Critique everything.

Jgould25

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 7, 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
4
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So, second post on the forum, and I wanted to share some of the pictures I've already taken with my new (to me) Pentax K200D. I have zero idea what I'm really doing when it comes to photography (as in settings for shutter speed, aperture, ISO etc), because everything before this was point and shoot on an iphone... usually of random stuff to throw up on instagram. Anyways, I spent yesterday at the magical kingdom of Disneyland, and had a blast taking pictures. I was playing around with the aperture settings, as that's the first thing I've really noticed has an effect on the pictures. So, here is a small sample of the pictures I took... feel free to brutally critique and hopefully give me some tips and insight on what would've made a much better picture. I really want to improve as much as possible over the next month before I head off to my 6 month long Japanese adventure.

gLsecJZ.jpg

lHA9mqA.jpg

NZgnfQD.jpg

o2Sq6Fh.jpg

cf6JbE7.jpg

2UUyXkF.jpg

Xqk3upm.jpg

etDBGH1.jpg

d84jjFF.jpg

e9if0QW.jpg
e67JwXU.jpg

RcUyQ69.jpg
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,923
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
One mistake you are making repeatedly is allotting too much top space to empty areas. This is a very common mistake many people make, and the 3:2 aspect ratio of many cameras make the problem even worse that it would be with a different format, like a square format camera. See, the 3:2 aspect ratio camera has a frame that is very wide, by not very tall, when shot in horizontal orientation, and very tall, but also very skinny, when shot in vertical orientation.

The sketch artist, the weird cabin-like building, the band playing, and the statute of Walt Disney, all of those have too much top space allotted, and the compositions are off-kilter as a result. The same is somewhat true of the first shot, the shot of the crowd, and the last shot. The first and last shots should, and the shot of Mr. Disney most likely, would have been stronger pictures if they would have been shot as verticals.

The allotment of top space in horizontal photos requires very definite skill in composing. Composing well requires utilizing the compositional space in the most effective manner. When I look at top space, and I see a consistent, empty top 33% of the frame, I know that's an issue. The band playing, the sketch artist, the Disney statue are good examples of what I mean. You need to train yourself to utilize the entire frame area more effectively. Once you actually make yourself aware of this, then you can take steps to correct it through conscious effort when you are shooting each photo.
 

vintagesnaps

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
8,883
Reaction score
2,906
Location
US
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I agree it seems like people have a tendency to frame so that there's more than enough space at the top, and it would help to notice when you're framing shots to make sure you have the entire person (or people) in the photo. I agree too about the ones that could have been framed vertically instead of horizontally.

In the first one I'd crop the left side to eliminate the edge of the lightpost that's sticking into picture to 'clean up' the composition. I think it's better to either have something in the picture or keep it out if it doesn't add anything to the photograph - this way it makes for a visual distraction. The one of the grotto is nice too, I might have framed it just slightly more to the right, looks more interesting that direction, or seeing more of the reflection in the water could have worked.

Changing your vantage point can help in framing shots too - in the one of the musicians if you'd taken a step to the right it might have gotten you a photo of them without the woman's head in the lower left corner.

It can take a certain amount of watching and waiting, I sometimes get set and then watch out of the corner of my eye for people walking into the scene. Or you may want people in the pictures but it helps to have them so they look interesting, not just cutting thru or in front of the subject blocking it, etc. Or keep edging and inching your way thru a crowd to get to a better vantage point.
 

soufiej

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
714
Reaction score
113
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You really like to center your subjects, don't you?

Why is the sky more important than Mickey's feet?

I do not see any data regarding your individual shot information. I'm guessing since you are shooting many more distant subjects, you've used a fairly stopped down aperture. In fact, it looks as though you din't "experiment" much at all with aperture.

Try varying distances and subjects a bit more to learn the effects of DOF/aperture.
 

480sparky

Chief Free Electron Relocator
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
24,903
Reaction score
8,880
Location
Iowa
Website
pixels.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
All I see is a bunch of over-saturated centered-subject vacation snapshops.

Basically, your process so far is:

1. See something interesting.
2. Raise camera to eye.
3. Center subject in viewfinder.
4. Click shutter.

There needs to be several steps between 1 and 2.

Try:

1. See something interesting.
2. Study it. Walk around it. Look for the angle. Look for the view. Pay attention to the lighting. Make note of the background.
3. What about the subject interests you? How can you use your camera to best portray this subject?
4. What shutter speed should you use? Aperture? Focal length?
5. Find the best spot in which to place your camera that will best portray the subject. Recheck your shutter speed, aperture, focal length. Recheck the lighting, and double-check the background.
6. NOW.... Raise camera to eye. Take several frames, bracketing exposure and focus if necessary.
7. Check image preview. Does the image you see convey what you want to show? If not, return to step 2.
 

The_Traveler

Completely Counter-dependent
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
18,743
Reaction score
8,046
Location
Mid-Atlantic US
Website
www.lewlortonphoto.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
The list of things that I would like to say quite often but generally don't:
  1. So you got your camera today or yesterday and you want us to look at 14 or 15 assorted pictures and tell you how you're doing? If you just got a piano or a guitar, wouldn't you assume that it would be a while before anyone could make any judgement about that? Same for photography.
  2. Holy Crap , do you just barge into some new environment and assume that everyone there is just hungering to do things your way? Read some threads, look at how people get involved and just see how things get done, then post a picture or two.
  3. Have you looked at this picture? Did you notice that the colors are way off, it is out of focus, there are lots of distracting and irrelevant things and I have no idea what the subject is. (pick as many as necessary)
  4. I see by the title that you think this baby/pet/wife is the most beautiful thing in the world. Guess what, none of us give one little crap about your baby/pet/wife; all we are interested in is your photography.
  5. I guess you don't realize that what you are asking here is found in text form already written approximately 12 million places on the web already including your user's manual and, if you had just tried to look, you wouldn't be wasting our time and energy and giving us the impression that you are a helpless boob still hoping to be taken care of by his/her mommy.

A key part to getting good advice from other members on your photography is communicating this need from yourself to the rest of the membership. I have seen too many people just post a single photo or 20 photos with C&C requested and no additional information provided - simply put if you give nothing for people to work with they can't give you much back.
So here is a guide for structuring your posts so that you can greatly increase your chances for getting good feedback and also a way to help further you learning yourself.

1) The fewer the better. Detailed comments take time to write well and when a person sees 20 images in a single post it puts them straight off commenting. Further those people on slower connections will find such threads take so long to load that they click off them instead of wait. So post fewer images - post you best. 1-5 images is around the sorts of numbers you should think and make sure they are well selected for what you want to show and not just random selections.


2) The how - an image alone does not convey how you took that photo – in fact its very hard for anyone to work it out and that will hamper the responses you get if people don't know your level of understanding or what you have to work with at the time - so always try to include the following:

a) Settings - aperture, shutter speed, ISO and shooting mode (manual, program, auto, etc...). If you can't remember these details they are saved over every digital shot taken - just go to the image file on your computer; right click it; go to properties; in the properties window go to the details tab; scroll down to find the settings that you took the shot at.

It's all been said before.
 

sm4him

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,726
Reaction score
5,468
Location
The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
Website
sm4him.500px.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So, second post on the forum, and I wanted to share some of the pictures I've already taken with my new (to me) Pentax K200D. I have zero idea what I'm really doing when it comes to photography (as in settings for shutter speed, aperture, ISO etc), because everything before this was point and shoot on an iphone... usually of random stuff to throw up on instagram. Anyways, I spent yesterday at the magical kingdom of Disneyland, and had a blast taking pictures. I was playing around with the aperture settings, as that's the first thing I've really noticed has an effect on the pictures. So, here is a small sample of the pictures I took... feel free to brutally critique and hopefully give me some tips and insight on what would've made a much better picture. I really want to improve as much as possible over the next month before I head off to my 6 month long Japanese adventure.

Okay, you've already gotten some fairly specific C&C on these pictures (although, I'd like to add that I sincerely HOPE that you have oversaturated the blues in the one of the musicians--god, those are some PAINFULLY blue pants there!).
Side note: Please number your photos, makes it much easier to refer to them.

Anyway: With an eye towards your trip to Japan, and your desire to improve as much as possible in the next month:
1. See those first two statements I've bolded? You need to GET some idea about how shutter speed, aperture and ISO work together. Read some books, and do some experimenting. The experimenting is often best, and most easily, done at home with an ordinary object. That way, you can control some of the variables and experiment with others. Also, here's a fun online camera-settings simulator you can use to test yourself, even when you don't have your camera with you. Play around with the variables of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focal length and distance to subject until you start to really understand how they work together.

2. Read your manual! Read it and TRY the different settings. It'll also help you get a feel for what to use, and when.

3. Think about what sort of photos you want to end up with. This is WAY more important than many people realize. But here's the thing: the photo you've posted, basically, are just snapshots. They are just snaps of a moment at a tourist attraction, for the most part. They show Disneyland, but that's about it. They don't really tell a story, or invoke an emotion (except possibly for YOU, since they remind you of your trip)--they are not really compelling in any way. The one near-exception to that, for me, is the shot of the artist drawing the sketch of the Indian woman--but even here, there's no real "impact" because I can't really see the artist himself. I wish I could see his face as he studies his work, or see his hands as he selects the next color.

Here's a little experiment you can do: Using either Google image search, or something like flickr, search for photos of Disneyland. Or photos of Japan--or maybe even more specifically, places you plan to go in Japan. Now, start looking through those photos and ask yourself which photos really grab your attention, pull you in, make you want a large print for your wall? Think about what THOSE photos have that the others don't, and you'll be on the road to improving your own. Perspective, composition, LIGHTING, subject matter, color, patterns and so much more all matter, and it's just a matter of what you want to achieve.
If all you want are decent snapshots that remind you of a trip--there is NOTHING wrong with that. But that can be achieved with a phone camera, or with a point-and-shoot on auto. But photos with more of a "wow" factor take a little more thought and effort.

4. Another experiment, once you've looked at some images and started getting a feeling for what you want to achieve with your photos:
Take a little photo trip. Doesn't have to be anywhere special, or big, like Disneyland. Maybe go to a local park. Look around and find something to take a picture of. Set the photo up in camera and then take the picture. THEN--look at the subject again. Now this time, really THINK--what would make this more compelling? A different angle? Zoom in closer? Maybe only take a photo of PART of the original subject? How about timing--maybe wait until something interesting is taking place--example, a colorful slide. You snap a picture of it, but it's just a photo of a colorful slide. Now, what if you get in front of it, and get down really low to the ground and shoot it again? The perspective perhaps makes it a bit more interesting. But--what if you get down low, and then WAIT until a small child comes flying down that slide with a look of pure joy on their face and their arms raised and feet up for landing? Now, you've got a more compelling shot!
 

soufiej

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
714
Reaction score
113
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
" Also, here's a fun online camera-settings simulator you can use to test yourself, even when you don't have your camera with you."

I tried it. That spinning pinwheel made me somewhat sick to my stomach.

Oh, dear! Time to clean the keyboard.
 

Dave442

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
2,021
Reaction score
567
I suppose for a first posting to give an idea of your photography it was OK to post 12 shots. I think a "small sample" in the future should be between one and three images. I read most the comments before all the pictures loaded (yes, I have slow internet).

Feet, now 12 shots of the shoes of Disney characters would have been something new for me.

Anyway, there is time before the big trip so please post some more pictures before then.
 
OP
Jgould25

Jgould25

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 7, 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
4
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Sorry for the lack of response, I've been slammed at work and spent the last few days in a car driving home for leave.
Thank you guys for all the input, It's been great reading it. I've been getting out shooting, and I'll be posting more soon.

Just a quick explanation about the amount of space over the subjects. A lot of time while shooting at disney, I was fighting the crowd. So for in the instance of the statue with Walt and Mickey, I was aiming a little high to get all the people taking selfies and what not out of the frame. Rookie mistake I guess.
I also didn't realize so much thought went into a photograph. I was just trying to take the best possible picture in that moment.

Anyways, now that I'm in my home city for a week, I'm definitely going to take full advantage and get out and shoot. Experiment some more.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top