Lee Sacrey Photography – Lee's Chatter

Mainly Photography but a little of everything at times

Besides actually taking pictures – what do you do to make your photography better?

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I have written about the importance of workshops to Amateur and professional photographers. I have written about get out there and practicing the craft. I have even mentioned that I don’t feel that reading about what to do without actually trying things won’t make you better (you may have a better understanding but without trial and error what did you really learn). I still agree with and believe those topics but, There is another point to be made.

There are a number of resources at our exposure, excuse the pun, that if used can assist us in becoming much better.

First there are things about equipment. I use to read a lot of online reviews from places like DP Review (and I still do to some degree). I also look at quite a few magazine reviews. Are they helpful, well there are to a point. What I have found over time is that the truly good reviews are those that aren’t done in some lab. How many of us shoot in a camera testing lab. The best reviews that help me are those do in the real world. Those that are done the way the photographer doing the test actually photographs. They give me more true to live information about that equipment I am thinking of purchasing. So find a review done by a photographer who shoot similar types of things as you do and see they work for you.

Second, online photography groups and picture posting sites. The biggest of these of course is Flickr. I have a few photos on Flickr but, only a few that I want friends and family to see. I have been able to get a lot of things from my Flickr account. I also have a Digital Photography School membership, which I liked at first but I couldn’t get what I wanted out of it. I also am a member of NPN or Nature Photographer Network. It is an online magazine with a great forum area and a great posting area. I have gotten great help with composition and other related photography tips from NPN. The other members aren’t concerned with what brand of equipment you use or what your experience level you are. It is a more helpful group, there to provide good advice and support. I would recommend you check it out.

Third, books and magazines are a great resources. Books as instructional tools I don’t have a lot of but, I do have a few. Most of my book are more just books of photographs which give me lots of photograph to see but don’t offer a lot of instruction. I do have instructional books but, of the four instructional books I own only one has offered me more than just the basics of digital photography. Magazines (I might have a habit-forming here) well, There are three I purchase regularly and I get from a subscription. I get Popular Photography probably every other month or when I see something on the cover that grabs my attention. PhotoLife is the same and National Geographic because really, who offers better photographs then NG. Outdoor Photography Canada I get through subscription and for what I like to shoot, I believe it is easily the best of the bunch. It offers information about places where I can go without too much trouble (I am in Canada after all). It always has instruction on different aspects of photography and it has articles by and profiles about photographers I can generally get access to through workshops which are both advertised in the magazine or through the photographers websites (if you go to the magazines online website that gets even easier).

The fourth and final thing I can mention is; to find other people who you can share ideas with about your photography. It doesn’t matter if they are at a different level then you. The amount of knowledge you can gain just from the association is amazing.

So there are four things I do besides just taking pictures that help me get better. I think they are all important on some level so, think about what you do when you are not shooting that can help you. However, we must always remember all of this is great stuff  but, if you don’t actually take pictures what will it do for you in reality. If you don’t believe me you had better pick up the latest Outdoor Photography Canada. Darwin Wiggett has a great article on why we need to photograph every day. As always thanks for reading and Happy Shooting.

Below are the prints that I am sending out this weekend and the two canvas prints I have coming on monday. Thanks to those who are getting them, I am just happy that you look at and like my photographs.

This is the Photo chosen by my contest winner last week. I have called the picture “Ice Cold”. Here is the data;

Sony a700 with Minolta 70 – 210 mm Beercan @ 75 mm (112 on full frame), ISO 400, 2 second shutter speed, f20, +1.3 ev

This is the photo that is being sent to Dubai. I called this one “Aurora Reflections”. Here is the data;

Sony a700 with Sony 11 – 18 mm @ 11 mm (16.5 on full frame), ISO 200, 2 minutes and 10 second shutter speed, f4.5

This photo is going to my Sister in Peace River (it is Peace River at night). Here is the data;

Sony a700 with Sony 11 – 18 mm @ 18 mm (27.5 on full frame), ISO 200, 25 second shutter speed, f5.6

This is one of the photos that I have printed on canvas (16 x 20). I called it “Frozen Beauty”. Here is the data;

Sony a700 with Minolta 70 – 210 mm @ 75 mm (112 on full frame), ISO 200, 1.6 second shutter speed, f10, +2.7 ev

This is the second photo being printed on canvas (16 x 20). Here is the data;

Sony a700 with Sigma 18 – 50 mm f2.8 @ 18 mm (27.5 on full frame), ISO 200, 23 second shutter speed, f2.8

The two canvas prints (which are gallery wrapped) were done by Jeremy at Jasper Camera and Gift in Jasper, Alberta. Thanks again Jeremy and look forward to see them on Monday (March 29)

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Written by leesacrey

March 27, 2010 at 7:57 PM

One Response

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  1. That second photo is a print of beauty, lee! Really blows my mind how the light spires up like that. Looks something magical.


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