Do I have the photographers eye?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sgarringer, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. sgarringer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #1
    OK, so heres my question. For years I had a simple Point and Shoot camera. Whenever I took pictures my family and friends would always compliment on how great they thought the pictures looked (not the best source for constructive criticism though) and after about 5 years of this I started to feel that maybe I was good at finding the right shot of things.

    I decided to break down and buy a dSLR (I ended up getting a used E-Volt E-500 from someone) with two kit lens. I finally got a chance to take some photos this weekend of something besides trees and pets :) and was hoping you guys would tell me honestly what you think. First of all, I'm a total novice so you'll have to excuse the fact that I had the camera on mostly full auto (set the ISO and f stop by hand but thats it)...

    [​IMG]
    The EXIF data:

    Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. Model E-500
    Aperture Value f/3.5 Color Space sRGB
    Exposure Bias Value 0 EV Exposure Program Program Creative
    Flash No Flash Focal Length 14 mm
    ISO 1250 Metering Mode Multi-Segment
    Shutter Speed Value 1/25 sec

    [​IMG]
    Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. Model E-500
    Aperture Value f/3.5 Color Space sRGB
    Exposure Bias Value 0 EV Exposure Program Program Creative
    Flash No Flash Focal Length 14 mm
    ISO 1250 Metering Mode Multi-Segment
    Shutter Speed Value 1/25 sec

    [​IMG]
    Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. Model E-500
    Aperture Value f/3.5 Color Space sRGB
    Exposure Bias Value 0 EV Exposure Program Program Creative
    Flash No Flash Focal Length 14 mm
    ISO 800 Metering Mode Multi-Segment
    Shutter Speed Value 1/20 sec

    I wont post a bunch more photos here, I do have an online album of most every photo I've ever shot (good & bad, it's more of an off-site archive) here http://gallery.planetcr.com/gallery2/v/shawn/

    Anyway, thanks for your ideas, and I'm an adult and can take both the good and the bad.
     
  2. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #2
    I've been dealing with white balance issues lately, so the yellow cast on your second image got my attention. Opened it up in Bridge/Camera Raw CS3 and selected Auto White Balance. It looks a little better, eh?
     

    Attached Files:

  3. sgarringer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #3
    Yeah looks a lot better. I have a full copy of Adobe CS2 and in fact I think we just got a copy of CS3 Design in too, but my day job is only to support it (Break/fix Mac tech) so I have a lot to learn about actually using it [with the exception of someone saying, I click here and here and here and this happens but this other thing is supposed to happen] and then digging in and fixing it...

    I've found some good online tutorials plus of course the designers are pretty eager to show the IT guy what they do so maybe I'll have to sit down with them for a couple hours :)
     
  4. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #4
    While you have some nice images in your site, the ones you presented here could use a bit of work. Among the most important things you have to consider when you're taking a picture (assuming that you're aiming for something interesting, unique, and thoughtful, rather than a simple snap-shot) is subject. What is the one thing that you found interesting at that point that made you take your camera out and fire away? I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that the pictures are members of your family, and while it's important to photograph things so that you will be able to share memories later, for the most part photography constitutes you making a statement (you may think of it as painting- there is a reason to paint a portrait, and then there is a reason to use your skills to convey a meaning). One excellent book I can recommend on composition is "Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography" by Brenda Tharp, which, although focused on Nature, does an excellent job of getting you in the right state of mind when photographing.

    From a technical standpoint, your pictures are OK, at best. One thing to understand is that despite the fact that your camera can do ISO 1250, it doesn't mean you have to use it. In fact, the lower your ISO, the better your images will look, as there will be more definition and less noise (and your yellow cast will not be there). Another thing to consider is that all three of the pictures you put up are blurry. This is caused by camera shake, which, in turn, is caused by you having too slow of a shutter speed. I like to think that I have fairly stable hands, and most anything that I shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60 or slower produces camera shake. You've obviously turned your ISO up, and the light is still low. That's when the flash comes in, or, if you're shooting something more stationary, you can also use a tripod (or anything to support your camera). Using the timer mode (or a dedicated shutter release) is also a necessary tool, when you're using long exposures. Check out Brian Peterson's Understanding Exposure for some of the more technical aspects of photography.

    Keep shooting, and don't get discouraged. It's a steep learning curve, but the view from above is beautiful.
     
  5. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #5
    Excellent book. I second that recommendation ;)
     
  6. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #6
    Shutter speed is too slow. I believe the rule of thumb is don't go slower than 1/30 w/o a tripod otherwise the image will be blurry, like the brown haired woman in the 3rd photo. NVM Lovesong's got it covered.
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    I'm not saying that you don't have an eye because I wouldn't really know, however, I can say that none of your photos have a clear cut focal point with the exception of #2. And #2 looks like a snapshot. Dead center and far from interesting. For her I would have tightened up your frame and made the most of that background. I would have opened up a lot more to allow for her to be in complete focus and the background to be slightly blurred.
    And don't worry, I think with some reading and critique as you're getting now you'll be well on your way.
     
  8. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #8
    Ah... those "compliments from family and friends"... I had that too, years ago, though the pictures they said were good were actually awful...

    You've answered your own question, really, in the title of the thread. These pix are snapshots. They capture a moment. If you want to develop what you call a "photographer's eye", you're pretty much starting from scratch. Enjoy the ride... :)
     
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #9
    There are several types of pictures: the one you are talking about, `photographer's eye' are artsy pictures that don't just need to be technically fine, but also good composition.

    Then, there are shots of family and friends which work entirely differently. For those, you don't need to be awefully talented or anything. You just document your people with pictures.

    Whereas it is very difficult to give you any hints (from scratch) for the former, the latter is actually quite easy, here are three tips:
    (i) Learn how to expose properly.
    (ii) Don't cut off any feet and make use of the whole picture frame (many people point the AF sensor onto people's noses and click, you've cut off their torso and have a large void on the top.
    (iii) Integrate into your surroundings naturally and catch people when they aren't paying attention to the camera.

    This also helps you with `the photographer's eye'. Much of photography is technical: my cousin is a professional photographer and he told me that most (professional) shootings are simple once you know your stuff. The reason is that most of these shootings are not about art, but technique. And even if you are blessed with a photographer's eye, you still need to learn your stuff …*so enjoy!
     
  10. bld44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #10
    Were those photos taken at Atlantis? Just a ballpark guess.
     
  11. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #11
    The rule of thumb I learned is that the shutter should be no longer than the inverse of your focal length. A 60mm lens would mean your shutter should be 1/60s or faster. A 200mm lens should indicate a shutter speed of 1/200s or faster. Using a quality image stabilizer lens generally means you can about double those exposures.
     

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