Critique my first ever photo set

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by snowydog, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. snowydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Hi all

    I'm not sure what the protocol is here for asking people to critique my photos, but I'll ask anyways.

    Basically my dad is a keen photographer, having photos etc featured in calendars, newsletters etc. I've decided I'd like to try photography as a hobby...after graduating last week my dad bought me a new Canon PowerShot SX220 HS camera. I trust his judgement on what to get me as

    1) I have no knowledge on photographer other than the small basics I learnt for part of my sport performance analysis assignment for university

    2) I've never had my own camera

    3) I'm only starting out, so I'm not in the market for any real hi tech fancy cameras.

    After a really brief 101 on the basics of my new camera with dad, I went off to Titanic Belfast just before sunset...unfortunately, problems meant I just missed the sun set behind the hills so I didn't get to take many pictures in in the last few hours of sunshine.

    I know my pictures really aren't great, but I'd love for any of you guys to take your time, if you want to, and critique my 28 photos, maybe adding your comments on the pictures.

    One of the problems I had was getting the lighting right and then the image quality - after looking through them with my dad after, he explained to about why the quality doesn't look great on some of them and the lighting. He also explained some of the set up of the pictures I took and how they could be better, and what makes them ok, not great or good. He then told me to go on to one of the forums and ask kindly for some people to critique them to help with the beginning of my new hobby :)

    As this is one of the few forums I'm a member of, I thought I'd ask you guys.

    I processed the photos using iPhoto ... just what came with my MacBook Pro... I want to learn a bit more about photography before I look into maybe purchasing Aperture ... I have the summer free to spend some time on my hobbies and this is just one of the things I'll be working on.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and here's a link:

    Here's a taster of one of my photos that I like the best

    Attached Files:

  2. whiteonline macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2011
    California, USA
    I refuse to help a Liverpool supporter!

    ....damn Catholic guilt. I'll take a look and hope others will too. :)

    By the way, up the Arsenal!
  3. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    LOL ok ... first - thanks for taking a look :) appreciate :)

    and second... What?? I'm confused :confused::eek: Catholic guilt? Lol? :eek:

    I think I'll have to rethink the blog in signature move hehe :D
  4. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I think you have some talent, but in some pictures, I think you're trying too hard to get a "great perspective shot or angle" that messes up the composition.

    The ones I really liked are:#1, 6, 9, 13, 15, 18, 21

    The ones that I liked, but could have been better(and I'll tell you why I think that) are: #7(crop yourself out…no offense)10(If you had brought the camera up and got the bottom part of the building with the sky, that would have given you a much better composition), 14(the architect already used strange angles to make an impression, so tilting the camera got you a bad perspective), 27(similar to #10, but this shot would have been amazing if you were able to get elevated and just have a shot of the building with the sunrise)

    Like I said though, I think you have talent but you're just trying too hard to get that amazing shot.
  5. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Thanks for the critique and advice... really appreciate it and agree with all you say! ... One thing about the area is there's no where really to get elevated which is a shame, cos like you say if I could have got higher I would have got some better shots... ..

    The one with the person in it (number 7 I think) .. that's my fiancé - I really wish he had of moved cos I didn't realise the building would turn out as well as it would - I want to crop him out but the angle of the building and how close he is to it is making it difficult, but I like the mix of colours on that pic.

    Again, thanks for the advice .. really appreciate it :)

    I'm off to read up on photo composition now ;)
  6. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    Good Job

    I thought many of the shots in the beginning of the album were great shots. you definitely have a good eye. I do agree that there are some in which it looks like you tried too hard but for a first go around it was fantastic. Thank you for sharing them.
  7. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Thank you! So I have a good basis to build on then, which is always good.

    Yeh I think I do try to hard to get that brilliant shot ... I think my enthusiasm as I'm taking shots shows that :eek: but I like to get feedback from other people cos it helps me learn ... I'm also reading the understanding exposure book and reading around guides on the internet :)
  8. whiteonline macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2011
    California, USA
    As with your first photo, make sure you capture what stood out to you to make you want to take a picture. Some nice photographs, but at times I felt I didn't understand the point. And agree with others, felt forced at times (the lighting really wasn't doing anything for the photos; perhaps a different time would work better). Overall, good effort -- better than many who claim more expertise.

    Oh, and Catholic guilt for being mean to the unfortunate Liverpool fan. We all have faults. :)
    Looking forward to the start of the season!
  9. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Thanks for your comments :) ... positive enough after it being my first little project.

    Ah get you now lol :eek: ... we'll see how our new manager goes :)
  10. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I liked #6, except for the fact that it's off-center.
    #17 has potential, but it's too weighted to the left side.
    #18 is good, but again, off-center. Always to the left?
    With #27 if you crop out the building on the left side, that would make for a great sunset shot.
    I agree with whiteonline in saying that you are trying to get too creative an angle that it disrupts the composition. Try not to think too hard. If it's interesting, just compose and shoot.

    You have a clear subject in every photo, which is very, very important. A good eye for interesting subjects is crucial for photography.

    Also, try not to use the built-in filters. The ones that professional companies like Nik produces are much better and offer improved control.

    Good job! :)
  11. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    I'm an Austronaut
    I'd suggest you check "foundations of photography; Composition" at, and learn how to judge yourself on what do you find appealing —instead of asking others vaguely.

    Then you can ask other photographers for something specific that will up your game.
  12. salacious macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    not a professional photographer myself, but loved the first one :)
  13. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    I've posted comments on flickr on the pics on which I have anything to say. I really like some of your photos, although there are a handful that do nothing for me.

    I don't agree with the comments about trying too hard; there's only one where I think your choice of angle negatively impacted the shot.

    I think you have a good sense of how to show the things you're photographing. Your shots in that lighting do show up the camera's lack of low-light performance, but I've seen technically-better shots from expensive DSLRs that aren't half as interesting as your shots.

    Good work; go take some more shots and post here again. Hope this is some help to you.

  14. Ruahrc, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012

    Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Honestly I think it is very hard (and rarely useful) to provide critique on an entire set of photos- IMHO it's more instructive to provide feedback on one or two specific shots.

    That being said I will comment on the photo you included in your post. I'm a bit torn about the inclusion of the tree. On the one hand it is a good provider of scale. On the other hand, it is partially cut off on the edge of the frame, as well as serving as a bit of "realist distraction" in an otherwise abstract shot. Oh god I sound like an art critic :). I do however like the blue/gold color balance.

    Generally though what I did like was that in most of your architectural shots, you seemed to make sure you got the perspective correct (your vertical lines are vertical and do not converge), a detail that people often miss. To me that shows that you were thinking about it when you composed or edited your shots.

  15. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK
    There are some very nice shots here. I think you need to be much more aggressive on the editing, the selection of the shots. You have 27 shots, I think if you reduce this down to 15 you will have a much stronger set. You have several very similar shots, for example there are 2 shots of reflections on the glass doors, choose 1. You also have several shots showing the shape of the building as a whole, again, choose 1. I'm not sure the Harland and Wolf cranes fit in the set and could easily be removed. The same is true for the first shot, which may be one of, if not the strongest shot of the set, but I feel it just doesn't fit in the set because it is a different style from the sharp architectural shots, you have 2 other shots of these poles/lights, do you really need 3 in the set?

    I don't take architectural shots. I enjoy very much documentary photography. Many very successful documentary/street/reportage photographers (e.g Magnum, VII photographers) often discuss how difficult the editing process is and that you need to be very very hard on yourself and very aggressive in the editing (in this context I am using editing synonymously with selecting). This is why photo editors have jobs! Often the photographer is too closely connected to an image, sometimes the best shot doesn't make the set, it may be a fantastic shot, but it just doesn't fit in with the set, the story or message.
  16. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Wow seriously - thanks for all the comments guys - I really appreciate them and I've read every single one ... including all your comments on my photos jdavtz ... they've definitely made me think about how to approach my next project

    The one I included in my OP ... I would love to have got it without the tree in order to draw a comparison to the Titanic itself ... the hull of the ship .. (like in this picture ) infact the building itself stands at the exact height of the Titanic's hull and is supposed to be a representation of the size of the Titanic to visitors.. From a personal point of view, I thought it was pretty breathtaking - the ship must have been amazing to have seen in real life.

    A lot of the locals here actually nicknamed the building itself 'The Iceberg' because many people think that rather than representing the Titanic, the building actually bears more resemblance to the size, shape and colours of an Iceberg :D ... we're a strange bunch here in Belfast :p

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