Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions
JoeNapa
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Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
Apr 13, 2013

These are just some pictures of my home and family that I took with my new Em-5 and 12mm lens.  Thanks, Joe.

tedolf
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Warning: photographer was lazy......
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

JoeNapa wrote:

These are just some pictures of my home and family that I took with my new Em-5 and 12mm lens.  Thanks, Joe.

No. 1:   Feet are chopped off and out of focus.

No. 2:   Table, chair are chopped off-no appearent effort at composition of drawings on wall.

No. 3:   Child in back is out of focus.

No. 4:   Wings are cut off and feet are out of focus.

No. 5:   Adult is chopped in half.

No. 6:  Now this one could be a good photo if you would frame it to eliminate the power lines.  Can be done in PP so this one is salvagable.

These photo's demonstate either a complete lack of understanding of composition or laziness on the photographer's part.

In either case, there is no point in owning a $1,400.00 camera if this is the level of effort you are going to put into your photography.

Other than the out of focus parts of the photo's, you  may as well have a point-n-shoot camera.

TEdolph\

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JoeNapa
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Re: Warning: photographer was lazy......
In reply to tedolf, Apr 13, 2013

Thanks Tedolf.

I appreciate your thoughts and your candor.  I was hoping for some constructive criticism and you've given me that.

I bet I can take some pictures you like.

Joe

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Wafflebird
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

Joe,

What you have here are pictures that you and your children will be able to look back on with many fond memories. If you, like me, move from one home to another these pictures will serve the girls in helping them remember the "Old house" and if not it will still help them remember when.

It is disappointing here when people only want to be critical and want to look at pictures from a clinical perspective. Some of the "imperfect techniques" end up being some of the best pictures. While technical photography is indeed occupying a certain niche of photography I think it lunacy to think that the snapshots (which we all love for capturing that special family moment) should be held to some technical specifications such as rule of thirds (OMG) etc.

Oh wait let me change my focus point to get the rule of thirds before she……………………. Oh she already blew out the candles, man missed it………..

Ask yourself a question, look at that picture # 4 and tell me how you will feel about looking at it 15 years from now in a nice frame on your wall, wall unit etc, how your girl will feel about that picture. It is a winner regardless of what any of us here think, it is quite simply brilliant, end of story. My son still looks at many pictures (from a crappy Sony 8 megapixel camera) from when he was around the same age from the bathtub and his mom and her "Hand monster" getting him. These are the best kind of pictures in my opinion for family. And oh my God he is in THE CENTER of the picture, how could I,…………………………………………….. oh wait that picture is perfect. Nuff said.

Just keep in mind that when you ask for "Feedback" you will open yourself up to some who can be over jealous in "Sharing" their less than courteous feedback. But just as the sun rises each day it would unfortunately appear that certain folks will act in a very predictable fashion. There have been many comments that have been positive in this forum but there are many unnecessarily harsh as well.

Some here lack perspective and decency, but it is an internet forum after all, so this activity is expected and has been here for some time and will be in the future.

This should NEVER discourage you from taking pictures, at this point is is simply hard drive space.

Keep taking great pictures and enjoy your family, they are what matters. You will get plenty of constructive feedback as well from others as you continue. So are your pictures TECHNICALLY perfect, well one, has weighed in, as for me they are A+ for what I think you are going for.

Thanks for sharing.

Remember if you do not take the pictures you will not have them.

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"If you don't take them you won't have them"

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Najinsky
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

Joe they're really not good. It's hard to say why for a number of reasons. Foremost is you didn't include any Exif shooting info (Aperture, shutter, etc) so it's hard to pinpoint what went wrong.

1) The blond girl's expression is great, but the chopped feet and angled railings are a distraction. You should crop this image to remove both. But for a parent it will be a lovely keepsake.

2) The intention is to showcase their art, so showcase it! Currently it has no focal point.

3) Placement of the shallow DOF does nothing here. If using shallow DOF choose the focal point more carefully.

4) Has a distorted perspective. It's just not cute or flattering so the bright reflection distracts. Without that it would almost work but the hat and dummy block too much of the face. The clipped wings wouldn't bother me much if the face held the attention.

5) Something went wrong with the focus here. Perhaps you cropped the top half of an image? The only thing truly in focus is a leaf growing from the tarmac and the foremost corner of the car. The half adult is less than ideal, but if the focus was right it might not be such a distraction. When the focus is right and it grabs your eye, you can get away with many distractions, and can add selective blurring in post processing.

6) Unbalanced, what was so bad to the right that it deserved less to be in the frame than the void on the left. Actually, thinking about it, I don't want to know, it must have been bad.

Teddolf criticises composition, and I can see why, but I actually feel focus was the main problem here. When the focus is right, it forgives some bad composition, but good composition rarely forgives bad focus.

I'd say focus on getting focus on where the viewers eye need to go to. Composition will start to take care of itself and can be perfected later.

-Najinsky

JoeNapa wrote:

These are just some pictures of my home and family that I took with my new Em-5 and 12mm lens.  Thanks, Joe.

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Chris R-UK
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

A general comment is that the EXIF data has been stripped off of these images, probably by the program that you have used to resize them for the web.  That means that we can't see your camera settings which restricts some of the comments.

A 12mm lens gives quite a lot of distortion when shooting closeups of people as can be seen in the children's legs in the first shot.  That may be a deliberate effect that you like but just be aware of it.  It is quite effective in the fourth shot (and I don't mind that the feet are out of focus).

If you are shooting indoors without flash and maximum aperture with this lens then you should be aware that you will have quite a short depth of field if you are close to the subjects.  This is probably what has happened with the bath shot although there may also be some motion blur in the rear child.  You also have a problem with the child in the toy car, probably because the camera focused on the front of the car.  If there is plenty of light shoot at a smaller aperture (larger f/ number) to get more depth of field if you need it.

Watch your composition and experiment.  All the power lines in the last shot are either a feature or a mistake depending on what you were trying to show.  Take lots of shots and decide for yourself what works best.

Happy shooting.

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Landscapephoto99
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Re: Start with 25mm
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

Start with a somewhere between 20mm and 35mm lens.  It is easier to compose photos of kids houses, etc..

Very wide angles like the 12mm are nice but extraordinarily difficult to learn except for the large group portrait photo. I am still learning how to use the 12mm myself even though I have been taking photos for a number of years:

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JoeNapa
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

Thank you all for your impressions and thank you for the encouragement.  I value both.  The harsh goes with the territory I suppose.

The consensus, if there is one, seems to be that the composition is generally poor.  That's very useful information.  Thank you.

The camera and lens are new to me - shocker.  I like the 12 but the wide frame is challenging and I'm a little surprised by the relatively narrow depth of field on this wide lens when the lens is wide open.  There's lots of action around here so I leave it wide open so I can keep the ISO low and the shutter speed high.  I'm rethinking that now.

It seems maybe a 17 or 25 lens might be an easier place to start working on composition too.

Cheers,

Joe

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jquagga
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

Well, my first thing is you know asking for feedback from strangers on an internet forum leads to ... rather harsh responses which you've already received.  I don't really believe in doing that but I can give you some impressions.

My first thought is that the DOF on some of these is a bit too small.  The bathtub is a good example of that.  I tend to have this problem as well.  I stop down, but I move so close to fill the frame (which you really have to do with a 12mm) and that really can reduce the depth of field.

I personally don't care that the feet are cut off in the first photo, but to me I think the spacing is what makes it weird.  There's all that free empty space above them, but then less than nothing at the bottom.  I think if you worked on a 16x9 crop of this though you can make that seem a bit more normal.

I actually like the photo of the fairy.  I don't think the wings being cut off is an issue.  The bokeh could be a little distracting.  What I'd do to this one is selectively darken the image.  So if you're using lightroom, use the adjustment brush to brush a negative exposure adjustment all over the image and then erash the brush over the child's face.  And then adjust to taste.

I used to have a petal car just like that Camaro!  Mine was a firetruck though.  I think the focus in this image is in front of the child - on the hood of the car.  I'd aim to focus on the person's eyes all the time if you can.

Honestly the part that I found most distracting was how the images looked like they had been through some sort of "decorative" application (like instagram).  However, looking at the exifdata for the images it looks like you used DXO Film Pack which would explain why they look like film.  However since you explicitly went that route, it's really comes down to taste.  And if you have the RAW files, you can always change that should tastes change.

I would end with content trumps composition in photographs.  If these are photos of your children, they're precious regardless of composition.  For us, they're just kids so we focus on the composition, lighting, all of the nuts and bolts.  However that doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy photos of your kids for being, well, photos of your kids!

Save the RAWs; you can reprocess for slideshows at their weddings!

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windriver
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Re: Start with 25mm
In reply to Landscapephoto99, Apr 13, 2013

I would definitely stay with 20 or 25mm for most shots of kids.

Some other things to try are:

  • Get closer
  • Get down at the child's face level; don't shoot down if you can help it
  • Put your child near a window to get some interesting light.  Photography is all about capturing light

This should help your photos.  Not sure what it will do for your photo's.

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MarceloLI
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

I love the pictures, specially #4 (so cute..!!).

Enjoy your camera with your kids and you will learn in the process.

Marcelo

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farrukh
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

I like the second last photo best

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vincent filomena
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to Najinsky, Apr 13, 2013

Second, third and fourth: Keepers !

Vjim

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RoelHendrickx
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My view
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 13, 2013

There are different ways in which criticism can be worded.

It can sound harsh, rude and mean (but brutally honest).

It can sound constructive and encouraging (and still honest).

That is a matter of personal style.

Now then, while the style of criticism of a few previous posters is not mine, I must say that in general I agree with their views.  There is no point in repeating that. I could try to say it in a more gentle way, but you would just accuse me of trying to be gentle.

However, I also agree with the several posters who tell you that you should continue with your shooting, because the more you do it, the better you will get, and you will recognize your better shots from your lesser efforts.  And you will ask yourself why some are better, and you will know, and you will apply those lessons.  That is how it works.

If you want to get a kick-start in the learning process, you should also continue posting here and asking for C&C.  If you can stomach harsh comments, then you will learn a lot, and rapidly.

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DmikeB
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Re: My view
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 13, 2013

My two pence. I really like the photos - yes, you could crop them more but using a wide angle lens gives to an interesting perspective and you have some really nice interaction. However, I would not want all my photos to be the style that you have and are developing - especially not if  they are of your daughters. The distortion caused by having a wide angle lens is interesting but is really not complementary. See http://commonsensephotography.com/how_to_take_better_portraits/index.php as an example (the focal lengths reported in the web page are for a full frame camera so your 12mm lens will be taking pictures with a very similar perspective to the 24mm lens)

If you are aiming for complementary photos having a longer focal length is key. It will mean that you need to be further from your subject.

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Pikme
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Re: Warning: critic was lazy......
In reply to tedolf, Apr 13, 2013

tedolf wrote:

No. 1:   Feet are chopped off and out of focus.

No. 2:   Table, chair are chopped off-no appearent effort at composition of drawings on wall.

No. 3:   Child in back is out of focus.

No. 4:   Wings are cut off and feet are out of focus.

No. 5:   Adult is chopped in half.

No. 6:  Now this one could be a good photo if you would frame it to eliminate the power lines.  Can be done in PP so this one is salvagable.

These photo's demonstate either a complete lack of understanding of composition or laziness on the photographer's part.

In either case, there is no point in owning a $1,400.00 camera if this is the level of effort you are going to put into your photography.

Other than the out of focus parts of the photo's, you  may as well have a point-n-shoot camera.

TEdolph\

Tedolph,

I think you know the 'rules' of photography perhaps, but you also miss the point sometimes of photography.  Your comments remind me of those posts where people put up famous photos from well known master photographers (without names) and then the photos are ripped to shreds by people quoting all the places where the 'rules' were not followed.

See http://petapixel.com/2011/07/13/why-you-shouldnt-give-too-much-weight-to-anonymous-online-critics/

or  http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/2006/06/great-photographers-on-internet.html

or http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/11/great-photographers-on-the-internet-part-ii.html

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the adult being chopped in half in #5 or the feet chopped off/OOF in #1. Or that the wings are cut off in #4 or feet OOF -- who cares about the feet??

OMG, for years and years these forums insisted that ALL photos must have zero DOF, now suddenly the forums are insisting that ALL photos have 100% DOF??

There aren't 'rules' for photography; but there are effects - the only reason to learn the 'rules' is to understand the effects.  Then use the effects to get the results you want, rather than blindly follow some list of 'rules'.

Having said all that, I don't actually like the first 5 photos personally because I don't like the processing and some are too blurry for me.  But photo #6 - when viewed in the larger size - I LOVE that one and I wouldn't ever dream of removing the power lines.  I think it is framed perfectly and love the processing.

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Roberto M.

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Najinsky
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 14, 2013

JoeNapa wrote:

Thank you all for your impressions and thank you for the encouragement.  I value both.  The harsh goes with the territory I suppose.

The consensus, if there is one, seems to be that the composition is generally poor.  That's very useful information.  Thank you.

The camera and lens are new to me - shocker.  I like the 12 but the wide frame is challenging and I'm a little surprised by the relatively narrow depth of field on this wide lens when the lens is wide open.  There's lots of action around here so I leave it wide open so I can keep the ISO low and the shutter speed high.  I'm rethinking that now.

It seems maybe a 17 or 25 lens might be an easier place to start working on composition too.

Cheers,

Joe

Not necessarily Joe. It takes practice, and mistakes, to learn. I've seen some remarkable work with the 12 and I think it's worth persevering. I struggle with wide and generally my compositions suck, but just yesterday found myself in a place that really demanded wide, so I went with it. Still nothing to shout about but I could see a definite progression/improvement. Patience, practice, persistence.

-Najinsky

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mikeinak
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to Wafflebird, Apr 14, 2013

I second that, Wafflebird!  Good comments.

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LincolnB
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Re: Warning: critic was lazy......
In reply to Pikme, Apr 14, 2013

Pikme wrote:

tedolf wrote:

No. 1:   Feet are chopped off and out of focus.

No. 2:   Table, chair are chopped off-no appearent effort at composition of drawings on wall.

No. 3:   Child in back is out of focus.

No. 4:   Wings are cut off and feet are out of focus.

No. 5:   Adult is chopped in half.

No. 6:  Now this one could be a good photo if you would frame it to eliminate the power lines.  Can be done in PP so this one is salvagable.

These photo's demonstate either a complete lack of understanding of composition or laziness on the photographer's part.

In either case, there is no point in owning a $1,400.00 camera if this is the level of effort you are going to put into your photography.

Other than the out of focus parts of the photo's, you  may as well have a point-n-shoot camera.

TEdolph\

Tedolph,

I think you know the 'rules' of photography perhaps, but you also miss the point sometimes of photography.  Your comments remind me of those posts where people put up famous photos from well known master photographers (without names) and then the photos are ripped to shreds by people quoting all the places where the 'rules' were not followed.

See http://petapixel.com/2011/07/13/why-you-shouldnt-give-too-much-weight-to-anonymous-online-critics/

or  http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/2006/06/great-photographers-on-internet.html

or http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/11/great-photographers-on-the-internet-part-ii.html

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the adult being chopped in half in #5 or the feet chopped off/OOF in #1. Or that the wings are cut off in #4 or feet OOF -- who cares about the feet??

OMG, for years and years these forums insisted that ALL photos must have zero DOF, now suddenly the forums are insisting that ALL photos have 100% DOF??

There aren't 'rules' for photography; but there are effects - the only reason to learn the 'rules' is to understand the effects.  Then use the effects to get the results you want, rather than blindly follow some list of 'rules'.

Having said all that, I don't actually like the first 5 photos personally because I don't like the processing and some are too blurry for me.  But photo #6 - when viewed in the larger size - I LOVE that one and I wouldn't ever dream of removing the power lines.  I think it is framed perfectly and love the processing.

Generally I agree. While the composition of these shots are often either uninspired or simply not interesting, I'm not sure tedolf has correctly figured out why. The subjects are okay if you like that sort of thing but the arrangement of elements within the frame is haphazard. #5 has the most potential for me and I'm perfectly okay with the adult being chopped off in half. I wish that car wasn't in the background, however, as it add nothing to the 'story'. It also might have been a cooler shot if taken from a lower angle. Removing power lines from in front of an older house? That would probably end up looking wierd, like an 80 year-old man with black hair. Since the OP's style is more documentary than art, it would probably be counterproductive as well.

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cheeky chooky
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 14, 2013

JoeNapa wrote:

These are just some pictures of my home and family that I took with my new Em-5 and 12mm lens.  Thanks, Joe.

You remind me of eggleston.

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