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Unread 03-28-2010, 08:46 PM   #1
PeachyNichi
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Critique an amature. (And I mean, really an amature.)

I enjoy taking photos, mostly just of my friend's costumes and all just for fun. Even though it is only a hobby, and I don't plan on ever buying more than my standard digital camera (coolpix), I would like to improve my skills.

I enjoy using the natural surroundings to make interesting shadows and shapes. I also like taking silly photos.

Anyway! Enough about me! I think this picture best captures the style I like to capture in photos, so please critique this! Don't be afraid to be harsh, as long as it is constructive I like being picked apart!

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Unread 03-28-2010, 11:53 PM   #2
Snyder
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The composition is poorly constructed she needs a bit more head room above her and I would have picked a different location. The white balance is off, the photo is not sharp use a tripod or higher shutter speed. Lighting is key in photography be it natural or artificail. A big no no is super bright spots behind the subject, it is very distracting. The subject isnt lit very good so there is little to no detail in texture in her hair. If you interested in shadow and shapes type photos google pictorial type photos. Keep on shooting.
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Unread 03-29-2010, 01:19 AM   #3
Vash_Fanatic
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Composition: Try to not have the focal point in the middle. Especially for a shot like this. Central compositions are great for head shots and what not. In this case, she is looking off to the side. You should show just a bit more of the right side of the scenery. Also, as noted above, her head has no breathing room at all. That tiny slice of dead space above her head just looks weird.

Lighting: The lighting is interesting. I like how it looks, but the focal point isn't really lit to make her stand out more from her surrounding, which is also lit.

For the camera, I see it's a digital >< Just be careful on how much you move! I know you can get nice clear shots with digital cameras.

Good luck and keep workin.
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Unread 03-29-2010, 03:51 PM   #4
oflight
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as mentioned earlier, framing could be improved.

the post processing work is interesting. It has an artsy look to it, reminscent of holga cameras. The lighting is good IMO for the photo, the color of the background seem to compliment the subject.

I think it is a nice photo for a beginner/hobbyist.

Last edited by oflight : 03-29-2010 at 03:53 PM.
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Unread 03-29-2010, 09:23 PM   #5
PeachyNichi
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Thanks for the responses! I'll make sure I work on the space in the composition. Sometimes don't notice how things are positioned so things end up layering weird. In this shot, I cropped the top because it looked like a pole was coming out of her head.

I see what you guys means about the subject needing to be more highlighted as the center of the piece, and I will most definately work on that in future pictures.

My biggest problem is shaky hands, so I might invest in a tripod. I probably never would have thought of one to be honest, so thanks for the suggestion!
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Unread 03-29-2010, 10:09 PM   #6
Elke
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You can get away with the pocket-sized tripods in a situation like this. Just hold it up against the wall with one hand, and use the other hand to position the camera~

Very handy for a hobby photographer who doesn't want to pack a large tripod with them.
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Unread 03-29-2010, 10:12 PM   #7
KuraKaze
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Not sure if you want to, but my friend photoshops his pictures a lot, photoshoping out any elements that he doesn't want. Just wondering if it would have been possible to photoshop out the "pole" on her head instead of cropping it.
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Unread 03-30-2010, 12:04 AM   #8
oflight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeachyNichi View Post
Thanks for the responses! I'll make sure I work on the space in the composition. Sometimes don't notice how things are positioned so things end up layering weird. In this shot, I cropped the top because it looked like a pole was coming out of her head.

I see what you guys means about the subject needing to be more highlighted as the center of the piece, and I will most definately work on that in future pictures.

My biggest problem is shaky hands, so I might invest in a tripod. I probably never would have thought of one to be honest, so thanks for the suggestion!
you don't need a tripod for these type of photos. Just practice steadying your hands or brace it on your knee or some solid object nearby.

unless you are using a shutter speed below 1/60th or so, it should be hand holdable. If you have IS you should be able to go down to 1/30th.

yes always pay attention to objects growing out of people's heads.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 05:37 PM   #9
limberjack
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I generally carry a cheap telescoping monopod -- light and only a foot long when folded. In rare cases where I can't find a wall or my own body to brace the camera a bit with, that has been invaluable.

Composing the shot well is much more important than how expensive your camera is, so don't worry too much on that unless it turns out to be holding you back in some way (poor low light performance, etc.). As others have mentioned, the background has too much going on (especially around her head). It's also not lit well enough to make out much detail of her or her outfit against the background glare. You can 'fix' some of that in post processing, but doing so with something that directly intersects the subject's body takes skill not to look obvious. Much better to shoot it right in the first place.

When taking a picture it takes practice to piece together in your head what the composition will look like. Looking at the resulting image on the viewscreen can help, but it's generally too small to be a huge help. Also helpful to look at the other info the image review can offer: the exposure time, the brightness histogram, etc. If the shots are too slow, you can know that early on and fix the lighting/camera sensitivity/etc. rather than go home later and find the whole shoot was a waste.

Take a few test shots (maybe even without the person in them, if you're worried about boring them) so you are comfortable the basics are set properly, and don't be afraid to take a lot of shots as you move around. It's digital! They're free! You can review them later and learn what looks better and why.

Good luck!
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