My First DSLR + First Day of pictures :) Constructive Criticism Please!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TheSVD, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #1
    So yesterday i finally got my DSLR, a canon 1000d (Better known over the pond as the Rebel XS.) I got it with the kit 18-55 lens, but i barely used that because i got myself a sigma 70-300mm lens also. I know i know, sigma - but it produced some very stunning photos!
    Anyway, Here goes!
    Please note that the focus of some of them isnt brilliant, this is because i have some odd problem with my eye in which i cannot focus my eye in the viewfinder properly all the time... Sounds weird haha :eek:

    All Clickable :]
    Added more to my flickr gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/svdphotography/ *not shown here*


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Just to show the insane DOF on this 70-300 :D
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. mickbab macrumors 65816

    mickbab

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    I think you have some fantastic shots there, especially if this is only your first day using the camera (although you didn't specify your previous photography skills).

    Can't think of any criticism off the top of my head, I'm not a photography expert, but I'm sure some people here will be able to make some recommendations.

    In regards to embedding photos, (I don't know if there is an easier way, but this is how I do it) go to the photo page (here), go to "All Sizes" above the image (public page is here, might be a different link for you), then down the bottom there will be a "Grab the Photo's URL" section - the URL should begin with farm4.static.flickr.com i believe.

    Hope that helped.
     
  3. TheSVD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #3
    Thanks man, ill try it :)
    And thankyou, glad you liked the photos :D
    Yeah i forgot to say, i have used a DSLR, but that was only in my friends garage (not much to take pictures of) for a few hours or so. I just kept reading and reading about it before i got my camera to understand the control of focal length, shutter speed, ISO and aperture and i guess i just understand it really well :) Plus that 70-300 is a beast :p
     
  4. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #4
    Nice photos. Check out mine here if you like.

    Just keep experimenting :) Read some sites on photography.
     
  5. mickbab macrumors 65816

    mickbab

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #5
    Ah I see you have it working now.
    As said above, just keep experimenting and you will churn out some fantastic stuff.

    I have a 75-300 lens on my Sony a300 (and an 18-70 as well), and it certainly is a big piece! Of course there is some seriously big other stuff out there (example here)

    Keep on shooting!
     
  6. TheSVD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #6
    thanks :)
    I do like those pictures of that squirell :D
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #7
    I like the last one the best. It has, for me, the most interesting composition. The only thing is that, again for me, might work better is if you mirror it. My mind likes to work from left to right and the my eyes would be drawn in that direction better if the blurry section of the photo was on the left. ... on second thought, maybe right to left is better ... I don't know.

    The second photo is somewhat messy. There's not much contrast in the photo ... it's just all pink.

    Also, most of these photos have the subject directly in the center. This typically makes for uninteresting pictures. If you haven't heard of it, check out the "rule of thirds".

    The picture of the Indian statue and the swan could be better with a different crop ... or more accurately, more photo. For instance, if you show more of what's on the right side of the statue, you could get a more interesting composition. I'm guessing this is something that you could easily shoot again?

    All in all, good stuff.

    BTW, I'm no expert, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

    ft
     
  8. mymacmini macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    #8
    I agree with these two statements, although there is always a time and place for centering you image, there needs to be something of decent contrast in a third to break up the composition.
    I've been a photographer for the past 4 years, and I would be very careful strictly relying on a 70-300 just for DOF. I highly highly recommend a fixed focal length lens with a very very low f-stop that will give you great bokeh and amazing performance in low light. Mine has certainly come in handy.

    As for the actual photos - I really like the third last one, the light is very good, and the composition is the best of all of them.

    **As a side note - lighting does not necessarily mean bright, it is usually diffused, and natural is best - I went two years without using a single flash from my DSLR, but now I occasionally use a DIFFUSED flash with my 40D - ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

    Back to the pictures - The last is good and it really shows off the focus on the flower, and exhibits the rule of thirds.

    The swan is not my favorite because it looks like a stock photo - I am sorry just not my taste... But I would try to find a crazy angle and shoot it, like maybe climb a tree to look down on it or get as close to water level and shoot it. That would be me doing that though - I quite often carry a mini ladder with me, and old clothes so I can get on the ground for unique shots.

    I like the piece of wood (?), and I don't know why - I just do, and I'm not going to over-analyze it...

    Lastly, don't buy a lens just because it is big. Sure, the 70-300 is nice, especially if you have IS, but it is a very unique lens, and most photographers shy away from telephoto, unless its like animals or sports because we don't want to die, and instead "zoom with our feet" We quite often prefer to get as close or as far away as possible to our subject, and that means using the lower numbers, like a 10-22 gives you really neat possibilities, and a medium zoom like a 28-135 is my everyday. The 28-135 IS is a beast, its not a small lens, but it is quality, and very versatile.

    So, just because it is 70-300 and long and has DOF, does not mean you will use it often. I can get DOF on any lens with the right Manual settings, and you can too, just keep shooting and enjoying it, and what you need will come to you..

    Have fun, and keep shooting!
     
  9. TheSVD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #9
    cool, thank you for all the feedback :)
    definitely taken note of all of that!
    Also have to mention none of these images are edited, i just resized them and stuck them on here :) Thankyou though, some interesting things for me to take note of. I will not but the subject into teh center so much and will take a look at the rule of thirds. About the swan, i guess it did kinda look like a stock photo, but i was going for a kind of professional look at the time :D
    These were all just shot in my garden and a local park so the possibilities were kinda limited. And yeah i can shoot the indian statue again, ill do it on a nicer day i think :)
    Also, i was going to get canons nifty fifty (1.8) for DOF but heard it wasnt so great for these macroesque shots, so bought this 70-300 instead, not knowing how good it would actually be for macro kinda stuff :)
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #10
    I guess I'll be the spoil sport and say that I don't particularly like any of them.

    First of all, aside from maybe the swan and the hands picture, and whatever the "insane DOF" picture is of, the shots are unimaginative. Hate to break it to you, but flower pictures are boring. We've all seen these shots either on the web or in person a thousand times, and the main challenge with flower photography is to show us something that we haven't seen before.

    From a technical standpoint, #1 and #2 are ok, although I find the out-of-focus flowers in the bottom right to be a little distracting in #2. #7 is underexposed and lacks a clear subject. #8 is overexposed and is boring. #9 is ok, but the DoF is a little too shallow.

    Picture #3 is underexposed and you are zoomed in too close. At least get the entire hand in the picture, and use the rule of thirds somehow.

    #4 (swan) is nice, but again I would have left a little padding on the top so you'd get the full swan in the frame.

    So in conclusion I think you should temper your enthusiasm for DoF and concentrate more on composition.
     
  11. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    I just checked out your Flickr page and I have to say I like the Eye of the Buddha pic very much. Is that the same statue as the hands one?

    ft
     
  12. TheSVD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #12
    Thankyou :) I appreciate that what i have done has been seen before, but it was simply my first day of photography and i only had my garden and the park to go to. So, i thought id pick up the techniques, and practice with things such as DOF on flowers and such, and to test that lens also as i had no idea. I do appreciate the comments, and i will aim for photography in which you have to question rather than just say 'thats nice!' i do know what you mean and ill take that into account ;) Because i am aware i am doing the noobish 'i haz a camera so DOF makes every shot good'. Also, i know some shots have also focus issues, thats cause i kept shooting at too wide an aperture. And yeah ashame about the swan one, but that was the best i had! But yeah i appreciate it and will take your comments into account.

    Nahh, the hands one was in indoors little metal statue, and the eye one was an outdoors clay-like one, hence the wear :)
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #13
    Photography is all about the light and shadow, and light is light, no matter how it's produced. However, if you control the light, you control the image- if you control the image, you get the image you want. In terms of quality, there's no difference between natural and artificial light, photons don't care if they're from a bulb or a nuclear explosion. You can produce any angle and temperature of light you'd like if you light it yourself- but more importantly, you can fill in any harsh and distracting shadows, add mystery with well-placed shadow, and bring out surface textures with directionality and provide your vision of the subject.

    In this series, many of the flower images (#1, 5 & 6) would be better if the level between the background and the flower weren't all "mid-day sun look"- either by lighting the background or by lighting the flower and letting the background go black, or simply providing a better lighting ratio than that found in harsh daylight with "natural" light. There are few lighting options that would have made the pictures worse.

    The swan would be 200% better if there had been some fill light, natural or flash, and the change of ratio between the head and body wold have meant being able to keep some texture and detail in the body feathers instead of creating a big white blob to draw the eye away from the eye, and flash would have produced a better catch light in the eye, allowing the viewer to "connect" with the subject- which would only leave the cut-off head as a gripe (should have shot in portrait mode.)

    There's a reason nature photographers buy Better Beamers and wedding photographers buy Stroboframe brackets, and it's not because they're not going to carry fast glass. Sites like strobist.blogspot.com should make it obvious that artificially lighting a scene (a) doesn't mean deer-in-the-headlights overpowering and (b) pretty-much always produces a better image than not lighting it when the photographer is even half-good at lighting.
     
  14. mymacmini macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    #14
    hmm, i kinda disagree with you there because a good photographer doesn't need a flash, it generally produces a more realistic shot. If you want to create the shot you want, you have photoshop, but photography is about capturing light, not creating or manipulating it. Also, ANYONE can do wedding photography, but the good photographers use little flash, or like I said, diffused, which, like I pointed out - should be the only kind of flash used. It's more professional.
     
  15. David G. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Alaska
    #15
    A good photographer knows when to use flash and when not to. Example: Ever try to take a picture of someone but the background is to bright and/or the person is underexposed? You're gonna need a flash there.
    One should always try to get the picture as good as possible as it enters the camera first, then if need be use photoshop.
    :eek::eek::eek: Not everyone can be a wedding photographer, unless all that is required is showing up with a point and shoot and getting ****. A few weeks ago I set my Dad up with my DSLR and 70-200 L at my graduation. I gave it to him preset so the lens would be wide open and the camera would be at ISO 1600 and I barely got one useable picture that didn't have tons of motion blur from him the whole time. I told him to use my 580 EX II flash also but he didn't. What this proves is that even when you tell someone what to do with perfectly capable equipment you can't be guaranteed anything. I still love my Dad though.:)
    Also, I could give you dozens of links to videos of wedding photographers who use flash and bounce sunlight in all sorts of ways imaginable with great effect. You just need to know what to do.

    As for the pictures, they're very good for a first day of shooting. I would have zoomed out or backed up on a few of them but I think there better than the ones I took way back when. Also, Sigma isn't really all that bad. They can make some really decent stuff that will meet or exceed some lenses from Canon and Nikon, e.g. the 50 mm f/1.4. Keep it up man!
     
  16. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
  17. David G. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Alaska
    #17
    I just looked at your Flickr page, the picture of the eye of buddha, absolutely terrific in my opinion.
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #18
    You're welcome to disagree, but once again, you'll find most professionals who make money off their photography use flash. The only real exceptions are outdoor sports and landscape photographers where flash simply isn't an option. Good landscape photographers have to time their arrival, weather and work out their positions, sometimes months in advance (read some of Adams' books,) because they don't have the luxury of controlling the light.

    No, documentary photography is about capturing light as is, as are snapshots- most other photography is about capturing a vision- which includes posing, lighting, props and all sorts of "manipulation." Look at any good magazine, you'll find more well-lit shots with artificial lighting than you'll find natural light, no reflectors, no posing, no props shots. Look at any $15,000 and up wedding photographer and show me one who doesn't use flash whenever they can.

    Once again, look at the swan picture and I'll *guarantee* that fill flash would make the image look 200% better, because the best natural light is in the early morning and late afternoon, not the harsh mid-day light, but you can fix that with flash, or you can go in with a faster lens earlier in the day, but you're still not going to be guaranteed an evenly lit subject or a good catchlight, both of which make for a saleable image- which the current example isn't.

    I suppose it depends on what you consider a "good" photographer, but all the *great* non-landscape photographers use lighting, and most of them will light completely if they can since it means not having to deal with mixed lighting temperatures. If you think only diffused lighting works, then frankly you're simply not that well-versed in lighting- while most key lights work well diffused, there are times and situations where diffuse lighting simply isn't the right lighting- there's never a one-size-fits-all lighting formula unless you like those horrendous Sears/Walmart portraits. For instance, a hair light is much, much better gridded than diffused, since the diffusion removes the texture of the hair from the result.

    When I shoot portraits, I generally use 3-4 lights. I can guarantee that using only one light on most people will not produce a flattering portrait, and 19 times out of 20, they'll pick a portrait where the lighting is done well over one where you simply use whatever nature provides, most especially if you shoot female portraits- can't fill in the eye sockets? Not going to make the sale. Can't fill the neck or chin? Not going to make the sale.

    As far as saying "anyone can do wedding photography," that's true, but very few photographers can do wedding photography well, and even fewer can do it exceptionally well. Show me a wedding photographer who never uses flash, and I'll show you a wedding photgrapher who's not in either of those categories. If you think "anyone" can do it, then you've never shot a wedding as the primary photographer, and you've certainly never shot one professionally. Show me a wedding photographer who can't drag the shutter and I'll show you a bunch of substandard pictures.

    Ever shot the interior of a room? People will psychologically not be comfortable without light from two directions- that's not always possible to get without bringing light to the equation. Why do architectural photographers spend hundreds of dollars and lots of time replacing all the bulbs in a room with flash tubes if it's "more professional" to not use flash? Why do professional nature photographers spend hundreds of dollars on flash brackets for their Wimberly heads if it's "more profesisonal" to not use flash? Why do fashion photographers spend thousands on ring flashes, beauty dishes and multiple lighting setups if it's "more professional" to not use flash? Why does Sports Illustrated spend thousands of dollars on arena strobes and radio triggers if it's "more professional" to not use flash? Why do product photographers spend tens of thousands of dollars on studios if it's "more professional" to not use flash?" Why does Stroboframe have a business if it's "more professional" to not use flash? Why is strobist.blogspot.com an Internet icon if it's "more professional" to not use flash? Why would a newspaper photographer (newsprint isn't the highest resoultion media) carry lights and go through the pain of setting them up if he didn't have to?

    Once again, you're welcome to disagree, but frankly you don't have much credibility with such an opinion. Though my preference is for fine art nature, I do shoot products, and portraits, and I've shot the occasional wedding, sport and event- motorcycle racing is about the only occasion I can recall where I didn't even bring a flashgun.

    Finally, consider this-

    Every movie you've seen in a theater was artificially lit with multiple lights- but your mind didn't scream "that looks fake" for most of the time in most of the movies. A well-lit scene doesn't look unnatural- no matter if you're shooting still or motion. The biggest resistance to lighting is by those who either don't understand it, can't do it, or haven't tried it- that's a pitty, because most pictures would improve with the addition of *good* lighting, which doesn't mean set the camera on TTL and hit the shutter.

    I'd recomend reading "Light: Science and Magic," spending some time on the Strobist site, and actually trying multiple lights- because controlling the image makes for a better image 98% of the time.
     
  19. miket019 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #19
    I think your photos are fine. I'm no expert but if you already happy with your photos then that's all it matters.
     
  20. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #20
    Hey there. Nice pics to start out. I'm in the same boat as you. I have access to a Pentax K100D and have previously just snapped away in Auto mode with it but have just started playing around in Manual mode and bought myself a Tamron 70mm-300mm lens which I got yesterday and tried out. I would be grateful for any constructive criticism too from the old pros here :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    By the way. Where in Northants are you from? Kettering i'm guessing?

    Edit: Bugger i've just discovered why my pictures aren't as vibrant as the originals when I save them for the web in PS. I haven't been including the colour profile! D'OH! So these look a bit washed out compared to the originals but I can't be bothered to upload them all again to Flickr so just imagine that they are brilliant instead ok ;)
     
  21. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #21
    Nice pics for starting out. Sorry I don't have time to write a proper critique but a great photography site is http://www.fredmiranda.com

    Careful though sometimes the C and C can get pretty harsh :D
     
  22. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #22
    MacRy,

    I really love the concept of #3. However, I wonder how it would look if the bee was in focus and the flower was blurred. Or perhaps if both the bee and the flower were in focus.

    I'm sure you wouldn't be able to recreate this shot without an insane amount of luck ... but either way, I do love this pic. Great idea.
     
  23. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #23
    You are right on the insane amount of luck. I had such a narrow DOF that I was never going to get them in focus and have the bee flying away from me like that. I quite like the fact that she isn't in focus though as I think it adds something to the picture. Kind of like the flower is in focus because it is open and enticing the unsuspecting bee into it. Everyone has a different opinion though and like you say - I wonder what the impact would have been if the bee was in focus and not the flower. I think that would have made an equally interesting shot.

    Attached is the large version in case you are interested.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. mymacmini macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    #24
    Studio Lighting is completely different than nature photography - you seem to know that already, and this thread is focused on the images above, and that was what I was referring to. Of course indoor photography requires lighting, I'm not retarded, and I have been in those situations where I have lit a scene with studio lighting, but not hot-shoe or direct flash, ALWAYS FILTERED. And, if you are going to fill flash something, you want a DIFFUSED source because you don't want to wash out the image. Hmmm, I think you're getting a little worked up about all these different niches, and I don't think this poor fellow who started the thread is looking into a dissertation on the various locations and usages of niche photographic lighting techniques.

    Most other photography is not photography - it is a stages mockup of what a client wants, commercial photography. True photography is art. If you are a true photographer, you are an artist, and an artist does not need to change what the art is, he only captures it for others to enjoy also.
    So, therefore, if I look at a magazine, I see nothing but COMMERCIAL photography - not art. And only recently has art photography begun to use flash because of pressure from, well people that want manipulated art, with the advent of photoshop and digital photography - you cannot deny that. Well, a "saleable" image goes back into the COMMERCIAL world of photography, and a sellable image for an artist is one not influenced by the buyer that ends up selling because of the shared emotion of the buyer and the artist. You must realize that not everyone is a commercial photographer, and not everyone is a niche photographer.

    David, I did (close to) the exact same thing and not one of my shots is blurry, I can even see the bishop smile as he hands my diploma, and that is at full zoom, and I didn't even bring my flash with me nor was my camera set on 1600 ISO, and it certainly wasn't the available light, because our graduation was in a church with very poor lighting, so I was pleasantly surprised. What body do you use? And which 70-200 f/4 or f/2.8? I was thinking about the 70-200 but that is disconcerting.
     
  25. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #25
    Some more I took today

    I've been having another try today.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page