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Photography Question 

How to Get What You See?

This is a silly question. However, I have a problem with hurrying when I am about to take a shot. I know people said to "just slow down," but I get to thinking I am going to miss it - even a posed shot. In doing so, I miss something on my camera settings, even though I believe at that time I have done everything and it's set correct for what I want. I think that my problem is that I get so excited about what a good shot this could be that it doesn't come out like it should. I love photography, but because of this one thing, I am getting so discouraged - losing a good shot because I get to hurrying. I hope that this makes sense, as the solution seems so easy, and I was just wondering if any one else has ever had this problem and even talked about it. I sure hope some one has a little trick or something that will help.

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9/14/2004 4:40:02 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  No tricks.

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9/14/2004 11:26:45 AM


BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  There is no magic. You must be patient. When you normally would press the shutter, stop, put the camera down at your side, and evaluate the subject. Think about what you are looking at and think of a way to make it a little better - like ask the subject to tilt his/her head a little to one side, or whatever.

You have to slow down. The real key to great photography is that great photographers take a great deal of time setting up a shot. The best photographers make images that look as if they were taken "on the fly" but they weren't.

I know you don't want to hear it, but you just simply have to slow down.


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9/14/2004 12:07:03 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Just identifying that you have a problem is half the battle (I sound like an AA spokesman).

When I find myself hurrying, I immediately ask myself: "Is this my only chance ... or can I re-shoot this if I screw it up?"
More often than not, I only get ONE chance at a great opportunity, and this thought forces me to slow down and concentrate on the basics of composition, exposure, focus, etc.

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9/14/2004 1:43:16 PM

Tom Kwan   Try a shotgun policy. I'd once used Nikon F5 set on cont.exp A mode to shoot boat racing. Only press the shutter once then let gone the entire roll of film 37 exposures with one take. I got an award out from 4 rolls of cont. exp film. I never did it again. Because nowadays it is easier to pick up one picture from a 3 min DV movie, and it seems to me that such trick is no more photography art.

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9/14/2004 4:18:00 PM

Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  I find that if I'm anxious to get the shot in (in case the target might move), I take a quick first shot or two, and then take a second to re-evaluate (and double check my settings) before continuing. You don't want to miss your opportunity, but especially for a posed shot, there is no need to rush, and then find out later you messed up. It does help if you are using digital: You can see the immediate feedback on the LCD and make any adjustments necessary...
Good luck!

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9/14/2004 5:52:41 PM

Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  Go out planning to shoot nothing, and see what shots come to you ... when they do, take a deep breath, and just go with it.

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9/14/2004 9:04:05 PM

Kim Acheson   Yes, I had this problem also. I have to admit it still comes up every now and then.

My thing when shooting 35mm is I'll take the shot so I know I have at least something, then I'll take some time on the second shot. This way I know I have something if I do miss the second chance. Of course, this is in cases where you can get a second shot.

Beyond that, I try to think in terms of medium or large format. You normally only get one shot then. It can take all day to just set up one shot and you have to have it right. I would suggest doing that for a while. Go out to shoot, but shoot like you are only going to take one or two photos for the day. It really breaks the old habit and lets you spend the time you need. After a while, it will not bother you so much. At least it worked for me.

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9/19/2004 7:17:35 PM

Paul     I think you have something here with your answers. All of the answers were good. Thanks to all. I believe that after reading these, I have a better chance of getting a good shot than worrying about missing one ... I miss a lot now with hurrying. So it's got to be an improvement ... Again, thanks to all for the input. It will help me.

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9/20/2004 4:52:52 AM

Kerry Drager
BetterPhoto Member
Kerry's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Creative Close-ups
  Hi Paul: Wow, your question sure generated lots of excellent advice!! Yet another thought:

For landscapes and other static scenes - i.e., subjects that aren't going anywhere - here's a technique that has worked for many people (including myself): Use a tripod ... regardless of the lighting conditions.

Besides being an aid to image quality by keeping the camera rock-solid, a tripod can also help you fine-tune your compositions. The reason: A tripod forces you to slow down and consider your potential photograph ... after all, you'll want to figure out the best viewpoint or camera angle before going to the trouble of setting up the tripod. You may also find that this sort of tripod "training" helps you during all those times when you must handhold the camera - i.e., when shooting sports, portraits, wildlife, candids, whatever.

Good luck, Paul, and all the best in your photography!

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9/20/2004 5:35:23 PM

Paul     All the answers were great! Gave me a lot to think about and try. I really appreciate the input, that means people really read the questions which is unusual for any site. The tripod way is a good thing to try,,most times I think that its too much of a problem to use but I can see that it could slow me down. It seems to me that the more I learn the more I need to learn and the less I know,,ha . I have several people who , when they learn that I take so many shots at a time , think that its just a waste,,but of course they aren't looking at what I am and trying to do a better job. It gets sort of funny that most people don't see any thing in a photograph except is the image clear,, and they dont' understand composition either. I shot some b/w and a person who works at one of those drugstore film developing machines ,,saw them and wanted to know why I had " old pictures" ,,, sort of tells you what kind of photographs you would get from them. Oh well ,, thanks again for all the responses and maybe in time I can help some one out.

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9/21/2004 5:21:10 AM

Fax Sinclair
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2004
  Wow. I'm glad to see this thread. I too get waaaaay out-of-body. Taking pictures is so exciting and I'm often trying to capture bees.

I had to start doing a "sports-breath" before and during shooting. You exhale twice as long as you inhale. A few of these concious breaths will slow down the spins and bring my brain back into focus.

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9/21/2004 8:41:26 AM

Paul     I know now that I am not the only one. I was getting the feeling that there was a lot of advice that was great but no one told me that they had the same problem until you ,, thank you for the input and I will try it.

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9/21/2004 12:52:52 PM

Shirley D. Cross-Taylor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/7/2001
Contact Shirley
Shirley's Gallery
  Dear Paul, I usually have no problem if I'm shooting landscapes, but if I set up a shoot with a model, I tend to get nervous or excited and may miss something on my camera settings, too. The only solution is what every one has said...take a deep breath, take a few moments to double check all your settings, so that you don't end up with whole rolls of film that are over or under exposed, etc. There is no other solution, but to take that time to check. Good luck and good shooting!:)

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9/21/2004 3:07:15 PM

Paul     thank you ,, I appreciate the input for this question. this site is so good at responding to the questions that are posted. I have learned a lot from the responses I got to mine but also from the answers on the other questions.
thank you again.

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9/21/2004 3:50:35 PM

Mark Grady   Hi Paul,
I have the same thing happen to me at times. These are the times when I wish I was shooting digital. But, I shoot film and know that I must calm myself. The cost of film and processing is a good motivator to not blow the shot. That, and the fact that I hate it when I do that. Really, nothing gets me thrilled than when someone comments about one of my pictures. So, like you I must calm down, be patient and take my time to get everything just rigtht. BTW, thanks for the post. For me it may have been theraputic.

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9/21/2004 5:15:11 PM

Paul     I shoot film also and the cost can get out of hand but I figure that film is the cheapest thing I can buy to get a good shot. I wanted to go digital but just dont have the resourses at this time to buy the camera that I believe would do the job. There are so many out there now, but I am thinking about it just for the photoshop alone. People send in pictures all the time that they have altered and made better but with film we are at the mercy of a processor and any thing we want costs more to get.In photography class , we compared pictures done from the major drugstores and there was a marked difference , b/w had a blue tinge and green sometimes. I probably need to learn to develope film but that is something else to get into and I am still learning to take decent shots. On things that really matter ,I take them to a fim store in town and they cost more but do a better job.
Thanks for your comments ,

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9/22/2004 4:44:56 AM

Shirley D. Cross-Taylor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/7/2001
Contact Shirley
Shirley's Gallery
  Paul, I still shoot film,slides, but I invested in a good film scanner. With a good film scanner and a good printer, you don't need to process your own film, or be dependent upon a lab to do your printing. Also, you can then manipulate your photos in whatever software you prefer.

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9/22/2004 11:45:47 AM

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