critique of some bad photos

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Mr B, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Mr B

    Mr B TPF Noob!

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    This is my second thread to start. On my first thread I read some good advice on eye training. Here are a few of my recent photos offered for critique. They look terrible. The problem is that I can’t very well describe to myself what is bad about them. Would I be correct to say there are some serious problems with over exposure and white balance?

    Some background: These photos were taken with a 35 mm Pentax SLR. It was near sunset and the subjects were facing east. No direct sun was on the subjects. The photo processing was done by a drugstore.

    If the exposure is too great, then I don’t yet know how to correct it. I set the aperture to f/4.5 and then adjusted the shutter speed from there according to the camera’s light meter. What else does one have to go on? When the light meter says go, I go. For one of the pictures I even used the cameras “green mode” setting. (You don’t have to adjust the shutter speed or aperture in the green mode.) Furthermore, it seems some parts of a photo are of proper exposure, and another part of the same photo is badly washed out. How do you have it all? Perhaps the available light was not suited for an inexperienced photographer.

    If the white balance is off, then I don’t think I can correct it. That would be the photo processor’s job, wouldn’t it? The photos seem to have an orange tint to them. But again, I can’t very well describe what I’m seeing.

    Well, this is a mess. I may not even have the eye to grasp the problems with these photos. And even if my critique is accurate, there’s probably no easy/short answer. It’s naive to think that taking good photos is as easy as reading the light meter and adjusting the shutter speed and aperture.

    In any case I’m still interested in hearing your comments on things I'm not noticing, on camera technique, or anything else.

    #1
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    #2
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    #3
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  2. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    i'm just heading to bed, and i didnt read your whole post, but YES, WB and exposure are off.. and no, wb is not the processors job, its your job to set it right
     
  3. Mr B

    Mr B TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the comment.

    However, I have noticed that on some digital cameras you can adjust white balance. For example, you can select "tungsten," "florescent," etc, and the white balance changes significantly. But I was shooting on film. How do you adjust white balance on a 35 mm? I have read the camera's manual, and done some basic reading on photography technique, and I don't know.
     
  4. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    I am definitely not a film guru and I've only ever shot B&W film, but as far as I've heard, film photographers use specific film types for certain light, if they know in advance what type they will encounter. The other solution is to use coloured filters on the lens (and the flash, if you're using one) to correct the white balance.

    I had a friend who shot film and claimed it was immune to white balance issues. I think she was full of it.
     
  5. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Color film photography calls for the use of filters of various and sundry types to accommodate for color balance problems (although they do make film that is tungsten balanced by its nature). To be honest when I shot only film I never reached a level with color film where I found it to be a major problem (and now if/when I shoot film it's all black and white), but clearly it is quite an issue in your images. If you have a scan then you can fix the problem digitally-- to me it really looks like you're getting a lot of the color as a reflection of light off the grass. What kind of film were you shooting with?
     
  6. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    You cant set WB with film, you either buy film for different light situations or use the appropriate filters or flash. Your problem here looks to me like el cheapo processing, either through an uncalibrated processor or by a monkey that can't see in colour, I suggest taking them back and having reprints done, its also not uncommon with film to overexpose for the better negative, I always did but then again I hand printed my own negs only using commercial processors for proofs/cheapness. H
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If you're using color film and shooting near sunset, they shouldn't be green. They shouldn't be green unless you're shooting in florescent lights.

    I wouldn't develop at that drugstore anymore, it looks like their chemistry is contaminated. That green color is THEIR fault, not yours.
     
  8. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    Hello Mr B
    Ok - well, a little over-exposed here, but more of a WB issue...
    The Histogram of your/this scanned image shows an even contrast spread but too much orange/yellow toning...
    I'm actually "surprised" that your pics were not adjusted for WB by the developing process (machine) of your "photo processor"... This is an automated processing feature, and usually produces acceptable photo's, but in your case - not...
    I did a "correct black" and then "correct white" and "minus yellow" on your /this photo in my photoshop - and you will see that the result is closer to acceptable...

    I would approach the "photo processor" and ask for reprints with the WB corrected - they should do this for free...
    Jedo
     

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  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As someone else mentioned you have to use filters, but it can be corrected in PS i'm not very good at PP here's a quick edit

    [​IMG]
     
  10. revilo

    revilo TPF Noob!

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    I actually think the colour cast in 2) is quite attractive. It's just a shame the paws were cut out of the frame.
     
  11. Mr B

    Mr B TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone...And especially thanks to gsgary for touching up that photo.

    Here's what I've gathered so far. Although the photographer has some control over WB with film and filter choice, the WB issue in these photos is predominantly due to poor photo processing. Are we in agreement with that?

    And about over exposure...It is obviously true that when the light meter says go, that doesn't always mean go. I now suppose it was a silly belief of mine from the beginning that everything in the pic could be in good exposure all at the same time. I guess photography is not so "black and white," pardon the pun. I suppose that's too complex an issue for this thread?

    One last thing: the film used was Kodak UltraMax, 400 speed.
     
  12. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    It's the drug store's fault, I don't see how there could be an argument, daylight is not green
     

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