Home › Forums › Am I a Fauxtog? › Please Critique. Good and Bad, Be Gentle
- This topic has 15 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 7 months ago by 8daysofTreasures.
October 10, 2012 at 3:44 am #4015
Hi. Did my first Wedding this last weekend. Note that this is just a sneak peak and I have plenty more still to edit. And also note I am a Nature Photographer still fresh with people. Please, any good or bad critique would be great. Ill add a few more links to some other pictures as well.
Sorry so many links, just wanted to give you plenty to judge by, Thanks
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150830113544720.420716.548869719&type=3October 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm #4020
you get my first post! You lucky duck! My goal here is not to say whether or not you’re a photographer or not, but to provide some constructive cricisim on what I think works and what doesn’t.
The first album – I would cut out some of the detail shots. I only need to see the building once. Same with rings, dress, etc. The detail shots are nice, but in a portfolio, to show you can photograph people too, I’d make them the people the majority. Also, I am not sure the lens you used at this wedding, but I imagine it’s a wide angle. With a wide angle lens, the closest part to the lens is what looks biggest. In the shot of the couple at the altar, the woman’s mid section and upper arm fall in the middle, and are therefore magnified, and those areas on her are already quite unflattering. In a situation where a bride or groom is bigger, I’d avoid shooting from the ground up, as their ass always look HUGE. And lastly, don’t repost pictures you’ve already posted – if you have one in colour and one black & white, pick the one you like best, but not both (same goes for cropping). It tends to give the impression that you didn’t have many shots to work with.
IN the second one, the colours are for the most part lovely. Watch that some of the images are a little under exposed. In one image, the boy moves his hand, and you can see the camera blur. Try to speed up the SS. OVerall, I like this album.
Your macro album (the 3rd) is good. Some of the images lack impact, so really try to take those pictures with more of a purpose in mind. Personally, I HATE selective colour, and nothing screams “FAUXTOGRAPHER” more than that. Cut it out. Your images should stand on their own without effects. Try different angles with macro – straight on rarely gives the impact you need to make a successful macro shot. Get rid of duplicate shots edited differently.
Fireworks album is good, but I don’t consider it part of your portrait portfolio, as there are no people.
Your landscapes show a lot of potential. One I think you added lens flare, which doesn’t improve the photo, and again, I see the same photo edited twice – pick your favourite, drop the others. THe pictures of *just* the clouds lackdimension and subject matter, and I don’t like those.
Hope that helps!October 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm #4022
I completely agree about the same shots twice. This is not my portfolio but was for the Bride to see. I really do agree with you on everything. I used a Canon Rebel with a standard lens. When it comes time to make my portfolio I will take in to consideration what you said. Thank you for being gentle. Like I said I feel im a “semi” pro a Nature but just starting out with People.
Was wondering if you could let me know what shots you think lack impact. Just so I can learn
The nature shots are a matter of opinion for me. I love them
ThanksOctober 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm #4023
Certainly. In the fall album, the lady bug is cute. It would have had more impact had it been taken at a lower level, so if you had laid down beside it. A wider aperature would have also helped. Right now, the lady bug and the leaf are clearly in focus, when the focus is really on the bug, correct? So, a different angle + wider aperature would have helped there. For example a few pictures later, the dark ref leaf with the drops are nice, and I like how the big drop is the focus. In that shot, I’d maybe crop differently, so the big drop is off to one side. You want to start there, and have your eye pulled through the rest of the picture, which the veins in the leaf do. Avoid centering your subject UNLESS the center is where the most impact is. In the case of the red leaf, I’d crop some of the grass off the bottom, and move the crop so the drop is more to the right.
In the trees that are sihlouetted on the sky after the red leaf, I would like to see the tops of the trees, so lay right down. I’d also like to see brigher highlights in the sky.
This is where I hate selective colouring – directly after that, it’s a red/yellow leaf on a bed of black and white. The picture itself is actually really indistint, and making the leaf colour doesn’t save it at all. Not to mention, there is very little dimension in the black and white, so it’s a boring black and white with a spot of colour. This colour does not make it interesting. It’s still not a great picture. (I would go so far as to say remove it from your portoflio). It might be okay, if I could see all the colours, and see what a gorgeous pallate fall has in your area.
Next: More leaves, shot from above, no clever angles. Imagine if you had gotten lower, and shot on the side of the shadows of the drop, and shot through a drop, so you could see the other drops behind it?
I like the trees over the road, I think it leads the eye. I might have shot from the ground, so that the road really pulls you away. Watch that you’re not losing too much detail in the shadows.
The picture after – THIS is what I am talking about. I’d crop out the red in the background.
Next, fake lens flare, get rid of it. I like the way you shot on the other side of the light. If you had been higher up, then you wouldn’t have a distracting horizon in the background. This shot, with the extreme highlights around the dark sides of the sticks would make a cool BW.
Now that I am mostly though this, stop slanting your horizions, unless they are actually slanted (like mountains). Sometimes this is an appropriate angle, but not in landscape photography.
Next shot, looks really similar to a previous shot, only it’s orientation hasn’t changed. Don;t put too much similar in your portfolio, pick the better of the two, and carry on, Then you’ve got it in sepia. Pick one!
Love the branches right after.
I see you found the tilt-shift action. It’s neat, don’t over use it. The two you’ve used it on are a little over-saturated. Colour pop is fun, but make sure the colours still seem realistic.
A few pictures later, the pieces of dandilion – super cool. This is also a good one for high-contract BW.
Another picture of a road taken the same way!!
I like the one after the road EXCEPT for the fake lens flare.
Another picture of a road, that’s different this time! This is when it’s good to use an angled shot. Watch the missing details in the shadows.
Horizon at night – cool. Fake stars – not cool.
Harvest moon and the one after, cool and interesting.
THere, I tore apart a whole album!!!
A few notes overall: Good use of colour, but be careful not to oversaturate. Avoid standing like you normally do in nature shots, because that results in more snapshot looks. Standing right up and taking a picrture of leaves under you on the ground are boring. Get a professional logo and branding package (including a website) – it matters. If you can’t put a cohesive look forward, clients will skip over you to less-qualified photographers in the end. You’ve got a lot of work and practice ahead of you, but you also show some amazing potential.
This portfolio review has taken me about 10 minutes. Spend the $150 to have someone professionally evaluate your best 50 shots over the phone or in person. Lots of places do this, but I really like all the ladies at ClickinMoms. Also, join your Professional Photography standards organization (I believe in the USA it’s Professional Photographers of America, canada it’s PPOC, Professional Photographers of Canada). While at this point you won’t qualify for accredatation, you will have access to workshops, newsletters and other help that can guide you more fully along your journey. And if you’re going to be charging for your images, and Canon Rebel and kit lens just ain’t gonna cut it. It’s a good place to start, but seriously consider investing in, at least, some good glass for crisper shots. Start saving!October 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm #4032Click It And Stick ItParticipant
Looking at the wedding shots, I could instantly tell you were using a low end DSLR and kit lens. It was painfully obvious on all indoor shots and the shots during the ceremony that you didn’t have a clue how to get good shots in low light situations. When people shoot weddings with the absolute bare minimum of equipment, I feel terrible for the couple. You need to practice shooting portraits and shooting in low light settings. You also need to know your camera like the back of your hand and at least buy the essential lenses for shooting a wedding. I Shoot with a Nikon D90 and can get very usable shots at iso 1600 and usable shots at iso 3200. I judge this by blowing the pictures up to 24×36.
The BARE minimum equipment for a wedding(my opinion)
2 camera bodies
a decent lens in the 18-70 range
50mm 1.8 or 85mm 1.8
70-200mm 2.8 (must have)
p.s. I really hope you got a shot of the bride walking down the isle. I will be even more disgusted if you didn’t.October 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm #4033IHFParticipant
Sub par wedding shots for a lot of reasons. Looks like you were just snapping, then went through a billion photos to pick out the ones that were better than the rest of the shots (hate to see the out takes). I’m not impressed. You still have way more to learn before you should be a hired wedding shooter.October 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm #4038heatherconwayParticipant
Click it: I will be even more disgusted if you didn’t.
Could you be any bitcher? She already said she is a Nature photographer!
There is nothing worse than a bunch of high horse photographers that can’t wait to put a person down. The day I get that ugly I will quit photography all together, give the girl a break and offer some genuine constructive critique she can bloody learn from!!October 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm #4041Click It And Stick ItParticipant
I think you mean to say “bitchier” and “constructive criticism”. She doesn’t need constructive criticism, if she can’t tell how bad her photos are then she needs to study and read more. If the girl’s a nature photographer, she needs to stick to nature. She isn’t a very good nature photographer either. I hate when a person gets an entry level DSLR with a kit lens and suddenly they start a business and shoot weddings. It’s ridiculous and it isn’t fair to the people paying these “photographers”, and I use that term loosely, for mediocre work.October 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm #4042IHFParticipant
I’m with click it all the way
I would take the time to do a serious critique, but honestly I was turned off by the fact that she has already shot 2 weddings and also by the fact that she calls herself a nature photographer. She’s a beginner, a novice, there’s no genre or expertise/specailty yet. She’s just a girl with a camera who doesn’t take learning photography seriously. You can tell by her shots. She knows nothing about lighting, settings, composition etc and there is no progression in her shots to be seen. there’s nothing at all wrong with that, millions of people have cameras and shoot the same way, but there is something wrong when you skip learning and jump into a profession you know nothing about. It just rubs me wrong. If that makes me a “high horse” photographer in your eyes so be it, but it’s how I feel. But there is no way I would put on a pro hat while in the skill level I am and it irks me when others do it without even a blink of concern.October 15, 2012 at 12:43 am #4043
Thanks everyone for the critique. Wow you guys are rough. I do agree with most of what your saying though. I have really been down in the dumps today after reading all this. Thank God I only charged them $175, and I do know the couple. Ill never do a wedding again. Ill stick with my Nature Photography. And I didn’t really give you a good look at the Nature Photos. Here is a link to my etsy shop with my photos. Im only giving you this link because I dont have all my photography on FB or together anywhere else.
You guys had plenty of negative things to say, can I hear some good?? Or what I need to work on. Please critique the nature photos. Thank you.
Thanks Heather Conway and Karyn Lee. Thanks to the others too……
Once again PLEASE BE GENTLE. Tell me what you like what you dont likeOctober 15, 2012 at 12:55 am #4045
i am on a tablet, but wanted to respond with a bit tonight.
first of all, yes – we are tough, and you aint seen nothing yet. Photography is a tough business, so be prepared for this type of rejection. A lot.
With that said, never, ever, EVER let criticism discourage you from taking photos. While I do feel that you had no business charging for that wedding (any amount) it does not mean that you can’t, after practice and study, become an excellent photographer. Everyone starts somewhere.
Don’t be discouraged.
All of that beibg said, I have some time tomorrow,October 15, 2012 at 12:57 am #4046
As i was saying. All that being said, i have some time tomorrow, I will go over your images. Do keep in mind that, while i am nationally accredited in 4 categories by the PPOC, none of those are Nature images. All my accrreds are in portraiture.October 15, 2012 at 11:31 am #4051
Alright, here I am for the critique. Please keep in mind, I am not a nature photography. I am only going to critique the ones that stand out to me as either really great and explain why they are great, or poor ones, and explain why they are poor. Make sense?
First one that caught my eye is this one.
In a way I like it, it’s interesting, but there are some things about it you could improve. First, there are a lot of distracting elements. I’d crop out (what I think is) the pavement behind at the bottom, and also the distracting stuff out of the back. In the future, I’d have set my aperature wider, so you could catch the details at the front of the image as well which are currently blurry. Also, I’d crop more to the right – you’re sort of getting the rule of 3rd here, but not quite. If you don’t know what the rule of 3rds is, go look it up. RIGHT NOW!
This one isn’t particularly bad, but I want to make the point once and move on,
It’s just sticks straight up and down with very little interest. All up and down. Nothing draws your eye around the picture. When you look at a picture, generally the lightest thing is what draws the eye, and there should be a flow throughout the whole image so your brain can take it in. This is too many vertical lines, and it’s boring, and there is nothing to lead the eye. Avoid shots with no means of leading the seer through the image.
This is a better example, as the road leads the eye through the trees. Watch for the blown highlights, because you are missing detail, but you’ve nailed the rule of 3rds here.
Selective colour? No thanks. This might have been nice in full colour.
I am not sure how much you know about horses, so if you know lots, try not to be offended (I have owned horses all my life).
This horse is clearly irritated and not engaged with you at all. The angle is closely cropped, and I can tell you used a wide angle. When shooting horses (or any animals in general) it’s a good idea to use a longer focal legnth, 85+. This is for the same reason I told you the bride had a fat ass – on a wide angle, the closest thing to the lens is the biggest. Take some steps back, and use a longer focal legnth. If you’re father away, it all balances itself out. If the animal is looking away, it should appear relaxed and comfortable (unless it’s an action shot, obviously). If it’s looking at you, you want an alert and open expression, like ears forward and eyes focused on you. That’s my “photographing animals” Speil.
I like this one for many reasons, but dislike the distractions in the back. If you had shot so more of the stem was in the image, the flower was to the left or right, and there was nothing behind it, I’d buy it. As it is, it’s got distracting elements, and your eye doesn’t know where to look as there are no clearly defined leading elements.
This one is neat. I really like it. You’ve not centered, the lighting is interesting, there aren’t many distracting elements. I think you were a bit heavyhanded with the fake lens flare, though.
THere is a technique to shooting STUNNING lens flare, and if you want to know, I will teach you.
This is an image of mine, and this is SOOC (Straight out of camera)
There is no need for fake sunflare.
THis is a really good example of the eye being led through the image.
See how it runs from one corner to the other? That’s neat. Not all photos work that way, but this does. I would have liked to have seen more focus on something… even one specific berry, so a slightly different angle and aperature might have made this really neat. Again, I see lines in the background drawing my eye away. Avoid shooting them, or learn to photoshop that out.
This is a neat angle, no distracting elements – BUT – the focus is in the wrong spot. It probably should have been on the eye of the feather, no the whisps.
I like this, except that it’s centered, and the white in the background. Therefore, I’d crop the top right corner out, almost like you did in the 3rd version, but more.
This one is neat, and breaks all the rules, but it works. Except for that damn lens flare. That is distracting, and it really takes away from this image.
This image is PERFECT. It’s set off to the side a little bit, all the details are in focus, it’s intersting, the light leads to the dark and out the image, the balance is nice, is’s processed lightly and lovely. Love, Love, Love.
This is another really interesting piece, and I like it a lot. I’d crop out the dark at the top, which pulls the eye in the wrong direction (up) and leave the dark at the bottom, so it pulls the eye down and through. Good processing, really intersting.
This is a really neat find. It is centered though, so it kind of kills the interest. Also, the longer parts are cropped out on both the top and bottom, and there is extra space to the sides – I’d have shot Veritcal. I also might have removed the branches in the background, as they are distracting.
This is super, EXCEPT for that white patch in the background that pulls me away. I would also crop a bit of the empty space off the right. It’s close, really close.
I looked in the other galleries, and see a lot of repeats at different sizes, and nothing that really stuck out at me.
A few notes overall – if you’re selling your work, you need a proper logo and a proper watermark.
Try to plan your compositions more – make them more deliberate, and removed distracting elements before you begin.
Please stop putting in fake stars and lens flare. Accomplish it camera, or skip it.
I hope this has helped you out!October 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm #4054
Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. Just a quick note about a few of the pictures. The horse photo,https://www.etsy.com/listing/94369467/horse-brown-country-rustic-fall-autumn was taken with standard lens, I don’t own a wide angle, although I wish I did.
This photo believe it or not is not a fake lens flare. The only editing I did was color correction and upped the contrast. The flair is completely natural. (I know Im known for using fake flares, but this one is real) https://www.etsy.com/listing/109600808/nature-photography-orange-red-blue
I know what you mean about the fake stars, but I love them.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/103808375/constellation-stars-blue-navy-black – This is actually fireworks
https://www.etsy.com/listing/93732620/constellation-stars-blue-nature – Avery big seller, I love this one
https://www.etsy.com/listing/93189414/stars-blue-teal-nature-photograhy – Also big seller and I love it
Thank you so much for your time, I feel a little better now after getting that terrible wedding review.
Where can I get a proper logo??October 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm #4059
If that’s real lens flare, then well done!
By “standard lens” what do you mean? I am guessing the 18-55 kit lens that seems to come with a lot of cameras. That would be considered wide angle.
A proper logo can be done a few ways – contact a logo designer in your area, and see if that fits your budget. If you look on etsy, there are some out of the box logos you can use that would be more professional, and they just slap your name in it in a nice font (those are usually around $75). If you’re having a custom logo made, expect to pay between $300 – $500 for a mid-range service (that’s about what I charge to do it, they almost always fall in that range, and I am considered mid-level in my area). There are cheaper, but like photography, you get what you pay for. Keep in mind, it’s an investment and a good logo is important because it’s how people remember you. It’s gotta be good.
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