Newbs first pics w/DSLR opinions please.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Socalangler, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Socalangler

    Socalangler TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone, I'm completely new at this so any pointers will be much appreciated. My goal is not to become a professional by all means but I would love to learn how to capture pictures of my family in an artistic way. The pictures below were shot the first night i got my DSLR. I have not edited the photos due to lack of experience. Thanks....Mike


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  2. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forums. It's 3:00 AM my time and my Nyquil has just woken me up, so please ignore any typos. :)

    First shot- try to do whatever possible to avoid using the on-camera flash. It gives some very harsh light and nasty shadows that will tend to ruin most images.

    Second one is pretty cool. Nice composition and good expression on the dogs face. You can see both of his eyes, which are nice and usually considered very important in animal pics. It's not an exciting shot, but it's very well done and I like it. I would brighten it up a bit and probably try to expose it by another fstop next time, but other than that- good stuff. Oh, maybe some sharpening. (most digital images need at least a touch of sharpening)

    Shots 3 and 4 are pretty good. A touch dark. I would also crop them so she is lower in the frame. Google "rule of thirds" and read up on that. It's sad that a "rule" exists for composition in photography, but it does, and generally if you stick to it you'll come up with some nice shots. I particularly like her face in 4, btw. Cute.

    5 is just kinda "meh", not too interesting. Nothing wrong with it, really, just not great.

    Once again, welcome!
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Much that needs to be said about these has already been said by Chris (Manaheim). So I need not repeat it.

    As to "artistic" family photos: I find it very important to watch the backgrounds. A nice photo with good focus, good exposure, cute expression and pleasing DOF (depth of field) may still be sort of "ruined" (made less artistic) if there's something there in the background that doesn't belong or distracts.

    Take Photos 3 and 4.
    The discarded toy in the background ... totally fine by me in 3. It seems to be part of the overall subject: toy is not important at all, her own shoes and feet are so much more interesting! Works. Goes well together, they complement each other: toy and her posture/activity.

    Not so in Photo 4. Same photo, scene supposedly only seconds after the first (so no time to go take out the toy, I agree!), but now she looks up ... and the toy seems to be growing out of her head! See what I mean.

    These are just little hints for the future. They don't mean to say these photos are no good. You will LOVE to browse through your photo albums in later years and also see THIS very photo! And it will be dear to your heart.

    But you specifically say that you want to learn to take somewhat more "artistic" family photos. Watching the backgrounds is as important a step towards that goal (I think) as is judging f-stops, shutter speeds and every other technical aspect right.
     
  4. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

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    I can second the watching backgrounds thing. I've learned a LOT since I joined up here, especially since I am participating in the excellent mentor program to get some one on one attention, and probably the single biggest thing I've learned that affected the overall quality of my shots is just that, watch your background! (That, and the Rule of Thirds)
     
  5. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    I don't know if you cropped your shots the way they are, or if they were taken that way and simply resized.

    For the second one, while I agree it is a nice shot, and again I don't know if you took the shot the way it is posted, or if you cropped it so that there is less in the direction the dog is looking, but I probably would have done it the other way around. The space on the other side of the dog appears to me to be dead space and would've kind of made more sense on the other side of the dog. But that is just MY opinion. Again, it's a good shot.

    Four is probably my favorite. But I agree, I would crop more off the top, probably from the door frame and up, making sure to leave the toy in the background. Again. Just my personal opinion.


    The last shot, I would have cropped more off the back side of her and left more in the front of the walk and push toy to show that she is going somewhere with it.

    The third shot is a little too centered for my liking, but it's a good shot.

    I agree that some could be brightened up just a tiny bit (not too much, just a little).

    Overall, not bad shots, really.
     
  6. Socalangler

    Socalangler TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for your replies and pointers. Can someone explain to me increasing the f-stop. I think it means to go 1 lower on the aperture setting but I am not positive.

    I edited the photos yet but plan on playing with them in photoshop with the recomended changes. I will post what I come up with.

    Thank you all again

    Mike
     

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