RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photography
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Photography Both digital and film. Discussions about cameras, gear, exposure, technique, and sharing your photography

What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-26-2010, 06:21 PM
CJ Swartz's Avatar
CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Metro Phoenix area, Arizona
Posts: 3,345
Blog Entries: 19
What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

These are excerpts from Ken Rockwell's website, because he says it better than I do -- we've been listing videos about technique and articles detailing info to know about shooting wildlife, and it's time to remind ourselves that the techniques to learn are about how the equipment works, and how birds, mammals, insects behave in the wild - but the photography comes from you, not a list of techniques or a book. I think most or all members know that, but I thought it important to post something for those who may come later to this forum, looking for help to get started in learning or improving their photography.



I've been a rule follower all my life, and have tried to practice "good photographic technique" in hopes of creating some inspiring images. I've understood that an eye for the image is the foremost ingredient, but kept hoping that improving technique would also help me develop an "eye". I'm not sure that I'll ever get there, but I hope that YOU will. Techniques are good to know, but compelling images can be created by people who don't know an aperture from an aardvark. I'm not saying that technical knowledge in photography is unimportant, but I am saying that an artistic sense is more important than knowing the sync speed of your camera.



The saying has been around "forever" - "Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly" Perhaps it would be better to DO photography first, and THEN learn the rules? Some of us have a hard time breaking "rules", but new photographers can shoot what they love and then try to learn how to make certain shots work better - after they have created the image in their mind. Of course, you have to know some of the rules to get images that aren't totally blown out or blurred unless you shoot only in average light.



What do YOU think?


Here's an excerpt of what Ken Rockwell thinks with a link to his article...

From Ken Rockwell's website --

"...If I gave you my pen, would you have my signature? Of course not.
So if I gave you my camera, would you take pictures that look like mine? Of course not.


Why would anyone think otherwise? Mostly because camera companies fuel this easy-to-believe nonsense. If you think a LEICA will make pictures like Cartier-Bresson, a Hasselblad or 4x5" like Ansel Adams, or a Nikon will shoot pictures like Galen Rowell, you're more likely to buy that camera.



You need to enjoy seeing things your own way. Never try to duplicate or imitate anyone else's work; it only makes you worse. Ignore what you read about how you are supposed to do things; it only sets you up for making more of the same as everyone else.
So what is uniquely yours? What is your signature? It's whatever and however you see things, entirely on your own.


When people start in photography, they try to learn "rules" and technique. These are never more than easy crutches, or training wheels, to help you start making some sort of pictures on your first day. These can be helpful for the first month or two when you're starting out, but ultimately these technical concepts like "exposure" are only guidelines to get you started on the much longer path to expressing your own unique way of seeing things.


Too many people spend decades trying to learn more rules and technique, confusing these easy to learn "rules" and obvious technical facts with photography itself. Photography is the expression of imagination, not the duplication of reality. The only reason for basic technical competence is so that you can show others what you're seeing, but other than that, technique — and especially the brand of camera — is irrelevant. Photo technique is like learning a language; it's just a medium through which we communicate, but it's not the message..."
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 07-26-2010, 11:41 PM
Nasturtium's Avatar
Nasturtium Nasturtium is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,123
Blog Entries: 34
Re: What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

thank you CJ. Now that I have a handle on Photoshop this is exactly the kind of advice I need. I'm beginning to realize that the most important part of what I do is spend time away from the computer clarifying what I want to say with my images.
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 07-27-2010, 06:56 AM
Godmother's Avatar
Godmother Godmother is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 814
Re: What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Swartz View Post
- but the photography comes from you, not a list of techniques or a book.

Strongly disagree with that.

But I'm not surpriced.... I always disagree with that person.

You can't show shit from your uniqueness with little or no technical knowledge.

Learn your craft, learn the rules! If you don't know the rules you can't break them or make them your own!

It's not one or the other. LEARN that's never wrong, learn AND do. You can't chose one. If you chose one you'll never succeed in life.

So, again, I disagree.

You won't be able to express yourself without learning, you can't learn without research.
Learn from books, movies, ppl, any other media in hand, learn from pairs, from professionals, from ppl starting out. Learn from everywhere and everyone.

And NEVER stop learning.

my 2 cents
x
Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 07-27-2010, 10:26 PM
CJ Swartz's Avatar
CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Metro Phoenix area, Arizona
Posts: 3,345
Blog Entries: 19
Re: What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godmother View Post
"but the photography comes from you, not a list of techniques or a book." -- Cj

Strongly disagree with that....
You can't show shit from your uniqueness with little or no technical knowledge.
Learn your craft, learn the rules! If you don't know the rules you can't break them or make them your own!
It's not one or the other. ...x
Godmother, I'll hold to the idea that photography comes from the person, not from techniques. No one is throwing the rule book away - they're just not looking at it until they need it.

Annabel Williams, photographer and teacher, is "a firm believer that it’s all too easy to get bogged down by the technical aspects of photography." She’s quoted as saying,

"Photographing people is 90% psychology and 10% technique."

One of her books - "Think of your camera as the least important thing you need to take a picture."

"How many settings do you use on your washing machine? I'm betting 2 at the most... Your camera is like your washing machine - set it on Auto and let it do it's job." Actually she advises folks to set it to Av (aperture priority) rather than the total Auto found on cameras, and this book is for non-professionals, but she runs a school in the U.K. for professional photographers.

She "wants to inspire people to see the easier side of what is so often portrayed as difficult and technical."

I'm in agreement with that goal.
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 07-28-2010, 12:21 AM
Nasturtium's Avatar
Nasturtium Nasturtium is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,123
Blog Entries: 34
Re: What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

I don't think he means not to bother learning photography basics and to just rely on your 'voice'. I think he means that you have to have it all - photography fundamentals (and these days digital darkroom skills) AND an artistic vision. I've seen plenty of images from people with spot on technical skills but no creative 'spark'. And you certainly can't get the best out of your camera if you have no idea what it's doing. Just my $0.02.

from Cliff Mautner on Scott Kelby's blog today
Quote:
the only way to develop your style is to make sure your technical abilities and fundamentals are completely, and utterly innate. Your camera needs to be an extension of your mind’s eye. If you’re too concerned with F-stops, shutter speeds, ISO’s, focusing, and achieving accurate exposures, you’ll NEVER develop a style. If you find yourself struggling with the basics, you’ll struggle even more with composition, and other elements that make up your style.
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 07-28-2010, 12:49 AM
rizkhanpsy rizkhanpsy is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: India
Posts: 23
Re: What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

A real pro knows both.
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 07-28-2010, 01:36 AM
0lBaldy's Avatar
0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
Senior Member
Patron
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,580
Re: What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

LOL, This thread reminds me of Photoshop... many ways to do the same thing....

Being objective.. (as I most certainly am!)

As I see it.. Y'all are in agreement and saying the same thing in different ways.... Ya need to learn what you want to excel in, then go do it your own way as long as it works for you.. and if not.... try something different to make it like you want it (unless you are working for someone else, then you might have to do what they want and in the manner that they deem is the correct way)......

Soooo, I agree with all that has been stated above!!

Except that you can show your uniqueness with little or no technical knowledge it may look like shit to others but it is your uniqueness

Way back in the 60's I gave my students an inexpensive Brownie or Diana (with a roll of electrical tape, for light leaks on the Diana)... the most technical thing to learn was look through the view finder adjust for parallax and press the shutter release... There was a ton of uniqueness shown as far as composition and shooting with different lighting setups... they eventually learned how to take the pictures they saw in their mind before snapping the "Snap Shot" and it carried over into their shoots when they got more technical.... it took a few rolls to get used to the cameras peculiarities (the learning part) but after that.... individuality shined through
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 07-28-2010, 03:39 PM
CJ Swartz's Avatar
CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Metro Phoenix area, Arizona
Posts: 3,345
Blog Entries: 19
Re: What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
...
As I see it.. Y'all are in agreement and saying the same thing in different ways.... ...
I believe you are right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
...Way back in the 60's I gave my students an inexpensive Brownie or Diana (with a roll of electrical tape, for light leaks on the Diana)... the most technical thing to learn was look through the view finder adjust for parallax and press the shutter release... There was a ton of uniqueness shown as far as composition and shooting with different lighting setups... they eventually learned how to take the pictures they saw in their mind before snapping the "Snap Shot" and it carried over into their shoots when they got more technical.... it took a few rolls to get used to the cameras peculiarities (the learning part) but after that.... individuality shined through
Cool ! I wanted to take a photography class in the late 50's - 60's, but I was chicken because it was only (geeky) boys in the class (I've learned since then those might have been the guys to pay attention to). I'm not sure, but I doubt that their instructor was that original. My instruction in the 90's was pretty conservative. I've only recently begun to appreciate the contemporary photo styles; I looked for the traditional lighting/cropping/exposure etc., but then started appreciating the overall feel and especially the increased emphasis on joyous expressions. You look at some of the OLD portraits that come to this site for restoration/retouching - with grim expressions that would scare their descendants.
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 07-29-2010, 03:44 AM
palms's Avatar
palms palms is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England
Posts: 5,685
Blog Entries: 30
Re: What's Your Style? - thanks to Ken Rockwell

My take is

Have a go, then find out what went wrong ! ! ! and try and improve doing both

mind you
Quote:
"...If I gave you my pen, would you have my signature? Of course not.
So if I gave you my camera, would you take pictures that look like mine? Of course not.
i so agree, how many people want to be like Dave Hill ? Dragan ? Amy Dresser ? They are the originals or maybe it is just the fame they want ?

Palms
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photography


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Artistic Style - Rococo Painting? lindamuir Photo-Art Resources 2 10-29-2009 09:12 AM
Impressionist plugin: Troubleshooting Cheryl H Photo-Art Resources 34 06-15-2009 11:13 PM
Whats the best way to do this Watercolor style macca2009 Photo-Based Art 31 05-31-2009 10:29 AM
Renaissance style technique for heirloom portraits shanen Photo Retouching 3 01-10-2009 07:54 AM
How to get the mixtape style moo Photo Retouching 2 06-01-2008 07:25 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved