Please criticise my work :)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by peepboon, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. peepboon macrumors 6502

    peepboon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    #1
    So I really want to improve my work but getting feedback is difficult, especially on FLICKR.

    Here are some of my recent ones, if you would be kind enough to leave a comment such as if you like it or not, reason? That would be great! Thanks!

    I will name each image by a number if its easier that way :)

    1.
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    2.
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    3.
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    4.
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    5.
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    6.
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    7.
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    8.
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    9.
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    10.
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    11.
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    12.
    [​IMG]

    If you are interested in my work: Check out my FLICKR

    For all those gear heads out there. I use a Nikon D90, most of my images are shot with the 35mm F1.8 lens. Edited on Photoshop CS5 on a MacBook Air 11.6" ultimate.

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    I think they're all very good, and my favorites are 8,9,10, 11 and 12.

    #7 is very nice, and I love the feeling of happiness.

    #10, I love the expression on his face, and the little snowflakes in the foreground.

    #11, I only wish you used less exposure to reduce the overexposed lights, but this is based on my love of deeper blacks in shadows. It's still a great shot.

    #12 is just perfect, and my top favorite.
     
  3. leandroc76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    #3
    12, 6, 7 in that order.

    Fantastic work. Thank you for sharing.

    My critique:

    1, 10, 11 & 12 do not follow the soft in the clouds feel with the rest of them. Not that they should, it's just that there was a rhythm from 2 on where it got jolted at 10. Not that 10 is bad. They are all technically great photos.

    1 concerns me as it would have been a throw away in my book. To each their own.
     
  4. peepboon thread starter macrumors 6502

    peepboon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    #4
    @wonderspark

    Thank you for your kind words! :)

    @leandroc76

    I am impressed! You noticed my change in style or rather me 'testing' a 'softer' approach to editing certain images.

    Photo 1 was taken the same time of the 10, 11,12... I put it in the number 1 spot cause I thought it be cool to have a 'late' welcome for 2011, lol.

    Thank you for your kind words :) - I am still impressed that you noticed! :D hehehe
     
  5. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #5
    i'm not being lazy when I say this, but I love every one of your images, they look fantastic! composition, sharpness, just that look... great!! :)

    Which brings me to my next question - how do you acheive such a similar style with every photo? I first guessed L Glass (canon) cause of that kinda look, but scrolled down to reveal your usig nikon.. what kinda lens is that quality wise (how much was it)

    Lastly, photoshop - would you please be able to list what you do to your images? I've always wanted to go for 'these kinda shots' but just can't - there's a certain style within every one of your photos which I can't describe, but it looks fantastic.

    Your response is eagerly awaited :D
     
  6. peepboon thread starter macrumors 6502

    peepboon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    #6
    @TheSVD

    Thanks! :)

    I am actually using Nikon's cheapest prime lens! ;) Its the Nikon 35mm F1.8 which cost me around 149GBP (240USD Approx). I do own the 50mm F1.4 but on my cropped body it was too close to the subject as I wanted something with a wider view.

    Photoshop wise, its a mixed of techniques I have learnt over the years. Which ones are you interested in? I can give you a run down of what I did to it (thats if I remember) lol.
     
  7. leandroc76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    #7
    I'm interested 2 through 7!
     
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #8
    Okay:

    Number 1 is spectacular. Probably my favorite of the bunch.

    I think I see what effect you were going for with Number 2, but it looks too washed-out for my taste.

    Number 3 is a great picture, I like the depth, but I think it would be interesting to see it with a little more background (not "cropped" so close to the subject).

    Number 4 is creepy. But I can relate. ;)

    On Number 5, this might be intentional, but I can't make out any part of the photo that's in focus.

    Number 6 is a gem. I like it very much.

    The only thing I would offer as "criticism" of Number 7 is that it might have been slightly more interesting to see the glow behind the subject's head even between her face and the back of her head, rather than concentrated on the back of her head. Still a great photo.

    Number 8 has great use of lighting. I could imagine that was a hard shot to expose properly with the huge contrast between light and dark. Well done.

    Number 9 is a great shot. I wouldn't have added the caption, but that's just me.

    Number 10 is another excellent example of great use of a short F ratio. Very nice.

    Probably just me, but it looks like Number 11 can't decide between the lettering on the street, or the subjects in the distance. It looks a bit lost.

    Number 12 really struck me - I don't usually like tilted views, but this one works. I like it.
     
  9. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #9
    I would love to know the PS process invloved too espcially those in 4 6 and 8...is it kinda a bleach bypass look?

    Doesnt work so well for me in 3.

    5 I just dont get, doesnt seem to make sense to me, maybe if we saw more of outside or some stuff in the car that told a story..

    I love 6, the expression is great really makes you want to know what she is thinking about, has a slightly sad tinge which the photo effect adds to and brings out, really the whole picture comes together for me and works in harmony.

    Great set of pics wish i had some half so good!
     
  10. peepboon thread starter macrumors 6502

    peepboon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    #10
    Thanks guys for the critique :) - Thanks for your time in sharing your criticism! :)

    Most of them are shots taken with continuous burst mode as I like to take LOADS of the same scene and choose the best, it also allows me to combine images if different aspects are better, etc. So shoot in continuous burst! :)

    Editing wise:

    Its kinda difficult to explain (not that I dont want to share the techniques but its that each image has different values, etc etc).

    Before I start, I do simple things such as cleaning up spots, zits, moles, etc etc.

    1. First I generally colour correct the image to the correct white balance.

    **NEXT PART: I always work in adjustment layers**

    2. I create a nice simple small 'S' curve for a little contrast.

    3. I then create a CRAZY blown out curve which brightens the image to a crazy amount. Fill it with black then set the white brush to 10% with hardness at 0 and start brightening up the darker parts of the image. I go over darker bits more to bring out the details.

    4. I do the exact opposite of step 3. This works well for skies, blown highlights, etc.

    5. Next I usually desaturate the image slightly. As I take a lot of people shots, I tend to desaturate the 'main' colour then move further desaturate the "red" and "yellow" channels.

    6. Next is the colour. I start off with the colour balance... this is what I usally go for:

    Highlights shift to the red and shift to the yellow (warm up highlights)
    Midtones - cool the midtones by shifting to the blues.
    Shadows - I move it ever so slightly to the green side.

    7. I now add an extra step where I do some colouring using "S" curves. I dont touch the main channel, only the RGB channels.

    R - Make a slight S curve
    G - Make a slight S curve
    B - Make an opposite S curve

    8. I then check if I need to desaturate the image more, perhaps take away some more red/yellow.

    9. Now I add a "channel mixer" adjustment layer, set it to overlay and move the opacity down to around 20-30%. This will bump up the contrast.

    10. I then add a new layer, fill with white and bring the opacity down to around 1-2% so that the blacks are not quite black.

    -----

    NEXT STEPS ARE OPTIONAL

    11. I tend to fake light by using a soft brush set at 10% and start creating a fake 'light' to wrap around the subject. This only works if there is already a light source.

    12. I sometimes change the colour again using colour balance adjustment layers. Like in example 4 where I preferred a purple tint.

    13. Sometimes I want to sharpen the areas in focus. To do this, duplicate the image, set to soft light then go to filter > other > high pass filter > chose 30. Delete away the parts where the extra sharpness is not needed. then lower the opacity so it doesnt look too weird.

    Please dont hesitate if you need me to go through a certain part. :)
     
  11. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #11
    Get rid of the text in the images. The images themselves should be telling the story, and putting type in there doesn't add anything to this work. In fact, it narrows what a viewer might see in the image and distracts from the visual impact and composition of images. Often, type is used as a crutch to save an otherwise uninteresting image, so be wary of falling into that trap. Best example of my point is #5. 5 is not sharp, and it doesn't have enough motion to look intentional. Using type here doesn't fix that.

    Also, pay attention to your highlight exposures. In some cases it can be used as an effect in itself but blown out highlights don't always work. The best instance of the high key look is #2 but the blank areas of white in 4, 8, and 11 are distracting to my eye. The text in 8 breaks up what would otherwise be some interesting shapes of the tree's shadow on the wall.

    Compare the colored lights you see in the highlights in 12 to what you don't get in 11 with the overexposed areas. Which is the more interesting image?

    12 is a strong image, visually interesting and my favorite of the set, but I'm not sure that the tilted horizon adds to the interest.
    Finally, think about your presentation of the images- some have white borders, some black, some have no border. Why?
     
  12. leandroc76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    #12
    Peepboon,

    Thanks for all that information. I can't wait to try it out. Do you use Aperture or Lightroom?

    I am an Aperture user. Love it. I use professional actions from around the wedding photographer circuit for CS5. Aperture and CS5 seem to work together very well.

    Thanks again.
     
  13. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #13
    Very good advice! Threads like these with advice like this help everybody.
     
  14. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Away from you
    #14
    I dunno... some of these shots smack of advertising anyway, so I think it depends on what you are shooting for. If I were beefing up my portfolio for an advertising job, I think some of the text works. If it's just "art," then sure... it may be a superfluous crutch.

    Here's my thoughts:
    1. I really like it, but the crop at the bottom bothers me. I know if you remove the heads completely, you lose too much of the water, but cropped where it is it seems unintentional to me. Hmmm...
    2. Nice, but I think it would be even better if she was off-center as in some of the other shots. You have got it down in 5,6,10,etc.
    3. Nice color and DOF. I wish I could see the top of the dragon's head.
    4. I agree that the highlight in 4 is blown out too much. I assume there's some good color in that cooler that would help finish off this composition. The blown-out white draws you eye over there to the left, but with no payoff, really.
    5. I really like this one too. I think the text actually adds some poignancy that might not be obvious, but I agree that some motion would be nice.
    6. Greatness. Put "I coulda had a V-8" at the bottom, and it's an ad. ;)
    7. Nice. But what's she doing? Bus stop? It seems a little random/staged without the context, but other than that I dig it.
    8. This might actually be my favorite. I like the color range (or lack thereof), I like the composition. I wish it wasn't cropped quite so tight top and bottom, but it's right up my alley.
    9. / 10. Both great shots with fantastic DOF and great color.
    11. This (along with 4) is probably my least favorite. It just seems like another city-at-night shot with nothing particularly interesting about it. The foreign language (to me) makes it a little intriguing, but that's it.
    12. I won't claim this as my favorite since someone else has, but it's up there. :) Awesome color and action; I can smell and hear the city when I look at this. The canted horizon doesn't bother me.

    All in all, some very solid work here. Wish I had the chops to do this well. Thanks for sharing.
     
  15. peepboon thread starter macrumors 6502

    peepboon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    #15
    Thanks for the comments :)

    I think that each comment opens a different way fo seeing things. Perhaps something you never noticed before, so I am definitely going to take the comments into consideration when editing in the future!

    I do not use Aperture or Lightroom, I guess its simply because I am just too use to the Photoshop interface? :S

    All the images aren't cropped, apart from number 2 where there was too much cleavage showing ;) hehehe - I guess some do looked cropped but thats just due to the fact I was probably too close to the subject. An example would be image 3 where the dancing lions came very close to me :p
     

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