Some Thoughts

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MeganBays, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. MeganBays

    MeganBays TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, this is my first post to the forum. I'm new to photograhpy and really looking for some insight on helping to develop my skills. I'm just now diving into learning how to use the manual controls; sometimes is turns out pretty good, sometimes not so much... :D

    I have a Canon Rebel T1i; 18-55mm kit lens and a Tamron 75-300mm lens.

    Here are a few pics; don't be too hard on me just yet, I'm just now learning! ;)

    1. This is my son Kole; this is a random spur of the moment pic with a vinyl fabric background. I'm looking for insight on lighting and composition with this pic and the next one
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    2. Second one of Kole
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    3. In this one I know it would be better without the person getting ready to crawl through the tunnel behind the puppy. I also unintentionally made everything really red in it. How do I not do that next time?
    [​IMG]

    4. This sign was right above the Black Water Falls in WV. Thoughts on composition and lighting
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    5.
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    6.
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    I have a ton more pics that I'd like some help with that I'll post later. Oh and I tried linking through Flickr and the pics would always pop up as little boxes with red "x"s on them, help with that :D.
     
  2. MeganBays

    MeganBays TPF Noob!

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    Anyone??
     
  3. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    It's really difficult to comment on these as they are now. Thumbnail size is difficult to view. Would you be able to post them slightly larger?
     
  4. MeganBays

    MeganBays TPF Noob!

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    If you click on them, they will open up to a larger image. Sorry about that... :blushing:
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome! Thoughts per req:

    1. I'm afraid I really don't like this composition. As a general guidline, if the subject isn't looking toward the camera, then we should be able to see why not; not nescessarily what he/she is looking at, but at least understand why they're not looking at us. The lighting is lacking here; I assume that this was a natural-light portrait (no flash/additional light used) and the right side of his face is rather dark. A reflector, even something as simple as a large piece of white card used to reflect the light from image right to that side would have helped even out the exposure greatly. Additionally, always try and get on the subject's eye level for portraits rather than shooting down on them and lastly, while you can crop limbs, try and avoid cropping 'little bits' (he is left elbow) and NEVER bisect limbs or crop at joints.

    2. Composition is much better in this one, however the focus is off. Always, always, always, ensure that the eyes are in sharp focus. Lighting is better as well, but a reflector from image bottom right would have helped. As well, consider the vertical (portrait) orientation.

    3. In addition to the point noted, also avoid cropping the little bits of his (her?) paws; portraiture for animals follows very much the same guidelines as that for humans. Not sure what caused the increased red, since your WB seems fine; did you adjust hue or saturation in post?

    4. Generally this one is rather flat and seems slightly desaturated. As far as composition, I'm afraid I don't really see a point to this image. What were your thoughts when taking it?

    5. A good action shot. Note again the previously mentioned points concerning cropping off small bits of body parts (Left foot, right hand). As well, this would be a MUCH stronger image if shot from a position further camera right where you could see the whole dog. On my monitor it seems slightly (1/3 stop) under-exposed. I would suggest a slight levels/curves tweak to 'brighten' the darks somewhat.

    6. This is a good start on close-up/macro work. It's somewhat over-exposed however; the petals image right seem about 1/2 stop too bright. Good use of selective focus to isolate the subject from the background, and while I generally like this sort of image shot from above, I think a slightly lower perspective would have been better.

    Overall, a very good start. Keep working at it. As an aside, four is generally considered the most appropriate for really effective critique.

    Just my $00.02 worth - your mileage may vary.

    ~John
     
  6. Morpheuss

    Morpheuss TPF Noob!

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    I love number 2 i would have just tried to get all of his head in the shot. even though it is extremely tough to get babies to do what you want them to. and he is a beautiful kid
     
  7. Steve01

    Steve01 TPF Noob!

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    Do you mean you're shooting in manual mode as opposed to Av, Tv, P, or Auto?
    If so I'd suggest using Av instead.
     
  8. MeganBays

    MeganBays TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the compliments! He's been a challenge for me to take pictures of, and their dang heads are so big it's hard to get it all in for me sometimes!!! :D
     
  9. MeganBays

    MeganBays TPF Noob!

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    I meant that I'm trying to shoot in the modes that allow me to control the settings instead of the Auto ones.

    I've been playing with P and Tv.

    Suggestions on which ones to use/why?
     
  10. MeganBays

    MeganBays TPF Noob!

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    Thanks John for taking the time to look at all of them, and critique them!

    Regarding the white card, what exactly is that? (And yes you were right it was natural lighting.) Your comment about the cropping and bisecting, completely makes sense.

    I've been having problems with focusing; I've set my focus point to be in the center, but I'm still having problems with getting things such as his eyes in sharp focus. Any tips on this?

    For the puppy pic, in the PP I simply used the SmartFix, as that's all I really know how to use in it as well :blushing:. The original picture was still really red too.

    Pic #4, I'm simply liked the sign :D. It was right beside the Blackwater River that we were fly fishing above the Blackwater Falls. With better PP would the image look better?

    Thanks for the tip on #6, I'll try it at a different angle.
     
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would suggest using Aperture and Shutter Priority as well as Manual as learning tools. Aperture Priority (Av) will allow you to experiment with critical focusing and depth of field, Shutter Priority (Tv) will allow you to learn about motion, both "creating" it and stopping it as well as compensating for long focal lengths and camera movent. Lastly, Manual will allow you to control all aspects of the image.My suggest would be to start with the "semi-auto" modes (Av, Tv) and become familiar with the aspects of the image they affect, and then put them altogether when you switch to Manual.
     
  12. Steve01

    Steve01 TPF Noob!

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    Usually Av is the best mode for a few reasons.
    Unless there's a particular need for a fast shutter speed controlling depth of field is usually more of a priority in most photographs.
    When depth of field isn't an issue having the aperture set to the "sweet spot" which is one of the middle stops will get you the sharpest images.
    For example your 18-55 goes from f3.5 to f22 but may be it's sharpest at say f8 or f11, you would have to test for that, but even without testing, setting it at f8 and changing it when DOF or shutter speed is an issue isn't a bad idea.
     

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