Thursday, July 02, 2009

Photo exercise


It may come as a surprise to some of you but I know nothing about the basics of photography. I always use the automatic settings, I "cheat" when I need it (for instance to obtain a blurry effect in the background) and I use Photoshop from time to time to fix my mistakes... Yes, that is the naked truth! But wait... Don't give up on me. Today I took my first photo lesson with these people and this photographer in particular (who happens to have worked with the 6 billion others project with Yann Artus Bertrand - remember this photo?). We went to the Palais Royal gardens, I took a lot of shots, but I finally kept this one. Now I know everything about field depth (see the result in the making of)! Update: this photo has been featured on Sportedbylocals.

45 comments:

  1. Lessons on photography on PDP, now that's a pretty neat idea! As far as I'm concerned, feel free to keep them coming! ;)

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  2. Now this is my kind of photo! Looks just like something I would take, only way better.

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  3. Just in case you were looking for a caption for that photo:

    "Sometimes you're pigeon, sometimes you're the statue"

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  4. Tomate~ LOL...

    Eric, I think you do a great job with your pictures, but if the lessons help, enjoy.

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  5. Well it's great you were so honest! There's a lot to learn isn't there. The most important thing is the eye, though. Plenty of people could learn the theory but couldn't find the right pic and this is what you're so good at.

    Now! - this is my kind of post. I'm going back to click on all those lovely photography links!

    Erm...that er...his...well, it's looking right at me.

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  6. Of course he's looking at you. He's happy to see you, Lynn!

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  7. LOL! Suzy!

    Eric as if anyone here would ever give up on you!

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  8. Where are the little pigeon heads?!!!!

    Do they both have them under their little pigeon wings?

    And what are the chances of that happening!!??

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  9. Eric - I'm so glad that you told us you use automatic!! Though I'm sure I could do more knowing how to manipulate my camera, I've gotten many great photos using auto. But, I always feel inferior for it - and of course I assumed you knew way more than I. Now, I don't feel so inferior on my camera. (PS - I've always heard it called depth of field (that is, here in the US) and, though I don't know why its not, its never shortened to field depth.)

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  10. Yes, these lessons are valuable for a lot of us even if I don't really understand it all.

    Tomate: in your dream did ET tell you what time he was posting so you could be GF? ;)

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  11. Carrie, my pigeon head is right where it belongs - engrossed in PDP!

    My last name starts with Pijan, so all this pigeon talk is cracking me up!

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  12. You have the gift and a great teacher, well done!

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  13. The technical side of photography can be taught quite easily. What you have - that can't be taught - is an eye for what makes an excellent image.

    I like the depth of field on this one. Keep it up.

    What kind of camera do you shoot with?

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  14. Oh non, je suis tellement déçue...tu nous a menti jusqu'à manintenant?! I don't mind, the result was always great and this picture is really good for a novice you know! ;)

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  15. Grrr...it was Guille and not Guillemette...ah blogger!

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  16. Tomate...too funny! Do you think that somewhere in the world (or Paris) there is a statue of a pigeon? :-)

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  17. Coltrane -- oh, how I would love to see a statue of a pigeon, with a live one sitting on its filthy head! LOL
    Eric -- I've been searching all over for an honest man—and it turned out to be you!! I've been afraid to use the manual setting on my camera, but you've given me courage (after all, what's the worst that can happen, eh?). You've also given me hope (and I think you know what I mean).
    I also like what Brandon said — so true!

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  18. Very fun. But remember: don't lose your instinct by trying to follow the rules!

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  19. I never would have guessed. Your photos are always wonderful. Enjoy the new learning experience.

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  20. Coltrane!! LOL!! I'm sure somewhere there is one, and you can bet there is a human intentionally peeing on it! ;)


    Cali: Nothing much happened in my dream, believe me ;)

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  21. Eric

    As others have said, the success of PDP is about what you actually capture, rather than whether something that meets all of the technical aspects. Street photography is all about taking a quick opportunity. Even the top pros manipulate their images either in the darkroom or on a PC.

    I look at your site daily for a quick slice of Paris life and it does that superbly. You do us all a wonderful service.

    regards

    Richard

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  22. Ravie d'avoir partagé ce cours avec toi ! Peut être à une prochaine ! ^^

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  23. Way to go Eric, this is beautiful. Oh how I wish I was in Paris!

    XOXO,
    MP

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  24. Eric, thanks for the lesson!
    I think I'll add such a training session to the "package" when I upgrade my camera later this summer ;-)

    Coltrane, LOL. I'm sure there is such a statue somewhere in Paris! Could be a good idea for one of Eric's next shots !

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  25. Ooh Thib you must tell me what you get. I thought of the 500 as outlined in Eric's link, but went for the 450 in the end. Delighted!

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  26. I got a new camera foy my birthday a few months ago. (Sorry Lynn, but it's the 'other' brand).
    I also got a book the size of a mystery novel telling me how to use it!.
    It's so bloody complicated that I've gone back to the auto settings for the time being. Still produces fantastic pics though.

    Speaking of cameras, I couldn't help noticing that the statue in today's photo still has a little point and shoot job!

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  27. lol I noticed it too Drummond, how could we avoid such a stare? ;)
    I like Nikons too and it was a tough choice but I'd had Canons before, years ago (film) and adored them.

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  28. I use Auto too some of the time, particularly if I suddenly see something. Who can start fiddling around then? Nothing wrong with Auto in my opinion but I do love to construct it myself most of the time.

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  29. Lynn,
    I'll let you know when I'm fixed... But I might stick to a bridge, instead of a reflex.... budget, budget ;-(

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  30. Understand more than you know, Thib lol.

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  31. I have the same camera as Nathalie from Avignon (I think). Except that her pics are nothing short of outstanding and mine are ... er... well.. you know ... Maybe it's the light ;) Must be the light!! ;)

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  32. The caption for this picture should read, "Did that bird eat my arm?"

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  33. Did you know that the famous painter Henri Rousseau claimed he had "no teacher other than nature", although he admitted he had received "some advice" from two established artists. Essentially he was self-taught. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Rousseau

    Nice photo Eric!

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  34. "...I didn't really like photography. One year somebody gave me a camera, so I started playing around with it..."

    You get three tries to guess who said this. I will never forget!

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  35. Jeff, do you mean it was Eric?

    I would love to take a class and master all the things my little camera can do. I've glanced at the manual, but I'm usually too busy to look things up so I just turn on the camera and shoot.

    This photo shows it would be worth it to learn depth of field shooting, however!

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  36. lol me too, Jeff! I remember that so well! :D

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  37. Carrie "Eric - I'm so glad that you told us you use automatic!!" LOOOOL It's a relief isn't LOL!

    Brandon "What kind of camera do you shoot with?" A Samsung something, which is in reality a Pentax

    Guille(mette) [tu as une double identité sur le net !] "Oh non, je suis tellement déçue...tu nous a menti jusqu'à maintenant?! " LOOOOL

    Coltrane "Do you think that somewhere in the world (or Paris) there is a statue of a pigeon? :-)" Huh. I'm sure there is!

    Alexa "I've been searching all over for an honest man—and it turned out to be you!! " LOOOOOL! I AM a very honest man actually. I find it so difficult to lie, that I practically can't.

    Jeff "But remember: don't lose your instinct by trying to follow the rules!" Don't worry, I won't ;)

    Rich "Street photography is all about taking a quick opportunity." Yes, you are right. That is why most of the time I simply don't have the time to use the manual settings. Thanks for your compliments anyway ;-)

    Marie "Eh people, Marie was one of the pupils too. Bonjour Marie."

    Drummond "I also got a book the size of a mystery novel telling me how to use it!." LOOOOOL This is so funny and so true (only novels are generally captivating, manuals much less!)

    Thib "But I might stick to a bridge, instead of a reflex.... budget, budget ;-(" Bridges are fine. Frankly.

    Lois "Did you know that the famous painter Henri Rousseau claimed he had "no teacher other than nature"" No I did not. As for advice, I probably got them too, by looking at the well established photographers photos.

    Petrea "Jeff, do you mean it was Eric?" I confess!

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  38. Congratulations! That was really nice!

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  39. Your photos are fantastic, even without photo-lessons. Thank you for making us dream everyday.

    Manos
    Athens, Greece

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  40. Salut Eric! I had a great vacation in Paris last week. Bateau mouche, auction houses, breakfast at the Hotel Paiva, etc. You can see a few Paris pictures on my blog. Bonjour d'EAGAN daily photo

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  41. Eiffel Tower Suzy - I have a movie that will surely crack you up - I just rented it. Its a French grifter movie called "Cash" and I guess the word for a "mark" in French is "pigeon" because its used throughout - so, lots of funny references if you happen to a Pijan!!! ; )

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  42. Great job on the photo! Enjoy the classes and learn all you can. I am jealous!

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  43. You give me hope! I try to use the manual settings and sometimes get better results...then sometimes I just get confused and set the wrong thing. ARGH! I'm going to try to learn more before I come to Paris the next time.
    I've been lurking ever since 2008 & am now browsing ALL your posts and enjoying it so much. Merci mille fois, Sara from Pennsylvania (newwine)

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