C&C (plus proposed guidelines for the forum)

Started Aug 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
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ishu
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C&C (plus proposed guidelines for the forum)
Aug 7, 2011

In a recent thread ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1055&message=39038901 ) SirLataxe wrote:

Photography is a craft and, like other crafts, requires one who wishes to become competant at it to learn the traditions & techniques then practice them. [snip]
The subject-matter of the photographs has to matter to you. [snip]

Let your life drive your photography, not vice versa.

It's a waste of effort to simply take 40 shots then pick the one you like. What was learnt except "I like that one"? Without some form of theoretical understanding to explain what worked and what didn't - not to mention some form of 3rd party feedback - unstructured "practice" will merely wear out the shutter and fill up your hard disk with random images.

In that spirit, here are two versions of a picture that I believe my wife took quite a ways back with a 4MP P&S camera. I keep going back to them as a favorite for reasons that I hope are obvious.

I like the B&W version better because the children are heavily silhouetted anyway, and the B&W captures a bit more of the highlighted detail on the faces and on the bubble.

This was an accidental picture, but it really stood out from the other pictures. So from SirLataxe's advice, what can I learn from this photo? Why does it stand out? In my view, some of the following:

  • The silhouettes make a striking picture

  • There is a focus on the bubble, from the older girl to the boy

  • The picture could be improved with a shallower depth-of-field (although that is beyond the capability of this or most P&S cameras)

  • The B&W version is slightly cropped to be tighter on the right and bottom. There might be some more room to crop at the top, although I printed it at 4"x6" so this crop is optimized for that. But I could go even tighter.

  • With ISO 100=and Tv=1/170 sec., there is room for a longer exposure, possibly with exposure compensation or a different metering. The aperture I think is wide-open for this focal length.

Since we're working off a blank slate here, this forum would be helpful to me if C&C always includes a balance of good and bad--meaning that we avoid "I like it!" but also "Nothing redeeming." I'd like to see everyone help us to create better photos by noting--with a few specifics--what's good about the photos and what's not so good... and when appropriate what's just not good at all.

I know that folks will do what they do, and nobody has to agree with me, but since posts are thin here, I thought I'd toss out this request and see what happens.

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