In da (camera) club

My photographic adventures continue – and by “adventures” I mean “disasters”, because despite various online tutorials and help from David I still have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way for me to suss out this photography lark is to see other people doing it properly, and to have people explain to me what’s going wrong when I try to do the same as them and make a complete arse of it. So! A camera club!

Maybe not. I did some searching and right enough, there’s a camera club in my town – but reading through the site any appeal the idea had quickly wore off. As expected there’s the usual lectures – “Sergeant Major McDonald presents My Perambulations in Patagonia, a photographic essay” – which don’t float my boat, but it was the list of upcoming events that really killed the idea for me. The big event this spring? A trip to Jessops.

Jessops, for those of you outside the UK, is a high street camera shop.

9 thoughts on “In da (camera) club

  1. mupwangle says:

    I considered doing a course until I looked up the site of the guy running it and it was shit.

    I still think you should just play with it still. Decide what you want to take a picture of. Take it. Look at it and try to work out what you did wrong. Take another. Take 500. Just remember to clear your trash in iphoto as it takes up a lot of space.

  2. Callum says:

    My bother, (not the one that is a complete a-hole, for those of you how know me) is on a coures at stow collage. He thinks it is quite usefull.

  3. rutty says:

    I’m using various groups on Flickr as part of my photographic training. That and reading through some of the monthly photo mags and whatever I can find on-line.

    I can recommend a few Flickr groups if you’re that way inclined. The ones I’m a member of are not at all snobby and there are quite a few total amateurs as well as a few fairly decent photogs too.

  4. mupwangle says:

    Agree totally on the Flickr thing. There are a lot of decent folks on it. Some complete pricks too though. ;-)

  5. Stephen says:

    I’ve always found http://photo.net/ to be quite useful; like anything else there is some rubbish, but there’s a fair bit that’s useful.

    My tip would be to find a picture that really appeals to you, then try to work out why: what did the photographer do? Then try to recreate it – not going to any great lengths, just a quick snap, and compare.

    For example, I noticed after a while that a lot of the portraits I liked isolated the subject by throwing the background out of focus. Easy to do in theory with a DSLR, just open the aperture all the way to reduce depth of field. Actually getting it to work took a bit more practice, of course!

  6. Stephen says:

    Also, don’t forget, it takes a while to get good! Photography seems easier than say painting or drawing, and perhaps it is to get something that looks reasonable. But to get something really nice also takes a lot of practice. The nice thing about digital is that it doesn’t cost much to go out and shoot thousands of pics. And that really is key. Someone once said that the difference between a pro and an amateur is that the pro will take ten times as many shots than the amateur. While it’s not the whole story, it is a factor: if you increase the sample size you increase the likelihood of some of them being really great.

  7. Armin says:

    I think Stephen’s second comment is the crucial one, not to expect a fantastic picture every time. Taking lots of pictures and then deleting, deleting some more, editing, editing some more until you’re finally left with the handful (or even only one) good one(s).

    A little bit like writing, something you should know something about as a journalist ;-)

  8. Gary says:

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Sorry I’ve been a bit tardy in acknowledging them – things are a bit frantic workwise just now. I’m writing the complete guide to Digital SLR photography, you see.

    No, not really.

  9. mupwangle says:

    Have to admit, though, that some of the peeps in your club are actually quite good. Despite the Jessops trip.

    That reminds me – if anyone asks for ideas for me birthday – Jessops vouchers would be handy.

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