Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Critiques and feedback please.

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    Hi all.  I’m glad I found this site.  I am a new hobbyist (just started shooting about nine or ten months ago).  I know I am no where near real photographer status yet.  I’m hoping I can get some constructive criticism on some of my shots here on my FB page.  Bear in mind that some of my first shots back in summer of 2012 were bad where I was still learning exposure and shutter speed and I have left them in on purpose just to show where I started from.  I currently shoot with a Nikon D3000 but after renting a D7000 for a weekend I have a new D7100 on preorder and can’t wait to move up to it when it arrives.

    Looking forward to identifying where I need improvement and suggestions for that improvement.

    my FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hikari-to-Kage-Images/495922100434752




    Sorry I don’t have a lot of time to go shot by shot, but you have a lot to work on.  First off though, kudos for getting some good looking models for your shoots.  You are doing well on recruiting.

    Now for the bad.  A lot of it is, in my opinion.  Some shots are blown out, with really bad highlights on the faces.  The next shot might be too dark.  Micaela is very pretty, but that whole set needs some serious work, or just take it down.  You go from one end of the spectrum to the other.  There is little definition to the light on them.  No profile and no shadows on most of them.  Or they are too close to the background and throwing an ugly shadow on it.  Honestly your best lit shot is the “accident” shot of Kenzie, though her arm pose looks like she is just showing off her armpit or something as that seems quite awkward.  The one of the chick with tats in the chair, you obviously had it crooked and tried to straighten it up.  But you went too far and just let gray shit around the sides.  Either make a border to go around the edge, or crop that crap out.  Get some speedlights or reflectors for some outdoor shots as none of those pictures seem right to me.  Most are too dark, blurry, or just have no definition to separate them from the background.  Sorry I don’t have more time to cover it right now.


    +55 to fauxfighter.. you need to work out lighting, and that quite frankly (in my immensely long 2 minutes of propagating through your photos) seems to be above all your biggest downfall. You can get flash guns on the cheap if your not afraid of manually setting the exposure


    I have to agree with FauxFighters And ditto everything that was said.

    I think you have jumped the gun so to speak, and have  jumped into the creative side of photography before  getting a basic grasp of exposure, lighting, and the technical aspects.  Started decorating the house before the foundation was built.

    In your shoes, I would work more simply.  Try some studio shots of objects, to get a feel of how light works to create depth and dimension.  I think working more simply with your models would help as well.  Take complicated concepts, posing, styling, and direction out of the equation for a spell, and try simple, just to help you concentrate on the less exciting and more technical side of things.  Maybe just some well lit head shots or three quarter shots would do the trick.  be sure to pull them away from the background

    meanwhile, play with available light outdoors as well.  Instead of looking for great subject matter, look for great light.  Get out there during the magic hours, and shoot what you see, concentrating solely on light and how it plays with objects (or people if you got um).

    Google lighting patterns, and experiment with them.  I agree that your accidental shot is your strongest image.  It popped right out at me while looking, As if a different more experienced photographer shot it.  Shoot a great posed shot split lit intentionally like that, and you’d be on to something.

    Light, and proper exposure, those are two things you need to concentrate most on right now.  Study study study, and shoot with more intent, not nessesarily to convey, but to learn how to shot well enough to convey.

    you are not a fauxtog, and it’s very refreshing to read your post and bio and go through your images.  Thank you so very much for taking the time to learn properly and caring so much about what you do.


    Watch your cropping and don’t let models do the duck face.


    First off I have to agee with @Fauxfighters,  some nice looking ladies there!
    Secondly, you are definitely not a Fauxtographer as you have said “I know I am no where near real photographer status yet” and you are not charging for work, so no worries there my friend. One of the things I really like (and which also negates you from fauxtogradom in my book) is that you haven’t photoshopped the crap out of your images with stupid effects and what not.

    I’m going to try and be constructive here because from what I’ve seen, I feel like you will learn this as you progress through your journey. I don’t think many of us here can say we never took shots similar to some of the ones you have when we first picked up a DSLR. If no one else admits it, I will openly say it now. Birds, flowers, sunsets, it’s all there and you will only get better!

    I do have a couple of pointers:


    On the above image you say “Okay now I have my exposure and shutter speed figured out” – To me this says 2 things (this is assuming that flashes/studio stobes were used). You are unsure of correct exposure, and you seem unsure of what shutter speed does when using strobes. Which is to say, shutter does nothing at all to affect the light coming from the flash (unless your go over your sync speed, in which case the flash will not show at all in the image).


    This link above here is, I would agree with Fauxfighters again, your best lit shot. THIS is much more like correct exposure in my opinion. To be honest, if the model was off to one side instead of dead centre, I would go as far as to say it was a really decent image  🙂


    So here are my suggestions.

    Next time you get to use studio flashes try this.  Set your camera to Manual if you aren’t already doing so. Use ISO 100 (or the lowest available). Set shutter speed to its maximum flash sync speed (usually 1/200th or 1/250th of a second and LEAVE IT THERE.  Set the flashes to say 1/4 to 1/2 of their total power output and set your aperture to it’s lowest value for the lens you are using (say f3.5). Take a shot, review it on your camera and turn the histogram on to check for flashing highlights (blown out). Increase the aperture by maybe 1 stop (turn your dial 3 clicks usually as most DSLRs are set at 1/3 stop increments). So say you started at f3.5 on a kit lens, increase the number to f5.0. Take another shot and check on the back of your camera again. Use the histogram again to check for blown highlights. Continue this process until your exposure looks correct and your histogram shows minor, or no blown out areas.

    Depending on the flashes being used, you may need more or less power than suggested but you have to start somewhere. If you follow that advice and your first shot is too dark, turn the flash power up to full and try again. If it’s still dark, move the flash closer to your subject. If its STILL dark, increase your ISO. But  ALWAYS ALWAYS leave your shutter speed alone if you are working in a studio with a white background.

    You will need to learn how to use shutter speed with flash outdoors, but you can do that when you understand how aperture controls the flash exposure on your subject.

    I think that would be a good place for you to start learning about flash control and correct exposure in a practical sense. Another tip is to decrease the brightness on your cameras rear screen. These aren’t the best for reviewing photos, we all know that, but you have to use it so try to calibrate it so that you cause yourself as few problems as possible when reviewing photos. Brighter screen = Making you think the image is brighter than it actually is.

    Hopefully, when you understand what the correct exposure looks like, this will transfer into getting the correct exposure in ambient light too.


    I apologise if you already know this but it’s still a good place to go back to and work on your technique. It took me a long time to understand how to use flash correctly but this website   http://strobist.blogspot.co.uk/       helped me a whole bunch.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on if you do try a few pratices of this kind   🙂


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