Where/from who did you guy's learn to take pictures?

This is a discussion on Where/from who did you guy's learn to take pictures? within the Photography Discussion forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; What's all your best resources for tips and tutorials? Or did you learn all by yourself? Tell me about it!...


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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Where/from who did you guy's learn to take pictures?

    What's all your best resources for tips and tutorials? Or did you learn all by yourself? Tell me about it!


  • #2
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    I learned from my mother.

    Cameron

  • #3
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    You make it seem as if we've "arrived". I believe everyone is (or should be) continuously learning. Photography is one of those "journey" things... not a "destination" thing.

    While I did my share of camera & darkroom classes back in school, and read a lot of books, and did a lot of shooting on my own. Probably the biggest impact was when I started apprenticing (as a teen) for a professional photographer. Like all apprenticeships, this starts out with the mundane tasks... carrying gear, setting things up, holding the side-light, reloading the film magazines, etc. While that "sounds" mundane... when you're constantly setting up lighting, and your boss tells you not just _where_ to put the light, but _why_ to put the light there and how to know that it's pointed and adjusted correctly ... and you see the impact & affect this has on the shot, you tend to learn a lot even though you're not the person with the camera. One of his pieces of sage wisdom was this: he told me that every time you're flipping through a magazine (or anything really) and you come across a photo that you REALLY like, something with "stopping value", study the photo... deconstruct everything about it. Try to determine where every light in the room must have been positioned and if light modifiers were used. Study the styling of the scene, the posing of the subjects, etc. That advice really made me open my eyes to the world of photography because I could no longer just look at a photo and take it for granted. I realized that photos like the ones I really like didn't just "happen" by accident. A lot of care went into making them happen. When, ultimately, I was the person with the camera -- I realized that I knew a lot more than just how to operate the controls on the camera to snap a photo.

    While this sounds like I had learned a lot, THEN I met an art photographer. This gentlemen was a protege of Ansel Adams. I met him at a photography show, but we had talked enough that he extended an invitation to me to attend one of his photography classes (the classes were free except for the cost of materials and held at his house -- by invitation only.) He had invited perhaps a half dozen of us to participate. But this was a completely new way of looking at photography... now everything was shot in black & white (which gave me a completely new perspective.) Suddenly things like texture and structure and pattern and rhythm and contrast are much more noticeable and significant to an image. He shoots mostly using large format view cameras -- you can't be in a hurry to take the photo, but the results are often astonishing.

    I've never done sports or action photography, and I've never done street photography or photojournalism. But I've done some food photography and that was another huge learning curve (actually I should say "still is" a learning curve since I really do have to think hard about every shot. I feel I've barely scratched the surface on what I can learn about that.) When I did weddings, these were all shot with medium format (Hasselblad V series) cameras and a single prime (80mm on a medium format is "normal") lens. I can think very well when dealing with a "normal" lens. I've done enough shooting with telephoto and zoom lenses (and particularly do enjoy exploiting the compression aspects of the focal length) that I'm comfortable there... but I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm not particularly good at shooting things in wide angle. Sure I can use the lens... but I don't really feel like I use it effectively to take advantage of the perspective it offers.

    This is what I mean by "continuously learning". Photography offers near unending opportunities for creativity and more learning. Every time you change the type of photography, it's a whole new learning curve.
    Tim Campbell

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by TCampbell View Post
    You make it seem as if we've "arrived". I believe everyone is (or should be) continuously learning. Photography is one of those "journey" things... not a "destination" thing.

    While I did my share of camera & darkroom classes back in school, and read a lot of books, and did a lot of shooting on my own. Probably the biggest impact was when I started apprenticing (as a teen) for a professional photographer. Like all apprenticeships, this starts out with the mundane tasks... carrying gear, setting things up, holding the side-light, reloading the film magazines, etc. While that "sounds" mundane... when you're constantly setting up lighting, and your boss tells you not just _where_ to put the light, but _why_ to put the light there and how to know that it's pointed and adjusted correctly ... and you see the impact & affect this has on the shot, you tend to learn a lot even though you're not the person with the camera. One of his pieces of sage wisdom was this: he told me that every time you're flipping through a magazine (or anything really) and you come across a photo that you REALLY like, something with "stopping value", study the photo... deconstruct everything about it. Try to determine where every light in the room must have been positioned and if light modifiers were used. Study the styling of the scene, the posing of the subjects, etc. That advice really made me open my eyes to the world of photography because I could no longer just look at a photo and take it for granted. I realized that photos like the ones I really like didn't just "happen" by accident. A lot of care went into making them happen. When, ultimately, I was the person with the camera -- I realized that I knew a lot more than just how to operate the controls on the camera to snap a photo.

    While this sounds like I had learned a lot, THEN I met an art photographer. This gentlemen was a protege of Ansel Adams. I met him at a photography show, but we had talked enough that he extended an invitation to me to attend one of his photography classes (the classes were free except for the cost of materials and held at his house -- by invitation only.) He had invited perhaps a half dozen of us to participate. But this was a completely new way of looking at photography... now everything was shot in black & white (which gave me a completely new perspective.) Suddenly things like texture and structure and pattern and rhythm and contrast are much more noticeable and significant to an image. He shoots mostly using large format view cameras -- you can't be in a hurry to take the photo, but the results are often astonishing.

    I've never done sports or action photography, and I've never done street photography or photojournalism. But I've done some food photography and that was another huge learning curve (actually I should say "still is" a learning curve since I really do have to think hard about every shot. I feel I've barely scratched the surface on what I can learn about that.) When I did weddings, these were all shot with medium format (Hasselblad V series) cameras and a single prime (80mm on a medium format is "normal") lens. I can think very well when dealing with a "normal" lens. I've done enough shooting with telephoto and zoom lenses (and particularly do enjoy exploiting the compression aspects of the focal length) that I'm comfortable there... but I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm not particularly good at shooting things in wide angle. Sure I can use the lens... but I don't really feel like I use it effectively to take advantage of the perspective it offers.

    This is what I mean by "continuously learning". Photography offers near unending opportunities for creativity and more learning. Every time you change the type of photography, it's a whole new learning curve.
    Yes, that is a good point. And nice story too you definitely had a lot to say about this.

  • #5
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    A good friend in school started the ball rolling for me: I often check what I'm doing even today against the advice they gave me 30 odd years ago! Whilst I have had a more modest enjoyment from photography over the years, my friend went on to have a stunning photographic career in both the UK and USA, and is the head of a university fine arts department these days. I got lucky at the beginning and have been open to learning from others, as well as from my own efforts, ever since.
    Photography is a portal through which we are transported to other worlds

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Berg View Post
    A good friend in school started the ball rolling for me: I often check what I'm doing even today against the advice they gave me 30 odd years ago! Whilst I have had a more modest enjoyment from photography over the years, my friend went on to have a stunning photographic career in both the UK and USA, and is the head of a university fine arts department these days. I got lucky at the beginning and have been open to learning from others, as well as from my own efforts, ever since.
    Do you have a career in photography?

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    Quote Originally Posted by castroincome View Post
    Do you have a career in photography?
    No, for me it's just a hobby.
    Photography is a portal through which we are transported to other worlds

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    It's a hobby for me as well. I learn from error and comments from boards like this one. Fortunately settling down from a wild youth allowed me to see beauty in life. Now I'm trying respectfully to capture it.

  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael79 View Post
    It's a hobby for me as well. I learn from error and comments from boards like this one. Fortunately settling down from a wild youth allowed me to see beauty in life. Now I'm trying respectfully to capture it.
    Nice, me too mostly. I try to teach people as a hobby as well, through a website me and a friend made (the one in my sig) but I'm definitely no pro.

    My father actually was big in photography so that's where I learned most of my stuff but I also took some photography classes in highschool.

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    Self Bump


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