Firstly, thank you for your comments one and all, I do seriously appreciate the effort it takes to bother to write stuff like you have. I've sat and chewed over what was said, and let it play in my head a bit before replying, seeing how it all soaked in.
Noted. Normally I'd say I wouldn't be too bothered, but as it seems almost every one else under the sun (using the posters here as a litmus test) agrees, I should listen to that. I think in my mind when I take it, I see the framing drawing towards the face, and see the space there, and possibly just forget or ignore the other bits, but I need to watch that more. (Especially as I hate cropping lol!)
nemo man wrote in post #7236594
Nemoman said some stuff here including...
#7 I know it's a natural look shot, but wrinkled noses don't look attractive on anyone, even attractive ladies.
Cheers for the input. Question for you? Do you think the crinkled nose thing is unattractive even if it's showing natural fun, which must be one of a woman's most endearing features? Genuine question.
akiwi wrote in post #7236699
Hi Dave, I like your style as it is different from mine.
You always seem to go for the grainy look. Love the back lighting and obviously love the use of natural light.
I do too, but don't do much natural light photography due to season and time restrictions. (I try to keep my weekend days free for my family)
I'm going to try to give my opinion on each photo. My comments will be influenced by my style which is cleaner and more ... er... conservative
1. Love the concept, colours, composition etc.
I'm not a grain fan, and I would shoot an image like that cleaner and warmer & use it as a stock photo. I also miss the catchlight in her left eye.
2. When I look at this I want to reach for my sun glasses. I love it.. I hate it.. It's something that I would probably bin but I love the eyes in it.
3. I like this as it seems to reveal something personal. Composition just doesn't seem right but I can't nail it. No I'm not a rule of tirds fanatic (haha.. just noticed my typo.. should be turds). Here the B&W and grainyness really works.
4. Not sure on this one. A bit up the nose and unflattering IMHO. Still graphically an interesting photo.
5. Yeah... toes are cropped. But I like it. Enough background in the image to draw you in and imagine being there. Next time get a model with shorter feet!
6. Like. Beautiful model and the clouds in the sunglasses (Even if they are ugly sunglasses) is cool. I like negative space & it works well here with the nice soft background
7. I really like this because of the wrinkled nose. It portrays fun, happiness. It warms to look at. portrays warm fuzzies. Did you just tell her a dirty joke?
8. Love the colour, composition etc all great. I find the eyes to be a little dark, but in a way that is what makes this image. Funny, makes the face sort of empty.
Anyway, those are just my cmments on the images. If I really want to fall in love with your photos, I normally just have to go into your flickr account and read the comments / stories you write under each photo.
I think my photos are more photos of the surface of my models. Yours seem to get under their skin.
Hey Peter, genuinely appreciate the objective input there. We both recognise we shoot in different styles and I like the fact we can agree on that as opposed to slag off eachother's stuff. Noted regarding the feet again! LOL!
And no, didn't tell her a dirty joke, who do you think I am!? *insert fake angel smiley here*
charger912 wrote in post #7238217
Cahrger said some important stuff here
Thanks for the comments, you've touched on what will prove to be a major question below.
babuszka wrote in post #7238297
I think your work is really interesting and I like your style, thanks for sharing.
Sorry I couldn't have given any more constructive "criticism" - I'm not a pro, but wanted to give some thoughts since you asked!
xoiceox wrote in post #7241251
#3 is the only one that does anything for me.
Please, any further comments, what is it about the others that leaves you cold?
Moppie wrote in post #7239498
Dave, as I aluded to earlier you have a very recognisable style, I am not sure if it is deliberate or not.
As others mentioned the shots all very grainy, almost RAW and sometimes stark in tems of processing and composition.
I see only one photo where the model is smiling, and looking at your other work it appears there is only the one
Compositionaly you also like to have the faces turned directly towards the camera, with bleak, or blank expresions, often shot in bleak environments, and while most people make the face the brightest point in an image, I get the impression you are subtly trying to hide yours. Your faces hold compositaional and focal priority, but the light is often going somewhere else.
There is a very definite emotional quality to your work, I am just not sure if that is deliberate or not.
See below Moppie!
Nicole Faith wrote in post #7241499
I didn't fully read every comment, but I did see the suggestion of a reflector and agree. If you like shooting with the sun to the model's back, the reflector will help a lot. That, or a flash for fill! Also, if you don't want to fork over the cash for a reflector - make one. You can make them as big as you want by using a piece of square cardboard and wrapping it with tinfoil. Not professional at all - but for fun shoots where you are testing stuff out - try it, you'll like it!
I have CC because I deal with CC everyday! This is just a general set of suggestions based on really my taste and you can take them for whatever you want!
1. Love this. As for improvement, I feel it's at an in between stage in processing. The idea is there, it just needs more force behind the thought. There is some grain, but not enough or too little. There are shadows, but don't seem to be on purpose. I would just add lots of contrast to make the orange really pop and the shadows really dark. See how you like it. If not, you also go high key on this in color as well and add tons of grain. I think some fill should be added to her eyes no matter what - but that takes re-shooting. I also wonder what this would look like if her hair was down, messy and big! Lots of potential here!
2. I personally like this style. I think if anything, just burn in the left side of the image so there is some contrast to the darkest part of the composition!
3. I don't have an opinion on this one. It may be too tight of a crop for me and I wonder what she is doing.
4. I like the idea of this and despite it being an unflattering position for the photographer to take a shot, this isn't that unflattering to her. However, if not using fill for this, it makes me think that what she is wearing and her expression are not as important as the shapes and color. If that is the case, than make it about shape and color and really boost the contrast. I would try to make her rim lit if possible in processing and that would be a very interesting image! I could take a try at it if you want as well!
5. Seems like a standard portrait to me. I like the colors and the lighting - but otherwise, it's not dramatic. And her toes are cut off. Now, if she had a long dress on that was also blowing in the wind - you would have something there.
6. This gets done a lot and I think to make it stand out, you need something really special. For this, I think that creating something in the background with color may do that. Maybe also a less tight crop of her face. I think with this sort of shot, you lean towards fashion and this doesn't speak fashion to me. Her skin needs touching up as well. And I think the contrast needs to be boosted to really make the blue, blue. However, this could be used for a photo manip to create something cool I would guess.
7. Love this. Journalistic and fun and she is stunning. I would only add more fill light on the spot when taking the photo or in after processing, Lightroom can help add some brightness to this. If you have Photoshop - you can boost that up as well and be good to go.
8. Great color, great DOF. For a different take on this, I would have had her turn her head into the sun just a bit so you were shooting her face 3/4 and I would have tried for a sun flare as well. That would really make this one!
Hope some of that helps or sparks a new idea? eh. Great stuff - a lot like what I mess around with.
Thank you so much. Some of what you mentioned there, I'll get back to below.
HappySnapper90 wrote in post #7241698
You wanted serious, so here goes!
#1 Eyes are too dark and I would have put the girl on the right third of the frame instead.
#2 far too lightened in photoshop. I don't get it.
#3 rather high contrast - which I don't prefer for portraits. You can barely see any of the whites of her eyes.
#4 Trash bin
#5 I would crop her toes out - just distracting to me.
#6 The focus is funky. The clouds in her glasses seem a little out of focus and that throws my whole viewing of the photo off.
#7 Too shallow DOF or misfocused. Her teeth are out of focus!
#8 face is too dark. Should have used a fill flash. It'd be completely different if she had much longer hair and her entire face was covered in red hair.
Cheers for that...
harroz wrote in post #7242591
this is the question, is it delibrate, are you thinking these out, or are you just shooting and these are the best of 500 shots?, we have no way of telling. You've got some amazing feedback here. I think you need to look at where you want to be in 5 years, then start shooting for that.
Key question I think.
Where do I want to be in five years? Honestly, I'm not sure, that I want photos like these currently to be the starting point of some photographic career. If I manage to end up doing that, and I'd love to, you'd see me producing alternative stuff to this.
These photos are to me, a way of beginning a style and a method of recording people. If that means that in five years, I've managed to create a recongisable, even if non-profitable way of recording people and taking photos that show them as they are, under the skin, and without pretence, I'll be a very happy boy. I don't know if you can call it art photography or not, but I've begun to allow myself the free reign to photograph people without the bull or pretence, and it makes me feel good about taking photos again.
So with that in mind, and with some of the comments above rinign in my ears, any of you who can be bothered to answer, could I ask you this? (And can I point out I ask this not a way to be bloody minded and argumentative, but to asl for honest opinion once again.)
I own three reflectors, about six flashes, and have worked in studios for a long while. Does the fact that I think I want to make beautiful photos, but do away with the pursuit of idealogical perfect photographs, preferring to photograph what is real and raw, and what is actually there in a person, cast the images and your opinions in a different light?
I have recently manufactured various setups for lighting and costume for shoots, played with makeup, and colourful scarves. I like the idea of themes and creation of visual ideas. But I've found myself finding that in shooting these ideas, if the model wishes to take her head to one side, away from the light and pick her nose (an illustration) instead of forcing the photographs back to the manufactured perfection, to reocrd the imperfection, and to find beauty (or try) in how the model actually is.
I'm struggling to convey, and to realise the intent I'm seeing with each shoot, but it feels like I'm going where I need it to. The purpose of this thread is to try and see if you guys out there with fresh eyes, not muddled as mine seem sometimes, can cast more light and understanding through your opinions.
Appreciate any input, seriously!