BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
 

Could you lokk at my stuff....


HI all photographers,
I am new to the photography thing, and I was wondering if anybody...at all...could look at my stuff and give me tips, or just tell me whats good and whats bad, ect. That would be the best, and I would really appritiate it alot! Thanx!


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4/14/2005 6:41:40 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Could you look at my stuff..... I am sorry for the typo...i am so bad at the computer. sry


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4/14/2005 6:42:34 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Hi Elizabeth,

I looked. You have a good eye that needs to be developed (don't we all?). My favorites are "alone" and the one of the child peeking. In alone I think the picture would be much stronger if you had placed your subject to one side and up or down a little rather than dead on center.

I really liked the sunflowers--but I think they needed more isolation with that blue sky. If you had laid on your back and kept them alone in the frame with no background trees, etc...I think the picture would have been stronger.

I really liked the "neighbors" idea and it would have been perfect had their been a flower on each side of the fence. That's me nit picking, but it would have brought that title to light and given more meaning to the photo in my opinion.

You are choosing some very harsh light to shoot in. Think of shooting flowers and close ups on cloudy days (not the sunflowers!). On other sujects remember that morning and late afternoon give you much more pleasing shadows and tones than midday or harsher light.

Great eye! Keep working!

Karma


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4/14/2005 7:32:37 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hi Karma,
Thank you, SO much for looking at and commenting on my photos! I really appriciate it! Thanx also for the great advice, I see what you mean, and it really helps the photo(s). Thanx again!

Eliza


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4/15/2005 6:40:49 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hi Karma,
Thank you, SO much for looking at and commenting on my photos! I really appriciate it! Thanx also for the great advice, I see what you mean, and it really helps the photo(s). Thanx again!

Eliza


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4/15/2005 6:41:40 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Please don't take this the wrong way but most of your photos don't really thrill me. By the same token, most of my own photos don't thrill ne either. I shoot a LOT of pictures before I find one I REALLY like. Now, to the ones I do like.
Vacant - Good idea. Just needs something in the background, like a person, preferably placed off to the left or right. Then you would have a set of parallel lines leading to the subject. This is one you could shoot over and set it up that way. Might even try it late in the afternoon or early in the morning. You have a good idea here, just need to expound on it.
Peeking - I like this one. I like the touch of light on the girl's cheek on the right side and I love the expression on that beautiful chil'ds face. It just needs a little more DOF in the front. I would like to see the curtain more in focus. Might not be a better picture if it was but I would like to compare. Be back in a minute. Forgot the name of one photo.


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4/15/2005 7:16:23 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Alone - OK, this one thrills me. It needs a little work but NOT in the shooting. You just need to crop it a little. I don't like the horizon dead in the center. Crop a little off the bottom (too much dark space) and more off the top (too much sky). Don't crop so much that you eliminate the feeling of isolation (I REALLY like that). Normally, I would say don't put the subject dead in the middle of the picture but this one begs for that effect. I love the reflection off the water. I like everything about this picture. It just needs a little cropping. If you would like to email me a copy of it, I will show you what I mean. Great shot.


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4/15/2005 7:22:52 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hey Kerry,
Thanks for taking the time to look at my stuff and thanks for the advice. I would love to send you a copy, and I will do that in one minute. I took Vacant with the intention of it being completely vacant, but I too, think it needs something else, however small. I don't know what DOF means, but I took Peeking a few times over, and still couldn't get it jut right. However, my brother's face was a pure stroke of luck. I said smile, and he gave me an excellent performance. I was thoroughly pleased.
Thanks again for the advice...I will send you a copy of Alone.


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4/15/2005 10:46:01 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   DOF = depth of field, the amount of a picture that is in focus, from foreground to background. It varies with the aperature. Smaller aperatures (larger number) give greater DOF.


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4/15/2005 11:52:57 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Elizabeth, to be more exact I'll give you examples. When a picture of a flower or a person has the person or flower perfectly in focus but a very blurred background that is referred to as a "shallow" DOF. When a landscape shot is taken and everything from the flower in the foreground to the mountain way in the distance is in focus that is referred to as "deep" dof. As you learn to control your aperture you'll learn how these effect your pictures. Learning aperture control is one of the biggest steps to having creative control over your photographs.

Karma


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4/15/2005 12:10:15 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
Contact Bob
Bob's Gallery
bobslens.com
  When I started last year, depth of field confused me terribly. The book said "for this aperture, you have a 1 foot Depth Of Field" (paraphrasing). So I'm looking at something 5 feet away and am wondering why I would use that aperture (1 foot away will be in focus) when what I want the subject that is 5 feet away to be in focus. It finally came to me, the 1 foot in focus meant that if I focused on a person 5 feet away, that anything 6 inches infront and 6 inches behind that person would be in focus.....:-) Soooo, as I decrease (larger number) the aperture, more behind and infront of my subject will be in focus....and as I increase (smaller number) the aperture, much less behind and infront will be in focus.
It made sense to me when I typed it...
Bob


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4/15/2005 2:12:52 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
Contact Bob
Bob's Gallery
bobslens.com
  Sorry, I tend to dwell on things......
Small aperture number, less will be clear infront of and behind your focused subject.
Large aperture number, more will be clear infront of and behind your focused subject.
And so on in either direction......
Small number =less....Large number = more.
I think I need a nap...:-)
Bob


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4/15/2005 4:08:15 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Wow! That's alot of really helpful information...thax all! I wish that I had a decient camera, then I could experiment with aperture...but for now, I'll have to live with what I have. Thank you all for your input. and time...I really appriciate it! Oh, my mom wants my to tell everyone, that I am fourteen, however, I don't see how that is relevent. Anyway...thanx again.


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4/15/2005 6:46:26 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
Contact Bob
Bob's Gallery
bobslens.com
  I do, but then I don't...
Learning is learning....:-)


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4/15/2005 6:58:59 PM

 
Uyen  
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/9/2004
  Hi Elizabeth. I really think "alone" has a lot of potential. It is nice and simple and the light and color are lovely. But I would crop it so that the horizon isn't dead center, as some others have suggested here. Personally, I'd probably crop from the top portion of the image, placing the horizon so as to emphasize the water and the reflection in it.


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4/17/2005 3:13:58 PM

 
brigitte stahre
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2004
  you have a really good eye, especially for a 14 year old.. most people that age don't look beyond the obvious..
"vacant" made me think of the beach after season..


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4/17/2005 4:52:15 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Thanks for your encouragement and advice, I am really learning a ton on this web site! I am sooo thankful that anyone has been willling to look at and comment on my stuff. Thanks, all!Uyen, Do you mean to crop part of the actual tree out? I think that's what you mean, but I don't know for sure. When I had shown my mom, she said it was too perfect, and needed some editing, so it's nice to have - professional, looking at the very least - experienced photographers looking at my stuff and telling my some of what my mom said. She'll be pleased. Thank you all, so so much! I bet you think I say that so much that I want you all to leave me alone....but that is TOTALLY not why I say thanx so much...I am really greateful that you have made the time to check out my work. Thanx again!
Eliza


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4/17/2005 7:41:13 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   The fact that you are only 14 is very relevant. It means you have many years ahead to get VERY good. It also means something to me because I like kids (OK, at my age anyone under 30 is a kid) and I like to help young people. I got your email and I will try to work on the photo tomorrow and send it back to you. You have a lot of potential.


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4/17/2005 7:53:26 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Well, thanks, Kerry. I am glad that you like kids. lol. I like adults...imagine that. Thanks for doing that on my pic for me... I can't wait to see it! Also, on the "Takin' A Break" picture, do you know why the light from the window made the picture so... odd. What would you suggest to fix it? I only have the ADOBE PHOTOSHOP - STARTER'S EDITION to edit my photos. I know just how lame that is, but it came with my camera, and I don't have the 'income' to buy anything else at this tiem. Just keep that in mind.
Eliza


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4/17/2005 8:13:48 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   This is a backlit scene. The light from the outside is much more intense than the light from the inside so the outside light is overblown. You could overcome this by using flash but I don't know if you want to. The light on the child looks good as it is. This is more of a problem with digital than it is with film because of the greater latitude of film but it is a problem with both media. Can't really help you with Photoshop. All I have is another program similar to Photoshop Starter Edition. I only use it to scan photos so I can upload them to a computer. I'm a film guy.


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4/17/2005 8:26:01 PM

 
Uyen  
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/9/2004
  Hi again, Elizabeth...actually no I didn't mean to suggest you crop out any part of the tree. The shape of the tree is so lovely! What I would do is crop out some of the space above the tree (maybe take out half of the space that is there now)... just so that the horizon isn't right in the middle of the picture. I think this may be what your mom means when she said it was too "perfect." But that is just a suggestion... try different things and see for yourself what you think is most beautiful.


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4/17/2005 8:41:47 PM

 
Debbie Truesdale
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/25/2005
  Elizabeth... I think your pictures are pretty good. I have a 14 and 16 year old that love taking pictures too. My 16 year old even took a class in high school. I am no professional but I love taking pictures!! I almost always have my camera with me. My girl's won't let me take their pictures anymore. I have to beg them. Look at other peoples photos to get ideas. I do. There are a lot of really great photographers on this site!! I would also play with the crop tool. You can always delete it. Sometimes I take as many as 200 pictures just to get the few I like. Thats the great thing about digital cameras!! I also like my 35mm. My 35mm sometimes takes better pictures than my digital. I usually take both with me. Well Good luck! Remember to have FUN!! Debbie


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4/17/2005 9:07:07 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker  
 
 
Elizabeth, here is the cropped image of the tree. Naturally, this is not the only way it could have been done, just one suggestion. I think you should frame this photo and hang it on the wall. Heck, you might even want to make an enlargement, frame it, and see if the bank your parents use would let you hang it there.


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4/18/2005 6:55:49 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker  
 
  Alone - by Elizabeth
Alone - by Elizabeth
© Kerry L. Walker
Olympus OM-2
 
 
Let me try again. It went to my gallery. Got to get it out of there because I can't take credit for this beautiful photo.


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4/18/2005 7:00:04 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Thank, Ms. Debbie. Photography is my llike my love life. My best friend gets reallly tired of posing for me, and occasionally asks me to leave my camera behind at my house when we go on walks. I must be one of those who are always behind my camera, and thus my family forgets what I look like. I took about 100 pictures of wisteria - spelling? - and other flowers yesterday, and I think I got 10 goods ones, that I like at least. One of my friends has a 35mm camera, and she says that hers is "....Better than yours, Elizabeth!" She is so mean. Anyways, I wish I had the option of non-digital every once in a while. Thanks Ms.Debbie!


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4/18/2005 9:23:53 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  WOW! My picture looks so much better just simply cropped the way you did. I don't understand why it went to your gallery, but I am not too concerned...don't stress yourself over it. However good I think it is, I don't think the bank would let me. Yet, I am gonna ask my chiropracter - spelling again - if I can hang it on her walls. She has other photographers' work on her walls, and she might just let me hang mine. Thanks for showing me what you meant, Ms. Kerry. Someone else said to crop it that way, but it sounded confusing. I am really glad to be able to see it. Thanks!


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4/18/2005 9:28:09 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Don't give up on your bank without asking. You might be surprised, especially if is a local bank. By the way, I'm not a Ms. I'm a guy. With a name like mine, it works for either sex. There is even a county in Ireland named Kerry! I don't think it was named after me. I'm not quite that old! LOL


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4/18/2005 10:40:37 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Oh my. I am so sorry, I just assumed that Kerry was a girl's name... I apologize. I will lokk in to the bank, but seeing as how we are moving today, I don't know what bank we'll be using after this move. So, Mr. Kerry, are you from Ireland? That would be the COOLEST thing ever, my family LOVES Ireland! My sisters did Irish dance for about 5 years, and though we never got to go to Ireland, we could have this year, but for finances. Anyway, I gtg, we are still moving stuff all around, so I might not be on till Wendsday, b/c we are also doing spotlights for a 4 hour long play for the rest of the week. So if I do not respond to your comments or advice, pleace forgive: my life is crazy. Later,
Eliza


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4/19/2005 7:25:11 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Nope, I'm not from Ireland but some of my ancestors were. Hope to get to go there someday. May daughter is in college and sings with the Centenary Choir. They will be travelling to Switzerland, France and Germany next month and plan to go to either Ireland, England and Wales in two years or to Australia. Hope to go with them then. My wife hopes it's Australia because she has always wanted to go there. I'll be happy to go either place. Good luck on your move.


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4/19/2005 7:33:02 AM

 
Heather Harpel
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/5/2005
  Hi Elizabeth

I am just a beginner, so I can't speak with much experience, but I love your photos. You have a lot of really good ones, I think. I also think that you only being 14 is relevant, you have a much better eye than I do, and I am 32! :) As someone else said, you are this good at 14, you have time ahead of you to practice and become really great! I would definitely ask your local bank about hanging the photo, I think it's really great. It's one I would pay money for to hang in my house, so I think you offering it for free it would be snapped up! :)

As for digital vs. 35mm, I think the best thing about digital is that you can take a million photos of something, choose the ones you like best and throw away the rest. That's what I like to do, although sometimes I get the best photo on my first try! :) I think digital is great for learning on (I have a Minolta Dimage Z2, my first digital ever) you can try different things to see what works and what doesn't. I took a photo yesterday of my daughter looking through the blinds out the window, with just the light from outside lighting her face. I took it first with a flash, and realized soon that it was not the look I was going for, then tried it with no flash but in black and white, and decided that I wanted it in color. Having a digital makes things like that possible. When I was using a 35mm I would snap a few shots of something and hope it turned out. Yes, I got lucky sometimes, but with the digital I realize right away if I got what I was hoping for or if I needed to try again. I also like the fact that I took photos yesterday, and was able to upload them today and post them on my gallery. No more waiting for film to be developed. So I definitely prefer digital.


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4/20/2005 7:06:51 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Heather, I like that photo. It would not have worked nearly as well with flash.

I have to agree with Heather that digital is probably the best tool with which to learn.(That is a hard statement for an OLD, die-hard and dedicated film shooter to say.) Digital offers instant feedback on what you have shot. It is much easier to upload. (I lose a lot of quality when I scan a photo, re-size it and change the resolution, especially if I am scanning an 8x10. I hate the way my photos in my gallery look compared to how they look in print.) It is also much cheaper to shoot a lot of pictures. Having said all that, I still believe film is better in the long run. Digital is great but there are still things film can do that digital can't, at least in my opinion. For now, the instant feedback will be a great help for you. When you get more experience, you will KNOW you are getting what you want, without the need of that instant reinforcement.


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4/20/2005 8:11:33 AM

 
brigitte stahre
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2004
  kerry, what kind of a scanner are you using? I have an hp 1210 all-in-one and don't see any loss in quality.. have actually found that I can scan in not so good photos and clean them up with photoshop.. if you don't like your scanner, [i hated the one before the hp], why not have your negatives put to cd?


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4/20/2005 10:15:31 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I use an Epson CX5400. The problem is not so much in the scan as it is in converting from converting from over 1200 dpi to 72 dpi. It looses a lot in the translation. I could have my negs. scanned to a CD but I am not really into putting images into my gallery (hence the dearth of images). I usually upload one as a example when I am trying to show an example when I answer a question.


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4/20/2005 10:23:25 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Thanx for your kind comments, and your advice about the flash. I personally love digital, but I was just curious. Well, I am sorry about not getting back, we are in the middle of franticlly moving as well as the play going on. We only come to the new house one a day, and the compy is here at the new house. I gtg, see ya late, all!


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4/21/2005 10:18:00 AM

 
Patricia A. Kuniega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/17/2003
  Hi Elizabeth,

I wish that before you started getting advice on DOF that your camera had been taken into consideration. It just doesn't have the settings to do some of this fancier work. But don't worry about that, because you have a great eye and you can take wonderful photographs with the camera that you have. Although I had a 35mm film camera when I was 18, I didn't fall in love with phtotography again until I started using a camera similar to yours several years ago. While I agree that digital cameras make it easy to take "tons" of photos, then dispose of the bad ones, it is better to take your time and learn to compose well. Don't be in a hurry to snap lots of photos and hope that you get some good ones. When you have the time, move around a subject from different angles, hold the camera up to your eye and look at things through it until something pleases you. The camera only has one eye, you have two, and human vision sees things differently than a single lens.

Also, it really doesn't help when someone tells you how they think you should have taken a photograph, because chances are you can't take a particular shot again. It only gives you ideas for the next time, and of course every situation is different. Suggestions for how it might have looked "if only" don't help, because you can't make something out of something that isn't there. The beauty of photography is dealing with what is really there. That's a hard concept for some people, because your mind sees how it envisions things to be and the camera sees reality. Someday when you have a camera that you can control things better you'll be able to have more creative say in how things finally look, but for now, focus on what you see through the lens. Study the situations that come to you. Keep looking through the viewfinder until you find things that you like. I'd suggest getting some books from the library and looking on the internet for rules of composition. And, as you are already doing, study the photographs that you like and analyze how they were composed. And before you throw the bad pics away look at them closely to understand why they didn't work. As you learn what not to do, you get better and better. Asking people to critique your photos is one of the best things that you can do.

Good luck and have fun!!


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4/22/2005 12:54:09 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Patricia - clap, clap, clap. Well said.
Re: My comment on DOF - My bad. I think it is amazing Elizabeth has done such a good job with a P&S camera. Never dawned on my old feeble mind to check out her camera.

Elizabeth, please let me add a bit to what Patricia said. Most (not all, so don't you digital folks get mad at me) people who use digital cameras cite the benefits of digital as being cheap to shoot a lot of pictures. Yes this is true and many people use the shotgun approach to photography - shoot a lot of photos and something is bound to be good. I think what Patricia and I are both wanting you to understand is that it is better to MAKE one good photograph than to TAKE 100. The reason I suggest digital is because you can shoot a picture and immediately find out if you got what you want. If you did not, make adjustments and try again. Don't just shoot a ton of pictures and pick the best one. You can critique your own work and make adjustments in the field. Keep practicing until you get to the point that you KNOW you got what you wanted without even looking at the screen. When you get to that point, you can then move up to film! (Ok digital folks, j/k).


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4/22/2005 2:07:20 PM

 
Patricia A. Kuniega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/17/2003
  Oh that's really funny Kerry! Quite a sense of humor you have! lol You know, I really do like film people. They're so quaint and old school! (she says as she ducks from the flying film canisters!) ; )

Yes, you do hear all the time that digital is great because you can shoot hundreds of photos and throw away all the bad ones. Well, you know that little LCD screen doesn't tell the whole story. Things look pretty darn good at that size, but when you look at the full sized image it often tells a different story. And I think it's also worthwhile for Elizabeth to know that there are days when you can't take a good photograph to save your soul, so not to feel bad about that. We all have days where we just miss the shots. Or what we envisioned in our heads is not what we came home with. It's okay to shoot lots of photos and not like any of them. Just go out there the next time and work twice as hard to get better ones! If you blast away with a shot gun, sooner or later you'll hit something. It's that way with a camera too, but it doesn't mean it looks good. : )


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4/22/2005 3:36:45 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Hey, I'm not only old school, I'm just plain old! I not only throw film canisters, I throw film spools (I use 120 film too). Although I may be growing old, I refuse to grow up!
Thank you for your nice email. It's nice to be able to banter with a digital shooter in fun. I agree that Elizabeth's "Alone" picture is a diamond. All I did was what anyone could have done in a darkroom (or with that danged Photoshop). That young lady has a LOT of potential.


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4/22/2005 8:58:49 PM

 
brigitte stahre
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2004
  I agree with kerry's advice about taking your time with every shot, film or digital and not just hoping to get lucky with one out of 100's.. BUT, I used to go through 4 or 5 rolls of film on a day trip to the beach.. I used up 2 one one partical hike through the wood, just on mushrooms and ferns.. most of the shroom pics were so-so, some were kinda ok but nothing "talked to me".. then of course THE photo op came right after I snapped the last picture..


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4/23/2005 3:27:35 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Thanks, Patricia! I fell much better knowing that I am not just stupid about the DOF thing with my camera. I was feelin a little down about that. I have never had a film camera, I went straight to digital. I am feeling very jealous about now: one of my good friens just bought a REALLY nice camera, and his "old" camera was my dream camera: the Canon EOS Digital Rebel. Man, I am mad at him. Oh well, I am hoping to up grade before too long......hopefully. well, I gtg, see yall all
Eliza!


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4/26/2005 6:37:14 PM

 
Susan Patton
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/1/2004
  Hi Elizabeth,
Just wanted to say keep working at it. You have a great eye that will only get better with practice and you're getting great advice. I haven't been at it that long myself & can tell you that the more you study what others do and the more you practice, things will begin to make sense. I began by reading everything I could get my hands on both in print and on the web. Good luck to you and keep shooting. (By the way, Alone is awesome!)


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4/27/2005 5:45:12 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2005
  OK, first, you're lying about being 14...

Just kidding, but like everyone else I'm amazed at your progress so far.

I'm not a pro by any means, but I truly think the biggest thing seperating a great photographer from a 'guy with a camera' (or girl)... is the ability to 'see'.

What that means is evident with your pictures. There are composition rules, like the rule of thirds, that while they are good rules, need to be broken sometimes in the interest of the scene.

Learning to 'see' is something that I'm working on and I've made progress with, but it's hard for some of us.

My background in photography was only simple point and shoot film cameras shooting with no rhyme or reason. I decided to get serious about it when I bought my Digital Rebel after getting a few pretty good shots with a cheap point and shoot digital. Maybe others would dissagree, but here's my advice to you.

You seem to have a good 'eye' and that goes a long way to making a great picture no matter what the camera. Hopefully this makes sense, but think of the runner from Africa who wins the olympics every year where they don't have shoes at all - compared to the guy from the USA who loses every year wearing thousand dollar shoes. It's not all about the equipment sometimes, there is skill involved and you seem to have it.

I would warn you to not get too hasty to move up to a new camera. If you try to change cameras before you can afford a good one, you may end up getting a camera that doesn't do your 'eye' justice. I personally think the Digital Rebel is a good step in the way up to the top, but others may not agree.

The thing with digital is that for all the benifits, it is hard (expensive) to find a really good digital camera that will go fully manual like a fairly cheap film camera will. You can easily find a good film camera that is fully manual for $100 or $200. The Digital Rebel in contrast is around $800 these days online (still closer to $1000 some places).

The advantage of a fully manual camera comes in as you start to understand the DOF (depth of field) mentioned, as well as other things like how different a fountain looks with a slow shutter versus a fast shutter. When your camera doen't let you change those things, you can only focus on the scene, and I give a lot more weight to the scene than the details.

Sometimes knowing the details can even keep you from taking a good picture. Case in point, the picture of your brother by the window could have been exposed just perfect with my camera pretty easily, but it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting as how yours came out. Even if it was by accident, now you know that it's interesting so you can re-create that effect and know that it works.

Sometimes breaking the 'rules' is a good thing... and when you don't know the rules it's easier to break them. In your case I think it's helping you. You've got plenty of time to learn the rules and decide which ones you want to follow. *smile*

Do some research online, check out some books at the library, and maybe take a photography course at a local YMCA or something. I would just warn to not get too caught up on how things 'should' be done. Let your eye tell you what to do and hopefully learning some of the rules will help you make your vision of the scene happen, not the other way around where you make something different because a rule said so.

Good luck to you!


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4/27/2005 7:02:47 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   OK, Elizabeth. It is time for you to fess up that you are older than 14 or get off this site. You are beginning to embarrass us old folks. I see you have uploaded some new photos.
Sun on the Water - another dramatic photo. GREAT refelection of the sun off the water. I really like the way the sun is setting between the buildings. Good detail in the water. The birds in the air really add a lot to this photo.
Suffolk - Good Americana photo. I like the fact that the farmer is stopped and bent over the plow. It is an even better photo than it would have been if he had been standing behind the plow.
Footsteps - I like this but I would like to see you try it again. Shoot it later in the evening (or early in the morning) showing the footsteps like you have done but with the person making the footsteps off in the distance - not too far, just far enough. Take several shots of the person walking away from you and pick the one you like. Footsteps is a good photo, I would just like to see you expound on it, maybe even make it a series. Whatever you do, keep shooting. Oh, and yes, I'm jealous.


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4/27/2005 7:44:20 AM

 
brigitte stahre
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2004
  several years ago I watched some show about aspects of photograpy.. there was a magazine photo journalist who explained how he takes a disposable camera and a magnifyiong glass to do macro photography in areas where cannot carry his professional equipment... I tried it and the results were amazing.. it does take practice...


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4/27/2005 9:11:38 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hello, Susan, Shawn, Kerry, Brigette and All! This is a note from Elizabeth's mom...the one who stops by the side of the road almost daily for her to capture some amazing shot, and who risked trespassing charges for "Overgrown"! Just thought I would take a moment to say thank you all for the wonderful advice you have given her. She is the second of 6 children, and has always found wonder in things most people wouldn't look twice at. Just yesterday, while we were unloading the trailer (we're STILL moving) she found a tree frog on the carport and took at least 40-50 shots. I found myself holding the slimy little guy so she could photograph him in a hand!

I believe she is talented, but I also believe it is really good for young people to get objective input, and you all have been tremendously helpful. It is not unusual for her to check her email then run out and try something you have suggested.

I also wanted to vouch for her physical age...I was there when she arrived...she was 14 in January :-)

In addition to reading and studying, I believe apprenticeship is the way to learn a craft or an art. You all are serving in that capacity in her life. It is a great feeling knowing there is a place on the web where she has found sound, helpful, appropriate information from really nice people. I have personally spent hours, late at night when everyone is asleep, looking at your galleries, and I am amazed and inspired by your talent.

Thank you again for the resource you all are to Elizabeth. It is a blessing.

Most sincerely,
Dianne


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4/28/2005 6:58:18 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2005
  We'll just have to trust you then... and just accept that a 14 yr old has some of us beat already. *smile*

I'm the oldest of 6 in my family - as a personal note.

I am only a few days old in my time here and I've also been impressed by this community. The feedback is honest and people actually take the time to figure things out with you and don't just give you canned responses.

Welcome to you both, and good luck with the rest of the move.


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4/28/2005 7:18:57 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Hi Mom! It's nice to hear from you. You have a wonderful daughter who is already a very, very good photographer. I imagine someday I will see photos in National Geographic! It is a pleasure to work with a young lady who is so interested in photography. I know you are proud of her. I see Elizabeth's birthday is in the same month as mine. I celebrated my 29th birthday in January - for the 26th time (or the 25th anniversary thereof). Hey, it was a good age so I stuck with it!
Tell Elizabeth to keep uploading photos. We love to see her work.
BTW, I have a daughter myself. She is the girl in two of the pictures I have uploaded. Believe it or not, she is 19 now (catching up with me) but looks about the same age as Elizabeth. Both pictures were taken within the last year.


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4/28/2005 7:21:24 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hello Guys,
Well, thanks so much for all the compliments on Elizabeth's work. Of course I think she's wonderful, but it's nice to find people who agree with me! She certainly enjoys photography, and it is a healthy, productive way for her to spend her energies. She loves it so much...it is good that she is talented in this area!

Kerry, I am personally about to celebrate the 11th anniversary of my 29th birthday...I agree, a good age, and my oldest child is turning 16, and I have been married for 20 years this August! Quite a year for me.

We have been picking strawberries this week, and the dew on the plants early in the morning is amazing! She will probably be uploading some new photos soon.

Take care,
Mom


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5/5/2005 1:05:58 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   11th anniversary? You're still young! I keep telling folks I am 29, but I've been married for 30 years and my daughter is 19 - soon to be 20. Think I should pull a Jack Benny and say 39?

Picking strawberries? Are you in California?


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5/5/2005 1:31:31 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  No, we are not in CA, but there is a lady who has a strawberry farm not too too far from our home, and we pick for her commercially. (spelling???) Great berries. However, I was too concentrated on picking and not photography, and so only maybe one picture came out good. We have to pick a certain amount of flats in a certain amout of time, and I was already a tad behind (there were no berries in the fields!)
Elizabeth


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5/5/2005 5:05:39 PM

 
Karthik M. Siddhun
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
  Hi Elizabeth,

Your photos are really good. They are impressive, keep it up , good work. Try some "flying - subjects" , bring "panning " effect. I haven't tried yet. But I am soon going to do it.

I am just giving you some leads.....there is no boundary on photography world.

I liked your works. Keep in touch.

With regards,
Siddhun.M.Karthik,Mumbai
India


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5/6/2005 6:04:32 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Thank you, Siddhun! I am pleased that you liked my work. I have never tired flying objects, but it is a good idea. Thanks for the idea! I will try it.

Thanks again,
Elizabeth


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5/6/2005 8:14:28 AM

 
Karthik M. Siddhun
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
  Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for considering my suggestions. From your work, I liked few photos much, Among them, "Alone" looks more dramatic.If you would have corned that subject towards "Right " or " left" , It would have got pleasing effect. i.e Rule of Thirds.

The "Cherry Blossom" and "Sun on the water" are lovely. Liked them much.

I could able to observe form your images, you always place the "subject" at centre. Shall I please you to keep them on right or left corners, See the result.

I spent 1 roll of film on yesterday night, my colleague's engagement, today afternoon, I looked those prints, I laughed myself. Out of 30 snaps, around 10 were good looking to me.!! Let it be, they are just Portraits.! I am also learning ....!
One day, I may also grow.....

Keep in touch.

With smiles,
Siddhun


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5/7/2005 4:22:57 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hey Siddhun!

I am trying to not put my subject in the center...but I just find myself centering them without thinking. I'll have to train myself not to do that.

I am still trying to get some decent portraits... my sister helps teach about three dance classes, and they are having an end of year performance. The mothers all want me to do portraits for their kids. I am very nervous. I have a few cool portraits, but they aren't in a church, with a back-drop and the subject posing. It should be interesting.

Elizabeth


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5/7/2005 6:53:07 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Siddhun, I agree with you that most photos are better with the subject off center. However, "Alone" cries out to be centered. Centering the tree emphasizes the isolation of the tree, thus the title "Alone". Elizabeth, we all have a tendency to center our subjects without thinking, especially those who use autofocus. It takes a little practice but you will get the hang of it.
Siddhun, if you got 10 shots out of a roll that YOU were happy with, that's a good roll. After all, we are our own worst critics. I'll bet others like more than that.
Elizabeth, don't worry about the portraits, especially doing too much posing. Most pictures are better if they aren't posed, or at least look like they aren't. I am sure you will do well. Tell Mom HI! for me.


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5/7/2005 7:03:07 AM

 
Karthik M. Siddhun
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
  Hi Elizabeth , Kerry,

It is nice to read your comments, messages, from another corner of this world.
I have done few mistakes when I was taking pictures in Engagement day function.( learning form mistakes).

1.Since the video coverage was going on, I thought that light was enough, so I clicked few pictures, which turned out dark in my camera.

2.But those 10 pics which I referred are dead - good pics.

One pic, I brought the financee and fiance faces , inbetween two shoulders.

(these are something which makes other people to raise eyebrow when they look at the pictures...)

May be, you can also try all these things. Seeing all the "bride&groom" portraits in the centre of photos....is somewhat boring...( my personal opinion...I am sorry).

3.I tried to move as closer as I much to take snaps.
( This is the first time, I had guts to move around - finding the best possible angle).

One another snap, the bride (my colleagues fiance) alone was covered , came so sharp,many of my other colleagues liked.

The mistake I did, I was keeping only one roll, initially both ( my colleague & fiance were tensed) nervous, After exchanging the ring, they were looking casual. By then, I was not having extra film roll. hehhehe! ( my stupidity....i was very fast on clicking).

My small digital camera, was unfortunately with my another friend who went for tour.huhuhhu! I missed few good portrait shots.

4.One "low angle" picture, framing both of them, came perfect as I imagined.

This time, I played with aperture control which allows in my camera, I kept few snaps with f/16 and few on f/11. But the pictures came bright were I kept f/16 , with flash.

It's ok, be bold to take several. few must comeout with much best results.

I wish you will succeed a lot, ( In my family, we never own a camera when I was 14 , we first own a camera -SLR only when I was 26, I was the first guy at home, my bro 1 yr younger, & I have pretty sister, 5 yrs younger to me. Now I am 30. I am now only started earning handsome to expose myself to this worls with my interests and hobbies.)

Sorry for taking your precious time! ( went on....as long msg).

With smiles,
Siddhun.M.Karthik
Mumbai


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5/7/2005 7:23:35 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   We are glad to hear from you. I really enjoy hearing from people all over the world. Glad to hear your 10 were so good and that everyone liked them.
The comment I made about the subject being in the middle was specific to that picture. It is true that most photos are much better when the subject is off center - both horizontally and vertically (the rule of thirds). I just liked the feeling of isolation "Alone" has with the tree in the middle of that expanse of water and sky. By the way, take all of our time you want to. That is why we are here.


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5/7/2005 6:13:27 PM

 
John 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/10/2004
  Elizabeth,
It seems that you have a great passion for Photography and art as a whole.
I have read through this entire forum as well as viewed your photographs and I think that you have great potential. Keep up the great work! Keep in mind, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Bowker


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5/7/2005 8:32:29 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hi Siddhun, John and Kerry!
Thanks again for even looking at my question... I am soooooo grateful to have this amazing response to a simple question! It has been sooooooooo helpful!
I love that we - photographists (lol!!) - from all over the world can come together...kinda... and help each other, even though I am not any help. I really enjoyed hearing form you, Mr. Siddhun... I think that is really cool. Thanks alot!
Kerry, as always, thanks for just keeping up with my "page" thing... no one else has continued to converse with me and offer me great advise... I really appritiate it.
John, I am so glad that there are people like you are willing to offer time to answer my trivial questions. Thanks a whole heap!
See ya'll later!
Elizabeth


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5/8/2005 2:38:27 PM

 
Debbie Truesdale
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/25/2005
  Hi Elizabeth.. I look on here from time to time to see how you are doing.. I think you are doing great!! Keep up the good work!! Debbie


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6/23/2005 6:20:47 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hey Debbie! Thanks for looking after me... I think that is so neat! I love people who are truely interested in my me and just my work! Thanks again!

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Elizabeth C.


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6/24/2005 6:08:49 AM

 
Danny C. Gleason   hey elizabeth. im also 14 and am starting this whole photography thing too. I hope to be getting a nice slr camera soon because as of now I don't really have anything that good. good luck with your photos. I looked at you gallery, I do agree you have a lot of good ideas.


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6/24/2005 7:29:30 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hi Danny! I am glad you liked my photos.... I would like to see some of yours, if you decide to post them. I see you just joined...Welcome to the BP Family! This place is the best place to go to get critique, as well as support. I am planning on getting a Fujifilm FinePix S5100 later this year... I have half of the money already. My current camera is a really cheap, usually used to take pictures for fun, not seriously.

Keep Shooting!

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Elizabeth C.


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6/25/2005 5:37:43 AM

 
Ford    your on the right path


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6/25/2005 7:43:50 AM

 
Danny C. Gleason   yeah, I should post some of mine...if I knew how. I don't really have that big or impressive portfolio yet, but im working on it.

danny


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6/25/2005 11:47:58 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Hey, I just ran acros this thread, so thought I would jump in!!!

I have to agree with every one on this, you are really good for 14!! When I was your age, Wich wasnt to long ago (I will be 18 this year) I did not do near this well!!

It great to see that you have started so young, I was about your age when I started!!

I think that you aplied the rule of thirds pretty well in "Death and Life"!!

And I also think that your flower close ups are great, I especially like the on "Dessert Flower"!!!

Keep trying new things its the only way to learn, also I think you will enjoy photography a lot more once you get an SLR digital or film!!!

Keep working on the rule of thirds, and I thinkk you will do great!!

-Collette-


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6/25/2005 4:39:47 PM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hey all!

Thanks Ford! I am so thankfull for this web site... it has been so helpful!

Danny, You ought to get a free gallery.... it may be the cheap way, but it works... really well, for me atleast!

Thank you, Collette! I really enjoy hearing from people my own age... sometimes I feel like I am the only one. Then, someone comes on and says that they too are a teen... I find that just too cool! Just curious, how is "Death and Life" in thirds? It's probably just me... but I don't see it. Dumb homeschooler. My favorite flower is Desert Flower... I even got a comment from the judges on it. They said it was a little distracting with the foreground being blurry. I agree, but am so honored to have a comment from the judges! Thanks again for looking... I really appritiate it!

Thanks Ford! I am so thankfull for this web site... it has been so helpful!

Keep Shooting!

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Elizabeth C.


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6/26/2005 4:18:07 PM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Hey Elizabeth,

What I meant with the rule of thirds, is that in that picture you have the main object more off to the right rather than right in the center, which is what you are supposed to do with the rule of thirds!!

Basically, with the rule of thirds you would draw (in your mind!) two lines verticaly and two lines horazontally, so that it looks sort of like a tic-tac-toe board, and then you want to place the main object on one of the four corners where the lines meet rather than in the center.
Wow, I hope that made sense!!!

Anyways hope that was helpfull, let me know if there is anything else I can help with!!

-Collette-


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6/27/2005 5:50:33 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Hey girls, I was a teen once .........back in the Dark Ages!


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6/27/2005 6:08:24 PM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  I always here people say that no matter how old they get, they always feel like a teen inside!!!!

Thats all that counts right!!!! =)

-Collette-


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6/28/2005 11:38:26 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Hey Kerry,

Where there cave men around yet when you where a kid? Just kidding!My mom told my to ask you that.

I know the rule of thirds, but didn't see it in that picture. Thanks for pointing it out.

I love to hear from people - not neccesssarily older, but desirably - for they have sooo much more knowledge and experience. I am so thankful for all the help I get here... thank you Kerry, and Collette! It means alot to me.

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Elizabeth C.

P.S. I wrote a short story once, and one of my two main character's name was Colet... same name, different spelling. Cool!


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6/28/2005 6:08:55 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   What do you mean "were there cave men around?" Heck, I am one. Hi, Mom.


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6/29/2005 6:15:15 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Well, I wasnt gonna go that far... but if the boot fits... Lol jk. Mom says "Hi Kerry!"

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Elizabeth C.


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6/29/2005 6:35:15 AM

 
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