I'm having trouble making my pictures look professional!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by danman281, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. danman281

    danman281 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I know I just started, but this is turning out a little more difficult than I expected. How do y'all make the pictures turn out so professional looking? Like worthy of going on maxim or something.

    I have a Canon 40D, 28-135mm lens, UV filter, with speed lite flash. I can't blame my camera lol. I have been taking pictures practically my whole life, but this is my first real camera. I still love photography even if it doesn't turn out the exact way I perceived, but are there are any tips to help me? Even something encouraging? Still a "noob"

    I went to the park to take some pictures. These aren't my best, but I did attempt to make them look good.
    These were on a cloudy day, in the afternoon. They look like normal pictures from amateur. (Not Edited, Not Raw)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,997
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Slapamonkey, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You are right, you can't blame the camera, blame the UV filter. Take it off before shooting, A poor filter will soften shots considerably.

    I base on the last shot, Assuming you are using AF, I do not see a DOF failure but yet the picture is still....hazy. Unless that was heavily cropped, it should not be that soft. Bad filter.

    The second picture is ok to me but I would bump the saturation a little bit, Don't go over board but definately bump it in PS.

    the first just lacks interest to me, I can't help there. I do not look at those enough to see just what is off, that is my inexperience with the subject.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,371
    Likes Received:
    10,659
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    One of the biggest detractors from all three of these images is indeed the sky. Technically they're fine, but they all need a little more post, esp a mild saturation boost.

    The reason you these pictures don't look professional is because you didn't take them under 'professional' conditions. It's important to undertand that those pictures on the cover of National Geographic or Outdoor Photographer don't just happen (Granted the odd one is a lucky shot but not too many).

    I'll trade the word 'professional' for the word 'skilled' since all professional means is that you make money at it. A skilled photographer would see the scene in your second image and go, "Hey, that would make a great photo - hmmm, light's crap though." He would then commit it to memory, write it down, or whatever, and come back to it when the conditions are right.

    As well, there are tools to enhance your images, filters, tripods, remote releases, and knowing what will and what won't make a good image when it's processed. For instance, in your first image, yes, the church is an interesting buidling, but is it a good photograph? I wouldn't have taken it simply because the trees block a good part of the building. In the second one, there's definitely a good photograph there, but I don't think you quite got it. Try and avoid having visual barriers in your image; in this case the the bridge cuts directly across the lower third of the image. A better way to do this might have been to compose it so that the bridge was on an angle running into the centre of the image. With the last image, always try and have animals (and people) move toward you, not away from you. I would have located myself so that the ducks were coming toward me, lay down on my stomach (yep, you get dirty doing this) and focused tightling on one or two of them

    Hope that helps, just my $00.02 worth - your milage may vary.

    ~John
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,371
    Likes Received:
    10,659
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Very true; rule of thumb, if it's made of glass, don't buy cheap.

    And what are you basing this on; if the OP has in fact bought a $10 'No-name' UV filter through eBay, I'd agree, but I've done some fairly extensive testing on the B+W filters I use (UVs among them) and have yet to detect any noticable degradation of the image at normal conditions.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    9,523
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    North New Jersey, United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Easy way to test the filter is to take shots in similar conditions with both filter and unfilter. I use filllters and never noticed any problems but I do buy quality filters.

    Remember... photography is light. You have to consider lighting conditions as well.
     
  6. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Montana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with tirediron, its the harsh lighting of mid-day that made for the bad photos. The highlites are blown in all 3. Try metering for the sky and then reshooting. If the forground is too dark, bump exposure until you find a happy medium. Although a happy medium cannot always be found in bright sunlight and shadows. Shoot in RAW too. That way, if you do overexpose, you may still be able to pull back some of the bright details. Don't be afraid to shoot 5 or 6 shots of the same subject if you have card room. Meter...shoot, adjust settings to right...shoot, adjust settings to left...shoot. (left and right on your in camera exposure meter). Or "chimp" your histogram. When you get home, study the shots and exif data....learn from it. Don't get discouraged, if it was easy you'd see everyone carring one of this big cameras around. It just takes tons of practice and understanding.

    Derrick

    P.S. what aperture was these shots taken at? I bought my 40D with the same kit lens, but I think I took 2, maybe 3, shots with that lens then threw it in the bag and never even looked at it again. I wasn't overly impressed, but the colors were good. Just not a focal length that I didn't already have covered by a better lens. (All this is speculation, it may be a superb lens, I just haven't tried it much. Heck, it may be my best piece of glass and I'm using it to catch dust. LOL)
     
  7. DWS

    DWS TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    stick with it and learn the camera's characteristics and capabilities......also, light is not light, ie., lighting is an art within itself.....your best colors will come at dawn and dusk, while mid day is the worst time for light impacted colors.....
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    use more cowbell.
     
  9. Resin42

    Resin42 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You made me spill beer on my keyboard! :biglaugh:
     
  10. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yorktown, VA, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    a circular polariser will help with keeping skys blue, or darker, i think the first pic would benifit from having a little more foregraound too, maybe with a wide angle lens and have it landscape instead of portrait?

    keep an eye on your high lights try to expose so they dont blow out, or take two shots (if the item is stationary) using a tripod, and expose both differently then combine the two, i used to do that with my old point and shoot :)

    enjoy your self
     
  11. clarbin

    clarbin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Litchfield Park, Az.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I got the fever........

    [​IMG]
     
  12. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    True North Cold and Freezing
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'll forget you said that and move right on to C&C :lol:

    It's pretty rare that you'll get exactly what you want straight out of the camera, you'll find that you nearly always need to do some editing.

    The main problem I see with your photos is that the highlights are completely blown out, particularly with the sky. tirediron covered most of points on how to avoid this (using CPLs, playing with exposure settings, etc), but I'll make a couple of suggestions as well.

    For example, I think the first picture could have been a great photograph if you'd...
    1) Used a polarizer
    2) Shot in RAW to adjust balances later
    3) Bracketted with a tripod (I'm pretty sure the 40D has this built-in)

    There's not much you can do with it now because to the JPEG compression is too harsh to make any significant adjustments (though, I assume this compression was done by your graphic editor)
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
how can i make my pictures look professional
,
how do i get my pictures to look professional
,
how to edit pictures so they look professional
,
how to edit your photo to look professional
,
how to edit your photos to look professional
,
how to edit your pictures to look professional
,
my photos don't look professional
,
my photos dont look professional
,

why don't my photos look professional

,

why don't my pictures look professional