Tag Archives: Ideas

Why do new? Just do you!

Reflection of a girl in a shop window. Don't do new, do you

• Monochrome girl in blue •
When starting out try out lots of things. As you develop your interests will start to find a focus.

Style is you.

Photography is your interest. Do it your way. When learning you’ll find joy in just trying out many new things. As you develop you will find your way of doing things becomes a form of self expression.

Self expression

Letting out the inner you in your photography is one of the highest forms of success. Every photograph is a unique form of communication. So when you focus on something that you are interested in, passionate about, you express your inner self in a powerful way. Self expression is how top photographers make a success of their business. Clients come to them because they like the way the photographer does it.

Doing new is not you

Less experienced photographers think that they will only “make the grade” by dreaming up something new. It is a seductive idea – our modern culture is built on “new”. Trust me on one thing. There are very few ways of doing something “new”. New techniques, new ideas, never-seen-before views… totally new stuff – these things are far and few between. Photographs are published online in their millions every day – literally. A photographer cannot hope to do “new” all the time or even frequently.

“New” is something that will happen – but normally as a result of a very individual form of expression. When you really express you, really do it your way, you are doing “new”. Truly individual expression comes from doing it your way. The picture may be of an oft-seen subject. The way you do it is what will make it a lasting image in the mind of the viewer.

If you concentrate on developing your pictures around your special way of seeing you will be developing your style. That is what will give you the edge, the new way of doing it. Look for the light the way you like it. Take the point of view you like to see things from. Express the colours in the scene in the unique pallet you love to have around you. These things will all contribute to your style and your expression.

Ironic isn’t it? So many photographers look for the new, the different, the next new idea. If they spent a little time looking at what they were really interested in they would find the “new” within themselves.

Remember to enjoy your photography

If photography becomes an stressful search for something that is not in you, then the fun will go out of it. Investing your shoot-time in a personal interest will bring out your passion in a unique way. In so doing you will increase your enjoyment. You will also find the “new” you were looking for. You will also find a new way to express your inner feelings about the world around you.

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

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10 quick hacks that photographers need to know…

Photogs life hacks

• Photogs life hacks •
There are some things which seem so simple once you have been shown how to do them… here are some free hacks for photographers.
Image taken from the video.

Simple and cheap ways to do things in photography…

In every situation there are lots of ways you can cut corners without affecting the outcome. Here are ten “life hacks” that give you something extra in your photography.

10 Photography Life Hacks You Need To Know

Uploaded by DigitalRevTV  External link - opens new tab/page

Of course there are lots of other life hacks that photogs need to know… Do you have a favourite hack? Let us know what it is in the comments so we can all gain something from your idea.

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Just what is it about feet?

Feet are quite expressive, but attractive?

Well, they do say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I reserve judgement personally. Feet are not my ‘thing’. Lots of people get excited about feet. There is certainly lots of art about feet and photography is no exception. Lets take a look at the field…

Expressiveness

My interest in feet is with the way they can express themselves. One of my own pictures makes the point…

The Kiss

• The Kiss • By Damon Guy

If you look around you will see lots of examples of people using their feet to say things. Legs and feet are a large part of the body. So it is not unreasonable to expect them to express some of the things that the body is saying through body language. Perhaps you cannot expect feet to say it all, but you can certainly read some of what people say. Taking feet into account is an important part of the photograph. What I am saying is, if you want your photograph to tell the full story, look at the whole person, including the feet.

Emotive force

Feet play a part in our emotions too – I frequently hear oohs and ahhhs from people when they see baby feet.

 Two Lill' feet

• Two Lill’ feet •
Click image to view large
• Two Lill’ feet • By Qatar & Me on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page

It is certainly true that tiny feet are cute. Baby feet and vulnerability have close links. In the case of a photo like the baby feet above it moves us because of their cute vulnerability. Vulnerability makes for a great photograph – little feet are only one part of that. There is a great lesson in this. Vulnerability and babies make for great photographic subjects.

Of course vulnerability does not just extend to human babies. Lots of young animals have perfectly formed and cute enough feet to stir emotions. But then some animals seem to just have cute feet – young ones or not. There are a lot of photographs of cats feet out there.

• Our cats foot •

• Our cats foot •
Click image to view large
Our Cat’s Foot by pmeidinger, on FlickrExternal link - opens new tab/page

If you want to get some ideas of what cat feet photos are out there check out these links…
Cat feet search on Flickr  External link - opens new tab/page
Cat feet search on Google Images  External link - opens new tab/page

Humour

I think feet are pretty funny. They certainly can be comical parts of the body. But they can also be included in a photograph in a fun way… I had to laugh at this one on Flickr  External link - opens new tab/page.

The way to make people laugh when it comes to feet is to do something absurd…

Funny feet

• Funny feet •
Click image to view large
Funny Feet by Sarah Alston, on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page
You can probably find lots of ways to make people laugh with feet!

Of course it is not just bear feet that can be fun. I smiled with this too…
Feet

• Feet •
Click image to view large
Feet 🙂 by Neuro74, on FlickrExternal link - opens new tab/page
Feet can be funny and expressive… these gave made me smile and give a sigh of relaxation!

. I am sure you can think of some pretty funny ways to show off some feet!

What else

I had a fun couple of hours looking over the possibilities for feet. Some of the other opportunities that came to mind include…

  • Gross – some feet have had a hard life!
  • Love is… I am sure there are thousands of ways to express love.
  • Family feet – your feet can be intimate – a whole family can show together.
  • Animal feet – gotta be plenty of ways to see the world of animals through their feet.
  • Sexy feet – There’s a whole world of seediness and feet to explore!
  • Feet with character – must be a project in that one.
  • And just imagine what you can do with shoes too – wow!

I have introduced a new subject and there is plenty of scope. Feet ideas are worth considering. So have a think and check out this link too…
Feet – a general search on Google images  External link - opens new tab/page

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

How to buy a new camera…

Buying a new digital camera

Buying a new digital camera

Buying is a big decision.

Photographers should be wary of the simple answer. Buying a camera is a deeply personal matter and a big investment. You live with the consequences for a long time. Look carefully at considerations that really matter to you and your performance as a photographer. Impulsive buys may spoil your photography. If you’re comfortable with your buy you will be more likely to get to know it, use it and have fun with it.

1. Work out what you need

Impulsive buying means something will not match your need, then you won’t get the use you want. The points below will help refine your thoughts. Write down your ideas to ease your research later.

Budget: Fix a budget – it may define the type of camera you can buy. So write down what you want to spend before starting. Change your mind later, but start with an idea to guide initial research.

Usage: What type of photography will you do? There are broadly two types of photographer…
The ‘point-and-shooter’:

  • Interested in recording fun, family, events and memories.
  • Love things they do when they have a camera around.
  • Take pictures as reminders. (Holidays, family, fun, action, friendship).
  • The camera is an accessory to the activity.
  • The camera is easy to use, probably in auto mode.
  • Simple controls – lighter, lifestyle-type design.
  • Less interested in the art of photography, more the style of life.

The ‘photographer’:

  • Take pride in every shot.
  • Indulges other passions through photography.
  • Wants more equipment.
  • Interested in “functions” and “controls” – technical cameras/DSLRs.
  • Camera is an essential part of the activity. (Landscapes, macro, action, nature, still-life, fine art…).
  • Loves photography for its art, technology, skills and techniques.
  • Documents passions and communicates interests through photography.
  • Take pride in camera control.
  • Enjoys the technical aspects of the capture as much as the images.

Each has an associated type of camera. A heavy DSLR is not well suited to the carefree life of the point-and-shooter. A compact, colourful, wrist-strap camera is not suited to landscape shots and large prints. Preferences and lifestyle should be shorted out early on. Are you are a point-and-shooter or a committed photographer (DSLR style)?

Conditions: Indoors/outdoors, weather, underwater, holiday, abroad, air travel? The situations in which you use the camera affects what you buy. Consider protection, travel, camera size and special equipment needs.

Experience: Skill level affects purchase – your aspirations for your future photography will too. If you’re just starting out, buying a camera with a bewildering range of functions is daunting. Take simple steps. Entry level DSLRs provide for years of growth into your hobby and produce great images. This allows you to develop skills without confusion.

Features/flexibility: Spending more on a camera means more features and flexibility. However, while this gives more control it increases cost for relatively little increase in picture quality for starters. Don’t waste your money. Focus on what you need, not “feature bloat”.

Physique/fitness: When buying you don’t get a feel for using a camera. Little, disabled, or not very fit people may find big cameras unusable. Fit, but not shooting daily? You might struggle to hold up a big camera for long periods. Buy a camera you can hold steady and use all day (if necessary). I know people who bought great cameras and had to sell them again to buy another great, but lighter, camera. Also ensure you can grip it properly and comfortably. Can you reach all the buttons easily?

Size of prints: More megapixels is NOT a better camera today. Good quality cameras have sensors to produce great images. High megapixels are only necessary for high resolution pictures – mostly for large prints. You pay a lot of money for top-megapixel cameras. Only buy them if you frequently do big prints in high definition. Don’t worry about megapixels in the market mid-range.

Lenses: To a committed photographer lenses are key. Buying the right lenses is more important than a camera body. Lens investment pays you back for a lifetime, or many camera bodies. Spend less on the body than you intended and save money for better quality lenses (not more lenses). Consider retaining at least half your budget for lenses.

Other equipment and accessories: New cameras require other items affecting your budget. Consider…

  • Lenses (Wide angle, Zoom, macro etc)
  • Camera/equipment bag
  • Tripod
  • Spare batteries (two)
  • Light modifiers (diffusers), filters, reflectors
  • Specialist equipment for specific interests
  • Memory cards (at least two – eg. 2×16 Gb not 1×32 Gb – cheaper and more secure)
  • Off-camera flash (pop-up flash is rarely useful)
  • Remote trigger to fire the flash/camera

There may be other things too.

Compatibility: Is your existing equipment compatible? Buying a camera could mean buying those extras again, straining your budget. Consider the camera brand you want to buy. That may affect the other equipment you buy later. Lenses are a particular consideration. Top brands make good lenses, but other brands may not. That could be important for your buying strategy.

Picture quality: Quality digital cameras produce great picture quality. However, large, high resolution images (especially for printing) may need larger digital-sensor size (cropped or full frame?) and type of lens and lens quality. Buy up-market lenses as far as you can. For a point-and-shoot camera consider the quality of zoom. ‘Optical zoom’ is best, the lens does the enlarging. The quality will be better with a good optical zoom. With a large digital zoom component expect lower quality prints. Digital zooms crop the picture in-camera to make the picture appear bigger. You will see more detail, but the picture may be a lower definition/resolution.

More after this…

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2. Research

Now look at what is available. examine a range of reviews on different websites. Check out what’s popular around the web and get a “best fit” camera to your specification from above. Talk to experienced photographers. Join a club. Leave questions on Internet forums. Ask in shops.

Be prepared for this stage to take quite a long time. You may be committing to a brand for a quite a few years, or your career. Take it slowly so you can understand all implications. Keep notes and be prepared to check definitions and learn about features.

3. Try it out

Once you have identified your dream machine, see if you can try one out. Beg, borrow or hire. You will be unlikely to try everything but spend a weekend or week with it to really get a feel for it. That will help you to feel confident about your ideas or start new research. Ensure you are on the right track.

4. The purchase

From a shop: Local camera shops often have deals and committed staff. They will have knowledge and experience too. Remember they are on commission and a different focus to you. So go to a shop with a really good knowledge from the above before you buy.

Online: There are some great deals but also a lot of scam artists. Consider…

  • Who you are buying from.
  • Does the site cover losses?
  • Is delivery and packaging good?
  • Delivery times?
  • Are there proper cancellation and returns procedures?
  • Transit/purchase insurance (the company or your credit card)
  • Is the online store reputable and well known?
  • Do not click from email ads to the site – insecure.
  • Check with friends to see which online stores they used.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A reputable company will have protections built into the purchase and made clear on the site.

When you are ready consider negotiations. Lots of websites will do deals. Shops will too. Make sure you get the right deal, but don’t compromise security or safety.

5. After purchasing

Check your purchase properly – has everything arrived? Retain all paperwork and orders for future reference, returns and insurance. Test to see that it works properly. Get signed receipts and correct paper work for returns, delivery shortages or damage.

Satisfied you have the correct equipment and it works? Put it through its paces in a logical way. In Getting started with a new lens I show how to work through testing and getting to know new lenses. Many of the principles apply to the purchase of a camera and help you get to know your camera properly.

Other ideas?

Please share your other ideas, tips or experiences on buying a camera with us below in the comments…

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Keep it simple… thats it!

There is no better way to improve your images.

If you can keep it simple the power in the photography comes out. If you can cut out all the clutter the image comes alive with the main subject in it. If your subject is all you have to show, it is the meaning and the message in the photograph.

Here are some quick ideas about simplicity in photography… Enjoy!

The basic idea (1min 24secs)
National Geographic Photography Tip: Keep it Simple

National Geographic Photography Tip: Keep it Simple
Uploaded by National Geographic Channel  External link - opens new tab/page to YouTube

 

David Bailey (30secs)

David Bailey is a famous UK contemporary photographer who was pretty prominent in the 1960s and continued to create photo-masterpieces right up to the present day. Here is his page on Wikipedia: David Bailey  External link - opens new tab/page

David Bailey on simplicity in 30 seconds

Uploaded by: softlad telly visual  External link - opens new tab/page

 
Hmmm! Did he actually say anything useful? Why not leave a comment about that? The next video is very useful!
 

Dominance and simplicity (2mins 21secs)
Outdoor Photo Tips with Jerry Monkman – Week 4: Composition – Dominance and Simplicity

Uploaded by: Jerry Monkman  External link - opens new tab/page

Five tips for boosting your photographic creativity

Getting ideas is more than just seeing new things to photograph

“Celebrity on the red carpet”
Getting ideas for shots is more than just seeing new things to photograph.
Click image to view large

Get past photographers block – try these tips.

When you run out of ideas you’re stuck. Getting past this block may be simple. Going somewhere new helps, but you’ll soon run out of places. Try a few idea-boosting tips.

The list of new places to go can be as long as your arm. But, you can’t get to them all. Too far away, too expensive, too time consuming… a problem. Sometimes you have to rely on your wits. You need to think past your lack of ideas. There are some simple things you can do.

Repeats

In photographic competitions I often hear judges say “…it’s a good project, worth following up”. What they mean is the picture is pretty good, but more work will help it become perfect. It’s a fair bet there are lots of pictures in your portfolio that you can re-work with another shoot. Having looked at the shot you will see things you can improve. Repeating old work with a new eye and technique is a great way to improve. It’s also a confidence booster. You will see how much you have improved your skills.

The other thing you can do is take the same picture under different conditions. There’s more variety in the same scene than you might think. Try shooting out of the same window every day for a year. Capture all the seasons, all the states of light and events. There is enough to look at, just read this article… Photographer snaps a million photos out his window in two years External link - opens new tab/page.

Explore new topics

Sometimes a creativity block is about knowing your subject well so you seem to know all the angles. That is rarely true. How to get past it is to take a new perspective. Some of the great advances in science have been from people learning new topics and cross-connecting the ideas. So, try something new. Learn a new topic. Explore a new area of photography. Research a new technique and then use it. New things frequently lead to new ideas. These feed back to your block. Change tack and try a new direction.

Take up a project

Being creative and trying new things takes commitment and application. Often a creativity block is about not committing yourself enough. Try a new project. Commit time, resources and energy to your project. You will learn new things, try new ideas and explore them in depth. Set yourself a personal project. For example, try water-droplet photography – it takes time and practice to get it right. You need to do some research, you will have to put together some basic equipment. You will need to work with new techniques and new ways of looking at your subject. This is not a one evening project – you could make it a whole career. The point is that running a project on one subject gets you into a subject in depth. This opens up your ideas. Try it – its fun.

Challenge yourself

Developing yourself and your skills is about getting past what you can do and trying out some things you cannot do – yet. Sure, there is some fear of failure there, but, no one will criticise you for trying and not getting it right on the first shot. Take time and try out something totally new. You can do it. Look for more difficult approaches, try out alternatives or deliberately do it differently to your normal way. It is certain you will learn something. I often suggest to my students that they buy or borrow a new lens. Then spend a month using it – stop using all other lenses. You will learn a lot of new ways to look at old ideas.

Look for new inspiration

Read a book; search Google images on a new subject; talk to another photographer; break an old habit… there are thousands of things you can do to find new ideas. Most of them are about raising questions. Look at yourself and find out what you know very little about. Then find out about it. Ask new questions, get new answers. The Internet is an endless source of new information… do some idea searches. You will find lots to think about.

The way of creativity…

I have sometimes heard from students that ideas and creativity are a genetic gift of some kind. I don’t subscribe to that. Creativity is more often about playing with ideas, trying new things, and making connections. Creativity is not a talent. It is a skill that can be learned and encouraged. Watch this video. It’ll help you look at yourself as a different, more creative person: How To Be Creative – its not a talent! External link - opens new tab/page

What It Takes To Be A Great Photographer

Thoughts on photographic aspirations

It takes a lot of bad pictures to make a few good ones… Not every photo is good, fewer are great. To get some great photographs you need take many, many more mediocre ones.

Doing photography takes time… If you want to succeed, you are going to have to work at it. You will lose some sleep. You will have some heart-ache. If you want to do it be prepared to spend a lot of time practicing.

The best photographs are fashioned from a quest for perfection… It is only through constantly working to improve and to being being aware of improvement will you know what perfection can be. Then you need to go for it!

An honest appraisal is worth a thousand weasel words… Only your real friends will help you to look critically and constructively at your photographs. This is precious knowledge and precious friendship.

Photography is about the struggle to know what to photograph and how to photograph it… You face constant frustration and perpetual personal turmoil. This is the difficulty and the fun of photography.

One thought on outcomes

Overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of a great photograph is what makes achieving it worth while. Never compromise in the pursuit of perfection. Let your passion out.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Can you write? Of course you can!
Write for Photokonnexion...

We would love to have your articles or tips posted on our site.
Find out more…
Write for Photokonnexion.