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liivingdeadgirl
01-12-2011, 12:36 PM
Hey guys! I just recently bought a new camera and was hoping to start taking more pictures...usually I'm IN the pictures rather than taking them while a non-cosplay friend takes pics. But I would like to be able to do little shoots for my friends and have the pictures turn out decent. I used to have a Nikon D40 and just sold it for a better DLSR. I was hoping you guys could take a look at some of my older pictures and let me know what you think, what I might be able to do better, and little tips of the trade in preparation for using my new camera. I really know NOTHING about photography and I find that my 17-18 year old friends take better pictures than I do, so I'd like to try and get a little better.

Here's a link to my DA gallery of just pictures that I have taken:
http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/gallery/27549136

There are also some landscape pics and stuff in this album:
http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/gallery/28033646

Thanks!

Ashurachan
01-13-2011, 06:06 AM
General problems I see :
- composition : most of these are too centered. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds. So unless there's a play on symmetry like here (http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/gallery/27549136#/d34dpuf), try not to center your subject. Open space in the direction the model is looking at.
- you tend to leave too much space above the model's head
- beware of your focus. This picture (http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/gallery/27549136#/d34dqsc) has a blurry subject and a perfectly clear background. The opposite would be preferrable. If you have trouble focusing on what you want, it's probably because all your AF points are active. Choose the central focus point, then when shooting center your subject, focus by pressing your shutter half-way, and recompose before pressing it completely.
- don't be afraid to crawl on the ground or climb on things to change your point of view.
- then a lot of things I'd have to say are technical, so if you don't know what aperture and shutter speed mean, it'll be a tad difficult to make myself understood.
(and frankly, the D40 is a fine camera, you should have kept it and learnt the basics before buying a new one).

liivingdeadgirl
01-13-2011, 12:01 PM
General problems I see :
- composition : most of these are too centered. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds. So unless there's a play on symmetry like here (http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/gallery/27549136#/d34dpuf), try not to center your subject. Open space in the direction the model is looking at.
- you tend to leave too much space above the model's head
- beware of your focus. This picture (http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/gallery/27549136#/d34dqsc) has a blurry subject and a perfectly clear background. The opposite would be preferrable. If you have trouble focusing on what you want, it's probably because all your AF points are active. Choose the central focus point, then when shooting center your subject, focus by pressing your shutter half-way, and recompose before pressing it completely.
- don't be afraid to crawl on the ground or climb on things to change your point of view.
- then a lot of things I'd have to say are technical, so if you don't know what aperture and shutter speed mean, it'll be a tad difficult to make myself understood.
(and frankly, the D40 is a fine camera, you should have kept it and learnt the basics before buying a new one).

-I will keep the centering thing in mind. I am generally a bit ocd when it comes to symmetry, it definitely comes out when Iím making costumes. I never really thought about it until you mentioned it but I suppose it has filtered into my pictures as well. I will work on that.

- Noted

-The reason I am actually getting a new camera is because of the blurring issue. I love my D40 and it takes great picturesÖin the day time with great lighting. When the lighting is poor and I donít have a tripod the pictures blur because I donít have the steadiest hand in the world. My friend has a D3000 that Iíve gotten used to using when I take her pictures, and a lot of my own cosplay photos have been taken with her camera, and I really like results. I also donít seem to have as much of a blurring problem with it. I know the problems with the D3000 are numerous so I wouldnít have chosen that over the D40 but the new model has supposedly addressed all the concerns with the D3000 and corrected them in the 3100. I have taken a few pictures with it and already have noticed a difference. I had talked to a friend who is a professional photographer and does shoots for magazines and weddings, etc, and she suggested it.

-I wish I had more in this gallery, I only put sets in there rather an individual photos, because I do often climb on things, lay on the ground (Iíve even been known to lay in the street, as unsafe as that is -__-). I still need to work on which angles are good for certain people/costumes though because Iíve discovered that not everyone can be shot the same way. O_O

- I can comprehend some of the technical aspects but am in no way well versed, so odds are I wonít understand. I know what aperture is and what is does, along with shutter speed, though I havenít played around with my settings enough to notice a huge difference and know what settings I should be using in what instances. But like I said, I usually donít even take most of the photos when Iím with my friends, I would always have a non-cosplay friend takes the pictures. Iím hoping to learn a little more, maybe take a photography class so I can actually know what Iím doing and why Iím doing it.

Thanks for your advice!

Ashurachan
01-14-2011, 08:33 AM
- The reason why the shots from the more recent camera are less blurry is probably because the D3100 kit lens is stabilized (Nikon marks stabilized lenses "VR"), when the one coming with the D40 wasn't. Also, noise reduction on JPEGs (I assume you don't shoot RAW) smooths images ; so high ISO produces slightly blurrier photos, especially with the low pixel count of the D40. More recent cameras have more pixels, as well as better high ISO capabilities, and better noise reduction algorithms. Do the math ;)

- What you have to understand is how you can keep an image well exposed while playing with one of the settings : by changing one among aperture/shutter speed/iso, you have to move one of the others to keep the picture well exposed. Depending on the picture, you may prefer to change one or the other. I have found that working in aperture mode is a good way to start.

Tripping Balls.
01-15-2011, 04:36 AM
Main problems are
-Bad lightning
-Bad composition
-Bad framing

In fact most of them are just snapshots and call very little attention even when theres a people doing cosplay in the photo.

Read about composition and just keep shooting. "Learning to see Creatively" of Bryan Paterson it's a great, if not the greatest, book around about the mains of composition.

liivingdeadgirl
03-21-2011, 04:30 PM
Hey guys, I've tried to take into account some of the critiques I've gotten here and have some new photos and I'm wondering what you think.

I'll just link to some examples of the new stuff:

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Falling-Flowers-201814098?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=3

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Red-Wing-201810524?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=6

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Heartbreaker-201809753?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=10

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Long-day-201809319?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=12

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Play-date-198465374?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=18

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Caught-198461297

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Sky-Blue-198460943?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=24

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Golden-Falls-198456781?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=40

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/En-Pointe-198456682?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=41

http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Best-of-all-best-friends-198458417?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=34

Rander
03-21-2011, 09:00 PM
Hi,

If you want specific critique, I would post 1 or 2 pictures at the most. You are asking your audience to look at too many images and even if all your photos are great it still is a lot of work to give feedback on 10 images.

Specifically, I like Heartbreaker because
1. The picture looks sharp
2. The composition is interesting because of the addition of the heart, it gives your eye a trail to follow. Normally a person smack dab in the middle is not interesting.
3. The model's hair is lit unevenly, causing interesting shadows on her face
4. For improvement, maybe change the background or move the model up so you can blur the background.

I think your image En Pointe could be improved:
1. The lighting is very flat (lit evenly) this does not convey any depth on the image. Some kind of off camera or bounce flash would improve this.
2. There is very little overall contrast to the scene. The floor, doors, wall and outfit are all pretty much white. If you have Photoshop, try increase the exposure, increase contrast to see the beads on the outfit and increase the pink levels a bit.
3. For composition, the using the door as a natural frame is a good idea, but move her off center to create some interest (rule of thirds)

My $0.02, hope this helps.

liivingdeadgirl
03-21-2011, 10:22 PM
Hi,

If you want specific critique, I would post 1 or 2 pictures at the most. You are asking your audience to look at too many images and even if all your photos are great it still is a lot of work to give feedback on 10 images.

Specifically, I like Heartbreaker because
1. The picture looks sharp
2. The composition is interesting because of the addition of the heart, it gives your eye a trail to follow. Normally a person smack dab in the middle is not interesting.
3. The model's hair is lit unevenly, causing interesting shadows on her face
4. For improvement, maybe change the background or move the model up so you can blur the background.

I think your image En Pointe could be improved:
1. The lighting is very flat (lit evenly) this does not convey any depth on the image. Some kind of off camera or bounce flash would improve this.
2. There is very little overall contrast to the scene. The floor, doors, wall and outfit are all pretty much white. If you have Photoshop, try increase the exposure, increase contrast to see the beads on the outfit and increase the pink levels a bit.
3. For composition, the using the door as a natural frame is a good idea, but move her off center to create some interest (rule of thirds)

My $0.02, hope this helps.


Thanks, it does. And I didn't want anyone to look at all of them, I know there are a lot, just a few.

And the pictures are untouched, I don't have photoshop or anything on my comp. I still need to work with playing with the setting on my camera more.

Sufida
03-22-2011, 12:11 AM
I normally don't give open critique anymore, but I suppose we all help each other by exchanging ideas. Since there are tons of photos in these links I am only going to pick two at random.

http://fav.me/d3a5tuw
For the most part I feel the composition is pretty decent however the lighting isn't so good.
However this could be helped with a little post processing.
A warming filter may not be a bad idea to try either to help draw the emotional feel of the photo.

http://fav.me/d3a5ms0
Pretty good portrait (atleast imo), but suffers from a slight framing issue with the foot being cropped off. On a rare occasion an imperfection like that can be overlooked if the subject and background are really strong together. Unfortunately the cropped foot is in the middle of the picture and it can't help but draw attention to itself.

It could also benefit from some post processing.

Rock nam Lee
03-23-2011, 12:52 AM
I'll just pick two, the one I like the best and least.

Start with the least, sky blue (http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Sky-Blue-198460943?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=24) The major problem I have with this one is Sasuke being out of focus. You may have that done that intentionally to focus more on the sky to make Sasuke of out of focus for effect, but it just comes of as "I wasn't fully focused on the subject" rather then "the character is focusing on this subject." (Especially considering he's almost the only subject in the photo) You'd probably want to increase the blur even more then that in most situations. Next point is the exposure, while the sky is just a tad underexposed, the character is really underexposed. You probably didn't have a wireless flash or reflector and that's fine, but the intent is "usually" to try and have your subject in the proper exposure while somehow artistically displaying the foreground/background in different exposures in those situations. The framing is all right, good area to write some text if there's a need, I would've turned Sasuke a tiny bit more to his right so more of his body and sword was showing.

My favorite is the Golden Falls (http://liivingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Golden-Falls-198456781?q=gallery%3Aliivingdeadgirl%2F27549136&qo=40) The thing I love about this one is the framing and composition. The way the ballerina is in the corner like that, really draws the attention as the focal point. Would've been great if you had a flash coming from the left side to give it more depth, with maybe her arm pointing towards you instead. But seeing her face and legs in the pose is a plus, could've turned her slightly more towards you to show off more of her front (maybe that's just me). The exposure is a little under as well, don't be afraid to raise the exposure a bit! The little gray box on the bottom is a little bit distracting (don't know how much post-processing you do but it'd be something to take out from such a clean and composed photo). And being picky here, the photo is slightly on an angle, as you can tell by the slant of the corner of the wall :P (I might have cropped the entire photo a bit to get rid of the excess for a tighter shot)

Other then that, good work, keep practicing, and give it your best! : )

liivingdeadgirl
03-24-2011, 01:04 PM
Thanks guys, this does really help. And unfortunately I don't have any other equipment other than my camera, no reflectors, no flash. There were instances where I did recognize I would need them but yeah. I also don't have photoshop or anything that you can edit photo's in. I have a retouch function on my camera but it doesn't really improve the quality of the picture.

Convention lighting is often poor (especially in the gaylord for some reason) so when it's just me running around with my friends in cosplay with a camera I do the best I can with what I have. I know I should learn more about what features my camera has because that will help a tad even without other equipment.