual/experiential methods and as you point out most PS books use a lot of screen grabs and visuals.

In many ways this demonstrates what most of this debate has been about, no one method of anything works for all people.

Cheers

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Old 14-10-2007, 15:12   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

I made a viewing card for my C&G course. I also used a thick red thread taped to it to make a thirds grid. I sometimes take it out on a shoot with me to check what I want to capture and look at my composition, I find it helps me as I'm not that good with landscape, I know what I want to capture, but have trouble with putting into practice what I want & looking through that just clicks it into place for me. Probably why I like the 40D as I can do this with live view and have the 1/3's on the lcd. I am also like Charlotte that I will plan a shoot depending on the direction of the light & time of day & weather. But also just like to go out and take what I fancy, although I usually like the shots I've planned best.
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Old 14-10-2007, 15:41   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

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So for all you "I prefer to be intuitive with my photography..." types (which I read as "I'm too darn lazy to learn even if it will make me better"), reflect on the benefits of applying a little time to Charlotte's suggestion
I reflected, Les!

Thing is, I've never been an "armchair" photo location-eer. I plan a hike and take my camera along. If I happen across a handy bit of light, an interesting scenario, I might pause to take the odd pic or two. Yes, I might plan a route that takes in some potential sights but the camera tends to follow the hike, not the other way around.

I have been known to visit a location specifically to take photos, often in the company of other 'togs but the only planning goes into setting the alarm and checking the map!

I've even been known to get in my car and follow the light - heading towards where the sun dictates might be a good spot (tho usually I'm going from A to B and stop off somewhere, or maybe detour a little)

OK, I have specifically returned to a spot following useful advice - and the pics I then took did get into a photography book. But I put that down to the good advice rather than planning the shots (which I didn't do!)

And I'm another of them that has never bought or owned a photography book or magazine (not counting the camaera manual!), preferring to take my own shots!
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Old 15-10-2007, 17:59   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Being so new to photography as a hobby I found this dicussion very interesting. I joined Pixalo when I first got my camera. You all have been such a big help to me along the way.

I found as I read these postings today that I do the same as some of you--only mine has followed a line of progression thru my process of learning how to use the camera.

I started out, as I said, just taking pictures of everything which taught me some about lighting. I then moved onto just single items out in the world to practice my shadows. Doing this type of photography took no planning, time setting or anything technical. Is this the right way---not a clue, but it is what I did.

Then I set my alarm clock. "ISH" for I'm not a morning person. I've gotten up at 5am to get the sunrise over some landscape. I have returned to the dang watertower to get other shots that people in Pixalo said I should try. And they were right! I have even watched wheather reports looking for a certain day of partly cloudy and sunshine to get the clouds over the tower. Even worse, I have jumped in the car and headed to the park after a rain to get the light hitting off the colored leaves with water droplets. I have even driven 60miles to a spot to take a picture when it was misting out. I know I"m crazy aren't I?

I haven't bought any photography books. I did get a magazine which I read, but haven't tried anything out of it. It would probably do me some good to try some things.

Les I didn't know you had a book out. I checked it out. Looks good! I will probably have to buy it. It definitly has things in there I so desperately need to know.

I agree with Charlotte that structure is very important. It helps you get the picture you see and visualize in print. To do that you have to get all things working together just right. That takes time and patience. And for the important picture I do that the best I know how. Which isn't very good being so new to this.

But...I enjoy taking pictures on the fly. Its fun, crazy and like a vacation. Every week my husband and I take a day to travel backroads and take pictures. Nothing planned. Just the three of us. Me, the ol' man and Buddy (the camera).

Everyone has their own style and way to approach their end result. Nobody should be criticized for the way they did it (structured or unstructured). Only in the end result can criticism come into play.

Fi--I to read---read everything I get my hands on. But I also need a step by step instruction book when it comes to photoshop. I just love those "you are here" pictures of the steps to follow

~~~~Mary
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Old 15-10-2007, 20:19   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

Charlotte, I think I sit in both camps. There is a time for planning and also for spotaneous shooting.

I you find yourself in Venice then you cannot help just keep shooting in almost any direction. In comparison, I had passed Bliss Mill many times and kept telling myself I need to find time to photograph it. I eventually drove the 30 miles to Chipping Norton on a sunny day to find:

a. It was not sunny in Chipping Norton
b. If it had been, I was too late as the shot needs to be taken before 9.30 a.m.
c. The best angle was from private property.

I went back on another day having properly planned and took some good shots.
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Old 16-10-2007, 15:33   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

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Les I didn't know you had a book out. I checked it out. Looks good! I will probably have to buy it. It definitly has things in there I so desperately need to know.
I have seven books in print, the 'Creative Exposure Control' book was my first and is the only one solely on traditional photography the other six are about digital stuff (this is because many publishers aren't interested in non-digital stuff any more).

As an avid book person I don't think it does any harm to devote time to studying your interests with a few books. It certainly makes it faster than purely experiential learning methods.

Your approach is similar to many people whom make photography their hobby. First play around with the camera to get a feel for things and then, as interest grows, learn more from different sources (clubs, books, forums, other hobbyists). However, I'm sure many would agree, and it is certainly true in my case all those years ago, that you will likely reach a point where your mind and heart are telling you that there is more to do for further progress. When you have won the club comps umpteen times, when you have those RPS things after your name, when you are considered the big fish in your particular pond BUT STILL your heart tells you that this is not your limit, that there must be more for you 'out there', it is time to move into a bigger pond and start learning to step up to the next rung of your personal ladder of development.

It is at this point you discover that there is a lack of available printed information that will take you onward. Books and mags, and many camera clubs, cater for the mass market (they have to for survival) and so their information is limited to at best a good amateur club level. Buy a photo mag or attend the average club for one year and you will never have to buy the mag or attend the club again (except for different pics to see and at the club chat to others with similar interests: which is good) as they will repeat themselves ad nauseam.

In days gone by the only serious ways to lift ones level was to either attend a photo course in college (preferably full-time pro education for total immersion which I did after club land wasn't enough) or attend workshops during vacations (which, depending on the tutor, can be very valuable giving you personal access to knowledgeable professionals. Of course I'm biased on the workshop idea since I run them!).

Fortunately, the internet has certainly changed the scenario above, you now have access to professionals on a daily basis that was impossible years ago. Those pros here and on other forums that spend time answering questions and participating in discussions are a source of knowledge and experience that money can't buy and books can't compete with. I only wish I had had such a learning resource twenty five years ago!

As is becoming clear, no one way is 'the way' but taking advantage of the different ways available makes a lot of sense to me. OK, sometimes certain ways may be a bit tough but all ways have value that everyone can gain from in their search for knowledge, experience and that 'moment of sheer joy' experienced when you KNOW you got a good one!

As stated before: "Chance favours the prepared Mind." Don't miss your chance by being unprepared!

Les
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Old 16-10-2007, 22:46   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Pre-planning Your Landscape Shot

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Charlotte, I think I sit in both camps.
So do I, Dave

Edit: For some reason, on my laptop, I seem to hit a button by mistake, and I either lose a post I was typing (+ have to retype it, grrr), or it goes thru before I'm finished Anyway, to carry on with this one ...

I posted an idea/suggestion at the start of this thread. It doesn't mean that I subscribe only to that way of learning photography tho'

I started out learning from a mag, but as Les says, after a year I was bored with it + wasn't learning anything new from it, because it started to repeat its content more + more. I confess I still get it, but now it's for inspiration + photo equipment news + reviews etc, + also to see readers' + guest photographers' pic's. I also find inspiration from books + internet, including pixalo, of course

I wish I could take a photography course. Not an option at this time, but maybe one day.

Books are my main source of learning, and I find it interesting that subjects covered by different authors often give you a wider learning experience, as even pro photographers often see and/or explain things differently. i.e. You might find a particular concept difficult to grasp from reading one book, but suddenly it becomes crystal clear when explained in another way, i.e. by a different author.

Fiona, photography books are not all text. Most of them are brimming with the author's own images for illustration purposes, which are very useful, as they will usually give you the spec's of how that image was captured, i.e. camera settings + other useful how-to information. I've found one or two which I've read to be hard going, but not many at all. I usually get them from the library, and if I find that I want to keep referring to the book, then I've bought it to keep on my bookshelf as a handy reference.

Back to the topic of unstructured learning: Personally I would find it near impossible to learn photography purely from trial + error, because certain techniques exist which are complex + cannot be self taught (i.e. without some sort of instruction), and whilst such techniques may not be vital to taking good photographs, they do enable you to take control of your photography so that you can consistently achieve desired results with every photograph you take. That's what I'm aiming for (I've a long way to go, mind ).

In addition to learning from books, of course you have to put the theory into practice, it's not much good having all this info in your head if you can't do it yourself. This is where trial + error comes in. And as one learned member said, practice makes 'better'.

I don't get out with my camera nearly as much as I'd like to, but I do when I can. Sometimes spontaneously, but only when it's planned that way

Last edited by Charlotte; 17-10-2007 at 00:35.
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