Back to the basics, HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by Canon Fan, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Just like the title says I'm going back to the drawing board. Some areas I have been having problems with have been brought to my attention quite a bit more tonight. So I am in need of some serious critiques. This is the first one up for debate.

    Other than the ugly sky, does this work?

    [​IMG]

    It may be pertinent to add that these facts were brought to my attention by a member of my wifes family (who will remain un-named here). I assure you though that he is in the very upper circles of the worlds freelance photojournalists. In other words, all of my pics lack people and or "that's been done so much already". I respect his opinion very much and would also like yours! Please help, this is something I want to fix/improve on badly.
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Canon Fan, please, YOU help ME first by explaining to me what it means to say "going back to the drawing board"?

    And do I get you right: that person critiqued that you shoot too many photos without people (nature, architecture and such, but not people?)? So you're now going to try yourself in that field?

    My first impression of this one was "busy, busy" - but then I had finished scrolling and saw all of your composition, and now I say: Well-framed. Good lines. And we sort of get to see what those two boys see.

    Now I am nowhere NEAR being in ANY circle of freelance photographers, lowest or highest. None. So all I ever say on this board is a pure amateur opinion, much of it highly emotional. No more.

    Others will come, though, and give you some better critique...
     
  3. Annette

    Annette TPF Noob!

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    I find that an odd sort of thing to say. Photography is about what the photographer wants to show. I don't think there is a criteria for the number of people in a photo to make it interesting. And just about everything has been done before. What's important is that YOU do it from YOUR perspective and show what YOU want to show.

    This photographer, no matter how good he is, shouldn't be the last word on what you should and shouldn't be photographing. I understand tips about lighting and composition, ect, but I think it's over stepping and showing bias when a photographer says you need more people in your photos.

    So what are you showing in this photo? I would think it would be the parade but I don't see the parade, I see a police car.

    The photo seems busy and I'm not sure what the focus is. The lighting and color seem good and I'm not bothered by the sky. The movement from one side to the other seems good too - if that even makes any sense.
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with Annette. So, you know someone who is in the very upper circles of the freelance photojournalists - bully for him. :wink: It's easy to respect the opinion of someone who's "made it" like that, but my first comment to "all of your pics lack people" would be - "So do the majority of Ansel Adams'." Who gives a flip?? The insertion of a human does not guarantee a compelling image. And if "people pics" don't interest you, why in the world would you force yourself to take them?

    You write that you're trying to get "back to basics", which sounds like you're trying to get away from doing something you already enjoyed, based on this successful guy's comments. Rule #1 as both an individual AND a photographer should be: do what you enjoy doing. Your photos probably won't come off as forced as this one, and the other photo you posted here.

    You do have nice sharpness here, good DOF, and this is a good exposure - THAT sounds to me like you already have "the basics" down. All these pictures seem to lack is a point of interest - possibly because you're trying too hard to emulate some photojournalistic style that may not actually be what floats your boat, you know? :D

    As far as the comment: "That's been done so much already" - well, what hasn't?? Photojournalism has been around as long as photography has, and landscapes continue to excite interest from viewers long past the day when Ansel Adams was doing them. What has NOT been done? YOUR images - right? :wink:

    Don't let any naysayers keep you from pursuing what excites and interests you. Follow your own vision or it might become muddled by others and your photography could suffer from needless frustration. Keep it fun!! :D
     
  5. canonrebel

    canonrebel TPF Noob!

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    Lafoto expresses my opinion very accurately.
     
  6. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I agree with what has already been said, don't let one person's comments turn you away from something that you enjoy.

    That being said, to me it looks like the boys are looking at something other than the police care, perhaps something that is next in the parade? It makes me want to know what they were seeing.
     
  7. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Wow! What response I have stirred up here! Let me first say thank you to all who have taken the time to do so. Second, I have now had all day to mull this over in my head and for the most part I agree with what many of you have said. I even went so far as to go against one of my own beliefs. That being "If I accidentally re-create something that has been done a million times over, without knowing it or previously seeing something like it, then find out later that it has in fact been done and/or was a subject of other fine photog's then I guess I am getting there". And yes I had time to realize that he is in fact a photojournalist. It makes sense to me now why some of the photo's that have had rave reviews by others got only so so from him. At the same time though I have had a problem with people in my shots, and would like to work on it. I just think looking back now that I was a little tired and emotional when I blurted out my cry for help last night (blond moment I guess! :lol: )

    [rant] Personally I'm not even sure why I picked this one to display. I have others that I believe are better than this one, but really, this town has so many freakin parades. I'm just getting bloody sick of them.[/rant]

    Thanks for the help and support through my momentary freak out! I should be back to normal now! I think?
     
  8. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

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    LOL, sorry bout that. It's just a slang phrase. It basically referrs to anything that is engineered or first concieved on paper. Just like an Architect may "draw" original design ideas and basics for a project on paper on a big drawing table. When the plan is rejected, or doesn't work the way it's supposed to it's time to "Go back to the drawing board" and start over. That's what I thought I was going to do.
     
  9. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    Ok - here goes my 2 cents!

    First off, I love the composition other than its only a police car in the middle and more there would have been nice but then, the kids probably would have moved by then.

    Secondly, I may not be in the "upper echelon" (however you spell it) of photojournalism but I am a photojournalist and I guarantee you that the work of yours I have seen on this site far outstrips a lot of what I've seen published and at least one that won a statewide press association award (all I can remember of who won off the top of my head).

    Next, as far as the whole upper echelon thing goes. I can tell you this, photojournalism consists mainly of the following.
    1) Being in the right place at the right time
    2) Ignoring all sanity when it comes to putting yourself in the middle of the action (please don't try this yourself - whoever reads this - just saying most photohacks tend to do this - unfortunately)
    3) Cropping - LOTS and LOTS of cropping (especially since news shots can be any size in a paper, no ratios to hold you back)
    4) A lens as long as the Statue of Liberty is tall
    5) Pure dumb luck!!!!!

    Don't ever let anyone tell you your photos are worth anything. Each photo is a record of a moment in time that can never be recaptured except in your photo.

    God Bless,
    LizM

    Oh, and feel free to shove this post under the snob's nose if you'd like!!!!
     
  10. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

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    :shock: my new favorite person!

    Check this one and tell me what you think?
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8034&highlight=

    I think I like that one better.
     
  11. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    That one does have much more action to it. And even though the kids' backs are to the camera you can see exactly what they are thinking (CANDY!!!). Like some other folks, I don't like the guy's expression but then, I've taken enough parade shots to know that happens. The old truck in the shot helps cement the parade theme in viewers minds and the church partially in the background proves you choose a good viewpoint. So many times with parades you get vendor booths or some grungy drug store in the background its really nice to see something "fresh" in the background. Photojournalism wise that one would get printed.

    Is there a local paper where you shoot? If so you might try and see if they ever buy freelance shots Some do, some don't (if so, you'd be surprised how little the pay probably is but its a good way to get your name out) but with this shot and the fire shots I've seen you take you obviously have a great feel for what it takes to get someone's attention in a shot.

    Oh, and I hope you read my thing about a record of a moment in time right. It should have said "don't ever let anyone tell you your pictures aren't worth anything" instead of "are worth". Like the tagline says - TYPOS!!! OOPS!
     

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