Critique my picture

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by Steveo555, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Steveo555

    Steveo555 TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, this is my first post. I got a Nikon D5000 for Xmas. I have always used my dads Nikon D40 and D60 but now I have my first real camera.

    Anyway, I was playing with it at work and took a shot of my boss's dog. Then I converted it to b&w using Capture NX2.

    What does everyone think of it? Could I have taken it better? All tips and critique is appreciated.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  2. mat wildlife

    mat wildlife TPF Noob!

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    Good angle - getting down to the animal's level is nearly always best. The background is cluttered and distracting. Perhaps a bit too tightly framed, but that's probably just my taste.
     
  3. rallysman

    rallysman TPF Noob!

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    Try to get the face more in focus. Good pose but is also a bit dark. Cute dog!
     
  4. TokZik

    TokZik TPF Noob!

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    great dog position but as mentioned try to get the focus on the face, and maybe a slower shutter speed ?
    Well Done all the same
     
  5. Steveo555

    Steveo555 TPF Noob!

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    How would I get more focus on the face? Why a slower shutter speed?

    What would have been a better background? I work at a bike shop, so I was limited to where the picture could be taken.
     
  6. TokZik

    TokZik TPF Noob!

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    try manual focus, and move the zoom till the part you want to be sharp looks sharp.
    by better background i would say something that dosnt draw attention to its self ans we want all attention focused on the dog.
     
  7. rallysman

    rallysman TPF Noob!

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    Your manual should explain how to move the area in the viewfinder that the camera will focus on. Either that, or you can focus on the face, hold it, and recompose the image.
     
  8. DReali

    DReali TPF Noob!

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    This is a really good first attempt at a pet portrait but there is one major element that is off: Focus. As mentioned the angle and pose are excellent but the focus is on the paws rather than the dog's face. When taking any sort of portrait I find it best to manualy focus on the subject's closest eye or use a single autofocus point on that eye...... and as far as i know nikons give you a lot of options as far as autofocus points go ( i only have 9 on my canon d50 but i find thats plenty). I would aslo suggest looking into getting some good pp software ( i know its expensive but see if you could get a copy of photoshop from a friend or university...) and familiarise yourself with it. I'm not saying capture NX2 isn't good (i've never used it) but my best advice is to get a program that allows the use of layers and layer masks: i say this because as mentioned above, some may find the background distracting. This could easily be corrected with the use of such a program.
    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  9. Steveo555

    Steveo555 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the compliment and yes there are a lot of autofocus points, my nikon has 11. I can get photoshop from friends or through college discount. My only hesitation is I am not sure how to use it or where to begin learning how to. How could I use photoshop to make the background less distracting? Would I just completly change the background?
    Oh and capture NX2 is a trial version and I have the gimp but have limited knowledge on how to use it.
     
  10. DReali

    DReali TPF Noob!

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    Get it and install it first, you'll never learn how to use it unless you have it. Once you have it look at some tutorials online (plenty on youtube and specialised websites) and once you have a basic undertanding experiment, see what works, and find your own style.
    As for the background... Primarily you should seek out backgrounds that aren't as distacting (in this case i know it wasn't possible) use lighting/exposure and depth of field to further separate the subject from the background. Simply put: shallower depth of field {achieved through the use of a larger apperture} = a more blurred background = a less distracting background).
    It is imperative that you learn this first as not all photos can be salvaged by pp, a good photo is never just the result of photoshop!
    In this case the background could be made less noticeable in pp by either blurring or darkening/brightening it (you could also change the entire bg if you like). This can all be achived with layer masks which are very simple to use once you know how they work. I have no knowledge on gimp either so i can't help you there (i'm not sure if it has the luxury of layers or masks but i assume it doesnt) so my best advice is get photoshop if you can get it from a friend, like i said its an expensive program so take advantage of your buddies;)
     

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