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Thread started 23 Apr 2017 (Sunday) 21:34
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Critique

 
Corban227
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Apr 23, 2017 21:34 |  #1

Hey Guys,

Looking for thoughts and feedback. Don't need smoke blown up my ass ;). Criticism/how would you have edited or taken the shot differently

Looking for tips/comments on:

Postprocessing
Composition
Lighting

Thanks!


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Apr 23, 2017 22:52 |  #2

Image #1.
PP. It looks fine, i wouldn't mind seeing a little bit more vibrance for a little bit more color in the background. The eyes are a little bit over processed, but not horrible.

Composition: You used the rule of thirds well, but i wonder if there would be a more interesting background if you had taken the image from the other side of her, if this was even a possibility.

Lighting: It is a flat light as i see that you were in open shade. This is good lighting and you got a bit of catch light in her eyes.

#2.
PP. It looks like you were trying to make sure that the girl in color was the main focus of the photograph. This PP certainly did this. There is some color bleeding of red on other people that i would try to mask out in Photoshop or gimp etc. My main issue whit the PP is that selective coloring is really kitchy and only really works well in about 1 of 1,000 images. Every one tries it, but if you ask most photogs, it should never be used. If the image can't stand on its own, this doesn't fix it.

Composition: It looks as though you were going for the rule of thirds with her as the focus. I think the composition would have been stronger if she could have been in the middle of the three people (perhaps with others behind or to the sides and out of focus) as this isn't really a portrait, but more of a candid. The dead space on camera right with out any people detracts from the image. Sometimes you just take what you can get. It would have been nice, if you are always snapping pictures and if you know the people, you can probably get by with moving people a little bit.

Lighting: The bright spot on her back is a little distracting, but it helps that her face is in full shadow and not dappled light.

Just keep shooting!


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Corban227
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Apr 23, 2017 23:18 as a reply to  @ Micro5797's post |  #3

Thanks =)

Portrait
Sometimes with these, I am moving so fast, the best pictures don't always have the best backgrounds. But I see what you mean or sure

Candid Group
This was the only selective coloring I did out of the entire batch. I reprocessed the photo.

Photo 1: the original Photo taken. Only kept the color and lighting corrections. Removed all sharpness and clarity effects added via brush

Photo 2:
I made some of the suggested edits:

Put the saturation back in
Left the drop in sharpness to create a false DOF


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F2Bthere
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Apr 24, 2017 00:21 |  #4

The first things which strike me:

1. The woman in the first image does not look comfortable. I think expression and emotion are more important than anything else.

2. The cropping is awkward. Cropping at joints looks unnatural. In both images, you have cropped your primary subject at a fairly wide part of the body. This makes them look heavier. Almost no woman will want that. Crop where the body narrows. Ideally, you want to do this cropping with how you frame your shot, but it can also be done after.

3. You mention that you are moving so fast. I get that real (not posed) situations change quickly. You want to start building the habit of identifying backgrounds and moving yourself in positions to take advantage of them as the situation unfolds. Same goes for good light. You have to anticipate what will work and do your best to anticipate the moment. And be patient. You sometimes need to wait for the shot.

4. This will sound like I am contradicting the last thing I said :). You need to work very persistently. Don't take just one shot. Keep working as long as you can. This doesn't mean 40 shots in a minute. Be patient for the shot but be relentless in looking for it. And trust your instinct. Many times, by the time you realize it's there, it is gone. But your instinct will kick in. So, within a good background with good light, explore different angles. How can you bring attention to your subject by where you place your camera? Keep searching after you find a good answer for an even better answer.

5. Be ruthless with your pictures. If it's "good but..." move on and take another till it is just "good" with no "but..." That is why you are persistent, work hard and keep working hard. If you take three hundred pictures and only get one good one, you got one good picture! The more you do it, the more good ones you get. And it gets easier. Except that your standards for good go up. Keep climbing the mountain.

The only secret is getting a bit better every time and moving forward.


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F2Bthere
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Apr 24, 2017 00:35 |  #5

A few more specifics.

The first image doesn't have the expression. The light is even, which is better than harsh. But there isn't enough there without expression.

The second image has more promise because there are a few interesting elements and you have at least two engaged expressions and one person laughing (emotion and expression)--not everyone...making candids of a group work is a (rewarding) challenge.

The color version is better. The one person in color bit looks forced. Once in a while the color item with monochrome image trick works, but 99% of the time it fails. Go monochrome or go color.

I think the way to nail the image would have been to include a bit more and have all of the interactions tell the story of the moment. Swing the camera a bit to the left and what else would we see? Include a little more below so the crop isn't as awkward and a bit more on top so the woman in the background doesn't have the top of he head cropped. She isn't the main focus, but the is engaged. Work the situation a little longer and maybe others get engaged in an interesting way.

I like the distance (close) which brings us right into the action. If you are using a zoom, slightly wider would be good so you include a bit more without stepping back. Your ability to work close with your subjects is a good habit to cultivate. Not all the time (variety is good and each perspective tells a different story), but working close is the hardest for most photographers to develop and you are already on your way. So develop that strength.


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Corban227
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Corban227.
     
Apr 24, 2017 01:19 as a reply to  @ F2Bthere's post |  #6

I was looking through my shots and think I found one similar to something you are talking about with the background and centering of the subjects.

The quality is lower because I am on my phone and not my desktop, but I can tell what you mean. Lots of stuff you mention are things I haven't thought of before.

If it weren't so late I would composers a better reply to your great critique. Thanks so much again for the comments.

If there is anything else to add with this new one, I'm all ears lol.


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Apr 24, 2017 06:32 |  #7

The first one has too much going on ... watch the background as you nearly have posts growing out of her head. Also the cropping seems off with the person behind drawing your attention away. Also the pose of the main subject - it is like she is sticking her chest out. Also a pained expression.

The last one is by far the best ... the 2 at the front are engaging with the camera and each other. Then you have the 2 Photo bombers which add to the candidness. The guy with the facial hair is good but the guy in the background really adds.


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Apr 24, 2017 06:45 |  #8

Neither of these are great portraits but I think you know that and it's the reason you're asking for critique.

In the first one the girl looks like she's holding her breath. She certainly doesn't look comfortable with you taking her photo. Having her in the shade is great for the lighting but with that background you need to be shooting at a much shallower depth of field to blur out the background to avoid any distractions.

The second photo has much nicer eye contact and expression in the girl's face however there is too much going on elsewhere in the photo to cause distraction. Again a shallower depth of field to focus the eye on the main subject matter would benefit.

I think in situations like this you just need to take LOTS of photos and accept that they're not all going to be good. You can't always control the expression on the people's faces but if you take loads of photos you'll eventually get a good one.


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F2Bthere
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Apr 24, 2017 08:30 |  #9

You will get tons of advice when you ask for critique. Some advice will be good. Some less so ;). And it will seem impossible to follow all of it. And, in practice, it IS impossible to follow all of it when you are taking pictures. So don't try.

Why am I saying this? Because if you try to think about all these things while taking pictures, especially pictures of people or anything else where timing matters, you will drive yourself crazy. When you are taking pictures, you need to be engaged in what is in front of you and seeing how the action before you is unfolding.

So what do you do? Choose one piece of advice next time and follow that one piece of advice and otherwise, just take pictures. Next time, follow a different piece of advice. You will build unconscious habits as you go and the pictures will get stronger.

Then, when selecting photos, consider the results. Decide which is better. This is a separate and challenging process--picking the good images. There are two uses for "photo editor": the person who selects which photos to include (like a magazine photo editor) and the person who edits photos in Photoshop (like a photo retoucher). If you can find a person who is a good photo editor of the first kind (those who select the best photos) who will help you, you are very lucky.

Consider all the advice and follow what makes sense to you. Ignore the rest :).


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Apr 24, 2017 08:50 as a reply to  @ Corban227's post |  #10

As for specifics on the second set...

I would pick the second because everything comes together.

The first image the people in the background don't serve as well whereas the second everyone is interesting and you can see all the faces. Also, the tall head is just growing out the top and doesn't help. The others in the back aren't badly placed but also not interesting. The first one, white shirt guys face poking through kind of works, because of the expression, so it's like he is peaking through, but orange shirt girl is a bit between expressions.

The guy in the back of the second is like a secret bonus. You look at the picture and see the foreground people, who all work. Then you notice him, which pays the viewer back for continuing to look.

The trick is that you need to catch the viewer as they glance quickly. We look at 100s of images a day, most of which we ignore. You want yours to stop the viewer. Once they have stopped, you want to keep them looking. So the initial picture has to "read" (make sense) enough to engage the viewer. Then you want to keep them engaged. Sometimes you grab or keep them with a question "what is that?" But to pull that off, the picture has to be good enough that it seems worth asking the question.

Speaking of which, what was this, steampunk day at a school? And what are the orange uniforms?

My final thought is that I would crop the second picture. You don't need the hand on the left and, since you are in tight at the bottom, you could probably shave a little off the top.


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Apr 24, 2017 21:15 |  #11

My thoughts are on the very first image:
Shoot Portrait orientation instead of landscape. This will feature her more, and eliminate others that are not the subject.
Move slightly to the right and avoid the blue sign behind her.
Adjust horizon.
Shoot wide aperture.
Ask subject to relax just a bit, grin a little.


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ONE30
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Apr 25, 2017 13:31 |  #12

...why not use your 430 ex for these portrait attempts?




  
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Corban227
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Apr 26, 2017 00:11 |  #13

ONE30 wrote in post #18338167 (external link)
...why not use your 430 ex for these portrait attempts?

Tbh I was out of batteries.. lol. Didn't know till I put it on my camera. A friend ran out to get me more.

My later shots I used a flash.

Shot 1 was taken during stretches and
shot 2 was taken during equipment warm up

I have the skill to clone and replace backgrounds to remove growing objects lol but didn't have the time to run all my photos through ps


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Corban227
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Apr 26, 2017 00:14 |  #14

Good eye! Yeah it's was championship competition for color guard. Their shows was steam punk themed

F2Bthere wrote in post #18336787 (external link)
As for specifics on the second set...

I would pick the second because everything comes together.

The first image the people in the background don't serve as well whereas the second everyone is interesting and you can see all the faces. Also, the tall head is just growing out the top and doesn't help. The others in the back aren't badly placed but also not interesting. The first one, white shirt guys face poking through kind of works, because of the expression, so it's like he is peaking through, but orange shirt girl is a bit between expressions.

The guy in the back of the second is like a secret bonus. You look at the picture and see the foreground people, who all work. Then you notice him, which pays the viewer back for continuing to look.

The trick is that you need to catch the viewer as they glance quickly. We look at 100s of images a day, most of which we ignore. You want yours to stop the viewer. Once they have stopped, you want to keep them looking. So the initial picture has to "read" (make sense) enough to engage the viewer. Then you want to keep them engaged. Sometimes you grab or keep them with a question "what is that?" But to pull that off, the picture has to be good enough that it seems worth asking the question.

Speaking of which, what was this, steampunk day at a school? And what are the orange uniforms?

My final thought is that I would crop the second picture. You don't need the hand on the left and, since you are in tight at the bottom, you could probably shave a little off the top.


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Apr 27, 2017 11:30 |  #15

Here's a recent favorite of mine. I think this is a strong visual. What do you think? How could this shot have been better executed? The lighting was factory florescent and the colors were all over the map. Black and white seemed like the only option and I think actually helps the composition.

For anyone interested she is a weaver in a small factory that specializes in 19th century weaving. The loom she is working on is about 20 feet long, each one of those little fingers has to be individually threaded.


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Excuse me, but I heard there would be cake?

  
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