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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb Inspiration & Perspiration

    You know ...

    A lot of new photographers (under a two year experience) tend to believe that their inspiration will carry them through on their shooting, they just have to learn how to shoot it. This is Inspiration (a wonderful thing) and Perspiration ( a necessary thing to make your "Inspiration" a reality).

    Unfortunately, inspiration doesn't last that long. Like a love affair with the most beautiful of women ... your 'favorite meal' gets a little jaundiced after a while and you need something to re-inspire you on your merry way. In photography, often a novel-looking subject provides -> Inspiration. You will work long and hard to reproduce your inspired shot, hoping the light holds up and the subject doesn't disappear. With any luck, you get your shot ... but, now what? That mission was accomplished and you are now left with the bill for the gear you used and now ... no subject left to shoot. -> Perspiration!

    So the cycle continues ... only your inspiration doesn't show up. You've got all this gear and no place to play. What do you do? Where do you go? How are you going to explain it to the 'SO' (<- see definition in 'Common SONY Photography Acronyms' thread posting)?

    I find that when I need a solution to this problem, I look at other people's work, in magazines, books, and other publications. I look at the basic concept of the shot and imagine how I would shoot it ... with what I have on hand. I then explore notion of doing something similar to inspire another sequence of "directed perspiration", which is really just way of saying doing what we love to do, because "getting there" is half the fun!

    Of course you don't want to spend half your life setting up every shot up. Framing can be magical and a few "gimmes" along the way are always welcome. But, do not fool yourself. This is legitimate work. People pay for what is produced. They need it, they want it ... you can make it happen. You have the tool ... you should be developing the knowledge and skill to produce the 'final product.' So, take a deep breath and ...

    GET THE SHOT!

    The camera only does what YOU tell it to, nothing more. Take charge of your hobby ... and blow 'em away with it.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-07-2009 at 09:08 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Oy Oy, I couldn't agree more Don.

    With digital photography, there aren't many other endeavors which provide instant feed back and allow you to make immediate adjustments to bring to life what the brain behind the lens and camera body is envisioning. In my chosen profession that pays the bills and allows me the opportunity to drop the coin for the likes of the A900, the results of my endeavors usually take 2-5 years to come to fruition.

    More important, in my humble opinion, a true photographer sees that which everyone else is too busy to notice, or sees things in a way that others never really thought about. It's not about pressing the shutter button and hoping for a good shot. It's about framing a vision ... do I want a wide view, do I want a close cropped shot, do I want to adjust the aperature so the background out of focus (because it otherwise looks like $%#@ or because it emphasizes my subhect), do I want to freeze the motion or do I want to emphasize motion through a slow shutter speed. And, okay, every now and then we are presented with a right time, right place, right moment shot. (That's why my camera spends a lot of time with me.) But admit it, those little jewels are few and far between. More often you just have to work at it....

    and EXPERIMENT.

    For example, yesterday I noticed the Crepe Myrtles were starting to bloom, so today while taking the dog to the dog park, I stopped to take a few close-ups. Then the wind picked up a bit. Not good for clear close-ups. So, I changed vision and switched to a slow shutter speed and smaller aperature to emphasize the movement.

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    A900 w/ Tamron 70-200, M setting, 90mm, f/22, 1/30 sec, ISO-100

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    A900 w/ Tamron 70-200, M setting, 90mm, f/32, 1/15 sec, ISO 100, +.3 step

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    A900 w/ Tamron 70-200, M setting, 200mm, f/32, 1/15 sec, ISO 100, +.3 step

    and my favorite of the group ... check out the POTD thread.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    I find my self cycling through periods of lots of shooting, and periods of not shooting so much. I have realized that I probably won't be an everyday shooter like Ryan, but I am finding more joy in practicing some, and really getting into it when the camera is needed. I shot that wedding at the end of may, and then went to look3 in june, and both were tons of fun and inspiration and shooting. After those weekends I was happy to put the camera down for a while.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by laydros View Post
    I find my self cycling through periods of lots of shooting, and periods of not shooting so much. I have realized that I probably won't be an everyday shooter like Ryan, but I am finding more joy in practicing some, and really getting into it when the camera is needed. I shot that wedding at the end of may, and then went to look3 in june, and both were tons of fun and inspiration and shooting. After those weekends I was happy to put the camera down for a while.
    I am not an everyday shooter by any means, haha!

    I go through the same cycles. Coming off of July 4 weekend (~600 photos taken, many fireworks, which I can't bear to look at any more), I'm in a slow period. I'm definitely not doing 365 next year (some days there's just nothing that interesting to shoot around me) and posting bleh is bleh . Probably going for more quality in 2010, we'll see.

    It's usually when I have nowhere to go that things get really slow and boring. I feel that coming up soon.... lol.

    I'd like to get new stuff, but even being not sure of what to get and knowing even if I did have new stuff, I wouldn't have much to do with it anyway. So bleh, this is making me depressed just thinking of it.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161
    There also comes a time when the inspiration wanes to the point that no amount of perspiration seems to revive it! Worse yet is when perspiration both physcial and mental still result in images that are less then inspiring. Then you take a long hard honest look at yourself and what you wnat of the hobby. I have been doing this for just over a year now, yes I know thats not very long at all, but a few others here started in about the same time. I look at their work and see that they have eclipsed me by miles. I understand the concepts, and have a pretty good grasp on the technical aspects of producing digital images. However skill talent and physical ability just arent there. I have been a coach and I know the saying practice practice, then practice some more, well yes that is true, but you do expect to see improvement down the line. I never intended to become a photogrpher, I just wanted to be able to take good photos. I had hoped my skill level and my ability to capture different types and styles of images would continue to grow and provide new challenges and options in a hobby. I have allowed it to become at times a excercise in frustration and dissapointment, I understnad that I have allowed this mind set to settle in. I have even thought about packing it all up and selling it, buy a 'top end' point and shoot and accept myself for what I am capable of.
    Sony A700_____________Minolta AF 50mm. F/1.7
    Minolta AF 70-210mm F/3.5-4.5 Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DiII LD Asp. [IF]
    Tamron SP AF 70-200mm. F/2.8 DI LD [IF] Macro
    Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
    Tokina AF 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5
    Tokina AF AT-X 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6
    http://flickr.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Cool Gettin' the paper

    I think taking some classes are in order, Sean. Once you go formal ... then the assignments become a challenge and it opens your eyes to new possibilities. I had more fun doing the school thing ... and followed it until I got the certificate. It doesn't matter how long it takes ... the fun is in the journey and what you learn along the way.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I think taking some classes are in order, Sean.
    That's what I'll be doing in the fall. This forum has proven to be a great source of knowledge and experience, and while I've been reading tons about photography, I figured several Community College classes on photography would help cement the fundamentals and provide structured experimentation. Who knows, I might continue on and get the certificate, just because.

    Besides, even here in expensive So. Cal., Community College classes are cheap. Less than the price of most private one-day photography classes for sixteen weeks worth of classes.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Wink Getting it wet ... with permission

    I believe my greatest strides were in understanding lighting and shutter control.

    I had some real fun with that stuff ... and it lit a fire.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Sean, most of your posted stuff has been technically demanding indoor basketball.
    I think the quality of those shots has improved in the last year.
    If you're a bit stuck and unhappy with what you are producing, I'm sure there are people here more than willing to assist (or try to).

    Why don't you post an image you're not happy with and tell us..
    why it falls short of expectations
    what you were trying to achieve
    what equipment was used
    the XIF data

    The response may reassure and point you in a better direction.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,417
    Quote Originally Posted by seanhoxx View Post
    There also comes a time when the inspiration wanes to the point that no amount of perspiration seems to revive it! Worse yet is when perspiration both physcial and mental still result in images that are less then inspiring. Then you take a long hard honest look at yourself and what you wnat of the hobby. I have been doing this for just over a year now, yes I know thats not very long at all, but a few others here started in about the same time. I look at their work and see that they have eclipsed me by miles. I understand the concepts, and have a pretty good grasp on the technical aspects of producing digital images. However skill talent and physical ability just arent there. I have been a coach and I know the saying practice practice, then practice some more, well yes that is true, but you do expect to see improvement down the line. I never intended to become a photogrpher, I just wanted to be able to take good photos. I had hoped my skill level and my ability to capture different types and styles of images would continue to grow and provide new challenges and options in a hobby. I have allowed it to become at times a excercise in frustration and dissapointment, I understnad that I have allowed this mind set to settle in. I have even thought about packing it all up and selling it, buy a 'top end' point and shoot and accept myself for what I am capable of.
    sean, with all due respect, that's all complete and utter bullshit. tell me who else on this forum tries to shoot indoor basketball in low light ? no one. even though this forum completely disagrees with me, for the purposes of what your shooting you picked the wrong lens and in all honesty the wrong dslr for the best outcome. i hate to break that to you and be so direct about it, but its just a fact. the sony sensor is not great in low light and the tamron focusses way too slowly. if you wanted to stick with sony either shell out for the sony 70-200 or try the slightly less sharp sigma 70-200 which has far better AF than the tammie.

    what you need to do maybe to improve your confidence level is take some images of easier stuff for a while and you will see for yourself that in different conditions you will shine just like anyone else would. dont be down on yourself here, your shooting extemely difficuly subject matter in very demanding conditions.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

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