I'll come up with something in a minute.

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IMGP9814 by greyweirdo
IMGP9814, a photo by greyweirdo on Flickr.

February 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Photo Dump – February 2013 (Part 08)

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February 20, 2013 Posted by | Photo | , | Leave a comment

You really want to know, don’t you?

On a rare occasion, someone who actually wants to know will ask about how to take better photos.

This is the kind of advice I give them.

Step #1: Get a Camera
Step #2: Take about a hundred thousand pictures.

Yeah, still the same advice, but I give more details because they actually want to know. Here is the honest and objective(ish) truth behind my feeling for photography – You can’t learn art. I really and truly believe that. You can learn drawing, or how to play guitar, or sculpt clay, or do the things photoshop artists do, but you cannot learn to see things and to notice the details in things. You can’t learn to translate an emotion if you never have that emotion. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.

I said that on the other post, but I’ll say it again and again. You can learn how to compose a shot, you can learn what lights to use, you can learn how to manipulate film or what all the little buttons on photoshop actually do, but if you have no art in your soul… then nothing. I am have grown old enough to know that there are some people who have no art in their soul. I have no idea what to do about them, but it’s a fact. Maybe, if they were reached when they were younger, but at their advanced age? No. Maybe if they found a sufficiently patient teacher, but as I can barely stand to be around them it’s probably not me. This isn’t about so-called talent, by the way. Talent is a squishy word that requires a hell of a lot of modifiers. This is about the desire to do something. Create something, record something, show something, be part of something, what have you. Desire and drive.

So you’ve got the desire, and you’ve got the drive, and you have $300 and you want to start shooting photos. So you start looking as cameras and WOAH! THAT $300 WON’T GO FAR! Slow down, the world hasn’t ended. Those are some of the really high end models we just looked at there. That’s not as big a problem as you might think. You went looking in the wrong direction is all. You don’t want those when you start out anyway. Check this out, Pentax, Canon, Fuji, Sony, and Nikon all make cameras under $300. And if you’re really on a budget, $60 will get you a Kodak Easyshare. You’ll notice those are all fixed lenses, no interchanging, but that’s good at this stage. Two reasons, the first being that there’s no shame in starting small, and the second is that if this doesn’t work out then you haven’t made a huge investment.

You may not dig photography as much as you think you will, I mean once you get into it. Images can be temperamental and annoying things to work with. You can learn a lot of basics with a little point and shoot, and then you can have a great sense of accomplishment when you trade up to the real grown-up camera. Okay, that’s how I felt when I bought my Pentax. Go to the store, hold one in your hand, download the owner’s manuals, read some reviews, pick on that is going to work for you. Or have one thrust upon you because your mother-in-law thinks your family needs a camera and bought this one. Whatever.

You take as many pictures with that thing as you can. Shoot everything and everywhere they will let you. I go to the zoo and Greenfield Village a lot, because I can and there are things to photograph. The restrictions of a single lens will be good for you, as will learning how to goof all the automatic functions. You need to learn the rules and then break the rules because… I dunno. Art and stuff I expect.

Shoot with that camera, shoot a lot, that’s the point. Shoot until you start to feel that you can go no further with the camera. It may be a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but a good craftsman can also admit that there are better tools than this. That’s when you start to save up and look toward buying an expensive camera with extra lenses and tripods and lights and flash attachments, and reflectors and everything.

You’ll notice I still haven’t talked about taking a class in here, that’s because I never have. I’ve thought about it, but every time I try to look it up I’m told I need Introduction to Art, and a film camera, and a film camera class, and an English credit, and Advanced Alchemy, and this, and that… and I just don’t have the time, or the money to sink into that bullshit. I’ve looked them up online and I’ve tried talking to them on the phone, both situations were so wholly unsatisfactory that I gave up and walked away. I just don’t need Introduction to Art, sorry. Art and I have been introduced. Maybe you can have better luck looking up a photography class, I haven’t been able to find anything where someone wasn’t trying to sell me a five year degree process. The other classes I’ve found are of the “You point this end at the thing you’re trying to take pictures of.” variety, and I could just about teach one of those.

So yeah, get a camera, take a hundred thousand photos. You’ll be fine, just stick with it.

I have no good ending for this post, so here is a picture of one of my cats.

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February 20, 2013 Posted by | Photo | , | Leave a comment

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IMGP7313 by greyweirdo
IMGP7313, a photo by greyweirdo on Flickr.

February 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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IMGP7777 by greyweirdo
IMGP7777, a photo by greyweirdo on Flickr.

February 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment