Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

Started Jan 2, 2014 | Questions thread
olyflyer Forum Pro • Posts: 25,326
Re: Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

Rservello wrote:

olyflyer wrote:

TacticDesigns wrote:

Truman Prevatt wrote:

When the Army and the Agency on the base asked a few of us with extensive experience and formal training to develop a set of photography courses for Agency and Army personnel along with given us a building on based for class and lab work and paying to equip the darkrooms and buy equipment, the first thing we did was to buy a number of 120 TLR cameras.

Of course all the students in the beginning course were upset when we handed out the purely manual cameras (not even a light meter) and told them that was the only camera they were use for the course. They were to put the nice new Nikon or Canon with all sorts of aids away and concentrate on learning photography from the ground up. I compared it to learning to pay tennis by going a backboard and hitting tennis balls until it was motor memory which is the only way you will become a decent tennis player or a young musician learning to play the piano. You never become a great musician without hours and hours of playing scales. You cannot become the next Lionel Hampton without first developing the sills needed to execute.

In any discipline the first and most important lesson is to fully understand the underlying principles. The underlying principles of photography have changed little in the last 100 years. Once you understand the principles you are then freed up to devise your own methods and to improvise and establish your one methods and your own style.

I would suggest learning to shoot fully manual - even starting out ignoring the metering with one prime lens (a 50 (35 mm equivalent ) works well for this) is the best use of your time. Even going to take courses in a good art school if there is one in your area would be a benefit. Reading the daybooks of Edward Weston should be your first assignment. The good news of digital over is the feed back is a lot faster than in the film days. At the end of the day getting to be a good photographer with the skill to even consider developing your own style requires the same thing that is required by a musician to get to Carnegie Hall - practice, practice, practice ... developing the fundamentals of the craft.

Rservello wrote:

This is how times have dramatically changed. When I was in college and took my first photography class we were using all manual film cameras. No auto anything. So you shot with no regrets and prayed something nice came out the other end. When things worked you remembered what you did to make them work...when they didn't you remember that too. As things have gotten more advanced, and camera do more of the work for you, I think these traits have been lost in new photographers. It's ALL about getting the perfect picture, right now, without any discipline or rejection. Turn off your lcd. Turn off any automations. Learn to actually use your camera...and start shooting and see the results. I'm sure most people on here take better pictures than me on here. But, I know what is going on behind the lens. I have shot, and developed film by hand. I learned photoshop in a dark room. I think it makes a huge difference!

+1 million !!!

The daughter of one of our friends got into school for photography.

First thing they did was told her to go get a manual 35mm film camera.

So she went and got that and put her Canon 5D MK II away.

Would the same teacher teach driving by starting with a horse carriage? Maybe it would be more environmental friendly and more fun than driving a car...

As for how the principles of photography have remained the same for so long . . . I was mentioning that to a co-worker that I sold my Canon 10D to. And then it got me to thinking . . . is it about time for something radically new to come through? Is there anything radically new coming through?

I had a math teacher who claimed that calculators should not be used because they prevent you from learning and understanding the basics, so he forced us to use slide rulers and forbid the use of electronic calculators. In my opinion, his approach was totally wrong. I am happy my sons didn't had to learn to use the slide rule and could concentrate on what is important.

I think his approach was spot on. You learn by having to actually use your brain. If all you did was punch numbers into a calculator you aren't going to learn or retain anything. Do you still do math without a calculator...of course not...but you could if you had to. Learning something like math tho doesn't really have anything to do with knowing math. It's really for a kid to learn how to learn. Learning math in its most basic form as a child helps develop synapsis in the brain that will function in cognitive development in all parts of life. It basically enables you to problem solve more easily. That is a completely different topic tho.

No, he was totally wrong. Math is not about adding 1+1, it is about understanding the principles and much more. When you can calculate things using a slide rule you can do just the same using an electronic calculator. The ONLY additional knowledge you get from learning the use of a slide rule is how to use the slide rule. It is fun to know it, I admit that, and I can impress on some people demonstrating how I can solve a calculation using only a slide rule (I still have one) but that does not mean that those who don't have a clue about how to use it has less knowledge in math or don't understand how to solve the same problem using a calculator. A slide rule is just simply a primitive tool used for calculations, offering less precision and slower speed than an electronic calculator.

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