Growing as a photographer

Hello everyone,

I’d like to ask you something…

In this forum you all share tips, advices and help to anyone seeking to improve his editing.
“Is deeprime needed at 100 iso?”
“How to properly convert an image to b&w?”
“When should I use Clearview?”
And so on…

Basically all topics found here relate to the technical aspect, but as a photographer, I would say that the most critical aspect to learn is to “see”, and when I say “see” I mean “seeing with your mind’s eyes” not your actual eyeballs.

How do you learn to visualize the image you are going to shoot? How do get better at it? Which ressources (please share your favorite) do you use? Which habits do you have?

…What do you do to become a better photographer?


Joining a photography club is one way, for amateurs anyway.

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I learned the basic theories a looong time ago, but I still to this day cannot put many of them to practical use in the field in a short enough time to be useful.

If I see a dragonfly on a leaf, what aperture should I use to get the best depth of field for the shot? I don’t know. I do know that I mostly shoot my long lens at f/8 and sometimes that’s not enough, so I will sometimes move to f/11 if I have the time.

But I simply do not spend enough time ‘getting it wrong’ and analysing my mistakes to get better at any speed. Given the luxury of time, I would do exactly that.

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This is a technical forum really focused on software. And while there are plenty of people here who can teach photography this is not a good environment to learn it, and some are quite pushy about “good photography” here… snobs, if you will.

There are some decent places to get more information about the photography bit. There are a few good podcasts, there are a few good forums and Facebook groups, but the ones focused on gear or software aren’t the right ones to learn about visualizing the composition or figuring out where or when or what is the best light.

It may be surprising to some but I find there are a few quite good Facebook groups that are focused on specific genres of photography where you can learn a lot if you can filter some of the BS.

There are decent groups for sports/action photography, off camera flash tips, portrait photography, dance photography, etc… you may want to seek more appropriate places. And of course if there’s a local photography club, that could be the best option.


Hi Ian

Firstly, welcome to the forum. As @MikeR noted above, this is a platform for more technical issues relating to DXO, but it is important as amongst a lot of the conversations you will learn about the software and how to pull the most out of your photos, which is defiantly required if you want to produce an excellent picture. Post production is something that I thought was not important, and boy was I wrong.

The next best thing to do is join a club and enter competitions. Here you will get feedback which when you start can be demoralizing and overwhelming, but stick to it because this is where you start learning to “see”. I have been a member of a club for about 18 months and even I am now starting to be more critical and conscious of what I want to photograph, and in many cases I now see more opportunity in what is in front of me rather than just the “happy snappy” I once only saw.

And finally, if you can afford to do it, go on a photographic workshop that is over a few days. They can be expensive but to be honest, it was the best thing I ever did. From somebody that had all the gear, software, and knowledge of what is required, I very quickly learned that I knew nothing, had too much stuff, and was totally focused on the wrong things. Since then I now have four lenses (compared to nine), one camera (compared to two) , DXO, and a printer, and am on a fantastic learning journey.

Finally start following people or organizations like:

And then get out there and take lots of photos - practice brings improvement.

Good luck and wishing you all the fun photography brings.



I have, precisely, wrote a set of tutorials for you.
We have, also, a place on this forum.

The website Cambridge in Colour has both discussion forums:

and more general information:
including some good tutorials:


@Ian78 welcome to the forum.
I don’t know your level of experience but i asumme it’s starting from cellphone to camera interest.
Lots of posters wrote propper advice.

What i like go add is:
Don’t act/mimic a well known photographer as in copy his/her style, learn from her/his channel/youtube uploads how to get something right but do what you like to snap/compose/ photographe. It’s yours to like.

Don’t be afraid to experiment wile your out and about nor behind the editor application. Behind/after your comfortzone there are the goodies of learning new things.

This forum is official a technical support site of the application DxO Photolab/PureRaw for users by users and sometimes a DxOstaffmember drops in to elaborate or ask for more details.
We often get sidetracked and post photo’s to make some fun but that’s it ,or it derails and looks like a bunch of tangled eagles in deadgrip crashing down. :rofl:.

A photo is made in three steps.( four if your count selecting/buying gear in)
1 theorectical preparation, the how with what and when.
2 keeping your mind and eye open wile your walking around on the place you thought to get a few good images and take snapshots from not very interesting things (your be surprised how much quick shots are at home more interesting then assummed wile your there) and take proper time for the one’s who could be “good”. Play with shutter time, aperture, point of views. Digital raw are free of cost and harddrivespace is cheap😉
3 post editing is much more difficult them most people think and at the same time much more fun in practise then most people think.
Some photo’s can be editted in 10 different way’s. Just have fun and mesh about.
Read, watch youtube, ask around, practise.

Step one: Technical forums about gear, photoclubs.
Step two: I never did but i assume a workshop is much more fun then figuring out yourself i think.
Step three: Software forum, photoclub, new friends you bumped in to wile practising your hobby.


Don’t be afraid to post an image and ask for directions.


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Is deeprime needed at 100 iso?”
Answere: Deeprime is a smart denosing algorithm so it doesn’t hurt a noise free part of your image and repairs also in 100iso the deepshadowed parts,(underexposed parts)

“How to properly convert an image to b&w?”
There are more ways to Rome. Watch youtube and manuals, blogs, and such. Take what suites your goal.
“When should I use Clearview?”
HA that’s a tricky question.
I suppose to dehaze and clarify images. Search on this forum and lots of opinions and tests and examples are popping up. Start with that.

Put away your gear and visit museums. Look at paintings by the masters and try to

  1. take notes of what’s in the picture (e.g. a landscape, a group of people doing…)
  2. take notes on technical aspects (e.g. the bottom RH corner looks darker than the rest)
  3. find out which parts of all you noted above “strike a chord” in you
  4. Try to draw an image that you’d like to see as a photo



This is more what I have in mind…
To learn “how to see”, to learn “what does an image great”…and so on.
So yes, museums, exhibitions, books, real life’s light analysis…

There also are some great photographers who talk about their work (and/or somebody’s else) on YouTube. It’s not technical at all, it’s all about the “image”. A while back I watched Leibowitz’s masterclass and it was pretty good.

I’m looking for something similar, even if it’s not an hyper famous artist.
Feel free to put “names” and books here. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Hello @Ian78

@Everyone else who has posted here so far: You miss the @mikemyers thread don’t you? :stuck_out_tongue: Was a request ever made to create section in the forum that would be more suitable for discussions like this? Or does that have the potential of creating too much traffic/too many users?

My 2 cents for @Ian78: Look at photos online. Spend a bit more time with the ones you like or find pleasing. Compare to your own photos to see the similarities that you like and differences that you dislike.

Also: (I like the way the tutorials are written) and Home - TuTo DxO (not so easy to read but I went “Aaaaahhh!” a lot and learned a lot about PhotoLab too).


another “ghost”

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Weird. It only looks like that to me when I’m not logged in and thought it would behave the same way for everyone else (only hidden from visitors not logged in).

Were you logged in when you took the screenshot?

yes – otherwise I wouldn’t have “commented” :slight_smile:

Have a look at your account preferences…

Uncheck the box next to where the arrow points and things should be more civil.
(Don’t forget to save changes ;))


Yes i did. I requested a chapter “livingroom”

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I miss the ‘Off-Topic’ thread too, but I never felt that it was “mine”. I only received one email from DxO which gave me the impression they were very pleased with it. Regarding what you wrote, “more traffic” + “more users” = more people considering a switch to DxO from what they had been using - but that’s just my opinion.

As for an image being “great”, that goes far beyond the technical tools and stuff. They’re not even remotely the same thing, as I see it - but knowing how to use tools (properly or otherwise) can be very helpful to a photographer to communicate what he thinks/sees/feel with/to his audience.

I enjoyed the “Off-Topic” thread because it could go anywhere, about anything. I believe DxO enjoyed having it as part of their forums.

To me, that’s good. I like it when a photographer’s results can be posted, and get useful feedback. This was part of the intent for the “Off-Topic” thread.


…and any of us could post an image and ask for feedback, alternative interpretations and more.

Must …Resist… :sweat_smile: