September 26, 2013 at 11:12 am #13339IHFParticipant
I whole heartedly agree with ebi, and it could have been left at his first comment. Now it’s up to you to figure out what makes a photograph versus a snapshot, and up to you to figure out why he said what he did (along with others who chose to elaborate more), and what you need to do to start making photographs. My suggestion is to seek out the good stuff in the genres you are interested and study them. Find out what makes them work, and apply what you have learned in your own photography.
Ebi’s work is irrelevant
An article you might find helpfulSeptember 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm #13344cameraclickerParticipant
I just wanted to say I disagree OP. I don’t see the relevance in seeing a critique(r?)s work.
I do see the relevance of seeing the work of someone who is giving a critique. And, with Ebi’s first few comments but no photos, I thought he was a troll. Since then, I have seen enough of Ebi’s work to know that’s not the case.September 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm #13351emfParticipant
@ CC, I understand your viewpoint but for me the way someone crits and communicates tells me all I need to know as to whether they understand their subject or not. It can even be distracting as being a great in any field doesn’t necessarily mean you have the aptitude to communicate that knowledge to others. For example when I was at college, the best teacher – who was also by far the scariest, showed us his work and it was just painting after painting of lolly pop trees. Like for 45 minutes. But he was a great teacher, and actually a successful artist too. Because I didn’t care much for his work didn’t negate from that fact, so why did it matter how I felt about his work when he appraised mine – he gave very insightful crits and really made me learn to assess my own work.
I think there is an attitude of, ‘well, show me YOU can do better, before I listen to you’, whereas IMHO, the mindset to have should be ‘how can this critique make ME better, as the purpose of the crit is about the critiqu(ee) improving their own work, not the critique(r)sSeptember 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm #13357ebiParticipant
@EMF, I think what CC is trying to say is that my first several comments came off as rude and insensitive as if I were just a troll here to get a few kicks. Once he saw enough of my posts that offered some insight, it showed that I had some knowledge and wasn’t just a simple troll.
I’m not interested in showing my work. I’m interested in helping others who want to be a photographer and what better place is there to do that than YANAP? lol. My method is a little different than most, and while I’ve toned it down some, I still feel that tough love is a little more effective.
If I had your supposed amazing and highly sought after and well paid skill level I would be willing to put up some shots and prove just how amazing I am
Never said, nor implied, any of that. This is your assumption. I am a working photographer. Sometimes I get paid well, sometimes I don’t. That is the nature of the business, but I keep busy.
You on the other hand seem unwilling to do so, and that in itself takes away from any credibility that you might think you have.
I’m not looking for validation or credibility. I think you are though. Sorry, I cannot do that, nor is that my role. I can only say what I see. You’ll fare far better if you aren’t looking so much for validation from others.
I could care less if you like my shit, you and your opinions mean nothing without your perfect work to back it up. I am not trying to pick a fight with you,
Then stop trying to pick a fight with me. Go use that time to take better pictures. Sometimes you just have to scurry off with your tail between your legs and come back stronger next time.
We can all say that your photography sucks and we will never know because you don’t seem to have the backbone to post anything to back up your comments.
I don’t really think that looking at my work would help you any. I can offer you all the advice in the world but only you will be able to solve your problems. I’ve tried emulating others’ work. I’ve tried flat out copying it. It doesn’t work. I know what I like and what I don’t like and I do my best to be as original and creative as I can be. I fail often, but it feels really good when I succeed.
I’d be willing to bet your shit is not that good, if it was you would have it on here for all to see, it shows in your comments.
I’d be willing to bet my shit isn’t that good either! We can double down and share the pot. How much you got?
Your pictures suck as well, care to prove me wrong?
Not really. You are doing a fine job of that yourself.September 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm #13358
JLiu, I tried that. Did you read the first comment ebi made on my post?
“snapshots with watermarks are not professional, sellable or interesting…”
Compared to the rest of the responses which I’ll point out were not at all a bunch praise and love and “good news” and I did thank them all and have already begun to act on their suggestions.
Thanks for your response, I guess I should have expected and then overlooked everything ebi had to say after noticing a bunch of his/her post’s in all the forums on here. That in itself might have made me weary and ready for ebi’s style of delivery and lack of respect. And I don’t mean respect as photographer but as a person.
I’m a respectful person, I am also very honest and will give my opinion. Be it good bad or indifferent, many times to the extreme, but with respect always.
I guess I should have written “Any and all “USEFUL” comments and critiques will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for reminding me not to get baited into useless battles.September 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm #13361
Thanks to everyone for their insights and critiques.
Especially the useful ones.
Dannyboy.September 26, 2013 at 11:46 pm #13370JLiuParticipant
With regards to what he had to say – the bad news is: Ebi has a point. I can really only comment on the landscape photos (because I’m shit with portrait and animal photography), but they, more or less, feel like snapshots.
The good news is: You can absolutely improve.
Pick out your faves (with regards to landscape) and I can try to point out areas of strength and areas for improvement. There are a couple common areas that could use some attention:
1) The foreground is very often a few stops darker than the background. Sunrise/Sunsets will prove difficult to expose correctly without the proper gear. If that’s your niche, invest in a set of neutral density graduated filters – they are absolutely essential. Either that, or get really good at bracket shooting and merging in post production. If either prove challenging, I’ve found that metering for a dark spot in the foreground and then underexposing by 2/3 – 1 1/3 stop will generally yield usable results (with some tweaking). The sky/sun will likely be a bit blown out.
2) Foreground interest is fundamental in landscape photography. Look at every award winning landscape photo and you’ll start noticing common themes – especially with the “anchor” and the “whatever draws the eyes through the image.” Learn these.September 27, 2013 at 10:13 am #13392
Thank you JLiu!! I will go through them and pick a couple!!
I need work on it because as you noticed that is what I shoot the most.
Post production is one of my biggest problems, my computer skills in general kinda suck.
Thank you again!September 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm #13421nesgranParticipant
A really powerful torch is also a good idea if you have foreground objects you want to highlight with a bit of light paintingSeptember 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm #13451JustAndyParticipant
OP – don’t reach out and expect people to fall over themselves for subpar images. Ebi’s assessment was fine and also fairly accurate. I found this to be one of the most annoying threads in a long time, and have come to the conclusion that you are someone who needs positive reinforcement. You’re not looking for a critique, you’re looking for praise – two different things. Your images do look like snapshots. That’s fine. But you need to accept them for what they are at this time. Do you want to get better? Then stop being defensive. No one owes you a damned thing, any help you get is a gift.September 28, 2013 at 1:35 am #13482JonesParticipant
Well, it seems like wildlife/landscapes/nature is certainly your area and what you feel comfortable with. Some of the nature shots just seem like high-ISO evening shots instead of actual planned landscapes with a tripod, long exposure, etc. Long exposures will make your water have that silky smooth texture and then you can use your base ISO to get clean shots.
“All of the prints are for sale. […]I shoot for the love of it and not the money.” That’s probably not necessary. If you have an ‘official’ photography page, it’s probably implied somewhere that you are shooting for the money, to some extent. But you should love what you’re doing anyway, so no need to mention it. It doesn’t tell me anything about YOU. So, you shoot for the love of photography. Cool — you and every other photographer on the planet do, too. Put something there that will make people read and care about what you have to say.
An incredible photographer told me recently — Just because you’re shooting something [to pay the bills] doesn’t mean you’ve got to tell everyone else that’s what you do. Some of the photos of the girl with the wine glasses look a little… “what’s the point?” https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/859893_478668795515483_2046203372_o.jpg looks like it had off camera flash, but it’s not particularly nice off camera flash.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=478668532182176&set=a.478667662182263.105762.160417077340658&type=1&theater is very much out of focus. Not sure how that happened. Even her arm looks a little soft. Separate the personal projects from the “business” projects. Just because a photo was taken, does not mean it has to go on the business page. That only gets your BEST stuff.
The wedding stuff needs some work if you plan on doing that and marketing it as “something you do.” If not, then shoot the weddings when they come up and don’t advertise on your page that you do them regularly. Again, back to that whole “shoot what you need to pay the bills. Doesn’t mean you have to tell people that.” The wedding shots aren’t bad. However, it seems that you have snapshots mixed in with nice moments. Weddings take a special breed of person. I was originally trained on wedding photography, and it’s still something I try to avoid. I will try and go more in depth for the wedding stuff because I know a little more about weddings and portraits and I know nothing about landscapes so that’s been touched on.
https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/p206x206/946878_519249694790726_1584653286_n.jpg His eyes are closed and the body position is looking off camera. She’s looking at the camera. As the wedding photographer, you have to take charge to make sure that people aren’t looking all in different directions. Make sure your camera is what people are looking at. You are the most important camera at that event. I always tell people to let me get my shots first and they can shoot the large group at the end for a few minutes. Same with https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/464654_519249688124060_367162806_o.jpg. There are random eyes shut and people facing off you.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=519250898123939&set=a.519249644790731.1073741833.160417077340658&type=3&theater Split lighting does not look good on brides in this situation, with her facial structure and teeth. Her eye has a catchlight, and is lost to an extent that it looks unflattering.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/469267_519250791457283_1031844952_o.jpg is rather nice. I would remove whatever is on the window there. It does nothing for the photo and distracts. It’s a very easy removal.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/474351_519250824790613_1506032946_o.jpg is also nice. It may be a tad warm for my tastes, but that’s personal preference. Looks a little grainy. See if some noise reduction could help it if better gear is not an option. Could also be facebook ruining your photos.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/981676_519250921457270_1191261377_o.jpg You caught yourself in the mirror. Big no no. That can (read: should) be easily cropped in any wedding photos.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=519251011457261&set=a.519249644790731.1073741833.160417077340658&type=3&theater I know she is crying, but these are not flattering bride tears. The direct flash does nothing for her. Rent, beg, borrow, or steal some kind of speedlight for your weddings. You can’t afford NOT to have one. Bounce it, diffuse it. Put it on a paint pole and throw a zumbrella over it. Something. If weddings is something you want to do, learn the light.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/474348_519251201457242_1312617134_o.jpg does nothing for *you* without context. The first thing I thought when I saw it was “family feud. Bride dad and father in law hate one another and don’t want the wedding.” Doesn’t work for your album in this case.
There should be no reason for any out of focus wedding shot to ever be delivered to a client, and ESPECIALLY not put on your facebook page. If it’s a wonderful moment and it’s slightly soft, do what you can and deliver it to Mom anyway because she’ll love it. But everyone else does NOT need to know you let an out of focus shot through you. DON’T put it on your page. Same goes for brides and beer. That’s fine if that’s the wedding, but it doesn’t need to be on your page. Potential clients will not be impressed.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/468416_519249931457369_993068298_o.jpg Powerlines are running through heads. That’s a 10 second removal in photoshop.
Something is seriously wrong with the exposure. One shot to a next and there has to be at least a 3-4 stop difference in exposure. Check your metering or something.
Your own comments on your gallery — “In a few of them you look fully retarded…….LOL” Probably not the best thing to say. Comment on your page as your personal self, or private message friendly comments like that. People browsing aren’t going to know the difference of who is your friend’s wedding and who was your paid wedding, and they don’t want to be called looking fully retarded.
Watch out for things like the plants in https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/464517_519249694790726_1584653286_o.jpg. things like that pop up a lot in your photos. They aren’t needed, and when you can you should do a quick eye border check and take out anything that shouldn’t be there in camera.
That’s what I have for now. Keep working at it. If you have any questions on what was said, I would be happy to try and go into more depth.September 28, 2013 at 2:11 am #13487BillParticipant
Jones points out a lot of good helpful tidbits. We all make mistakes and sometimes get caught up in the moment, but after everything is said and done, once you download your images, you have full control of what to put out there for all to see.
I started out in landscapes and still do them from time to time between shoots to keep myself busy and to interact with others. I get some of my business that way, so I keep doing it. They either see me or they see the camera and want to ask questions or just check out my gear.
I remember I did a wedding for a friend on a tight budget and man, did I make a ton of mistakes. I felt bad, because I knew better, but the end result was that they were happy. In my opinion, they were not that great, by my standards. Not making excuses but the church was not a flattering venue, mixed lighting and I forgot to change the ISO, so I ran most shots at a really low shutter speed, so of course many were blurry. No flash was allowed due to someone having a condition of some sort from what I was told. I remember one shot that they loved, I had to soften the image up to hide the background because no matter what angle I took, there was an EXIT sign smack dab in the frame somewhere.
The good thing was like I said, they were happy with what I showed them. I did not show them the really blurry ones.
Danny, as for your editing skills, if you don’t have Lightroom or Photoshop, by Lightroom, it is cheaper and go on youtube. There are literally thousands of videos by groups and individuals to teach you tips and the fundamentals about either program. Lynda.com and several others sell subscriptions with good helpful tutorials for both programs and many more. I use it when I don’t know a certain feature on PS, I don’t use every feature option that PS offers, who does? If you are really serious about your hobby and maybe want to be more professional about your images, then this is a good start.
If you want to get better at the physical part, just shoot more. Find something and make it interesting. Practice, Practice, Practice.
If you get frustrated, shoot some more. Look for that common element that is driving you crazy, learn it and master it, then find the next one. Try shooting things outside your comfort range. It will get you to think on the fly and getting faster at getting that shot.
If your not having any luck at that, try some local groups that go on photo treks, Meetup, facebook, flickr and craigslist all have little groups you can join, many for free to get hands-on experience from others.
Good Luck man!~October 1, 2013 at 11:08 am #13779
Thank you both so much Bill and Jones, I do appreciate all the pointers and tips very much.
You both nailed me to a tee. I do get way caught up in posting too much crap, and I guess I treat my page like I am in real life, very open and willing to say what my lil brain says, my editing skills from brain to mouth are even worse than my photo editing skills.
I will get back to it soon, Been super busy and haven’t shot much of anything other than a rock show last weekend.
Thanks again for all your help and for taking the time to really look at my work and giving me such great advice!!
Much respect always, Danny
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