Portfolio? critique


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Oct 21, 2004
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Southwest Virginia
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hey guys. I have been toying with the idea of maybe switching careers. After going to college for 6 years for a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and working in the field for 9 years, I have decided that this is not the way I want to spend the rest of my life. So, I am at a bit of a crossroads. I have been pondering what kind of things I get enjoyment from, and Photography is one of the things that keeps popping up.

I have been considering contacting some local photographers to see if I could apprentice on the weekends to get a closer look at this as a profession. Before doing so, I would like some of you professionals to take a look at some of my work and tell me if it's worth pursuing. BELIEVE ME, you won't hurt my feelings if you respond "don't quit your day job". Give me the good, bad and ugly thoughts you have about it.

I have made a sort of portfolio so that you could get an idea for the quality (or lack there of) of my current capabilities. I never really experimented with a camera before April 04 when my wife and I went to Rome. I'M NOT ASKING FOR A CRITIQUE OF THE ALBUM ITSELF. I think it's crap right now, but the album is just a vehicle so that you can view the content. Actually, I never looked at JAlbum before last night, and this is the first site I've created. The pics on the site do seem a little pixalated though, and I need to go back and figure out how to fix that in the future.

Anyway, here it is.

Critique, positive/negative comments and thoughts are very welcome
You have some strong work. Maybe try and edit it down to 3 or 4 in each category.

Changing course will have to be your decision. Working a job you do not love is going to be a long road. I say choose photography.
I agree with Craig. However I'd also say that I feel too many of the your shots have the subject in the centre. Usually, but not always, composition looks nicer if the main subject is on one of the "lines of thirds" ie a third of the way either across horizontally or vertically in the frame.

I notice that you also used ISO200 on the golf shots. I'd suggest that in lighting like that, you'd be able to use ISO100 quite easily. Always try to use as low a speed of ISO as possible to reduce noise/grain in your shot, unles you specifically want noise of course!

Overall I'd say your shots were quite good but not outstanding. Check out as many photographers sites as you can to get ideas for composition, subjects and even lighting. Using other peoples ideas isn't a bad thing as long as you try to put your own slant on it or you'll be accuesd or plagiarism.

Some of my best shots have been ideas from others.
For an infinite supply of changing images try www.photosig.com
Sorry man.

Your gallery is a collection of adequately exposed cliches. pbase has tens of thousands of shots like these.

A mill... a lighthouse... some flowers... a snapshot of a dog from the eye-level...

The boots are interesting... the train is ok.

But gallery lacks direction and message. Also you fail to hide yourself - the photographer behind your message. All of your pictures are about what impresses you... italy... your kid... some basic macro experiments...

No message behind the pictures.
I have to agree with Doc here.

Were you planning to show this specific selection of shots to someone as a portfolio?
Since you haven't been taking pictures for very long, I don't know if you can use this portfolio as a basis to judge if you should pursue it as a career. I would say that you aren't ready to do photography professionally yet solo, but that doesn't rule out being an assistant. I haven't had the luck of doing that myself, but from what I've seen, it mostly involves helping the photographer you're working for get their own images, whether it's setting up the lights or making sure the film backs are filled and ready. While you won't be doing much of your own work, you will get to observe a pro doing their thing. Just make sure you pick a good one. ;)

If you do this, I think you should consider a "side-job" of doing your own work, because the only way to get better is to practice. It's a lot like learning to play a musical instrument. You might know a lot about music theory, but without muscle memory, you won't sound very good. With photography, you need to make decisions a lot, and a good number of them should be second nature for things to go smoothly. Shoot a LOT.

Personally, I think your in-depth exposure to psychology gives you an advantage, but in order to apply it, you need to learn the language of photography. Take some classes or read some books on how to read a photo. A lot of it will be very familiar to you.

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