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Opinions Needed

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:29 pm
by highlandcow
Hello all

I need some outside opinions. I've always been out and about with my camera, snapping away, annoying my pals, you know the sort of thing.
People have said I'm good at it (my cousin even asked me to fill in after her photographer went home at her wedding) but I've never thought much about it....until now. I'm considering getting on a photography course and possibly turning it into something more than a hobby.

But while my friends and family say I'm good, they might just be saying that, so I remove my lens from their collective faces.
I need your help!

I've uploaded a few to photobucket...just a few Scotland landscapes, don't worry you don't have to trawl through thousands of pictures of my friends and family.
If anyone has the time, I'd love a few opinions. I don't want to spend money on a course if I'm rubbish! :o

Cheers! ... 5692_n.jpg
(Glasgow Botanical Gardens) ... 7181_n.jpg
(Sunrise over Glasgow) ... 5256_n.jpg
(Mystery location...can't remember) ... 2569_n.jpg
(Windfarm in the Highlands - taken from a moving car) ... 212419.jpg
(The town my family live in) ... 193127.jpg
(Dunkeld in Summer) ... CF3244.jpg
(Glasgow Botanical Gardens...again)

Re: Opinions Needed

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:36 pm
by snail
Well, I think you've got the eye, but is it something you could make money from do you think? Why not take a course anyway - it will be interesting and you'll get a better idea of what your next step might be, what sort of careers might be open. Most local colleges do photography courses. Several of my friends and family like photography but only one of them has ever made any money from it (and only because it's very hard to find the things he takes pictures of). I would guess you've either got to do portraits and weddings, or specialise and get on the books of an agency. When I used to write for magazines I remember editors saying that they rarely paid for pictures - they were either supplied by the author as part of the payment for an article or, if they were of places, they were supplied free by the tourist/promotions department for that place. What they did have to pay for was specialist pictures, and they always got these from an agency. I bet your course tutor would know about these things.

Re: Opinions Needed

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:25 am
by captainf
I like your shots. They're really nice, so you do have an eye for it. I think that a course might be something you'll enjoy and get alot out of it. However, courses aren't always essential. A few of my friends are self taught and their photos are better than some pro's out there. One of my friends works as an automotive photographer. I think he finds his work via an agent. You can often research alot online - use youtube videos to learn how to use photoshop. Also it's worth uploading your photos to sites like Flickr or Deviant art as members can give feedback. I used to use flickr but now only use it to keep in contact with friends that upload pics there (flickr has a 200 free upload limit) I use Deviant art mainly as it doesn't have a free upload limitation and generally gets better traffic and feedback.

What kind of camera do you have? I use a 'bridge camera' Previously I used the Fujifilm S8000fd which I took this photo with.. ... 4qabr1.jpg ... 4bn3j7.jpg ... 4bn2xj.jpg ... 4m45a7.jpg

but now I use the fujifilm S3400, I took these pics with it.. ... 5k7axt.jpg ... 5bc2ee.jpg ... 5iidhk.jpg

I'd just recommend you do what I did and just look around on the net, see what kind of pics people go for, then try your own methods and compositions. Sometimes you'll take a pic, get it on the PC and realise its unlevel or off center - some of the pics i've copied here are just like that, but they still have a unique wow factor about them and worth keeping, sometimes they are just poor.. and sometimes you get a shot that just looks amazing. It's just about practice. I've got friends that will go to an airport, take about 2000 pics and only keep 700 due to the others being blury, or cut off part of the plane etc
Also, the wow factor is pretty key. If you see something and think 'wow, that looks nice' it's probably worth pointing the camera at it.

Also beware that if you get a decent pic, sometimes people nick them. One of my pics is extremely popular, it's a pic of Milton Keynes from the air and has featured on numerous sites without my consent.. one company was even selling a photo of mine of a plane a few years back. Most of the time companies/people that use your work ask to do so, and those that don't are happy to remove it or credit you if you contact them, some ignore you (MK web did that with me) You get used to it eventually, but it shouldn't happen.

If you find that you are really enjoying getting out and about and taking pics and you've really got a keen interest a course might be for you, but if you want to make a career out of it you've got to think about what genre and whether it's an oversaturated market.

Re: Opinions Needed

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:50 pm
by highlandcow
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm glad you like them.
At the very least, I can get a job for the Glasgow Tourist Board. :)

I'd like to get on the course, but I think you're right Captain about it being an over saturated market.
Still...nothing ventured.... [-o<

Re: Opinions Needed

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:51 pm
by highlandcow
PS - Yours are really good as well Captain!

Re: Opinions Needed

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:19 pm
by captainf
A photographers job with the tourist board? Nice idea. i've never thought about that before! That does sound pretty good if you can do that! :) Always worth a try!
Try and be flexible with your photography, like today I was watching tv, saw the sunset, ran for my camera. I've now got 51 pics on the PC of tonights sunset haha :) Sometimes those spontaneous moments bring about the best pics. Also try and plan some trips places for decent pics. For example I plan to go to one of the big lakes in MK when I know there is going to be a good sunset (remember to watch the weather forcast) and get some pics of the sunset and reflection on the water. So you see, it's worth planning but also being flexible. Also make sure you have multiple sets of batteries so you don't end up running out!! A friend of mine went to take pics of fireworks in MK over the weekend and as she pressed the button her camera switched off - battery flat! haha.

Perhaps setup a facebook page for your photography, get friends to like it (i've had a few friends ask me to like theirs lately) See if there are any photography groups in your area that have regular outtings. Also send pics in to newspapers of points of interest - especially weather related stuff like heavy snowfall, flooding, storm damage..etc

Most importantly, build up a nice portfolio of your photos to show off. You want to show off your best ones to gain interest from employers.

Oh and also thanks. They're not my best shots, but show off some things you should have a go at :)

Re: Opinions Needed

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:05 am
by LME79
Just something re people nicking your pictures. If this is happening a lot, you should upload your pictures with a digital stamp which says something like COPY or your name. This can be done quite faintly without damaging the composition. Then, if they really want to use it they'll have to contact you in order to get permission to use the original.