Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Hobbyist seeking honest critique Reply To: Hobbyist seeking honest critique


Thanks Clicker, that’s a lot to digest, but very good info.
I won’t address all your comments here because there are a lot, but I will definitely take your advice.  I didn’t know temperature would make a big difference.  Worst case, I can wait until it cools down in the fall and try again to see if temp is a big factor.  But I do think adjusting the DOF
would improve it.  It will be easy to test since it’s very close.

I just saw what you mean about the water drops and DOF and being out of focus.  I would have to agree with you.  My aperature was at 4.5 and I’m pretty sure I was using an extension tube, so that makes it worse.  I probably need to use a higher aperture,  higher iso and just move the flash in a lot closer.

(I’m not sure why my camera doesn’t know a flash fired when off camera.  It’s full manual.)

Nesgran, thanks for the input on the people pics.  All the advice you gave is very useful.

“Goofball: underface lighting is rarely flattering”
I know this pic isn’t flattering.  It was kind of interesting to see how extreme shadows change the look.  Definitely not a serious picture.

“Cool dude: As a rule of thumb don’t shoot kids from above and don’t chop half of feet off on anyone.”
Thank you.  I’ll have to look at the original pic again.  I probably composed it poorly in camera, as far as the foot goes.

“More coffee: fun concept but your shopping skills are lacking. The outline against the wall looks off.”
I won’t argue with that.  I’m lacking in PS skills.  The original pic wasn’t great to start with.  I’m not sure what you mean by the outline.  You mean of me and the coffee machine?  I really needed a better background to shoot against, but space was limited.  With a good background the only thing that would have been edited was the coffee stream.

“Concretesky, DSC_0497 and shades”
I was probably just trying to salvage unsalvagable pics.  But I could probably re-edit to improve it slightly.  Probably not worth the time.

“The low key portraits: Nice experiments but in general not enough of the face is lit for it to really work.”
The original low key portraits I did were done only with a lamp.  I could probably improve those now.

“Suegro: very nice portrait but it is badly tilted. The colour balance looks a little off.”
It’s probably the fault of composition.  The wall is actually not at a 90 degree angle and he is leaning against it.  It looks more tilted because of that?  I could easily adjust color balance.  It did seem a little warm or something, as shot.  Is that what you mean?

“Suegra:”  (left your comment off so it doesn’t get super long here
Thank you for the great tips.  People photography is something I haven’t done a lot of and tips like these really help.

“The portraits of the curly haired woman: All nice but slight framing problems. By paying more attention to the negative space you could have enhanced these a fair bit I think. All nicely lit but they appear slightly soft.”
The slightly soft issue might be caused by my processing, although as pointed out I have focus issues in some.

“Kiddie with dummy: Both nice shots, maybe a bit too tight though.”
I’ll have to look at the originals again.  I’m pretty sure the one with the green pillow was done that way because I needed to remove some distracting elements.  It was just a snapshot, really.  I’m not sure about the other one.

“Dark light series: Not bad, better than the other low key. Don’t do soft focus hazy shots with low key. It generally works better with sharper shots as the contrast is already very harsh. Again, bear in mind under face light isn’t flattering.”
That was probably my editing as well.  I’ll have to look at the originals and see.  They were done with a single lamp, as well.

“Wife: Why is there so much space above her head but you’ve chopped her legs off?”
I probably composed poorly in camera.  I’ll have to look and see.

“Other wife: Soft, a bit too Monte Zucker for me.”
Probably one part editing, and one part not quite focused.  That was taken with a fully manual 50mm and I found it difficult to get focused sharply.  I have a new 50  now with all the electronics. (if you’re referring to the same picture I’m looking at,  by the tracks)

“You’re doing well but it sounds like your camera body is holding you back somewhat and I suspect a light stand with a softbox or umbrella would be very handy for you to keep learning about off camera lighting.”

I do think a better camera body and lenses would serve me well.  But it seems like there are also plenty of things I could improve on with the advice I’m getting here and with the book I recently received, before I invest in more equipment.  I do have a light stand and umbrella and remote flash trigger now.  I haven’t really had the chance to use them much yet.  I got them because of http://strobist.blogspot.com/, and intend to also go through their lighting 101 and 102 excercises.

I really appreciate the feedback.  It’s much more and better advice than I anticipated and I think it will help me improve a great deal.