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October 01, 2014, 03:24:21 PM
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Susan
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« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2008, 08:37:24 AM »

Right. I have a bit of that in my bio. Years and years ago I saw a show that was stressing that point. People were saying of course those famous photographers take fantastic picturse, look at all that fansy expensice equipment! So they armed them with digital cams and gave expensive ones to regular novices to see what happened. It showed it's not the brush that makes the painting great but the artist. It's their eye

Naturally a nice brush gives you more flexibility, however..lol  I have that giant photography book and have always looked at old photos (and i mean OLD) to study what is it about that photo that stirs emotion. I'm not into that new modern photography where they might take a picture of plastic manniquins broken into pieces in the desert to portray some kind of a point.

i'm trying to really play with the camera i have (it's not cheap but it's no slr). I've argued with a friend who also is trying his hand at this and lives in an amazing country with beautiful landscapes that I have nothing to photograph around here! It's true, i live in a place where surburban houses span miles, and the city is nothing more than endless shopping centers of subway and geico. So when we run our challenges, i feel that i am more challenged..lol  Although i have to admit i've always wanted to take really good pics of people, candid shots. Everyday life, walking the streets kind of shots.

But you just can't capture that at the local walmart..lol

i've also found that being a woman limits me a bit, just as being a man might in other aspects. While men might get a weird look if they start photographing people on the streets (becasue i know here where i live if you're a male and your taking pics that in any way involve children your going to end up on the news), I as a woman have another issue. I've found myself predawn in a desolate area by a creek or something. I got carried away with my adventures that I realized it's probably not a good idea as a woman to be alone in such a place so I had to get the hell out of there. We got all kinds of wackos around here, i'm not in the thick of the country where you're not likely to run into anyone.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 08:45:56 AM by Susan » Logged
Menard
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2008, 09:34:54 AM »

i'm trying to really play with the camera i have (it's not cheap but it's no slr). I've argued with a friend who also is trying his hand at this and lives in an amazing country with beautiful landscapes that I have nothing to photograph around here! It's true, i live in a place where surburban houses span miles, and the city is nothing more than endless shopping centers of subway and geico. So when we run our challenges, i feel that i am more challenged..lol  Although i have to admit i've always wanted to take really good pics of people, candid shots. Everyday life, walking the streets kind of shots.

But you just can't capture that at the local walmart..lol

i've also found that being a woman limits me a bit, just as being a man might in other aspects. While men might get a weird look if they start photographing people on the streets (becasue i know here where i live if you're a male and your taking pics that in any way involve children your going to end up on the news), I as a woman have another issue. I've found myself predawn in a desolate area by a creek or something. I got carried away with my adventures that I realized it's probably not a good idea as a woman to be alone in such a place so I had to get the hell out of there. We got all kinds of wackos around here, i'm not in the thick of the country where you're not likely to run into anyone.



My first comment may seem a little harsh, but take it for what you think it's worth:

Stop making excuses for yourself.


First of all, you have two things that make for a good photographer: a good eye (by that, I mean seeing something in a photographic sense, not a measure of your vision); and enthusiasm.

I don't have that kind of enthusiasm. It may surprise you, but a lot of working photographers, at least several that I know, do not carry their cameras with them everywhere they go, and some not at all; photography is something that is done at work, and often left at work outside of family get-togethers or something like that.


Secondly, I'd rather be in the city than in the country when it comes to photography. The city is brimming with life, in people and in the objects surrounding and created by people.

One photographer I read made a contrary recommendation to another photographer who wanted to get close-ups of people in the streets. The one photographer wanted to get a telephoto lens so they could get close-ups of people's faces without having to get so close. The other photographer recommended buying a wide angle lens instead as this would force them to lose their fear of people and interact with them; as they would have to get even closer for close-ups.


Urban sprawls change by the minute. Someone painted graffiti on a wall. A child walking down the street is happy with the ice cream cone they have, but if the ice cream falls off, they are very sad. Every moment where there are people around is an opportunity for dozens of photo ops, if not more; whether this is in the people themselves or their surroundings.

I disagree with you; you have far more opportunity for photographs in a city where architecture, people, animals, shapes, lines, and emotions are abundant, and different by the minute compared to beautiful landscapes that, save for weather and seasons, don't change much.
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2008, 10:23:30 AM »

I take it back.. the gun is good, the Menard is not *entirely* bad.

An interesting discussion.
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Susan
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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2008, 11:06:07 AM »

I agree the city is a great place. But not my city..lol I've been to cities that had life, like in boston. every turn brought you to new 'characters' and architecture and people interacting with their environment. People lived on the streets. It's different where I live. The "city" is nothing more than a series of shopping malls. There's no hustle and bustle on the streets, in fact kids don't even play outside hardly at all.  I don't live downtown where you might have more luck at running into people outside, mostly homeless at that. If I drive around the corner to a populated area, all i'm going to see is a big Kohl's and a soccar mom hauling in her kids. Not much life is brimming on the streets where I am. No graffiti or bridges, trains, vendors, people eating outside or parks with people lying on the grass of flying a kite. It's literally miles of surbuban homes and parking lots with target and tom thumb stores. There is no real character here. Now with that said, I have to drive quite a bit to get to the seedier areas of town that ARE interesting.

I think that's the disappointing thing about the direction many cities are taking in america. We do less stuff outside, we're tearing town buildings that are older and replacing them with a giant bank of america. Our corners are littered with mcdonalds and kfc's. Kids stay inside playing their wii, and homes are cookie cutout with generic neighborhoods. I'm saying this from a perspective of where i have lived and travelled. The most interesting buildings around me i've photographed are a MOTEL! lol  Everything else is 1 story shopping centers made of concrete

So with that said, it's not excuse but simply fact. I could hang out at target and find an interesting shot but that is not what interests *me*.   Smile
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 11:08:44 AM by Susan » Logged
Menard
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« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2008, 11:39:40 AM »

So with that said, it's not excuse but simply fact. I could hang out at target and find an interesting shot but that is not what interests *me*.   Smile

*ahem*


It's always somewhere else outside of our familiarity where the interesting stuff happens. People downtown don't see the character in old dilapidated buildings they have to look at every day; but the big, fancy, new mall...now that's something. If you have to see the big, fancy mall all the time, the old brownstone looks much better.

Regardless where you are, there is something, perhaps in familiarity, and getting tired of looking at it, might be an opportunity to see something different; not always seeing the same thing.

I'll sit out in front of a Walmart store and see an abundance of people coming and going. A stray cat or dog hangs around the parking lot or seeks the shade of a tree. There's an unfinished road under construction in which someone decided to apparently put up the road sign that shows a left turn and straight through lane; too bad the straight through lane goes right into an embankment due to the road not being finished yet.

Just a guess, but I'm fairly certain that you didn't have to travel far for a coffee mug and gummy bears. One of the wonderful capabilities we have is, if nothing is there, the ability to create.

You've certainly shown the ability to see something in just a coffee cup and a necklace, and force gummy bears into sexual acts ( Buggedout).

As much as there is writer's block, there is photographer's block. As much as a page can remain blank, so can a landscape, a city street, and people's faces.

If you feel photographer's block at any point, rather than walking around with your camera looking for something, which you are likely not to find, set yourself a task of just getting out to different places close at hand or a little further down the street, but don't take your camera; often without a camera we will find reasons we wish we had a camera.

There's something there. There's always something there; but don't let your facts get in the way. TongueOut
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Derf
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« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2008, 12:23:41 PM »

I'm going to agree with Menard on this one. Susan, you have a good eye; I was impressed with the composition and quality of the photos you posted. While I acknowledge that architecture is lacking in the character that it once had, there are good photo opportunities everywhere. They are just usually easier to see when the subject matter isn't something we see every day. Got a shiny new McDonald's? Photograph a homeless person, shabbily dressed, outside of it for the contrast (then run before he hits you up for money. Or buy him a burger for letting you take his picture). Juxtapositions often make for great photos. If I recall, you are in the Dallas area. Tall buildings are always good subjects, even if they are unexciting architecturally; the magic happens in the composition, coloring, etc.

I suffer from the same "there's nothing good to photograph around here" syndrome, but when I genuinely try, I can usually find something interesting. I'm not really all that good, but I do enjoy photography, and every once in a while I turn out something nice. It's a rewarding feeling to create something beautiful out of something mundane, and I can see from your work that you can do that. Stay with it; it's a rarer talent than you think.
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Susan
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« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2008, 01:49:20 PM »

I'm going to agree with Menard on this one. Susan, you have a good eye; I was impressed with the composition and quality of the photos you posted. While I acknowledge that architecture is lacking in the character that it once had, there are good photo opportunities everywhere. They are just usually easier to see when the subject matter isn't something we see every day. Got a shiny new McDonald's? Photograph a homeless person, shabbily dressed, outside of it for the contrast (then run before he hits you up for money. Or buy him a burger for letting you take his picture). Juxtapositions often make for great photos. If I recall, you are in the Dallas area. Tall buildings are always good subjects, even if they are unexciting architecturally; the magic happens in the composition, coloring, etc.

I suffer from the same "there's nothing good to photograph around here" syndrome, but when I genuinely try, I can usually find something interesting. I'm not really all that good, but I do enjoy photography, and every once in a while I turn out something nice. It's a rewarding feeling to create something beautiful out of something mundane, and I can see from your work that you can do that. Stay with it; it's a rarer talent than you think.

I see the point everyone is making because I'm with you. I just don't want to photograph a mcdonalds. But that's ALL i'm surrounded by. Miles and miles and miles and MILES of surbuban homes and every so often you run into a shopping center with Target, Walmart, Kohls, Home Depot and every fast food chain on the moon. I don't live in Dallas either, I'm a county north of it. But also it's worth noting that there are few tall buildings in dallas, the downtown area pops into everyones head but most of dallas is flat. We have a few tall banks and that's about it. The older sectors are further south and quite a drive from me. My immediate town is new (meaning no old buildings or structures), very wealthy and nothing but houses. It's worth noting we don't have any vagrants or homeless people (not in dallas but my city) wandering around. I'm in the richest city per capita in the US, which means it's rather boring unless you want to buy a 3 million dollar home and shop.

I spent 2 hours out today driving and 90% of it was driving through very long tedious stretches of road with wall to wall homes. And I mean wall to WALL (surrounded by a wall at that) i marvel sometimes how many houses cover this area. All new, all look alike.

Then after wasting a half a tank of gas, I found a 7-11 and got a slurpee! lol It's hard to explain, you'd have to visit here to see what i mean. And when there aren't a vast sea of a jillion houses there's huge fields of open spaces of absolutely nothing but dead grass. My biggest problem is i can't just go around the corner and find something interesting, an old building with character or a place crawling with people or even a PARK! Our parks are nothing but a paved trail over freshly mowed grass that actually go under Pylon towers. My frustration comes in that i have to drive quite a ways to get anything near what will have my camera snapping.

So i do try, today i went out and the only thing that I managed to photograph was a mexican cantina that shut down, apparently restaurants don't do well in my neck of the woods unless it's called Chili's or appebee's. It was right next door to chuck e cheese so i was trying hard not to get that damn mouse into my shot.

Derf do you do anything with your photos or are they for your own collection? Lately, the ones i've taken of family i've given to them as gifts in a nice frame. I'm about to start printing out some of the stuff I like that is mine and decorate my apt. :)
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 01:51:37 PM by Susan » Logged
Menard
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2008, 02:39:07 PM »

Then after wasting a half a tank of gas, I found a 7-11 and got a slurpee! lol It's hard to explain, you'd have to visit here to see what i mean.

Hey...here's an idea...take a picture and show us what you mean. TongueOut
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Susan
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2008, 03:20:19 PM »

LOL!

i can do better than that. I made a video of my
drive to work


That's what it looks like around here
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Menard
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« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2008, 06:57:09 PM »

LOL!

i can do better than that. I made a video of my drive to work

That's what it looks like around here


Wow, I didn't know it was already snowing in Texas.

That much activity, that much real estate, that many people, and there's nothing to photograph?

That town is huge compared to the redneck town I live in. Along the way to work, you passed by several photo ops, including the guy walking past on the sidewalk, the underpass, and the railroad crossing (which you framed the billboard with it anyway TongueOut).

The Muse? You're your own inspiration? You need your own Muse; get yourself a girlfriend .
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Andrew
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« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2008, 06:59:21 PM »

One thing I always stress to anybody interested in photography is that the equipment you have is meaningless. A photograph is only as good as the photographer taking it.

I could never disagree that it is the photographer's ability to recognize a shot, and then take that shot that matters the most.  However, having good quality gear can make actually getting the shot a lot easier (or even possible, depending).  It can also keep you from getting frustrated.  When I got my SLR, it was so I could have a single camera, with a variable focal length lens, that could snap pictures as quickly as I needed.  I only ever had a 50mm lens and that 28-200 for the camera.  They covered the bases I needed to cover.  I had the 35-80mm that came with the camera and such, but never used them.  I did use filters and polarizers, and having a good set of those can be fun to experiment with and give you some neat results.

If you are doing action photos, then sometimes you need a lens that has a low f-stop.  If not, you have to shoot on higher speed film, and you really can tell the difference between 100 speed and 400 speed once it is enlarged.  The 50mm 1.4 is almost a godsend in that respect.  It's the best lens you can get for the money. The only detracter is that it is fixed at 50mm.  However, somebody once gave me some good advice.  They told me to practice by using the 50mm for everything.  The lens has a great f-stop, that that did not limit me.  What I had to do was see and position myself for the shots, based on the focal length.  Actually, that person gave me great advice.  When I finally get back into photography, I'll probably do the same thing for a few weeks.

A quick and reliable autofocus, and a fast photo-taking rate are also very helpful if you are doing action, sports, or wildlife photography.  Being a snob about someone's equipment is silly.  The equipment is just a tool.  The photographer is the important part.
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Susan
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« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2008, 07:26:26 PM »

LOL!

i can do better than that. I made a video of my drive to work

That's what it looks like around here


Wow, I didn't know it was already snowing in Texas.

That much activity, that much real estate, that many people, and there's nothing to photograph?

That town is huge compared to the redneck town I live in. Along the way to work, you passed by several photo ops, including the guy walking past on the sidewalk, the underpass, and the railroad crossing (which you framed the billboard with it anyway TongueOut).

The Muse? You're your own inspiration? You need your own Muse; get yourself a girlfriend .


I took it back in march. And the billboard, i meant to zoom on commercial stuff like the mall, dickeys , subways and such. The video was taken all while i was driving, hence the choppiness but i actually took it to show to a friend of mine just how dull it is here..lol.  I have to say i've tried my hand at railroads and i'm not that good at it. While the photos interest me i could never get interested in taking that type of photo. I may need a muse, but i could also use a nice SLR

And a giant bottle of rum!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 07:38:17 PM by Susan » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2008, 07:35:08 PM »

i can do better than that. I made a video of my drive to work


I also enjoyed your rant about dog owners and could not agree more. Dressing up a dog is a fundamental betrayal of the trust the animal has placed in someone. Dogs don't like the clothing, are unnerved by it and are confused by the whole affair, wondering what it was they did to deserve such treatment.
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« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2008, 07:54:24 PM »

Derf do you do anything with your photos or are they for your own collection? Lately, the ones i've taken of family i've given to them as gifts in a nice frame. I'm about to start printing out some of the stuff I like that is mine and decorate my apt. :)

I've taken photos for a brochure and sold one photo for a calendar, as well as some photos for business cards and such (I worked for a long time for a print shop). Mostly, I just take pictures for my own enjoyment. I like to do landscape and extreme closeup photography for the most part, and, as I said, I've gotten some good shots (and a whole lot of mediocre/poor shots). My wife just got a nice Nikon digital slr, but she hasn't really let me play with it much  Bluesad. She has aspirations of doing portrait photography and has done some nice work. I don't have anything posted on line at this point; it's all just for me to play around with and learn from. My problem is that I have too many interests and not enough passion to pursue any one of them hard enough to turn it into a money-making venture.

As for other locations for you, I know that there are a lot of old cemeteries in East Texas--if there are any near enough to you, the old statuary always makes for some cool, spooky photos. I say this because I'd love to do some of this type of photography, but there are no cemeteries like that around here.
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Susan
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« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2008, 07:59:36 PM »

i can do better than that. I made a video of my drive to work


I also enjoyed your rant about dog owners and could not agree more. Dressing up a dog is a fundamental betrayal of the trust the animal has placed in someone. Dogs don't like the clothing, are unnerved by it and are confused by the whole affair, wondering what it was they did to deserve such treatment.


I know, that's one of my peeves is that peope have taken away the dignity of animals by treating them like human children. Halloween costumes, sunglasses, shoes, the whole affair has gone to the dark side
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