DSLR Newbie, critiques please :)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by idesign245, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. idesign245 macrumors 6502

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    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I'm a first year graphic design student, and this term we have a digital photography course which I'm really loving. We were using Rebel XTI's in class, and I decided to go and buy myself a Rebel XS with the kit lens. I've had the camera for a week now and I'm really loving it. I'd love to hear your feedback on some of my shots... none of these have any post processing.

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  2. 103734 Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #2
    I really like the 3rd one, overall they are pretty nice, some of the subjects are somewhat boring, they just seem a little dull, but really I think they are still some good pictures.
     
  3. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks for the critique, I appreciate it. I know some of the subjects are a little boring, but I'm just trying to learn the basics and figure out the camera first. I'm playing with depth of field right now because thats our next assignment in class.

    The horse is mine, and she isn't going to be with us much longer, so that photo means a lot to me.
     
  4. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    #4
    nice pictures!

    you need to pick better subjects however. instead of a more country feel add some more other action and movement in your pictures.

    since your doing graphic design. your going to need a lot of creative shots and things that people wouldnt normally see or notice in places or life.

    overall nice pictures! and enjoy your life of photography
     
  5. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #5
    For a beginner, I think you've done a pretty good job with decent photographs and you have controlled the Depth of Field pretty well.

    However, I personally think the pictures seem a little "flat" and that's most likely down to lighting (for example, in the shot of the bridge, some sunlight breaking through the trees would have made the shot more dynamic).

    On the individual pictures, I'd make the following comments (This is just personal preference though!)

    First one - it's an interesting door, but I'd have cropped out most of it and focused more on the actual texture of the peeling paint with a close up

    Second one - Nice control of Depth of Field, not so nice choice of flower: Much better to find one that isn't dying

    Third One - this is my favourite but would have been even better with a bit of dew on the leaves (artificially sprayed on if necessary...) and possibly cropped tighter onto fewer leaves

    Fourth one: As I said above, the lighting leaves this a little flat, but you've done well to get the whole bridge in focus. Nice control of Depth of Field

    Fifth one: Personally, I'd crop it so the horse is the major element in the photo rather than the background. Also would probably have tried a shallower depth of field to blur out the slightly messy trees in the background

    Sixth one: nice focus on the main subject, but horrible choice of brick wall background

    Seventh one: Nice focus and decent lighting, but not the best choice of subject IMHO.

    As I said at the start, they're impressive photos for a beginner and a bit more attention to detail will really let the photos shine.
    Good luck, and enjoy your photography :)
     
  6. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #6
    The autumn leaves looks the best; the busy background is blurred to focus on the 'main' leaves. (in other words, good depth of field)
     
  7. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Yeah unfortunately, its fall in southern Ontario, which means rain and cloudy skies... which makes for crappy lighting for photos :) As for the flower, they were all dying, like I said... it is fall.

    What's with the beef against the bricks? The photo was taken at an old abandoned school house, so I thought the bricks were an interesting contrast against the flowers/grass.

    But thank you for your opinions, I appreciate them. like I said before, I'm just trying to get the basics down and get the most out of my camera right now... more interesting shots will come with time and experience, I'm sure.
     
  8. firstapple macrumors 6502a

    firstapple

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    Sep 25, 2007
    #8
    I would agree with Phil on a lot of his critiques. A lot of your pictures could use cropping (So we know more of what the main subject is supposed to be), which was my first opinion when I quickly scrolled through the pictures.

    #4 and #5 would be my favorites if I had to choose. #3 would be nice, but I would crop out a lot of it where there is just a bunch of white space.
     
  9. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #9
    I like the wooden walkway photo quite a bit.

    For the autumn leaves - while I like it, I'd prefer if it had a blurrier background, accomplished either by using a wider aperture or by moving closer to the leaves that are the focus of the image.

    Please note that the following comment is based on my personal taste, and you (or others) may disagree with what I say.

    Personally I think you're trying to adhere to the "rule of thirds" just a little too literally in several of these images. For one thing, when there's nothing else of interest in the photo, it can look forced when you put the entire subject off on the 1/3 line. For the Queen Anne's Lace (I think that's what the flower is), I'd have shot vertically with the stem in the center - you could still have the flower head at the 1/3 of the way down from the top if your teacher is a stickler for the rule of thirds. Additionally, when a whole bunch of photos all have subjects right on that 1/3 line, it can look as forced as having everything smack dab in the center. Experiment with some different crops of your images, and see if anything strikes your fancy.
     
  10. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    For the leaves, I was shooting looking up into a tree... so how would I have made the background blurrier if I couldn't move any closer to them? Just by playing with the aperture?

    I agree with you on the rule of thirds deal, I think its come out that way because I play with the focus points when I'm trying to use depth of field, so what I'm trying to focus on usually ends up in the spot that I've selected for it to focus on. (does that make sense?)
     
  11. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #11
    Yes. I can't tell what aperture you used, but let's say it was f/4 - if the lens you used could go to f/2.8, the background would be blurrier if you'd used that aperture (assuming you'd shot from the same spot).

    Of course, sometimes the lens you have just doesn't have as wide an aperture as you'd like. In that case, if you can't "zoom with your feet" you just have to make do.

    Yes, that makes sense.

    Different people work different ways. Personally, I try to frame my shot in "my mind's eye", whenever possible, before I've raised my camera up to take the picture. That works much better for static subjects, though, and not so well for subjects such as horses. :D
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    Don't worry that the subjects are not interesting. What better goal for a graphic artiest but to make the ordinary eye catching?

    The subject is not what makes the Photo, As an art student you'd know in is color, line, balance, motion, ..., and so on. You seem to be well ahead of most beginners, likely because of your art background. I can see that you are applying several rules. My preference is where you still do that but not in such an obvious manner, but then I do like your approach, mostly clear and uncluttered.

    That last one, of the grass is what I like to do. But it s REAL HARD to make these kinds of shots work. Only a few can pull it off. I don't claim to be one of them but still try. Look at Edward Weston and his sons. Some of their work looks like just random shots until you look longer. Not easy to do
     
  13. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    The autumn leaves were shot at f/5... I'm using the kit lens so I'm not sure if it can do f/2.8?
     
  14. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Bumped up the saturation of this pic, looks a little better to me, not as washed out

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  15. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #15
    Hehe, I was going to suggest the opposite - trying it as a black and white or duotone. :)
     
  16. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #16
    Good for just starting out IMHO.

    For door shots, I personally think they only work well if the are dead on (camera focal plane parallel to the door), or perfectly symmetrical when looking down or up at the subject: something in your shot looks off, I'm thinking barrel distortion.
     
  17. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    The door isn't perfectly centered in the frame, if I cropped it to do you think it would work?
     
  18. k.love macrumors member

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  19. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #19
    I guess I mean this (dug into my "door shots" for two examples):

    Dead on:
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    Angle, yet symmetrical:
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    This is somewhat misleading advice, as tons of circumstances hardly call for use of flash; in some, it would be downright detrimental to the photograph's visual qualities.
     
  20. k.love macrumors member

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    Sep 27, 2008
    #20
    How is it misleading? I use a flash for every shot I take. Unless of course i want more shadows in the dark areas.

    But a flash will help with the colors... or just get a better lens
     
  21. k.love macrumors member

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    #21
    This pic was taken around 1 and I used a flash...

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  22. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #22
    I guess personal preference... Sure, using a fill flash will usually help, it's by no means some edict of photography that a flash is required for "good" images.
     
  23. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #23
    You are off to a fine start. Don't be afraid to shoot in raw and sweeten up your own images... you mentioned 'no post processing', but either you did it, or you trusted your Rebel xs to do it and then compress them to jpegs. I like the results better when I develop the raw files myself. :)
     
  24. Nikon Shooter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #24
    Light

    Nice beginning

    It's all about the Light. Shoot the same subject several times during the day and notice how the light effects the mood.

    I created a Patio Garden and spent 2 weeks shooting test shots until I got this one..

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    NS - http://creativenoggin.gaia.com/photos?page=1
     
  25. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    May 18, 2007
    #25
    If you're planning on doing a lot of photography of brick walls or other subjects with strong lines, either get a lens that doesn't suffer from such terrible distortion, or at least try and correct it in photoshop.
     

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