a beginner's hello and plea for help

Marri

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good and sunny morning :)

so it was about time to conquer my fear and ask for some constructive criticism as to how I can improve what I draw with the camera.
I have no technical experience whatsoever, I can only turn my photos to black and white (I know, I am standing in the corner full of shame). Ok, probably increasing the contrast, if I am lucky haha
My taste is a little bit.....let's say, in accordance to my abstract and chaotic self, so I would like my photos to look more like paintings. Or at least, that's what I aimed at, the result is something questionable. I write (I admit, that's my true passion), so I would like my voice to be translated on the photographs as well, I would like to capture darkness, melancholia, nostalgia. Yet, I don't have the technical experience to do it, although I am awfully good at clicking buttons haha.

Thanks in advance for your help, it is greatly appreciated!

Here are some of my attempts:
The Walls are Made of Sound - photography

$bhwdjhqk.jpg$tumblr_inline_mg5x2wYqJB1rcup02.jpg$tumblr_inline_mj6omasVVG1rcup02.jpg$tumblr_inline_mnppty74IX1rcup02.jpg
 

cynicaster

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I really like that second one. Based on what you've said, I'd strongly recommend you put your nose to the grind wheel and learn some more advanced post processing techniques, as post processing has an enormous impact on how your work is ultimately seen and interpreted.
 
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Marri

Marri

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Thank you! Advice taken on board :)
 

Big Mike

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Welcome to the forum.

We could comment on the technical aspects of your photos all day long...but the true measure of success is whether or not you were able to achieve what YOU wanted to do/show with the image. So to that end, it would help if you showed us one image at a time, and then gave us a good idea about what it was that you wanted to say with the photo....and then told us what you did to get to that point. In that way, we might be able to help with the technical aspects of taking and processing the photos.

But really, your path to enlightenment should probably start with some education in the fundamentals of photography (and processing) so that you can learn to use the tools at your disposal, which you can then use to achieve your vision.
 
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Marri

Marri

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Thank you, Mike,

the things you mention, in fact, are the way I imagined the help I can get here. The truth is that I am so blind in photography with respect to technologies and new techniques that I cannot even orientate myself towards a suitable beginning. With other words if I had already advanced at some level, I would be able to pinpoint what I don't know and concentrate at this area. I am so behind, I don't know what I don't know....Let's say with the following picture I took:
$tumblr_inline_mmfl363tMA1rcup02.jpg

I would like to erase the wires, although I am a firm believer that a few flaws could actually contribute to the quality of a painting, photograph or any piece of art...But let's say, i would like to make the image more dramatic....How could I erase something would be one of the questions. Thank you for taking the time for a toddler like me.
 
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Marri

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and thank you for the welcome!
I have already found some exquisite and inspirational photographs on here, as well as valuable help in reading material!
Surely feels deep enough to drown my passions here
 

Big Mike

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Glad to be of help.

I would like to erase the wires
To 'erase' something in a photo...you essentially have to replace it with something else. So a better way of saying it would that you want to 'copy over' the wires. In Photoshop, the basic tool for that job is actually called the 'clone' tool. It clones/copies pixels from one spot to another. So in this case, you could copy some areas of clean sky/clouds, and use that to replace the wires.
Photoshop (and similar programs) have taken it a step further and have something called a 'healing' brush/tool. This tool actually analyzes the area and tries to replicated the pattern of pixels around the 'bad spots' and then replaces the pixels. For example, if you shot a person and they had a pimiple on their forehead...a simple click with a healing or spot removal tool, would replace the pimple with pixels that look like the surrounding skin.

So essentially, you could do the say with your wires. The right tool (in the right software) could easily replace the wires with pixels that look like the clouds behind them. It does get a little finicky when you get to something like the edge of the dark trees...but if you are careful and patient (zoom in really close and take your time) you can usually get rid of something pretty convincingly.

So I guess I should ask...what software do you have available to you?
 

The_Traveler

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Before you start trying to learn specific techniques, you might as well start learning to look at your pictures to see what about them works and what doesn't.

A quite basic thing is that in this last picture, the horizon is tilted and there seams to be no artistic benefit to that.
And there is a large belt of totally black, featureless shadow across the center.
Both of those things hurt this picture, imo.
 
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Marri

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Thank you for the thorough and helpful answer, Mike! It is greatly appreciated and will surely come in handy! I have Adobe Photoshop CS6, although I must admit I have never used it. I have turned the picture into black and white and increased the contrast with the simplest click on it, perhaps a photo editor supported by my computer. Thank you so much!

Thanks also to The_Traveler, I am beginning to get the idea of wrongly used tilting and will try to avoid it in my future intimacies with a camera.
I could not avoid the large belt of this totaly black, featureless shadow because on both sides were people and other artistically-unappealing objects, and due to the fact that I stopped by for only a few minutes I did not find a better perspective for my attempt. It sounds to me that the way Mike suggested could come also useful in coping with that shadow, so here learning a few techical tricks wouldn't hurt. You are right, there is a lot to learn. Yet, taste is something one develops with time and is often accomponied with something called talent (which unfortunately could not be learned). But hopefully I will pick up some elagance and sense for artistic worth by hanging around here
 
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MarshallG

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I think your photos are great, and you've got talent. But if you ask for photo critiques online... you're gonna get some!
 

nycphotography

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Thank you, Mike,

the things you mention, in fact, are the way I imagined the help I can get here. The truth is that I am so blind in photography with respect to technologies and new techniques that I cannot even orientate myself towards a suitable beginning.

The suitable beginning: Learn EXPOSURE and COMPOSITION

You seem to be doing OK, but do you understand WHY and HOW? Any theoretical basis for your decisions, or just wing it?

It's good you have the eye... but the technical knowledge will only ADD to your ability.
 

nycphotography

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good and sunny morning :)

so it was about time to conquer my fear and ask for some constructive criticism as to how I can improve what I draw with the camera.
I have no technical experience whatsoever, I can only turn my photos to black and white (I know, I am standing in the corner full of shame). Ok, probably increasing the contrast, if I am lucky haha
My taste is a little bit.....let's say, in accordance to my abstract and chaotic self, so I would like my photos to look more like paintings. Or at least, that's what I aimed at, the result is something questionable. I write (I admit, that's my true passion), so I would like my voice to be translated on the photographs as well, I would like to capture darkness, melancholia, nostalgia. Yet, I don't have the technical experience to do it, although I am awfully good at clicking buttons haha.

Thanks in advance for your help, it is greatly appreciated!

Here are some of my attempts:
The Walls are Made of Sound - photography

View attachment 47175View attachment 47176View attachment 47177View attachment 47178

Are these four your favorites?

Because I clicked your link and there are many images I thought were much more compelling than these. Some really good ones in there, IMO.

like this one:

tumblr_inline_mk69mv836G1rcup02.jpg
 

DiskoJoe

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good and sunny morning :)

so it was about time to conquer my fear and ask for some constructive criticism as to how I can improve what I draw with the camera.
I have no technical experience whatsoever, I can only turn my photos to black and white (I know, I am standing in the corner full of shame). Ok, probably increasing the contrast, if I am lucky haha
My taste is a little bit.....let's say, in accordance to my abstract and chaotic self, so I would like my photos to look more like paintings. Or at least, that's what I aimed at, the result is something questionable. I write (I admit, that's my true passion), so I would like my voice to be translated on the photographs as well, I would like to capture darkness, melancholia, nostalgia. Yet, I don't have the technical experience to do it, although I am awfully good at clicking buttons haha.

Thanks in advance for your help, it is greatly appreciated!

Here are some of my attempts:
The Walls are Made of Sound - photography

View attachment 47175View attachment 47176View attachment 47177View attachment 47178

The simple answer. More like the one with the skier and less like the other stuff thats out of focus. And learn how to use photoshop. Its like kids play for the most part.
 

Gavjenks

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$tumblr_inline_mfi5bdOHFh1rcup02.jpg
This and the squashed bug in the OP are the best, IMO.

Reminds me of:
 
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Dmariehill

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Marri - I'm new to all this as well. What I've been doing is just challenging myself to use my camera. When I'm doing my morning walk, I'm paying attention to what grabs my eye. Then I'm seeing if I can get the camera to show what I saw. For me, I like realism and detail, so it works for me. For you, as you snap photos, compare the result to the picture you had in your mind. What's different? What's missing? What did you want to capture but didn't quite get?

The other thing I'm doing, is playing with my settings. So I'll take a shot, then adjust one setting (ISO, or appeture typically now) then I'll take another one, make an adjustment, etc. I'll take 4 to 5 shots from the same angle with a few different settings so that at home I can see, what really worked and what didn't. This process is helping me get better at where to start. After a few trips playing with the settings, I've added in playing with angles too. I'll see something and take a shot. Then I'll walk ahead 10 feet or so, turn around and check it out from a different angle. Remember not to be two dimensional in this - you can move the camera left and right, but also up and down. It'll change the message of your picture.
 

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