Thursday, May 04, 2006

Long Post (please read)

Wow folks. I'm having a lot of trouble with this photography thing these days. I've got a truck load of pictures that I have taken over the last few weeks. I'm sure some of them are very good. For some reason, however, I don't like any of them enough to share them with you.

I think my problem originated last week when I bought a book about Photoshop CS2 by Scott Kelby. The book is a fantastic introduction to the program, teaching my about every technique I have wanted to know about. Problem is, now when I look at my photos, all I can think is that I could make them better with a bit of tweaking. The second problem is that I don't have time for tweaking, keeping up my blog, continuing the 450 page CS2 book, and checking out the other photoblogs.

Traffic on my blog has been down this week, with fewer comments than normal. I presume this is a combination of me not visiting all the other sites I normally frequent and because my photos this week have been lame. Well, today is no exception.

Today's photo is of some fern I found in a garden downtown yesterday. I haven't Photoshopped it at all (it needs it), it is direct from my camera to you. I can't promise anything better for tomorrow, but I will try. Sorry for the long post, just getting my frustrations out I guess...

Canon PowerShot S2 IS, 56mm, f/3.5, 1/160 sec, ISO 50


Blogger wisconsin pics said...


2:55 PM, May 04, 2006  
Anonymous Otto K said...

Try not to get down on yourself. I have been in exactly the same position and will likely be again. I'll find a new way to do something or fix problems and then want to go back and redo things. One way to look at a photoblog is that it charts your growth as a photographer (both behind your camera and in front of your computer). Or at least that is how I'm trying to look at my site. :-)

3:34 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Wolf said...

Its not a bad shot, I would just avoid all the editing for a while. Just take pics and work with that until you reach the standard your looking for. Then when you can't do any better with the equipment you have, then try to improve the pics with careful editing. :)

4:14 PM, May 04, 2006  
Anonymous unklrbrt said...

Hi Timmybomb,

I agree with "wolf".

Concentrate on getting "WOWS" in the camera and "cull" (that means HIT THE DELETE BUTTON) FOR the almost great shots that need photoshop. (Your too young and/or new at photography to remember how many slides got trashed out of an expensive roll of 36 exposures - kodachrome). One of the drawbacks of digital is that we now try to salvage the stuff that didn't work - first, because we now can manipulate 'ad infinitum' and second, because we have seemingly unlimited storage space. (I suffer from the same problem, and by reading your stuff I am more determined to scrap the almost great shots & concentrate on PHOTOGRAHY rather than on MANIPULATING.

See you soon - I hope. Needing another photo-shoot fix. When are you going to invite me along with you?


5:42 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Fraser said...

The experience of photographing is what is primary. In PS, you can make up a complete picture from nothing, if you want. But you are developing the photographic eye, learning the rule of thirds and about backgrounds and interesting subjects. The only way you do that is by shooting. Then your own photographic character develops. Undoubtedly, PS could improve -- or at least change -- some shots. But I was on one photoblog of a very good photographer who knows how to use PS (I am a novice) and he wsa trying out Picasa. From my perspective, there is a joy in photography and, for some, there is a joy in software. The danger is that you can lose the joy of photography if you get enslaved to the software.
If you could limit yourself to one PS concept every week or two, that would be plenty. But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

6:34 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Azhar said...

Firstly I'd like to be lame and start off with something stupid that great power comes with great respobsibility.So if you are going to use such a powerful tool on photoshop you have to know upto what point you make it better and beyond that ruin it and it's not as big a line as many think.A little more grain or a little more shadows can ruin a shot.
I would also like to point out about this sort of comment trade that has been happening with photoblogs - thanks for bringing it up - I don't want people to visit and comment because I visit theirs - I want them to come to help me grow in photography or if they like my shots appreciate them.It seems that if you don't comment sometimes they don't come.I go to many blogs everyday and they havn't ever seen my blog - I don't mind they have great shots and I would do the same for this blog and some others.
Ok now back to the shot - lovely for me - perfect balancing of shadows and highlights and very very crisp with a lovely blurred background.
Timmy submit your blog to (although I think they are still not accepting registrations for now go check) because you will get a substantial amount of traffic from there.
Best of luck :) - sorry for the long comment - I'll write a book next time and send it your way :-P

7:20 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Dave MacIntyre said...

I think Fraser nailed it. Photography should be soon as you get frustrated and think that every shot is poor or needs to be modified, the point of it is lost. The shots I have seen you post to date are excellent. I look at the creative element of photos more so than the technical element. You can have a technically perfect shot (colour, contrast, white balance etc etc.) of a very boring/common subject. I would shrug and say nothing special..OR you can photograph things that most people don't get to see! It creates excitement and astonishment to others...that's were the power is...technical tweaks will come with time. Personally, I use about 1/1000th of Photoshop's enhancement features, and my knowledge of even those function is limited only to what I think looks good! Keep your chin up and keep snapping!

8:13 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Laurie said...

I agree 100% with what other people have said.

I am basically computer and, in particularly, photoshop illiterate. Which has really forced me to make the best of what the camera can do. There is a point at which you do hit a wall and need to "tweak" in an editor.

I think for this shot you could even use a very basic program like Picasa to do what might need to be done to bring it to the standard you have in mind, because it doesn't look like it really needs much tweaking if any. Personally, I think the image is great the way it is.

I didn't even LOOK at editting software until after I'd used the digital camera for maybe 4 months. Just about the time I started this blog I started doing "little" things in editting, and most of them were done in Picasa. The only somewhat fancy tool I learned quickly was "history brush" which I used for selective coloring, and I probably didn't do it the way it is supposed to be done, but I really wanted a black and white pic of my son where his eyes were showed in their actual gorgeous hazel blue green and nearly aqua color. There are a few more things I have learned s l o w l y since then. This past week, in fact, I learned how to use the clone stamp tool, very cool tool, but again I probably didn't use it correctly.

I have no idea how to use layers and, Lord knows I've tried. I understand layers is very useful, but it's still a mystery to me and gets me very frustrated.

I'm rambling, what I really mean to say, is use the camera's features to get the best possible exposure to begin with, and I think you will be much happier with the result. I know that it has really helped me a lot. I love EV step and spot metering with Automatic Exposure Lock. I have also really learned how to interpret my LCD preview screen.

I posted a dandelion shot tonight that I took blind because I wasn't dressed for crawling around in the dirt. I used my camera to get me the best exposure I could. I thought the result was really very good. Other than cropping (I don't have a true macro, and that was the look I wanted, so I cropped it) I did zero post processing. When I look at it that way, I think it is probably one of my best shots, at least technically.

As far as site traffic goes, it ebbs and flows. My traffic has picked up dramatically in the last few weeks. Is it because I am getting better? Perhaps, who knows. Bottom line for me, it's fun and has helped me to become a better photographer.

Sorry for the novel sized comment. No one has ever accused me of being at a loss for words.

8:15 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Joy said...

Hi Tim,
I certainly sympathize with you. I agree with most everyone else. Remember why you picked up the camera to begin with. I would assume that it was because it made you happy. Try not to please too many people and concentrate on what appeals to you. If you plan on making a career in photography, and time is an issue, I would look into some courses. If not, take your time because you've got what it takes to become a great photographer...a great eye!!

8:40 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger pasivirta said...

kudos to all you healthy educators! you guys know how to encourage and teach at the same time!

11:10 PM, May 04, 2006  
Anonymous sil said...

I usually don't try to improve my photos as soon as put them in my computer. I transfer them from my cf card and then leave them there for a while. I discovered that when I go back to them later on I can evaluate them better and then work on them if necessary.

So keep on shooting because this makes you happy. Don't think of a beautiful scene or subject as something you can later improve or tweakl in PS. Just shoot what you feel is important for you in that moment.

Happy shooting :)


2:57 AM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Nicola said...

That's a great close-up! Interesting shape of the fern.

6:05 AM, May 05, 2006  
Anonymous Alice said...

Don't get discouraged, Tim. Although it is easy to do. But you're doing a great job with your photos! I've become a bit lazy the past week or two and haven't felt inspired enough to take as many photos as usual, but I do find that the most exciting part for me personally is the actual process of taking the photos. IF I need to edit something in PS later, I do, but the majority of the photos I post, I try to not use PS, just so I can allow myself time to improve my photography skills without getting bogged down in the software.

Don't worry about a shot being the perfect shot or not. Just do what you enjoy doing. If something brings you enjoyment and pleasure, then that's what makes it all worth it. (That's my 2 cents' worth anyway). ;-)

Keep up the good work! You're doing great!

6:54 AM, May 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey buddy, your shots are good. it is frustrating when you read something and then look at what you have taken. the idea is not perfection always, but what engages the eyes, the mind and the soul of what you encounter and see.

Keep up the good work, I love your shots, they are unique and awesome

10:13 AM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Ali said...

Well, I think that its natural to feel that you are not living up to your true potential, thats what gets you to become better. I have that feeling a lot when I visit sites that are much better than mine.

But seriously, there is nothing wrong with your work. Just keep it up and keep on improving!

11:30 AM, May 05, 2006  
Anonymous david kleinert said...

cheer up mate! I know how you feel - there really isn't enough time to check out other blogs that comment on your site. I think your pics are fine and keep it up. I'm finally buying the latest photoshop this week & will need lots of time to learn all the tricks. I'm looking forward to the challenge! cheers ;) Oh and this photo is very nice indeed!!

1:55 AM, May 07, 2006  
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