Home › Forums › Am I a Fauxtog? › My mom loves my work, but that concerns me. › Reply To: My mom loves my work, but that concerns me.
I will preface my comments with the disclaimer that I am not a nature photographer by any stretch of the imagination.
All in all, your work shows a lot of promise. You clearly have a good eye and talent for nature work. You have a lot of technical work ahead of you to really master the art, but you are off to a very good start.
A few general pointers about photography in general.
You will get the best results when you photograph subjects with a similar dynamic range as the medium. For example, trying to shoot the sky and the shade in the same shot will result in either dark shadows or blown out skies.
Invest in a few filters. The biggies for nature work are the UV Haze filter, Circular polarize, and a set of ND filters. A split ND wouldn’t do you wrong either. Since you shoot a lot more wide angle, buy filters a little bigger than your lens and get a step down ring so that the edges of the filter stack won’t vignette the image. The CPL filter is probably most important for the work you do.
When shooting landscapes, you really can’t trust the meter reading you’re getting from the camera’s meter. I’m pretty sure this is part of the problem you are having with incorrect exposures. Try to find an inexpensive light meter that will do incidence metering. Point this at the sun and you’ll get a much more accurate reading.
Also, landscapes are an area where a little post-processing does a lot of good. Shoot raw, process out as a 16 bit image, and get to know the dodge and burn tools like the back of your hand. Be subtle, but also limit yourself to darkroom techniques, they are really all you need.
I agree with stef about the portraits you posted (although neither is what I would consider a portrait, more of a group snapshot) the first is much better composed. I would advise that you not shy away from shooting people at church events and the like, but it is clear to me you enjoy nature photography far more, so you should cultivate the skill set used by a nature photographer. You have more talent in that area anyway, and I would be afraid that if you devoted all the time and effort it takes to master portrait photography, your nature work would suffer from the lack of attention and that would be a shame.
Over all, great work so far, I’m sure you’ll do very well.