For those here who lament that they can't take a good picture- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    For those here who lament that they can't take a good picture

    It's a long process to learn what works and what doesn't work. A good place to start would be this short article written by photographer Ming Thein. I've been reading and learning from this guy for years.

    This isn't a technical "how-to" article, just read through it once to see if it gives you some ideas.

    As Ming concludes: "I knew why I was shooting, and what I wanted to get out of the scene. I made the images I saw."

    https://blog.mingthein.com/2018/12/2...hy/#more-17549
    Last edited by xcguy; 12-28-2018 at 06:27 AM.
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  2. #2
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    More from Ming. I'll read his essays and nod, mumbling "yup yup".

    https://blog.mingthein.com/2019/01/2...ns/#more-17822
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  3. #3
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    I'm not going to link you to new Ming posts constantly but...this newest one goes back to something I said back in one of my Moab threads: you make the camera do what you want it to. Tricky lighting/product photography/you make the light do what you want to get the result you want. None of it is left to chance.

    https://blog.mingthein.com/2019/02/0...gs/#more-17855
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  4. #4
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    By no means am I pro photographer, but I did a little write-up a while back on this topic trying to keep it simple:

    Three Tips for Better Mountain Bike Photography – Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures

    To me, the hardest part is making a point of going out and actually shooting, versus getting a good, hard ride in. Setting up shots takes time and you need willing friends who don't mind slowing things down. Additionally, you've got to have a camera setup that you'll actually carry with you... personally, I've found the Canon M50 (or something similar) with one of their small lenses like the EF-M 11-22 or 22 f/2.0 to provide fairly high performance with minimal weight and mass. Here are a few of my recent favorites:






  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    By no means am I pro photographer, but I did a little write-up a while back on this topic trying to keep it simple:

    Three Tips for Better Mountain Bike Photography – Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures

    To me, the hardest part is making a point of going out and actually shooting, versus getting a good, hard ride in. Setting up shots takes time and you need willing friends who don't mind slowing things down. Additionally, you've got to have a camera setup that you'll actually carry with you... personally, I've found the Canon M50 (or something similar) with one of their small lenses like the EF-M 11-22 or 22 f/2.0 to provide fairly high performance with minimal weight and mass. Here are a few of my recent favorites:





    Steve, you shoot with a specific purpose in mind. You know what you want to capture and you make your camera capture it. You've practiced enough with whatever gear you're carrying so that there are no surprises. Sounds like a pro to me!

    I was always the guy with the camera on rides. I wasn't as concerned with "flow" as I was getting shots of the ride. It's a bonus on your tours that the clients have someone as competent as you getting shots of their rides.

    On that link you gave us, I liked all the shots but especially the one with the rider on the blue bike approaching the drops and the one with the faraway zoomed in background, rider in focus.
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    Steve, you shoot with a specific purpose in mind. You know what you want to capture and you make your camera capture it.
    Eh, to a degree... I think you'd be surprised.

    Typically, I stop to take pictures during rides (on our trips, at least) when it's convenient. ie., after a break, once we're already stopped, etc. I try my hardest not to interrupt the ride itself just for the sake of a picture. Granted, sometimes I know the trail and what's "available" to shoot, but those instances aren't all that often.

  7. #7
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    I remember when I was just starting to transition from casual ride photography I went up to a bike race at Granby featuring high flying bikes launching over 30 foot gaps to lung busting singletrack races.

    Long story short, I didn't know what I was doing. Sure I was getting pics but with no real intent. I didn't know my gear, I was just winging it. I met up with a friend from California, an accomplished photographer. After awhile he walked up to the main photog for Mountain Bike Action (at the time) and I watched them shoot. Total focus, intent al maximo. He kept glancing over at me and chuckling..."spray and pray" I think it was how he described my style.
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    I remember when I was just starting to transition from casual ride photography I went up to a bike race at Granby featuring high flying bikes launching over 30 foot gaps to lung busting singletrack races.

    Long story short, I didn't know what I was doing. Sure I was getting pics but with no real intent. I didn't know my gear, I was just winging it. I met up with a friend from California, an accomplished photographer. After awhile he walked up to the main photog for Mountain Bike Action (at the time) and I watched them shoot. Total focus, intent al maximo. He kept glancing over at me and chuckling..."spray and pray" I think it was how he described my style.
    Lol
    I love photography but have never purchased a good enough camera to call it a hobby.

    Your story reminded my of something I experienced years ago. I was living in San Diego at the time late 90s. My older brother was as well, one day he calls me up and asked if Id like to drive down to Mexico with a couple of friends. It was a friend of a friend who filmed different extreme sporting events for ESPN. He was in our crew and was going down to film a paraglider / hang gliding event. Paragliding as in no motor like whats popular here. He also paraglided himself and went off that day after filming. Sure Ill go, all four of us loaded up in the photographers van, also loaded with camera and paragliding equipment and drove down close to Ensenada to a cliff side ocean location. There must have been 100 plus mixed paragliders and hang gliders going off the same spot on the 400 cliff one after another only 3 minutes separating them. The sky soon filled with many gliding around for a 1/2 an hour sky time then landing on the beach below. We were at the top watching and he was filming with his ginormous lens camera. I watched several close call crashes, mainly hang gliders not making the initial run and launch. Crashing luckily only 50 to 100 before the main cliff drop. Scary thing to see happen, luckily no bad crashes and no injuries that day. Anyway the guy filming was super nice and and schooled us with our many questions about his photography and his amazing equipment.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Lol
    I love photography but have never purchased a good enough camera to call it a hobby.

    Your story reminded my of something I experienced years ago. I was living in San Diego at the time late 90s. My older brother was as well, one day he calls me up and asked if Id like to drive down to Mexico with a couple of friends. It was a friend of a friend who filmed different extreme sporting events for ESPN. He was in our crew and was going down to film a paraglider / hang gliding event. Paragliding as in no motor like whats popular here. He also paraglided himself and went off that day after filming. Sure Ill go, all four of us loaded up in the photographers van, also loaded with camera and paragliding equipment and drove down close to Ensenada to a cliff side ocean location. There must have been 100 plus mixed paragliders and hang gliders going off the same spot on the 400 cliff one after another only 3 minutes separating them. The sky soon filled with many gliding around for a 1/2 an hour sky time then landing on the beach below. We were at the top watching and he was filming with his ginormous lens camera. I watched several close call crashes, mainly hang gliders not making the initial run and launch. Crashing luckily only 50 to 100 before the main cliff drop. Scary thing to see happen, luckily no bad crashes and no injuries that day. Anyway the guy filming was super nice and and schooled us with our many questions about his photography and his amazing equipment.
    Good story. You should have taken a pic with your phone...wait. That guy from California I mentioned was Deadbolt. You remember him?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    Good story. You should have taken a pic with your phone...wait. That guy from California I mentioned was Deadbolt. You remember him?
    Phone? This was in the 90s. Deadbolt sounds familiar but that could be due the one I installed on my door last week.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Lol
    I love photography but have never purchased a good enough camera to call it a hobby.

    I was on a river rafting trip with a professional and though he had a huge multi-thousand DSLR and a case full of lenses the majority of photos were taken with a little point & shoot. He got a lot of really great shots with that thing.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I was on a river rafting trip with a professional and though he had a huge multi-thousand DSLR and a case full of lenses the majority of photos were taken with a little point & shoot. He got a lot of really great shots with that thing.
    Yeah, thats all I would opt for anyway, someday.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Yeah, thats all I would opt for anyway, someday.
    You can get into this photography thing as much as you want. Phones/point and shoots/big time DSLRs, it's all good. Just get out there and shoot.
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  14. #14
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    Finally able to log onto mtbr

    https://blog.mingthein.com/2019/02/1...ns/#more-17871

    When I was starting to get serious about my photography I went through the same thing: practice practice practice. Now that I have what I need to do for my work photography down I just don't carry a camera around as much unless I'm working. Like Ming, I've shot the heck out of everything again and again, in the name of perfecting my technique.

    I sure hope Springtime comes quick because I need to get out and work again. As soon as the snowpack at lower elevations finally disappears and the trees start leafing out, I'm there. Utah in April!
    Last edited by xcguy; 02-16-2019 at 08:08 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Here's an earlier essay from Ming on "Why we photograph"

    For me, now, it's what I do for work. But I've had a camera around for a long time, either hiking or riding.

    I can't tell you how many times, since day one, someone has come up to me and asked, almost incredulously "what are you taking pictures of" or even "why are you taking pictures???"

    I used to explain what it was or why I was but it turns out no answer would suffice for a non-photographer...they just didn't see the point. Now I just give them my best Mona Lisa and reply "oh, this and that".

    https://blog.mingthein.com/2013/03/0...we-photograph/
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  16. #16
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    I like capturing the moment. Both for myself, and for others.

    For those here who lament that they can't take a good picture-brevard-day1-3.jpg

  17. #17
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    When I was out in Utah last October, I didn't take my work cameras, I was just shooting for my own self. It was pretty liberating seeing as I didn't have to keep my work hat on and constantly look at every scene from what's required of my work images.

    I still couldn't help but shoot some in my work-style anyway (as well as the stuff I showed you all here). When I got back I still sent in a ton of those images and they accepted all of them. So, win/win, I shot for myself and turns out for the client as well.
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

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    I'm shooting locations these days that I've shot in the past a gazillion times, trying for different compositions/different lighting/different moods. It's always pleasurable though a bit challenging to keep it new. Looking forward to Utah in mid-April.

    Again, from Ming's site, he lives in Kuala Lumpur (he also graduated from Oxford at age 16). I like the way he writes about photography and here's another one of him facing his own challenges shooting his city, again and for the first time. He's shot with every type of camera imaginable (he used to be head of Product Development for Hasselblad)
    and this time he shows us what he gets from an Olympus Pen-F (m4/3) and his Nikon Z7 (full frame). And read the comments to further explore some of the fine differences in the two formats.

    https://blog.mingthein.com/2019/03/1...ii/#more-17995
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  19. #19
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    Ming on seeing shadows

    Another essay. I've always noticed how shadows add to any scene. The point here is to just notice this stuff. Photography allows us to capture these transitory moments in time. And the articles I'm linking you to on Ming's site aren't meant to convince you to shoot in black and white, I never shoot in black and white. It's a phase that Ming shifted into lately, he has plenty of older articles with color images.

    https://blog.mingthein.com/2019/04/0...rm/#more-17925
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  20. #20
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    Something a little different

    I'm not a portrait photographer but maybe some of you are or aspire to be one.

    I had to link you to this very cool set of pics from Mexico by a Mexican photographer. I've been to Oaxaca many times but a guero like me would never in a million years get these images.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/l...ag-oaxaca.html
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

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