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#14968

Wow!  Harsh!

I think most of Brian’s photos are comparable to a lot of professional photographer’s work.  It’s workman like, rather than “Wow!”  A quick blast through a gallery and every photo seems to have something in focus.  The wedding photos look like he subscribes to “f/8 and don’t be late.”  It’s the sort of photography that makes me cringe when I hear someone saying “professional” when they mean “good” rather than “paid”  I don’t think it falls into the fauxtography class that we see on the front page, or generally complain about in the forums here.

That said, it could still stand some improvement.

The studio photos of the one year old, and the bride from the wedding set, (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=638583476185690&set=a.638583239519047.1073741839.591852427525462&type=1&theater) look like they are pasted onto a painted backdrop.  It would be nice if they seemed to be separated from it.

Some wedding photos look posed and some look candid.  Nothing screamed at me, either good or bad.

Nesgran pointed out digital is not film.  That sounds like it should be obvious, but experience has shown many photographers who are not also engineers don’t really comprehend the differences.  I know an awesome photographer who shoots large format landscapes.  He got a Canon 60D, and struggled until he worked out the differences between film and digital.   A few quick thoughts:

With film, you pay by the roll.  With digital, you pay by the body and a body is good for somewhere between 100,000 and 400,000 photos depending on the body.  Your manual will tell you the shutter rating of your body.

With film, you shoot a roll, then give it to your lab to process (OK some people do their own processing), with digital, the lab is in your camera, or in your computer.  Usually the computer version is the better lab.  Shoot to raw files.  Think of them as negatives.  Convert to JPEG in the computer.  That will let you get back blown out backgrounds like in https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=606229502754421&set=a.606229376087767.1073741834.591852427525462&type=1&theater.  It will also allow you to drag detail out of shadow.  It is best to nail the exposure when taking the photo but some scenes have more dynamic range than JPEG can handle (some even have more than raw can handle, hence HDR) and using lights to compensate is not always feasible.   It won’t solve everything but if you have raw files, you can recover a lot.

Unless you have an incredible film lab, what you shoot is what you get.  With digital, you can shoot to raw, then adjust exposure 3 or 4 stops in either direction, for all or part of a photo.  You can change white balance a lot.  You can add or remove saturation.  There has to be over a dozen ways of converting to B&W should you desire.  Double exposures are a breeze since you can do them from separate photos in the computer, so you can shoot the first exposure today and then take dozens of other shots before shooting the second half of the double, and you can shoot both at the correct exposure for that shot.  When you put them together, you can adjust the opacity of each, independently.

With film, the emulsion is part of the film, and every image gets a new piece of film (unless you are doing double exposures).  If you get dirt in the camera, it sticks to the film and gets wound onto the spool, then washed off in the developer stage.  If you get dirt in a digital, it sits on the sensor and causes grief for dozens of photos!  Film, is immediately behind the shutter.  A digital sensor is a wafer of several layers, and in many cameras, one of those layers is an anti-aliasing filter designed to remove moire patterns.  It is expected that you will restore the sharpness that is removed by the filter, during post processing.

Facebook is not the best place for photos.  Between a bad user agreement, their stripping EXIF data, and the things their compression does to photos, there are many sins.  Flickr is free, and better.  There are other sites as well.  Flickr is a good choice for here because you can put a Flickr link on its own line here and the image will appear in-line.  Clicking on the image will take you to the Flickr page, where you can see it full size, with EXIF data and any comments that were added.

Film can see UV, so a UV filter is useful for removing it.  Digital does not see UV, so a UV filter is just mechanical protection for your front element and a useful place to smear Vasoline, should you be into that.  Polarizing filters come in a couple of flavours.  You want the Circular Polarizer variety so it will not interfere with auto-focus.

What you know about gelling flash to balance mixed lighting still applies.  Mixed light is one area where the white balance latitude of a raw file will not save you.  If you have white light in the foreground and yellow light in the background, for instance. It is possible to fix that in post but it is a pain!  It is easier to fix it when shooting — assuming you want the light to be all the same colour instead of adding atmosphere.

This list isn’t anywhere near exhaustive.  There is lot’s more, but it will get you started.  It’s still light and shadow, but some of the tools have changed dramatically.  Enjoy!