Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Feel free to turn your critical eye my way

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    WSC – You’ve successfully avoided the question, and added nothing to the conversation again. My point was that if you’re going to be critical, perhaps you should demonstrate that you have a grasp of photography yourself. From the images that you linked to, I can clearly see that you’re a competent photographer. As a critic, teacher, or mentor, you get a failing grade.

    ” that brenizer shot is all out of focus in the foreground”  *facepalm*”  I understand the concept behind that process, but that doesn’t change the rules of good photography. You need to start with a good composition, and finish with a good composition. How does saying “I purposely left a large out of focus highlight in the foreground” justify it? That image is just a failure on a much grander scale than mine.


    Gerbles – it’s all I have right now. I suppose I could scan my prints in, but they are not very recent. Until I have time to take more photos, they are going to have to suffice. From the responses I have been getting, I don’t think everyone realizes how Facebook “Likes” and comments can be used to reach their target audience, but I’m not here to write an essay on that. Either way, thank you for your input.


    Rpg, I have to agree with CC

    “the point is that no one really cares how the photo was made unless they are trying to recreate it. What most people care about is, is it any good? The tilt, chopped off top, bright blobs in the foreground all detract”.

    I think it’s cool that you are experimenting with it. I want to do this method so badly, but… I don’t have PS or any sort of editing program that is able to stitch or layer. I just know how to make basic edits, and use a very light editing and organizing program (apple’s Aperture). I’m a “get it right in camera” kind of girl, (in fact I shoot jpeg most of the time. Gasp!) but I’ve also wanted to give focus stacking a go. Don’t know when I’ll take the plunge, but both methods look like so much fun, and ugh! The possibilities!



    Melinda, I used to live fairly close to you, in Westlake Village. I’m sure you’re familiar with the demographics of that area. A typical portrait sitting was as much as a soccer mom charges for a wedding here in Utah. When I moved here, I sold my medium format outfit for about 20% of what it cost, and wasn’t about to reinvest in more digital gear just to compete in that market. So I sold my lighting, backgrounds, and everything else too. Kept some film bodies for sentimental reasons, and one DSLR that I used for casual photography until the shutter finally became erratic and unreliable.

    I enjoyed my time behind the camera in SoCal. Working with people has always been important. I view computers as a tool, nothing more. I loved delivering wedding albums, and watching the bride’s face light up as she flipped through them. Or showing a family their proofs, and having the parents comment that I captured the personality of each of their children perfectly. But times have changed. Photography has changed. Consumers have changed. In the past, it seemed that my clients were used to being photographed, knew which side was their good side, and what poses they wanted. Now, they are most accustomed to a phone pic taken at arm’s length, and are awkward in front of the camera. I have a lot of hurdles to overcome.

    The two weddings I shot this year were for close friends and family. I didn’t charge either of them. Had I not shown up with a camera, they would most likely have not gotten any at all, other than what guests took with P&S cameras, or their phones. They got quotes from local photographers, looked at their work, and recognized that it was sub-par. Yes, worse than mine even. But I am here because I would like to improve my game, and sharpen my skills. That was easy enough when I was single and only worked 40 hours/week. I have a lot less free time now, but a long list of friends that are willing to come over and sit for me while I work on my lighting and posing. So any input from other photographers is appreciated.

    Oh, as far as just being better than my competition, you’d have to see how bad it is to fully understand. Yes, I want to do the very best I can, but if I was just in it for the money, it really wouldn’t take much effort to get paying clients here.


    As many photographers say — just because you shoot it, doesn’t mean you gotta post it.

    The lighting seems mostly nice. If there were some way you get the flash off camera, that would obviously be ideal. A great majority of some of these shots seem like they are very out of focus, and facebook does not you whatsoever.

    I’m still a student in high school and haven’t been shooting decades by any means, but critical focus was always the first thing taught to me under professional photgraphers.


    I use Stroboframe brackets for my flash, which keeps them above the lens. For weddings and events, that’s what I’ve always done. I want to experiment more with bouncing my wireless speedlight into an umbrella for outdoor portraits, where speed is less of a concern.

    Looking over some of the originals, they don’t look soft at all. Not sure what FB does to them. And the ones that are soft appear to be shot with either my 17-40 or the 24-105, both of which are only f4 wide open. I’ve never had a problem focusing the 24-70, which is a 2.8, so maybe I need to let the AF do its thing more often.


    Here’s the problem.

    You came here asking for us to “Feel free to turn your critical eye my way” and when people did what you asked, but didn’t give the response you wanted you started slagging of their pictures.

    You have pictures like this on your page.


    yet before you will accept any criticism from me, you want to check out my work to see if I am worthy?

    Your pictures are CRAP and the only thing worse is your attitude, and now you want me to tell you

    what the current school of thought it for successfully marketing your work

    Why would I want to do that?


    I’ve never had a problem focusing the 24-70, which is a 2.8, so maybe I need to let the AF do its thing more often.

    I’m not sure what you are used to.  All of my film cameras have strictly manual focus lenses.  All my digital gear have auto-focus lenses.  The other major difference is the manual focus film bodies have split prism viewfinders.  The digital ones have a plain white focusing screen and overlay some focus points and optionally a rule of thirds grid and/or a level.   Digital cameras are designed to be auto-focused and manual focus is only there to allow you to function when the auto-focus is confused, or you are trying to operate beyond its limits.  Definitely, choose an auto-focus point, put that where you want to focus and let the camera figure it out.  Recompose if necessary, then shoot.

    If you really want accurate manual focus, mount the camera on a tripod, turn on Live View, or whatever Nikon call the function that displays what the sensor sees on the monitor, then zoom in as far as you can on what you want to be in focus, finally adjust focus to taste and shoot.  Hard on the battery life, but effective.


    I would say I don’t understand Facebook.  I only started a page so I could check what my kids were exposing.  Having the account has been useful because other sites use the account to authenticate.  During the course of having it, I have had friends join, but they are mostly in other countries and the nearest is a two hour’s drive away.  I don’t see any of them as potential customers.  I have uploaded a couple of photos, then deleted them, just to see what they looked like.  Displayed on my own web page, or on Flickr, 500px, and number of other sites, they always look better than what I saw on Facebook.

    If there is some way I should be using Facebook that would be beneficial, I would love to hear what I should be doing.



    WSC – you haven’t provided a single bit of useful information. You come off as a self-centered snob with your “let me tell you about myself”. Unless you’re willing to assist other photographers in improving their work, all you’re doing here is behaving like a typical internet bully, which is surprising from someone your age. “Your pictures are CRAP” doesn’t offer much guidance on how they could be improved. Beating a dead horse by commenting on the same image (one of two) over and over achieves nothing. Now that you’ve stated the obvious, do you have anything of value to add?

    I’ll happily accept criticism from someone that’s actually demonstrated knowledge of photography. RPG is clearly not qualified to offer criticism or advice, given the glaring issues found in his own work. At least two other posters have agreed with me on that.


    Unless you’re willing to assist other photographers in improving their work, all you’re doing here is behaving like a typical internet bully,

    Oh jeeez, Now I’m an internet bully!

    There’s plenty of people here  who I’ve helped. But none of them had your attitude.

    You come off as a self-centered snob with your “let me tell you about myself”

    Wasn’t it you who wanted to know if I was qualified enough to tell you how crap your pics are.

    Loose the attitude and you’ll find plenty of people here who are willing to help you.  Though I think you’ve blown your chances with me.





    Maybe it’s just me but I always found that flash brackets didn’t offer me the quality I was looking for for the trouble they were. Anyway, all the weddings I shot with my mentor Jenny we used large studio strobes off camera bouncing into umbrellas for reception halls. All flashes were triggered by radios. Bouncing off ceiling or direct umbrellas depended on ceiling height. Something to consider next event that isn’t critical where you can try. You can start with a shoot through umbrella on an adapter with a speedlight on a monopod. For receptions go for just direct speedlight. You can have an assistant who knows flash and sets the power, or set it at about quarter power and figure out the distance you need, telling your assistant to always remain that far from what you shoot at a 90 degree angle. Optionally, you can also use a TTL capable commander and see what it can do. It often works nicely. Just from experience, Nikon’s TTL worked better than Canon’s when off camera in the past, but I’m sure this has changed so nobody take that to be a certain thing — just my opinion and was largely the reason I chose Nikon when originally going for my camera.


    I’ll happily accept criticism from someone that’s actually demonstrated knowledge of photography. RPG is clearly not qualified to offer criticism or advice, given the glaring issues found in his own work. At least two other posters have agreed with me on that.

    Brian, RPG’s critique was harsh but he IS absolutely qualified to offer critique. We all are. I’m trying to stay away from this thread but I can’t lol! I’m sorry to say but I find your attitude to critique really wrong. It’s not just about only accepting advice from those who can prove they know more than you and have faultless portfolios – no one has. What if Robert Capa rocked up and gave a harsh critique and then you linked to his work and saw his Omaha photos – would you call him a douche who didn’t know what he was talking about, ‘given the glaring issues found in his work’?

    Personally I think RPG has some nice images on his photostream – but even if he was a total noob – it’s not about him proving himself to you. Same as I don’t have to – I’m only an amateur and I’m sure you’ve forgotten more than I’ve actually learnt. Even though I can’t always, many times, tell you how to improve something I can still tell you issues that don’t work with the image and it would be valid.

    This mindset that critiquers must prove themselves to you is wrong – all you need to do is listen to their words – give yourself some time to mull it over – it’s normal your initial reaction will be one of hurt and springing into defense – and here I am on your side, RPG’s critique was in my mind overly harsh and to be honest I’m not surprised you’ve gone into defense mode.  But give it a few days even, and then look at your work afresh – and ask yourself was there anything in that critique. More often than not you will see that valid points were raised. Regardless of whether or not that critquer has made similar mistakes – it’s always much easier to identify mistakes in the work of others anyway as you can view it more objectively.


    @Jones – for the church photos, I bounced my flash off the ceiling for some shots. It was rather high, and I had to raise my ISO to compensate, which resulted in some noise. If I do another church wedding, I’ll need to get access beforehand, so I can plan my lighting better. The flip side is that the couple in the photos really only wanted reportage style photos, which they’re not likely to print. I could have brought more lighting, spent time posing (time they didn’t bother to allow for), and gotten some better images. We had a hard enough time convincing the bride she needed a photographer in the first place, so the whole event was an uphill battle for me.


    @emf – I was discussing my photos with my wife this morning, and told her how helpful some members here have been. Everyone around me says my work is great, because they have no clue what really good photography is. I understand that, and I know there is plenty of room for improvement, which is why I opened myself up to criticism from actual photographers. But for someone to just dismiss my work without even giving a reason doesn’t help me. And if all they want to do is tell me it’s bad, I’m happy to let them provide examples of good work. The faults in his photos I pointed out are quite obvious, and really indefensible for someone who considers himself a pro. Combine that with his useless commentary, and I have nothing to learn from him. Notice I haven’t asked cameraclicks to show me his work – he’s been nothing but helpful.

    I appreciate your calm commentary, by the way.


    WCS / OldClicks: here kitty, kitty. hissssss! pffffffft!


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