C&C Please

i cant tell you why one works and one doesnt (im just not that code savy)

but check out the example code, thats what i always use for a template

[url=http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/misc.php?do=bbcode#imgcode]BB Code List - Photography Forum & Digital Photography Forum[/url]
1st picture:
Try doing a square crop, right now it just doesn't sit right (Rule of thirds, the negative space doesn't really work in this case) and the first candle should be more in focus, try a smaller aperture, what are you at right now? f/1.8? Too big. Try f/2.8. Or is it because the automatic focus was thrown off due to the flame? Try manual.

2nd Picture:
Try a soft flash bounce onto the subject's face as the current lighting is not favourable. Not direct flash, unless you McGyver a diffuser or softbox.

3rd picture:
The eyes are in focus and that's what matters. I'd crop ta bit off the top and left side to centre the subject. The top of the background is a bit distracting, BUT, if the image showed more of that structure leading off into the distance on the left, respecting the rules of thirds for the dog on the right, it could be interesting.
#1 Nothing is in focus (See #3 comments). A vertical frame would have been more appropriate. The vacant space to the right of the candles adds little, if anything to the photo.

#2 very dark eye sockets (raccoon eye), shadows from her glasses make distracting dark curved lines on her cheeks, and the high lighting makes her nose look pretty big. Fill lighting was needed.

#3 Insufficient DoF and soft focus. The photo would be stronger if the focus was sharper. Most fast (f/1.4, f/1.8. f/2.8) lenses are not sharp when used wide open to achieve a shallow DoF (same for #1). They usually need to be stopped down at least 2 stops and some may need to be stopped down 3 or more stops to focus sharply.

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