Never satisfied with my photos...

dcb83

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
I've been shooting photos for about 6 months now. I have a pretty good understanding of the technical aspects. Whenever I review my photos on my computer they look so dull and ordinary.They have a point and shoot look to them. I visit flickr often and look at ppl's photos there and I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong. Others shoot photos of the simplest things and their shots look fantastic. How do I get that extra spark in my photos? Is it all in photoshop editing? can anyone recommend a processing routine?
 
Almost all of it is in the creativity you possess when taking a photo.
This means controlling lighting, exposure, and subject composition.

Throw some pictures in here so we can see and help you out.
 
You also have to learn post processing. Ideally you should get everything right in the camera, but there are many post processing techniques ( like the super bright saturated look ) or HDR, that many people just assume is some magical settings the photographer is using, but its not. As SHMNE said, post some photos of yours and then maybe post a few links to some flickr shots that you are not understanding how to get.
 
A new idea going around is that it takes about 10,000 hours to become "good at" almost any craft,trade,sport,or hobby. Six months is barely enough time to get past the newbie stage...you are comparing yourself and your work against people who have been shooting for as long as maybe a year, to perhaps 30 to 40 years!

From little acorns,mighty oaks grow. But, not overnight!
 
I'm with shmne. Post some pics, receive some critiques and carry on.
 
If it's wrong to shoot 200 frames and keep 1 I don't want to be right.
 
One thing that will make your images pop a little more is adjusting the levels in post processing. Proper level adjusting really makes a big difference in clarity and makes the image a bit more contrasty. I'd guess that 80% - 90% of my shots get the levels adjusted on them (which may very well be a condemnation on my shooting) and they look much better for it.

Another useful tool is unsharp mask. A touch of USM goes a long way.

Btw, you can get older versions of PS Elements pretty cheaply and it seems to do a pretty good job for me. It has both a good level adjusting tool and USM.
 
IMG_0567 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
1/100 2.0 Canon 35mm Prime

IMG_0896 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
1/50 20 Canon 35mm Prime

I didn't do any editing to these. Just cropped a little.
I played around with the other photos posted on flickr.

I like the one with the bike, maybe a hair underexposed but I am on the laptop so I could be wrong. The scooter shot could probably use a slightly faster shutter speed in my opinion, but not terrible. Many shots that you see online as I stated, have been post processed to death, and also many of them are staged shots with off camera lighting being used. You will learn all of this stuff if you keep shooting. Don't get discouraged, just dive in deeper and learn all you can.
 
From a composition pov the one with the bike is nice. It's creative and has a good atmosphere. Like the above, the ones you see on flickr have been post processed to death. I mean I could take a point and shoot camera, take a picture of a girl sitting in a cafe then post process it to the point where the original is unrecognisable and flickr would go mad.
 
your examples on flickr are definitely much better than i expected from the tone of your post.
 
IMG_0567 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
1/100 2.0 Canon 35mm Prime

IMG_0896 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
1/50 20 Canon 35mm Prime

I didn't do any editing to these. Just cropped a little.
I played around with the other photos posted on flickr.

I think this is a good time for you to start exploring how to Post Process your photos.

Knowing the basic such as how to ..
Sharpening
Level/Curve
Saturation


There are a lot of tutorial out there that talks about post processing.
i.e.
Juza Nature Photography
Go down to Section that said "Nature Photography: Post Processing"


Every photos is processed when you look at them in your computer even if it is just straight out from the camera. Your camera did all the process for you. In your camera, did you notice that you may have a choice of selecting different processing technique by the camera? In my Canon, it is called Picture Style, it has "Standard", "Portrait", "Landscape" .... All those different styles were different post process of the photos (JPEG) such as sharpening, level, contrast etc..

Why let the camera decide how to process a photo for you instead of you make the decision based on each photo?
 
I've been shooting photos for about 6 months now. I have a pretty good understanding of the technical aspects. Whenever I review my photos on my computer they look so dull and ordinary.They have a point and shoot look to them. I visit flickr often and look at ppl's photos there and I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong. Others shoot photos of the simplest things and their shots look fantastic. How do I get that extra spark in my photos? Is it all in photoshop editing? can anyone recommend a processing routine?
Everything you see is post-processed. Gimp works well enough for me. It's free, too.
 
You haven't selected 'Edit preferences' in your profile. I took the liberty of doing a quick edit of one of the photo's you linked to illustrate the importance of managing light in your photos.

Let me know if you would prefer I delete the edit I did.

4865061084_fb42a6b21c_b.jpg
 

Most reactions

Back
Top