I quite like that Carol, how was it lit?
The background blue almost suggests moonlight
Believe it or not Dave I shot this in the morning under a bright blue sky!
I would appreciate C&C. Thanks!
I like this also Carol. The only thing I might suggest is a softer edge to the vignette.
Overall I do like the composition and the lighting but there are a couple of things which will refine the finish of the image.
1. The foliage at the top left of the image is a distraction. I use the gardeners tip and deploy a strand of tights material (hose in the US?) it is very gentle on stems and leaves and you only need a loose slip knot to keep unwanted foliage out of the way.
2. I may be wrong but it looks as if the vignette has been applied PP. I am not sure it works too well here since the brightness and detail of the bloom are striking enough for ones eye to be drawn in without the aid of the vignette. It complicates what should be a beautifully simple image
3. I love the background colour but it needs a little attention with the clone and/or smudge tool to get a more uniform texture
4. A little bit of dodging on the stem head (Rob will be able to supply the correct botanical term. I think stem head may be a nautical term for the WC).
Well you did ask for C&C
PS. Do not be afraid to give critical C&C on other peoples images on the forum (even Colin's and Rob's ) it really helps to develop your own technique by studying what you like and dislike in other photographer's images
Thanks so much Steve, I'll try not to be so shy, It's kinda awkward when one is as inexperienced as myself e.g. making comments especially on Colin or Rob's or Dave's work, what does one say, for me anyway, other than I like it or great shot, you know what I mean!
Very nice, Carol. I agree with other comments and I think the key is the extra foliage to the left. if you can clone that out, or blur it substantially, I think that will help the focus a lot. Softer vignette would be nice, as well. Maybe also try a blue frame, or white frame with blue stripe outside, to contain the vignette, and pick up the deep blue?
Much appreciated Rick.
Your shot - I think the petals are too bright, and as Steve said, the foliage on the left is rather intrusive. It's quite hard shooting flowers from underneath as it's difficult to get a good composition. I like the background blue. What lens are you using? And how was this lit?
Steve - I think the nautical toilet things are 'sepals' but my botanist-in-residence is not here at the moment. She said she was going out to find fresh victims before sun-up (no smilie available for that one)
And it's easy to say 'don't feel that way', but much harder to put it into practice - because we all feel that sense of not wanting to seem as if we don't know what we're talking about. At this point, unfortunately, some of us have to acknowledge that, indeed, most of the time we don't know what we're talking about!!
For me, part of the confidence-boosting was in understanding that by making the move to posting my (hopefully) constructive criticism, I was also learning. By forcing myself to assess and analyse what I thought was good, bad or indifferent, I was obliged to discover why I thought that. And that meant studying the images much more closely - What was working, or not?
And that, I think, is how we best learn from each other. And one of the strengths of this site over some others, is that I genuinely think that we're up for having criticism (as long as it's constructive) made of our images. By genuine, I mean that we're not posting asking for criticism in the hope/expectation that people are just going to say nice things. Most of us are old enough that we've been round the course a few times, and are stupid enough to not let too much get to us.
I comment when I feel my changes would make a significant difference in the over-all picture. This is because it is all art and I would never tell Picasso that he should straighten up his characters.
There are small things which can be done to any photograph to make it more of a picture to the person looking at it. Some you will agree with. However, make sure you do agree before you go off blindly following all advice given here. The final result has to be "right" to you. If we suggest something and you don't like it upon trying, toss that suggestion into the back of the drawer to try on a different photograph. In the end, you are the only who really has to like, dislike, love or hate any one of your shots. The technique of taking a photograph is found in the camera manual. The picture is the one behind your eyeballs. That is what you are trying to capture and convey to others.
That said, your comments on photographs here are more than welcome. The very fact that you are learning is, sometimes, more effective than those from us who have been around awhile. We tend to get a bit set in our ways and a fresh outlook is sometimes needed to get us to freshen up a bit.
(Yes, I know there is a smilie up there.)
Pops - well said. Just a couple of points. People should always check their sources, be it website information, books, TV documentaries, and of course comments from others about your shots. You should always ask yourself the question "Who is this person, why are they saying it, and how valid is their information/comment?" Opinions/advice are just that - opinions and advice. It's always useful to listen to what others say, but there are plenty of armchair generals around!
Your point aboutis very valid, but there are one or two of us here that sell work, and as such it may be important to know what works for others, even if it doesn't work for you. The problem there of course is you are in danger of starting to produce stuff that other people like and you don't - a bit like wedding photography.the final result has to be "right" to you.
Carol, I'm in the same boat as you - I generally feel that I can like or not like someone's work, but don't always know why. And when I do know, part of me says who the hell am I to criticise or praise another's work, rank amateur that I am? But those guys are right - we can only develop a sense of what is good, bad or indifferent by consciously analysing an image and that ability is just as much part of the growth curve as improving our image taking is.
The thing that I really value about CiC is that the people here are genuine in their interest. They give feedback of the best kind, the kind that actually makes you want to take the camera out and try again, rather than biff it into the back of the closet.
Absolutely Kit, I agree.
I'm not canceling my subscription to Knave and the Sun for anyone...I'm not that serious about photographyGet a magazine or quality newspaper,
Seriously though this is a good idea and I find myself doing this more and more often. Critique is not about offending people or trashing their work it is about lending another set of eyes and another view point. As someone said above you can take it or leave it because at the end of the day it really is what pleases you. When I started posting on forums I have to admit to getting wound up sometimes. My posts were in two categories (three if you count shamelessly hijacking sheep posts)
1. Posting images that I was boyishly proud of
2. Posting images that I really did not sit right in my own mind
No1 usually gets the best critique because whilst I convinced myself that the image was the best thing since Elliot Landy's Jim Morrion snaps in reality I was too close and the image and my head is projected a concept onto the output that really is not there. Once I got over the fact that not everyone had my same boyish glee over what I managed to produce the comments helped me no end. I never adjust that particular image in line with comments though...that would be like painting the Forth Bridge. But, I do try to take the learning into my next shoot.
No2 Is a bit like repeatedly trapping your fingers in the piano lid. Lets face it if YOU have doubts what is the point in asking for reassurance from others. I still do this from time to time. This is because my brain is still unwilling to admit defeat...but it is happening less and I sling far more images at the RAW conversion stage than I used to.
I sometimes get frustrated with the C&C that just says "nice work" (not on my own stuff obviously....thats fine) but actually when I think about it when I study most images on this forum I do empathise with what people are trying to achieve. No I don't go a bunch on perfect portraits and yes long exposure landscapes with misty waters get on my goat but that is a failing in myself not in the photographer presenting the work. There are (probably too many) 'rules' in photography and it is easy to whip the rule book out and thrash the young hopeful over the head with it. People here do not do that. So I am forming the opinion that the "nice work' appraisal on this forum is very valid because it says "yes I could count every pixel and measure the application of the thirds rule with a theodolite, but actually I kind of like what you are doing."
Rob first: That is a good idea and one I hadn't considered. We kind of expect pros to consistently produce 'good' work, but maybe that's a wrong perception.
And, mate - you have a '1x'. Good one. I have been watching that site for a while.
Steve:I have to put my hand up to that one, but as beginner photogs and critics, often all we know is what we like, not why we like. Learning to be a bit more analytical is, I guess, as much a skill as learning to take better images, whatever that might be.I sometimes get frustrated with the C&C that just says "nice work"