What I’m Learning Now in Photography [IP54]

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What’s in this episode

  • The extra 2% you can put into your photos that set them apart from 98% of photography in the world
  • Setting unachievable photography goals and then taking the smallest conceivable steps toward them
  • A quick tip on improving your composites
  • Finding inspiration for photo shoots and calendaring your shoots
  • and more!

Resources mentioned in this episode

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For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Grab your phone or device and go to the iTunes store and search “Improve Photography Podcast.”  This will help you to download the free Podcasts App (produced by Apple) and then subscribe to the show from within that app.  Every time I produce a new episode, you’ll get it downloaded right on your iDevice.

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For those who don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this page.  You can see all the previous episodes of the Improve Photography Podcast here.

Comments from the I.P. Community

  1. Sarah says

    Five minutes of babble, and then in the sixth minute you find out in order to have a good photo you must be able to use photoshop to combine two or more photos.
    To me that just shows you are capable of post-processing. That does not mean you are good at taking a good photo.

    • Jim Harmer says

      @Sarah – You are exactly the type of person this podcast was targeted to–someone who says anyone who uses photography techniques different than their own is “wrong.”

      In pretty deep detail I discussed in the podcast that we all need to respect the way other photographers create art. Some like using post-processing and others don’t. We all need to learn from and respect both types.

      I appreciate your comment, but I just don’t want to see photographers at each others’ throats just because we all use different techniques.

  2. Charlene says

    I hope that Sarah listened to enough of the podcast to hear Jim reiterate that photography is art, there are many styles of art, and that we need to be open-minded enough to accept them all while embracing the style that works best for us! Jim…I thought this was a great podcast! I am a retired music teacher who is very impressed with the lessons you have learned in the relatively short time that you have been teaching! The issue of vulnerability is a tough one for those of us involved in the arts. There will always be those who cannot or will not accept our personal contributions, and it is indeed difficult to not take that rejection personally. Those of us who look to Improve Photography for guidance in our art are appreciative of your continuing to put yourself out there! You have taught me new skills through your classes and provided me with many new perspectives on photography. Thanks so much…and keep the great podcasts coming!

  3. Jeremy says

    During the show you mentioned an article about the phases a photographer goes through and said it could be found at improvephotography.com/phases or stages or something. I was at work and didn’t write it down, does anyone know the link to the article? I’d like to read the article but can’t find it.

  4. Esteban says

    Jim, thanks for the great work, keep it up. Don’t get mad because of people who just listen to great free podcasts and instead of saying thank you, have nothing better to do than send some critics.
    As far as I know, yours is the best photography podcast, even if I’m not a photoshopper.
    Cheers!

  5. natex says

    Another good episode Jim. I took a look at pixoto, and I have to say that the top photos on their leaderboard are pretty bad. It is an echo chamber of badly composed composites. (Though a few aren’t bad.) I don’t have anything against composites if the result is good art, but I feel that the qualities of good photography (e.g. composition, light, shot discipline, viewer engagement) are paramount to the extrapolated photographic arts. Further, when the image processing itself is a distraction to viewing the image, or when the processing is used to rescue a badly composed photo, personally, I just don’t like it. I can respect other people who do like it — hell, I have a dear aunt who proudly displays a Velvet Elvis.

    • Jim Harmer says

      @Natex – Be careful, there. Referring to the work of dozens of different photographers that are the highest rated photos by other photographers as universally “bad” sounds a lot like a hasty generalization. Also, remember that ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS view art differently. Just because something doesn’t mesh with YOUR view of a good photo doesn’t make it “bad.” It means (shocker coming…) that we all see things differently.

  6. says

    I appreciate your openness and the courage you have to state your opinion. I respect that greatly. May I suggest that there is a “third” way between the “all-in-camera-or-nothing” approach and the “lets-combine-all-we want-in-a-photo” (both being perfectly acceptable and interesting in their own way, as you mentioned several times). It is to post-process the photo (sometimes heavily), but still not adding or removing any pictorial elements This is the way I have chosen to adopt. For me, there is no “real photo” or “untouched or unprocessed” photo : all are processed as soon as you get a jpeg… The eye being completely different than a camera, the concept of “unprocess photo is more pure” is a myth. I would like you to investigate in a podcast what it could mean to have the most “realistic” photo as possible. Many thanks

  7. natex says

    I completely agree that we all see things differently. I wasn’t implying that my view about what is bad or good art is objective. All opinions are subjective. But again, it’s my opinion. Even if 1,000 other photographers think that an uninteresting image with a lightning background dropped in makes it good, I won’t.

    You mentioned pixoto.com on more than one occasion — so I’m just trying some feedback on your show.

    • Jim Harmer says

      @Natex – Thanks for the feedback. I always like a good discussion. I think I understand your point better now.

  8. Tobias says

    Jim-
    Thanks for taking the time and effort to help out budding shutterbugs. Please ignore the .001 percent that take for free and complain about it, who contribute nothing, who risk nothing. They are the vocal minority. Everyone else appreciates your efforts and know that you’re leaving the place better than you found it.
    Keep up the good work.

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