Are these shots any good?

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by Senor Hound, May 8, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    I have been taking pictures now for about 6 months. I have a point and shoot camera, but it has a 12x zoom on it (I like it). I like black and white cause I think it really helps you look at things differently (colors can be distracting from what's really going on, if that makes any sense). Anyway, I wanted to know if you people think these are any good...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sir_hound/2435929586/sizes/l/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sir_hound/2435916088/sizes/l/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sir_hound/2435914030/sizes/l/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sir_hound/2435105313/sizes/l/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sir_hound/2435433559/sizes/o/

    I won't lie to you, I aspire to become a professional photographer someday (if I'm good enough). People tell me I'm good, but they also aren't going to come out and say I suck either. I'd really like to know if these photos are any good from people who are more... in tune to photography.

    Please be nice, though :mrgreen:
     
  2. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

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    Well, you're quite a way off from going pro at this point. Shots two and five are the most "dynamic", but still show a lack of technical knowledge/artistic focus.

    Also, it doesn't seem like these pictures when through any post processing. Not that it's required, but it's part of learning how to become a photographer. Once you know what types of results you will want in the end, you can adjust the way you take pictures in order to get closer to that result pre processing.

    Have you taken any classes or had any type of formal training?


    I don't mean to discourage you, but if you're serious about becoming a photographer/artist, then you have a lot of work ahead of you.
     
  3. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. But everyone has to start somewhere. And these photos are from my camera as-is. Why, what should I do to them to make them better?

    And the only training I"ve had is reading a book I have by a guy named John Hedgecoe.
     
  4. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

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    Sometimes you just have to scrap your photos and say, "Not up to par."
    Set a level of quality/content that is equal to your best work. Then, try to only choose pictures at or above that level. Of course, constantly try to increase that level.

    As far as what you have, this is of course, my personal opinion and should be taken as such.

    1. I have seen this picture a million times. Maybe not this same car, but the same angle and such. It's not particularly interesting as a whole, maybe closer to the ornament and with more concern for shadows in the face of it. Overall, not really worth salvaging.

    2. Way too much black on bottom. The ground has no definition and that's fine as you obviously wanted to silhouette the tree with the sun behind it. But it's too much on the bottom. Crop it significantly to make the tree the focal point. The wire on the left is annoying to me, not sure what it is, but it does cut into the organic feel of the tree. Crop and get that wire out of the way somehow and it's a pretty nice shot.

    3. My first thought is . . . "ok, so it's a bridge." The best thing you could do is retake the shot. As it is, there's no reason to keep it. Next time, pay more attention to what makes the bridge interesting. I'll give you a hint, it's the structural repetition. The human eye loves repetition and if you can get a good angle on it, you could have a great shot.

    4. I know you were trying to say something with this shot, but whatever that message was, it's been lost in a sea of weeds and such. It's far too busy to focus on the subject. Also, the angle/composition is boring and definately doesn't help convey your thoughts while taking the shot. Toss the photo and try again.

    5. Not a bad shot, it's just not a great shot. The headlight is kind of ugly in and of itself, I'd love to see a crazy crop where you just keep the picture from the top of the headlight and up. Probably would be pretty abstract, but it appeals to me.

    Anyway, I hope I've helped and not upset you. But taking some course would really help you out and would provide you with instant feedback from multiple sources (sometimes the forums don't garner enough responses for a real critique).

    Good luck.
     
  5. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Jeez. Maybe this should be a lesson in how to make your subject make people think your shots are good.

    Either that or I'm worse at photography than I thought, because I didn't feel that these shots were bad at all.

    Are they like super compelling in some way? Well, perhaps not. Could they be tuned up? Sure. The other guys had some comments that were definitely worth considering.

    I don't think they're horrible, though. I kind of enjoyed staring at the bridge pic a bit, myself.
     
  6. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Its kinda upsetting, I don't take criticism well, but I guess that's my problem. At least you aren't censoring how you feel, so that's very admirable.

    These were my best photos... I know some of the subjects have been done a lot of times before, but not by me. I really was wanting to know if I'm any good considering (someone who's only been shooting on the weekends for about six months). Maybe that's bs, though, cause real photographers are just naturally better than me.

    Shouldn't someone who is learning take lots and lots of photos (of sometimes less than desirable subjects)? I was of the mentality that I should just shoot first and ask questions later at this point, to get a feel for what makes things look good. But I guess that's not a good idea.

    And as far as cropping in on the subject, I don't know how or I would have. I got Photoshop a couple of days ago, but I don't have a clue what I'm doing with it (I need a book... :wink: )

    I kind of felt like I had to defend myself after your post, but I HONESTLY thank you for your criticism. Maybe I'd just be better off doing this as a hobby. Its better to find out now than later, I guess.
     
  7. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    You're right-- part of learning photography is taking thousands and thousands of pictures and learning what works. Your best photos now won't even compare to your best photos a year from now.

    Celery's comments are very valuable, whether everyone agrees with them or not. One of the best ways to improve is to look at each and every single one of your photographs as a way to learn something new, even if it is small. Take, for instance, shot 5. You don't know how to crop? Okay, so you learn, you get a book or ask someone on here or whatever, and then you're that much better for it and can use that for a shot down the road.

    Don't get discouraged and feel like you have to defend yourself. Instead of defense, just go out, retake the shot, and try to make it that much better. Just realize that becoming a pro, or even just really good, takes a long long time and you have to learn from every source you can, including books and people on this forum and classes and self critique. You'll learn what constitutes a good photograph versus just a casual snapshot, and you'll learn how to really set up a shot in your mind before you take it.
     
  8. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Thank you. Photoshop scares me, though. I'm afraid to change my picture and save it that way, cause I don't know if it will make it better, and if not, I don't know if it will be reversible. The ideas he had were good, just kinda harsh (but I'm as soft as a wet paper bag).

    As a matter of fact I might go back and reshoot some of these more interesting subjects (the car is gone, but I'm thinking of taking a photo of the bridge while almost inside of it, so all you see is the support beams). Anyway, you restored my faith that I can get better at this and HAVE FUN (the most important part) getting better. Thank you!
     
  9. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    The greatest thing about digital photos is that you can save a copy (or a hundred copies!) of your picture to edit. What I usually do is open a picture in photoshop and immediately save it as picturename e1.jpg (or psd, or whatever format). That way I know that it is my first edit of this particular photo, and if I make serious mistakes I just go back to the original and start over.
     
  10. Mohain

    Mohain TPF Noob!

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    ^^ As Victoria said, you should always save your edit as a new version. Don't ever save over the original. If you're serious about being a pro photographer then you must get to grips with Photoshop. I'm afraid the two go hand in hand.

    Don't be afraid of critisim, as Malcolm X said, "If you have no critics you'll likely have no success." ;) You obviously have an eye for a shot and a passion to take photography further which is a great start. I think you need to work a little on your composition (and your photoshop skills ;)) Celery has given you a good breakdown on the photos, picture by picture. They do seem to be a ramdon selection of images with little cohesion though. What are you trying to get across here? Is there supposed to be a theme or just a randon collection cool things? I think in order to progress you should set yourself some projects or targets. e.g. a Day in the life of your home town. Shoot 12 different self portraits. Shoot a local sporting event. See if you can contact a local wedding photographer and offer to help him out at his next local wedding for free. Try and get a day at your nearest studio. Take photos of the same thing as different times of the day ans see how the light effects your subject. Read up as much as you can. This is a great free oline resource http://www.morguefile.com/archive/classroom.php especially the chapters on composition.

    Don't be dicouraged, be positive and keep pushing yourself. Keep snapping and most of all have fun doing it :)
     
  11. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    One thing I've found particularly helpful in developing the proverbial photographic eye is looking at other peoples' photos, particularly ones I like a lot and ones I don't like at all, and trying to figure out why. Studying lighting, composition, color, and so forth, then using what I've studied in the process of studying photos helps me understand why I'm reacting to what I see.

    Then, I apply this same critical eye toward my own photographs, but even more harshly. I've found I wind up passing up more photographic opportunities, but I also wind up with a higher percentage of photographs I'm happy with.

    In the end, it takes time, study, and experience... but to be a pro, work is what it's ultimately about, isn't it? ;-)

    Keep at it!
     
  12. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    I started with a point and shoot, I have only just upgraded to a dslr after owning my point and shoot for 2 years.

    Even though you want to be unprofessional (i do to one day) make sure you enjoy your pictures, take critisism with a pinch of salt and remember everyones tastes are different but alot of the people on here are extremely knowledgeable.

    Does your point and shoot have creative zones such as manual? if it does do you use them?
     

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