Looking for helpful criticism!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Draythor, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Draythor macrumors 6502

    Draythor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    Exeter University, UK
    #1
    Hi Guys,
    I'm only a poor student and haven't yet managed to afford myself a proper DSLR camera. I quite like photography though and am looking to get some helpful criticism.
    If you could spare some time to look at some of my better photos and tell me what you think and where I'm going wrong, that'd be fantastic.

    Thanks
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #2
    Hi. You're going a lot more "right" than "wrong". I copied two photos out of your Flickr setup so that I can comment more easily.

    You have a decent camera. Work with it until you can afford to move up to a dslr. Composition is much more important than camera. That comes later.

    I like the tree and the way that the horizon sweeps the eye up and to the right. Your colors and contrast are fine for where you are at this time. Work on keeping the subject out of the center of the frame. Frame or crop the image so that the tree sits decisively to either the right or left of center. Clipping that scrub bush on the far left would enhance the smooth flow up the frame. My design instructor taught us to make things look intentional. Something at the edge of a frame should be either in or out. Try to see details like this when you frame up a photo.

    The same could be said for the harbor shot. The light area (rock?) at the bottom keeps my eye from the scene as does the blue thingy in the water on the left edge. I would have waited for the boat to move a bit, if it was in motion, so that the red buoy was either ahead of or behind the boat.

    These are the things I see in photos. I'm a hobby photographer with an art background and design training.

    Remember the most important thing; keep shooting. Posting into the Fortnight Challenge thread would be a good thing for you to do. Check it out if you haven't already.

    Fortnight Challenge



    Dale
     

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  3. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #3
    Don't worry about the lack of an SLR, it's you not the gear that is important. You only have to look at Alex Majoli's work to see the proof.

    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6468-7844

    I can see you're honestly trying, you're becoming aware of the natural light and that is important when trying to create an atmosphere. Two of your pictures, the cat and the corn are well done. A lot of the others to me amount to just being holiday snaps. But they are still (to me) well composed, you're leading the viewer in with the horizons as Designer Dale said.

    Keep trying though and I find its important to shoot with a purpose rather than just randomly at things. Think visually about what do you want to say in your pictures.
     
  4. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #4
    I agree with Dale and CrackedButter. I don't know CrackedButter, but Dale and I are friends in these fora and he is a great teacher. With some of your images, while they are pleasant scenes, I was not sure what you wanted me to see. The two images I copied here have a lot of potential that is lost because of the sun. In the first, the camera exposed for the sun and leaves the flower as a very dark lifeless artifact. In the second, the cat is washed out by the sun. In any image, the eye will generally be drawn to the light or into the shadows. In these shots, my eye keeps going to the sun. On the positive side: The framing and composition of the first shot is very good. The composition of the cat photo is good. It does need to be straightened and cropped to improve the framing.

    You can find a lot of brief articles on-line that talk about framing and composition. Read some of those and start shooting "according to the rules." Once you begin to develop your eye, you can start breaking away from the rules.

    Also, join us at these fora. I guarantee you will learn a lot.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=8916903
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=8945286
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=829256
     

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  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #5
    I have a Panasonic FS 15 as my P&S, and Panasonic makes good little cameras. What is lacking is control of focus and exposure. They have an Intelligent Auto mode that works well, but you wind up shooting what the camera wants, not what you want. I picked the images I commented on because they were easy to expose. Shooting into the sun is a challenge with any camera. The cat shot would be a killer with the lighting just right, but that's not what we want you to be thinking about now.

    Keep it up and post into the photo threads Fortnight Challenge and Best Point and Shoot are good places to start.


    Dale
     
  6. Carnivor macrumors regular

    Carnivor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #6
    Hi Draythor, as a budding Pro-Am myself I thought i'd pitch in as well,

    Most of your pics follow the rule of thirds anyway, but I picked up on the tree not following it,

    have a read here

    http://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds

    I think if your tree was to one side it would have set the picture very nicely, similar to the HPIM2454 pic, it does make a difference.

    The Alcatraz are good, but might be worth doing some experimenting with some nice and contrasty black and white filtering as the buildings are derelict there could be some nice moody tones to set the scene

    You don't need an SLR just to take a good pic, even with the most advanced SLR, badly composed pictures can be taken, they don't improve that!!

    I myself have a Nikon P5100 for when I just can't carry my D60 around, the P5100 is a compact camera but you have the option to treat it like an SLR with the amount of manual control it gives.

    Im starting to get into Astrophotography now and it has it's own set of complications to achieve a picture

    Here's one of my shots, using 110 8 second exposures stacked and aligned to enhance the brightness of the stars.

    [​IMG]

    I'm a complete beginner at it and you can spend hours and hours taking hundreds of shots just for the final image not to work how you expected.

    Anyway, keep taking the pics, you'll never finish learning
     
  7. Draythor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Draythor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    Exeter University, UK
    #7
    Thanks guys!

    @CrackedButter YEah, I'm afraid they are ALL holiday snaps but thats the only time I have to take photos currently! But there we go. I'll get some good ones every now and again.
     

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