[General Critique] My First Portfolio

Sleepy_Sentry

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I'm applying for a an artist's visa in Germany and need to show samples of my work, so I am printing a small portfolio of 16 images. I am in many ways still developing as a photographer and have never assembled a portfolio before. I tried to include the work I feel stands out the most while incorporating some diversity.

If you have a moment, would you mind taking a look at my portfolio and commenting on it overall? Is there anything that stands out as not being worthy of the portfolio or just doesn't fit in?

http://db.tt/ugmeWNrw

Keep in mind my audience does not have an artistic background.

For those who don't wish to download a PDF, here are links to the images on Flickr.

1. Light Collector-- Alternative Energy in Shanghai | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
2. LSU Live Oak Trees | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
3. New York Skyline | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
4. Holocaust Memorial Berlin | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
5. Texting On-Duty | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
6. Empty Seats | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
7. Construction Cranes | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
8. Construction Cranes | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
9. Jena, Germany | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
10. Oberbaum Bridge Berlin | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
11. Amsterdam House Boat | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
12. Oslo Harbor | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
13. New Orleans Ferris Wheel | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
14.Shocked and Surprised | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
15.The Morning Grind | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
16. Chinese Military Training | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
17. Sky of Dreams | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 
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If you want more responses, post the images here. I am not comfortable with opening an unknown PDF file in someones dropbox... they can be used maliciously.
 
These generally look pretty decent, but they're stylistically all over the place. Is the intention to show breadth?

Your technique seems to be fine. You can make a picture that's pretty sharp and has what you want in it.

I'm not seeing anything outstanding in here, but there's some quite good things.

You're strongest with the graphical stuff (construction cranes, holocaust memorial, coffee grinder) and weakest with cityscape-ish things (New York Skyline has almost nothing to recommend it, and it looks soft as well). The Ferris Wheel and the Light Collector are trite "flickr Explore" fodder, the kinds of things almost everyone pumps out when they learn a little technical stuff.

The dude texting is yet another dimension of the portfolio and I feel like it's slightly flawed as a composition, somehow that I can't quite put my finger on but also very strong. It's strong because it's saying something, it's not just a picture of something. It's a good picture, and it's commentary, all rolled in to one.
 
It looks like you've improved a lot - keep up the good work!
 

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