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-   -   Getting To Know Your Skyscraperpage Photographers (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=181003)

diskojoe Feb 23, 2012 7:15 PM

Ive taken probably 17000-18000 photos with my camera. My flickr has about 800. Of these maybe 100 are really good. 1 has made flickr explore.

glowrock Feb 24, 2012 2:59 PM

I hear you on that one, Joe. It's actually amazing how few great shots we get as a percentage of total photos taken! My guess is that around 10% of my photos end up really good, maybe 30% are acceptable, and the rest are pretty much garbage. Out of the 10% that are really good, maybe a third of those are really SSP-worthy!

Aaron (Glowrock)

flar Feb 24, 2012 3:35 PM

I not only take fewer shots now than I used to, I delete many shots right away, in the field. I've learned over time what will work and what won't. I also found that most of the time the first shot was the best, so now I just take one shot of something instead of two or three.

HomeInMyShoes Feb 24, 2012 6:34 PM

+1 at flar. At some point you just know what will work. I haven't posted a photothread in ages, but I would go out four or five times, take 20-30 images each time and put out a thread of about 50-60 images.

It boils down to subject matter and lighting. If you know the area, you know what you're looking for and you know when you should show up.

I would over-edit my threads a lot. I did take a break from over-censoring what was coming out of me in this thread where I posted every picture I took in about 40 minutes of time and it might actually say more than one of my multi-excursion threads. For me it boils down to having something to say.

Okayyou Feb 24, 2012 8:54 PM

Since I bought my 7D I have taken ~38,000 photos (shutter clicks). After I edited out the poorly composed, near duplicates and ones I didn't like I was left with 23,000 photos. This means I keep 60% of the photos I shoot. This batch was then whittled down to what I edited in Photoshop and posted my Flickr account, roughly 4,500 or 12% of my shots. I think the 4,500 can be filtered to the 500 that really stand out, only 1.6% of the original 38,000. Of the 500 I think I have 50-100 that I would feel comfortable hanging on my wall, roughly 0.2% of the original 38,000.

I've noticed my ratios have changed as I've become a better photographer. I think I take fewer throw-away shots and feel like I am editing more of the shots I've kept. It would be interesting to chart the data over time to see if my hunches are correct. They say your first 10,000 photos are your worst. I agree wholeheartedly.

xzmattzx Feb 28, 2012 6:19 AM

They say your first 10,000 photos are your worst? Meaning, you take tens or hundreds of thousands of pictures? Wow, this conversation is really putting me in my place. I have taken an estimated 3500 pictures ever: that includes family pictures, photothread pictures, friend pictures, reject photothread pictures, desktop background pictures, et al.

HomeInMyShoes Feb 28, 2012 1:26 PM

^Okay, I don't believe you've only taken 3,500. Based on the number of photothreads on skyscraperpage alone. :)

xzmattzx Feb 29, 2012 7:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 5608338)
^Okay, I don't believe you've only taken 3,500. Based on the number of photothreads on skyscraperpage alone. :)

Sorry, I'm getting my math wrong. Actually, it's been moe like 18,000 with my current camera, 5,500 with my second camera, and 8,600 with my first camera.

Okayyou Feb 29, 2012 8:07 PM

The quote is from Henri Cartier-Bresson but is pretty well repeated on the internet today. Generally I think it is more applicable to pro photographers that shoot every day. It also depends on how general you are with your subject matter. If you only shoot architecture you probably don't need 10,000 shots to figure out how to make a good image. And if you've shot 20,000 buildings it doesn't mean you can jump into sports photography like a pro. However there is probably some number of shots it takes to really understand a camera, I'd guess a couple thousand.

diskojoe Mar 1, 2012 2:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Okayyou (Post 5610216)
The quote is from Henri Cartier-Bresson but is pretty well repeated on the internet today. Generally I think it is more applicable to pro photographers that shoot every day. It also depends on how general you are with your subject matter. If you only shoot architecture you probably don't need 10,000 shots to figure out how to make a good image. And if you've shot 20,000 buildings it doesn't mean you can jump into sports photography like a pro. However there is probably some number of shots it takes to really understand a camera, I'd guess a couple thousand.

This is definitely a true statement when referring to a first camera. It takes a while to feel out a camera with lots of setting.

xzmattzx Apr 4, 2012 4:20 AM

So, Paradox21 is on the clock?

HomeInMyShoes Apr 4, 2012 1:24 PM

^Yes, as are previous silent members: Chelsea Spy, KCgridlock, and WpG_GuY

diskojoe Apr 4, 2012 2:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 5653645)
^Yes, as are previous silent members: Chelsea Spy, KCgridlock, and WpG_GuY

Any word back from any of them? It has been a while. I think we may need to go ahead and poll the regs to see who everyone thinks is hot right now.

After reviewing the list, I nominate Hayward. Kid is consistently producing quality stuff on the regular.

Chef Apr 5, 2012 12:05 AM

I think either Hayward or Fern would be good choices.

xzmattzx Apr 9, 2012 4:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chef (Post 5654638)
I think either Hayward or Fern would be good choices.

Since it's your call, based on chronology, who would you rather have? We might as well get this going; I'd like to hear about someone else.

Chef Apr 9, 2012 6:34 PM

I am going to say Fern.

fern Jun 24, 2012 12:01 PM

What are you shooting with and what would you like to shoot with?

I have a Canon 1000d I think it's called a Rebel XS in North America a sigma 10-20mm
and 50mm lens . I really want a decent zoom lens
If you could sum up your style in one photograph what photo would it be?
I am still learning and haven't found my style yet but I love night photography


Talk about your inspirations and influences.

No BS it's this forum you lot inspired me to pick up my fuji finepix and photograph Liverpool . I loved it so much I haven't stoped

Where have you not been that you want to photograph?

In North America I would love to go to St louis then take a train to kansas City . Two great cities that few Europeans visit. I've been all over Europe I just wished I had found my passion for photography years ago.

Talk about your most popular (in your opinion) photothreads.

The most popular thread was this
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=178613
I am a bit embarrassed about it, the photos are just bad.the thing that gives me hope is every thread I do is a little better than the last

Talk about your photothreads that didn't get the response you wanted.
I am surprised my photothreads get any responses
Any tips or personal wisdom you'd like to pass on to others?

Don't get too hung up on equipment and have fun



Who should we ask these questions of next? Bedhead

skylight Jun 24, 2012 4:43 PM

some excellent images here, makes me wanna get my camera out again

Okayyou Jul 11, 2012 5:14 AM

What are you shooting with and what would you like to shoot with?

I currently am using a Canon 5D mk III. However, nearly all the shots I have posted to SSP were taken with my 7D. I have the following lenses but really only use the ones in bold:

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS
• Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS (7D only)
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II
• Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L USM
Canon EF 50mm I f/1.8
• Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3
Sigma 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye

As for what I would like to shoot with, I’m happy with my 5D. It has a nice balance of MP, focusing ability and FPS. I’m planning on getting an UWA, probably the Canon 17mm TS. I’d like a macro lens but don’t think I’d use it very often. I’m also interested in some of the Zeiss primes, maybe a 35mm. I travel extensively with my gear so size and weight are large factors.

If you could sum up your style in one photograph what photo would it be?

I’m not sure anyone can express their style with one image. I like this shot I recently took in Havana:


Cell Stream by Porter Yates, on Flickr

I find a wide range of subject matter interesting but gravitate towards photos that provide a sense of place using multiple elements, images that express the relationship between culture and the environment. I like people shots. Sometimes I think my threads are too people centric, at least for a site called Skyscraper Page. My favorite shots are compiled on my site, I think they communicate my style best - see them here.

Talk about your inspirations and influences.

I didn’t get into photography until 2010. I was always more interested in Photoshop than photography. Once I became interested in taking photos I started studying some of the great travel photographers. Steve McCurry and Sebastiao Salgado are two of the masters. However the world has changed and many of the unique cultures they documented are now disappearing or gone. I really like Nick Brandt’s wildlife photography.

I find inspiration from lesser known sources too. I visit 500px and check out the popular and editor’s choice sections often. Google + is a good resource as well. I follow maybe 20 photographers that update constantly. It’s a great way to saturate yourself with imagery and learn about different techniques. The Atlantic’s in Foucs and The Boston Globe’s Big Picture are two other sources that are updated frequently and have some of the best images on the web regarding current events.

And of course this site still is, and has been a large influence on me. I’ve yet to find another place on the web that has a format that works as well for showcasing photography. I like viewing images in sets and I think photothreads, when done well, hit the right combination of photojournalism and creative expression. I remember looking at Sabatoi’s, Mr. John’s & KOTH’s threads, amazed by their people shots. I thought I’d just go out and do the same. Nope. They had skills that I didn’t. I think gio puts together a great thread - top imagery, documentation and structure. Giallo’s sets are some of my favorite, the way he captures city life is superb.

Where have you not been that you want to photograph?

India and Ethiopia are at the top of my list. I’m fascinated by the variety of history and culture in both places. I’ll be traveling to India in a few weeks, currently no plans for Ethiopia. I’d also like to visit Yemen, Madagascar and Namibia, all three locales have really unique sites and culture. I’ve found few experiences as enjoyable as setting out in a foreign place, camera in hand and just exploring.

Talk about your most popular (in your opinion) photothreads.

My Egypt thread was pretty well received. I think it helped that I posted it when the revolution was occurring. I’ve found my city threads do the best. Rio De Jainero, Buenos Aires and London were all pretty popular.
It helps to have a thread where the locals get behind it or where other people have traveled. People like to talk about what they know and relate to the familiar.

Talk about your photothreads that didn't get the response you wanted.

None of my Ecuador threads were that popular but I was surprised Ecuador II and Ecuador III didn't generate much interest.

It’s understandable since I was covering a lot of remote locales and villages. I’ve recognized that the emotional experience involved with capturing photographs is personal. My connection to the images is biased due to how I was feeling when I took them. Shots I really like might not be technically strong or interesting to others. I find it helpful posting here to see what grabs people’s attention. Sometimes an image that I nearly cut from a thread is commented on the most.

As others have said, there is a bias towards North American cities and there does seem to be a drop in popularity across the site recently. I’m grateful for any interest in my threads and appreciate the community’s comments.

Any tips or personal wisdom you'd like to pass on to others?

I believe understanding how to post process is just as important as knowing how to compose and capture images. However, just like any tool, you have to be aware of how to use it. This can be anything from adjusting contrast and colors to completely restructuring image elements. I view photography as an art. The act of recording reality is never pure and there will always be falsehoods; lenses and cameras distort so I see no issue distorting more in post processing. As long as people are honest about it, there shouldn’t be an issue with creative expression.

Some general rules I follow:
Don’t post similar images or too many of the same subject. Five shots of the same building will lose people’s interest quickly.

Straightened and aligned photos look better than crooked ones. I’m not talking about the intentionally shifted frame; I mean the one to two degrees of accidental hand tilt in every shot. If you don’t believe in post processing, then you can turn on the camera’s viewfinder grid and straighten the shot before you click.

A lot of shots require patience. Waiting for people to move out of the way or for a scene to develop takes time. But waiting it out will produce superior results.

Pay attention to subtleties and background elements. What’s occurring behind someone can be just as important as what they are doing in the foreground. Is the horizon shooting through their face? Are they framed by distracting or complimenting elements? Little things make a big difference.

Finally, don't blow the highlights.

Who should we ask these questions of next?

If Ninjatune is still active let’s hear from him. If not I’ll make another suggestion.

Illithid Dude Jul 11, 2012 5:49 AM

Okayyou, get the Zeiss 35mm. It's my favorite lens, and no matter what lens I am using, I always end up going back to the Zeiss 35mm. Also, your an incredible photographer by any rights, but it just blows my mind that you've only been taking pictures for two years. Just saying, you should come to L.A. All us Angelinos would love to see our city from your lens ;)


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