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Thread: 1st Attempts

  1. #1
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    1st Attempts

    Hi,

    I'm brand new to photography & DSLR's.
    Here are a couple of photo's I've taken.

    Welcome CONSTRUCTIVE criticism & how YOU would have taken them differently to make them better IMAGES.

    The 2nd has an overexposed sky (I think that's what you call it) - how would you remedy this.

    Thanks for taking the time to look,

    WTP
    Last edited by WannaTakePix; 7th August 2011 at 12:31 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    The Bending Tree

    [IMG]1st Attempts[/IMG]

    M Walkway

    1st Attempts[/IMG]

    No post processing done, I don't have any software to do this (Photoshop)
    These photo's were shot in JPEG, but I am now shooting everything in RAW.

    (Sorry still getting to grips with the site & how to post pics too)
    Last edited by WannaTakePix; 7th August 2011 at 02:44 AM. Reason: PP & shot in

  3. #3
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    The exposure in the first seems pretty good. Frankly, I think a more interesting or diverse subject is your best friend. I am still trying, with some success, to develop my "eye". It is hard but there is some good advice on this site. Try to get the basics down, rule of thirds, DOF, etc. Pay attention to the tutorials on this site. They really do a good job with some of the important aspects of photography. Other than that just keep shooting! Just keep posting. This site is the most friendly and constructive that I have found.
    Last edited by epmi314; 7th August 2011 at 01:21 AM.

  4. #4
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    The fact that you got two pics posted the first time should also be considered a wild success! I spend a ton of time in front of a computer and had some problems with it initially.

  5. #5
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    Lots of views, but no more comments...
    Last edited by WannaTakePix; 7th August 2011 at 02:07 AM.

  6. #6
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    I left comments!

  7. #7
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    Yes epmi314 you have, thank you.

  8. #8
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    I'll bite!

    First few things - Welcome. I am also an amatuer and have found this site very helpful for this sort of thing. I think also there is an unwritten rule that we go by 1st names to promote the sense of community. I'm sure one of the moderators will jump in here with more info.

    I would also recommend giving a bit more info that would help us help you. For example, what post processing have you done? What programs do you run (lightroom / photoshop / GIMP etc?), do you shoot in RAW or JPEG?

    In terms of my thoughts....

    Picture 1 - I reckon is an interesting composition. The photo seems to be in focus and reasonably sharp although it is hard to tell with the smaller picture size. I would think something like this would be an interesting conversion into B&W.

    Picture 2 - you are right, the sky is blown. Again, depending on your PP packages you could try to reduce the overall exposure or selectively reduce it through the sky. However, I didn't really get much out of the picture as such.

    General - further to 2, one bit of general advice that I have got on this site whenever I post pictures is "what message are you trying to convey" or similarly "what are you trying to tell the viewer". For example with the 2nd picture it just seems a picture of arches and there is no room for the viewer to form their own thoughts. Say if you were trying to convey a sense of choice about different paths to take, a different vantage point closer to the ground and a tighter crop around the path and arches would have maybe conveyed that message. As it stands, there doesn't seem much to draw the eye to. This is only one of a huge amount of different ways you could have gone.

    Hope this helps. Good luck and stick with it. I'm sure that this site will help you on your way. It certainly has for me.

  9. #9
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    Thanks for your feedback & advice Ricco,

    That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

  10. #10

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    Re: 1st Attempts

    If you don't have any post processing software, should you be shooting in RAW? My understanding is that the main reason for using RAW is that it allows the maximum flexibility with post processing, but without some intervention the pictures are inferior to JPEG shots that have had some in camera processing.

    Whilst your saving for the necessary software there are some free programs available, even Picassa includes some basic processing, though I don't know if it works with RAW.

  11. #11
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    Hi, and welcome to CiC. First, you may have noticed we're pretty much on a first name basis around here, so you may want to update your profile to include your first name. This is a bit different from the rest of the internet, where anonymous handles are the rule, so it may seem odd at first, but it grows on you. You do seem to have an eye for interesting subjects; now you just need lots of practice (and, alas, patience) in learning to photograph them... but don't worry, that's very normal (prodigies are rare).

    The first photo is the stronger of the two, but the light and the cropping are both unbalanced. The lower trunk is in shadow, essentially a silhouette, while the upper part of the tree is brightly lit. This makes the shot a bit confusing, since the numerous small branches growing from the trunk are interesting, but their significance is reduced by the larger and brightly lit part of the rest of the tree. The shot could be improved by making the entire tree a silhouette and cropping to balance the negative space around the tree, including the space at the top, the right of the frame, and the lower part of the image. The tops of the neighboring trees are a distraction, so I would try to find an angle to eliminate them completely, if possible. As it stands, the tops of these trees are incomplete, and irrelevant to the subject.

    The wooden block (or rock, or whatever it is) in the foreground of the second photo is definitely a big distraction. This object may have some significance if the viewer could tell what it is, and it were more centrally located, but in this shot, it simply pulls attention away from the arches and the pathway. In this photo you need tighter framing... there's too much space on the left, the angle is too high, and the arches are too distant. Personally, I think this shot might work better as B&W, since the tones, textures, and shapes are of much greater significance than color in this image. I also think the shot would benefit from better lighting... low-angle direct sunlight (if possible) would produce shadows, enhancing the contrast and making the path into the arched walkway more intriguing and interesting.

    Keep shooting, keep posting, and read comments made on photos others post here. There's much to learn from shots made by others, as well as your own. Above all, practice, practice, practice. You already have the two most important things... you enjoy what you're doing, and you want to learn.

  12. #12
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    Good luck WTp. It won't be long until you start looking at your own pictures and pulling them apart. I started out thinking I was sort of ok but looking back on my photos there were a lot of things technically wrong. Stick with it.

    I think only now I'm starting to get a better eye for what is wrong and even better figuring out what I should have done better or differently..

  13. #13
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    Re: 1st Attempts

    Hi Wannatakepix, You have a very interesting subject in the 1st shot owing to the shape of the tree and the unusual branches growing out of the trunk. There are several things you can do without post processing software but they will involve a reshoot.

    Knowing that you have a good subject, think about the weather and lighting. What kind of sky would enhance the image? The tree has a lot of detail so you don't want to have a sky that has too many clouds or is too dramatic, on the other hand, you don't want it to be this bland either. What about an early morning or late evening glow? That might help both the background and the color tones.

    The crop is too tight. Try backing off a bit and give the tree some room to grow. The bushes in the back are distracting. Is there a direction you could shoot from that doesn't include a distracting background? If not, another option might be to shoot from a very low angle.

    What would you see if you backed up far enough to shoot with the camera almost sitting on the ground? Take some time to look at the subject from all sides and angles then mentally sort through your observations and decide what composition you like best and why.

    Picture the subject in all kinds of weather. Would it look better in bright sun with a dusting of snow or a coating of ice? Do these leaves turn color in the fall? Once you have taken the time to observe and think about what you like to see the subject look like, you will be closer to being ready to press the shutter.

    If you are shooting RAW then you must have software to convert the RAW to JPG. Check it out and see what controls that software provides. You may have a lot more PP options than you think. Your operating system may have some basic photo software included. Also take the time to research free downloadable software. Even Photoshop and Lightroom have a free 30 day trial you can play with to get feel for what can be done.

    Finally, look closely at the winning pictures in the Mini Competitions, decide what makes them winners and experiment with trying to duplicate that look and feel. Above all, explore the wonders of photography, play at it enthusiastically, and HAVE FUN!

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