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  • #22998
    CPowers
    Member

    I’ts been about a year since I found this site and submitted my work for your critique. I appreciate the input you guys gave and I tried to take it all in and systematically improve as much as I could.

    Previous thread: https://youarenotaphotographer.com/forums/topic/bring-your-rolaids/

    I feel like there are some real improvements in the last year and at the same time, I know there are still some things I am still doing wrong, maybe even new things I’m doing wrong or just poorly. That said, this is my one year check up.

    Some recent Bridals/Engagements

    fcp_9239

    Website

    http://www.focalcraft.com

    http://www.facebook.com/focalcraft

    #23082
    CPowers
    Member

    Surprised there are no comments.

    #23088

    I liked the few I looked at, at http://www.focalcraft.com/

    I’ll try for a more thorough look in a day or two.

    #23193

    I got back to your web page and had another look.  I see some problems (white balance, blur, focus).  I also liked a lot of what I saw.  I’m not sure how old the photos were, so I moved over to Flickr to see some recent ones, and in hope of seeing EXIF data.

    I’m not sure what you were trying for here, or how important the background is.  It might be a better photo if she were moved over so her left arm was just inside the pillar behind her and her head was on the tan background behind the tree.  I don’t think the red doors help the scene, and I’m wondering about the metal cans near the left edge.  I would consider removing the expansion crack from the pavement, too.  And I would level it.

    fcp_9208

    How much you do with post is an artistic choice.  Do you follow the photojournalism philosophy of not affecting the “truthfulness” of the image, or do you edit to get the best looking image you can?  Depending on the answer to that, I might suggest reducing the brightness of the background so she stands out more and the background is de-emphasized.

    Here is one I think almost works, but would be much better with a second photo and some post processing trickery.  I really like the sunset and deeper blue of the sky above the level of that gazebo.  I’m not as enamored with the grey sky above the couple.  The transition at the top of the roof looks odd, too.  The foreground structure is keystoned a little and it feels like the photo is leaning.  And, you hid the flash that is lighting them behind the row of plants to camera left.  That flash is doing a great job of lighting the grass and steps.  This is where the second photo and some of the trickery could be applied to good effect.  Nothing moves for the second photo, but the flash is switched off.  The photos are merged and a mask is applied to remove all of the flash below the floor they are standing on.  A graduated mask could be applied to taste to adjust the brightness of the pillars.  I would mask left and right of the pillars to take that light back to the second photo without flash.  It is easier to overlay two photos before leveling and correcting perspective.  Once the photo layers were merged, I would level it and use the Lens Correction filter to straighten the pillars and posts.

    fcp_8504

    The next/previous, depending on how you count, could use some of the same.  The light hitting the structure and grass detracts.

    fcp_8465

    One other thought for now, …  F/11 is small enough for sensor dirt to register.  The Toyota photo has dirt in the sky!  And the D7000 has a dead pixel, too!  Is that an old Celica?  Pouring salt on our roads for 4 months every year ensures most older cars don’t survive here.

    fcp_7276

     

    There is still room for improvement.  Sadly, there will always be, for all of us.  Others may have different thoughts but I liked a lot of what I saw.

     

    #23194
    CPowers
    Member

    Yes the Celica is a 74 I built from the ground up.  That shot is from about a year ago.

    I don’t do a lot in post in terms of PS trickery. Let me rephrase, I do none. Everything is done in LR. It’s not for any higher purpose of image purity or “truthfulness”  rather an admitted simple lack of experience in PS. The images you referenced in your reply with the exception of the car were all done in the last couple of months on my D800.

    Yes, that first photo now that you mention those points.. the red doors particularly… background too bright… It’s not working, it gets harder to look at the longer you try.

    White balance has been one of my great conundrums. I recently started using a gray card in search of a way to solve this. I believe monitor calibration is badly needed too and something I’ve neglected too long.

    I appreciate your critique, the extra objective opinions are very helpful. I cannot disagree with any of your points. I’m constantly trying to improve and welcome the input. I don’t get my feelings hurt when criticized.

    #23202
    CPowers
    Member

    Also, I see the dirt in the sky of the Celica, but where is the dead pixel?

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