Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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23

Generally speaking, you've hit the nail on the head. How do you know what good sushi is? You go taste lots of sushi that is reported to be good! How do you know what good photography is? You go study and look at photography that is reported to be good (and that you enjoy)! If you're trying to photograph something without having a well defined sense ...


14

Wilson Tsoi makes some absolutely superb images with a Canon A620. This is not a P&S but a camera with manual controls which cost less than $200 USD. You need at least manual controls to get some of creativity used in those shots. This camera has long been discontinued but today you can get the $200 USD Canon SX130 IS which has a wider and longer lens. ...


12

It is a good way to learn just how other photographers see, and a great way to get to know your gear to go out a try an make images that look like other photographers work. Many photographers do this (myself included( it's literally impossible to take the same image as someone else. Even in a group of photographers capturing the same scene, everyone will ...


12

You need discipline and a goal. Most digital camera users take hundreds of shots without thinking much. Tons of shots are almost the same and most are unmemorable. I also know pros who shoot thousands of photos per day. That's a huge number! The great thing about digital photography which I tell my students on the first day of classes is that ...


11

'How do I know when I'm done' is almost as important of a question as 'what do I take pictures of,' and it's a question that most fine art photographers I've ever met or worked with struggle over. There's a certain 'luxury' sometimes to having a client attached to a project because it forces completion (you're on their deadline and you don't get paid if you ...


7

DigitalRev has a challenge called "Pro photographer, cheap camera" which features professional photographers dealing with old/extremely cheap/toy cameras. There's a lot of post-processing after the shot, but the get pretty good results. Check the following videos: Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera Challenge (#2 Hermann Lee) Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera ...


6

Consider getting a lens reversal ring. Screw it on the filter end and then you can mount the lenses on your D7000 in reverse for some macro shots!


5

Putting your camera in Manual will certainly cause you to think about shots more, just as it did with film. Of course with film, you had 36 chances, with digital you have 400+. This factor alone reduces the 'risk' of each shot, but also brings with it the freedom of experimentation: no longer must you strive for the 'perfect' shot each time, but you can ...


4

Lee Morris did a fashion shoot with an iPhone 3GS about a year ago. One important point to note is how much better the iPhone 4 is over the 3GS in its camera capabilities. I know that you are looking for point and shoot examples, but I think that the videos and final shots that Lee created are amazing, and when you consider that they were taken with such a ...


4

Jay gave a good answer for bringing projects to an end by imposing deadlines using one or more of three techniques. I am going to give a different kind of answer where you define the contents, i.e. the scope and the end point falls out of that. So this is how I do it. Give your project a title and a one sentence description. Just do it and don't ...


4

No. Do not buy an adapter. Any adapter for Minolta MD lenses to Nikon bodies will either sacrifice the ability to focus to infinity or require a (usually cheap, low quality single) lens element for infinity focus. This is a simple consequence of the Nikon lens mount sitting further away from the body than on the manual Minolta MD system. Short of ...


4

How do you get to know what other people consider "good creative taste" to be if you are just beginning in the field of image making? Easy. Talk to people that know about it. Join a local photographer's organization. Go to exhibitions, buy books and get engaged. Volunteer at an art museum department that specializes in photographs or even get a job in a ...


4

Chase Jarvis made a whole book using a 2 megapixel iPhone - The Best Camera Is The One That's With You.


4

You may have heard this quote that is mistakenly attributed to Picasso: Good artist copy, great artists steal One way to interpret the first part of this quote is to treat it as a learning journey, that is in order to be good you must learn how other artists accomplish what they do by copying their methods. We can then expand on this by interpreting ...


3

The question tells the story of myself too ! I am too frustrated like you [after buying a dSLR and expecting that all the images will be superb]. When after switching to dSLR the images was still somewhat same like, I knew I have the problem with the view & it has nothing to do with the camera ! So after viewing a youtube video by Scott Kelby I try this ...


3

Donate them to your local high school. Both my kids took several semesters of photography in high school. Old school film bodies, lenses, enlargers, darkrooms, great stuff... Whenever my daughter went out shooting with me I'd make her use the Canon nifty-fifty to make her work even harder, the high school kids today are the photographers or tomorrow, help ...


2

You should consider buying an adapter that makes it possible to use the Minolta lenses on your Nikon. Many old Minolta lenses are of good quality (I have owned some of them). You will have to set the focus and aperture manually. Lens mount adapter Maybe you do not get the best optical quality, but if you are looking for creative ways to use your lens this ...


2

The blog Life in LoFi is dedicated to iPhone-based photography, often using "toy camera" post-processing/effects apps. The Faved on Flickr category on the site showcases some great results (although they do tend towards the highly-processed, not "straight" photography).


2

The title of this question is very loaded. Is it bad to mimic other photographers to compensate the lack of one's creative skills? The implication is that you are "compensating" for a lack of creativity. That's not a great way to think of it in my opinion. Let's re-word the question a little. Is it a good idea to try mimicking other ...


2

I've read this great advice somewhere (I think it was a book by David duChemin) that has really helped me: shoot what you love. It's one thing to explore all the different types of photography and mimic the others' work to learn the technical side of things. But only when you discover the subject that inspires you you'll be able to create original work. What ...


2

There are different ways your creativity can show. It isn't strictly necessary to be able to produce a unique look to be creative as a photographer. Much more important is the ability to understand how to communicate through your images. Your creativity doesn't have to communicate in style what it can communicate in content. Study the works of other ...


2

In addition to Itai's excellent advice - you're going to have to force yourself to some limit imposed by yourself and not the equipment. It will require some measure of self control. When shooting for practice and yourself, consider imposing a shot limit "I'm only going to shoot 36 shots today and then I'm done." Also, film was not limited by just the ...


2

You develop creative taste the same way you develop taste in anything... through consumption, creation, and refinement. I'm going to be charitable and assume you want to develop your personal taste and vision, and not a taste for what the 'market' desires. I can't help you with that, as I've spent a lot of time trying to ignore those voices. So to ...


1

Apart from everything that's already been said, there's an older art form called "painting" that can help a lot to learn about photography. It's completely different, yet humans have been painting sinceā€¦ well, it's been a couple thousand years, and for the last 5 ~ 6 centuries some really bright people have spent their lifetimes experimenting with light, ...


1

What establishes a good photograph is pretty subjective in my opinion. Photography like art is down to personal taste. I would say that a good technical knowledge of how to correctly expose is required. I'm not saying that a photographer should know all the ins and out about his camera but, in terms of depth of field, white balance, exposure etc the ...


1

taste is not objective, unless you specify the rules of estimation (en even there, this is not sharp and limited). there are also 2 ways to take this notion of taste: What YOU like, so your taste maybe to refine or explore in this area Taste of other for different point of view (by ex: quantity sales, special request, popularity, ...) in both case, ...


1

When I first bought my Rebel XS I didn't know anything about photography and so I ran around shooting in full auto and it resulted in nothing interesting whatsoever. However, now that I want to learn more about photography I tend to take pictures with a goal in mind, usually attempting to recreate an interesting shot that I've seen online. So my process is ...


1

Gaffer Tape Time Machine Put a bit over the display on the back of your camera. It'll be like travelling back to the 1980s!


1

I fully agree with all the advise above, particularly previsualizing and having a goal in mind beforehand, as well as forcing yourself into good habits by setting your camera to manual mode. However, that advise also implies that it is bad practice at all times to shoot lots. I think this advise is not to be used in all occassions. If you have a static ...



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