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MobiWorkshop MobiWorkshop - New for 2019

Discussion in 'Repetitive iMages Threads & Challenges' started by FundyBrian, 30 December 2018.

  1. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    Did you ever wonder why some photos are called photo decor while others end up in art galleries?

    To quote something from a milk carton - “Our cows are not contented. They are anxious to do better.”
    Is anyone completely satisfied with their current abilities in photography? <Pause> I didn’t think so.
    We are all on a lifetime journey of learning new things. Photography is not the sort of thing where you ever know everything that can be known. True, you can learn the basics of how photography works, but beyond that the field is vast. You can study all your life and still find new things to learn.

    Each week we will explore a new MobiWorkshop topic, make some new photos for the topic being explored, post the photos and then discuss the results. Some topics will take more than one week to explore and we will work step-by-step until we have it covered to our satisfaction.

    What would you like to learn about in 2019?
    Please suggest suggest workshop topics that would interest you.

    Each week will start with an information phase where the topic will be introduced and whatever resources required will be posted. Then it’s time for you to make some new photos and post them. Then we will discuss the photos made and see how well we have understood the topic and how we can make use of it in our personal photography. We will be participants in a collective learning project. Each person is bound to have their own insights to share. As a group there is the potential to gain a more rounded understanding of each topic.
     
    Last edited: 3 January 2019
  2. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    MobiWorkshop is all about expanding your photographic skills.
    Each week we will explore a new topic in bite-sized increments. Then it’s time for you to make some new photos based on the topic and post them. We will discuss the photos and see how we can make use of these ideas in our personal photography. Some topics would require more than one week to explore.

    We will be participants in a collective learning project. Each person is bound to have their own insights to share. As a group there is the potential to gain a more rounded understanding of each topic.

    Photography offers an enormous range of interests you can explore. In fact, you can study all your life and still find new things to learn.

    What would you like to learn about in 2019?
    Suggest some topics of interest to you and we’ll get started.

    One of my personal areas of interest in photography is the Art of Seeing. Everything in photography starts with how you see the world. One approach is called Contemplative Photography. It would be a fairly ambitious project that would take several sessions to cover. First we have to answer the question “What the heck is Contemplative Photography?” I think you will see that it is a different way of seeing and something that is bound to have an impact on how you see the world and how you photograph.
     
  3. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    One thing would be maximum image quality. Each time the IPPA and MPA award winners are announced, we all seem to marvel at the sheer detail and image quality of the photos. Max quality is not something that's necessary for every image, or even for most images, but in certain images, like some landscapes, it can be eye-opening. I'm guessing that these award winners involve tripods (even if only small ones), remote triggers or timed release, and careful attention to exposure, focus, and so on.
     
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  4. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    That sounds quite doable. There is a lot of information in the book “Ultimate iPhone DNG to help with this topic. I’m hoping the author will keep the book updated as new apps and iPhones are introduced.
     
  5. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    This will be very interesting, I’ve no doubt! Sometimes I can be resistant to change - I’ve loved Time Stamp - but I also know that “the path unknown” can lead us to things we’ve never dreamed of. So, I’m excited to follow this new path and see where it takes us. :D
     
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  6. ImageArt

    ImageArt MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    Okay, I’m gonna start the discussion.

    I had a look at Contemplative Photography when you brought it up last year but after spending a week looking at everything from a different angle to a different colour to etc etc, everything I had taken was soulless. Now I see it’s more important to spend more time learning what in life inspires me and to follow my inspiration rather than to ‘find’ an ‘interesting’ bent nail sticking out of a cracked wall. In Michael Wood’s book The Practice of Contemplative Photography, there’s not one image I would put on my wall.
     
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  7. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    So is that a vote for or against Contemplative Photography as a topic of exploration. We haven’t yet even tried to nail down what it is. First there’s the aspect of perception vs conception.
     
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  8. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    Yes, I liked Time Stamp, too, but it ceased to maintain a following. Do you have any topics you want to learn about?
     
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  9. ImageArt

    ImageArt MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    Three topics I’m interested in: macros, bird photography, using lens filters.
     
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  10. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn Smooth Bug Catcher

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    Maybe 'what makes a competition winner' would be a good topic to focus on?
     
  11. zenjenny

    zenjenny MobiStaff Site Staff

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    I’ll second that — especially lens & macros (She Who Doesn’t Know What a Lens Filter Is)...

    And . . . I’m still thinking .
     
  12. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    List of suggested topics:

    • How to achieve maximum image quality
    • Macro Photography
    • Bird Photography
    • Using lens filters
    • What makes a competition winner?
    • How to be a good photo competition judge
    • Contemplative Photography
    • The Art of Seeing
    •.Slow Shutter (long exposure)
    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 January 2019
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  13. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    .... thinking is good.
     
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  14. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn Smooth Bug Catcher

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    Problem with that is it only applies to people who can afford to purchase add on lenses and have a phone i.e. iphone that can take them.
    Workshops are great if they are inclusive, which is why TWAC ran out of steam.
     
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  15. zenjenny

    zenjenny MobiStaff Site Staff

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    Yes: I make a point of thinking at least twice a day.
     
  16. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    Yes, I agree that topics should be as universal as possible. Close-up photography is pretty generic. You can photograph quite close without any accessories and there is a bunch of useful info that is helpful to understand when you try to make close-ups, even if you have no extra stuff at all. You can also extend your close-up range by photographing through any ordinary magnifying glass that people often have lying about the house somewhere.
    It would be different if we discussed how to use one particular macro lens that was expensive and only available to certain phones. However, people who don’t yet have any close-up accessories might gain a lot from the discussion and have a better understanding what sort of thing they should buy if they became sufficiently interested.

    One thing that is especially exciting about close-up photography: when you look around and don’t see anything that interests you, landscape-wise, in your immediate surroundings, you can enter the close-up world and be totally captivated by what is around you, even in a very small space.

    As far as I know there are not any phone-specific ways of attaching photo filters. Most rely on some sort of spring clip but you can use sticky tape just as well. What sort of camera filters are worth experimenting with? Filters for the tiny lenses on cell phones can be very small, and are much cheaper than the large filters used for DSLR cameras. For instance I bought a filter holder and polarizing filter together on Amazon for under $20, while a 77mm polarizer for my DSLR would be well over $100. In the film days camera filters were in common use. A great many were light balancing, or colour balancing, filters that are no longer useful now that digital cameras have adaptive white balance capabilities. A polarizing filter is one filter that remains useful and its effect cannot be simulated in software. Neutral density filters can be useful for time exposure effects. Only a few other filters are useful to explore.

    A discussion about a topic can often have related tangents that would be useful to follow. For instance, understanding the limitations of depth of field is more useful in close-up photography than it is for scenic photography (at least, on a cell phone camera). Where will limited depth of field work against you, and where can you use limited depth of field to your advantage? What methods can a person use to attach a close-up lens to their phone? There are lots of inexpensive do-it-yourself solutions here. The quality of lighting becomes a make-or-break issue in close-up photography so how to choose, or create, good lighting is another side topic. How to make and use your own close-up lighting reflectors using tinfoil, cardboard, and skewer sticks?

    I mentioned white balance above. How can you get proper white balance in your close-up photos in situations when auto white balance doesn’t work well?

    And, what is TWAC?
     
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  17. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn Smooth Bug Catcher

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    So macro can be summed up in one sentence. Get as close to your chosen subject as possible to still be able to focus, hold the phone steady, maybe use a tripod if you have one, press shutter.
    I genuinely believe that the way to get good at anything in photography is take photos, take photos and I repeat, take photos. No amount of workshoppery is going to make anyone an expert imho. People need to get out there and take photos.

    TWAC stands for Two Week App Challenge Brian, it used to be 'a thing' :D

    I've been hesitating about commenting on your thread for a while Brian, but I worry that my views will probably come over as quite negative.
    I tend to make images quite fast, I don't really want to contemplate, I just go and shoot. Making things overly complicated will again imho, drive people away.
    I know you have good intentions and I applaud you trying to start something new, I just doubt talking about something for days will make any of us better mobile photographers. Please prove me wrong.
     
  18. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    That does sound like a good topic.
    Have you ever examined some of the shutter speed metadata in your photos? I made a 15 second full sun long exposure photo using NightCap Pro with my iPhone 7. These long exposures are of course made up of several regular exposures put together. Metadata revealed my shutter speed was 1/50,000 sec! A tripod wouldn’t help much here for image sharpness, except I was making a time exposure which needed all the pictures in register. I do use a tripod most of the time, though.
    Recently, apps like Halide have begun to show specs for your iPhone camera capabilities. I see for my iPhone 8 Plus that the maximum shutter speed is now 1/91,000 sec! Pretty amazing. DSLR users can only dream about shutter speeds like that. Now if we could just get the other end of the shutter speed scale extended to even just 1 second from 1/3 that would really help for things like flowing water.
     
  19. zenjenny

    zenjenny MobiStaff Site Staff

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    Slow shutter !
     
  20. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    It's your official position on MobiTog to play devil’s advocate. To stir the pot. Point out potential problems. To challenge people to prove their point or shut up. I think I’m up to the challenge.

    On just about any new topic of interest you could ignore what has already been learned and strike out on your own to learn by trial and error. Take lots of pictures and find out all the things that don’t work, if you have all the time in the world. That’s certainly one approach. But you don’t have to beat your head against the wall. You could take advantage of what has already been learned about a topic and use that as your jumping-off point.

    We haven’t yet had the opportunity to start a topic and see how the process unfolds. I don’t expect it will be perfect the first time but hopefully it will evolve into a good balance of information and practice. Yes, making pictures is the most important part of MobiWorkshop. The workshop provides a topic for the pictures and learning something new is the purpose of the workshop. The plan is to start out with a brief description and then see what sort of photos arise from that. Once people have tried making their own photos we may have new questions arising.

    Words like Close-up and Macro are just points along a continuum of focus distance, or image size. You could say that the “close-up” range begins at your closest focus position and you can expand it with the use of close-up lenses. When you reach 1:1 and beyond, that is Macro. But it’s all just close-up photography. The only difference is the degree of magnification.
     
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  21. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    This is really interesting. It may turn out that you are already doing Contemplative Photography without knowing it.

    The topic of Contemplative Photography is a tricky one. First, the name itself is rather unfortunate in not conveying any useful understanding of the topic. I should start out by saying I don’t yet know that much about it but what I have seen so far tells me there is something different happening there that is worth looking into.
    Once you start looking into it it soon becomes evident that you first have to stop thinking. Instead, you pay attention to your perceptions. That brief moment when you first perceive something and before any thoughts arise such that your brain takes over to interpret what you have seen and whether or not it makes a good picture. Don’t think. Observe. Pay attention to what catches your eye. Thinking clouds your perceptions with pre-conceived notions of what makes a good subject or what makes a good picture.

    You said you don’t want to contemplate. Then perhaps the unfortunately named contemplative photography is perfect for you.
    The main thing is, don’t jump to any conclusions. Be curious. Be patient enough to see what is really going on before you condem it.
     
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  22. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn Smooth Bug Catcher

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    Its not the best ever named topic is it. It gives me the impression of meditating before I take each photo, being at one with nature, mankind and the universe...........ommmmmmmmm :D
     
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  23. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    I think any workshop should be an opportunity -- or a goad -- to get out and do just that: shoot, focusing on one particular aspect of photography (close-up, etc.) and then having the chance to get critiques and talk over problems in execution with some people doing the same thing. (For ex: "When I try to shoot a close-up of something small, the focus keeps locking onto the background instead of the object." Ans: "Use a manual focus camera app.")

    I think shooting is good and shooting + relecting/analyzing is better. Even if you shoot intuitively, in the moment, the things you learn by examining later eventually become part of your intuition. (Sez me.)
     
  24. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    Yes!
     
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  25. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    That could be interesting. It could be "What would it take to make this photo of mine a competition winner?" or "What makes this actual competition winner so good?" or even "Why was this one the winner and not this other one?"
     

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