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Photography Question 
Stuart U
 

Critical Evaluation of my Gallery


I am trying to get past the snapshop phase of photography. I have recently uploaded some new picutes. I was hoping someone could pass on some constructive criticism.

Thanks,
Stuart


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6/21/2005 3:47:29 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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PickYourShots.com
  Overall, you have some nice stuff. I really like the flowers framing the memorial. Farm #1 is slightly out of focus (or my eyes are, could be either).
One of them has a black spot up in the upper left corner that needs to be cloned out. Just keep looking at other people's work and you will pick up a lot of ideas!


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6/21/2005 6:11:41 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Hi, Stuart! I'll take a look at your gallery, but I'm as new as your are to all of this. (Feel free to look at mine and make any suggestions you may have!)

I've had a tough time getting real constructive critique, but have learned a lot from all of the positive comments, as well. I've learned what it seems I'm doing right, and looked at a lot of comments on other people's photos and learned what others are doing right. The Judges Comments forum at http://www.betterphoto.com/DiscCat.asp?catID=121 is also a great place to learn through their comments on peoples contest entries.

Hope that helps! Hang in there and just keep snapping and uploading!


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6/21/2005 7:06:33 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  I like a number of you pictures, but I think you need to consider whether you want to shoot snapshots or the kind of image that you or someone wants to hang on a wall as a 16 X 20.

"Frames of Flowers" certainly fits the latter while,I think, "Butch" is the former. And, that's my basic critique with lots of pictures folks show - whether in a living room or on a website like BP's.

Here are some comments on specific shots:

"Mill Creek" - the tree takes up almost 40 percent of the image and adds little. Its trunk actually doesn't offer a leading line to the farm/mill; rather it tends to cut out the eye's move to the structures.

"Catzilla" - so, you had fun with Photoshop or some other editing program. The Monument should have been placed to the left of the picture so you could have added the entire cat - and not cut off its tail [assuming that shot was "complete."]

"Dandy" - a very stagnent image because the dandelion is exactly centered. Also, the shot isn't sharp.

"Farm 1" - I'm not sure what the subject of this picture really is! The farm buildings are good; the train is different and exciting. COmbined, the two pictures detract from one another.

"It Takes 3" - if it takes three, then three should be seen fairly equally. This image just make it for me. To much background even though it's out of focus.

"Jupiter Lighthouse" - refer to a recent Thread by Frank Luongo. This picture falls into a similar category in that we've all taken this shot. Unless there's something new, it's fairly boring. You've cut off the bottom of the trees. You have a bird [or a spot on your file] that's very distracting [upper right of trees.] Did you snap the sky or is this created with Photoshop "fill?" In any event, I wish there were some clouds.

"Farm 2" - I like this picture, but next time shoot it from a lower position so you "complete the foreground. Also, try cropping the bare spot [on the right.] That might or might not make for a stronger picture.

As I said, some of these are snashots. The worthy ones are really worthy of enlarging. Keep up this kind of work.


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6/21/2005 7:53:50 AM

 
Stuart U   John,

Thank you so much for taking a look at my gallery. I really appreciate the constructive evaluation. I have never had anyone comment on the "Tulip" picture. I really like this picture, but if there is a reason for it being uninteresting I would like to know why.

Laura O.,
I really like a lot of your pictures. I feel unqualified to comment further. You really have a good eye for composure and I like your use of light.

Thank you all for your comments. Now, I am off to shoot more megs!

Stuart


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6/24/2005 4:09:10 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Exposure good, color nice. The major problem with this picture is the second flower that detracts from the main subject. Even selective focus doesn't help.

Next time you might also try backing a little bit away from the flower. Perhaps just a little more framing might improve the shot - but, it's really hard to say without seeing the result.

This image serves to confirm the suggestion from a lot of pros to take more than picture [viewpoint] of any given subject.


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6/24/2005 5:18:12 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Stuart, as usual John gives an excellent critique. I would like to add a few things.
Jupiter Lighthouse - good subject but it needs something extr to make it unique - maybe shot from a different perspective with something different in the foreground. Since I was not there, I don't know what was available from a different viewpoint.
Frame of Flowers - excellent image.
Farm 1 - Forget the farmhouse. Turn your camera to the left and shoot straight down the side of the train with the train running the full length of the grame. Go vertical of course.
Mill Creek - You are getting the idea of putting a foreground object in the frame on landsacpe shots but, as John said, the tree is too big. Good technique though.


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6/24/2005 7:59:02 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Back to the Jupiter Lighthouse picture. Here is an example of really screwing up a chance at a good photo. It is a beautiful subject of which the photographer (me) made poor use. I shot this because it was such a beautiful staircase but I made it a boring picture. What should I have done? I should have put the camera on a tripod (so I could have used a samller aperature for greater DOF - didn;t have my tripod with me - big mistake), used a wider lens (maybe), moved to the right, and had someone at the top of the stairs (preferably a child sitting at the top). Perhaps then I would have had an interesting picture instead of a boring picture of an interesting staircase. I don't mind using one of my own bad pictures if it will help someone else to not make some of the same mistakes I have.


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6/24/2005 8:11:26 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker  
 
  Staircase
Staircase
© Kerry L. Walker
Olympus OM-2
 
 
Back to the Jupiter Lighthouse picture. Here is an example of really screwing up a chance at a good photo. It is a beautiful subject of which the photographer (me) made poor use. I shot this because it was such a beautiful staircase but I made it a boring picture. What should I have done? I should have put the camera on a tripod (so I could have used a samller aperature for greater DOF - didn;t have my tripod with me - big mistake), used a wider lens (maybe), moved to the right, and had someone at the top of the stairs (preferably a child sitting at the top). Perhaps then I would have had an interesting picture instead of a boring picture of an interesting staircase. I don't mind using one of my own bad pictures if it will help someone else to not make some of the same mistakes I have.


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6/24/2005 8:11:29 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Sorry about the double click - too much coffee!


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6/24/2005 8:14:04 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Ok here is my 2 cents!!

jupiter lighthouse- I think that there are to much of the trees in this pic. you could try zooming in closer too the light house.

Frame of flowers- I think on this one your when you lok at it your eyes cant get any further than the frame of flowers. you might try bringing the background in closer so it fills in more of the frame.(I dont know wether you can do that on PS or not?)

Tulip- I think this would have been more interesting maybe if it was off centered more?!

Yellow Rose- I think this one should have been maybe taken vertical or off centerd more as well.

Mill creek- I agree with everyone here, there is to much of the tree trunk.

Well those are just my oppinions, but I think you have some really good photos!!!

PS. I always love HARD constructive criticism on my gallery, everyone is welcome to take a shot!!!

-Collette-


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6/25/2005 5:35:02 PM

 
Mike Carpenter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2004
  I think you need to learn to isolate more. Exposure is a big key also. You have some good subjects but make sure people know what they are supposed to be looking at in the picture. Extra stuff is o.k. in a picture but make sure that it does not overwhelm the shot and you want it to lead to the subject. I tend to get so excited when I see a good shot I forget to make sure everything is in place. I hope this helps. Feel free to shoot back at me with any comments. Unlike some people I like good hard critiques.

-Mike-


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6/25/2005 8:09:14 PM

 
Stuart U   Thank you all so ery much for the insight and examples. I have really learned so much from all your words of advice. To summarize the common theme, you all are suggesting that on my flower shots I should get a bit more off center. Does this also hold true for symetrical flowers like the orchid? Also, in general I should work on my composition to remove destracting elements. What is the best way to handle this when shooting in a garden or other natural situation?

Thanks again for all of your help!

Stuart


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6/26/2005 7:51:48 AM

 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  I will add my 1 cent worth, bt I will only say a little, because all of the comments posted so far are totally acurate.

To start, you have some great pictures. Good job! I realllllly like Frame of Flowers and Cherries. Both are great! But, did you use a flash in Fram? It kinda looks like it.

Jupiter Lighthouse - I agree with Collette and Kerry, this pic has great potential, but you could expound on it more. I would eliminate some trees, and add something else to the comp. to make it more interesting.

Yellow Rose - is a great start, but I would crop it tighter to expound on it. The other flowers in the background are distracting.

Mill Creek - very cool tree, but it does take up room and doesn't add. Cool perspective, though.

There you go! Hope it helps... atleast a tad.

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Elizabeth C.


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6/26/2005 4:45:54 PM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  For symatrical flowers like the orchids and others ,you should try and shoot vertical shots rather than horazontal. At least thats what I do!!!

Hope this helps!!
-Collette-


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6/27/2005 5:41:59 PM

 
Tamara Lynn
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2005
  Fisheye might be fun


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6/28/2005 2:13:07 AM

 
Stacey Layman   You have already had some creat critiques. I will offer only what has made my photos better. Ive had several good teachers in the past. What I recall most when I look through the view finder is..always ask yourself,,what do I want this photo to say. Do I need to eliminate the background/foregroud to say it? Rule of thirds..and negative space can be very helpful like with the light house shot. I think you are doing a great job. I dont see too many snapshots in your gallery, give yourself time to study, hear critiques and go back out and practice, practice, practice. :-)


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7/5/2005 7:28:33 AM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Stu - considering your equipment you're doing not bad. You should read up as much as you can on photography, here at BP as well as on the internet - or at your local library. There are so many interesting books out there that help you "develop" your eye.
I would also strongly suggest you study past winners here at BP. They are the top of the crop and just by looking through them you'll get ideas and inspiration.
I also only have a 3 megapixel - but my camera has a 10x zoom which I love - plus I can add a 4x filter onto it to help with the macros.
Good luck to you!


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7/5/2005 4:48:35 PM

 
Stuart U   Thank you all so very much for taking the time to look at my pictures.

Diane, I recently decided I should upgrade my camera. I decided to get the Rebel XT. New picture will be coming soon :)

Stuart


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7/6/2005 7:21:10 AM

 
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