Amateur Photographer Seeks Opinions :-)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by blevins321, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #1
    Hi all,

    I invested in a D5000 about a year and a half ago to begin a new hobby. I was hoping to get opinions on if it would be worth it to try to make photography more than a hobby for me. I prefer nature, but would be willing to go for events maybe...I don't want to do portraits.

    I've inserted some of my work from a photo camp below. Any advice/criticism would be greatly appreciated :).

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    Thanks again!
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #2
    I'm a sucker for a good sunset shot, and I like the first here quit a bit. The colors and textures in the sky give it a good feel. It's a pity the sun is on the centerline, though. I tends to capture the eye because it is the brightest area of the photo. If it was a little off center I might like it even more.

    The photo of the Cheetahs has a lot of potential. I like where they are placed in the frame, and the direction of their heads is a nice contrast to the flow of their bodies. Kind of moves right then left with their vision. I would like the colors of the grass to be a bit deeper. The exposure is a bit light for the shadows and that lets the sunlit area in the background go too bright.

    The other two are nice vacation pics, but they don't stir me visually.

    Dale
     
  3. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #3
    I agree with Dale on the cheetah photo. Try turning down the exposure and the greens should turn darker. Months ago when I first started utilizing this site (I, too, am new to this expanded hobby), Dale made the same suggestion on a forest picture I submitted and it made the world of difference. Now I look to set my exposure a minus 2/3's whenever I encounter greenery and it has worked out just fine. Welcome aboard, there is some serious talent as contributors to this site and plenty to learn!:)
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    Sunset good. However there are tons of nature photographers.

    Morepeople would pay money for photos of themselves, but to make a living doing nature photography you have to be really good.

    Oh might want to try to get some where the animals look at the camera.
     
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #5
    I agree, to be a professional landscape/nature photographer you have to be really good. Actually, from my "hobby photographer outside looking in" perspective, being a successful photographer for profit is more about marketing and sales than about the photography itself. Let's face it, while there are some true photographic geniuses out there, almost anyone can learn to be a competent photographer with a little work and dedication. Once you are competent, it's all about selling.

    I'm not sure about animals looking at the camera though. I heard a good saying once, that the pros don't go out to shoot animals. They go out and shoot animal behavior. In other words, the most compelling pictures of animals is when you have captured them doing something unique or exhibiting some special behavior. Pictures of lions sitting on rocks, cheetahs in the grass, etc. are dime a dozen. Pictures of lions or cheetahs taking down a zebra, that is more special.

    Ruahrc
     
  6. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #6
    blevins321, those are nice photos, good subject matter and exposure - but I would classify them as snapshots rather than stock or competition grade pictures.

    Composition: All four photos have the subject placed directly in the middle of the image - it's very matter-of-fact, and not interesting to the eye.
    Attention to detail: For stock or competition you can't have mistakes in your images. The cheetahs are missing their tails, the deer seems to have only one horn (or something odd going on with it's ear), two of the camels are missing rear feet - and I can see the top of a landrover over the next hill.
    Finish: To take pictures to the next level you have to do some post processing to make sure brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness are all good. These images could all do with some work.

    I don't want to put you off - you're enthusiastic about your photography, which is great. Why not start entering photo competitions (plenty of photo forums online that do competitions) so that you can get feedback to help you improve? Also try to look at your pictures a lot more critically.
     
  7. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #7
    Thanks all. Pic #1 is actually a sunrise. First one I'd seen in awhile :D. I think I'm just going to stick to this being a hobby. I use Aperture3 for my library, and I'll definitely play around with the post-processing features. Didn't use them for any of the posted photos. Thanks for all the advice!
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #8
    I agree 100% with the above. I don't think your photos are bad at all. I think they're good. They just don't have the same "pop" to them as pro photographer photos, and this probably has more to do with post-processing than it does anything else.

    Admittedly, I don't do a lot of pp to my images either, and stick to what Lightroom 2.x can do for me. However, I still use it to touch up the contrast, play with the exposure and brightness, black level, and a few other things.
     
  9. CompLuter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    nyc
    #9
    maybe you don't need to decide right now whether it will be more than a hobby.

    if you love it, then keep working at it! enter competitions, share your photos with friends, and have a gallery exhibit when you're ready. ultimately, if/when you are ready to be professional, it will be clear. but don't limit yourself with labels for now- just keep taking pictures, keep experimenting, and be open to possibility.

    check out this guy: http://ericsambol.com/
    photography is his passion, and his job is completely unrelated. it's been really cool to watch his progress.

    keep up the passion:)
     
  10. petjuli macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #10
    Great pics! I definitely think you have the eye for good subjects. However, I have seen others post about your composition. Google "rule of thirds" and learn it. You will be surprised how much of a difference it makes. You don't even really have to force yourself to shoot rule of thirds with todays cameras you can typically just crop to get your image composed the way you like it.
     
  11. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #11
    Don't know much about judging photography, but from an amateur viewer, they look quite decent.
     
  12. srf4real, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011

    srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #12
    Yep, your photos are nice.. but in today's digital world 99% of all current dslr camera equipment is capable of producing better work than 99% of all current photographers will ever accomplish. As others pointed out, professional success is more about marketing and sales than skill truthfully. I know some really crappy surf photographers that travel the world on some company's dime, while I am stuck on the east coast shooting masterpieces!:p:cool:

    Unless you just find a different angle of something and portray it in a new and unique light that hasn't been exploited already; then you may really be on to something.;)

    Clark Little did it right, with a combination of honed skills, proper use of light and processing, he's revealed the surf in a way never quite seen by the average viewer and yet is appealing to folks who have never even been to a beach. Some risk also was involved.. but you've seen his pics even if you don't know who he is...
     
  13. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #13
    The other posters are more diplomatic than me, but the adjectives say it all: "nice", mostly. Check out professional photography in those areas that interest you - landscape, wildlife, by the look of it - and see what top-class work looks like. And they get that quality of shot week in week out: so not only excellent, but consistently excellent.

    You need to tighten up on all aspects of your photography, and put 'pro' thoughts to one side until you can meet that quality threshold. Read books, I'd say, and online tutorials, and learn from shooting and being hyper-critical of your own work...
     

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