January 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm #24277ChristophermMember
After looking at your landscape gallery, I’d have to say that you have a decent eye, but you’re having some difficulty with processing.
The vast majority of your photos are way over processed with a few that are catastrophically over-processed while still fewer look about right.
On a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being straight out of the camera and 100 being your average finished product, I would say you need to cut it back to about a 30.January 23, 2015 at 6:35 pm #24356jussharpMember
That’s always a huge debate in the world of landscapes. You have a group that is adamant about not overprocessing landscapes and argue for staying at about 30/100 and there are photographers that treat the processing as a major component of the photo. There are very famous and successful landscape photographers who stay at 70/100 and higher.March 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm #25227VisionthingMember
Pretty impressive for your age! I have some suggestions:
– You need to edit the images you show. When you clump portraiture and landscape together in a quantity
that is visually overwhelming for the viewer, ALL your photos become less interesting. It’s hard to concentrate
on your stand out images because the others are competing for my eye.
– If you’re able put your portrait in one category [folder] and landscapes in another that would be better.
– You have mastered keeping your images simple.
– Be careful how much you pump up the color, too much and it starts
looking too candy coated. And as impressive as your images are, you
still need to work on finding your OWN voice, your own style. The
images you show look too much like so many other people’s images.
This is probably the hardest and longest part of one’s photography to
develop. We ALL start out copying those we admire, but you need to
develop your own unique voice as a photographer.
There are photographers who’s work are completely recognizable as their own:
Richard Avedon, Peter Beard, Annie Leibowitz, Sally Mann, Elizabeth Messina, Frank Ockenfels to name a few.
Keep looking at work from a variety of not only photographers but artist of all sorts.
Film makers, artists, musicians etc…
You can find inspiration and ideas almost anywhere. One photographer I know was fascinated by an American artist named Joseph Cornell. Cornell’s most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These are simple shadow boxes, usually fronted with a glass pane, in which he arranged eclectic fragments of photographs or Victorian bric a brac. Check out his work.
Anyway this photographer loved these boxes and Cornell as an artist. He looked up where Cornell lived trying to understand where his creativity came from. He found he lived in an ordinary house on a street called Utopia Parkway in Flushings New York. Well Utopia parkway makes you think he was surrounded by a fantasy world from which to draw from, that’s what the photographer assumed.
Once he saw that location was ordinary at best he asked himself, ‘Wow, Utopia Parkway. What would life look like if one was to live on a street called Utopia Parkway?”
That one question sent this photographer on a 2 year project shooting images that he felt expressed what living on a road like that
would look like.
My point is you never know where your inspiration will come from. Keep looking, keep shooting, carry a notebook to jot down ideas to try.
I love going to art museums pick out art I love, then I take 1 or 2 elements from the art work and try to use it in photographic work.
Your unique voice will come but you need to keep shooting!
Good Luck.March 19, 2015 at 4:25 pm #25230JLiuMember
While I agree that you appear to be on the right track as a budding photographer – especially at 16 – forgive me if I call you out on the “none of this work is HDR.” You may not have, perhaps, used Photomatix or HDR Efex Pro as part of your editing process (although I would challenge that as well given the tone mapping), but it’d be hard for me to accept that some of those weren’t composites in some shape…March 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm #25231abobeck11Member
I don’t use HDR, I process one raw file in Lightroom, and use dodge and burn to artisticly express my style. Also none of this work is composited.March 20, 2015 at 11:52 am #25237SharraModerator
Overall, I like the majority of the shots, but I do agree with others about what appears to be over-processing on some of them. It would be nice to see the original shot and the history of steps that got you to the end. I’d like to think I take some nice shots now and then, but I’s far from being a pro and I will never proclaim to be one. What I do know I that I suck at post-processing and I’m thinking “What the ^&$# do I do with this one to make it better?” and it usually amounts to adjustments to exposure and WB, but that’s about it when I’m sure the photo could stand to have a few more edits. I wonder where I would be if I had access to a DSLR, Photoshop and Lightroom back when I was 16! 🙂March 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm #25239VisionthingMember
I know I just responded to you on another thread but anyway…
Post processing is definitely an import part of the photographic process. Back in the day either you sent your film into a lab who made those adjustments, unknown to most people, or you were more knowledgeable and hands on and did the developing and process in the darkroom yourself.
So the processing of one’s digital images is still an important part of the process and aesthetic decision making photographers do but…
I always tell my students: Don’t just shoot and expect to take a ho hum image or an image that has lots of technical problems [which you failed to address while you were shooting] and expect to process it not a master piece.
You still need to understand how to see photographically and be able to shoot the technical things [either pushing your creativity by playing with the tools of your camera or solving a technical problem] before you press the shutter. Hoping that a bad image will be made good in Photoshop or Lightroom is frankly being lazy as a photographer.
Get it right as much as you can in camera while you’re shooting. This saves you time in post -production and forces you to be a more conscious photographer at the moment of capture which will turn you in to a better photographer…the longer you do that.March 20, 2015 at 8:03 pm #25245SharraModerator
So as not to detract from the purpose of this thread being a critique on the work of a young, aspiring photographer, I just want to clarify that I am well versed in the technical aspects of photography and seeing what makes a good photo most of the time. I am also well aware that post-processing is a fundamental part of the digital era. But there is such a thing as too much PP and I wonder sometimes if what I’ve shot needs more than what I’ve already said and how much to go before overdoing it. Since my photos are for my personal collection only, I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but I’m still learning about what can make a good photo great and thankfully there are a lot of printed and online resources that help in that regard. Now, on to more more critiquing is anyone else so chooses…
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