Saturday, November 6, 2010

100+ What are we learning?

100 : 365
Young Buck

101 : 365
Pumpkin Graveyard

I didn't sign up for this project365 because I thought I took great pictures and wanted to show them off. When I signed up for this project, I wanted to use it, like Sue, to improve my photography skills. So... how am I doing?

-Using my DSLR more. I'm getting better at taking the good camera with me when I'm going someplace I know I'll be taking pictures. It also pretty much lives on the my kitchen counter, so it's the camera I grab to take a photo around the house. I'm always amazed how the better camera improves even the average photo. A prime example of this is back when I took the pictures of my brother in laws ashes at the bottom of a jar. I began with my tiny point and shoot, then grabbed the DSLR. The difference in the pictures was great.

-Using more of the functions on my DSLR. I'm pretty much failing at this. There have been several times when I WISHED I knew how to do something, and several things I've planned to look up how to do, but I haven't done a single one yet. I did get out the manual. Months ago. I haven't actually used it, though. I want to do that. I also want to dig out the tripod.

-Taking more pictures that aren't of people. I am FAR more likely to grab the camera and take a picture of something that strikes me as pretty (a sunrise) or interesting (a dead mouse) or fun (the May Queen jumping). I've also tried to take more pictures of non humans that tell a story. I do, however, still fall into the trap of mostly taking pictures of my kid and pretty things in nature that strike my fancy.
***As I scan back through my pictures, though, I find that pictures of people are rarely the photos I post (even though I take a lot of them), and are really not among the top pictures. And since one of things I wanted to do was have better pictures of the people in my life, maybe I need to focus MORE on pictures of people. Hmm....

-I'd like to play more with setting up shots. Most of my pictures are spontaneous things I take when the mood strikes. Maybe if I paid more attention to the prompts I would do this.

-I don't take many urban pictures, or pictures of everyday things inside. They don't tend to strike me as photo worthy. However, I have seen some really cool shots of everyday items by others participating in the project and hope to do more of that, if for no other reason than to stretch my muscles. Mostly, to stretch my eye. How can I make this inanimate thing interesting in a photo?

-I am learning that perspective changes a photo A LOT. I play around with the angle from which I'm shooting. I've also played around a bit with the manual focus, particularly when taking closeup shots, and like how that can change the quality of the photo.

What about you? What are you learning... both about photography and yourself... though this project?


Anonymous said...

What I'm learning through this project is something I already knew. But like all the important lessons, it has to be learned over and over. And it has nothing at all to do with photography because I don't consider myself literate in that genre. Which is part of what I'm learning, I guess. That I see pictures through words. I'd like to be able to let words go a little better, I think, and communicate through the visual instead.

But what I'm reminding myself of is that success doesn't have to mean perfection, that sometimes just showing up is enough because some days suck a lot more than others.

Mary G said...

What a great question. And what a great answer of Cheeky Monkey's.

I am thinking hard about this, and think it needs a post.

One thing I have learned, though, is that a lot of my co-365ers are good photographers but all of them are creative, giving people and that speaks through all the shots.

Okay, where is the photo of the pumpkin with the deer toothmarks in it?

Sue said...

"I do, however, still fall into the trap of mostly taking pictures of my kid and pretty things in nature that strike my fancy."

Yup. Uh-huh. I also agree with your next statement about those shots not always being selected as the picture of the day.

Let's see, what have I learned?

Like Gwen, I still rely to heavily on words but if I can be like Gwen in my reliance on words, then I will be happy with how they shape my photos b/c I do envy the way she yokes the two.

I use my DSLR regularly now. I can tell you why a 50mm lens is da-bomb. I have played far more with depth of field, shutter speed, manual focus, shifting focal point/weight, manipulating light with ISO and white balance settings, taking continuous shots in order to capture a moment, and shooting in black and white than I ever had in the past.

I now know what bokeh is and that I kinda like playing with it a lot. I also realize that I am draw to extreme close-ups to the point where I fear my year will look myopic. I must force myself to stand back from the object I want to shoot. I also realize that when I go back over my shots, it tends to be the long-shots I prefer b/c they are such a welcome relief in what is a never-ending stream of close-ups.

I have more to say but might have to wait 'til I post tonight b/c, apparently, I am late for a shift on the reference desk. Eep!