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Thread started 14 Aug 2011 (Sunday) 00:29
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honest, detailed critique of a set of bests

 
imsellingmyfoot
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Aug 14, 2011 00:29 |  #1

I have recently put together a set of photographs that I feel are the best that I have so far. About half of the pictures in this set have been posted here in various sub-forums for individual critique, but I would really appreciate it if someone would do a detailed critique of the set as a whole and the individual pictures.

Some background on what the people around me think: My friends and family fawn over almost anything I show them. I recently had a friend ask for prints of two of my sunsets to put up into his dorm room. My mom has been pushing me to try and sell my stuff, even to the point where she offered to pay for a website. I am leery of doing that because I see all the work actually involved in selling and marketing things on here.

I would like to know if my work is even close to that caliber before I even entertain the idea of trying to sell anything. I've read numerous times on here that the best gauge of your work is from a detailed critique by a photographer who knows what he/she is doing. That is what I'm seeking. If you are interested in putting in the time to do this for me, please PM me so I can give you my email for you to send your thoughts to. (As bad as this sounds, if someone is going to rip me to shreds I would rather it be in private.)

The photos can be found here (external link)on Flickr.


Canon 6D | Sigma 24A | Sigma 35A | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4
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kathfern
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Aug 14, 2011 01:24 |  #2

Im not really experienced enough to give detailed critique, but I looked through them and thought they were great!


Kathy - 5D III : 60D : 24 2.8 : 50 1.4 : 24-105L : 100 2.8 USM Macro : 40 2.8 : 430EXii
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imsellingmyfoot
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Aug 15, 2011 14:02 as a reply to  @ kathfern's post |  #3

Thank you for looking at them. I'm probably going about this wrong if I'm looking for detailed critiques...


Canon 6D | Sigma 24A | Sigma 35A | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4
Check out Welcome to Downtown Plano (external link), a time lapse video I created.
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chrispychicken
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Aug 16, 2011 00:55 as a reply to  @ imsellingmyfoot's post |  #4

Step 1: Go to this (external link) page and take a good look at some of the photos.
Step 2: Ask yourself if your photos are as good as the ones you see there.
Step 3: Realize the vast majority of these photographers are not making money off their images.

You know step 4.

But really... for people (other than friends + family) to buy your photos, the photos have to have meaning to them. Which means they have to be of a subject that the buyer cares about. The exception is the fine art market... which is very, very hard to get into.


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Staszek
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Aug 16, 2011 01:30 |  #5

Here is a very brief critique and no I am not going to do this privately because others can learn from this too. I won't be too harsh.

Conceptually:
- All the photos are kind of blah. They are nice captures, but nothing is compelling to me, nothing is stopping me in my tracks and making me look through the image. This is probably due to the lack of human figures. I like pictures with people in them, so I may be biased.

- Your photos all seem like captures of "this is what I saw" rather than "this is what I experienced." Does that make any sense? For example, its like, "Here's a picture of a rabbit in my yard, here's a squirrel on our feeder, here are 3 images of a cheetah at the zoo, ooo a bug!"

Your strongest image conceptually may be the one of the solo cheetah (external link).


Technically:
- All of your photos seem very sharp. Nice job nailing the focus.

- The horizon is in the center of the frame in every landscape (more or less). Move that thing around, add some foreground objects, tell me something besides "the sky looked killer this evening."

- In the valley shot (external link), I really like the tones and depth. The sky adds nothing. If you would have moved that horizon up to the top third, the photo may have been more interesting. I see a tiny bit of a tree or another hill in the foreground. Either remove that completely or add more of it.


I hope that helps you a little bit. Feel free to send me a message if you want to talk.


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Snydremark
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Aug 16, 2011 02:11 |  #6

Well, opinions are like *******s ;) But here're my thoughts:

1-Hills: Framing is good; too much contrast and too dark foreground. For a shot with this kind of haze it would be more compelling with more color. If possible, go back at sunset/sunrise and try and catch some of those colors in that haze for a better effect.

2 - Bunny: Nice photo, great color/focus; the blades of grass crossing its face kill it as a print potential, to me. It's one of those details we need to be aware of when shooting animals, since they like to duck behind intervening flora; this is one that always kills me when I get to processing.

3 - Squirrel: Ok shot, again, great focus. Looks like something snapped out the front window. Again, too much contrast, appears to have been shot right at midday. Highlights are way harsh and shadows looks too heavy.

4 - Leopard behind fence: Nice colors; don't shoot the fence. No one wants to buy photos of captive animals. Also, again, watch the intervening objects; vine over the eye is a detractor here, too.

5 - Leopard portrait: Strong image, uncluttered. Good color and focus. Can still tell it's shot in a zoo, but a good image none the less.

6 - Two leapards: Another strong shot, but still captive.

7 - Emu (I think): Great one. Love the pattern the body forms behind the head; great focus and colors. I think most would prefer not having a "floating head" image, but I still like this a lot.

8 - Butterfly on flower: Good color/focus; too much contrast; looks like a midday shot, again. Also, slightly underexposed. While most of us kind of have to take the shots as we encounter them, that is not a good way to get saleable shots. I take a lot of these shots, too, but wind up tucking them into the archives or binning them when it really gets down to it. If I wouldn't print it for my own wall, I pass.

9 - Grasshopper/Locust: Cool colors, ok focus. It looks like point of focus was actually part way down the throax, not on the head/eyes; those look just a little bit soft. Is that a scary-looking ovipositor? or is that a bit of leaf? If leaf, I'd try to get it out of there next time.

10 - Dusk water shot: Very serene, nice colors, good use of long exposure with water. Like it.

11 - Sunset water shot: Beautiful colors, another long exposure that works well. The moon is a bit small and distracting (I thought I had something on my monitor). Otherwise, I like this, too.

12/13 - Sunset reeds shots: The foreground elements are a bit "nervous" and distracting. The silhouette effect here doesn't work so well, IMO.

Hope those are a help :) Keep at it!


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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DLitton
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Aug 16, 2011 07:47 |  #7

I dont know crap about wildlife photography... but for the landscapes--- your captures seem fine. You got a good exposure and they are all in focus. Honestly they are not 'bad' shots and are better than a typical person in most instances, but they are lacking the left hook to knock out the viewer.

Horizon lines are fine since your doing reflections in the shots for your sunsets, but as stated above moving it around can make it better in most situations (unless you have a reason to keep it in the middle). The composition with the trees are nice to an extent. You kind of left us hanging as a viewer, and I dont really see all of the tree and you leave more in on the right but only partially in the shot in some. It just really distracts more than anything. Just cleaning it up a bit on the composition and you'll be golden. practice practice practice practice... and practice & you'll keep improving on the small things :)


David

  
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snyderman
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Aug 16, 2011 08:22 |  #8

Looked at all your shots on flickr. Technically, they are sound with regard to sharpness, focus, white-balance, exposure ... all the basics are very good. Secondly, it appears you have solid processing skills. The shots look nicely color balanced, cropped well, sharpened but not overdone, etc.

As someone mentioned earlier, nothing jumps out as a 'wow' shot. Some forethought about the outcome of a shoot helps you get more interesting images. Pointing and shooting at a tiger gets you a really pretty snapshot after processing.

Overall, good stuff. We all have a long way to go!

dave


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imsellingmyfoot
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Aug 16, 2011 09:02 |  #9

Staszek wrote in post #12943320 (external link)
Conceptually:
- All the photos are kind of blah. They are nice captures, but nothing is compelling to me, nothing is stopping me in my tracks and making me look through the image. This is probably due to the lack of human figures. I like pictures with people in them, so I may be biased.

- Your photos all seem like captures of "this is what I saw" rather than "this is what I experienced." Does that make any sense? For example, its like, "Here's a picture of a rabbit in my yard, here's a squirrel on our feeder, here are 3 images of a cheetah at the zoo, ooo a bug!"

Technically:
- All of your photos seem very sharp. Nice job nailing the focus.

- The horizon is in the center of the frame in every landscape (more or less). Move that thing around, add some foreground objects, tell me something besides "the sky looked killer this evening."

I hope that helps you a little bit. Feel free to send me a message if you want to talk.

That helped tremendously. Thank you. I'm glad you think the technical aspects are decent. I have really been working on that this summer because I was tired of the out of focus, overexposed pictures I was getting.

Snydremark wrote in post #12943415 (external link)
Well, opinions are like *******s ;) But here're my thoughts:

2 - Bunny: Nice photo, great color/focus; the blades of grass crossing its face kill it as a print potential, to me. It's one of those details we need to be aware of when shooting animals, since they like to duck behind intervening flora; this is one that always kills me when I get to processing.

4 - Leopard behind fence: Nice colors; don't shoot the fence. No one wants to buy photos of captive animals. Also, again, watch the intervening objects; vine over the eye is a detractor here, too.

11 - Sunset water shot: Beautiful colors, another long exposure that works well. The moon is a bit small and distracting (I thought I had something on my monitor). Otherwise, I like this, too.

Hope those are a help :) Keep at it!

I've had a few people differ with you on the grass and vine in # 2 and 4. However, its your opinion and I will remember it for next time. I see you're a detractor of the moon. The community was split on it earlier. Thank you very much for your thoughts on everything.

DLitton wrote in post #12944132 (external link)
I dont know crap about wildlife photography... but for the landscapes--- your captures seem fine. You got a good exposure and they are all in focus. Honestly they are not 'bad' shots and are better than a typical person in most instances, but they are lacking the left hook to knock out the viewer.

Horizon lines are fine since your doing reflections in the shots for your sunsets, but as stated above moving it around can make it better in most situations (unless you have a reason to keep it in the middle). The composition with the trees are nice to an extent. You kind of left us hanging as a viewer, and I dont really see all of the tree and you leave more in on the right but only partially in the shot in some. It just really distracts more than anything. Just cleaning it up a bit on the composition and you'll be golden. practice practice practice practice... and practice & you'll keep improving on the small things :)

I'm going to have to work on getting the composition to go from "good" to "wow." I have since found a different spot for my sunsets with some interesting things in the foreground, except the few times I've gone out there the sun has just kinda "set" and then it got dark. Thank you.

snyderman wrote in post #12944270 (external link)
Looked at all your shots on flickr. Technically, they are sound with regard to sharpness, focus, white-balance, exposure ... all the basics are very good. Secondly, it appears you have solid processing skills. The shots look nicely color balanced, cropped well, sharpened but not overdone, etc.

As someone mentioned earlier, nothing jumps out as a 'wow' shot. Some forethought about the outcome of a shoot helps you get more interesting images. Pointing and shooting at a tiger gets you a really pretty snapshot after processing.

Overall, good stuff. We all have a long way to go!

dave

Thank you Dave. I guess the next trick I need to learn is taking a subject that I normally would think is boring and making it into something interesting. A lot of the aspects that usually make a photo interesting don't exist here: color changes in the leaves, elevation changes (hills), etc. Pointing and shooting at the tigers does get me some pretty snapshots, they are some nice snapshots that are up on my wall.:D


Canon 6D | Sigma 24A | Sigma 35A | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4
Check out Welcome to Downtown Plano (external link), a time lapse video I created.
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Staszek
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Aug 16, 2011 13:20 |  #10

imsellingmyfoot wrote in post #12944463 (external link)
That helped tremendously. Thank you. I'm glad you think the technical aspects are decent. I have really been working on that this summer because I was tired of the out of focus, overexposed pictures I was getting.

Great. Keep up the good work.


SOSKIphoto (external link) | Blog (external link) | Facebook (external link)| Instagram (external link)
5D3's | EF 24L II | EF 35L | EF 50L | EF 100L Macro | EF 135L | EF 70-200L II | EF 300 f/2.8 IS | 600EX-RT's | Quadras

  
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