Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? I'd like some opinions on my photos.

  • This topic has 8 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by Bill.
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    I started photography in 2013, but for the first year or so I concentrated on taking pictures of buildings, flowers etc.
    At the end of last year, I developed an interest in photographing humans (after having protested for ages that it didn’t interest me at all…), and now I’m trying to focus my energies on becoming better at portraits.

    It would mean a lot to me if you’d look through my work so far, and tell me how I’m doing, and what I need to improve on.  I do submit my work to critique groups on flickr, but they always look at the individual photos, rather than my body of work.

    You can find my pictures here:   https://www.tumblr.com/blog/hayleytakespictures

    Thanks in advance,



    Hayley, perhaps you could direct us to your work on Flickr, since you apparently already have an account there and this page seems to have been set up to work well with Flickr?

    The link you provided to Tumblr takes me to a log in screen and I don’t want to create an account.


    oh, sorry – I didn’t realise you have to log in to be able to use tumblr!
    The reason I didn’t give my flickr account straight away is because there is some work mixed in there that’s more snapshotty, and I wouldn’t really count it as my best photography.
    But here’s my link



    Wow… this image tells me a dramatic story of a woman who perhaps had a hard life. That was the first sentence which came to mind. The lighting is great and allows for the texture of her face to really stand out. Well done.


    Nice, sharp shot from above. Love the pose and shallow DOF.


    Great candid, vivid colors.

    In all, some nice work. 🙂


    I think they look pretty good, too.

    One tip. When I look at this one,


    I see she has a thin white line around her shoulders, between her and the wall.  That line is caused by too much sharpening.  The whole image looks like a lot of sharpening was applied and I would be inclined to sharpen it less if it were mine, but, if you like the general sharpness I would still run a small blur tool across the shoulders to remove the white line.

    And, a couple of observations about the same photo:  If she was moved a few feet from the wall, the wall could be unfocused which would give it a softer look.  Also, the wall seems to be light on the top part with a very sharp transition to a dark lower part.  The transition seems to be diagonals from higher to lower on both sides of her.


    I’m guessing the sharpening was to bring out the texture of the skin for a harder look. You can get the look with duplicate layers and changing the blend mode. The super heavy vignette detracts from the image because you are darkening the forehead and the focal point of the image is now her nose.

    This isn’t sharp, it should go in the bin


    This isn’t very sharp, the noise is bad and his hair blends seamlessly in to the background making it look like he is a face floating


    This one you could have used the negative space a bit better. As it stands now the girl is looking out of the picture. I would have preferred to have framed her on the other side of the photo so she was looking in to the photo instead. Some context could work as well, what is it that she is so focussed on outside the frame? The horizon is tilted as well


    Here you’ve brought the over exposed outside back into the picture but it doesn’t look very good. The colour fringing you get from doing it isn’t worth it. Again a tilted photo. This one you could have made better by not including the outside. You have the great side light from the big windows going so a darker background would have helped bring your subject out more.


    Not sure what you have done to the background here but it doesn’t look great with all the blotchiness. I would have preferred her to be on the other side of the middle looking that way


    This photo would have benefited from a longer focal range and a deeper depth of field. Her eye is sharp as is his ear but his eyes aren’t


    Here he is in focus but she isn’t. For these something like an 85mm lens would have been ideal. The background would have been blurred yet you could have had a deeper depth of field. With a short lens like a 35mm you will struggle to get both.


    Not sharp, stick in bin


    I like this shot, the leading lines work well and the colours complement. Advice would be to tell the people to walk really slowly towards you. Basically in slow motion. It makes getting focus easier but also prevents the motion blur you have on their feet. It isn’t a dynamic enough photo to really make use of the motion in it.


    Another one I like where the hair works with the background. Was it intentional or did it just happen to be so?


    This I could easily see in a clothes store on one of the walls


    I think you are doing well. The photos aren’t perfect and you are limited by your gear but you’ve done well no matter. The portraits have good expressions, the colours are mostly there (some difference between various shots in the same album but no massive difference ) and you’ve made your subjects look good. My advice would be to cull the shots you have though, if they aren’t sharp and crisp get rid of them. At some point you need to expand your lens collection beyond the 35 1.8 which will make things a lot easier for you. You make good use of the natural light but you are at a stage where you ought to be learning how to augment it be it with reflectors or a bit of flash. Portraits with catch lights look a lot more alive that without.


    thanks everyone for taking the time to give me some helpful feedback.  I’ll try to keep it all in mind in the future when I’m shooting and editing.  Especially the tip about lighting – I have been wanting to learn more about light for a long time now, and I guess it’s time to actually start doing it.

    And thanks Nesgran for confirming my suspicions that I really do need that 85mm lens!
    I’ve been saving up for one since last summer, but wasn’t sure if I could really justify spending the money on it, which is why I’ve been making do with what I have.


    An 85mm is a good choice, another would be a 70-200 2.8 but that will be a little bit awkward on a crop camera but worth checking out. The older sigmas are decent and not very expensive but obviously no match optically for the nikon 85mm


    Believe or not Nesgran and Spanghew the 70-200 2.8 will give you some surprising results on a crop sensor, I would suggest renting or borrowing one to give it a try. The 85 is really nice though, IMO it is one of the best primes that Canon makes.
    I have a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 and it works very well on my 7D and my old trusty rebel T3i. Though many people think it magnifies the focal length, it does not, it “appears” that way due to the 1.6 crop but no actual zoom factor is taking place. If anything, your getting the crisper cleaner image in the center with a crop sensor camera.

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