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    Hey guys and girls. I’m 37 years old and really just started to take photography seriously a few months ago. I’ve found myself kind of obsessed with it actually and have been trying to learn as much as I can every day. Anyway, mostly I’d like to get feedback on my first attempt at portraits. I did a shoot for my niece a few days ago and it was the very first time I’ve ever done portraits for anyone. So here’s a link to my Flickr account. Primarily want feedback on the portraits that you’ll see at the top of my page, but wouldn’t mind feedback on all my photos if anyone feels like it. Thanks to anyone who takes the time.



    Overall, interesting shots, interesting post processing.  Besides your niece, you have some earlier portraits at the bottom of page 3. And, the band.

    B&H says your camera is unavailable.  Henry’s will ship one tomorrow.  Their kits have different contents.  Did you get a flash?  If you did, can you aim the flash independently of the camera?  Do you have any lens other than the 20-50 f/3.5-5.6?

    Your camera has an APS-C sensor that limits angle of view.  Crop factor is 1.5.  So with a 50 mm lens, the camera sees what a full frame camera would see with a 75 mm lens.  But you still have a 50 mm lens.  Some people think a 50 mm lens is fine for portraits, others think it is too short.  Actually, portraits are shot with lenses of all lengths, even 4 mm, but the shorter lens, the closer you are apt to be, and the greater the distortions introduced.  Forty years ago when film based 35 mm SLR cameras were popular, the 135 mm was considered a great portrait lens.  With full frame dSLR’s the 85 mm is popular as a portrait lens, as is the 135 and the 70-200 zoom.   Cameras with smaller APS-C sensors suffer because the smaller sensor crops, but the lens is the focal length stamped on the lens, and you need a shorter lens if you are going to fit the same image into the frame, from the same vantage point.  Because you pull back to get the framing, or use a shorter lens, shallow DOF is more difficult to achieve with APS-C.    I mention this because it is important to understand how smaller/larger sensors affect your photos, and what the sales clerk said may not have been very accurate.  Moving from a full frame sensor to APS-C doesn’t turn your 50 mm lens into a 75 mm lens, it just shrinks the angle of view.  I’ll leave you to do your own research and testing to gain a fuller understanding.  I’ll also say that at the rate you are progressing, you will be running into limitations of your hardware.

    The tip I would provide about your niece’s portraits is that even outdoors a flash can help.  Sometimes you want full power and sometimes you want to dial it way back to 1/64th power.  It depends on the look you are going for.  Very low power will provide catch lights without affecting the rest of the shot.  More power will fill in the shadows in eye sockets.With even more power you can overpower the sun and completely control your lighting.  Being able to aim the flash independently gives the ability to bounce the flash off conveniently located surfaces, either walls or photographic reflectors.  It is another area for you to research.



    The shots of your niece are well focused and have mostly the right colour and exposure. Apart frame the metal gate the backgrounds are okay  and the general composition is fine. But the poses are unflattering and she doesn’t look comfortable in any of them.

    Learn posing….. and that rusty old car looks like it would have a great background, but you can hardly see it.


    Ok, here’s my take…

    Nice jpegs of who appears to be a sweet young girl juxtaposed by one scroll of the mouse wheel with garrish, frightening shots of punk rockers with a decidedly sinister look. Forward to ducks, churches, rescued squirrels, and war heroes contrasted immediately by – wait for it – the scary punk rockers.

    Then the Telly Savalis ‘Talking Tina’ doll from the Twilight Zone? Now I’m gonna have nightmares that a war hero dressed as your niece is going to a wedding of ducks and squirrels in a church where the punk rock band is performing.

    Save your BEST work for a portfolio. Not every shot on the memory card.


    Have a look at The Grid on youtube, by Scott Kelby, especially the “blind critique” episodes.

    Watch this video too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3TP7JBHFmw, if only from 1:00 to 2:25, to get an idea of WHAT to share with others.

    This guy may not have the best photos in the world, but his idea is rock solid: if you think you want to share a shot it with others, look at it and tag it, and CLOSE THE PROGRAM for that day. Return to it tomorrow and look at it again. Believe me, you will see things you want to change almost instantly. The thought may go through your head ‘what in blazes was I thinking?!’


    Then the Telly Savalis ‘Talking Tina’ doll from the Twilight Zone? Now I’m gonna have nightmares that a war hero dressed as your niece is going to a wedding of ducks and squirrels in a church where the punk rock band is performing.

    LOL!  That’s some imagination!

    With my own Flickr accounts — which are not portfolios, just collections of photos I wanted to show someone — I usually just dump everything into the photostream.  My wife’s Flickr account has photos dedicated to family and office events.  Photos are uploaded with View by Family and Friends settings and placed into an Album.  This allows generation of Guest Links that can be emailed to those who may wish to see the photos, and the email can be forwarded to others who may also be interested, by the recipient.  This lets her co-workers see photos of the office barbecue, and they can share those photos with their families if they wish.  It works the same way for our family photos.  A visit to her site by anyone without a pass will only see a dozen random generic photos  I took during a visit to the CN Tower, even though when we log into the account we see sixty albums containing 1500 photos from the photostream.


    Here are a couple of YouTube videos about posing:


    Wow. Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Especially cameraclicker. I really appreciate the detailed feedback. Unfortunately, I only have the one lens. Truth is I just can’t afford any other equipment right now, so I’m doing my best to learn everything I can about and to get the most out of what I have. I have a few paying gigs coming up with some local bands, so maybe I can add some new equipment soon.

    To  EyeDocPhotog: The fact that you would even think that Flickr is my portfolio disturbs me. Are you sure you’re not a fauxtog? Flickr is just for sharing pics I like with people. My portfolio is on my website.

    Anyway, thank you all again. I’m going to watch all the videos you guys suggested and I’m actually taking a month long course on photography right now, so hopefully it will help me get better as well. Hope everyone has a great week. Thanks again!



    The only thing I’d suggest is lightening up on the processing on the band shots. That band looks interesting enough without quasi-HDR filters applied to them.


    As for the portraits, they’re technically pretty good. The posing is just a bit off. She should be looking into the camera more often.


    So you’re not a faux if you’re not charging for these.


    The fact that you would even think that Flickr is my portfolio disturbs me.

    What’s the reason for your attempt at an attack? Inasmuch as this link http://www.dgterryphoto.com/ brings the viewer to your portfolio, are you suggesting the photos from the Flickr link above are hand-picked from the portfolio? Perhaps filtered out as your best work?

    Next time, you should be sure your brain is in gear before engaging the keyboard.


    I have a few paying gigs coming up with some local bands, so maybe I can add some new equipment soon.


    Speak to Don about this one as I have nothing further to add.


    You know what, EyeDoc. You’re the one that started the confrontational tone with your smart-ass, trying to be funny post and pretentious attitude.

    “Save your BEST work for a portfolio. Not every shot on the memory card.”

    That’s one of the most pretentious ass things I’ve ever read. I’ve taken well over 5000 photos in just the last couple months and I’ve shared less than 250 of them anywhere with anyone and I have less than 100 of them on my actual portfolio. So how about you stop making your pretentious little assumptions?

    I’ve looked at some of your past posts. You’re a self proclaimed amateur, so I don’t know where you get off even butting into this thread and trying to offer advice. Don’t even get me started on the quality of the photos in YOUR Flickr account… and you have the nerve to question my choices? Really? How about you just piss off?

    You have no business saying anything about anyone’s Flickr photos or portfolio, when yours look like this https://www.flickr.com/photos/kidscandidscaptures

    And with that. I’m done with this conversation.


    First off eyedoc is an amateur, meaning he doesn’t intend to make money with his camera.  I’m an amateur as well, and purely shoot for the love of it.  It simply doesn’t matter what our Flickr accounts look like.  Plus, what’s our photography have to do with yours?  Our photography could be a steaming pile of crap, or awe inspiring works of art, how does THIS information improve YOUR photography or the way you display/share it?
    You on the other hand were asking for critique because you want to try your hand at going pro.  This automatically raises the bar as far as standards go.  You directed us to your Flickr.  It was noted that you shared too many pictures of the same subject, and that things felt uncomfortable and lacked any flow while viewing.  “Save your best work for your portfolio, not every shot on the memory card”.  Is sound advice given very frequently.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this advice, and I agree that you should take it.  Culling helps us in many ways, and it helps our viewers. So your Flickr is your dumping ground.  A lot of togs do the same.  I don’t show port worthy shots there either.  BUT when I go to your port, I see the same photos, I get the same feeling of disarray.  I see multiple shots of sessions, instead of just your best shot from a session.
    There are other flaws to your work, but since you took the idea that your port is a mess and needs some organization so very well, I’ll refrain from elaborating.

    Quit lashing out at a person that took the time to veiw all of your work, and give you a sound critique/opinion with useful criticism.  You may not liked hearing it, but you need to cull/edit your port geesh!  And please, don’t use the word amateur in a derogatory way.  I cannot tell you how much that annoys me.  It comes off pretentious as hell.


    I feel I should apologize to eyedoc,

    i know perfectly well you could have stood your own ground and handled this disagreement between the OP and yourself, but the amatuer comment, and the fact that you only said what all of us were thinking in your own words, just…  I had to say my peace.

    seriously “only your best”. Rings in my head every time I post.  I get that this photographer is just a beginner but…


    You people have some serious reading comprehension problems. I didn’t realize this site was just a big circle jerk of amateurs trying to sound like they know what they’re talking about. Thank you to the couple of you who actually gave me good feedback on what I asked for, but I obviously don’t belong here. Can someone tell me how to delete my account? Or feel free to do it for me if anyone who is authorized reads this.


    I don’t comment much but it appears that someone needs a diaper change………DGT get over yourself. I saw no intention to harm or insult from the initial post. If you learn from the criticism, you’ll learn the craft. Although, if your going to leave. Leave and don’t look back.

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