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Old 06-20-2010, 08:23 PM
 
Location: MI
71 posts, read 260,465 times
Reputation: 120

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My camera is acting up, not sure if it's in need of a cleaning or repair, but either way here are some shots I took this last week. Free free to give tips, etc. I'm trying to improve my style!
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs322.ash1/28237_405900459460_526799460_4163863_1083849_n.jpg (broken link)
Playing in the misting water on a humid day.

http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs292.snc3/28237_405900484460_526799460_4163867_4596320_n.jpg (broken link)
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs292.snc3/28237_405900584460_526799460_4163882_1178665_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs312.snc3/28237_405900494460_526799460_4163869_3734498_n.jpg (broken link)
I can really see the blur issue on this photo. Bummer.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs322.ash1/28237_405900504460_526799460_4163870_906497_n.jpg (broken link)
Picture taken through glass. Red eye, but most of it came out ok.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs312.snc3/28237_405900539460_526799460_4163875_3935187_n.jpg (broken link)
My son overlooking the stream. Added outside blur. Should have taken the garbage can out! This is by far my favorite one from the trip.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs312.snc3/28237_405900549460_526799460_4163876_8083727_n.jpg (broken link)

http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs312.snc3/28237_405900564460_526799460_4163879_4295564_n.jpg (broken link)
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs292.snc3/28237_405900579460_526799460_4163881_4617564_n.jpg (broken link)
http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs312.snc3/28237_405900619460_526799460_4163885_4760221_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs292.snc3/28237_405900594460_526799460_4163883_5933300_n.jpg (broken link)
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs312.snc3/28237_405900624460_526799460_4163886_4038616_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs322.ash1/28237_405900659460_526799460_4163891_3598269_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs322.ash1/28237_405909939460_526799460_4164078_1820258_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs322.ash1/28237_405909974460_526799460_4164081_1987815_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs312.snc3/28237_405909989460_526799460_4164082_7788903_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs292.snc3/28237_405909994460_526799460_4164083_3829330_n.jpg (broken link)

http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs312.snc3/28237_405910004460_526799460_4164085_1931182_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs322.ash1/28237_405910039460_526799460_4164087_6897287_n.jpg (broken link)

http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs312.snc3/28237_405910044460_526799460_4164088_4141002_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs292.snc3/28237_405910064460_526799460_4164090_4349699_n.jpg (broken link)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs292.snc3/28237_405900464460_526799460_4163864_7278535_n.jpg (broken link)
I need to know how to take this picture better. I don't think this photo shows it's real beauty.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Venice, Fl
1,497 posts, read 3,198,731 times
Reputation: 1419
I think the photos of the kids are great. The covered bridge looking thing would be a really nice shot but it looks like you were shooting into the sun, try to shoot with the sun at your back. The peacock doesnt do much for me because of the pavers and fence behind it, I prefer animals to look like they are in the wild as much as possible. If the lighting were better the peacock shot would have been better. I think the kis photos are your best from these, the ones in the tree are great.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Murika
2,526 posts, read 2,724,907 times
Reputation: 1924
Alright - all too often people ask for criticism or tips but are really not very interested. However, I see that you actually put thought into composition and that tells me that you might be genuinely interested in getting some ideas.

I'll run through the pics from the top and quickly tell you what comes to my mind when I look at them. I don't mean to sound short or harsh but you posted 20 pics and thus, I'll keep it short an to the point.

1.) Too much pavement - crop some of it out, both bottom and right of pic.

2.) Great op for vanishing point. However, you shot only draws the line along one dimension - into the pic. You would improve the shot by creating a bit more lateral movement, in this case probably from left (front) to right (distance).

3.) Again great potential, but there is nothing that really attracts the eye. I would have focused on one single lit lantern with a large aperture to blur the background

4.) Interesting shot, great angle - I would enhance contrast a bit.

5.) With animals such as this, the focus should either highlight the head or the pattern.

6.) Too much empty pavement. Also, the kid is too close to the railing to properly feature him. Could have improved the shot by having him in the center of the bridge.

7.) Too much empty space to the left of the bird - crop it out.

8.) Frog gets a little lost with so much around it - you don't need all that if you want to feature the frog. Leave the two green plants, or the rocks to the left, but not both.

9.) Horn is missing.

10.) Good - perhaps place the front a little off center (2/3 rule).

11.) Love it!

12.) Fine.

13.) Nice idea - but back shots rarely work unless you can feature what the person is looking at as well.

14.) Nice - make sure you don't cut off tips of signs in this case (Zuri Natl. Park). Enhance contrast.

15.) Cut empty space up front - enhance contrast.

16.) Nice - cut empty space.

17.) Could have taken one step to the right to give some more space on the right of the boy and make the shot a bit more symmetrical.

18.) Okay, but bot interesting.

19.) Cut the horns of the top of the head...Partially blocked giraffe is distracting.

20.) Okay - don't even mind that the horns are cut off because the main focus are the eyes, the snout, and the long neck.

21.) Part of the flank is missing!

22.) Nice bird but crappy background.

Overall, I think you do very well at photographing people in black and white (I suck at it!). Just pay attention to how much empty space you include in your shot - unless you specifically want it to highlight some vastness of space, it really doesn't add anything to the picture - it takes away from it. Also, some of your shots lack contrast, especially the B&W pictures. If you set contrast on your camera a bit higher, you should get better results. Make sure your settings only apply to B&W, though. Otherwise, do some quick post-processing where necessary.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:07 PM
 
Location: MI
71 posts, read 260,465 times
Reputation: 120
Wow - Great advice! I guess I never realized how much empty space I take. However on some of them, I really liked how the pavement created the vanishing point, so I'll have to figure out how to work on that w/o going overboard. I agree w/ both of the comments you and Old Man Winter made on the white peacock, the background isn't pretty. If you had an overcast day such as we had, how would you set your camera up so it made the bird more radiant like it was in real life?? I completely agree w/ the contrast comments - I'll fix those up.

I'm stumped that you guys didn't drill me on the garbage can in the bridge picture though LOL. It's been bugging me every time I look at it.

Thank you so much, this is such a rewarding hobby!! I'd love to go professional after I get some classes in.
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Venice, Fl
1,497 posts, read 3,198,731 times
Reputation: 1419
The garbage can bothered me as well Chippery, I would have shot from another angle or cropped it out. There will always be things like that in the way and there is little you can do. The white peacock pic could be fixed if you shoot RAW. The RAW editing software would allow you to adjust the exposure.
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,434 posts, read 14,792,094 times
Reputation: 12382
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippery View Post
If you had an overcast day such as we had, how would you set your camera up so it made the bird more radiant like it was in real life??
Overcast isn't necessarily bad lighting. With direct sunlight, you get way too much contrast between highlights and shadows. Especially with a white subject, you could easily blow out the highlights. The issue with the lighting on the last one is more the fact that it looks like you're in a dark area and it also looks underexposed. I agree the background isn't flattery - also, don't shoot from above, try to get on ground level with the animal. Get closer or zoom in if you can - we don't necessarily need to see the entire bird to see it's beauty. Fill the frame with the bird. Like this, for example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jzakariya/2480045367/ (broken link) - then it doesn't really matter what your background is. Also note the lighting looks overcast in this picture too.

Quote:
I'm stumped that you guys didn't drill me on the garbage can in the bridge picture though LOL. It's been bugging me every time I look at it.
I don't think anyone drilled you about it because you already acknowledged it as a fault. No need to point out stuff you already spotted!

I'm not sure what you mean by blur issue - the one in the tree just looks like you miss the focus point slightly.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:14 AM
 
83,508 posts, read 81,011,850 times
Reputation: 59502
i have learned to love those dreary overcast days.. if you set your camera right the colors can really pop.... its like having a huge lighting diffuser up above.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Murika
2,526 posts, read 2,724,907 times
Reputation: 1924
As someone already mentioned, an overcast sky does not necessarily mean bad light. In some instances, you can think of it as one giant diffuser that results in rather soft light. If the light is really not to my liking, I find that B&W works quite well for me. I tend to combine the use of B&W with a shot that is a lot tighter, focusing only on essentials and foregoing sweeping views. IF I do want some sky in the picture, I find it helpful to use a red filter to enhance the contrast. I suppose you could apply one in PS and even make it gradual so that the sky gets transformed from a bleak gray into in impressive sky with a bit of "texture."

I think this might work for you as well, given that I think that B&W is already something you have an eye for.

Re: the garbage can. I was actually not bothered by it. I suppose it depends on what you are trying to convey and on how the viewer of your image can relate to your creation. For me, the image was not so much that of a bucolic landscape with a little kid thrown in. Rather, I saw it as a day in a park (or zoo) and a fact of life in such situations are human artifacts, such as trash cans.

You have a garbage can in the peacock/flag picture as well - and again, I am not bothered by it.

I am actually more bothered by the fence in the second to last picture, by the little giraffe semi hidden "under" the big giraffe, and the missing horn on that bull. Those are imperfections in your framing that could have easily been avoided. The garbage cans can be avoided as well, but doing so would have impacted the angle and perspective of your shot, thereby creating a completely different image. Hence, I deem them much less relevant.
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Old 06-23-2010, 04:31 AM
 
83,508 posts, read 81,011,850 times
Reputation: 59502
on those dreary overcast days we try not to include sky and use those days to shoot objects or pieces of things......the diffused shadow free light is excellent.

on those blue sky white cloud days we include everything ...
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:34 PM
 
Location: MI
71 posts, read 260,465 times
Reputation: 120
You all have pointed out some great things for me to keep working on. I really do appreciate it!!!

Vamos - Your red filter idea is interesting. Can't say I've ever done that. Time to research it!
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