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Old 01-31-2007, 07:18 PM   #1
suzzer99
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The Photography Thread

I have a real passion for photography and I think a pretty good eye, but know nothing of cameras or the business beyond that. I'm thinking some kind of general class that teaches the technical basics as well as what opportunities might be out there would be a good thing for me. But I'm a little lost as to where to start looking.

I don't know if I have the mentality or desire to be a pro poker player for any substantial length of time. But one thing it's brought home to me is that I really don't want to work a 9-5 anymore. Life's too short.

Here are a few of my favorite pics, let's see some of your best stuff. And I've love to hear from the wealth of 2p2 knowledge on where a novice like me might start trying to learn the business. I'm not sure if there should be any ground rules for this, El D can chime in.



Near Zion Natl Park in Utah

(one of the few times in my life I've gotten a lump in my throat when I looked through the view finder - on a total back road from Zion to Bryce canyon that I *almost* didn't take - always take the back roads - I want to move to So. Utah - I took about 40 pics of this scene, and the first one was the best, weird how often that happens)




Dawn at Termini Station in Rome

(I have another one just like this w/o the dude in it, but I think he makes it more interesting - what's your story sir?)




Li River - near Guillin, China

(it's funny how when you take a pic like this, your first impulse is to get only the nature part and avoid something like these umbrellas - but the umbrellas make the pic imo - I'm fascinated by nature mixed with man-made stuff in the same shot)




88th Floor of the Grand Hyatt - Shanghai

(this pic grows on me more and more - at first you don't notice that the dark spot in the foreground to the right is a person, but I think your subconscious does - also I really like the lines of the lights)




Algodones Dunes, CA

(first trip with my first non-disposable camera - probably the best picture I'll ever take in my life - just point, click and try to keep the blowing sand out my new camera - pure dumb luck)




Redondo Beach, CA

(I have a B&W version of this that looks pretty good, but it feels kind of pretentious - I have no clue about B&W - also I kind of like the glow on the horizon and the very subtle green of the fence)
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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Re: The Photography Thread

a couple of those look pretty cool. particularly the one w/ the subway bridges.

why dont you take a class at your college? my dad is a photographer and just retired after 30+ years teaching. he's free lancing now.

if you want ill send him a few of your pics and ask him what he thinks just so you can get some feedback.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:32 PM   #3
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Re: The Photography Thread

I have a couple of sweet pics from Morocco that I've been wanting to show off. I'm generally not much of a picture guy, as I sorta hate carrying a camera. But these came out pretty good.

I'll post when I get home from work in a few hours.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: The Photography Thread

Thanks, and sure that would be cool. Yeah local college is where I was going to start looking. I just was wondering if there was something out there I'm not aware of.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:34 PM   #5
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Re: The Photography Thread

Great thread topic and pictures Suzzer, I love the Dunes and Zion ones especially.

Here's one I've always liked; I took this at the base of Vernal Falls in Yosemite:



Here's a shot of a canal in Amsterdam that I thought turned out really well:



I may look for some more later, but I'm excited to see how this thread turns out
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: The Photography Thread

These are re-posts from the prior thread, but it will serve me as a reminder to find/process some more when I get a chance...


The Golden Gate Bridge is actually quite small:



Solitude:



Somewhere between San Jose and Mount Hamilton:



The Thunderbirds at Moffett Field:


Progression of youth:
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:42 PM   #7
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Re: The Photography Thread

WOW. That Yosemite one is awesome. Do you get the feeling, like I do, that you may have taken the best picture you'll ever take? I'm not complaining, just wondering if others get the same feeling.

I love yosemite, I was actually thinking about going there next week to try to get some cool winter shots. But it looks like right now they don't have much snow. I wonder what might be a good place to go w/in a days drive of LA.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:42 PM   #8
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Re: The Photography Thread

By-tor: awesome! I love the beach, lady on bench, and GG bridge pics. Seems like landscapes may be the way to go in this thread
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:44 PM   #9
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Re: The Photography Thread

I have some cool b&w shots I took in Chicago that I will post later in this thread.

But for now, I just want to address one major flaw I keep seeing in pictures people take of friends. When you're shooting a frame, keep in mind the composition of the image -- where the subject lies in the frame. (Yes, obviously pics can be cropped digitally after the fact, but it's easier just to shoot it correctly).

First, imagine the frame in a grid with 9 squares like so, with four intersecting points:



The focus of your shot should be where the lines intersect, not in the direct center of the frame. If you're shooting a person, the eyes should be right at the cross points.

A bad composition leaves too much headroom, and places the person awkwardly in the middle of the frame, like this:



Instead, try putting them to one side and take off some of the headroom, so their eyes are at one of the two upper-edge cross-points:



Furthermore, if you're shooting a close-up, forget about trying to put the whole head in the frame. This usually makes the person too low in the shot.



It's ok to crop off some of their hair/head in order to get better framing in a closeup.





This advice will be pretty 101-obvious to most people, but I still see a lot of novice photographers make these bad mistakes, and therefore all your party pics and memorable moments are ruined by crappy composition.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:46 PM   #10
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Re: The Photography Thread

Actually I'm really into closeups and artsy-fartsy stuff, I just don't know how to do it yet. Love to see anything that looks cool.

One thing I was thinking if I ever get the balls is to drive around LA and take pictures of trashy strip malls and other stuff in the hood and barrio. I'm sure it's been done, but I bet there are still plenty of amazing shots out there waiting to be taken.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:49 PM   #11
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Re: The Photography Thread

I recently saw this pic that i thought was great by a photog in Iraq.

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Old 01-31-2007, 07:50 PM   #12
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Re: The Photography Thread

Bytor, the ppl on the beach is awesome. Like the stages of life or something.

Edit: duh, just saw your caption
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:52 PM   #13
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Re: The Photography Thread

A couple more since I'm trying to do anything but study for my midterm.


Ancient Roman Ruins on the southern coast of Turkey:




A friend of mine standing in front of a projector:

I think this is still my favorite picture I ever took, but I took it on my old super low res camera, and it was really just a lucky shot
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:52 PM   #14
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Re: The Photography Thread

Quote:
But for now, I just want to address one major flaw I keep seeing in pictures people take of friends. When you're shooting a frame, keep in mind the composition of the image -- where the subject lies in the frame. (Yes, obviously pics can be cropped digitally after the fact, but it's easier just to shoot it correctly).
good post PJ, one thing i see a lot of that is quick to adjust is when shooting landscape people shoot too much sky. generally sky should be in the top 1/3 of the frame; land in the bottom 2/3.

oh and to anyone really interested, checkout www.photo.net it's the photo version of 2+2.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:53 PM   #15
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Re: The Photography Thread

Quote:
Bytor, the ppl on the beach is awesome. Like the stages of life or something.
Thanks!

That is actually one of my favorite photos I have ever taken. I got very fortunate with that shot. It is only cropped a very small portion at the top for composure.

I went back and edited to add captions prior to your post and it looks like we have the same line of thinking on that one...
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:01 PM   #16
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Re: The Photography Thread

I know what you mean about your first instinct wanting to be to capture strictly the nature.

This wasn't a nature shot, but I was expecting to later crop out the people in the corner. On looking at the shot later I realize they made the picture.



I love lines and shadow:



My current desktop:


And out my other window:
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:02 PM   #17
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Re: The Photography Thread


This is one I took at my parents house in palm springs, it was 2 photo's that I stuck togeather so I could use it for my desktop background.



This is just a random one that I took of some beach condo on Coronado island, but for some reason I enjoy it.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:03 PM   #18
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Re: The Photography Thread


























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Old 01-31-2007, 08:34 PM   #19
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Re: The Photography Thread

pj,

Mind going into a little more detail on why the no examples are wrong and why the yes examples are correct? I've never heard of this before.

I can understand the nature shots with the 1/3 sky & 1/3 land, but if you're taking pictures of friends, and it's just the friends you care about and not where they are at, then why would you offset them?
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:42 PM   #20
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Re: The Photography Thread

Iggy -- it just looks better and it's more flattering. By framing somebody so their entire head is in a closeup, their chin ends up being too low to the bottom of the frame, their eyes too far down, and it's not as powerful.

In a wider shot, offsetting them a bit to the thirds of the frame as opposed to halfway in just provides a better composition. Your eyes have a natural rectangular field of vision, not a square or round one. That is, you can see more off to the sides than you can above and below in your periphery. Therefore, it's more pleasing to see images that sit from side to side (this is why film aspect ratios are wider than they are tall -- "widescreen") than ones that are narrow and make you read it from top to bottom.

EDIT: Here's a good example from "Kill Bill," shot by one of the best DPs in the biz, Bob Richardson (he also shot A Few Good Men, JFK, and Snow Falling On Cedars)/



And from a Chinese action flick:



You just want the strongest subjects of the frame in those intersecting points.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:44 PM   #21
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Re: The Photography Thread

Quote:
pj,

Mind going into a little more detail on why the no examples are wrong and why the yes examples are correct? I've never heard of this before.

I can understand the nature shots with the 1/3 sky & 1/3 land, but if you're taking pictures of friends, and it's just the friends you care about and not where they are at, then why would you offset them?

Another decent explanation of the Rule Of Thirds.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:48 PM   #22
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Re: The Photography Thread

Okay, so say you're taking a wide shot of a group of people. How would you go about doing this offsetting them?

From what you said, I see 2 options :

1)Cutting someone out of the picture (probably not an option)

2)Pulling back to you can get everyone in the shot while still offsetting them

What if you can't pull back though?

======================

Help a guy out here. My picture taking sucks and I usually end up deleting most picture I take because I think they look horrible.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:54 PM   #23
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Re: The Photography Thread

You don't have to offset a group. I'm talking more about individual shots.

But no matter how many people are in the frame, don't make the mistake of giving them too much headroom. Take the tallest person in the shot, line up the top of their head with the top of the frame, and there's your composition.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:14 PM   #24
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Re: The Photography Thread

Wow, some great shots in this thread! I especially like Suzzer's dunes, By-tors beach and all of Divides-by-zero's.

Here's one I took recently while trying out my new macro lens:

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Old 01-31-2007, 09:17 PM   #25
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Re: The Photography Thread

d_b_z,

Your current desktop is where I lived freshman year. By the looks of your other photo, you live in Cambridge. The pic out the other window; Is that park right over the BU Bridge? I've seen that building before, but I didn't think there was one that close to that park.

I really like that shot of the leaves, btw.
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