Jewel on the Shore

Ten Ways to Improve Your Photography (Podcast 472)

Ten ways to do this and five ways to do that, are popular types of posts, and can often be a bit corny, which is one of the reasons why I don’t do these very often, but a number of things have been on my mind recently, so I thought I’d pull...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Mark Casebeer
    Posted at 20:30h, 18 May Reply

    Very nice article, I think in today’s fast paced world we all tend to want instant gratification from our work. The things you mention on your list really help make you a better photographer. I had a chance (by luck) to work with a gentlemen many years ago that was a seasoned nature photographer. We became friends and he told me many stories of places that photographers visited and he would just set back and watch each one rushing around looking for that perfect shot. He had an image in a stream with colorful leaves, rocks with flowing water cooming over the rocks. This was a very small slice of the river and it was just stunning.
    He told me it was a rainy day and other photographers were leaving and as he was just trying to absorb the beauty of this sence. As he took his time, relaxed and started looking around he looked down an noticed this little waterful running over the rock with the fall leaves. The best advice he gave me was simular to some of your top ten.

    Thank You for putting together some great podcast, I have trimmed down my internet reading as you said it can be information overload but I really enjoy yours.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 21:58h, 18 May Reply

      Thanks for recounting that wonderful story Mark, and for giving me a little of your precious Internet reading time. I’m very happy that you do. 🙂

  • Tom
    Posted at 22:21h, 18 May Reply

    Hello, I’m an Englishman and I live with my family next to the Tanzawa mountains. I love photographing the Japanese countryside, and I always enjoy your detailed blog posts! Many thanks!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 22:31h, 18 May Reply

      Thanks very much Tom!

      My wife and I have hiked in the Tanzawa mountains, many years ago now. I can understand why you like it. 🙂

  • Steve
    Posted at 03:40h, 19 May Reply

    Hi Martin. Thanks for a great episode! I listen every week but I particularly enjoyed this week’s episode, lots of practical advice which I’ll try to put into practice on my next photography trip.

    One question: you mention electronic viewfinders being preferable to physical viewfinders in that they condense the world to a 2D view, making it easier to evaluate composition and elements in a scene when shooting. I was wondering whether you think this is an advantage of micro four-thirds cameras over DSLRs? Personally I am not a fan of shooting handheld with Live View – I like to look through the viewfinder – but with micro four thirds you could both do this and have the flattened view. Any thoughts? Conversely what do you think are the advantages of a physical viewfinder, if any?

    Best wishes,

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 10:26h, 19 May Reply

      Thanks Steve!

      I think for steady paced shooting, for the reasons mentioned above, yes, the electronic viewfinder is an advantage of micro four thirds cameras. You have focus peaking and an in-screen histogram etc. Everything is right there!

      I maybe should have pointed this out, but I do not recommend DSLR Live View handheld at all. When I say steady paced, still life or landscape, I pretty much by default am talking about working from a tripod. 🙂

      The advantages of a physical viewfinder is pretty obvious for fast paced shooting. Electronic viewfinders work well until you try to pan with a bird in flight etc. then it starts to get pretty gnarly. They’re getting betting every year, and if that’s all you use, people seem to get used to it to a degree, but people that come on my wildlife workshops with electronic viewfinders still seem to have a very hard time with them. Landscape is different. They work great then!

  • Geoff
    Posted at 11:27h, 20 May Reply

    Martin, I really enjoyed your 10 Ways to Improve your Photography podcast and this blog post. Some great ideas. The practical information on using live view and also the comparison of the black and white histogram versus the RGB histogram really helped me connect some dots today since you explain it so well. Thank you.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 18:42h, 20 May Reply

      That’s great to hear Geoff! Thanks for lending me your eyes and ears, and for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!

  • Tim Gilbreath
    Posted at 21:00h, 20 May Reply

    Great listen today! And I just found everything on your blog as well, so I’ve added it to my Feedly. Thanks for being an incredible resource Martin, I just started listening a few weeks ago, but your format and content was immensely helpful from the very first episode, thanks again!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:17h, 21 May Reply

      That’s great to hear Tim. Thanks for stopping by, and for lending me your eyes and ears!

  • Nick Nieto
    Posted at 06:30h, 28 May Reply

    Martin – I really enjoyed this podcast episode. I listened to it last week before heading over to Iceland. During my trip I worked really hard to get myself to shoot more in manual instead of Aperture Priority and adjusting the exposure compensation. I also started using the RGB histogram to maximize the quality of the data gathered in the shot. I typically don’t use the histogram a lot and never the RGB version of it. I got home last night and transferred the images to my computer and did a quick scan of my images. My initial impression was that the quality and tones straight out of the camera seem cleaner. I’m looking forward to really getting into the images to edit them and see the results.

    Thanks again for the wonderful tips.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:34h, 28 May Reply

      That’s great to hear Nick! I’m pleased you found this useful, and thanks for the update!

      • Nick Nieto
        Posted at 01:07h, 11 June Reply

        I wanted to follow up. I posted the first set of images from the trip where I used the histogram to maximize the data. I was really impressed with additional level of detail I was able to pull out during the editing process. I’m very glad I committed to working on this. Thank you again for the tip!
        The images are posted here if you care to take a peak:

        • Martin Bailey
          Posted at 09:21h, 11 June Reply

          Nicely done Nick! Beautiful work. I can’t wait to get back there in a few months time now!

          Thanks for sharing!

  • Faraz
    Posted at 05:58h, 09 March Reply

    Your tutorials are awesome, thank you 🙂

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