Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions
Savas Kyprianides
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Re: Warning: photographer was lazy......
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 15, 2013

I don't get the forewarning in your original thread title.

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Midwest
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Re: Warning: photographer was lazy......
In reply to Savas Kyprianides, Apr 15, 2013

Savas Kyprianides wrote:

I don't get the forewarning in your original thread title.

I think there are just some people who don't like kid photos, probably don't have kids and so don't "get" them.

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It's nice to say that nice pictures are nice.

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benarden
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 15, 2013

Like # 4 & 5,
But I think they should have had more Depth of Field;

Use Aperture priority ? F 16+ on # 4 maybe ?? I like this.

# 6 you could go insane tweaking because it's such a great shot, or just leave it be.

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JoeNapa
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 15, 2013

Again, thank you all for your comments.  I appreciate them all.

You've got me thinking about composition, determined to improve my focussing skills and rethinking my use (or overuse) of the narrow DOF this new lens offers.

If you're curious about why I would post and subject myself to criticism or even ridicule it was because I think one can learn from feedback and I'd like to get better.  In my experience, art created in a vacuum is rarely the best.  I think learning skills of any craft is important.  Your pointing out the focus problems for example has helped me identify a weak point in my basic skills.

I think it's important to learn the rules of the field too - like composition.  Of course, slavish adherence to the rules can make one's work a little flat and predictable.  It's fun for me to learn the rules and to develop my own judgment about when to follow the rules and when to break them.  Reading your thoughts on these pictures has given me lots to think about and helped me in the process of developing that judgment.

Many of you commented on the etiquette of this forum.  Made me think of writing workshops.  My wife is a writer and writers do workshops where they critique each other's work.  They tend to avoid absolute and harsh comments and soften things a little.  There is a generally accepted manner that these workshops function.  For example, they might say "this story didn't work for me because."  They would avoid saying, "You suck." If the writer has some really serious and basic problems, they might say "the spelling and grammar problems" got in the way of the narrative. They try to find something positive to say if they can.  Of course, they're all in the same room and people tend to treat each other with a little more kindness when they're in the same room.

Yours,

Joe

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JosephScha
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Re: Warning: photographer was lazy......
In reply to tedolf, Apr 15, 2013

Re:

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

Chopped off: true, could have included them but I didn't mind.  OOF: Also true but of COURSE they were.  They are much closer to the camera.  I'd say the sharp focus on the faces and OOF on feet in front and background behind draws your attention to the faces.  Is that so bad?

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

OK, have to agree.

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

Again, yes, and what do you want?  F/11 shots at some stratospheric ISO?  Personally I bought a 25mm f/1.4 to take indoor shots at reasonable ISO, and if you use it anywhere near wide open the child in back would be OOF.  So ... please give the OP and me some real advice, not just critique; what would you do to get the both in focus?  Manually focus between them and stop down sufficiently?  That would work, but I doubt there was time to do that.

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

OK, wings are cut off.  More to the point, top of head is cut off.  I don't miss the wing tips, the focus is the child.  I actually think this is a very good picture because of the facial expression it captures, and the costume.  And, for the third time, yes the feet are out of focus, but so what?  In fact, I think that gives the appropriate feeling of depth.  What would you do?

No. 5:   Adult is chopped in half.

Hmm...  Yes.  Maybe that is how small children view adults!  I've seen drawn cartoons that represent adults that way.  OTOH, maybe this picture should be cropped to exclude the chopped in half adult.

No. 6:  Now this one could be a good photo if you would frame it to eliminate the power lines.

OK, true.  Removing them in post is a pain.

I guess in summary: I wouldn't criticize feet OOF or clipped off pieces that are not what the picture meant to focus on (ie, wing tips).  And if you are going to criticize shallow DOF, please tell us what you would have done. (not focus stacking, please).

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js

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Ulric
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Re: Warning: photographer was lazy......
In reply to JosephScha, Apr 15, 2013

JosephScha wrote:

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

Again, yes, and what do you want?  F/11 shots at some stratospheric ISO?  Personally I bought a 25mm f/1.4 to take indoor shots at reasonable ISO, and if you use it anywhere near wide open the child in back would be OOF.  So ... please give the OP and me some real advice, not just critique; what would you do to get the both in focus?  Manually focus between them and stop down sufficiently?  That would work, but I doubt there was time to do that.

Suggestion: open up and focus on one of the children. But 12/2.0 isn't really suitable for that, 25/1.4 would be much better.

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Hen3ry
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Conduct of some
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 15, 2013

Right on, Joe; most of us try to be a moderately well mannered! 

Cheers, geoff

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marike6
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Re: Warning: photographer was lazy......
In reply to tedolf, Apr 15, 2013

tedolf wrote:

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.

Out of focus?  You do realize that's the way DOF works.  And having everything in the image in equal focus defeats the purpose of using a large sensor camera.  Why not just use a P&S?

There is something called "selective focus".  When photographing people, it's perfectly appropriate to have eyes be in focus, and the rest of the body be OOF.

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.

Again, DOF, and selective focus.  Do you always shoot at f22? I don't know many who do.

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

You do understand Depth of Field don't you?  We know that the child has feet. We don't need them to be as sharp as the eyes to see what kind of shoes she is wearing.

Do you even think about the so-called rules you constantly mention, or do you just parrot them.

This photo is perfect, just the way it is, one of the stronger of the bunch.

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.

The weakest photo of the set, you like, but want the power lines eliminated?  OK, Ansel.

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

Sounds like you've never photographed children before. It's not like the sit around posing waiting for you to make a perfect composition.  Besides, no offense, but your constant over analysis of composition is more annoying (and ironic) than helpful. But I suppose in this case the OP did ask for feedback, and boy did you give it.

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benarden
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 15, 2013

Re:
"
Of course, slavish adherence to the rules can make one's work a little flat and predictable.

It's fun for me to learn the rules and to develop my own judgment about when to follow the rules and when to break them.  "
- Agree
" Reading your thoughts on these pictures has given me lots to think about and helped me in the process of developing that judgment."

Good to hear.

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tedolf
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Well, Jere Landis.....
In reply to Pikme, Apr 15, 2013

Pikme wrote:

tedolf wrote:

Some people think it is junk.

Try entering a photo contest or creating work for a paying client.

Let me rephrase that, a lot of time famous artists create crap.

ok, now I understand the limitations of any discussion we could have.  We are speaking from two different views of what is a 'good photo'.

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Roberto M.

started a thread about that.

See you there?

TEdolph

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tedolf
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This isn't about you......
In reply to JosephScha, Apr 15, 2013

JosephScha wrote:

Re:

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

Chopped off: true, could have included them but I didn't mind.

You asked for C&C.

So really, this is all about what we like isn't it?

OOF: Also true but of COURSE they were.  They are much closer to the camera.  I'd say the sharp focus on the faces and OOF on feet in front and background behind draws your attention to the faces.  Is that so bad?

yes, forground being OOF is distracting.

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

OK, have to agree.

There is hope!

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

Again, yes, and what do you want?  F/11 shots at some stratospheric ISO?  Personally I bought a 25mm f/1.4 to take indoor shots at reasonable ISO, and if you use it anywhere near wide open the child in back would be OOF.  So ... please give the OP and me some real advice, not just critique; what would you do to get the both in focus?  Manually focus between them and stop down sufficiently?  That would work, but I doubt there was time to do that.

Now this one is defensible.

Having the child in the back OOF and the one in the front looking at her makes a theme (hey-my Sister is wierd) that I like.

I just don't know whether you did this conciously or just have your aperture stuck wide open all the time.  From the sequence above, looks like the latter.

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

OK, wings are cut off.  More to the point, top of head is cut off.

And you are looking down on her.

I don't miss the wing tips, the focus is the child.  I actually think this is a very good picture because of the facial expression it captures, and the costume.

Sure, but did you pay any attention to composition at all?

Did you make any conscious choises or did you just point-n-shoot?

And, for the third time, yes the feet are out of focus, but so what?

The better questoin is "so why?".

Why did you do that?

Did you have a reason at the time you took the picture or are you just rationalizing after the fact?

In fact, I think that gives the appropriate feeling of depth.  What would you do?

I would not have shot down on her so I would have had a different composition with different DOF considerations.

No. 5:   Adult is chopped in half.

Hmm...  Yes.  Maybe that is how small children view adults!  I've seen drawn cartoons that represent adults that way.  OTOH, maybe this picture should be cropped to exclude the chopped in half adult.

Actually the adult chopped in half would have worked in this photo if you had paid attention to the background.

Then it would have looked purposeful rather than random as it does now.

No. 6:  Now this one could be a good photo if you would frame it to eliminate the power lines.

OK, true.  Removing them in post is a pain.

And that is the entire point.

When looked at as a whole it appears "lazy"-like you were not interested in putting any meaningfull effort into the shots (except the last one).

That comes though loud and clear-subliminally so to people who are not trained photographers/artists.

Is that how you want your work to come across?

I guess in summary: I wouldn't criticize feet OOF or clipped off pieces that are not what the picture meant to focus on (ie, wing tips).  And if you are going to criticize shallow DOF, please tell us what you would have done. (not focus stacking, please).

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Tedolph

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tedolf
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Affraid we disagree......
In reply to marike6, Apr 15, 2013

marike6 wrote:

tedolf wrote:

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.

Out of focus?  You do realize that's the way DOF works.

Well, now that you mention it I might have heard about this somewhere!

And having everything in the image in equal focus defeats the purpose of using a large sensor camera.

Not what I suggested, is it?

Why not just use a P&S?

Indeed.

There is something called "selective focus".  When photographing people, it's perfectly appropriate to have eyes be in focus, and the rest of the body be OOF.

Well here we disagree.

There is rarely any justification for having the eyes in focus and the nose and ears out of focus.

This sort of narrow DOF as you suggest is a tiresome thematic cliche' that is not appreciated by most people, particularly the subjects of the photograph.

Ask a wedding photographer.

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.

Again, DOF, and selective focus.  Do you always shoot at f22?

Usually f/2.8-f/8

I don't know many who do.

Me niether-diffraction you know.

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

You do understand Depth of Field don't you?

Yes.

We know that the child has feet.

Uh........probably but not always

We don't need them to be as sharp as the eyes

Are you sure?

What is it that you need?

What is it thematically with this specific photograph that determines what is the appropriate DOF?

Do you know?

If so tell us exactly what is the appropriate DOF for this photo and why.

to see what kind of shoes she is wearing.

See above.

Do you even think about the so-called rules you constantly mention, or do you just parrot them.

I just parrot them.

This photo is perfect,

Really.

Perfect?

Hmmmm.......

Do you think it would win a photo contest?

just the way it is, one of the stronger of the bunch.

Wow.

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.

The weakest photo of the set, you like, but want the power lines eliminated?  OK, Ansel.

No not Ansel, Tedolph.

Did AA take a lot of photo's with power lines in them?

Your comment seems to suggest that he did.

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

Sounds like you've never photographed children before.

Ha!

I guess you haven't been around here much have you.

It's not like the sit around posing waiting for you to make a perfect composition.  Besides, no offense, but your constant over analysis of composition is more annoying (and ironic) than helpful.

Well, what would be helpful?

Uncritical praise of whatever is posted on this Forum?

But I suppose in this case the OP did ask for feedback, and boy did you give it.

Now here we agree.

TEdolph

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tedolf
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Joe, try singing in an Opera sometime.......
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 15, 2013

JoeNapa wrote:

Again, thank you all for your comments.  I appreciate them all.

You've got me thinking about composition, determined to improve my focussing skills and rethinking my use (or overuse) of the narrow DOF this new lens offers.

If you're curious about why I would post and subject myself to criticism or even ridicule it was because I think one can learn from feedback and I'd like to get better.  In my experience, art created in a vacuum is rarely the best.  I think learning skills of any craft is important.  Your pointing out the focus problems for example has helped me identify a weak point in my basic skills.

I think it's important to learn the rules of the field too - like composition.  Of course, slavish adherence to the rules can make one's work a little flat and predictable.  It's fun for me to learn the rules and to develop my own judgment about when to follow the rules and when to break them.  Reading your thoughts on these pictures has given me lots to think about and helped me in the process of developing that judgment.

Many of you commented on the etiquette of this forum.  Made me think of writing workshops.  My wife is a writer and writers do workshops where they critique each other's work.  They tend to avoid absolute and harsh comments and soften things a little.  There is a generally accepted manner that these workshops function.  For example, they might say "this story didn't work for me because."  They would avoid saying, "You suck."

Let's face it Joe.

Most amature writers "suck".

That is why they "do workshops" so they can feed each other's egos rather than actually trying to publish works so that the market can decide whether or not their stories "work".

It might be too hard on them and they might cry.

If the writer has some really serious and basic problems, they might say "the spelling and grammar problems" got in the way of the narrative.

It really would be more helpful if someone just told them that they "suck".

Then they might actually take a course and read some O. Henry, diagram the story and actually learn how to write.

They try to find something positive to say if they can.

Why?

If it "sucks" why not just tell them the truth?

If it is great and someone has born tallent why not tell then that too?

Of course, they're all in the same room and people tend to treat each other with a little more kindness when they're in the same room.

What has "kindness" got to do with someone's work product?

It's not like we are passing judgement on their Imortal Soul, is it?

Yours,

Joe

Tedolph

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tedolf
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to s_grins, Apr 15, 2013

s_grins wrote:

I Like kids. I do not likes most of the photos.  Most of them are excellent for home use, but not for going public.

About the very last shot of the house: why didn't you do it in color? It looks empty, haunted, and condemned...

I think that was the idea.

That is why it actually has some potential-the OP succeeded in what he was trying to do.

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Looking for equilibrium...

Tedolph

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JoeNapa
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Re: Joe, try singing in an Opera sometime.......
In reply to tedolf, Apr 15, 2013

Tedolf,

I appreciate your comments and your candor. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my pictures.

Obviously, blunt honesty offends a lot of people. I'm not offended. I asked for it.

Seriously, thank you,
Joe

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Cane
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 15, 2013

Love the last pic of the house. The others are a little iphone instagramish.

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madmaxmedia
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Re: Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 15, 2013

I liked 3,4,5. I think you took some nice candids, and Tedolf was evaluating them more formally as photographs (which is fine.) It's good that you took his criticisms constructively. Some of his comments were valid, though I don't know why you would want her feet in focus in #4.

For #3, if you desired both kids in focus then you could obviously shift your position so they are both in focal plane, and still have shot wide open. But sometimes you see a moment and have to snap quick, especially with kids. For sentimental reasons many of my favorites may ultimately not be compositionally great photos, but no matter. When you shoot candids of your family, sometimes you may want to work at it more, other times you just want to have your camera at your side while you're playing with the kids, etc. and catch things while they're happening.

I like the low perspective of #5, the cut-off adult does not detract at all for me (probably because I think the little car she's in is pretty cool too!)

Many have posted worse photos (in all respects) in these forums, this one has generated a lot of replies back and forth but ultimately I think that's been a good thing.

I didn't really get the last pic of the house- if you wanted the house then you could move in and get the power lines out of the way. Or if you wanted the street view and the tree, I think there's a better angle. But yeah using wide angle lenses can be tough- I think they require more footwork to get the right perspective since they capture so much.

Cheers!

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tedolf
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Very odd.......
In reply to al_in_philly, Apr 15, 2013

al_in_philly wrote:

A few weeks back, an old friend, now living on the other side of the country, who's started to get into photography sent me a link to a recent set of photos which she had just shot.  She asked me which ones I thought were "good" and what she might do to make any of them better.  After looking at the set and after some thought, I replied: "Which ones do you feel are good, and what might you want to change to make any of them better?  The only way which you'll find satisfaction in your photography is if you search for that satisfacion within yourself, and not in the perceptions of others.

If that were true, why would anyone ever post photo's and ask for C&C?

Why do people post things that are so obviously wrong?

Now, if there's something about an image which you're not satisfied with, then there's something which I might be able to help you with."

Tedolph

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JosephScha
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Re: This isn't about you......
In reply to tedolf, Apr 16, 2013

Good response, but indeed this isn't about me, I did not take the pictures; I did not make the original post on this thread.  I just wanted you to explain / suggest improvement rather than simply criticize tersely.

I feel I have to point this out because you answered all my questions addressing me as if I had taken the pictures.

Even though the OOF elements didn't trouble me as they did you, I can assure you if I had seen that picture of the house with power lines I would not have posted it here like that.

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Micromegas777
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US Americans must stay out: more underage nudes
In reply to JoeNapa, Apr 16, 2013
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