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Thread: Critique and tips request

  1. #1
    Dukatum's Avatar
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    Critique and tips request

    Hi all,

    I'm new to CiC and new to photography. I brought my Nikon D7000 (with 18-105mm) at the beginning of January, and before that I was sharing my girlfriends D5100 that we brought in November.

    I've seen some great feedback that others have got on their post, and hoping you might share some on my early learning pictures.
    I've read a lot in the last month, and I try to shoot as much as possible in manual so that I have to think about what my exposure settings are and why I decided on their settings. Interestingly one of the most difficult things I am trying to get to grips with, is the rules of 3rds. I know what it is, but remembering to put it into practice is often something I miss in the moment of composing my shots.

    I haven't found my favourite type of subject yet and seem to enjoy most things, apart from photographing food (which my girlfriend loves) I just eat that

    I would be really greatful of any feedback, suggestions and constructive critique of what are currently my 3 favourite pictures to date

    Shot on new years day.
    _dsc0124.jpg

    I like this shot, but nothing really stands out for me for a "wow" factor.
    rwa_0315_1.jpg

    Although I know this didn't really follow the rules of 3rd's, I am actually pleased with the front and back bokeh in this image.
    The image it self was taken in Covent Garden in London, a BHF display.
    rwa_0546_v2_1.jpg

    Many thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Critique and tips request

    Hi Rob,

    I'm new to CiC and new to photography. I brought my Nikon D7000 (with 18-105mm) at the beginning of January, and before that I was sharing my girlfriends D5100 that we brought in November.
    So now you just 'fight' over lenses

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have you (both?) here.

    I've seen some great feedback that others have got on their post, and hoping you might share some on my early learning pictures.
    OK, I'll try ...

    #1 is almost a square crop, I suspect, from a shot taken in landscape orientation?

    If I had been there and shooting this at the wide angle of 18mm, I would hold the camera in portrait orientation and keep it level, the benefit of the latter is to reduce or eliminate the converging verticals.

    I also wonder about the inclusion of the woman in the foreground?
    Perhaps taken a few seconds earlier, when we could have seen more of her?
    Or after she had passed?
    The others are obviously watching something and the woman is, I guess, just passing by.


    With #2 I am wondering if the tripod(?) was level, the ground may slope, but it feels wrong somehow.

    but nothing really stands out for me for a "wow" factor.
    What was the subject?
    Was it the foreground object? (a tree stump?) - ideally I'd like to have seen the front edge of it.
    If that was the subject, it doesn't have much of the total area devoted to it, does it?


    #3 I don't really feel qualified to comment; I can never usually make this kind of 'busy' shot work myself, so I'll limit myself to suggesting that having sharp things that are equally as bright as the subject, especially on the edge of the frame is usually a distraction that draws the eyes away from the subject. If you cannot deal with it at the time of shooting, try with PP.

    Hope that helps,

  3. #3
    Dukatum's Avatar
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    Re: Critique and tips request

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for your time. Some really good points there that I hadn't actually considered, or just simply not spotted.

    Picture 1 was indeed originally landscape. Is it generally considered better to try and keep the original aspect ratio of a picture?

    With out the cropping it holds a lot of messy "extras" on the right side, that lady walking through was not planned either, but unfortunately at this time I was so excited by this shot I didn't stick around to try and re-take it without her. Patience behind the camera is something I'm learning, and to properly review the images in the LCD

    I recognise (especially after your commments) that I'm not paying enough attention to the full composition.

    Regarding the converging verticles, I shall try to keep the camera level and parallel to the buildings. I have just had a play in post processing but noticed that correcting perspective in the software tends to mean you are cropping some of your picture. I'm feeling a bit crop happy right now

    Picture 2: Yep the log is the subject. I think when I first saw the scene on my way home, I had hoped I could somehow have the log lead into the line of trees.
    I've just straightened the picture on my local copy, I hadn't considered this even though it's very obvious. Thanks.

    Picture 3: I wonder if you may help me to understand this a bit please. Is the image too sharp away from the main two hearts in the centre? I think because I "know the shot" and what I was aiming to do, I find my eyes just going where I want. I wonder if I am better off no viewing/post processing a picture so soon after taking it, try to forgetting about it to see if I can come at it with fresh eyes. Or it's just because I lack experience.

    Many thanks Dave, sorry for my long reply.

  4. #4

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    Re: Critique and tips request

    With #3, Rob, I think I would try cropping to a different size ratio so as to lose some of the out of focus right side. Maybe 5 x 4 ratio.

    So the sharpest area would appear near the right side fading into the left hand distance.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Critique and tips request

    Hi Rob,

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukatum View Post
    Many thanks Dave, sorry for my long reply.
    Taking the last point first, no worries;
    I tend to do that
    That's how you'll learn quicker

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukatum View Post
    Picture 1 was indeed originally landscape. Is it generally considered better to try and keep the original aspect ratio of a picture?
    Not necessarily - just that if the composition looks like it might end up square anyway, you have a choice. The more important thing is (generally) to keep it level. As you have discovered, doing it later can be impossible/difficult if the framing was tight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukatum View Post
    Picture 3: I wonder if you may help me to understand this a bit please. Is the image too sharp away from the main two hearts in the centre?
    It was the bright (and secondarily; sharp) half a disk and padlocks at the bottom of frame that distract attention. The 'fore and aft' focus softening (bokeh) is nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukatum View Post
    I think because I "know the shot" and what I was aiming to do, I find my eyes just going where I want. I wonder if I am better off not viewing/post processing a picture so soon after taking it, try to forgetting about it to see if I can come at it with fresh eyes. Or it's just because I lack experience.
    Yes and No; if you know what you were aiming for, then go for it. Other times, it can help to take a break and come back to something later with fresh eyes.

    Cheers,

  6. #6
    Dukatum's Avatar
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    Re: Critique and tips request

    Thanks for your help Dave. I'll be immediately putting it into use tomorrow when I head to Brick Lane to get some shots of the market and artwork on the walls. Maybe passing through China town for their new year party to

  7. #7
    amlandas's Avatar
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    Re: Critique and tips request

    Hi,

    I am also new to photography. Even want to share my little Knowledge(which i have acquired from different source). Please correct me if i am wrong in any point..

    Pic 1---First, I am agree with Dave(I also wonder about the inclusion of the woman in the foreground?). Second, u could have taken the shot keeping some space towards your left as u have mentioned earlier(With out the cropping it holds a lot of messy "extras" on the right side)..Third, could have been taken with your knees down(at a much lower angle)

    Pic 2--- First, too much light seen in the foreground. Second, as u have mentioned(I had hoped I could somehow have the log lead into the line of trees.)..in that case you should be standing right from your main subject..so that the tip of the log can be seen more clearly and will look like a line leading to the trees...

    Pic 3--- I am agree with Dave in his comment( especially on the edge of the frame is usually a distraction that draws the eyes away from the subject.)

    Thank You,

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