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Thread: Photography challenges to build up confidence-ideas please

  1. #1

    Question Photography challenges to build up confidence-ideas please

    I dabble in photography (started to capture the kids) but never spent the time I should reading Understanding Exposure, Michael Langford etc (standard most of the gear but little idea type), and typically I recycled the monthly mags that had been gathering dust not that long ago.

    I don't want to go into to much detail on who and why but the person I'm helping are of snapchat/insta generation with its associated pressures and are very low in confidence / self-esteem having hit rock bottom. They are phone/relatively tech savvy but new to separate camera. I've sold it as I'd be learning too (which is true) so not seen as patronising/ takes the pressure off.

    The challenges would be with me there, rather than solo at this stage, so I can do any prep/ staging to help a relaxed approach for them. Initially challenges need to be achievable at home/ garden, but simple outside one's welcome for future outings (no self portraits or food please). They are clever but due to their situation and the ongoing "assistance" being taken are struggling with flexible thinking and concentration (hence joint challenge to start with), therefore something short and with an output that doesn't need hours of photoshop etc is needed at this stage.

    I have DLSR (one is v light) and range of lenses macro to tele, separate flash, tripod etc and couple good quality compacts, so can use standard settings or manual when get there, so kit not an issue and phone camera an option too.

    I know I could've have used google-foo but I felt the context was important and know there is some deep knowledge in TZ.

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by Chicken Pox; 19th June 2018 at 17:58.

  2. #2
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Perhaps have a play about with depth of field. You'll be using different apertures for this, so a lead in from there on f stops and what they do, and from there how apertures and ISO settings work together. No photoshopping needed, just settings on the camera and how they interact, with instant results.

  3. #3
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Choose a different colour every day and go walkabout taking photos of subjects with that colour . If you choose RED you could photograph post boxes and compare the different types … photograph RED cars … RED fire engines … RED buses etc etc

    Next trip choose BLUE … or BLACK … different colour every trip … try and find the most vividly coloured subjects.

    And how many street clocks are in your locality? Try and photograph as many CLOCKS as possible in one session …

    Another day choose CHURCHES

    And then SUPERMARKETS

    And try ESTATE AGENTS … BANKS … BUILDING SOCIETIES

    If you pick subjects carefully and photograph them well, the pics might even be worth submitting to photo agencies to earn a few shillings … picture sales could build up confidence

    The sky's the limit.

    dunk
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  4. #4
    Master
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    Photographing only in black and white for a month or two helps you understand composition and lighting like nothing else. Also no retouching afterwards - shoot and print.

  5. #5
    Thanks for those, much appreciated.

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    I found I learnt a huge amount in a short time by going back to shooting film with an SLR camera- in my case a Nikon FE which I picked up for £70 on EBay. Makes you think about every exposure rather than shooting hundreds of images and hoping that, by the law of averages, you’ll get something worth keeping.
    I wouldn’t want to use it for all my photography but it’s an excellent discipline

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalMass View Post
    I found I learnt a huge amount in a short time by going back to shooting film with an SLR camera- in my case a Nikon FE which I picked up for £70 on EBay. Makes you think about every exposure rather than shooting hundreds of images and hoping that, by the law of averages, you’ll get something worth keeping.
    I wouldn’t want to use it for all my photography but it’s an excellent discipline
    Thanks, will bank that for the future, given the circumstances no where near that level yet-need some early wins rather than a roll of blur.

  8. #8
    Master
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    My suggestion, FWIW, is that you forget all about technical items and concentrate on composition. Get out with the the camera set on program auto (or whatever it's called on your particular camera) and start taking pictures. After a while you will start to see why you like some more than others. Then it's time to delve a little deeper into the technique and I suggest at that step you look at aperture priority using a low f-stop number to give shallow depth of field and go for out of focus backgrounds. From there on the world, as the great man once said, is your lobster. You might also think about searching out your local camera club and see just how 'beginner friendly' they are.

    Good luck and don't give up too easily - it's a very rewarding hobby.

    Rob

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Barryboy View Post
    My suggestion, FWIW, is that you forget all about technical items and concentrate on composition. Get out with the the camera set on program auto (or whatever it's called on your particular camera) and start taking pictures. After a while you will start to see why you like some more than others. Then it's time to delve a little deeper into the technique and I suggest at that step you look at aperture priority using a low f-stop number to give shallow depth of field and go for out of focus backgrounds. From there on the world, as the great man once said, is your lobster. You might also think about searching out your local camera club and see just how 'beginner friendly' they are.

    Good luck and don't give up too easily - it's a very rewarding hobby.

    Rob
    Not for me, I started when youngest came along, but thanks it's too easy to jump into technical and good to be able to step back. We've been out a couple times now, and just keeping it simple on auto/ using dial for the auto set ups and let them build up some confidence in just handling a DSLR and getting out and about is an achievement and developing an interest, thanks again all for the ideas I'm sure they will come in handy as they progress.

  10. #10
    Been out 4 or so times and all going well so far, they've taken the camera on holiday so seems by keeping it light I've not killed their interest off so far.

  11. #11
    Craftsman Ashtennisguru's Avatar
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    Doing a '365' or a '52' might be an interesting way to approach it in a subject neutral way.

    Or maybe shooting the alphabet?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtennisguru View Post
    Doing a '365' or a '52' might be an interesting way to approach it in a subject neutral way.

    Or maybe shooting the alphabet?
    To be fair I struggled with the one a day, but 52 and alphabet sounds like a good options thanks.

  13. #13
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    1 per week is doable. At the end of the year you could take the best from each month and have a calendar made. You've reminded me I started an "alphabet of things" project a while ago, must get back to it . . .












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