Can I get some suggestions?

Started Apr 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
jkjond Veteran Member • Posts: 8,657
Re: Can I get some suggestions?

ConanD wrote:

On these photos?  I'm pretty new to photography -- been at it for about 1 year.  I'm looking to improve and was hoping to get some feedback.  These are in my gallery with others.  Thanks for any tips.  And don't beat around the bush.  I've got a thick skin.  If they suck, let me know.

I'll splice comments into the thread - but when images are uploaded without gaps, the spliced comments will be in red as though you wrote them in your original!

This shows great promise - its maybe not an original take, but it follows the easiest bit of advice to follow - the KISS principle - keep it simple, stupid. Head on, centred, minimalist background - it simply works.

Now this is your car buffness taking over. Good car, good angle, awful background and way too tight crop on to the left and base. Pushing the main subject to the corner can work, but it risks allowing the background to take over. This could be a 2nd rate photo of an italian restaurant which happens to have a nice car in front (the grey one in the background:~). You need to take control and work out how to get the subject and background either working together, or contrasting in some way.

Pretty much another kiss shot. The big decision on a shot like this is how to control the space. The background is potentially distracting, but I think it is adding context. Should you have held all the heads in shot? Should there be a fraction more space at the base? Should you have used a tripod and ND filter to lengthen the exposure and blurred the people behind? I think its not quite right as is and you need to resolve more issues on location - but nice motor.

Hmm, not doing it for me. Its telling me more about circuit security than it is about the event, car or crowd. I don't think the flat highlightless processing is working with the subject either - though when this type of processing does work, I think it can be excellent.

It looks like you took a leek while photographing a parts bin. It may get the grease monkeys salivating, but its not what I'd call a photograph. Wait on, I'll just call my wife through, she loves to see a good cog shot. Fwaaah, and look at those needle bearings. Or to be serious for a moment, getting in closer may have resulted in a more interesting abstract.

Got to be careful here as he may be your son - and people tend to get all possessive and personal about such photos. First, selective colour - good to see you getting it out of your system. It works to good effect... in advertising, but why people do it in any other contest is beyond me. Other people may disagree, but I'd recommend you tick that box, been there, done that, and move on. The time-lapse sequence is worth continuing. Where this one fails for me is in the confused background (so the selective colour is intending to deconfuse the image?), the clutter on the right with the upright running right up the frame, and the 3/4 view of the action. In most cases, getting some facial expression is a far more satisfying image.

Almost interesting - I like the idea behind the image, but its not quite hitting the spot. One huge compositional prob is the way the tree arrives right at the frame edge on the left. When items, especially curved ones, just touch the frame, then they create a visual hotspot which draws undue attention. Now if the rest of the composition is strong enough, this may not matter, it could even help the image, but in this case there are converging lines at the edge which I do find too strong. The conversion feels a bit weak too - more of a lift in tones in the upper section and greater tonal range overall would transform the image and draw the viewer in.

So in summary - some good stuff, but you need to be a bit more analytical on location. Try and think of the shots from the point of view of someone looking at your photographs, not you on location. Work on what matters in composition and keep an eye on the backgrounds, even if it means compromising your main subject slightly in order to get stronger final image. And the cogs, man, keep photographing those groovy cogs :~)

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UK wedding photographer in the Lake District
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