Monday, February 8, 2010

New to Photography? Learn from Flickr

 Like many people, I love pictures. I love to travel around the world in my mind through the simple and inexpensive practice of viewing photos of exotic locations. Photography has taught me to look at subjects differently. I have always seen beauty in everyday things such as a cup of coffee, fallen leafs, old sneakers, so learning to capture these subjects in an manner that is thought provoking, smile inducing and giving the subject a platform to be appreciated is amazing.  

Growing up I always had some cheap camera that I would pull out just to take snaps for memories sake.  When I had my first child I started to take photography a little more seriously, realizing how valuable documenting my child's life was. By the time my daughter was born I had discovered the art of photography through Flickr and was caught up in the world of seeing things through a lens. My husband fed my new passion by purchasing me a Canon EOS 40D one year for Christmas. That was the icing on the cake! I was hooked for life. My camera was and is still my best friend. 

Since that time, I have become very active on Flickr. Sure Flickr gets a bad rap sometimes, and with good reason. There are some real assholes out there. There are the creepy folk who look for kids and trouble. Then there is the issue of recieving comments on your photos. One of the main reasons I joined Flickr was to share my images and get feedback, good or bad, so that I may learn and grow as a photographer. But you get these schmo's who only comment "Nice picture" or give some meaningless reward just to promote a group they belong to. These are all things that bug me about Flickr. But on the positive side, I have learned a great deal from FlickrI sought out groups that were geared towards learning and feedback. I became active in these groups. I also looked for photo assignments so that I could learn about the technical side of photography as well as composition, lighting and more. I also started a Flickr group, Newbies Learning Photography , that is dedicated to learning photography through assignments, helpful information and sharing. Majority of the group members are new to photography, but we are also blessed to have some advanced amateurs and a few pro's in the mix, to help the newbie in their quest to learn. 

As a Wannabe photographer would I recommend joining Flickr to another amateur, the answer is simple, Yes! I have noticed great improvement in my photographs. I have learned a great deal, found inspiration, and made some friends along the way. I have even lucked out to meet some photographers who live close to me. We meet every few months for photoshoots! All this, because of photography. So I say, take the shitty comments and creepy guys with a grain of salt and join Flickr, the world of photography is within reach!

Here are few samples of how my work has changed since I joined Flickr.

This is one of the first portraits that I ever posted on Flickr. Sure it is not that bad for a complete novice, but the compositition is boring. There is too much shadow on my sons face and he competes to much with the background for the viewers attention.

This is my most recent portrait post to Flickr. I am proud of this photo for a few reasons. One being that my hubby willingly posed for the photo. I like that he is not looking directly into the camera, it gives the image a bit of mystery, what is he thinking? I like the heavy snow falling around him so I chose to black and white to showcase the contrast between light and dark. The composition is much better too. He is not posed in the middle of the frame, but off to the side. The background is sufficiently blurred as to not compete for attention.

These are all images that I posted to Flickr when I first joined.

This is one of my most recent additions to Flickr. I really like the composition and now that I can use Photoshop (however limited), I was able to take the image to a whole new level by adding a texture and playing with the color a bit.

My landscape and travel photography has gotten much better as well. This is a photo I took in Amalfi, Italy when I was there last spring.


  1. Yours is a lovely blog with stunning photos! I hope that you get more traffic to your site so that others will see just how talented you really are! Cheers, Avery

  2. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement LAvery Brown! It means so very much to me.

  3. I love flickr. Yes, there are trolls and creeps and way too many awards, but I still think it's the best photography website out there. Nice pictures :D

  4. Hey Lee-Ann, just found your blog today. Wonderful and i have added it to my reader list.

    I agree with your flickr assessment. In the end though, I too have tried to learn to use it as a tool and hopefully start making photographs one day as opposed to taking pictures!

    You have indeed come a long way in the way of technique and composition. I rally like the portrait of your husband but I thought I remember you were going to do a weekly thing with him?!

    Happy Chinese New Year... from China!