How could I have improved these?

Started Dec 26, 2011 | Discussions thread
Joseph T Lewis III
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Re: How could I have improved these?
In reply to KennethKoh, Dec 26, 2011

Wow

You innocently stirred up quite a little dust-up with your original post. I hope the one chap has calmed down by now; his blood pressure must have gone through the roof.

At any rate, if you are a novice photographer with a new camera, I wouldn't worry too much about artsy shots and postprocessing quite yet. Your first photo quite honestly looked like your camera had gone off by mistake when you were adjusting it or something (I say this not to be mean, but to let you know the impression it made upon me). So, IMHO there really wasn't anything that could be done to make it better. I won't' go so far as to say you shouldn't have taken the shot; however, a clearly recognizable shot of a very fancy or unique ornament on the tree might have been a better subject to start with. That way everyone would have understood what it was, and could have critiqued its sharpness, color, was it too bright or too dark, etc.

Take photos of things you like and enjoy looking at. Instead of the severely pruned tree, also take shots of a nicely formed tree in your yard or in the park, or other nice scenery. Take a photo of your kid/dog/significant other in front of the tree (Xmas tree or a pretty tree outdoors). Take pictures of an old church, a new skyscraper. Take photos of a stream or river. Take a photo of your significant other with a sunset behind them. Try to make them look clear and sharp, and have the subject framed in the LCD so it looks like it would in a picture frame. In other words, start with the more conventional things people usually take photos of; the kind of things you'd presumably put in a scrapbook if they turn out nice. Then, come back to us and ask us how they could be better. That way you'll get more meaningful suggestions.

NOTE: If the OP wants to take photos of severely pruned trees, that is of course his prerogative. The severely pruned tree in the right context (perhaps with a demolished factory behind it; the tree could represent re-growth) might work. I'm just suggesting he do a bit more mainstream stuff to start with. He can of course accept as much or as little of my advice as he wishes. I am not a pro photographer; just a guy who muddles around with it, enjoys it, and occasionally takes a fairly decent shot amidst a bunch of routine snapshots.

Other things to do, to start developing your photographic skills:

-Look up and learn about the "rule of thirds" (note: someone will almost certainly point out it isn't a RULE; it is a guideline. That's true, but you will find it if you search for "rule of thirds").

-Buy/borrow a couple of books on photography. Two that I started with were "The Digital Photography Book" by Scott Kelby; also, "The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography" by Jim Miotke. Both are slanted towards new photographers. There are of course many others; these are just a couple I had.

-And, as another poster said, do take a lot of photos. Start with the simple stuff first, then branch out. If nothing else, taking lots of photos under different conditions, with your camera at different settings, will help you become adept at using it.

-Most importantly, have fun!

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Tom

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