First Photos. Be brutal, please.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by arcooke, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone. I finally got myself a decent new camera (see signature). It's not an SLR, but it takes some very nice photos and has a lot of flexibility (18x optical zoom, full control over aperture/shutter speed/ISO, RAW mode, Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens, and lots of other goodies). Over the past 2 or 3 months since I've owned the camera, here are some of my personal favorites that I've taken. Looking for some comments and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to be overly critical. It'll do nothing but help me. :thumbup:

    Without further adieu...




    My kitchen chair
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    My friend's dog playing in a lake.
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    Tip of a small penninsula on a lake. I intentionally tried to make this look like a tropical island (minus tropical plants LOL)
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    This one was kind of rushed because the girl's mom was calling for her and I had to hurry and snap it.
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    I realize the watch is a little out of focus.. other than that, I thought this one came out nice.
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    My embarassingly dirty ceiling fan. :)
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    If you can't tell, I love black and white photography. Anywho.. I haven't been too many places with good photo opportunities. The watch, fan, chair.. that's just me roaming around the house looking for possibilities.

    C&C welcome.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MelodySoul

    MelodySoul TPF Noob!

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    I really love the chair picture. The dog in water is nice too. The other ones don't really grab my attention though.
     
  3. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    I like your camera. I have a Panasonic also, though its only the 12x, and 5mps. It takes good photos, though.

    I will not be brutal, cause I can tell you what you want without doing so. I think you are doing a good job. My favorite is the first one, cause it just seems to have the right tone to it. I think you did a good job in the third one of making the water seem like its Caribbean surf with the turquoise and the sand bar being visible even under water (did you use a polarizing filter?)

    You say your subjects are boring, but that's okay. When the purpose of a photo is to enjoy taking the shot and to help learn about composition, there is no such thing as a bad subject. Just keep shooting, and hopefully someone else can give you some more advice.

    BTW, I'm a newbie myself, though I tried not to say anything I didn't feel confident in saying. If you have any concerns about something I said, I'll be more than happy to elaborate or retract, whatever the case may be.
     
  4. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to the both of you.

    I'm in total agreement that most of them don't really stand out as great photos. The chair one was the first picture I've taken where I actually wowed myself.

    @Senior Hound
    No, no filters. I don't have any special equipment for my camera. The only thing I did to that one was adjusted the levels a smidgen.

    The optical zoom on that camera is amazing, I love it. I've been taking a lot of moon pictures lately, and the amount of detail it picks up is insane (considering it's a $300 camera with no extra lenses)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    It's a good start. I'm going to run down the things I think need improvement and the rest of this is going to be highlighting the negative bits. You definitely show hints for having an eye for taking a good photograph, though, so I'd definitely like to see more as you get more shots you're proud of.

    Overall, I think, you have some negative space issues. Be it too much or not used to its full extent, the subjects don't really get lost but they don't 'pop' either.

    I love the tones in the kitchen chair and the shadow is nice. The visible corner of the room and the vignetting don't work for me in this image. Of all the images, this and the girl are the most moving to me, even though they have some technical issues.

    Dog in the lake -- I would have framed this shot with the dog about a quarter distance closer to center than he is. He's outside of a thirds to the point where he's not at an easily focus-able point in the frame.

    The peninsula -- the colors don't grab me here. For a shot like this to work, the whole image needs to pop. This one kinda fizzles.

    The silhouette -- Again with the negative space, but this time the negative space is blown out to the point of distraction. There's a lot of bright, white space in this photo.

    The girl in the pond -- This image would be very strong if she were framed in the left side over the present framing. It's a good image and good strong colors, etc, but with her body language, the image needs movement.

    The watch -- out of focus and too dark.

    Ceiling fan -- I'd be hard pressed to ever find a ceiling fan an interesting subject :) There's just not much going on that's interesting in this.
     
  6. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! Great reviews. I was debating whether or not to even post the silhouette photo, as it wasn't exactly something I was too proud of, but my friend (who is in the picture) loved it.

    I need to read more into the thirds rule, even though I'm a little stubborn about following rules when it comes to art.

    Can you elaborate a little bit on what you said about the one with the girl (the image needs "movement")?

    Thanks again! Oh, and you had me laughing with the ceiling fan comment. :D
     
  7. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    A lot of images look great breaking any number of guidelines (rules, what have you). That one in particular might be better served if it didn't just because it's so close to that rule that violating it doesn't make a 'statement' of any sort. It doesn't benefit the image. I like breaking rules, don't get me wrong, but in that case, it would have served the picture to focus on the subject rather than to challenge the viewer.

    As far as 'motion' I think I chose my words poorly. It's rather 'room to move'. Look instead at the dog-in-water picture. The dog is 'aiming' to the upper left and the framing, there's a lot of empty space in that direction. The direction of a subject's eyes, motion and poses urge the viewer's eyes in a particular direction when we view a photo. So the little girl, although looking down, is bent over to the scene-left as well as into the distance. You've left negative space for the viewer's eye to be drawn through above her, but none in to the right of her.
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think the chair shot is incredible. I would seriously print that and put it on my wall and be very proud.

    The dog and the beach seem a touch overexposed. (Not a surprise... water and bright son are the scourge of satan it seems). You can probably tweak the beach pic with a bit of saturation to help it out.

    None of the others grabbed me too much. The watch seems well done, but not too interesting. Seems like the girl waiting to get eaten by a gator (lol) had a lot of potential, but maybe didn't quite make it... the dude standing is fine, but not too interesting.

    Regardless of any of this, I think you're doing awesome. Photography is so hit and miss, even with digital cameras where you can learn a lot on the fly. Getting even one pic like the chair pic you grabbed is really cool. If you can get one of those a month you'll be a-ok. :) Keep at it.
     
  9. sultan

    sultan TPF Noob!

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    The chair is beautiful. Give yourself s pat on the back. The others are also good but not in the same league as the first (they are of beginner quality). The dog in the water is also quite good.
     
  10. SBlanca

    SBlanca TPF Noob!

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    some might say that at times I am easily amazed...but the truth is that I believe that at times the simplest of things are the best, i'm pretty sure there's a lot of people who think and plan for ages on taking one shot and then there's some that go out onto the street and take a shot of someone and it wins awards...my point is, sometimes the simpler the shot the better....

    to be honest, I am amazed at the simplicity and effectiveness of these photos, I like them a lot, and think you're on the right track, keep it up, and sorry for writing loads...

    i should stop with these happy pills...... haha
     
  11. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again everyone.

    I'm still new to this forum, but so far everyone has been helpful and very friendly. Seems to be a bit of a rarity online lately.

    I've been doing a lot of reading about the rule of thirds and I realized something.. I've known about it all along, yet I've never read about it (just heard it mentioned from time to time). It's like placing objects at positions suggested by the rule of thirds came naturally. Now that I understand how to plan ahead for it intentionally, I think it will really help me out.

    And yes, I know, it's a simple concept.. but by "a lot of reading", I also did a lot of looking around at example photos.

    Can't wait to head out and snap some more.
     
  12. Mary-Beth

    Mary-Beth TPF Noob!

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    Hi ar,

    nice cam you got there. Probably one of the best in its class. It shows in your first photos. I would have taken the dog and the girl with their faces turned to the camera.

    Get yourself a good camera bag and carry it around at all times (charged and ready to go, of course), because the best camera in the world is completely useless when it's sitting in a dark drawer at home.
     

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