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Wyatt
On twitter: @bwyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Near Indianapolis
 
2006-03-29, 22:43

I'm thinking about switching majors this fall to be a journalism major (CS made me hate computers, so I have to stop). The program at the school I'll be transferring to is heavy in writing, but I'm kind of wanting to emphasize photography a bit myself. I have a really basic camera with very little in the way of customizable options, and I'm using iPhoto to organize and edit my pictures.

Basically, I just want some pointers to get myself started with some basic stuff this summer, then when I get back to school in the fall I can be more prepared for my photography classes. My only real attempt at editing a photo is in my flickr gallery (http://photos.benwyatt.com - yes I registered my own name, I really am a nerd). If anybody could give me some general pointers or some links to good free online tutorials, that would be great (I'm broke right now, so no books--yet).

Twitter: bwyatt | Minecraft: bwyatt_IN
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2006-03-29, 23:05

You're wanting pointers on film photography, or journalistic writing, orrr? I was a JMC major and also have formal schooling and professional experience in photography. PM me with what you want to learn and I can point you in the direction of some good books, etc.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2006-03-29, 23:25

As a total amateur myself the one thing that seems to have helped me get better is taking a lot of bad pictures and learning. It isn't just taking the bad pictures, but looking over them and figuring out what made them bad. Then you can improve on them from there.

Since I am only an amateur, my only real gauge is my friends, family and co-works pointing things out. Co-works seem to he be best since they normally don't mind hurting your feelings and telling you what they don't like about something.

I started with a Olympus D490 Zoom and now have a Rebel XT Digital SLR and am about to get a A620 for my wife. The good part about digital is you can take a lot and only burn up energy instead of lots of money on film.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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GSpotter
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: A small town near Wolfsburg, Germany
 
2006-03-29, 23:34

Some sites which I find interesting:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/index.shtml
http://www.photozone.de/
http://www.epaperpress.com/psphoto/index.html
http://www.daveblackphotography.com/workshop/

Forums:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/

I use (see my sig for photos) a Nikon DSLR, so here are some brand specific links:
http://www.nikonlinks.com/
http://www.nikonians.org/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi

And as general advice for buying a (D)SLR: The lenses are at least as important than the body. Putting a cheap 18-200mm lens on a Camera like a Canon D5 or Nikon D200 is like driving a Ferrari with bicycle tires.

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2006-03-29, 23:46

DO NOT use the DPReview forums as a source of learning. There are more clueless people in there spreading half-correct information that you can possibly count. The reviews and glossary are great, as is the Digital 123 site/book. In general, books are the best place to learn the technical aspects of the craft. I can recommend several once I'm sure I know what you're asking.

I asked about film photography because you said you were burnt out on CS / computer stuff, so that's where my confusion is arising. The title says one thing but your motives seem to point to another. Anyway, let me know. I can provide good info on either film or digital photography, and Photoshop if you want it.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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GSpotter
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: A small town near Wolfsburg, Germany
 
2006-03-30, 00:01

Moogs: Good point - The dpreview forum is probably better suited for someone who has enough experience to separate the noise from the info...
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Ebby
Subdued and Medicated
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Over Yander
Send a message via AIM to Ebby  
2006-03-30, 01:56

As a photography/journalism student I am sure you know what a diptic is.
You would have to look out for these things:


But, I just finished a History of Photography final and I am all poopered out now.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
SSBA | SmockBogger | SporkNET
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2006-03-30, 04:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSpotter
Moogs: Good point - The dpreview forum is probably better suited for someone who has enough experience to separate the noise from the info...
Most of the people on the DPReview forums consider themselves "pros," but they're really just people who own 1-hour photo places and spend most of their days shooting prom/glamour photos, or taking pics of mundane subject material like a coil of rope or barbed wire.
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ghoti
owner for sale by house
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
2006-03-30, 07:07

Photojournalism isn't about technology. If you start from the technology point of view, you're not going to get very far. What you need to do (like turtle said) is take lots of pictures and critique them/have them critiqued. The problem with most websites where you can post pictures is that people who don't like your pictures (and who would be the ones to give you useful feedback) won't post, so most of the feedback will be positive. Also, most people at those sites haven't got the first clue, and will like any picture that contains a puppy, or flowers, or both.

You should take a look at a few good books. You don't have to buy them, go to your library. They will have the usual suspects like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado, Dorothea Lange, Inge Morath, Martin Parr, etc. Then go out and take pictures. Any camera is good enough for that. Over time, you will realize what its limitations are and what else you want. But don't start obsessing about technology and comparing dpreview's reviews. That's not going to lead you anywhere.

BTW, Ebby: they're called diptychs ...

Last edited by ghoti : 2006-03-30 at 08:40.
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Wyatt
On twitter: @bwyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Near Indianapolis
 
2006-03-30, 08:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebby
As a photography/journalism student I am sure you know what a diptic is.
I said I'm changing my major to journalism, I didn't say I'm a journalism student now. The whole point of this thread is for me to get a starting point to prepare for such course work, not to go over what I've already done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoti
Photojournalism isn't about technology.
I never said it was. I just talked about what I have so people can give me pointers on trying to take good pictures with a crappy camera. I know having a good camera helps, but that only gets you so far. I would much rather be a good photographer with a bad camera than a bad photographer with a great camera. I really dont' want advice on cameras, I want advice on photography.

Twitter: bwyatt | Minecraft: bwyatt_IN
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scrouds
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Orlando, FL
 
2006-03-30, 09:23

honestly, just take photo classes, its the best way to learn this stuff. you will have (hopefully) a helpful professor that will have the whole class critiquing your work and that is the best way to learn photo. that and taking 80 rolls of film a semester
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CoolToddHunter
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: 5 minutes from SouthPoint
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2006-03-30, 10:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrouds
honestly, just take photo classes, its the best way to learn this stuff. you will have (hopefully) a helpful professor that will have the whole class critiquing your work and that is the best way to learn photo. that and taking 80 rolls of film a semester
I second this. I'm not a very good photographer, but I got a *lot* better during the photography class I took during my community college days. That was a while ago, though, so I did most of my best work in the darkroom. Should have paid more attention to the shot, rather than fixing it later.
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intlplby
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2006-03-30, 11:30

i think a distinction needs to be made here from photography as art and photography as journalism.... the two do overlap, but your goal as a photojournalist is to tell a story......


take a look at pulitzer prize winning photographs.... those photos tell stories... that's what your goal will be as a photojournalist....

although war photojournalism may not be your thing, i also recommend taking a looke at the photography of James Nachtwey - http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/

although it is satire, this article raises some good points:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/7.htm

Other articles from Ken Rockwell that are good:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/howto.htm
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/books.htm

On Being a Photographer (book excerpt)
http://www.lenswork.com/obpexc.htm
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2006-03-30, 13:23

Do you passionately want to take photographs of a particular subject? If so you possess the first and foremost requirement of a photojournalist! (It's no good to just wander around with a camera and hope you'll come up with something good.) It goes without saying that you will also need superb people skills and a knack for self-promotion.

If you love photography you will have studied it in your spare time anyway, but it is essential to borrow books from the library and visit galleries, because most internet resources lack intellectual rigour and have poor production qualities. Regardless, there is some good stuff online too. One example is the work of Robert Appleby, whom I believe is a British photojournalist (though I think he lives in Italy). Study every photograph in all of the PDFs on his site. They are all superb examples of the importance of light and perspective in powerful documentary photography.

By the way, Mr. Appleby posts on the www.photo.net forums under the name "Another Bob". If you have some time to spare, it would be worth registering to trawl through some of his posts there to get an insight into his mentality. (His posts will show up on his member page if you are signed in.) He's a cynical old bastard, but amazingly astute and succinct.

Photo.net is probably still the best place to learn about photography on the net. Some of the world's best photographers - including some Magnum members and National Geographic staff - post there at least occasionally (usually under their real names).
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2006-03-30, 13:26

Depending on who you ask, Rockwell is either a moron or a genius.
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2006-03-30, 13:28

Quote:
Depending on who you ask, Rockwell is either a moron or a genius.
I'm afraid I would strongly side with the former viewpoint.
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ghoti
owner for sale by house
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
2006-03-30, 13:33

Depending on who you ask, photo.net has been going down the drain for the last two years ... It's sad that there doesn't seem to be a decent replacement for it. But there are still tons of good photographs there. The site around them just sucks unbelievably.
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2006-03-30, 14:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoti
Depending on who you ask, photo.net has been going down the drain for the last two years
Yes, it's quite sad. The site used to be a masterpiece of minimalism and completely ad-free. It's now a messy commercial site which still absurdly clings to its minimalist roots. Real disaster if ever I saw one. Philip Greenspun, the well-known dot.com entrepreneur who created the site, wouldn't have known a good photograph if it smacked him in the teeth (bless him), but he certainly made a very good forum-based website. But it went downhill a while after he got rid of it (sold it?) when he retired (at 36-years-old I think!). I was one of the "elves" who selected the Photo of the Week a few years ago, but I've largely given up on photo.net now. Still, it's an order of magnitude better than gear sites like dpreview.com or The Luminous Landscape.
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ghoti
owner for sale by house
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
2006-03-30, 14:11

Oh wow, an elf!

I thought Greenspun had been driven out by some investors? I remember reading something on how they had disputes and eventually bought him out or whatever.

Anyway, the site is such a bad shape it's almost funny. The ads are really bad and there are lots of bad links (have you looked at Greenspun's original articles lately?). The only thing that keeps it going are the people in the discussion forums (and the forums are joke, too, technology-wise). It probably still generates tons of revenue even despite all that, so I doubt that we'll see anything decent come from it anytime soon. It's really a shame.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2006-03-30, 19:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene
Most of the people on the DPReview forums consider themselves "pros," but they're really just people who own 1-hour photo places and spend most of their days shooting prom/glamour photos, or taking pics of mundane subject material like a coil of rope or barbed wire.
It's funny you said this. It's full of wannabes. People who thought they would make it as photographers but ended up selling 2-for-1 prints at Wolf. The truth hurts, and the truth is most of these people can't take a compelling photograph to save their life.

About a year ago I was at one of the "high end" retailers in the area and the guy behind the counter was trying to explain to a customer what was coming next (regarding DSLRs). I happened to know he was incorrect so I asked, "where did you hear that"?. And he says "DP Review," very matter-o-factly. I looked at the other customer with a smirk and said "Just my opinion but I would never make a buying decision based on something from that forum."

Then the retail guy gives me the hostile look and says "I get information there all the time." So I end with "well that's your choice but it's known to be a pretty unreliable source of information." He looks at the customer and says "well this is a nice camera over here..."

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2006-03-30, 19:51

You should have snapped a photo of him right there. Improves your credibility, you know?
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intlplby
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2006-03-30, 23:41

fred miranda's site is pretty good too
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