Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Improving my photography

A toy robot with a dacora 1 camera
Tinny Tim investigates our old Dacora 1
For someone whose day job is on a photography magazine, I really do take crummy photos. (I should point out that my job does not involve taking photos, nor writing tutorials. I'm responsible for things like spelling and grammar.) It's pretty bad of me nonetheless, because I'm well aware that lovely photos are something that attract people to a blog. Other bloggers manage to take nice photos perfectly well, and while I'm against comparing onesself to other people in general, this is definitely one of those times when the comparison has to be made. It's not a matter of personal taste or style, it's a matter of developing useful skills and not being so lazy.

The problem isn't that I don't know what to do, it's that I never take the time to put it all into practice. Stick the camera on a tripod? Oh, I'll balance it on a pile of books. Set up some off-camera flash? Naaaaaaah. I do pay attention to my aperture and zoom setting, and keep an eye on the white balance, and I've even been known to use a reflector, but that's as far as it goes. I take bobbins photos, then try to fix them in post-production – or simply grovel at Mr Robot to take pictures for me. I've even been known to rely on my iPhone for blog photos because I can't be bothered to get out a proper camera. It's quite sad, really, because a few hours spent finding backgrounds and subjects for photos can be really good fun.
A toy robot with a dacora 1 camera
So, I hereby pledge to improve my photography. I'm going to use a camera every day for the next couple of months. It will probably be my own little Fuji most of the time, but I'll try to make time to borrow Mr Robot's fancy Canon D-SLR from time to time, and set up the umbrellas, flashes and so on to get used to those. I might also take one of the film cameras out to really test myself, though it's unlikely to be the Dacora 1 that Tinny Tim and Ziggy are having fun with. If I remember, I'll do a nice little photo round-up for you on Sundays so you can see how things are progressing. I promise they won't all be of cats...
A cat with a dacora 1 camera

18 comments :

  1. I've got no problem with a million cat photos!
    Blogging has definitely helped me improve my photography although Jon takes photos of me and many of the scenery shots as he's got a degree in photography and has a way better eye than I have. xxx

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    1. Pete has a natural eye. I think I can become adequate, but I'll need to practise. And I need to develop some patience.

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  2. I'm always impressed with the photography on your blog! I will also add that it was you that made me want to use Instagram! :)

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    1. Thank you! Oddly, I'm better with Instagram than I am with a proper camera - I've taken to composing photos on my camera using live view, as it seems to work better for me than using the viewfinder.

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    2. The photo you posted of the Fingermouse had me asking "what witchcraft is this?!" As soon as I had a new phone the first thing I did was get Instagram!

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  3. I literally know nothing about photography but am slowly learning. I recently bought a tripod, albeit a cheap one, which has proved very helpful. Now I'm looking into some kind of easy (and cheap) way to get decent lighting to use indoors so my inside shots aren't all dark with a yellow hue. Any hints are appreciated! xx

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    1. Might be worth seeing if your camera has adjustable light balance - switching to the 'Incandescent' setting should cool indoor lighting down a little.

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  4. I'm using my camera on a daily basis, but I have an accomplished photographer in my husband, who is happy to take all my outfit photos. As for my own photos, there is scope for improvement, especially if I'm taking indoor photos, but I guess I am too lazy. The photos of Tinny Tim and Ziggy with that camera look pretty good to me! Love that camera! Looking forward to your photo round-ups. xxx

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    1. Getting Ziggy to pose was tough. I put some cat treats on top of the camera to lure him! Pippin refused to have anything to do with the proceedings at all.

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  5. What a fabulous idea, I must say now that I am forcing myself to post weekly it has (at least I hope so) begun to improve my photography skills, when I had a film camera I would spend ages checking and setting up but the minute I got a digital I got lazy as I knew I could edit them later, so I am slowly remedying that, it has also really helped getting a static studio light for indoor photos it means I can take snaps anytime rather than waiting for a sunny day! Oh an the more cat photos the better if you ask me! xx

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    1. I really need to set up our lights for indoor photos. Once we've got the bathroom sorted we'll probably try to sort the spare room, and perhaps then I can get it set up properly for pictures.

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  6. I keep saying this too...I'm still using my phone camera; although the cameras on phones these days are pretty high spec.

    My daughter bought me a digital camera years ago but I haven't yet tried to work out if the memory card will fit my Chromebook... and I need to buy a tripod if it does. One day, one day....

    Good luck with your endeavours!

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Most memory cards will slot into computers nowadays, or you should be able to connect your camera to your computer via a cable.

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  7. Great idea. I need to get a real camera I'm ashamed to admit I use my Samsung for all my pics

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    1. You get great pics, though. I can never get enough of those adorable dogs!

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  8. The more you play around, the better you get I think, but I see nothing wrong with your photos anyway :) I need a new tripod as mine is fine if all you want to do is put the camera on it and only want to move it by picking it up and physically moving the tripod. It is so stiff and confusing to adjust xx

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  9. Ummm...I only use the camera on my Samsung Galaxy phone for my blog. I'm still just learning to fiddle with lighting & how to edit. Maybe someday I'll get past the "point & shoot" stage but I can't see investing in a $1,000 camera until then. I think your photos look great.!

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  10. You'd hear nary a peep from me if your snaps were all of cats. Kitties for the win forever and always in my books! :)

    Way to go on wanting to advance your skills further. That's very commendable and I look forward to seeing your progress here.

    Happy shooting!
    ♥ Jessica

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