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#23473

Some are quite good, others are not.  In the case of at least some of the not so good photos it would be unfair to judge faux or not based on those.  Some of them were straight out of the camera for some challenge.  Others seem to be there for other reasons having nothing to do with quality, or lack thereof.  Several look like blur was done in post, but reading the notes, it looks like they were experiments in “free lensing” which is taking a photo through the lens while it is not attached to the camera.  This is a cheap method of getting photos that look like they were done with a Lens Baby.  Holding a body in one hand, and a lens in the other while they are not connected generates unusual results which are difficult to accurately replicate over multiple photos.  In notes further down, Lens Baby is referenced as being experimented with.  That’s a series of lenses for “artistic” results and some people really like the look while others are not so fond of it.

Sometimes the front page photos have been cherry-picked, a page with 200 pretty good photos has one bad one and it ends up on the main page.  Probably, more frequently, most of the main page photos fairly represent the abilities of the tog and any of many other images could be taken from the same page instead of the one submitted.  In theory, the pages are supposed to represent the best work of the poster.   That theory works pretty well for people trying to sell their services through the page.  It falls apart for anyone who is doing photo-a-day, or simply showing photos they think are cool.

What to look for (not an exhaustive list):

Good composition, attention to minimizing distracting foreground/background items

Good exposure, proper black point and white point, no raccoon eyes, no burned out whites nor loss of white detail, not dropped data in the blacks.

Good focus, usually with portraits the eye nearest the camera should be sharp, even if nothing else is.  But if you are trying to focus on the ring, perhaps it will be the only part that is really sharp.  Some people like a really shallow depth of field.  Some like a really deep depth of field.  Some like a mix.  Something should be in focus — what is in focus depends on the message.

Interesting expressions

Good poses — assuming the people are posed and the shots are not candid, taken without direction of or even awareness by the subject.

Good post processing — sharp enough, not too sharp, saturated enough, not too saturated, etc.

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Photos like the little one in the Superman suit, holding jam, probably lit by flashlight, though possibly lit by off camera flash with a grid or snout, suggests your friend of a friend has a pretty good idea of what they are doing.