Thursday, August 16, 2012

How much are you learning Photography?

I've discovered a new joy recently. It seems quite a lazy pursuit at first, as it involves sitting in front of my TV but it has a massive plus side to it. I've figured out how to watch YouTube clips through my TV in glorious HD (else it wouldn't look that good). This is something you can do through the TV service I have, which is Virgin Media, but I'm sure is available on all the other platforms in some way. Anyway, the great thing about this is I don't have to watch 'normal' TV! Of course, I have programmes that I like and I watched a huge amount of the recent Olympic games, but there isn't much I try to 'catch'. There is even less I find to watch when I'm flicking through channels. But the opportunity to watch endless photography seminars and technique videos (and as I mentioned in HD), now you're talking! This is literally what I do when I sit down to relax now, put on a photography video on YouTube. I've never been one to sit at my computer screen and watch loads of YouTube clips (I just lose focus after a while) but watching them on my TV is much more how I like to do it. I've been watching seminars recently from Scott Kelby, Trey Ratcliff and Rick Sammon to name a few, as well as tips & tricks videos etc. This is entertaining and highly educational for me, as I am picking up lots of little nuggets of information every time I sit down to watch a new 'programme' on YouTube. The picture below for instance is one I processed after watching a video clip by Rick Sammon, giving out some helpful hints about processing with Topaz Labs:

The top picture (of Lacock village) was created using the Portrait Drama preset in Topaz Adjust, something I rarely if ever used, because I normally only used Topaz Adjust in company with HDR pictures (and normally only to bring more detail or 'pop' as some like to call it). The below picture is as you can guess the RAW file before being processed in Topaz Adjust. I love how the Portrait Drama brings out the colour of the sky and brings the picture to life somewhat. It's just learning to use little things like this that make watching these clips on YouTube a great new tool in my development as a photographer.

Which brings me to the question at the top of the page. How much are you learning photography? Youtube clips work great for me and the other great source I use are books. I do read photographic magazines and find them inspiring, but after a while the information seems to get repeated, if you read for long enough month after month (except for new photos of course). I'm also looking into going on a course this autumn because I want to get better fast at the moment. I can't believe that investing time in learning photography would be anything but a huge pay off down the line. Don't you think?


  1. Nice post Pete. I know what you mean about watching you You Tube clips on a computer monitor. After a while I zone out. I will soon have You Tube streaming on my main TV courtesy of my Raspberry Pi XBMC set up. Looking forward to watching tutorials on a decent size screen.

    As far as I'm concerned you can never learn too much. Knowledge is power!

  2. Thanks for your thoughts as always Tim! Knowledge is indeed power!