Photo Critique (March)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by brendanryder, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. brendanryder macrumors 6502a

    brendanryder

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #1
    Carrying on the idea by fett:

    A rating out of 5 may be given and then explain why you gave the rating you did. Comment only about the photo nothing personal, if you are going to just give 0/5 don't bother posting that.

    Please try and limit yourself to 1 picture per day


    Here we go

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #2
    2/5

    I don't like photos of random stuff unless there's a real subject in the photo. This could even be something abstract, like cultural significance.

    I like the punchiness of the colours though.
     
  3. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #3
    I just read the Feb thread, and I love the idea of this. Let's start with this.

    I trekked about 3km, drunk and in pitch black, with a tiny flashlight through the forest to find this cliff by the water. Best sunrise ever for me.

    [​IMG]



    Thanks. :)
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #4
    Unbelievable sky!

    You were drunk and brought a decent camera with you? Did you crop it that wide, or did you have a crazy wide-angle lens or something?
     
  5. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #5
    2/5. I really do understand when you see something that strikes you as out of the ordinary and worthy of photography, but the subject of the photo is just... rather... weak... I suppose the color scheme is the most fascinating part, but in the end, it's just a photo about a dumpster. Also you have the aperture open rather wide, so the depth of field isn't enough to cover the entire dumpster. The part that's most in focus is that bar running through the side, which is just... confusing


    3/5. For some reason it's tough for me to get next to ultra-telephoto shots unless they really are extraordinary. It's a nice shot of a lake, and I'm sure the sunrise was beautiful, but of course you know that it's not the focal point of the photo. Definitely interesting sky - is that HDR?
     
  6. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #6
    Lead singer w/no microphone. He's just screaming.

    Nikon D80
    Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
    Shutter: 1/30
    Aperture: 1.4
    ISO: 800
    no photoshoppery

    [​IMG]
     
  7. I3eXa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    IdaPIMP
    #7
    Old pic but still one of my favorites:
    Olympus C-4000 4.1MP (haha, my OLD camera)
    [​IMG]
     
  8. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #8
    taking it easy..

    While doing a photo project and feature article for a magazine design class at Portland State, I centered on a neighborhood in NW Portland. I shot it with black/white film and a small Konica point 'n shoot with a fixed focal length 35mm f/2.8 lens, so as not to attract too much attention to the camera at first. Usually it was easy to get folks to agree to let me photograph them after a brief chat about my project, or just by being friendly and asking them a few questions about themselves. The little pocket sized camera was very un-intimidating...

    This guy was (or still is) a mentally disadvantaged person who lived in a subsidized housing arrangement nearby, and every Saturday afternoon would spend an hour or so at the sidewalk tables of this corner Starbucks. He was one of several interesting characters I encountered who added to the diversity of a rapidly gentrifying area of town.

    [​IMG]

    Konica Big Mini 35mm
    ISO 400
    Kodak T-max
    scanned from workprint
     
  9. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #9
    To the best of my estimation, you're supposed to comment on previous photos before posting your own. It's slightly rude if you don't.
     
  10. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #10
    I assume you're referring to me... and I won't take it as being rude, although it was somewhat.. the fact is I looked at the pics here so far but haven't had the time to give them much thought yet in order to offer something meaningful or insightful.

    If this thread is a continuation of the previous critique thread started by fett, I believe, then there are not really any hard fast rules. Of course the spirit of the thread is to offer feedback, and if you read back over the last thread you might notice that I have offered plenty of feedback, and intend to continue doing the same. But, I didn't comment on all photos, that would be a full-time job, and most folks didn't comment on mine, just a few folks did. So what? It didn't bother me. Those who want to participate in the discussions should just jump right in, but others are free to post if they want to, at least in my opinion. it should be an open and welcoming place for even the shyest folks who want to take a chance.

    There wasn't really a 1 pic a day limit in the original critique thread, that was the "picture of the day" thread. The thing is, if we start needing all these rules and enforcers it isn't worth the bother.

    Bottom line: You can't command someone to critique your work, you can only offer it up for criticism. Be polite, be constructive, be fair and you'll probably get solid feedback.

    Here's all I can offer on your lead singer shot at the moment since it's late, and I'm tired. The shot is not obvious what it's about. It's blurry, but not in a good way to convey action. It looks like something I might expect from an auto setting P/S. My first impression is an outtake from a Geico Insurance commercial with one of the cavemen in a suit throwing a tantrum because he saw a reference to something being so easy a caveman could do it.... honestly. That's what came to my mind. Looking at your exif, it must have been really dark for an f/1.4 lens wide open to still not allow a faster shutter speed at 800 iso. You have to pick your moments when the guy's not moving or screamin like a maniac in order to have at least one thing sharp in the picture, preferably his eyes. No publication would use it, and I don't think the band would buy it. So, it's a throwaway if I'm the photo editor, and you're my photographer sent on assignment. Show me what else you have, because that shot doesn't work. I'm not going to give it a number rating at the moment, but hopefully the feedback, although blunt, was constructive. :)
    Cheers.
     
  11. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #11
    No, I wasn't referring to you. I was referring to the two posters who consecutively posted their own photographs while not looking at the others' work. Every photographer wants feedback, but the spirit of this post seems to be critique, and I'd find it rude to post my own without first giving some feedback to others.

    As for your commentary, no hard feelings. Not that I am the world's best photographer, but it occurs to me that these boards are not the place for people who know much about action/concert photography. Lottttt of landscapes, lottttttt of macros, lot of "pose-for-me-please?", and a lotttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt of HDR, all of which can really be quite good, but candids/action/photojournalism is not MacRumors' long suit.

    As you don't seem to know that dark, indoor concerts with fog machines preclude the use of a flash, demand high ISOs and slower shutter speeds, then I have to take your advice with a grain of salt. Were I able to take a flashless indoor shot in a dark, foggy room at 1/800 with an ISO of 160-200, that would just be awesome, but there is no universe in which that is possible. I chose to go with the downsides of an indoor venue, and not try to minimize them. The shot is not an accident; it an effect. As for no publication using it, tell that to my editor.
     
  12. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #12
    I don't think it was a criticism that there was no flash used, just a bit of surprise that even with such a wide open aperture and a high ISO it was still so dark that you couldn't get faster than 1/30". The actual criticism was that when you can't get faster than 1/30" you should perhaps concentrate on finding a shot with less movement, not that you should bring in a flash to make more light.
     
  13. Flowero4ka macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #13
    mmmm how I miss the sea. I'd prefer to jump even into your picture... aaaaa
     
  14. Flowero4ka macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #14
    mmmm how I miss the sea. I'd prefer to jump even into your picture... aaaaa
     
  15. brendanryder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brendanryder

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #15
    actually the first post was edited to say it, i just thought we should keep it to 1 per day so people dont spam pictures and not comment on other peoples work :D

    Heres my picture for today
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #16
    Great mood... but there's generally got to be a very good reason for putting the subject of a pic dead centre. Rules are meant to be broken, and, anyway, the 'rule of thirds' is really only a suggestion. Yet it's amazing how many times a pic that 'looks right' conforms to it. If this was my shot, I would have put the boat off-centre and to the right of the pic... leaving some 'psychological space' for the boat to sail into.
     
  17. markjewiss macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Dunmow, UK
    #17
    I like it, but... I'm assuming you were standing on a beach when you took this? If so, I think it would look better if you'd crouched down into the water. Personally I find that simple trick can really add a lot to the layout of the final image. Of course, if you were on a boat when you took the photo, fair enough ;))

    Mark.
     
  18. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #18
    Nice! 4/5 for me. If the sun had been a bit lower, right behind the boat it would have been awesome! I can see why you placed it in the center. ;)

    This is mine, a shot of a damselfly (Odonata: Zygoptera: Lestidae) ready to take off.
     

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  19. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #19
    Wops, Sorry. I completely forgot to comment first.

    About my photo, yea, it wasn't about the sunset, it was more about the space. It was my first time camping, and in a place with such a view. So that was my goal. I didn't intent it to be an HDR, just punched up the colours and contrast. And yeh, I brought my SLR drunk in the dark. I actually slipped and smacked my lens on the rock when I was trying to get a nice place to shoot by the water much earlier that day. Not a scratch on the lens, and it still works. Love Nikon quality. All of my shots so far were taken with 18-70mm kit Lens with D70s.

    I think one of the two below is more about the sunrise.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Paying back, so here's what I think:

    @brendanryder - It's interesting colour and angle, but it's hard to find the point. The only thing I can see that might have intriqued you would be the rust, and dirt, grime, and overall filthiness. Combined with the 'WASTE' text that you managed to capture near the bottom left, it definitely makes a 'dirty' impact.

    Great photo of that sunset. Very magazine like. I think you could've cropped some of the water though to bring more attention to the sky.

    @Shacklebolt - I kinda like this. I think I get an idea of what you were trying to do with the singer; he was just so captured in his own moment, and any artist can probably relate when seeing the picture. But I also feel like the guy was just tripping out and completely being nuts. If I didn't know he was singing, I might have thought it was some random guy you captured on the street. Interesting contrast between the hair and the nicely fitted outfit though. Overall, I think it's too vague, and empty (no points of interest in his surroundings)

    @I3eXa - Lovely view of the ocean, but it's too much blue, and seems very pedestrian/touristy. I think I know the feeling you were trying to capture, that wide, open, expansive feel when you're up there looking out towards the horizon. But the only way I would know to communicate that space is by a huge panorama. That's what I did on my picture I posted above. I think if you dropped to the ground, capture something low on the foreground, and finish it off with the peaceful horizon backdrop, it'd work.

    @pdxflint - I've always wanted to take something like this. BUt the reflection is actually pretty distracting. I think you were trying to show the nice architecture in front of him, and it's a creative way of doing it. But it takes away from the point of relaxing and just hanging out that you were trying to convey. If you took him more frontally, and get past the Starbucks window, inside, and see some more people chilling inside. It might create an interesting contrast between him sitting alone, and other people with more company inside. Maybe even contrast their age and style.

    @dllavaneras - Amazing photo, great detail. I'd use it as my wallpaper.
     
  20. Eauboy macrumors regular

    Eauboy

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #20
    2/5

    While I can see why this photo would be a favorite (I'm sure it brings back some very fond memories) it doesn't have much impact, IMO. I've taken hundreds of shots like this while on travel and while I don't regret taking them, they are almost never the most arresting images. I'm sorry, I wish I could be more helpful.
     
  21. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #21
    ^I agree. Personal travel photos can have a very strong impact to whomever took them. But it means little to the outsider. I have thousands of photos from events or travel that won't qualify as 'photography' - not by a long shot. But I keep them cause they're memories. :)
     
  22. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #22
    That's exactly what I meant. Thanks. :)

    Shaklebolt, thanks for clearing up your intent. I apologize if I misunderstood where you were coming from. I'm honestly happy if you were able to publish you photo - after all that's why there are different viewpoints. I don't know the band, so I can't respond to the picture perhaps the way you or your editor might. To me, my instant reaction was the one I told you. Simply put, because there was nothing at all sharp or in focus in the shot, it didn't work for me. That's why if I was in the position of being your editor, I'd ask to see what else you got, hopefully lots to look through and pick.

    As for concert stuff, I agree. There aren't a lot of practicioners of that artform here. Just keep doing it and testing it out on us. I've done some but the situations have varied quite a bit as far as lighting is concerned (and the ability to get in a good place to take compelling shots.) I've had backstage, sidestage, front row, back row, upper balcony type locations. Many blurry shots or blown highlights for spotlit shots, extreme contrast making it very difficult. Also, depending on vantage point, the up close front row shots can tend to have the "looking up their nostrils" effect. I've usually tried to shoot lots of film for concerts (now digital, but it's tougher, believe me) and vary my approaches, including pushing fast b/w film from 3200 to 6400, which yielded grainy, yet sometimes the best shots, moody and contrasty. Tight shots spot metered usually were able to yield acceptable shutter speeds, but not if the subject was flying around. The only way to freeze action with some motion effects was, in fact, by using fill-flash w/ rear-curtain sync, if permitted. If flash (I said, "if") was used, the shot was still metered for avail light and the shutter speed still slow enough to let most available light be used, with flash just to give it that bit of crispness somewhere (eyes, hair, guitar, something sharp for the eye to anchor to in the shot.) There are many creative ways to use flash, from bounce, directional, slaves, etc. If that wasn't one of the options, then I didn't go for the big blur. The thing I like about shooting film was that I wasn't so busy always looking at the results of the last shot on the lcd, and tended to focus more on my viewfinder making note of my shutter speed/aperture settings on the fly. I'd shoot each roll with a different approach just to give myself a better chance of at least something working that I'd find when the film was processed. With digital, try to see through the viewfinder what the shot might turn out like. Of course there are other issues like lesser dynamic range than film, white balance issues, etc..

    The best thing I can say is it's always a learning curve, each situtation is different, but eventually by doing it enough in each of those situations you will be much better at predicting what your results will look like and get a lot more keepers. There are a lot of similarities to shooting sports at night or indoors. Sometimes it's just as effective to wait for the quieter, yet quite telling moments to tell the story. Enough of my blabbing...;)
     
  23. fett macrumors 6502

    fett

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #23
    Great to see this thread continue into March. Sorry I've been so busy and haven't had much time to comment lately.

    2/5 I agree with the others it looks like a beautiful place but the photo doesn't really grab me in anyway. Now I'm by no means an expert but I'll see if I can give any advice that might help. Try getting your camera in a different location. You can add a lot to a photo by just taking it from a different perspective than people would normally see it from. Try and get the horizon straight. Maybe include a little more of the land. The part where the ocean comes in I would like to see more land there. I find it leads me out of the photo.


    Here is one of mine
    [​IMG]
     
  24. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #24
    The first one is more powerful to me, the sky is much more dramatic and I love the far shore looming in the shadows, yet visible beneath the dark portion of the clouds. The second has good light, nice glow in the sky also reflected in the blue of the lake, but not as interesting overall as the first. I'm a bit distracted by the light horizontal line just below the shoreline. #1 - 3.75, #2 - 2.75

    Prior panorama I actually liked quite a bit.

    You make some good points, and for the record I didn't use this picture precisely because of the relective distractions. I do have other shots of this subject taken during this project, but it's interesting to see if my gut reactions are similar to what other folks may express. Sometimes I'm not sure if maybe it's just me, and I want to test the reaction. It keeps me on my toes. I appreciate the feedback.
     
  25. brendanryder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brendanryder

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #25
    i know i wish i would have remembered then i could of had 2 great shots.
    i was just so focused on my vacation, in Cozumel mexico, i forgot almost everything i knew lol.
    if i could of taken another i definitely would of put the boat to the side but i wanted it in the center for this one cus i thought it looked cool with the boat in the center of the glare off the water.

    i took it from the beach. i had never thought about crouching down to the level of the water. that would be cool. i'll have to try that next tim, thanks :D

    Thanks ya i wish the sun would of been lower but just after i took the picture it literally vanished.


    Thank you all for your comments, im glad you all like it cus i submited it to a Photo contest.

    :d
     

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