Helpful Posts: 0
22nd January 2009, 10:32 AM
My friends and I wanted to shoot, so we shot eachother A friend was generous enough to let me use his 30d. What a night and day difference from what I'm used too! This was my first foray into shooting people and I must say it's the funnest. A lot goes in to catching a moment.
I did some pp on these so let me hear absolute first thoughts. I've got my ideas about them, let me hear yours.
btw, i switched over to MS skydrive. Hopefully there are no problems linking. As for the linking, I exported these out of LR so they're a little large, which is why i've only given the links. If this is too annoying please let me know...
22nd January 2009, 11:25 AM
my son tends to have the sort of stubble in no 10; somewhat mis-phases with his happy smoothy drooly son at 9 months, but I find 'colour noise reduction' quite effective in giving a virtual shave.
22nd January 2009, 11:29 AM
Looks like you had a lot of fun
Just be aware though that with very fast glass like that - if you use it wide-open (or close to it) - you end up with a VERY shallow depth of field, which can be "artistic", but it can also "bite you in the bum".
Other than that, I did wonder why some images were especially soft (eg the closeup of the lady, and the other showing her from a distance - just wondering what sharpening you've applied? With shot 13 I tried quite an agressive USM of 250% / 1.5 pixels and although it broke a few small parts of the image, it seemed to improve it considerably when displayed full screen on a 14 in monitor (with reading glasses on!) - so it might be something you'd like to experiment more with?
23rd January 2009, 06:54 PM
You've posted quite a group of different images here and asked for first thoughts, so here goes, I hope you find them helpful.
#1; I find my eye is lead out of frame left by the low retaining wall and there is a little too much blurry foreground for my taste. Although perhaps a cliche; a tighter crop losing 15% from bottom and 20-25% from left would produce a nice image. I also find the bright green bag is an unnecessary distraction. I quite like the selective softness on this one.
#2; Compositionally not bad, perhaps needing a little more contrast?
#3 (5); I think you've deliberately tried to break the rule of thirds here, it might work a little better if the bright background object to the left of the subject was significantly toned down or cloned out, the image then achieves a balance between the bright subject and the conical pillar in the upper right background.
#4 (7); This is pretty good; if it were mine I'd take 10% off both left and right sides, making a square crop, this would improve composition and simplify the background. I like the grain, exposure and focus, gives a contemplative image.
#5 (9); Sorry, I'm just not sure what the subject is here, the yellow flowers are a bit too far right and not occupying enough percentage of the screen area to qualify. Cropping a lot off the left just doesn't improve it for me, too much out of focus then.
#6 (10); Again, this doesn't do anything for me, although there is a balance between the white bloom and the burnt out sky in the opposite corner; however, since both are out of focus, I'm not sure what the subject is.
Mind you, there may still be a market for images such as the previous two, e.g. for book or magazine covers where "copy" will be placed over the large bland out of focus areas.
#7 (11); Just too much overlapping contrasts here, although the main subject is reasonably sharp, the one immediately behind it spoils its isolation and the rest of the background leads the eyes on a merry dance trying to figure it all out.
#8 (12); Composition is reasonable, if only the out of focus chap in the background was a little further away and adopting the same pose as Obama, there would have been something to tie the two elements together.
#9 (13); Probably my favourite of the 10 shots, I like the (almost) horizontal eye line between the 'model' and the 'photographer' and the background angle that has resulted from this. An extra 30 pixels on the right hand edge would have joined the photographers head to his body, but this is quite a minor point. Focus on the woman seems a little too far back, judged by the brick wall and the hair on her far shoulder being the sharpest, I now note it is the same with the camera, the photog's furthest hand is sharper. Other than that I might have taken down the brightness and saturation of the two most prominent (distracting) objects in the background, but only by 10 - 20%, it needs to stay light.
#10 (15); Fairly standard portrait, white balance too cool, looks like you've cropped/composed to get the subject;s left eye dead centre of frame. There's a lot of dead wall as a result of the landscape format, but I could probably live with that.
In general, as Colin mentions, they are all verging towards soft.
On two or three there seems to be a distinct softening, purple halo around the woman's white jacket, not sure if this is attributable to the (kit?) lens on the 30D.
Overall I'd say pay more attention to what's in the background and make sure focus is where it should be just as you take the picture.
As ever, the main thing is to have fun and achieve what you want to, I hope you did.
Thanks for posting, I always find analysing and commenting on other's work helps my photography too.
24th January 2009, 07:12 AM
This has been a hell of a last couple of days!! I was hoping to get to playing around with the suggestions I've received, but I guess that is saved for the weekend...
And as always you are all so generous with the time you put into your responses. Thanks, its real cool to see people interested in helping others get better at something.
I've had some chances to half-way mess around with the phots to see what you were all talking about.
criss - I tried applying noise reduction to the face to try your techniques out. I guess I don't quite get it. Perhaps you could explain more?
Colin - "bite you in the bum" - yea it did a lot actually. I had forgotten about the effects of aperture on the dof. I was using low iso and trying to make the stop happy. It seemed easier with the aperture wide open. There are times I like 'isolating' the subject using blurred backgrounds. But, after taking into account some of the other comments I've received and looking over other work, I can see how a well framed and thought out ( ie simplified) background can do even better.
I did apply usm to the shot 13 and see exactly what you are talking about. I also read some of your threads on the art of sharpening. I'm going to mess around with that more this weekend.
rusty - thanks for all the feedback. You've pointed out a lot I didn't even think mattered. I think what I can take most from your advice is to pay attention to the backgrounds. It seems I'm having what I imagine to taint most new photographers.
shot 1 - the bag now bugs me. I have to pull it out.
3 - I actually wasn't thinking about thirds on this one nor trying to break it. I guess in the back of my mind I found the same symmetry you did. I spent my focus on the girl and the stairs. Now that you mention it the background takes away from the effect I was trying to get.
The flowers were a total experiment. Like you said that stuff can have its place and I was playing around with trying to get it. I think I need to isolate the flower from everything else to achieve this effect. What I saw in #5 was explosion. It seemed that the yellow flowers were shooting out of the lower right of the image. Perhaps there were just too many of them. I really dig #6 (the white bloom). Yea the focus needs to be readjusted. And maybe absolutely nothing else except for the bloom. I'm not sure, I have to play with this.
For the rest I think its a mix of what has been said... focus and background. This is real good. I'm excited to go get the next batch with all this in mind. Thanks again for the input.
24th January 2009, 08:05 AM
You're welcome sb,
Sorry for the delay, but with so many in one go, it took two sittings to finish the post. I did appreciate the large images though, thanks - it makes it so much easier to be more accurate with the critique.
On the focusing ...
The 'trap' I often fall into is to half depress (hence setting focus and exposure), I then do just one final little re-compose movement and if there's any back and forth sway* in this (altering camera subject distance), that's what spoils my focus. We can get away with it on wider angle/more stopped down shots, but it really ruins portrait or flower shots. I have so many nicely composed but not quite in focus flowers!
* I guess this is where I should learn my lesson and use a tripod for flower shots, it slows you right down, but makes you think more. I tend to go in the garden, find something nice and pop off a few handheld shots as a learning exercise (but I never learn)
Glad to be of help, Dave
24th January 2009, 08:40 AM
exactly! That's what hosed me. I would get the focus and then reposition to set the composure... and when i get home its out of focus. I was talking to a friend about this and he said that 'half-pressing' is the culprit here. But, we can reprogram the camera so that focus is a different button and it holds the settings as we shift about. I would say more but i need to experiment before i do.
- oh and yea that was a lot at once. Maybe next time i'll be more selective so that its more forgiving to respond to
Last edited by sbartell; 24th January 2009 at 08:42 AM.
24th January 2009, 08:53 AM
If possible, it's better to select an AF point that covers your desired focusing point than it is to use the centre AF point and recompose - especially with ultra-fast glass.
Originally Posted by sbartell