Beginner Photographer, First Critique

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ccolaco, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. ccolaco macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    So I am just starting out in photography. Plan on making it a nice hobby of mine. Was wondering if I can get some feedback for this photo. Keep in mind, I'm still a beginner! Hope I'm getting off to right start..

  2. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    There is a lot of negative space, but it's in places that don't help the composition. I'd probably have shot it vertically, since the subject is vertical.

    The large splash of white moves the eyes away from the subject- the eyes are generally drawn to the lightest area in an image, and you have to be careful to give the eyes somewhere to go that brings them to the subject, with leading lines, patterns, or something.

    The subject itself is not very photogenic, and the lighting is just ok- if you can't find a photogenic subject, then you have to shape the light to make the subject interesting visually.

    Shoot closer, pay more attention to the background, and research topics like "leading lines," "negative space," "tension/release," the rule of thirds," "near, middle, far," and spend some time looking at art you enjoy and analyzing the compositional elements, including lighting, positioning, detail, color, contrast, isolation, etc.

  3. CW Jones macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2009
    Background is very distracting. I would try and get some better lighting, not as harsh of lighting on the right hand side. Maybe use a fill flash and a more solid background to help bring out the detail in the figure.

    Another couple things, try not to center everything. DO a little reading about "rule of thirds" which I don't suggest using ALL the itme but its good to kinda keep it in the back of your mind at all times. Like its been said, really pay attention to the background. Lots of people starting off tend to have a sort of tunnel vision and only see what they want to shoot.
  4. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    This is a key piece of advice to me, only because I know I did the same thing.

    In this picture I would have tried putting the wooden statuette thing on the table with the window-light coming from the side. After that you can play around a bit with the light, put a large white surface opposite of the window to fill in the shadow-areas, put a black drape where the window-light is hitting the wall behind to darken the background, etc.
  5. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Like most things about producing compelling images, when starting out, it's best to use all the potentially good tools until you know when to not to. Often we find people breaking them "just to break them," and while that may produce images that aren't "boring" it rarely produces compelling images. When you know all the good composition rules and can demonstrate them on a wide range of subjects, then you'll know when the "rules" don't work and they cease to become more than guidelines. But at that point composition isn't an issue anyway.

  6. buckawheat macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2008
    My humble advice

    I guess I am an experienced amateur.

    What I would suggest to you is find pictures you like and break down what you like about them to help with your style.

    The main items I am looking for beyond something that interests me when I plan a shot or shoot are:
    1. Lighting (do I have the right flash, background, foreground) for the situation. A separate flash unit which allows you to bounce light off of a wall or ceiling is the best investment to improve shot quality (after a good camera/lens of course)

    2. Framing - The subject you are shooting can be the center of the image, but you want to draw the viewer's eye to it. It is good to examine the background to see if you can have the straight lines in the background come into the central subject or reduce distractions such as contrast differences - this draws the viewer's eye to the center or the highlighted object.

    After that, practice. Try playing with your shutter settings and aperture settings (one at a time if your camera supports it) in different lighting, on tripod or not, etc and see what works for you. Don't be afraid to shoot 50 shots of the same thing with slightly different settings to learn what these do - They are easily deleted.

    Good luck with the new hobby!
  7. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    Its usually good form to not strip the EXIF data when asking about technique, since this can be the basis for suggestions (e.g. lens type, aperture, ISO, ect...) I cannot count the number of times I've seen post like this, and someone made an astute observation by just looking at the EXIF data.

    Just a suggestion :)
  8. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    My only comment about this picture would be, "Why did you take it?" By that I mean, what about the scene caught your eye and inspired you to capture it?

    I think everybody else has given good technical advice, but the best technical image of a brick wall still isn't an exiting image.

    Keep shooting!
  9. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    As others' have said, the bright lights on the right are distracting. The image is very soft. The left side (edge) is dark, but could be interesting. I do like the transition of colour, from dark to purple (left side). Did you MF or was it AF? What lens was used?
  10. rjgonzales macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2006

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