Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I see your true colours...

Thank you one and all for taking part in what was a "just for fun" little game in my previous post "Camera Obscura" where I shared photos I took with my new, borrowed-from-my-brother bridge camera (Panasonic Lumix FZ100) alongside those taken on NewMan's phone, a Samsung Galaxy S II. I asked you lot to tell me which photos were taken with which device and which photos were "better".

There followed some nasty, scathing, hurtful and VERY true and VERY useful comments all choosing B photos as the better ones, and so assumptions were made that this was the "better" camera. Not so. NewMan's phone took all of the B photographs, and I now recognise that they were better photos.

So what, my dear friends is the moral of this story? I believe it is this: it isn't what you have to take the photo (within reason) but how you physically and visually approach capturing it. I now know that I have MUCH to learn in this department, but this is good news because it could be easier and more fun to learn than digesting a 300 page camera manual

I'd be lying if I said my pride wasn't a little bruised from this experience but after some more thought and internal discussion I have decided to keep on trying. I was particularly encouraged by Joaquim and professional photographer Mat's advice in their comments , I know that I do see photography as something I want to explore further and I'm now lucky enough to have a decent camera to do this with. I've been very quick to call myself a bad photographer in the past and I think that is unjust. I should at least give it a go, try and learn more and then if this fails, I can call myself a bad photographer with greater conviction knowing that at least I tried.

So I am going to take this camera away with me and I'm going to enjoy getting to know it better. As mentioned previously I will also allow some of NewMan's phone photographs sneak in so comparisons can be made again and you (and I) can maybe check in on my progress. If I'm going to improve remotely what better way than documenting my trip exploring the other side of the world.


  1. I think it's mainly about composition and all that entails. I wouldn't dream about using a phone camera on a trip. Ever. And once you get to know the camera you can experiment with it. It WILL have the better lens and sensor too. Not to say that the phone didn't do some good photos. Ok for day to day things but not for more important stuff. Happy snapping, and most important of all, enjoy it! x

  2. I really like the pics your getting with the camera. To my untrained but pretty fussy eye they are good, especially the one of the flower. The paving slabs wasn't really a fair contest. He has a whole different angle on the world anyway to you! Try leaving the lens open for a while at night time. Make sure the camera is still (use the timer so pushing the button doesn't cause blurring), can achieve some amazing effects. I've bookmarked some pages with helpful forum advice and examples so will pass them on. See you soon

  3. Scathing.. ooops sorry.. I was a little harsh.. But you'll pick yourself up again and you'll be harder to knock next time.
    When I first studied photography I could only afford one film per fortnight & it really made me think about each picture so much more. Now with digital I actually take worse pics as I'm encouraged to take loads of photos then delete bad ones, instead of putting thought into each shot.
    My difficulty was always taking photos on overcast days. On such days I’d go out and not take one shot, for fear of wasting film on bland results. It wasn't till I stayed at "Blaenau Ffestiniog" (search it in Google images,) a fascinatingly bleak slate mining town in the North Walesh mountains, that I first achieved consistent success in overcast weather. The location and subject matter, just lend themselves to that light. Now on overcast days I look for the Blaenau side of things; the sad, melancholic, moody or desolate shot, also degradation, and decay especially in close-ups. It was also at Blaenau where I learnt to reduce the aperture stop and with tripod take a photo with a long exposure to get landscape shots with great texture in detail capturing the vastness in natural landscapes and their texture.
    So to improve I recommend, focused, thought on each shot, study your photos look at what areas you struggle with try to find a way to take a better photo in that situation. Also study how other photographers deal with different situations. Only by constant trial and error will you have those eureka moments and find your own style.


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