March 31, 2014 at 1:24 pm #18043
Not portraits, but would still like some real opinions… Feel free to be harsh (I can take it), and any suggestions for improvement are appreciated!March 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm #18044nairbynairbParticipant
You should pick 10 images you think are your strongest and put them into a set on Flickr so we can critique those specific images.
I looked through all of the photos on your site and not many of them had anything that I hadn’t already seen before.
The only photo that really stood out to me was this one:
Why is Black and White a separate category?
The ones in the “Painted” category; Did you actually paint those? Or did you apply some photoshop filters to macro shots you took?
Choose some specific images so we can give a more in-depth critique!March 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm #18045cameraclickerParticipant
Mostly I like your photos. Being a thorn instead of a rose, here is a list of what I think could be better.
It seems to have been taken from your full standing height. Train tracks are cliche and with little fall colour and straight tracks, this is not a winner. Taking the same photo from much nearer the ground may improve it, or not. A really, really long lens may improve it, or not. Different light might improve it, or not. Someone once said if you want interesting photos, you have to stand in front of interesting things.
That’s a serious arch! Too bad about the sky. Sometimes the giant softbox leaves you with flat looking photos.
Crop this just above the lowest building with a blue roof on the left. It will get rid of a lot of scruffy junk and make it look better.
Yeah, this needs a different perspective, and/or a different day or change of light. See that stick, sticking into the photo at the left side about the top thirds line? Watch your edges.
Makes me cross eyed! A longer exposure, perhaps? Two or three times as long as you used to smooth out the flow. A little brighter on the log, maybe. Try cropping off the top, just below the shelf (below the left most two leaves).
If this is a raw file, try dropping the exposure of the bright parts slightly and adding some fill light to the shadows. It’s nice as it is, some editing might improve it.
I think it was Scott Kelby that said you should only have flowers in your portfolio if you shoot for a florist. The rational was that flowers are provided beautiful by nature, so you really have to nail the shot and nothing less than perfection will do. “Vivid Red” and “Love me tender” are past their prime!
I’ll start by saying you could probably count the B&W photos I like on your fingers and toes. I’m not much of a fan. Sometimes B&W is a way of fixing sins. I have taken a couple of colour photos that look like they were done in B&W. Your high tension electrical towers have strong graphic elements so that shot should be a good candidate for B&W. Unfortunately that shot is quite muddy! If it were a pencil drawing I would say it was smudged. You could probably put a white layer behind it and mask it to clean it up. Or, edit it again if that is not the way it came out of the camera.
The US side of Niagara falls would probably look better in colour. It definitely would if you had blue sky that day. Colour helps the walkways stand out from the rocks and separates the falls and sky. B&W makes it look drab. Both tree shots are too busy. Does either one have a focal point?
http://www.picturedrox.com/Black–White/i-FHBvx77/A looks like old, bent, cedar beside rapids — or is it just uneven ground with some snow? I bet it looks better in colour. If not, discard it.
I’m not seeing the point to either shot in Alternate-Reality.
I think you have a good understanding of how photography works and can get the results you desire.April 2, 2014 at 8:53 am #18076Worst Case ScenarioParticipant
Nairbynairb summed it up well, they are all nice shots but nothing that we haven’t seen before. I looked at you Facebook page and actually preferred the pics there, they seemed to flow together a bit better.
I’m confused by the alternate reality as well!April 2, 2014 at 10:09 am #18077Rise Against FauxtogsParticipant
When I look at timmyschick’s photo here http://www.picturedrox.com/Landscapes/i-Gv3Fbbh/A I see an overuse of luminance. The photo looks….odd.April 2, 2014 at 11:20 am #18079
Thank you all for your helpful responses.. I will work on a flickr set tonight when I get home.
I was going to get rid of ‘Alternate Reality’ anyway as it wasn’t making sense to me anymore either.
@nairbynairb I put the black and white separately as I originally thought there would be more going in there than there has been. The painted are photoshopped – and as soon as I posted the link to my site here I thought to myself “oh gawd that is SO faux, it needs to GO..”) Although I do have a canvas of one of them hanging in my house, and I do really like it (as I couldn’t paint something like that for real to save my life).
@cameraclicker thanks so much for taking time out of your day for some great critique! I agree with so much of what you said..
I actually find train tracks interesting – although I have a different shot that I do like better from a later shoot that I finally got around to processing. Will post in flickr set tonight.
That arch. We had mediocre weather almost that whole two week vacation. The skies were maddening and I knew we wouldn’t be back out west for a looooong time. The other memory card of this location was stolen (or rather, my purse was stolen and the full, 16gb card was in there – ALL of Bryce Canyon shots, gone.. ACK). So there is a lot of emotion wrapped up with this pic. I can see now that doesn’t mean it belongs in my ‘portfolio’.
Will try the additional crop – perhaps I am too obsessed with rule of thirds? As I recall this was taken in traffic, out the car window and may already have significant crop on the bottom.. can’t remember right at the moment.
I have to be honest, I never saw that stick until you mentioned it! I had to edit out some yellow spray paint on one of the rocks.. that must have drained my focus. I should have taken this horizontal, from farther down the hill – but didn’t. May be too obsessed with vertical shots… and thinking it would be a cool line.
On the cross-eyed waterfall – I guess I am sick of every single water fall now being so smooth with virtually no detail. But after your comment – I can also see the ‘cross-eyed’ effect.
This is about as light as I could make it without problems. Might be able to go a little more as I have been learning and getting better in PS.
As far as the flowers go – I was kind of going for a ‘there can be beauty in imperfection’ idea (am an avid gardener so most of the flowers I shoot, I grow – and they are some of my fav subjects).. but I get what Kelby is saying also. The more I look at the rose the more I agree.
I love black & white. I love the contrast. I will try a few things with the power line shot. I may have gone way overboard on the noise reduction initially (done in lightroom so reversible thank goodness) as again, continuously learning and I processed this one quite a while ago. If that doesn’t work I will try the layer mask.
Will post the color Niagara shot in the flickr set later.
Good point about the lack of focal point. For some reason I find bare trees fascinating. Will need to explore that in a different way.
The last shot is in Petrified Forest NP. I have the color one on flickr as well, will add it to the set.
I have neglected the website for a while, and clearly have lots of work to do! Again thank you for the time and honest comments – they are appreciated more than you know.April 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm #18080
alright here they are – https://www.flickr.com/photos/picturedrox/sets/72157643328828754/
and a few edits, alternates, and color versions of b&w: https://www.flickr.com/photos/picturedrox/sets/72157643329643593/
thanks again for any feedback!April 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm #18083cameraclickerParticipant
I like them, to varying degrees. My favourite two are the snow and icy trees, and the motorcycle.
I like the thumbnail (if you can call it that) of the petrified forest and experienced “lunch bag letdown” when I opened it. It could be the details are too sharp mostly across the bottom and on the lower right hill. It is a spectacular view with a great sky.
The butterfly photo could stand a little more depth of field. This is the sort that is hard to call at the time and you probably only have a minute or two to get it right, before your subject leaves. This might have worked better at ISO 800 and f/22, or even ISO 1600, f/22 and 1/60th. It would also be good if you could have moved a little to your right to get the whole eye.
The canyon photo has nice mist, nice sky, good exposure. I like the little clump of grass. It’s been done before, but it’s a good photo, and it’s yours. Probably my third favourite of the ten.
The Rocky Mountain photo shows a lot of trees in distress! I think it needs a focal point. The tree line forms an arrow pointing down but there is nothing at the tip. The peak at right seems to have a halo. It is one of those photos that would get 2 seconds if I were not trying to figure out what to say about it.
Ready to Burst looks like you intended the shallow DOF. I wonder how it would look with f/8 or even f/22 or more. You can stop that lens down all the way to f/32 if you have enough light. That drives the stock sites crazy, but for a photo like this it might improve it.
Beautiful morning is all about the light. I think you did a good job with it.
The orchids could stand more DOF, and the lower one has some decay on the upper edge. Clone stamp or healing brush time. Orchids are amazing to photograph. I have a photo I took years ago that reminds me of the Star Wars fighter Luke Skywalker flew. Perhaps I have too active an imagination.
The cat has potential. The colour looks off. Is the grass behind it supposed to be purple? The rocks are a distraction. I think darker rocks would help the photo.April 4, 2014 at 7:26 pm #18124
thanks for the additional feedback!
I’ll have to start trying higher ISO, but I don’t like to push the 50D much past 800 or it gets really noisy. Working towards an upgrade, but just not there yet.
Ready to burst was actually taken before I really had depth of field figured out. I still consider it one of my fav shots and kind of dig the lack of dof – but have also tried to replicate it every year since with more dof, just to see the difference. Haven’t gotten it timed right yet! (maybe this year!)
Once again I didn’t even notice the decay on that orchid. You are definitely opening my eyes to the smaller details, thank you!
On the cat pic – that is almost sooc.. the weeds were purple, the sunset was super orange, will have to try darkening up those logs. and maybe a bit of a crop too.
Once again, thank you so much!
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