Why are my pictures no good - been reading up too!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by DwainDibley, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. DwainDibley

    DwainDibley TPF Noob!

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    Please excuse the 'noobiness' of this question, I'm a little frustrated with myself I guess :meh:

    Went out and took a few photographs today, and coupled with other recent ones my shots seem rubbish compared to many other peoples! I look at my results compared to the pictures posted by others here and theirs are miles better than mine are. I admit though I generally don't do much post-processing on my pictures.

    I've read plenty of photo books and magazines to get tips and things but the results I seem to be getting I feel are dissapointing.

    Am I expecting too much too soon, am I being impatient? I'm just a bit concerned that I'm no good at my fairly new hobby!
     
  2. hyp0rbyte

    hyp0rbyte TPF Noob!

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    Some examples would help everyone see your problems.
     
  3. DwainDibley

    DwainDibley TPF Noob!

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    I've posted a few here in different threads, you'll find them under my profile, and the Flickr link in my sig, see what you think! :)
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I see a couple distinct problems. One is that you don't seem to be considering your composition very carefully. There are distracting elements that could be avoided, and a lot of otherwise average shots. Don't rest. Unless it appears to you like a message from god (which it sometimes will), finding the "right" composition for a particular subject is often an arduous task. I think you're settling on a perspective too quickly. Another problem is exposure. Most of your photos seem a tad underexposed. Most of your landscapes have very underexposed foreground (you're exposing for the background/sky). You need to either multiple expose and tone-map or get a set of GND filters. And don't go overboard on the HDR.

    Then again, others on the board will tell you I don't know anything.
     
  5. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    i have to agree with Max on this one. It looks like you are just shooting snapshots of wherever you happen to be.

    You try one or two of a given topic and then wander on to the next.

    Focus your attention to a specific subject and cover it from several different views and exposures. Good photography is work and a lot of it.

    Several dozen shots is NOT a lot for one particular subject, until you get the hang of photographic basics.
     
  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    To respond to your paragraphs in reverse order:

    3)
    probably. Photography is hard because there is so much to get correct all at the same time. Be patient with your hobby and yourself; you wouldn't expect to be a great skier the first few times on the slopes, even though you had good equipment.

    2) It isn't tips that form the basis of photography. What makes photographers 'good' is a solid grounding in skill to support the talent.

    1) Perhaps the most valuable thing you can do for yourself is to separate the various issues, composition, exposure, post-processing, that make the other pictures 'better' than yours and then find ways to work on those issues specifically. Redo other photog's pictures that you admire. Set yourself some goals to learn skills before you need to exercise them when fate puts you in the right spot at the right time.


    Lew
     
  7. gtkelly

    gtkelly TPF Noob!

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    Based on my experience, realizing what you're shooting is 'rubbish' (not sure I completely agree with your assessment) is one of the first signs that you are improving.

    Until I faced the fact that 99.9% of my picts were crap I got no better. You NEED somebody to rip them apart to improve...

    I've read a ton of books at this point. I'm convinced the only way to really learn this stuff is to do it.
     
  8. DwainDibley

    DwainDibley TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice guys!

    I think you're right about my composition, I have been mostly seeing something and thinking 'ooh, that's nice, i'll take a photo of it', and then doing just that... and moving on! I'm still doing what your typical 'holidaymaker' would do, take a shot or two of something then moving on.

    With regards to landscapes, I try to avoid blowing the sky out, and as a result end up with underexposed scenery. I'm still learning with the HDRs, don't think i've been doing them right anyway!
     
  9. DwainDibley

    DwainDibley TPF Noob!

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    Very good point, and I've found the honest assessments of people on this forum to photos I've posted to be helpful too, I appreciate that people are telling it how it is and not just being nice!

    I looked at the pictures I took today, and they were mostly rubbish, which I guess lead to this crisis of confidence! I'd taken better pictures on my cameraphone, and thinking about it I'd probably taken a bit more care with the composition rather than just snapping away at whatever looked remotely interesting.

    And thanks for your input too Traveler. I'm going to join a local photography club in a couple of months when it re-opens (they don't meet during the summer) to help with that grounding, maybe take a course at the local college too.
     
  10. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Some of those could actually be quite nice with a little photoshop work.
     
  11. MrsLoveBunny

    MrsLoveBunny TPF Noob!

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    I am kind of in the same situation you are, so it's hard for me to give some advice and have you take it seriously. But one thing I noticed on a few pictures was that most of them had the subject placed dead center. What I would have done with the snapdragon, for example, is move it to the left or the right a bit, and either use a true macro lens if you have one or take a step back and zoom in all the way. That way your depth of field is lesser which will blur out more of the background, bringing your flower better to your attention.
     
  12. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I'll give you my $.02 so take it for what its worth. In the crowd pictures on your flickr there doesn't seem to be any real subject or anything of interest IMO. The fireworks I really like esp. the second one but I would do some photoshop work to remove/crop the trees out or something.

    This is just personal preference but I think your HDR is a little overdone. However if you like it more power to you. :)

    My favorite picture on the front page of your flickr is the statue waving goodbye to the ship. I really like that composition.

    Feel free to go to my flickr and tear apart my pictures now. :D
     

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