Ditto what has been said by several people already- shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot more. Then get yourself in the darkroom and print, print, print and print more. The only way you're going to get a feel for what the tools will do is to use them extensively. When you've shot and printed enough, you'll just KNOW when you're looking at a scene how it will render on film and on paper. You'll know when looking at any given scene if you'll have blown-out highlights or detail-less shadows depending on which way you expose, and which of those is the lesser of two evils for what you want to achieve. Or if a scene will render so flat and monotone that you can't coax either a highlight or a deep shadow out of it, and if that's what you want also.
Just get your feet (and your hands) wet and do a lot more.
If you want a visualization exercise, go find the work of some photographer whose work you like, and study it carefully. What do they focus on - is it abstract patterns and design, is it movement, is it detail, is it sweeping landscapes? Whatever it is, go out and look for that, and shoot that way. Take it as inspiration, not something to copy. If you find someone's use of texture interesting, then go out and look at the world from the perspective of looking at the texture of things. Look at how light creates and obliterates texture. Pay attention to the kind of light that creates the effect you are drawn to - is it flat, is it hard, is it bright, is it soft? Is it direct, is it oblique? Pay attention to how you are seeing these things when you notice them - are you close, are you far, are you looking down, or up? When you start thinking about HOW you see, you'll have a much easier time figuring out what to photograph. You'll quickly find yourself ALWAYS wanting to have your camera on hand, because you'll be seeing things everywhere, all the time.
thanks. good stuff.
Thanks for the words of wisdom. I like asking for advice on forums because the answers cover the entire spectrum. Thanks again!
Go buy the first volume of Betty Edwards' "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," where she'll teach you how to turn off the left, language-oriented side of the brain and see with the spatially-oriented right side, which is much more useful to seeing photogrraphs. I now pretty much "shift to right-brain mode" as soon as I look through a viewfinder. I see in shapes and tones then, and avoid giving anything a label, which is a word, like "rock," "moving water," etc. Only shapes and tones. You learn this through exercise and practice, which is why you need the book.
This is best learned by doing a number of her early exercises, which are also a lot of fun, and can be done just about anytime, anywhere. I first did them learning how to draw seats in airports as I was waiting for flights.
The most fascinating part: ego is left-brained, and requires language to express itself, and thinking in words is precisely what we're trying to avoid. As soon as I hear myself saying to myself "Wow! This is gonna be a really good picture!" I can guarantee that it won't be. If you can keep ego out of the way, your photographs will improve 100% overnight.
All good suggestions .... when I am not actively photographing, which I haven't been for the past 6 or so weeks (due to out of the ordinary rainfall), I go over books from my favorite photographers. You can see my list at: http://www.visionlandscapes.com/Reso...Resource=Books. I just finished reading 'Tom Mackie's Landscape Photography Secrets'.
(that I can look at a print and say "that is good, and it is exactly what I wanted to happen.")
I think you are close, I would add phrase "and it is exactly what I feel and what makes me moved". In any case, assume you are the most important audience.
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Try some mindfulness meditation to help with being in the present ands seeing the world around you better. Its great stuff!
Three quotes that should be considered while we do all this ...
"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm".
- Winston Churchill.
"Visions are worth fighting for.
We cannot compromise our lives by chasing someone else's dreams."
- Orson Wells in the motion picture "Ed Wood".
"Life expands and contracts in direct proportion to one's courage."
- Anais Nin.
Last edited by Ed Sukach; 04-13-2006 at 05:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Ed Sukach, FFP.