Looking for a little C&C

minicoop1985

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While I've been snapping pics for a decade and a half or so, I'm newer to photography as an art. Here's a small sampling of my more artistic attempts, and I would really like some constructive criticism on how I can make improvements. Don't worry-any constructive criticism is welcomed, and in fact, very, very encouraged. Thanks, and enjoy (I hope)!

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^actually taken with my cell phone. Best cell photo I think I've ever managed to get... In my opinion, that is.
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Shipman

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Heres what I have for you...

1. The car is the obvious subject but the camera placement seems off to me. I know youre a car guy so when you go to shows its very difficult to get pictures. That being said, try to lower the camera and keep only the car in the frame and less of the crowd. Also play around with your focus area and settings to get a crisper shot of the car and get the background to blur.

2. The pic is a little too dark and could be lightened up to show how nice of a day it was which can be seen by the clouds crossing over. But overall this pic just isnt for me.

3. I dont really understand 3 but think self placement elsewhere could have made the pic a little better. Instead of trying to show off a whole area try to pick certain things to make focus points. This is just a high view of a playground when it could have been shot down by the swings catching the shadows and looking into the trees.

4. Theres a lot of trails like this around me and Ive tried shooting them multiple times but have only been proud of a few because in my opinion its very difficult. When shooting trails like this they seem so beautiful when on them but they dont transfer the same feeling in photos. When I get this down a little better Ill pass the info to you.

5. I really like this one, I like how the sun is coming over into frame. I like the subject and the colors as well. My only suggestion is better centering, or even off to one side but not leaning.

6. I like this one but the road is very distracting, consider cropping it to make portrait style where it shows only the waves hitting the beach and a little bit of the trees.


Overall these pictures could all be helped by a little post processing in some kind of editing software. Some place that you could bring out a little better detail and enhance colors.
 

Eclectix

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In addition to Shipman's advice, an alternate crop on #6 would be to crop the bottom off where the road forks, making a panorama format instead. The road itself isn't distracting so much as the fork at the base of it is.
 
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minicoop1985

minicoop1985

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I'll be honest about number 3. I had a vision of an awesome landscape photo. That.... isn't even close to what I had imagined, and I would have had to put myself in traffic to make it work, unfortunately. As for the photo editing software, I think I'm gonna put my wife's program (Corel I want to say) on my computer. Number 6 also needed a polarized filter to help with colors a bit too, IMO, but we didn't have one yet. I appreciate the advice, guys! Thanks a bunch!
 

Gavjenks

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1) Okay. The guys are distracting, especially since they're doing something kind of interesting looking at what's in the guy's hand etc. The depth of field is very large. I would suggest trying to be more patient until fewer people are in your shot, and using a larger aperture to blur out the other cars as much as possible. A long lens and moving far away will help with that too.

2) This is taken well, but could use some more help in post processing to add a little contrast. Seems on the gray end to me. Composition is good though, etc.

3) I can see how you were trying to compose this thoughtfully with the lines and the interesting circle bits at a third's point, etc. But it's just sort of a really random and confusing subject with no clear focal point with the distributed little structures and stuff. I dunno, I don't think you screwed anything up, but it's just not a very exciting place from this angle, you know?

4) Could use a more interesting subject as well. The fence could be okay potentially, but it would need more dramatic lighting I think to serve by itself. It's all just sort of green and a similar tonality. Great photos I think should look fairly interesting even when looking at them with heavily squinted eyes / through wax paper (strongish overall shapes and lighting at a broad level forming the foudnation of the image)

5) I am distracted by thinking this building is going to fall over, more than anything.

6) I think this is my favorite. Not anything to really nitpick on it. Interesting shapes, good compositional placement of them, nice exposure.
 

jeroen

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I have a tip for you about shooting at car shows.

There's always a lot of people around so you can do 3 things: ignore them, try to keep hem out or make them part of the photo.

Ignoring them is the worst thing you can do. They'll end up in your photo anyway and ruin your composition.

Keeping them out will cost you a lot of effort, but you might get lucky and end up with a nice photo of a car and no people. On a crowdy car show this will be impossible and will only be frustrating.

I found out that making people part of the composition will make the most interesting photo's at a car show. Like that first shot with the Testarossa. There's gold in the background... I can imagine a much better photo of those 2 guys being happy with their phone shot and just part of the car in the foreground.

But if you only wanted the car in the shot, take your time and wait until they're gone.
 
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minicoop1985

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Thanks Gavjenks & Jeroen! I do think a lot of photos I've taken would benefit from some editing, to be honest.

As for the car photo, can you adjust aperture on a cell phone? It's the only phone pic in the bunch. It's a Galaxy S 3, if that helps.

The car show was incredibly packed. It was during Road America's The Hawk vintage/sports car racing festival and downtown Elkhart Lake, WI, was just flooded with people. I did try to work with the crowd, but man are people unpredictable. Had the woman not been in the way, I feel like this one from the same event would have been better:

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Shipman

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I agree with that, you could have done something if she wasnt there but there are plenty of photo editing apps that can do a little but none of them work as good as real editing software.
 

_gingerstocking

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Since automotive photography is my main area of expertise..

Get low. Pictures of cars/trucks/motorcycles/etc. from eye level are BORING. Why? Because that is the angle 100% of the population looks at cars from. We all know what it looks like. Getting low gives a different perspective and can really draw the viewer in without much effort.

Another tip.. Sometimes it helps to focus on one aspect of the car. (i.e. the brakes, a wheel, headlight, the badge, steering wheel, spoiler, shift knob, etc.)

I like shooting the whole car.. So my main advice for that is to get low and remember your rule of thirds. Also, if shooting from a 45° angle off the corner of the headlight.. It helps if the face of the wheel is slightly angled towards you.

Keep shooting!
 
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minicoop1985

minicoop1985

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WOW that's a HUGE difference. I think I now know that I need an exposure meter...

Gingerstocking, you're right. They really could have benefited from a lower angle. I've seen and taken a couple pictures while trying to focus on one aspect, but they were more experiments where I wasn't paying attention to the background and... well, you get the idea. I'll have to try that again. Thanks for reminding me!

Shipman: I don't think I can get rid of her completely without massively screwing this up and making it look like MS Paint with the skills I currently have. Someday, maybe, but now, no.
 
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minicoop1985

minicoop1985

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Again, a huge improvement. Effectively, TIL that a digital camera on its own needs a little help to make good photos epic.
 

Shipman

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Heres a quick edit on these 2



 

Gavjenks

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I thought the intersection was mainly what made that landscape cool.
 

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