New Camera/New to Photography - Looking for Constructive Critisism

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JackArc, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. JackArc macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2006
    Orange County, CA
  2. jmrnavydoc macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2007
    I like the first one, the palm trees in a line and the masterlock. The others were just alright. The building picture -- what's the subject? What are trying to convey? Looked more like a snapshot than a planned or even framed photograph. Very cluttered. As for the last picture, my eyes were drawn toward the deadspace of the sky which was very plain. Try and use foreground/background with DOF to achieve subject and reduce "clutter". Also don't just think of what the subject is, think of what's around it and how it will change the picture.

    Overall, very good for being new. With digital cameras now these days, you can keep taking tons of pictures and go back and review your own work, see what you like and try to figure out why you like it, what it is that strikes your eye and use it the next time you take photos.
  3. apachie2k macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2006
    was MIAMI
    i agree with jmrnavydoc, digital photography has become a great tool for more people to enjoy photography. We can take more pictures, see more pictures, edit more pictures like never before. It has now become trial and error, just keep taking more pictures, "convey" a message through the power of a photograph...otherwise the tree's and the masterlock were my fav's.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I look at the photos and think "whatever". If you're offended then don't read further. You're new to photography and I get that. Your shots look like the obligatory first shots with new camera/lens etc. They're shots that I usually see people trying to run tests with and then there is the obligatory padlock shot that seems to be in everyone's gallery (even mine). The point is no one expects you to have some awesome shots right out of the gate. You're seeking guidance and that is great.

    What exactly got you into photography. Who are your influences or what did you see that made you rush out and drop some cash on a new camera? For me it was Weston among others. I found the simplicity in his work to be something I strive for. I'm uncomplicated and I like my photos that way. Earlier times I wanted to take photography in school because it afforded me the ability to run around school for an hour a day doing things I should not be doing and capturing moments with my friends for the school paper/yearbook. When I matured a bit more I found influences, as I mentioned, with Weston, Stieglitz, Strand, and some Riis. Figure out your influences and focus on something. If you enjoy candid then maybe street photography is your thing. If you enjoy form then perhaps architecture or even the human body is your thing. Whatever it is you're already halfway there because you have a camera and a desire. I think you should run with that. Get out and walk around. Take a ton of photos come back and see which ones make you most happy.
  5. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2007
    The photos are technically speaking, quite good. Vibrant colours, focused, etc. However....

    1) palm trees with coloured sky. Love the tones of the sky, but...Eh, my eyes aren't pulled to something. Rule of thirds. The tones of the sky are good, maybe you could crop it so it's more influencing.

    2) Trees, building. No. There is no one "thing" here. If you were trying for the building, you've got trees in the way! If you were trying for the trees, you've got an ugly building in the background! There is nothing interesting here. However, the building has some interesting architecture. Go back and try shooting just the building, from interesting angles. It might produce some very symmetrical, abstract art. But have a focus and an influence!

    3) Palms in a line. Not bad. However, change your angle a little more. You've got lots of tree to the left of the centre, and sky to the right. Moving to the left would fill out the frame more. Moving to the right would make the trees all dissapear, and might make an interesting shot. One tree, lots of leaves? Sky is exposed decently, but the trees are very underexposed. Maybe, try shooting multiples at different exposures and combining them, so both are well exposed? But first, try a little different angle. This shot isn't bad, it's better than #2.

    4) Masterlock. Everyone else might be taking pictures of them, but I've never taken a shot of a lock, it doesn't strike me as cliche as another poster found it. The blue seems on one hand, vibrant, on another hand, too vibrant, almost photoshopped. However, I do like the shades of gray in this one. Notice, the angle of the lock almost splits the image into two triangles. This is an effect similar to the rule of thirds which often gives a good image. I like this one. I don't love it, but I can't find much wrong with it. Maybe, go back and shoot more of this lock from different angles, to get something that the other guy will find more unique, because I really do love the colours and shades in this image.

    5) palm. This one is close to being good. :) Try moving the palm a little more to the right, so it lines up better with the rule of thirds. however, it's not too bad where it is. You got lense flare, but it's in the corner. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. It combines well with the orange on the fronds. The sky is pretty good too, but you could try adjusting the colour balance so it pops out at your more, then it'll be better for a desktop. This is a good image.

    See, you are lucky. I have to pay $3 for a roll of film and $4 to get it developed. It's only 24 shots, and it's not like I can jsut sit there and play with a subject until I get a good shot :) Not to mention, all I've got is manual focus lenses :) Your photography isn't bad, but like another poster said, rule of thirds and a clear subject (reason for the picture) are two things you need to work on.
  6. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2007
    I read your attempt (thickly draped in condescension and ego) at helping a fellow photographer and think "whatever."

    I mean what, exactly, were you trying to accomplish by including "whatever" in your crit?

    The first shot in the series is quite simply stunning.
  7. rhoydotp macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2006
    i have to agree, this is pretty good for a beginner :D

    some people may say fancy things like "rules of third", depth-of-field, "whatever". don't be discouraged, you will learn all those things, except for "whatever".

    i suggest you do the following:

    1. take lots of pictures (no need to worry about wasting film).

    2. sort them out as very good, good, and bad (including really bad)

    3. show the very good ones to other people (non-photographer & photographer alike) and get their responses. what seems good to you might not be good for the general public. doesn't mean you should stop shooting ;)

    4. examine the good ones and try to figure what could you have done to make it better. delete if you don't have space.

    5. examine the bad ones and make a mental note not to do it again! DELETE! :)

    6. HAVE FUN!

    if there are rules to be followed in every photos taken, then what's the point of taking more photos. its nice to know the technical know-how of what seems to work and how some certain effects are done. but like i said, these things will come as you shoot more & more.
  8. Abraxsis macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    honestly, none of the shots reached out and grabbed me, but there is lots of potential. the palms with the purplish sky is striking but it does need some creative cropping. as for "rules" and all that, pfft. art is something that comes from inside, not a text book. want to talk about cliches? try 70 bajillion people giving their "opinions" on something based on some rules they learned. (the epitome of irony if you ask me especially in an esoteric arena) as an artist myself (graphic mind you, photography is just a little side hobby) i love amateurs 10x more than pros. why? because a pro can take 500 shots and they all look amazing, and they go about their day as usual. an amateur however are usually the ones who stumble onto now and amazing things because they arent bound within their minds by "rules."
    my opinion is shoot your heart out, sometimes youll suck, sometimes youll be mediocre, and sometimes youll outpace the most notable of photographers. when it comes down to it, its all about what YOU like. kinda like how sometimes I enjoy throwing grammar to the wind and not capitalizing anything to prove my point. :p yeah, you thought i was doing that cause i was an idiot, funny how opinions based on preconcieved notions learned from text books can be filled with bias huh?

    game and match.

    yes, i am fully aware ill be flamed for this post, its cool though. everyone is entitled to their opinions, and logically speaking, what I said applies to "rule" fanatics as well. its all good.

  9. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I do agree with you in one way, because it is slightly ironic that artists are often taught some rules or guidelines with which to work with. However, I do think they (rules and guidelines) are important learning tools. How so? For photography, I think it can help a beginner to start seeing things within the frame (more important w/ film I think than digital). Thinking about ways to toy with composition, play with it. I think true artists are the ones who can play very successfully by the rules, but have that extra sparkle of creativity that enable their work to completely stand out in a shattering way-- whether it's within stereotypical rules, or whether it is by knowing these rules and knowing how to successfully break those rules.

    That is superb advice, and advice that I hope I can live by. :eek: I'm a terribly timid "photographer." I've only taken one course in B&W film photography and am currently enrolled in another course, but I do know that I have a horrible time "letting go" and just shooting. Thank you for saying that. It's so good to "hear." :eek:
  10. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    From a technical stand your photos are great. You obviously have skill, and know how to use your camera. The colors in the first picture are interesting, and the composition is quite good. Your other pictures are well-exposed, in focus, and they have a subject.
    What I'm seeing, often observed in beginner photographers is that feeling that taking a perfectly-executed image is enough. Seek yourself! Express yourself! Understand that photography is an art, not a skill. Try to capture the world as you see it, not as others expect.
    Fact is that jessica, despite being crude, was right- your photos are good enough to be sold to a stock photography agency, and be seen on postcards. One of those postcards you would see in the grocery store, and look at and admire, maybe utter, "wow, that's nice." A true photograph is something that grabs you, that takes your attention, that lets you see the world through another person's eyes.
    Don't get discouraged. You have the skill and the tools to push this further. Screw convention- express and define yourself further. That's what makes your work unique, that's the type of stuff that makes someone say- "wow, I don't remember it being that beautiful when I was there." It's 90% luck and 10% skill, really.
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I like the first one with the two palm tres and the one of the lock. Both are stong, un-cluterd compositions
  12. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    Chris- you're one of the people whose opinion I respect the most in the Photography forums, but in this instance, I have to say - I rest my case.
  13. JackArc thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Thanks for the input everyone :) Everything that was said will really help.
  14. Doylem macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    I really don't believe that outdoor photography is "90% luck and 10% skill". It's more about being in the right place, at the right time, when the light is good. And that's about planning, rather than luck. When everything clicks into place, you may shoot loats of pix and keep just the best versions. That's just giving yourself better odds. It's "luck' if you get a rainbow, say, but you need "skill" to capture it.
  15. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2003
    RI -> CA -> ME
    The lock

    I think its ok, but I think a shallower depth of field might have been more interesting.
    As an example
    Its my shot so I am biased. But I think the shallow DOF draws the eye to the ring.
    With your lock it seems to be..well, just a picture of a lock.
    I think the first palm trees were great colors.
  16. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2007
    I would like to recomment about art and rules. 1) It's not only about what you like. It's about drawing people in and showing them something beautiful. Personal preference does play into it, but good photographs are, as someone else, said, a photo that grabs you and pulls you inot the image. Something that takes your breath away for just a second, something you could gaze at and gaze at for a while without getting bored. It's not only what you like, there is a standard for good and crappy, even if it's a rather subject standard soemtimes.
    2) You have to learn the rules in order to break them. If you know what makes a good, technical photo, you can bend or break some rules to come up with something truly artistic. If you don't know the rules, it might be a very artsy shot, but you captured it horribly because you didn't know any of the technicalities. The rule of thirds is so incredibly useful because by following it, almost every shot that was good turns out so much better! It teaches your eye to take shots that lead people through them somehow, and will help you make photos that are composed differently, but have the same effect, or in drawing, where you have to compose a page.

    Yes, they are good photos. Go out and reshoot them all. Decide if you like the new ones better. Go out and shoot and shoot and shoot. Especially if it's digital. Shoot all the time. Then, deprive yourself of your camera for a week. That'll keep you eager to use it when you have it :) shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!!! Practice makes good art.
  17. Buschmaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2006
    I like them! If you're new to photography, you're off to a great start.

    Hope you don't mind that I added you as a contact on flickr, by the way!

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