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View Full Version : Amateur photographer needs critique


yosuke
03-05-2012, 12:36 AM
This is my first time posting in the photography forum, so we'll see how this goes.

First off, I'd like to point out that I am well aware that I am not a professional photographer, nor have I had the amount of experience, training, or education as some of the more well-qualified photogs on this site. It's something I completely understand and that I'm okay with. I am an amateur and I will always refer to myself as such. That being said, I'd like to see what others really think of my photos instead of hearing my friends say "ooh pretty, i like it" all the time.

The first two are from personal photoshoots:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7041/6885522883_6d7fd30841_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6885522883/)
IMG_5464 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6885522883/) by kado_li (http://www.flickr.com/people/theoptionalstudios/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7040/6787391308_47fea69bba_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6787391308/)
IMG_6241 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6787391308/) by kado_li (http://www.flickr.com/people/theoptionalstudios/), on Flickr
(This was one done at a convention, so I am aware that it's probably not best that her con wristband is showing.)

These were taken at conventions of cosplayers I just randomly ran into:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6840230687_df7fe2d397_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6840230687/)
IMG_3072 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6840230687/) by kado_li (http://www.flickr.com/people/theoptionalstudios/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6840270703_7dbc3bac75_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6840270703/)
IMG_5172 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6840270703/) by kado_li (http://www.flickr.com/people/theoptionalstudios/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7142/6840102501_a797164391_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6840102501/)
IMG_4508 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theoptionalstudios/6840102501/) by kado_li (http://www.flickr.com/people/theoptionalstudios/), on Flickr

As far as the convention pictures go, I know it's not a good idea to have people in the background, but I suppose I'm not quite skilled or patient enough to wait until they're gone, or angle the shots any differently than from what I feel would make a good shot. If any of you can offer a good argument to change my mind, though, I wouldn't be opposed to hearing it.
Also, it's unwise of me, I suppose, but I do not own an external flash yet, so everything gets tweaked in Photoshop afterwards. Therefore, I apologize if you find any lighting problems. Again, I've had no formal training so I'm probably not aware of any subtle issues with the pictures.

These pictures are some of the ones I'm most proud of and I like the most. I would like to offer them up for critique because if I think they're good and there's actually something wrong with them that I'm unaware of, then I'll continue to take pictures with these flaws. So please, critique these so I can fix myself. Thank you all in advance :)

brucer007
03-05-2012, 03:19 AM
#1. I like the low, tilted angle. The tilt is subtle enough to create a nice effect, without making me tilt my head to look at it. The sun behind the cosplayer was a daring way to do it. I like the lens flares and back lighting. The building behind him sets an appropriate feel for the character, as do the trees. Watch out for the hand being left out of the frame. The red line across the frame could be cloned out in photoshop, using the Clone Tool. I like the pose a lot. He is very much in the character.

#2. The angle of the lighting coming from the side is very flattering to the location and to her body, but the direction of her face caught the light so her nose, upper lip, and chin is contrasty. Having her turn her head toward the light, or away, so her face is in shadow would look nice. I am impressed that you had her look away from the lens. Few "amateur" photographers do that. Her eyes are turned so far to the side that I see too much white, like a zombie. I recommend having the eyes stay similar with the direction the nose is pointing, but some side-looking looks fine. The converging legs is a nice pose to accentuate her hips. It would be great if you have the skills to clone out the wrist band without it looking retouched.

#3. The pool background is fine, but the sign behind her distracts. Also, I suggest making the red tip of the gun black, using photo shop. The natural lighting works well here. Her pose is sexy with a her hip subtly arched to the side.

#4. The lighting on her works well for the horror genre. You allowed sunlight and incandecent light to mix warm and cool colors, and create some shadows in her eye-sockets. Her pose is very good, especially her face expression, totally in-character. I do encourage you to take an extra moment to find backgrounds that focus on her without the distractions. It may not be as hard as you might think.

#4. Cute pose. Her shoulder towards the camera looks great here. The background is clean with the exception of the black table silver colored metal structures. I like the subtle tilt. The sky-light gave you some nice lighting.

milo1312
03-05-2012, 02:21 PM
1. i dont think the bright glare on the upper left works i think its kinda distracting at least for me. maybe if as less it would have work better. the back round is great and goes well with the char.

2. i also think the location is really good. dont worry about the wristband i would have never notice if you did not point it out. i do like she is not looking at you but to much white from the eyes.

3. everything is great for me in the picture but the sighn in the back round its very very distracting.

4. i think this best picture even though the people are in the back round. its easy to avoid that problem have them stand againt a well...also you can crop the picture and take out some people from the back round or blur the back round helps as well.

5. i agree with the other person that black table in the back needs to go...also i would try to lite up her face a little more the pose and rest of the back round works great.

k-existence
03-09-2012, 09:43 PM
photoshop can always remove things in the background and wristbands lol
composition and framing is great but the colors could be improved.

some of them feel a little muddy and dark... need better contrast.

The ones with sky in it is washed out aka white and it becomes distracting.

Missi
03-27-2012, 04:10 PM
Watch out for the light in your pics, they can make scenes to bright, dark or people washed out. your start off is good i think once you get a handle on the light situation you will be golden

errido
04-14-2012, 01:17 AM
I really like the second one. The generally dark background allows the model to stands out. Her expressions is perfect for the atmosphere, too.

The model's face is against the ligh in the third one. Although it could be used effectively in some cases, I don't find it especially needed in that picture. You could have the face/body of the model moves sideways a little to get some light, or you could edit it in photoshop.

The last one is very adorable and the angle is just right. However I find the model's skin tone to be a little unnatural under the lights. I might be wrong because of the screen.

You are doing very well as a beginner. I find it more important to have an eye for aesthetics than the education in photography. The latter you can always make up by studying on your own C:

ACRPhotography
04-19-2012, 10:05 PM
I hope you don't mind but I did an edit for you. I took out the bracelet and fixed the eyes a little bit, was hard since I don't have the orig file, but Iwanted to show you how you could edit it.

sonikku10
04-20-2012, 03:45 AM
Hey, I'm also in the Orlando area -- I definitely recognize the locations of #2 and #4 ^^
Guess I'll put in my two cents:

1. Having the sunlight in the behind your subject is "risky" in the sense that it could either help or hurt your photo. It isn't something I would normally do unless I had good reason to. I do like the the lens flare, but it seems that your camera sensor couldn't handle all of that light coming in (could explain the red banding). The back-lighting also caused your subject to appear really dark, which can be fixed with a well-diffused fill flash. Other than that, good pose and good angle, but do watch for cropping of the hands and feet.

2. MegaCon 2012 - OCCC South Concourse lol... Yeah, I pretty much agree with Bruce on the lighting on her face and the eyes. It's something I would much rather catch during the photoshoot and attempt to "fix" it then, rather than toying around in Photoshop. As for the wristband, it wasn't noticible enough for me, but you could always try editing it out and see if you like the results. Good photo, though, and good light balance.

3. The pool fence is distracting, and the cosplayer is backlit here. I think both issues could have been solved by swapping positions, or entering the pool area, even.

4. One of the reasons I don't like the Wyndham Resort is that its one hallway is so crowded. If at all possible, try scouting out a location outside nearby the entrances to avoid the crowds. Nine times out of ten, the cosplayer is willing to go outside a for a couple of minutes depending on the heat. If you must get a hallway shot, try and find a lower angle to crop out most of the distractions and use a longer focal length from further away to try and blur them out a bit. Go easy on the vignetting here, because the overhead lighting is blown out, and you start getting a messy gray color in the lights if you vignette too much.

5. I'm going out on a whim here and saying this was at Holiday Matsuri 2011 (which I wasn't able to attend). But anyway, this is a cute pose. But remember to also pay attention to what's behind your subject. Just by rotating yourself more to the left, you would have gotten the stage out of the shot. The overhead lighting casted a shadow on her face because she was looking downward. This could be fixed with some fill light, or (since you mentioned you don't have an external flash) have her pose so that she's looking toward the light. Of course, this would require a completely different angle to make the shot, but it's just something to keep in mind.

You're doing great as a beginner ^^ Keep it up!