Please critique my photo...I need help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Baaaark, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    So, this is my favorite person in the whole world (my grammy). It was taken in Colorado, at Garden of the Gods. I think its a fairly sound shot as far as composition, but composition is one of my weaknesses. I'd like to know how you people on here would make this photo better. Also, you can be as critical as you want, but keep in mind that this was a P&S, so things like DOF are hard to control.

    The only things I would change is getting rid of the glasses in her hand. She already had some on, and it just looks weird...lol And, I wish she wasn't squinting. But lighting was hard that day, and it was kind a "carpe diem" moment.

    [​IMG]

    Thank you ahead of time.
     
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Why is she looking at the other photographer?

    She looks to be a grand lady (in all sincerity), but IMO this has the appearance of a "Lookout" picture to me..... you know, one of those spots where you pull over off the highway to get a scenic view of wherever you are.
     
  3. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    Yep. And I told her to look away from the camera. Should she not have? I thought it would look a bit more... noble...maybe?

    BTW, the real view is behind me. I didn't want to have her in front of a mountain vista or something cliche like that. But I guess it happened anyway.
     
  4. Omitinibu

    Omitinibu TPF Noob!

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    I think its a great photo.. you utilize the the scenery very well.. from the the rock being used to the rock behind her being a part of the background i think it was an overall good affect.. the only 2 things (really 3 but you already said the glasses thing) I would have done different is

    1. use a polarizer to give more vivid colors which have made a difference..

    2. if and only if it wasnt to cold out i would have asked her to take off the jacket.. i think the jacket gives off that "point & shoot vs. DSLR" concept that stays stuck in my head.. where a point and shoot camera is used to take a picture of something u saw along the way and a DSLR is used to create a photograph that holds more meaning.. to me the difference in the pic is one photo says "ive been there" and the other says "ive passed by their"

    hope i was helpful and again great picture beautiful scenery and i look forward to seeing more pics..
    ~ joe
     
  5. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    The taking off of the jacket shows preparation for the shot and consequently makes the shot look more professional. Interesting. That makes lots of sense! I don't own a polarizer, but that's no excuse. It should be in my bag. BTW it wasn't that cold out, but my grandma takes blood thinners and starts freezing even when its like 60 degrees out.
     
  6. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't change anything. I like how clean the image is. So what, she has 2 sets of glasses and she is squinting, but in this particular moment, thats your grandma. You look back on these shots in later years and remember those characteristics about a loved one. In this instance i would date it, locate it and treasure it.
     
  7. Omitinibu

    Omitinibu TPF Noob!

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    :D glad to have been a help. and that must realllllllyyyyy suck to get cold in 60 degree weather :( but i understand. and i just bought my first polarizer :D i love it!!!! today was actually my first day using it along with a 50mm f1.4 :D also i was very happy with the results. but ive only been into photography for about 2 weeks. but i research for hrs in and out on different things so im glad what ive learned i was able to share ;-)

    Edit: Blank makes a VERY good point.. lol dont listen to me.. :D
     
  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    The squinting is just a by product of increased sensitivity to light. As we age, around the age of 40 or so, the iris (the muscle in the eye that is coloured and contracts like the blades of lens aperture, but is far more effective...go figure) begins to tire and become less responsive. It also can't close really tight to create a pinhole to block light. Not bad for over 40-years of constant operation (I doubt any lens manufacturer could claim such a thing).

    In any case, you might lessen that squinting with a large diffuser between her and the sun (P&S or no; you can pick up large circular collapsible ones for around $40 CAD); it'll soften the light, which will help the shot anyway, and hopefully bounce enough of it around for her to easily keep her eyes open. Also, don't have her facing the sun (that might provide nice backlighting, but without good fill flash this might not work).

    Compositionally, I'd like to see more room in the frame above her head, to take in a bit of that sky. And maybe just a smidge to the left too.
     
  9. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    I don't own a diffuser. That's a great idea to do that. I have a feeling with a diffuser I could get quality portrait headshots in a lot more lighting situations. It'll be my personal cloud.

    Don't get me wrong, guys, I love this photo. It is an 8x10 in my house. But, I don't want my photos to be good, I want them to be great. Plus, I want this photo to be someone I have no emotional affiliation to, and still go, "Dang, I did that well." For the most part (90%), I feel I've done that. But its that extra 10% that makes the difference. But, for being from a point and shoot camera, at a very impulsive moment, without ANY other assisting equipment, I'm nothing but satisfied. It also shows how maybe my equipment could use an upgrade: DSLR, strobist-style flashes, diffuser, and the such. I think I need a 1Ds Mk III. :mrgreen:

    I appreciate the comments. You guys rock, and I think this website will REALLY help me achieve my goals.
     
  10. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I mean it really just looks like a snapshot you took for some memories. So in that it's good!
     
  11. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Oh man, a 1Ds Mk III would be sweet. I'd love one myself. Thing is, you can buy a whole ton of good lighting gear for the money of a single 1Ds Mk III body, and a ton of other accessories, plus some high-quality glass. I think almost everyone would get more out of high-quality glass and a better lighting set-up than a bleeding-edge camera. :p
     

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