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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Sub-club / mentor
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02/17/2013 10:02:47 AM · #1
Hey I recently read an old thread where members were looking for sub club members and mentors, I am totally interested in this, is anyone still interested in mentoring or joining a sub club? As of late Ive posted nothing but pictures attempting to capture a brown ribbon...... literally TERRIBLE. I would really like to improve and move forward. Please help.
02/17/2013 12:10:31 PM · #2
I spearheaded the first one, but my participation on DPC is not as heavy as it was previously (blame my bicycles for that).

I'll be happy to participate as I have time, however.
02/17/2013 12:12:30 PM · #3
what aspect of you game do you need mentoring in?
02/17/2013 12:14:52 PM · #4
Originally posted by mike_311:

what aspect of you game do you need mentoring in?

Possibly, "How to dress in the correct order"? Jejeje... (Hint: they call them UNDERpants for a reason...)

Nevermind me. I'm snowed in. Whatcha' need a lesson in?
02/17/2013 12:22:05 PM · #5
This sounds interesting. I need help getting out of the rut I have gotten in, such as I would love to get interested in landscapes again,macro etc. I have done so many maternity pictures lately I run when I see an expecting mom! Was there a blackout I was not aware of..or like Bear a lot of people snowed in :) Anyway...a mentor would be wonderful!
02/17/2013 01:54:30 PM · #6
Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm not a working photographer, I'm a hobbyist. I don't know where I stand exactly in the photography world. I can tell you my scores tell me I need great improvement. I did notice that you spear headed the last thread yo_spiff and I recognize all of your names in this thread as good photographers from your past DPC entries. Maybe someone can take a look through my past entries and tell me what I need the most improvement on and we can work from there. I definitely don't mind critique and I know I'm not very good, but I'm very competitive in life and I'd also like to be in photography. Plus it stinks to be bad at a hobby you like. I know this isn't a learning web site but any help would be great, an on going sub club would also be great.
02/17/2013 02:17:02 PM · #7
Originally posted by CaptUnderpants:

I know this isn't a learning web site...

Actually, it is.
02/17/2013 03:49:15 PM · #8
Originally posted by CaptUnderpants:

an on going sub club would also be great.

it exists, just look for the " posthumous ribbons" thread
[runs for cover]
02/17/2013 05:36:13 PM · #9
Underpants Guy, this is your Mentor speaking:

You have two areas you could definitely be working on, and they both involve seeing: composition and light. There is a lot of progress you could make towards more sophisticated processing as well, but the first two areas are fundamental.

I'd like to see you paying much more attention to light, first of all. Without light, obviously, we don't have photography. And, for all practical purposes, the better the light, the better the image. Most neophyte photographers tend to be "subject-oriented": that is to say, they make the mistake of thinking that WHAT they are photographing is their model, or the scene in front of them, or the building, the car, the wine bottle, whatever. They tend to get lost in the subject, to the detriment of the image.

But, in a very real sense, we don't photograph subjects; we photograph LIGHT. Wynn Bullock, a great photographer, said it best: "Not form rock, not object rock, but the light that IS the rock." In a related vein, Richard Avedon said "The art of seeing is the beginning of Art."

So your first task is to learn to see and understand the light.

Do this: acquire a brick and a gooseneck lamp and introduce them to each other on a flat surface at camera level, like a table. Set your camera up on a tripod and frame up your brick, which should be standing on edge and set up at a 45-degree angle to the axis of the camera, so you're looking right at a corner. Now set the light up right behind the camera and shine it straight at the brick. That's "flat light", there are no shadows differentiating the two sides of the brick.

Now put the light over to your right so one face of the brick is lit and the other is not. That's "strong light", and the brick's shape is modeled very well.

Next light the brick so the light is parallel to the long side and fully illuminating the short side. That's "raking light" and it both models the brick and articulates its texture.

Put the light behind the brick, pointing AT the camera, so the whole brick's in shadow. That's "back light" and it is atmospheric, moody, and difficult to work with.

Finally, move the light around so it's still towards the camera but it's raking the long side from behind, and the short side's still in shadow. That's "raking backlight" and it's in many ways the sweetest light of all.

All of this you've done by moving the light in a horizontal plane, basically around the points of a compass. But the light we work with has a 3-dimensional quality, in the sense that there's also a vertical component to its movement. Indeed, that's inescapable with sunlight.

So now, imagine yourself in the middle of a field, a meadow, of beautiful grass, at sunrise on a clear day. Face the rising sun, and as it clears the horizon you have pure backlight. Turn 90 degrees either way and you have pure raking light. Put the sun at your back, and that's flat light. Face the sun again, and watch the quality of the backlight change as the sun climbs. It will move from being backlight to raking backlight as it gets higher, then as you turn through the compass you see strong light at 90 degrees, and so forth.

When the sun's directly overhead in summer, that's VERY flat light, except when you're looking at a nearly vertical, textured surface, where that overhead light will rake down it and express the texture. In winter where we live, on Cape Cod (beautiful light here) the sun never gets very high even at midday, so we have a very expressive winter light. In Florida, where you are, the light's higher in winter, and your mid-days are less suitable for shooting landscapes, especially flat landscapes, which are all you have.

And so forth, and so on. Your assignment; get out that brick and lamp and make some shots illustrating these principles. Then get out in the field and disregard subjects altogether; wherever you SEE nice light fully expressing some particular space or object, snap a shot of it. Post your results here :-)

Good luck!

Message edited by author 2013-02-17 23:23:21.
02/17/2013 06:09:11 PM · #10
Thank you so much, I will go out and get a brick and a goose neck light and try this. You explained it extremely well and I really appreciate you taking the time out to check my shots and giving me advice. This is exactly what I need. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. feel free to PM me if anything else.
02/17/2013 06:15:14 PM · #11
Originally posted by CaptUnderpants:

I will go out and get a brick and a goose neck light and try this.

Maybe you can post the series here, with a brief note about what you think about or learned from each version.
02/17/2013 06:16:16 PM · #12
no problem.
02/17/2013 11:20:13 PM · #13
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Maybe you can post the series here, with a brief note about what you think about or learned from each version.

That's what I hope he'll do, then we can move on to the NEXT lesson :-)
02/19/2013 06:46:32 PM · #14
How's it going out there, Don?
02/19/2013 07:12:23 PM · #15
I got the equipment needed but I've worked 14 hours yesterday n today. I will get on it Thursday evening hopefully. Sorry for the wait.
02/19/2013 08:32:08 PM · #16
Originally posted by h2:

Originally posted by CaptUnderpants:

an on going sub club would also be great.

it exists, just look for the " posthumous ribbons" thread
[runs for cover]


don't force me to remind you that you've been in my fantasy gallery
02/19/2013 08:52:23 PM · #17
Bear, you are like a university! Love your lessons
02/19/2013 10:07:01 PM · #18
Originally posted by tanguera:

Bear, you are like a university! Love your lessons

Well, kindergarten anyway... I'll cop to that...
02/20/2013 01:56:54 PM · #19
What is a sub club?

Also, I liked the lesson. Maybe I'll play.
02/20/2013 02:32:16 PM · #20
Originally posted by thriftyphotographer:

What is a sub club?

Also, I liked the lesson. Maybe I'll play.

I have no idea what "sub club" is; "mentor" I understand. Feel free to participate!
02/20/2013 02:39:31 PM · #21
I think the "sub" is from photographs which are consistently rated as "sub-par" in the DPC voting system ... or something like that.
02/20/2013 02:47:54 PM · #22
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by h2:

Originally posted by CaptUnderpants:

an on going sub club would also be great.

it exists, just look for the " posthumous ribbons" thread
[runs for cover]


don't force me to remind you that you've been in my fantasy gallery

not voluntarily ;)
02/20/2013 02:51:34 PM · #23
Originally posted by GeneralE:

I think the "sub" is from photographs which are consistently rated as "sub-par" in the DPC voting system ... or something like that.


Ouch. I thought it had to do with lunch.
02/20/2013 03:44:12 PM · #24
Originally posted by GeneralE:

I think the "sub" is from photographs which are consistently rated as "sub-par" in the DPC voting system ... or something like that.

Pretty much. When I made the original thread, my thought was helping people who often came in with a sub-5 average.
02/21/2013 07:08:10 PM · #25
Flat light

Message edited by author 2013-02-21 19:09:16.
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