First of all, I hope I am putting this in the right spot.  Photography is a skill, so I figured this would be a good place to start.  

Photography is a huge hobby of mine, and I love it very much.  I don't have a typical point and shoot or a DSLR, I just use my iPhone for now (budget restraints).  What I was hoping for is a discussion on photography styles, photographs, favorite subjects, cameras, etc.  

My favorite subject is nature and landscapes.  I've been told I have an eye for it.  I'll be driving around and I'll see a vista and just think "Wow, that'd make a great photo".  So i'll pull over and take some shots.  This includes trees, sunsets, clouds, fields, flowers, grass, the sky, basically anything in nature.  Another thing I love to shoot is old windmills, barns, anything rustic.  Where I live (Oklahoma, for now), there seems to be a large variety of old farmhouses and the like.  I'm not sure how old, but I've seen buildings that have to be going on 100 years old in various stages of disrepair.  

I've posted some of my favorites here - http://500px.com/victorfranklin1988 in case you wanted to check it out.  Anyway, what do you like to take photos of?

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Hey there! 

There are actually a good number of photographers (both amateur and professional) on the AoM - always glad to have another. 


Professionally I take product and architecture photographs (http://streetlevel-photography.com/) . For fun, I do a lot of street and urban environment photography (and some landscape when opportunity strikes - http://www.flickr.com/photos/streetlevel-photography/). I find it relaxing. 


We do have a group for Photography and photographers as well - if you'd like to check it out: http://community.artofmanliness.com/group/aomphotogroup

Thanks!  I've joined the group, and I love your website, there are some truly amazing photos there.

Hi Victor,

 

Great to see you have a passion and a hobby for photography. Me too! I would suggest you focus on composition right now while using your iPhone. I actually use my phone more than my DSLR. I often tell people the best two classes I ever took were composition and photo critique. I’ll throw out a few “rules” to help you get started.

 

1)   The rule of thirds (just Google it!). Basically never center your subject in the frame.

2)   Fill the frame, with your subject.

3)   Change your perspective, get on the ground, etc.

 

Easter before last my wife and I went to New Orleans. I had $3K in camera gear with me, but just didn’t want to lug all that weight around so we shot with our iPhones! I do that a lot.

 

I’ve attached 3 photos, for examples.

 

PicA – A photo of “Pirates Alley”, It’s kind of cool, this is what most people do.

 

PicB – Same alley, but a photographer’s photo. I got low, and framed it so the gutter can from the corner of the frame and carries your eye down the alley.

 

PicC- Is PicB with some photo processing done via the LoMob App on my iPhone.

 

Hit the library for books on composition. It doesn’t even have to be photography. Art is where it’s at! Study good art composition and you’ll be miles ahead.

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I see what you mean.  The 2nd and 3rd photos are amazing.  I've taken some art classes and learned some about perspective, negative space, and about not centering the subject.  I try to remember that, but as evidenced by my photos on 500px (if you looked, if not please do, I'm still rather proud of them) I don't always, but I will certainly give it a shot thanks for the advice!

In my opinion one of the most difficult things to understand about photography when you step in to a DSLR, or if you go with film and use an SLR, is Depth of Field and Shutter Speed, and how both of these settings affect the over all look of your photograph.  Composition is also extremely important too, but they all really relate to each other.  You have to use all three in conjunction with a well framed photograph to draw attention where you want the attention focused.  However Depth of Field is one the most distracting to me, if it isn't used correctly.  Especially in landscapes, wildlife, travel and portrait photography.  Many photographers learn about depth of field and it becomes a natural thing to make the right decisions about it once you understand it, but you often forget after years of shooting what your first photos looked like and how you'd get lost in the details because your background was too sharp, or your subject too soft.  Learn to control these, and then think about them when you frame.  That's what I tell folks.

Another important thing to do when shooting in my opinion is to bracket photos.  You won't know until you get home and are uploading your photos whether or not closing down that one stop was the right choice or not.  I always do in camera metering, then change my settings to what I want to achieve if I have any question as to what my aperture or shutter speed should be. I can remember the days of carrying around grey cards and light meters though to try and get accurate metering.  I also work with Aperture Priority settings and Shutter Priority setting a lot.  This allows me to control the one aspect that is the most important for that given shot, and allows me to shoot much faster.

One of my favorite sites to visit is http://digital-photography-school.com/.  I started my career in the arts in a lab working with a professional photographer, then went on to do custom lab work on a broader market, all the while working on my own craft.  DPS has given me a ton of information both about the digital age of photography, been working in digital for over 12 years, and in general photography as well.  Great site.

There are also a ton of magazines I learn a lot from as well.  Next time you go to Barnes and Noble browse this section and you'll be enthralled with all the things you can learn.  Its all in the details.

Oh and you'll never know it all.

I just got an Olympus XA 35mm camera. So far ive been taking allot of nature too. Im gonna try the caffenol process when im done with the roll

Nice. The XA is one of my favorite small 35mm's. Great lens on that little sucker. And the clamshell design makes it a great pocket camera. Easily up there with my other favorite in the genre, the Rollei 35 - an amazing piece of engineering, but scale focus only - so as a shooter, the edge actually goes to the XA!

 

Have fun with it!

After watching an episode of Scrubs back in the day, I picked up a Polaroid Land Camera and have been having fun with that the last couple years. I'm in Afghanistan right now, but I picked up a 1964 Zorki 4 35mm from a guy in the Ukraine on eb@y. He shipped it here no problem. The only issue is since it's film, I have to ship the rolls to the States to get developed and then they ship them back here. If the film comes back ok (not sure if the camera works or not) I'll snap a bunch of rolls and get them developed after my tour. ha ha

[quote]what do you like to take photos of?[/quote]

Upskirts. A good one of a popstrel coming out of a limo in front of a nightclub can bring in a lot of beer.

Victor,

Excellent landscape photos. You have got a talent for capturing a sunset, even with an iPhone. I think you are selling yourself short not having a DSLR camera and good lens. Definitely time to slowly put back for one. 

Personally, I like to take candid pictures of people and urban decay (city boy I know) because they can both be so provocative if done right. I find posed pictures of people to be vain and fake more often than not. You mentioned old barns, which is in the same vein as urban photography. The details, weathering and decay can really present some great detail photos, can't they?

The attached photo is one I took while working on a service trip to New Orleans in March. I used the standard camera software to tint it.

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