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Thread: Photo Critique?

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy asp_funda's Avatar
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    Cool Photo Critique?

    please look at this photo & tell me what could've been improved on it? views? comments? critique?

    thanks.
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    Non-Member DelvarWorld's Avatar
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    It's ok, but definitely way too dark. I can't even see most of the scene on my CRT, but if I switch it over to my LCD it has more detail. The background looks like it could have been pretty exciting but so much detail is lost to the brightness. It's also a little hard to read the tone of this photograph, as I can't really see who the woman is / her expression / what she is doing / what she is holding / why she is sitting there, making it hard to interprit as a portrait shot. If I'm viewing this as a snapshot of a loved one then I would suggest having a closer crop to her face / body, and expression mainly, and brightening it up. If I'm viewing it as a photograph of a specific, important scene, then I have a lot of trouble finding meaning in it since there is very little to guide the viewer in terms of the conceptual.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    It is too dark, and there isn't enough contrast... could use some post processing.

    Also, your subject is out of focus (probably because you couldn't see her well enough to focus?). Consider using a flash in that situation, or open up your aperture more.

    Composition-wise, because everything is dark and more or less the same color, my eye isn't drawn anywhere in particular. I eventually settle on the woman, but she's slightly out of focus and hard to see. Consider shooting a scene like this with the subject all the way to the left, and with a wider depth of field so we can see more of what she's looking at. Then the viewer's eye would start with her and be drawn out into the scene. Also, maybe shoot earlier in the day so there is a bit more color and more to see.
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy asp_funda's Avatar
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    Cool

    Thanks for the comments both of you guys.

    I shot it on top of a hill. The dark stuff I can explain:
    1. The sun had already set many minutes ago when this photo was taken.
    2. Highlighting any details of the subject(my friend) wasn't the idea as I took this photo with the intention of a caricature in which only an outline or shadow of the subject is shown. This is the reason for the b/w photo.
    So thats why I can't use flash(it would've ruined the photo), had to turn it off.

    I use Kodak LS753, a bit old equipment, & I hadn't really gotten into fiddling with its manual controls(what it provides). So far I've just gotten along well by using its different presets. So any tips about that? Am thinking of getting Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 now, read its a good camera, what do you think?
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    The date on the pic doesnt help matters

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    If you want to shoot a silhouette, you'll need more light in the background. Try taking that shot with the sun low on the horizon and not below it.
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    I kind of get the idea what you were trying to do, but for that purpose this photo is technically incorrect! Here is what I think are the problems in the photo:

    1. Your friend is facing the opposite direction of horizon, had she been sitting on the lright, side facing the horizon it would have looked more impressive.

    2. The photo is too sharp, it needs to be out of focus/soft to match the theme.

    Just a few aspects I think needed to be worked upon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asp_funda View Post
    So thats why I can't use flash(it would've ruined the photo), had to turn it off.
    First, nice work.

    Second, sorry if I repeat anything that has already been touched-upon... I was just on my way out of SPF, but I thought I would post some feedback before getting back to work.

    --

    I know it was not your intent, and I think an on-camera flash would not have worked too well... but an off-camera flash/strobe would make for a good shot in this situation, depending on how you fill-in your subject and/or the foreground (maybe even go for a back-lit silhouetted subject with background properly exposed?)

    I might re-shoot with that in mind, and I would prob compose from a non-standing position... I would also put her more to the left-(bottom)-side of the shot... compositionally this would be more interesting (IMHO)... that way we are seeing more of what she is looking at across the horizon.

    Also, if you zoomed-in closer (less of the ground in foreground), you might have an easier time getting the silhouette.

    If it were me, I would use a tripod for this situation (for my shots, I tend to use pods anyway), and I would dink with my exposure settings... bracketing up and down... things like that.

    EDIT: Tripods really help me compose the scene... I find that I can really-focus on the composition when I do not have to hold the camera (just my eyeball and the viewfinder)... this allows me to get some good angles along with slight movements of camera until I see something that I like... I guess I really like to think about how my scene is being framed... For me, this takes a little bit of time and thought.

    Overall, looks like a fun spot, and I like the black-and-white. Keep up the good work!

    Cheers,
    Micky

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    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    The Photo is just too dark. I took it into photoshop and adjusted the Brightness/Contrast and brought out some of what she is looking at just to get an idea about it. I think the composition is not really good, she should not sit sideways in the chair like that, it flattens the picture, just the opposite of what you want to achieve. You want to emphasize the vastness. She should look at the scene, but not sitting on a chair. Make her sit on a bolder or the ground, the chair is an alien element in this natural setting.

    Date of course should be much smaller and dimmed, just have it so it is still readable.
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    I'd say almost the opposite of everyone else. You have the potential here for a good profile/sillouhette(sp?).

    I'd adjust levels via a layer mask so that the details of the person and the chair is lost/darkened.

    And lose the date stamp, or move it closer to an edge, maybe make it 50% opaque, as it is too distracting.
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy asp_funda's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by bcmtouring View Post
    1. Your friend is facing the opposite direction of horizon, had she been sitting on the lright, side facing the horizon it would have looked more impressive.
    yeah well, opposite direction wouldn't have been possible as just 1 step ahead of her was several hundred feet drop to ground!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bcmtouring View Post
    2. The photo is too sharp, it needs to be out of focus/soft to match the theme.
    hmm, yeah, that might've made the photo quite different. I'll try this kinda thing next time I'm in same situation, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse View Post
    I know it was not your intent, and I think an on-camera flash would not have worked too well... but an off-camera flash/strobe would make for a good shot in this situation, depending on how you fill-in your subject and/or the foreground (maybe even go for a back-lit silhouetted subject with background properly exposed?)

    .....

    If it were me, I would use a tripod for this situation (for my shots, I tend to use pods anyway), and I would dink with my exposure settings... bracketing up and down... things like that.
    err, this photo was shot on top of a mountain(several hundred feet high) on a holiday with a point & shoot Kodak digital camera!! besides, I really don't use off-camera flashes or tripods!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse View Post
    Overall, looks like a fun spot, and I like the black-and-white. Keep up the good work!
    thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Make her sit on a bolder or the ground, the chair is an alien element in this natural setting.
    umm, I know, but I really didn't compose this shot. she was just sitting there & I thought that this shot will look cool & snapped it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Date of course should be much smaller and dimmed, just have it so it is still readable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelsun View Post
    And lose the date stamp, or move it closer to an edge, maybe make it 50% opaque, as it is too distracting.
    yeah, but I don't have that flexibility since its stamped by the camera & I can't customise it, can just turn it on or off & I need timestamps on photos!
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    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asp_funda View Post
    yeah, but I don't have that flexibility since its stamped by the camera & I can't customise it, can just turn it on or off & I need timestamps on photos!
    You can work it over in Photoshop, eliminate it all together or if you need it, add it into the corner, dimmed as not to distract the eye. That is what PS is for.

    I find that your answers reveal a certain unwillingness to take the advise you have gotten from many here on this thread. This advise is meant as a helping hand for you to think about, and in the future to pay attention to those points. Is that not why you asked?

    Never make excuses for what you did, you asked for a critique, and that is what you've gotten. If you were sure about your work you would not have asked the opinions of your fellow sitepointers. So just take all those points into consideration, ask yourself if the answers you have gotten are valid, and then take your next picture with all this in mind.

    Good luck with it!
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy asp_funda's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    You can work it over in Photoshop, eliminate it all together or if you need it, add it into the corner, dimmed as not to distract the eye. That is what PS is for.
    yeah. do you know of any tool that can do the date-stamping in a batch? I'd really not want to go over about a couple of hundred photos or more & stamp them manually! ofcourse I think this can be done by creating an action in PS & applying it on all open photos, still it wouldn't hurt to know of an alternative!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    I find that your answers reveal a certain unwillingness to take the advise you have gotten from many here on this thread. This advise is meant as a helping hand for you to think about, and in the future to pay attention to those points. Is that not why you asked?
    dude, had I not wanted suggestions & advice on improvements, I wouldn't have posted this thread in first place, so I don't know why you get the idea about my unwillingness!! I've been here long before you knew of this place(though I've been quite dormant in last couple of years or so) & I'm sure some of the old crowd that know me wouldn't say I post useless posts!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Never make excuses for what you did, you asked for a critique, and that is what you've gotten. If you were sure about your work you would not have asked the opinions of your fellow sitepointers. So just take all those points into consideration, ask yourself if the answers you have gotten are valid, and then take your next picture with all this in mind.
    I wasn't making any excuses, there's no reason to make any. I was just explaining the situations because of which some of the suggested things couldn't be done!!

    I know that post-processing in PS can bring out the best in the photos but I'm hardly any great shakes with PS. would appreciate if you can share some links with some articles or tutorials on touching up photos!!
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    SitePoint Member Bethalow's Avatar
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    It is a good start- too dark though and pull the data info off...
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    Good way to start with the photography, don't think that you need to purchase extra equipment at first, I just recently bought my first tripod and I have been at this for well over 10 years. I started off with a very cheap point and shoot with....gasp...film! I go great photos with that camera.

    Learn to compose your photographs first, dont worry about if anyone else likes what you are taking photos of. It is all about what YOU think looks good.

    I think it is much easier to start with black and white only, which it seems like you have. Black and white is much more forgiving than color at first.

    As for this photo yes as others have said it is a little dark, black and white photography is usually best during the middle of the day or at least when the sun is high.

    Second, the chair is out of place, your firend should be sitting on a rock. Or you darken the foreground so you cant see the chair at all and then lighten the back ground to bring out the horizon a little.

    Hope this helps out.

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    I think this could go either way... either bring up some fill lighting using post-processing to get some detail or silhouette her completely.

    Also, please, please remove the date/time stamp on your images! The camera should record the date and time accurately in the Exif information... you don't need it stamped on the images. It can really ruin an otherwise perfect image - No one wants to have an 8x10 or larger print with a big date stamp on it!

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy asp_funda's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by thegunslinger1 View Post
    Learn to compose your photographs first, dont worry about if anyone else likes what you are taking photos of. It is all about what YOU think looks good.
    yeah I know, I still haven't got the hang of good compositions yet, still learning!

    Quote Originally Posted by thegunslinger1 View Post
    I think it is much easier to start with black and white only, which it seems like you have. Black and white is much more forgiving than color at first.
    nah, mine is a digital camera, it can do colour, b/w & sepia! I just thought that this photo would look good in b/w so I shot it in that.

    Quote Originally Posted by thegunslinger1 View Post
    Second, the chair is out of place, your firend should be sitting on a rock. Or you darken the foreground so you cant see the chair at all and then lighten the back ground to bring out the horizon a little.
    hmm, yeah, on a composed scene, I wouldn't have had her sitting in a chair. its just that she was sitting in it wondering something & I shot this pic!


    Quote Originally Posted by beley View Post
    Also, please, please remove the date/time stamp on your images! The camera should record the date and time accurately in the Exif information... you don't need it stamped on the images. It can really ruin an otherwise perfect image - No one wants to have an 8x10 or larger print with a big date stamp on it!
    yeah I know, keep it off on my camera now, so only photos now & no date!!
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    I haven't read any of the above comments as they might skew my point of view.


    I can see you were attempting to get a silhouette effect. In this case, though, it looks like a mistake... the photo is under-exposed.

    I like the misty background, though... so...

    Perhaps you should have made your subject stand so that she'd become a distinct shape, separated from the rock and the chair and whatnot.

    Then you'd crouch down so you'd get more of her breaking the horizon, therefore a little more of that gorgeous misty sky behind her.

    She'd appear dark against the light sky.

    To top it all off, put her in an interesting pose and frame your shot according to the good old rule of thirds.


    Go shoot it over... it'd look nice, trust me.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy asp_funda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun(OfTheDead) View Post
    Perhaps you should have made your subject stand so that she'd become a distinct shape, separated from the rock and the chair and whatnot.

    Then you'd crouch down so you'd get more of her breaking the horizon, therefore a little more of that gorgeous misty sky behind her.

    She'd appear dark against the light sky.
    hmm, yeah, I can sort of visualize it in my mind as to how it'd look. her dark silhouette against the light sky & very less of the dark ground/valley, would've definitely looked quite good. will try that next I get a chance!
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    a flash! or slow shutter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by asp_funda
    hmm, yeah, I can sort of visualize it in my mind as to how it'd look. her dark silhouette against the light sky & very less of the dark ground/valley, would've definitely looked quite good. will try that next I get a chance!
    Outstanding.

    Be sure to post it here when it's done.

    Good luck and have fun.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy asp_funda's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun(OfTheDead) View Post
    Be sure to post it here when it's done.
    sure thing. thanks!
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