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back alley's In The Bag Joe's quest for the ultimate Camera Bag! So many bags .. so little time ...

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do you practice?
Old 08-15-2013   #1
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do you practice?

http://petapixel.com/2013/08/15/vete...to-get-better/
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Old 08-15-2013   #2
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I didn't watch the video because my wife is right next to me watching a rerun or "Magnum PI" I came in late so I'm a bit lost, but I would say that I practice quite a lot. I practice with the mechanics of my camera and light metering, pre-focusing, bringing the camera to my eye, stance. I also spend time simply observing my environment and people watching. I think that it is kind of like fishing or hunting in that way; preparation and observation help quite a bit and increase my ability to catch what I see in a photograph. Of course there is always a bit of chance and being in the right place at the right time too. I suppose practice indicates a certain amount of intentionality and that is vital, in my opinion. A good question Joe, I shall enjoy following the thread.
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Old 08-15-2013   #3
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Every chance I get. Even if I don't have a camera in my hands.

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Old 08-15-2013   #4
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Excellent video. I never really thought about it before, but that's probably why I get better photos from my Olympus digital or Fuji Natura than any other camera I have: because those are the cameras I've practiced with enough to "just know" how to use them without thinking to get the shot I want.
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Old 08-15-2013   #5
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Every chance I get. Even if I don't have a camera in my hands.

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Same here.

If there is a day when I have not exposed at least some frames of film or developed some rolls of film, I feel like I have wasted a day of my life.
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Old 08-15-2013   #6
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All the time. Last week I spent 20 minutes lying in bed at 1AM loading and reloading my M7 with an old roll of film. I've never been happy with how long it takes me to reload so I'm trying to get faster.
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Old 08-15-2013   #7
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Excellent video and yes, I am continuously practicing...

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Old 08-15-2013   #8
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I think I need less practice now than I did 25 years ago, when I started, just by sheer repetition over the years. However, I actually find myself practicing more now than I ever did before (I didn't at all at the beginning).

The things I practice most often are guesstimating FOV. 50,35 and 21 are second nature to me, but 28 and 90 are harder because I use them less. I also like to practice guessing exposures. Often, even when I walk around with a camera without the intent of using it immediately, I still keep my finger on the shutter and flick it back and forward 2-3 stops as appropriate as a I move from sun to shadows.
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Old 08-15-2013   #9
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Yes, I do.
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Old 08-15-2013   #10
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Nice video Joe, thanks for posting the link .
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Old 08-15-2013   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
Same here.

If there is a day when I have not exposed at least some frames of film or developed some rolls of film, I feel like I have wasted a day of my life.
I feel much the same way. Storm or not, I go out and a camera comes with me. It's usually the Canon P, but if I should ever have to leave my main camera behind (which is almost never), there's always the Rollei 35 in my right pocket and my phone in the left.

I feel quite lost without a camera on me. I once had to check in my bag and main camera to go into a nightclub with some friends and my only comfort was the 2 cameras in my pockets. I swear my right hand was on my pocket almost the entire time I was there.
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Old 08-15-2013   #12
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everything is practice for the next shot.

contentedness is the enemy of progress.
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Old 08-15-2013   #13
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everything is practice for the next shot.

contentedness is the enemy of progress.
This!

(At least 5 more characters needed).
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Old 08-15-2013   #14
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Saw that video...and grabbed a camera!

Yes, I try to practice every day!
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Old 08-15-2013   #15
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i try to shoot as often as i can. i sometimes 'play' with a camera while watching tv...getting to know the menu etc.
i used to practice loading film in the old days.
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Old 08-15-2013   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i try to shoot as often as i can. i sometimes 'play' with a camera while watching tv...getting to know the menu etc.
i used to practice loading film in the old days.
I don't think a day goes by that I don't have a camera in my hands...just feel naked walking anywhere without one :-) very risque :-)
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Old 08-15-2013   #17
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i carry a camera/bag everyday, everywhere i go.
being out of work now, i shoot most days...even if it's only a quick table top project.
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Old 08-15-2013   #18
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Oh Cool. I love John Free and his video's. He is very blunt and to the point. I stumbled across his vids on youtube about a month ago and watched a whole bunch of them, he talks a LOT about practicing. Before hearing him talk about it, I had done a little practice, mainly with focusing, pre-focusing to be exact, and framing, I wanted to get quicker at it and proficient at doing it with each of my SLR's. of course, then I got a leica, and it was like having to re-learn all of that again! So, thanks for posting this video, I had seen it before like I said, but seeing it again has inspired me to take the roll of film out of my M4-P, go walk the neighborhood or stand in my yard for a few hours a day, and pretend to be walking up to a subject, get my rangefinder focusing times down to the lows I had previously achieved with an slr!

P.S. another cool thing John Free teaches about is the "3 things in every photo" mindset. His theory is that there must be at least 3 interesting elements to any good photograph, for him, if he doesn't see 3 things, he doesn't take the shot.... Adopting this mentality would no doubt save me film. I am trying, but sometimes I still find myself settling for just 2...
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Old 08-15-2013   #19
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I do, but never enough. BTW, how I love that man..
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Old 08-15-2013   #20
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I wonder if John Free can see ''3 interesting things'' in Gursky's Rhine 11 creation.......
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Old 08-16-2013   #21
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what a cool guy, thanks for posting this.
i like this quote " get rid of the tension, get rid of the showing off with cameras"
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Old 08-16-2013   #22
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Yes, I do, both with the camera and with the mind and eye when I'm out walking - I usually see more interresting stuff worth a picture in the streets when I don't have a camera with me than when I'm packing one..... I must force myself not to be lazy and take it everywhere!
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Old 08-16-2013   #23
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I don't think I practice, not in the way that musicians or actors do, much of what I do is instinctive–I've been doing it that long.
What I do is test; new films are tested and plotted so I know their characteristics, sometimes with a new camera I'll shoot off a test roll also.
Not sure if that's practice, I certainly don't sit with cameras working out hyperfocal or other setting as my main enemy is time if I have a camera on me I'm on my way to shoot something–I rarely carry a camera.
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Old 08-16-2013   #24
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Of course. How else do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Quote:
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Old 08-16-2013   #25
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Every shot I take is practice.
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Old 08-16-2013   #26
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Every shot I take is practice.
Yeah, this is how I feel.
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Old 08-16-2013   #27
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Old 08-16-2013   #28
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He does have a point in saying though that we don't think of practising photography the same way we think about music or sports for example, too bad I've become a bit of a weekend photographer
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Old 08-16-2013   #29
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Never looked at it this way.... he's right, everything else we do needs practice, but photography..... we take it for granted.

The problem is, you've got to practice with your eye, you've got to have the right reflexes, both mentally (deciding how to frame, to expose) and mechanically to operate the camera correctly.

You are not born a photographer.... the modern cameras help a lot to take technically adequate pictures, but they will not be good pictures. Good pictures come from practice.... and I'm going out shooting now.
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Old 08-16-2013   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxloverxx View Post
I feel much the same way. Storm or not, I go out and a camera comes with me. It's usually the Canon P, but if I should ever have to leave my main camera behind (which is almost never), there's always the Rollei 35 in my right pocket and my phone in the left.

I feel quite lost without a camera on me. I once had to check in my bag and main camera to go into a nightclub with some friends and my only comfort was the 2 cameras in my pockets. I swear my right hand was on my pocket almost the entire time I was there.
As a 20th anniversary gift, my wife got me a mint condition Nikonos V with the 35mm f/2.5 amphibious lens. This camera lets me shoot in hurricane type weather when the need arises and keeps my non weather sealed cameras and lenses safe from water damage.

These cameras and lenses can be purchased for around $200 with a little judicious shopping and are a great addition to any kit. The 35mm f/2.5 is also highly regarded in terms of sharpness, contrast and color rendition; you are decidedly not sacrificing image quality by using this setup in hostile weather conditions.
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Old 08-16-2013   #31
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He does have a point in saying though that we don't think of practising photography the same way we think about music or sports for example, too bad I've become a bit of a weekend photographer
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Never looked at it this way.... he's right, everything else we do needs practice, but photography..... we take it for granted.

The problem is, you've got to practice with your eye, you've got to have the right reflexes, both mentally (deciding how to frame, to expose) and mechanically to operate the camera correctly.

You are not born a photographer.... the modern cameras help a lot to take technically adequate pictures, but they will not be good pictures. Good pictures come from practice.... and I'm going out shooting now.

No need to be hard on yourselves. When a musician practices their instrument (after the basics mechanical skill are acquired) they play, and become better by playing more.

Practicing with a camera does not mean exclusively practicing focusing, visualization, quick setting of exposure parameters, etc. If you pay attention to what you are doing and spend some time analyzing your results, then every time you take a picture you practice. And if you don't live by your photography, that's a great way to learn.
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Old 08-16-2013   #32
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For me (for the kind of photography I do) doing is practice and practice is doing. I don't set aside time for "practice" photography and time for "Real" photography. It's not like a musician or athlete who is required to show up and do their work at a given time and place. Well, maybe if you are a wedding photographer the analogy would be apt. But not for me.
I guess the days I don't get any good shots are my practice days.
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Old 08-16-2013   #33
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I guess the days I don't get any good shots are my practice days.
Funny, but a good way to look at it.
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Old 08-16-2013   #34
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I also practice constantly. Mainly reading light without a light meter.
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Old 08-16-2013   #35
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Finally, someone who gets me...
Yes, I practice...
My wife has often commented on that fact that I will usually have a camera with me at all times...she sometimes asks why...
I tell her that I'm more comfortable holding one that not...
I often find myself going out to the backyard with an unloaded camera and just focus & shoot...frame, focus & shoot...
It's like watching your favorite musician playing their instrument and their eyes are closed...they've played that guitar so much they don't need to see what they're doing to do it...I've asked musicians if they've slept with their guitars so that when they wake up in the morning it's right there and it's the first thing they reach for...if they love having that instrument in their hands and playing it...your fingers should know your camera so well you don't need to see what you're doing to do it...to reach in your bag and your fingers know what lens they're holding and your mind knowing if it's the right one for the shot you're seeing...to see in color or black & white, to know what's in your camera, to see the final product before you bring the camera to your eye...that only comes from practice...
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Old 08-16-2013   #36
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Isn't every shot practice, in the sense that you never really know how it will come out?
Each shot is an experiment or an exploration...what will happen if?
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Old 08-16-2013   #37
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I guess if you shoot things that are fast moving, slightly random like street photography you just might not know how its going to turn out.
Some photography is more prescribed, lots of times I know exactly how a shot will come out, as I pre visualised.
I guess its down to experience and knowing your subject and the modus of photographic creation.
If you have that level of experience it's less guess and more natural, kind of operation of equipment without thought–concentration on the subject.
When you get to the level of the equipment and modus being transparent, practice seems irrelevant.
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Old 08-16-2013   #38
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Thanks for posting the video link about practice.

I always like this story Mike Johnston relates about Josef Koudelka:
"Bill Jay tells a story of the great Czech photographer Josef Koudelka visiting him at his cabin out West. Bill was amazed to see Koudelka wandering around one morning taking pictures of woodpiles and trees. Questioning Koudelka about it, Bill said he thought this was about as far from Koudelka's usual subject matter as it was possible to get. Koudelka answered that he had to practice to stay in shape, or words to that effect."

http://photo.net/columns/mjohnston/column28/
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Old 08-16-2013   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i carry a camera/bag everyday, everywhere i go.
being out of work now, i shoot most days...even if it's only a quick table top project.

I read a great article last week - I tried to find it to link it but cannot - which really encouraged the idea of self assignments.

I now keep a list of ideas for self assignments on my iPhone - e.g. Shoot circles, shoot a color, shoot low, etc

When I go out with nothing in mind, I try to remember to work on one of these themes...puts a little focus to your practice :-)
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Old 08-16-2013   #40
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Yes, me too... also in my mind as I walk....thinking about upcoming opportunities...framing, angle of view, how close, what to exclude, etc....
Many times I see an opportunity, but, I am too far away, and typically, it is gone when I do get close enough to make a good capture. even a longer lens would not help, because I want to be at different viewpoint to include faces or what is happening...

But, Yes, Practice, and Pre-Visualize a capture once you see a potential subject of interest as you look ahead.
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