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Lordreds Journey in Photography


Let start simple, when I first started to take photography serious. I already had a Nikon D80 and three lenses. I never saw it as more than an interest at the time (an expensive interest). I was feeling the itch to upgrade but I had to have a valid reason, so I made myself a plan. If I could start to take it seriously, really practice. Then I would allow myself to buy newer equipment.

So over the course of a year I did. I went out more often. I practiced different techniques and learned much about manual controls.

The result is I have eight photos from that year that I consider to be truly solid shots.

This is how I’m going to start the thread, with my early work and catch you up to where I am now. I will share the interesting ones and you guys can kinda take up the reins and tell me what you want to see. As I dabble in everything.

I will update this thread at least ONCE a week.


Great stuff :smiley: As I’ve asked you stuff before I’ll try not to ask the same (although that being said, if you do come across any material you used while learning please do share it here, will be much appreciated!) questions.

Coming from a background where I got to grips with photography on a cheapo slightly advanced point n squirt kind of camera, I’ve somewhat got the hang of manual mode overall. One aspect I never really got to get in touch with was the gear, and that’s what I’m wondering about. First of all, what do you need to know about the different cameras and stuff out there? What tricks did you learn with specific combinations of gear? What are some tools that you’ve picked up over the years you’d always want to have? In terms of what you use, does it matter for learning?


Firstly, each company has their strengths and weaknesses, however starting out today is great, as no company makes a truly bad camera anymore.

*I learned the importance of composition by using primes.
*I’ve learned that just a simple white board can make a huge difference. (diffused bounce light)
*A mono-pod acts as a stabilizer when not touching the ground.
*The more buttons the better
*Carry a color chart, take a picture of it before you start using the light you will be using. You now have correct skin tones.
*Don’t carry to much, you cant use it all at once.

*Speed lights/flash gun: Life gets better, you control your own light, don’t be intimidated, just try it.
*Good camera straps: It makes life so much better.
*Good walking shoes: Your feet will thank you
*A light meter: Your cameras light meter is pretty good, but an external light meter makes it real easy to dial in flash.
*A good Mono-Pod: as stated above, when retracted to not sit on the ground while hand holding, it acts as a stabilizer, it dampens your movement.
*A good tri-pod: When you are doing long exposure, you don’t want a light breeze to be making the camera move.
*A good camera bag: Make it so carrying your gear is comfortable!

No/Yes: Find out what you want to add to your skill set first. I would have to say the first thing any new photographer should do is stop relying on zoom. Get a prime, and move your body to get your desired shot (not an option on a fixed lens camera, but rely less on zoom if you can). Focus on getting your scene framed first, and keep experimenting.

Second: Light, too many people Do not even try to work on their light, but rather give up the lazy excuse “I like to work with available light” NO, master light, it will set you apart. Just a big piece of white cardboard with a big light pointed at it, and having it reflect a nice diffused light out on your subject can make such a world of difference.

There was a recent cars & coffee I went to and there was a gentleman with a Sony a6500 who was looking down on me as I set up my speed lights and tripod. He scoffed [quote]I don’t need flash, my camera has in-body stabilization, so I can just expose longer[/quote]

Well I didn’t see his pictures being shared.


Part 2: So as I said the pictures in the first post are what I considered to be my ‘stand outs’ from that time, I took many more than the ones I shared, but those are not even considered quality to me anymore.

I had proved to myself that I was willing to keep at it, and make photography a part of my life. So I bought a new body, a Nikon D7200. I was already accustomed to a dual command dial and didn’t want to give that up.

The biggest difference was the newfound latitude in ISO, and how much the autofocus system had advanced over my D80. Just within the first two months I already had a higher rate of pictures I liked more (and still like) the new camera didn’t automatically make this happen, but it did help.

Gear doesn’t make you better, but it helps you pull out more from what you already have.

From the first two months: (Feb/march of 2016)

I still focused mostly on landscape, as the scenery couldn’t talk to you, or let you know if it was happy or unhappy with you.


I think I’m getting some new backgrounds here :stuck_out_tongue:


These are low resolution jist to be easy on the forum


Part 3: I’ve been getting quite accustomed to shooting manual, working on framing.

June still had a priority on scenery and wildlife, but I was getting ready for the commitment to get to the track.

However in July, when in public I learned another important thing.

If you have some gear, and carry yourself like you should be there, often times you are accepted with out a second thought. This was the case the first time I went to Willow Springs with the sole intent of photography. I went with my safety vest, and equipped with my gear I asked “can I stand over there.”

The learning rate was quick at the track, as I had to go from working with non moving objects, to dealing with fast moving objects. I discovered ‘panning’ on accident as a result of having to increase shutter duration in order to get an exposed image.


Part 4:
August, I’ve become comfortable with shooting around people, refined my post processing methods, and most of all I’ve grown comfortable with the controls of my camera(s). It has taken time to learn what could be customized on the camera, what the buttons could be programmed and reprogrammed to fit me best. I’ve read some books and watched many videos on various techniques, it took time to find what was a good fit, but I started to build what could be considered a unique shooting style.

It is important for anyone who wishes to pursue photography to try as many different methods they can. If you do not succeed try again, and keep trying. Any skill you neglect will only narrow your abilities. Even now I am always learning something. The most important thing is to never think you know it all.

August was the first time shot a paid wedding. It was also a month where I went on vacation to Monterey. Some photos from the wedding even wound up in a local Magazine, I’ve included some of the neutral ones from the event.