My photo critiqued by Photo-Zap

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ottor, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I submitted one of my photos to the Adorama Learning Centers "Photo-Zap" feature to be critiqued by 3 former editors of Popular Photography Magazine... They receive many entries, and about 2 weeks ago I got an EMail that my photo was selected to be reviewed online! I was excited until I saw some of their reviews - these guys are brutal! Well, my review was yesterday and I'm pleased - I didn't take it in the shorts! :D For the most part, they liked it.

    If you're interested, here's the link to the photo and their reviews... There's also a place where you can comment also, if you choose. Either way, I wouldn't mind your C&C of this same photo - what do you think? Do you agree with the Editors?

    Heres the link: PhotoZAP 21: Revved Up from Adorama Learning Center

    Let's see how I fare with the very knowledgable forum members !!

    Rick

    (Editing due to a screw-up in the title of this post... Was going to say that my photo was critiqued by Popular Photographer magazine former Editors on "Photo-Zap" site - asking for your C&C also, but for some reason in the middle of my typing, the damn thing posted as you see it!! :confused: - sorry for the unintentional misleading title..)
     
  2. Inst!nct

    Inst!nct TPF Noob!

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    random comment: loud as **** right? i used to race motocross and when you have 30 motocrossers on one starting line going as fast as they can, its intense!
     
  3. Olympus E300

    Olympus E300 TPF Noob!

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    I also used to race motorcross...This photo brings me right back to that point in my life. Personally, being a farm boy who can appreciate the setting - I like the silos in the backdrop.

    Bravo!
    - Dan
     
  4. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Rick,

    Nicely done! I really like the composition with the three riders creating repeating shapes, varied by color. You NAILED the exposure! It would be SO easy to blow out the white portions of the closest rider's arm and leg. Really well executed shot.

    I wish, however, the shot was pulled back a little to capture more of the bikes, but more importantly, more negative space to the left for them to be moving into. I don't know if that was possible due to any distractions that may or may not have been to the left of the frame, but I really wish I could feel that they were moving into that space.

    Overall, great shot! Be proud of that!
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wouldn't it of been funny to see these pros say something like "I Like it!" as we typically see in TPF comments?

    I have to agree with the general statement that I would of liked a wider shot with the wheels. The composition is great, but with sports, I tend to like images that capture more of the actual sport. In games that are played with balls, I prefer shots where you actually SEE the ball in the shot. I get a sense of not seeing enough.

    But other than that, the shot is really killer. The background, the middle ground, the sharpness...nice nice job.

    do you have any more from that day?
     
  6. GFreg

    GFreg TPF Noob!

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    I really like that shot but I agree with the critiques given. I think Pugs nailed it with

    and one of the comments on the page

    Sorry I couldn't add any critique of my own but I guess that happens when you are late to the party. Very nice shot though. The exposure is great and I love the colors.
     
  7. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think the cloud of dust in the back is what really takes away from this image.
    Another unfortunate fact is that many shooters at certain point in their career are under impression that CC means NEGATIVE CCs thus -->
    . It is the reason why I prefer forums over magazines. I used to post images left and right for CC on forums and some were (+) some were (-). Also a lot has to do with personal preference. For me the dust kills the image and I'd probably erase it, but to others its a GREAT capture.

    Not to long ago I stopped posting for CC. Not b/c I improved and now G-d of photography<-- G-d forbid. The moment I start thinking that and will stop learning is the moment I won't pick up the camera, HOWEVER my reasons for forums have changed. Now, its mostly to pick up a new/different lighting technique, equipment reviews. On occasion, I ask for technical assistance, especially DIY recommendation, only to minimize normal equipment.
     
  8. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    IgsEMT,

    I hear what you're saying about it being subjective. One of the things that I actually enjoy about the pic is the dust. For me it adds to the "realism" (for lack of a better word) of the shot. If the dust had been in the foreground obfuscating the riders to some extent, I might agree with you, but as it is, I like how the dust adds that "realism" and also helps to blur the background further to place more emphasis on the primary subjects.

    BUT! Like you said, it is all subjective.
     
  9. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually, I shot over 400 pictures that day.. ;)

    The reason that I like this shot has nothing to do with the "Dynamics" of racing and speed... What caught my attention is the way the 3 riders lined up in the lens, the three arms and helmets almost paralell at great speed, and the wonderful colors that this sport provides. I have a ton of shots that indicate speed and motion, but that wasn't why I selected this photo.. (It's kinna difficult to show accurate movement when they're coming towards you.. :D)

    As an afterthought, I could have shot this in portrait mode, getting a little more of the bike fronts, but - there was a stack of hay bales just in front of me, and too much more and it would have captured those..

    I really appreciate critique and feedback from these professionals! I think they nailed the shortcomings, and - as always - I'll take it and make something good out of it for future shots.. I also appreciate the comments and critiques from you guys in the forum - we have some very talented professionals in this group, and those educated opinions are very valuable to a relative newcomer to photography like ...... me. :blushing:
     
  10. Felix0890

    Felix0890 TPF Noob!

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    Awesome! Congrats on being chosen for the review. As for the pic itself, love the colors but hate the cropped subjects.
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Nice that your photo was selected. It is an unconventional photo--I "get" the three riders all lined up symetrically, the dust cloud behind them, the other racers behind, the two spectators, the silos, the fence, and the lovely distant mountains. The mountains with snow and the silos are very "Idaho". A motocross track in Southern California, for example, would have a vastly different background. It's sort of an offbeat shot. Looked at at a really higher-level of criticism, what you are showing us is a sort of "sports tableau" picture; this is less about the motorcycles than about the entire scene and the contextual clues the scene has for those who look deeply.

    Let's put it this way--if you were not who you are, and this shot was framed large and in a gallery, critics would say things like, "See the two people standing far in the back? They represent us, the non-riders, those who stand around and mereley observe things; and the three riders all aligned represent,in a symbolic manner, the similarity, the sameness, that characterizes the modern rat-race, the mechanized age in which we live in. The dusty cloud behind the front-runners is an allegorical reference to the haze and fog through which the following people, the masses so to speak, will proceed to work their own way through, with their vision obscured by those in the lead, the vast pack struggling to find its way behind the leading-edge select few; in a larger sense, the dust cloud refers to the modern cities in which so many people live in crowded conditions,packed into cities with bad air. The mountains, covered in snow, represent the purity of nature,and the harshness of high-altitude climates, while the grain silos represent mankind's reliance on lower-elevation grasslands for food growing,and show modern man's need to store food for long-term survival using high-technology silos, and the fence in between the mountains and the racers symbolizes the way the modern world has been increasingly separated from the natural world; the racers are closed-off from the symbolic mountains and pure natural world shown in the distance, enclosed in close confinement, where only a few lead, and the rest await their turn at the back of the line,desperate for their chance to maybe, just maybe, to break into the leader's group. But alas, we know that for most, such will not come to pass.

    Yeah, that's what people would see if this picture were in a gallery with similar other stuff. Look at Cindy Sherman's tableau-style stuff from the 1980's and then read some of the critical reviews of individual pictures. As I see it, your motocross picture isn't really a "sports" or "action" photo at all--it is something a bit more than that.
     
  12. clbd39

    clbd39 TPF Noob!

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    First off, congrats! The photo is pretty cool, even for your crop without the "motion" part of it, as a PHOTO it's pretty neat!

    on the other hand I do agree with them since it is an action sport a sense of motion would make it better for the "action" part, your exposure is awesome though, with the bikes coming in and you needing to be set quickly you did a great job

    I miss racing motocross, but my neighbor is on his second year as a pro so I can't wait to see him at the StL Supercross again! this time i'll be loaded with my 80-200 f/2.8 rather than my former 18-135 kit lens

    Great shot though!
     

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