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Photography Question 
Heather  Inich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
 

Advice????


Hi! I have been with BP for about a month and love all the photos. I was wondering if I could get some advice or critiques on my gallery. I really love photography and I really want to be able to improve my work! Thank you in advance! :)


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6/30/2005 10:24:11 AM

 
Shon Kroff
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2005
  I'm not the best for critique although I did enjoy blanket of clouds


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6/30/2005 10:29:45 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  welcome heather,
the lighting in your pics is bad,no color to your skies,and overall it makes them look drab?a circular polarizer will help a lot,but you still need to shoot early morning or late evening when the light isn't as harsh.which is the way this comment sounds,just trying to help,ok?
your flash is too bright for your family pics,kinda washing them out,hence they look like flash pictures, like a pop up flash.
if you could have hung out in wa., for a while your mountain pictures could have had much better color espically in the sky.think about planning to shoot,early morning or late evening,the next time you go,actually set aside time.
you're finding good places to go just the wrong time.
your right about the dog pic,nice title,they do have a personality don't they?
and I think you should get a little closer on your group shots,to me it's kinda distracting when there's that much background.
just trying to help,sam


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6/30/2005 12:31:22 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hi Heather –

Well I took a look at your gallery and will share a few of my thoughts. As an aside; every time I offer a critique on someone else’s work I feel like the person who says: “I don’t know art, but I know what I like”. I always through this a stupid statement, but in a way I do understand the point. I am anything but a pro – so I always feel a little guilty critiquing others work. None-the-less, here are my thoughts:

Makes you Wonder
Nature Trail: Both of these images are well composed; however, the light is pretty awful. I know it can be hard, but if you try to make these types of images when the sun is lower in the sky – early morning or late afternoon – the light will often be much better. Alternatively, if you must shoot during mid-day or when the sky is devoid of color and interest, try using a polarizer or perhaps a warming filter. You need something to make the light less harsh so that the colors are not so washed out.

Nature’s Picture Frame: I hate to sound like a broken record (I probably do, since I give this advice to so many people!) but, when making images of flowers I find that early morning light is better. Your colors here seem washed out and the contrast is stark. An alternative to early morning light is shooting on an overcast day. Actually, when the sky is overcast is close to the perfect light for making flower images. Again, using a warming filter could help some.

Sunset over clouds
Blanket of clouds: Both of these are lovely images that, IMHO, need just a little cropping to be WOWs. I would crop out the grasses from the sunset shot. Because one of the grasses intersects with the clouds, you might have to clone out the last little piece of it. In blanket of clouds I might try to clone out the leaning tree, but, the shot really is nice even with that minor distraction.


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6/30/2005 12:48:48 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Mushrooms: I have often struggled with similar images. Mushrooms can be hard because they are usually close to the ground; they are often in shadow and they are small. Here the mushrooms appear somewhat soft and they are not really well defined. You could try to get closer by getting on the ground. Also in order to define the main focal point – the mushrooms – you need to eliminate anything else that conflicts with this subject. Minimize the foreground and include only a small part of the log. Also, spot meter the mushrooms so that your exposure is from them, not the surroundings. I would also consider bracketing your shot so that you can see how they would look a little over or under exposed.
NY Tree Flowers: A nice composition that only needs (have you heard this before?) a little cropping. I think I might just crop out everything but the center part of the flowers and frame the image with the dark of the tree on the right thus eliminating the entire left side of the image. Again, try shooting these type images in kinder light.

As you will see, I have not critiqued any of your people shots. This is because I really do not feel qualified to do so. I rarely do people shots and although I can see that some of your images need some fine tuning, I don’t feel that I should give your advice when there are so many other people here who know so much more about such things.

I hope that this makes sense and that it helps you a little! Happy shooting!

Irene



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6/30/2005 12:49:12 PM

 
Heather  Inich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  Thank you all for the advice. Like I said I am some what new to photography and I have always had a problem with lighting issues. But thank you all very much! :)


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6/30/2005 1:13:22 PM

 
Heather  Inich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  Let me rephrase that, I am not new to photography, just have a new camera.. LOL Sam, thank you for your honest opinions. Irene, thank you too. Like I said, lighting has always been an issue. I am just afraid to get to close to people cuz I feel like I am RIGHT there in their face, but guess I am going to have get over that, huh? LOL..


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6/30/2005 1:17:54 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   One bit of advice: Don't get too close to people. First, they will become uncomfortable. Second, if you are closer than about 5', you will run into problems of perspective distortion (nose will look longer, etc.). Just use a longer lens.


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6/30/2005 1:26:57 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  heather,don't actually move the camera closer,use a longer focal length.sam


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6/30/2005 1:45:04 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   OK, I had a chance to take a closer look. Your lighting problems in the exterior shots are really not your fault. During the middle of the day, the sunlight really overpowers everything - too many stops difference between the sky and the ground (and surroundings). Slide film (and digital) have a very limited exposure latitude. Print film is a little better, but the human eye is a thing of wonder. If you expose for the sky, to get it to look like your eye sees it, the rest of the scene will be underexposed. If you expose for the shadows, the sky will be completely blown out. If you average the exposure, which is what your meter is doing, you get what you got - muddied colors. As Samuel said, a polarizer will help but shooting when the sunlight is less harsh (along with a polarizer) will do wonders. You will think you have suddenly improved as a photographer - which you will have by working with the light and not against it.
Brige, Groom, etc. - Don't create a lineup with group shots. Stagger them like you did with Sitting by the Creek (good pose, BTW). If you have such a large group (like an entire wedding party) that you can't really stagger them, curve the line forward at the ends (you will need a small aperature to increase the DOF) and focus toward the middle part (depth wise) of the line.
Sunset Over Cloud Blanket - You did well here by metering off the sky, rather than trying to meet in the middle. However, when shooting a picture like this, include less foreground. It is going to be lost anyway. When shooting any scenery, don't put the horizon in the middle.
Welcome Home - Good shot, but go vertical on shots like this to isolate the subject a little more.


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6/30/2005 1:46:31 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  sorry kerry,you did say longer lense didn't you.sam


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6/30/2005 1:47:09 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Yeah, but repetition just inforces.


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6/30/2005 1:52:08 PM

 
Heather  Inich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  Thank you Kerry and Sam again.. I am looking for a longer lens. Any ideas on a good one? Right now I just have an 28 mm to 80 mm. I have a Canon EOS Elan 7/7E.


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6/30/2005 3:20:59 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Nothing wrong with the lens you have. Just zoom out and stand a LITTLE closer. The long end of your zoom makes a great portrait length.


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6/30/2005 3:29:48 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  I think these guys kinda hit this indirectly but "Yeah, but repetition just inforces". haha. you might be kinda like my sister. she had some pictures where the subject was pretty small, (i'm refering to your duck pictures mainly). I asked her why she didn't zoom in on the ducks, she said she didn't want to miss anything. so I explained to her the basic concept of filling the frame. if you're worried about missing a little detail or anything, don't let this overcome you. don't be afraid to fill in the frame. I noticed you said you only have the 28-80 so on "bottom's up" it would've been kinda hard but lets just say...try zooming in to where only a few of the ducks show, but it still shows the message you want to convene. BTW nice camera, its what I have and I love it! anyways I hope I don't sound too harsh either, i'm trying to be pleasantly open with the constructive criticism. good luck and happy shooting!

V/r

Justin


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6/30/2005 3:51:26 PM

 
Heather  Inich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  Thank you Kerry!! Thank you Justin!! All opinions are welcomed!! :)


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6/30/2005 5:24:16 PM

 
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