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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 22 Nov 2014 (Saturday) 07:06
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quinn231
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Nov 22, 2014 07:06 |  #1


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Hey everyone. I'm a newbie here and have lots to learn. I am posting 2 photos that I'd like for you to comment on. I shoot with a Cannon EOS T5i. Any advice/suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Martin ­ Dixon
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Nov 22, 2014 07:38 |  #2

Welcome! Another brave newbie jumping straight into the jaws of critique corner :)

#1 Love the subject & expression. I'd have had him a bit more to the left of frame, either closer in or further out to show the while instrument.The bright top of the lady is a bit distracting - better without her or toned down a bit in PP.

#2 not really working well for me: helicopter to camouflaged by background - is it better in colour?


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gonzogolf
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Nov 22, 2014 08:02 as a reply to  @ Martin Dixon's post |  #3

I love #1, but it would be better cropped to lose the woman's legs in the left background.

The white house photo is a nice capture but it isnt terribly exciting beyond the novelty of its subject. What I mean is the subject brings its own interest, but nothing you did (or could do) made this shot more interesting or visually pleasing than it is.

Since you presented 2 shots for critque and both were black and white I feel the need to warn you not to rely on that to make your photos interesting. Its a trap new photographers fall into. They take snapshots and use b&w, or color treatments to make them look different and think that different is enough. I feel thats what happened with the second shot. It isnt enhanced by being b&w, if anything something is lost. B&w is a great tool, but work on composition and finding interesting ways to present your subject to the viewer.




  
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quinn231
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Nov 22, 2014 08:56 |  #4

Martin Dixon thanks for your critique. Nothing ventured nothing gained right? I also was a little concerned about the camouflage of the white house picture. As for the little boy, I have several shots of him. I will review the others with your suggestions in mind. Thank you for taking the time to view and comment. I am a lover of photography and want to further my passion.




  
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quinn231
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Nov 22, 2014 09:03 |  #5

Gonzogolf Thanks for the suggestions/advice. It's odd that you mentioned both photos in black and white. You are right, I rarely use it but thought maybe it would enhance the subject in both of these pics. I appreciate your honesty. I would like to post some additional color photos in the future for critique. I would like for you to view them as well. Thanks again.




  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 22, 2014 09:51 |  #6

quinn231 wrote in post #17286847 (external link)
Gonzogolf Thanks for the suggestions/advice. It's odd that you mentioned both photos in black and white. You are right, I rarely use it but thought maybe it would enhance the subject in both of these pics. I appreciate your honesty. I would like to post some additional color photos in the future for critique. I would like for you to view them as well. Thanks again.

Post em here if you like or give us a link here to the new thread when you do. I look forward to seeing them.




  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 22, 2014 17:39 as a reply to  @ post 17287525 |  #7

(Edit there were images above this post when I replied, now one of them is below)
The flower shot is nice enough but the shallow depth of field is overdone here.

I really like the second shot. You've made great use of leading lines and light and shadow to draw the viewer in. Good job. My only pet peeve is you are a self proclaimed newby yet you have a watermark that implies a business.




  
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quinn231
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Nov 22, 2014 17:41 |  #8

Ok here are a few color pics.


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quinn231
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Nov 22, 2014 23:34 |  #9

Thanks gonzogolf. I did post the pics but then removed the flower pic and replaced it with a silhouette picture instead. I can assure you, I have never sold a single picture. My goal is to eventually have business which is why I joined this forum. I am looking to further my skill set. I watermark all of my photos because they are my original work and therefore I advertise that. Not to mention it protects my images from being used without my permission.




  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 22, 2014 23:58 |  #10

quinn231 wrote in post #17288062 (external link)
Thanks gonzogolf. I did post the pics but then removed the flower pic and replaced it with a silhouette picture instead. I can assure you, I have never sold a single picture. My goal is to eventually have business which is why I joined this forum. I am looking to further my skill set. I watermark all of my photos because they are my original work and therefore I advertise that. Not to mention it protects my images from being used without my permission.

I get watermarking, but your name would just as effective than crediting a non existant business.




  
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sirquack
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Nov 24, 2014 08:11 |  #11

Quinn, you are going to see a lot images here and elsewhere with watermarks, some of mine included. But I learned over time, the WM is not really that big of a deal. People will steal your images even with a WM. And more importantly in my case, the images I thought I was protecting were not worth stealing anyway.
You are protected even without a watermark, and most people here, rightfully have a somewhat lower view of the use of watermarks.


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quinn231
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Nov 24, 2014 13:25 as a reply to  @ sirquack's post |  #12

Thanks for the info sirquack. I suppose everyone has their quirks. Water mark no watermark, name of photographer, or what have you. I posted here to get some feedback on my images. For example....Technique, lighting, composition. So far, seems like water marking has been more of the topic of conversation. Not that I don't appreciate that info as well, I would Just really like to avoid the debate that goes along with it. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and for shedding some light on previous remarks.




  
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sandpiper
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Nov 24, 2014 15:17 as a reply to  @ quinn231's post |  #13

Hi.

I love the way that you captured the kid in the first shot, great expression with the concentration on his face and it "tells a story", which is a good thing. It is a well seen and captured character shot.

On the negative side, your subject is plum centre in the image, with the instrument going out of frame. The left half of the image is irrelevant to the story and filled with half a woman which is very distracting, placing the kid over to the left hand edge would remove most of the woman (and you could easily clone out what is left) as well as bringing the whole instrument in. I also find the wheel in an unfortunate position as the eyes go first to the kids face, then follow the leading line of the instrument horn straight to the wheel and stop. The horn opening should be the focal point at that end of the leading line, but it is competing with the wheel for attention. If you could have found a better background that would have been good, or moved around a little and just had the vehicles bodywork behind him (waiting for the woman to move out of the way).

Of course, this is street photography and backgrounds cannot always be perfect, I don't know what else was around and maybe other angles would be worse. A clean background, or a very busy one putting the kid in an environmental context would be ideal. As it stands there are three things in the scene (kid, wheel and woman) all competing for attention. Two of those three add nothing to the story or the context of the shot, and the old adage is "if it doesn't add, it detracts", so is generally best left out of (or removed from) the image.

The watch is fine, it is part of who the kid is, part of his story, but I would try and tone down the reflection on the face of it, as bright patches draw the eye and possibly a little too much in this case.

I am afraid the helicopter shot does nothing for me, the head on angle of the chopper is uninteresting and it is unfortunate that it is sitting on top of the fountain of water, like a ping pong ball at a fairground rifle range. It looks like a water main has fractured beneath it and it has been squirted into the air, which kills the actual story. I don't see what is happening, but what appears to be happening. The watermark in this image is particularly distracting, as it is placed in such a manner that it becomes a key part of the image and competes with the helicopter for the role of main subject.

The silhouette shot is also uninteresting as there is too much black area at the bottom and a large amount of sky with little going on. The silhouette is also out of focus. A more detailed silhouette, sharp and in focus, against a less bland sky would work well. There is one significant band of cloud (or contrail?) which gets attention but it is bisected by two chimneys and appears to end inside the third one, as it doesn't come out the other side. More carefull positioning of that cloud band, along with careful editing to bring out the other, fainter, bands of cloud would improve the sky. Removal of the bottom third of the image, which is all solid black and adds nothing, would focus more attention on the detail in the upper part of the silhouette.

The fourth image is a good shot but again let down by a couple of points., I like the way you used the archway to frame it at the top and right hand side, that was well seen and used. I find the shallow depth of field awkward though, as the only sharp part of the image is the very first lamp making that, logically, the subject of the image. However, that lamp is at the start of one of two leading lines (the lamps and the patches of light on the floor) which immediately take the eye and draw the viewer into the image. Unfortunately both leading lines take the eye straight to an uninteresting window at the far end and leave the viewer there. You really need a good strong focal point for those lines to lead TO. So, the eye is drawn quickly away from the sharp subject, the first lamp, and into an out of focus corridor and to an uninteresting window.

Had you used a small aperture, to give deep depth of field, that whole corridor of lamps and patches of sun would be part of the subject, not just the one lamp. That just leaves the needed focal point at the end of the eyes journey, and you could perhaps have got a local to stand or sit, doing something interesting, by the window. Then you would give the viewer an interesting frame to enter the picture (the arch) a journey along a reasonably sharp corridor of light and shadow, plus the hanging lamps, and where the leading lines converge, something to hold the attention. I would also try and add a little more to that left hand edge as the leading lines end perilously close to going off the side. If there is only a little more of that window, I would have included the whole thing.

I hope that this doesn't sound too critical, the shots show good potential and are quite good, however I have tried to give some idea of how I feel they might be improved, and also to give you something to think about when composing shots. This is of course just my opinion and others may well see things differently,




  
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Nov 24, 2014 15:26 |  #14

I love the capture of the little guy looking so intense in the 1st shot! A square crop will get rid of the woman on the left.


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Nov 24, 2014 15:34 |  #15

No worries Quinn. I just wanted to let you know it will likely be a recurring theme, especially if you post to the critique section often.
I really like what you were able to get in the first photo. As others have said, it would be better if you had gotten the whole instrument in the shot. And if you had placed the young man to the left side of the frame. But the fact that you got him really blowing the horn, is a great capture.
I wish the first one had the helicopter above the white house instead of in the middle of the building. But frankly I am surprised you even got that shot, as I am pretty sure they don't like people take pictures of that particular building for security purposes. But I don't hit the east coast very often, so I am just glad to see the building in something other than text books.
For the silhouette shot, I just don't get anything. Yes it is true silhouette, but the shot is dead center, and the shapes of the dark items are not particularly interesting. If there were some more interesting outlines in the mix, or something that we could recognize other than the top of a building, it might give me a different view.
The hallway on the other hand, love the shot. It might have been better with a subject either in the foreground or background to draw you with the leading lines, but still a strong shot either way.


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