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I really like books by Michael Freeman. I like how he sees and how he teaches, I think. It was fun to do a photography group online around one of his books. There were some technically very interesting shots that I did of very mundane objects (one that comes immediately to mind is a sign above a farm equipment shop) as assignments for that.
Maybe, since I don’t get out much, I like his books just because I got involved on an online photography group that used them. If anyone has a few other authors to recommend to me, please do.
One thing that can really stretch you is to choose to shoot only one thing, or to at least do a series on one thing – i.e., a year of door shots, a week of only shooting the number 7, or only taking pictures of the backs of heads, etc. Make it as challenging or simple as you want. I’ve seen studies on hands (which is always a good topic, because so much of a person’s life is written on them, but also kind of overdone at this point), windows, leaves, etc. One day, just on a lark, I spent the day shooting things on the ground that looked interesting. There were feathers covered with dew, some bugs here and there, a piece of trash, a trampled flower, etc. It was the wrong time of day for really fascinating light, but the still available dew did add some additional interest.
Whenever I get a new lens, it stays on my camera if at all possible for at least two weeks before I go back to swapping lenses around again. It gives me a really good feeling for the lenses capabilities and forces me to sometimes frame things differently than I would have if I had a more convenient lens to use for the image. This is especially true for prime lenses where you have to zoom with your feet instead of the lens!
I definitely don’t like the lens flare on the last image. It makes it too hard for me to decide of those berries might be tasty.
I almost always have my lens hoods on my lenses. Too easy to knock them into things so there is some added protection (I also have learned that, even with good quality UV filters you can end up with not quite as good of quality as your lens produces “naked,” especially when I was doing night photography, and also that it wasn’t actually necessary as some websites insinuate), so the lens hood is a good way to protect a lens while not having to worry about issues with the filter causing ghosting or other abberations. I don’t get a lot of flare, though rarely I might try to catch enough of the sun to create flare on purpose for some shots. My Arabian looks nice with some lens flare if it is in the right place, for instance.
The one thing I keep reading on the pro DNG side is that ‘one day’ there will ‘only be DNG’ and supposedly when that happens you will not be able to find anything that will read your old raw files. I suspect that if that day does actually come (for whatever reason, neither Canon nor Nikon seem to have leapt whole-heartedly onto the DNG bandwagon) there will be software that will batch process all your raw files to the corresponding DNG files available. That of course, is if it ever happens in the first place.
I often use DPP if it’s little tweaks actually. Photoshop doesn’t get opened all that often on my computer. But I’m not an amazing super-busy pro. Just a bird trying to figure out my camera…
I wonder if maybe there are limits for some people? This is going to sound like I’m excusing bad photography (or at least selling it), but I’m not. Rather, well, there are people in the world who are teachers for elementary school who are completely unable to spell (I know one). They still keep correcting papers (with a list of correctly spelled words for reference) and teaching, etc.
Maybe this person just started investing in PhotoShop, etc., and just hasn’t gotten very good at it yet – i.e., recent switch to electronic editing…
I guess I want to assume that if they have been in business around 15 years that they should at least be moderately proficient and instead might be misled or something.
Maybe a recent stroke?
And this is why you’ll almost never see a mean critique out of me. LOL
(btw – he does beautiful work)
Kimera, my cousin’s son is doing professional photography with an APS-C sensor. It is an 18MP sensor unlike what is in your Rebel XS, but it is not a full-frame camera. Further, he has a few ‘good’ lenses, but a lot more of the lenses he uses are used, some even from old film camera days.
I have been disappointed to see rave reviews over some really terrible photography, and they make money at it. Since you are disabled (I understand that landscape, trust me), you can look at putting every dime you do get from photography into a special jar somewhere for the equipment upgrades you can get over time.
I would rather have someone who knew how to use their equipment to the limits of its potential and who could consistently create a pleasing image to someone who invested ten grand into a body and lenses, never read a single manual and can’t operate it unless it is in green square mode.
Then again, I’m a strange bird with its head buried in a camera bag… 😉
Some people, Scee, have no well, okay, they have imagination, but one that should be left in ‘neutral.’
What fascinates me is how many of these people seem to not be controlling their cameras? Either depth of field is off, or they have motion blur (in bright daylight? – HOW?!?!)… then there are all the off color balances… I almost asked them what made them choose photography and ask them for their photographer story, but decided that it was too suspicious to have a stranger show up on a FB page and do that.
You’re very welcome. Good luck – you’re so lucky to find people willing to pose for you! My cousin’s son has the same good fortune. I’m not sure if I’m not asking enough people or if I just don’t ‘get out enough’ to find people to ask, but since getting light stands, modifiers and the like I’ve only had a few sessions. I am sure that your attention to detail and desire to produce great images will do a lot to create images that are better than what appears here.
Though people obviously do master the craft, there is always something new to learn. Striving for excellence is never a bad thing. Me – I am waiting for images that still the heart, and frustrated that I am not creating them. We just bought a new farm, though, and I expect to have a lot of opportunities for some amazing wildlife photography, and maybe once we get the new house built I can settle down and arrange my schedule to have regular focus on photography.
The hardest thing about YANAP is that it makes me want to be a portrait photographer, because much of what I see here wouldn’t even be shown to the client, let alone posted on Facebook as part of my portfolio. My Facebook page that pretends to be a studio page is nothing more than a convenience for the other parents to get pictures of their children playing middle school football. I keep meaning to edit down those images to the good ones that are being used and start adding the rest of my portfolio to it, but haven’t done that yet. At this point, people rarely look at the page, especially since football ended several months ago.
Okay, I was bad and commented, so now you can find me. Please understand that 90+% of what is on my FB profile is what I consider ‘snapshot’ photography, and nothing more, okay? I would love to one day be a real photographer, though, and keep threatening to make hubby build me a new studio with tons of north windows so I can use it for both photography and painting. Maybe even move all my musical equipment in there so it can be music AND other arts!
Loved a lot of them. The depth of field seemed a LITTLE off on the peppers, but when you’re working with a macro lens that can be really challenging.
Hey Anjanette! There are little nitpicky things in some pictures – like in one pose where someone is leaning against the wall with the cell phone in their hand… there’s nothing that connects you to the person, the background, etc. My eyes went straight to the cell phone. Some of them images had very distracting backgrounds and/or your subject was placed in a point where they were more ‘lost’ than they would have been if you had moved them a little bit. Don’t be afraid to direct them to create the image you want, okay?
You’re braver than me – I have really struggled with whether or not I will *ever* put anything up on this site.
There seem to be two philosophies about the “low-balling.” I have heard some pros say <i>never</i>, that you should learn either in a school or second shooting under a seasoned pro, and other say that you should either never charge or barely charge until you’re good enough to ask for the right fees, and then you should charge what it will take to run a business and never look back. Opponents to the latter point out (with some truth) that former clients who got $50 sitting fee plus disk deals usually don’t want to come back if you raise your rates, etc.
If you really want to pursue this as a business and do not have the money for business courses, you might want to get “Best Business Practices for Photographers” – it will have a long list of expenses to consider as you figure out your hourly rate (including paying income taxes; as a self-employed person you pay both sides of FICA).
I have only done portrait photography for people who can’t afford real photographers, for free, or when forced into it by family members, so I might not be the best critic. I can tell you something one pro who is encouraging me taught me: “Your photos are worth whatever you can get someone to pay for them.”
In today’s market, sadly, it seems like quality has little to do with price, too.
Anyhow – saw you had posted and no comments back, didn’t want you ignored too long.
@cameraclicker & browneyed girl – I suspect the camera in that picture is a 7D because it has a very similar layout to the 5DIII (which I want to upgrade to), but if you look, there is a little line around the hotshoe – that is because the 7D has pop-up flash available (which at least is convenient to run off-camera flash until you buy radio triggers) and the 5DIII does not. I can’t be sure if it is a Sigma or Tamron lens – I think they both have gold rings on some of their lenses, don’t they?
Hate to admit it, but I love camera gear. I’m blessed to have what I do already. Now I have to either sell my novels or start selling pictures (hubby won’t let me do portrait or event photography) because he says he’s given me enough money for camera equipment already. ~sigh~
Only another five or six grand and I would have my minimum kit finished? Only another $30K for my dream kit… LOL
Oh well, there’s always something if you let yourself go too crazy. 🙂
You know, knowing how snarky people get, I wouldn’t be surprised that some would be uncomfortable sharing their images here. An image can be technically good, but the wrong person (especially someone who loves to bully over the internet) would still critique it as not being good enough because it <i>did</i> follow all the rules.
I attempted to submit a fauxtog but for some reason the email didn’t go through. I felt really bad about it on some levels, but not on others (but decided divine intervention had warned me to not go any farther). She is marketing herself as a pro photographer with a Canon digital Elph and picmonkey. I can’t even begin to imagine how upset some of her future clients (when/if she gets them) will be when they show up for their $100 photo shoot and she takes out a pocket camera and begins shooting away. She also does weird effects in her landscapes where everything has about 1/4 inch of glow around it if you blow it up to screen size. I just look at it and think… “How? Why?”
Some of her pictures she doesn’t necessarily “claim” as hers, if that makes sense, either, and others she actually posts with tags like “I want to visit here one day” (on her supposedly commercial photography FB page) – if you’re just paging through and not opening up every picture, you’ll assume that she was the one that took the breath-taking waterfall shots or the beautiful white sand beach sunsets, etc.
So I really wish that she could be reasoned with. When you point out to her that she really isn’t prepared, she does the whole, “My intentions are to get all the good stuff as I can afford it and I will just keep getting better, so my prices will go up as I get better” kind of thing.
She of course does not know what aperture is, doesn’t understand how fstop, ISO and shutter speed work together, has never worked with off-camera lighting, doesn’t even own a Rebel and kit lens let alone anything better.