New here, need help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by WilliamCA, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. WilliamCA

    WilliamCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi i'm WilliamCA, new guy here. Just joined a couple of hours ago.

    Well I guess i should tell my story so people can help me. Nine years ago i took a photography class because i was thinking of becoming a journalism major. I had borrowed a old camera from my aunt. It was a seventies black and with a flash attachment that no longer worked. But i loved it anyway.

    One of our projects for the class was to find something unique for a small group of photos. Well I decided to break the mold. But i couldn't think of a single idea. Then a friend suggested I do nudes. I said, "No". Mainly because i had no models. My friend suggested that she would model for me and another friend of her's would. So...two days before i was to turn in negatives that I could process in a dark room. I took pictures of my two models. The first one was a 6 ft tall 20 yr old BBW, and the other was a skinny woman in her late 50's.

    I know, i know, not exactly pictures of beauty in many peoples' minds. But i found myself inspired, not only by something that was unique, but the fact that my two models were not ashamed of their bodies. They were perfectly comfortable with who they were. I couldn't say the same for myself. I realized as i took my pictures, that i had spent years comparing myself to everyone else, trying to emulate a few, just in hopes of finding success or being accepted.

    So I took the photos and developed them. My teacher was shocked. I think she gave me a C+ or a B-. Mainly because she thought i had broken the mold a little too much and that my pictures were risque. I found out later that she was a lesbian...go figure!

    After that i left school and concentrated on work, i left journalism and photography behind. But i kept going back to those pictures again. I realized i was so happy in that class. I constantly felt inspired and maybe even accepted. I wanted to start taking pictures again, but I had no camera, and no money to buy one. So years passed before I decided to start again.

    And now here I am. I decided to a ambitious project. One where i would do artistic nudes of older women and BBWs. I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea how hard. I finally purchased a Nikon D40. Since it had been on layaway for at least 7 months, I was so happy and i had had a lot of time to come up with ideas and a few models in mind.

    Well things quickly went to hell in hand basket. Most of the models i had in mind either had changed their minds, or could no longer be found. I was running around like a lunatic for the first two weeks trying to find new models, trying to get the few models i had, to cooperate. And basically growing frustrated. I had one model that i was able to get sample pics from and i was happy to have started but i wasn't happy with the way the pictures looked. I had used the flash too much and every picture looked the same. But i got some great ideas and learned some do's and don'ts.

    After two weeks i finally calmed down and realized that this project was going to take some time. Perhaps a lot of time. Models would come and go. Instead of focusing on a select few models because i just wanted them because i thought they were perfect. I decided to just play it by ear, dumping models who were a pain, wishy-washy, time consuming, or had no time. Some were put on the back burner. Others i thought i may come back to later if i cared! After all this i decided to just enjoy my camera and the holidays!

    Well yesterday I got a call from my model CeeCee. CeeCee is a 47 yr old, light-skinned black woman with a plump belly and a sweet demeamor. CeeCee had made time for me and was a happily willing subject! So i went to see her again. I had an idea for using different natural lighting, but most of all i wanted to be simple. In fact that would be the basis for the shoot and the published result. Simple photos. She agreed to do nudes and i was nervous but excited. After all was said and done i went home, and found some disappointment. :(

    Some of the photos were blurry, but most of all, none of them seemed to look right. They didn't have that professional look or the look i had seen in so many photo-books. Several comments from another forum didn't help. They were luddites but two said that I had taken amatuerish shots of my girlfriend! That didn't help my ego any. And the more i looked at the photos the more i was disappointed.

    I realized that i needed different environs and different sets of lighting to give me different views and even new content. I quickly came up with a few ideas. But my own critique still dogged me. I kept wondering if i was just wasting my time and if i was truly no good at this and should just give up. I finally decided to edit some of my photos to see what i could do, or what was wrong.

    I felt even more pathetic afterwards because nearly all of the pictures looked better in black & white then they did in color. In fact they looked 10 times better! I really began to wonder if I should give up. But i decided to look for real help first so I've arrived here. I'm kind of at my wits end. Still some what determined to keep going, but wondering if i just doing everything wrong. I've read the instruction guide, viewed a couple of quick lesson dvds that came with the camera. But i still feel as if i'm coming up short. I just need help and i have no where to turn it seems, but here. I would post some pictures but i'm not sure they would be accepted since there are some nudes and such.

    But give me some advice or encouragement, please!!

    WilliamCA
     
  2. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    ummm...

    Well, the most important thing is to keep in mind that this stuff takes a lot of time and practice. Not getting what you expected (or at least what you want) is totally normal, even for people who have been doing this quite a while.

    Unfortunately, it's not like any of us can just give you the magic secret. There are milliions of little bits of info you have to wrangle with to get this down. Toss in needing a good eye, and it's quite a project to learn this stuff.

    If you want specific advice, you'd have to post some pictures. People here are usually very willing to help, and odds are they can give you a leg up by helping you through a lot of the basic and common errrors that lots of newer folks make.

    Buck up, don't get frustrated, remain patient, ask for help.

    You'll get there eventually.
     
  3. DRoberts

    DRoberts TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Springfield, Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hard to say without seeing any. If you post some we might be able to see where you are at. If some are nude or suggestive, then simply put "NSFW" in the title. Also let me clarify..."Nude" being artistic nude...NOT PORN.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,397
    Likes Received:
    10,665
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    To be honest, that's an awfully long post, and I'm not sure I've followed everything; can you pls post a couple of examle pictures with specific questions?
     
  5. WilliamCA

    WilliamCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    O.k. here are a few pictures. NSFW

    Lighting: the room itself had one light fixture about 13 feet diagonally from the subject, and I had a TV on about 2 feet from subject, for ambiance and natural look, no flash used

    Camera: Nikon D40

    Lens: 2. AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm, 1:3.5-5.6 G2 and 55-200mm, 1.4 - 5.6 G

    First pic: Artistic Nude on couch, color:
    Second pic: same pic only black and white
    third pic: Artistic nude standing, color
    forth pic: same pic, only black and white

    1. [​IMG]
    2.[​IMG]


    3. [​IMG]
    4. [​IMG]

    Well comments and critique anyone?
     
  6. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Wow, excuse me while I compose my thoughts, and stop gagging.

    :Rech::puke::Vomit:

    Try adjusting exposure, fix the poses, unclutter the background or throw it out of focus.

    Now to wipe up the vomit.

    By the way, those aren't artistic nudes, they are like a ripoff of the nude photos from a pornographic national geographic.
     
  7. WilliamCA

    WilliamCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    Ouch!! Uhh...o.k. *crawls off in a corner somewhere and waits to die.*


     
  8. Captain IK

    Captain IK TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Windsor, ON. Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    William,

    ALex`s comments may be a little harsh regarding the model, but his points regarding the photo itself are correct. THere are a number of things that need attention here.
    1. the first series is substantially out of focus.
    2. The background needs to be tidied up...eliminate the door and wall ornaments.
    3. Colour (white balance) needs to be corrected.
    4. Pose needs to be `tweaked`...a lot

    THere`s a lot to creating a great photo. Take it one step at a time.

    Good luck.
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    16,062
    Likes Received:
    2,813
    Location:
    Chesterfield UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    No wonder they are bad with a 1/2 second exposure @F5 iso1600 what did you expect, this photography lark isn't as easy as people think most of the photo you have seen have taken years of practice and hours of post processing
     
  10. WilliamCA

    WilliamCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    Well this isn't a lark. I'm going to keep trying. I've got this dream in mind so I'm going to keep at it. Thanks for pointing thing out to me. Well i also realize that these are not some of my better photos. I'll post the link to my album on Photobucket. Please comment and critique as you feel.

    As far as the beauty or looks of the model. I have many ideas about what is beautiful. As such i don't find the stereotypical blond bombshell types to be interesting at all, let alone attractive. But all of the women i have asked to model for me are beautiful to me. And i hope to find a way to express that beauty without being pornographic or having to prescribe to a niche' in order to get praise from anyone. Nuff' Said!

    Link to my album: WilliamCA_photo - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    16,062
    Likes Received:
    2,813
    Location:
    Chesterfield UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm sorry but they are just as bad
     
  12. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Downtown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thread title needs to be changed to indicate the NSFW quality of the photos.

    Having said that, ALEX your comments are way out of line bro. Seriously. There is a difference between commenting on the technical quality of the photo, and being a jerk about the model. How do you expect these people to come back and seek further help, when they get bull**** responses like yours?

    Anyway, as Captain said, it looks like you have a willing participant, but you need to get her in a more flattering (and definitely less busy) environment. That would be the first thing. Then, we need to work on the technical aspects that are causing issues here. What camera/lens are you using?
     

Share This Page