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One glass of bourbon in, and I need another one after looking at your photography.


You use a lot of pop-up flash on people. It shows, in a bad way. Sometimes when you shoot with flash, you drag the shutter far too long (so even though you used a flash, there’s often motion blur).

Examples: http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4v3ad7 (I really wanted to see his nostrils, and am so glad you didn’t move the crap by his feet; that really shows you looked at the picture before snapping it).

Full frontal blast of pop-up goodness: http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4v3a2l

Not all your people shots are horrible. When you don’t use a flash, it’s much better. On this one in natural light, it’s exposed properly and looks pretty good. I would’ve tried to open up the lens as much as possible to wash out the very distracting background, though, or found a better spot. http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4v39sg Oddly, this is one that could’ve benefited from a high speed synched flash.

Shots like this show you don’t know where your focus point is: http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4v39j9

It looks like you’re experimenting with using light better. The split lighting you used on this is a bit extreme, and could benefit from a little bit of skin processing. http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=48#/d4rdpoe Exposure has issues. A reflector very close to the subject on camera left might’ve yielded better results. Posing her better would’ve also helped.

More experimenting, but you missed focus. http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=120#/d4ewozr This is a mix between split and rembrandt lighting, and I’m not sure what you were doing. But I am sure you didn’t know what you were doing, either. There is motion blur even though it looks like you used a strobe, which means your settings were way off.

Some of your best shots are the tunnels http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=120#/d4ep4zo They would benefit from a little bit of noise reduction. This shows some skill at composition.

I love this shot, but it’s one of the worst wedding shots I’ve seen. http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=192#/d469gw5

I hate this shot. See if you can tell me why. http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=192#/d469euk

This is completely blown. Brides spend a lot of money on dresses, and kind of want to see the detail in them. http://vampireketsuki.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=192#/d469dba


The things you do okay:

Composition isn’t great, but not horrible. Shots on dolls and such are decent.

Processing. Honestly, I didn’t like the heavy vignette on the Amish dude or a lot of your wedding shots, but I do applaud you for not going overboard on most shots. The fact you don’t overprocess everything is good, although some things are pretty bad.

You’re experimenting with light. That’s good.


Things you do bad:

Artificial lighting. Stick to natural light for now until you get good at that. Buy a reflector and use it. Although it might work for snapshots, don’t use your popup flash for anything “real”… whenever you pop it up, think “This will look like a snapshot”. Learn to look for the light, and move people to the good light when you’re taking pics. Do some studying on lighting setups and camera settings before attempting to use strobes again. 3 hours of study between 1 hour of session will do you a TON of good.

Focus. You’re nailing focus on a lot of things, but it’s clear you have no idea what you’re doing. You’re just pointing and shooting and hoping the camera figures it out. This is a testament to how good your camera is at nailing focus, not how good you are at it.

Exposure – You’re depending on your camera to do everything. It shows.


Here is your assignment

[ol][li]Tape your popup flash down. I’m serious. Stop using it, and concentrate on shooting in natural light. LOOK for the light, and PLACE your subjects in it. Buy a reflector and maybe a lightstand to hold it.[/li][li]With your flash taped down, learn to nail exposure in manual mode. It’s okay to use the spot meter in your camera, but shoot in manual until you get a really good feel for proper exposures.[/li][li]Set your camera to do spot focus, and learn to focus and recompose. You’re clearly letting your camera focus on the closest point, and sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. You have a decent camera, but that doesn’t make you a photographer.[/li][li]Check your backgrounds before even bringing the camera to your face.[/li][li]Since you’re intent on using flash without knowledge how, at least buy yourself a TTL cable and an external flash. Hold the flash at arm’s length.[/li][li]Study. You’re obviously attempting to do things before you’re ready, and while I think that’s often good (to push yourself), you need to get better camera handling, and then learn lighting setups. Study the basics, along with learning new things.[/li][/ol]


At the moment, you are a fauxtog.