Some recent shots, looking for some critique please

Seventen

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Hello,

Been getting very much into photography recently almost a daily routine. Shots was taken with my Nikon D5100 with the kit 18 - 55mm lens or the Tamron 70 - 300mm. I am looking to take all kinds of feedback to attempt to push me to get better. I started a few months back and have noticed a huge change from when I first started to now. I do very basic editing in GIMP2 but nothing too fancy as really dont know much about post processing.
Here is a few links from my Flickr account. Thanks.



Mallard Cleaning by DJ Seventen, on Flickr


Gull and Mallard by DJ Seventen, on Flickr


Mallard Stretching by DJ Seventen, on Flickr


Sun rise sillouhette by DJ Seventen, on Flickr


Mallard by DJ Seventen, on Flickr


Gull catching a bug by DJ Seventen, on Flickr
 
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amolitor

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These seem to be quite nice pictures of some birds. You're pushing the colors a little much for my taste, but some people quite like that sort of thing.

I rather like the mallard stretching, but the others seem to be fairly ordinary pictures. There's nothing wrong with a nice sharp picture of a bird, but there's nothing terribly special about it either.

I will say that on the technical side, many of your pictures seem a little dark. Your camera is exposing, most likely, for "overall" exposure, when you need it to expose a bit more since the thing you're interested in (the bird) is actually a bit on the dark side, or in a bit of shadow.
 

sm4him

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If you really want feedback, you'll find your chances of it are MUCH better here if you'll post the photos in your thread, rather than links. Some won't click links because of security issues--but also because, it's very difficult to give good C&C when you have to keep clicking links, look at the photo, then come back here to comment on it.
Post two or three shots you especially want feedback on, so that we can see them in the thread, and it will help you get more response. It's also helpful if you add EXIF info and anything in particular you feel you need help with.

I've only looked at two of the photos so far; the mallard stretching and the Gull. They look over-saturated to me. The composition is not especially compelling, either--for instance, the gull is just smack in the middle of the frame, and the mallard (AND the gull, for that matter) are facing away from the camera, so that we see more tail end than front end. Not always a bad thing, but generally speaking, the better you can see the eyes of a bird, the better the photo will be. The mallard stretching photo also seems underexposed.

On the plus side, for those two photos, you've gotten nice and close to the birds, something many (including myself) don't do well when they first start shooting birds. You've also gotten at least somewhat down on their level, so you're not just shooting straight down on top of them and that's a good thing, too.

Keep shooting!
 
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Seventen

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Thanks for the replies so far.
I did try to upload to the forum but I got not enough space so thought as I am a non support member I could only have 1 picture uploaded.
The day I took these the sun was going down and the colors looked rather dul in the image so i tried to enhance a little to bring the color more to life.
Most was shot in A mode using F8 so had better DOF. I saw a comment about nothing wrong about a nice sharp picture of a bird. I was getting rather led to believe that is what I should be after. I have many that are only partly in focus or have body parts moving that have slight motion blur but most part in focus that I really love but a few friends have pointed out they look bad as you need a nice sharp picture. (there not experts at all)
I tried to get better more front shots but my stalking skills or luck was not with me almost everyone that day wanted only a back facing shot.
 

amolitor

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Nice sharp pictures of birds are fine -- lots of people never get to that. If that makes you happy, and there is no particular reason it should not, then great!

The point I was trying to make is that, having mastered the technical details of making nice sharp pictures, you might want to see if you can make nice sharp pictures that are, for example, artistically excellent as well as technically excellent.
 

sm4him

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Thanks for the replies so far.
I did try to upload to the forum but I got not enough space so thought as I am a non support member I could only have 1 picture uploaded.
The day I took these the sun was going down and the colors looked rather dul in the image so i tried to enhance a little to bring the color more to life.
Most was shot in A mode using F8 so had better DOF. I saw a comment about nothing wrong about a nice sharp picture of a bird. I was getting rather led to believe that is what I should be after. I have many that are only partly in focus or have body parts moving that have slight motion blur but most part in focus that I really love but a few friends have pointed out they look bad as you need a nice sharp picture. (there not experts at all)
I tried to get better more front shots but my stalking skills or luck was not with me almost everyone that day wanted only a back facing shot.

Since you're using flickr, it should be pretty easy. Find the photo you want to share on flickr, then look down along the bottom right of the page; you'll see the little star icon, the comment cloud icon, and then a little square with an arrow coming out of it. Click that, choose "Grab the HTML/BBCode," choose the size you want the image to be posted in, make sure "bb code" is selected under the size options, and then copy the text that is in the white box. Come to the thread you've created on TPF, paste that text in to your post, and the photo should appear (after you post; it'll just be the text until you click post reply).

As for improving your bird shots; lots of us are happy to help with that. My first shots were way, WAY worse and that was only about 18 months ago. I gotta head out right now for choir practice, so I don't have time to break down your reply any more than that. But I will say, I think you've got a reasonable start and if you'll keep shooting and keep posting, there are plenty of others here who will be happy to help you improve!
 

hopdaddy

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Not a bad start .You have been given some good advise above ..........Get on the level of the subject ,and make EYE contact^^^ , Study ,let me repeat that, STUDY ,Composition ! ^^^ Mentioned also above ^^^. with wildlife have them looking into /moving into the frame not out of, or centered . You can have a poor photo with good composition and some will still like it . If you have a technically good photo (Sharp focus ,properly exposed Etc. ) with poor composition few will like it . Just some food for thought ,Main thing is Keep at it and enjoy doing it , Learn all you can about your camera, and keep posting on here for critique.
 
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Seventen

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Thanks everyone who replied. This advice is and will be a great help. I go for a walk almost every evening just shooting random things to learn my camera. Have had it since may and is still far to much to learn in it. I think i have finally got my head around iso aperture and shutter speed. But have a lot of work needed in the metering and white ballance to do plus so much more.

Thanks for the tip on uploading the images i will give that a try once i am back to the computer. It is so nice to have such a helpful community here.
 

Derrel

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The bird shots all have too much saturation. Same with the first sunset shot. The LAST sunset shot is very good; if you have included a bit of space above the tree on the right, it would have been an excellent composition. Clipping off the top of a major, important, integral compositional element in a harmonious scene like that is a deal-breaker. It's like clipping off a side-view mirror when taking the driver's license test...
 

JTPhotography

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Your focus seems to be great and the photos look sharp, not sure how much post processing you are doing, but I think you're overdoing it a bit on the colors. As others said, your composition needs lots of work. Just study and learn from the pros. ALWAYS try to get on your subjects level. The sunrise shots aren't too bad, but it usually isn't a good idea to shoot a hot sun like that. Wait for some clouds and humidity and include more sky.
 
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Seventen

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My post processing is quite bad and limited use. A lot of time time i hit that auto button as i start to doubt my own attempts maybe when i learn the camera better wont need such adjustments i currently do also need to learn to use the software better. Youtube helps but not a great deal for specifics.

I just cant help but shoot the sun i have a huge fascination with in and solar weather spend a lot of my time using telescope and solar filter viewing it.

I hope understanding on what should and shouldnt be in a picture and where it should be comes with practice.
 

bc_steve

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post processing is an important part of photography. If all goes well shooting with the camera, there shouldn't need to be a lot to change but some minor tweaking will still go a long way. There's very few of us who do no post processing at all.

there is a lot to learn, it takes a while and it can be sometimes boring but the results are worth the effort.

maybe this website will be helpful: Digital Photography Tutorials
 
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Seventen

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That was really easy to upload the pictures to here thanks sm4him for this information on how to do this, The wife is now mocking me as i was so excited and told her look did you realize you can put pictures on a forum like this and she thought its common knowledge and i should know this.
I uploaded some pictures not quite the same ones i did before as i made a mistake deleting before getting new ones and have a few that are similar.
Today i have gone for a walk and tried to get some shots i can play with and have attempted to use raw. will see how this will turn out later.
Thanks for that website link will use that to help to learn better. I would take a part time evening course but i dont know the language very well where i live and theres no english courses. but the internet is a amazing place.
 
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Seventen

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Hello again,

I have been trying to absorb as much information as possible to learn more into photography, Though recently its been mainly animals and birds I have been shooting I have been reading up on all types and been really enjoying Hedgecoes complete guide to photography. I linked a few more pictures to see what you might think this time around I was actually very surprised with the outcome but I am no expert hence me chasing after some criticism and other peoples opinions.
Thank you.


Crow by DJ Seventen, on Flickr


Duck flapping by DJ Seventen, on Flickr


Sparrow (2) by DJ Seventen, on Flickr


Duck by DJ Seventen, on Flickr
 

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First set: several of them are way too blue, the one where a duck is growing out of the head of the other small bird is really awkwardly composed. Otherwise okay, not terribly exciting as mentioned. But that's alright. You need to nail the technical details before you can spend enough attention on purely artistic decisions.

The second set is better. You have definitely improved. The walking action in photo 1 is a good example of something more interesting than just a perched bird, that's good. And it is excellent that the bird has empty space in the photo to walk into. This sort of screams for having a meme written on it =P

#2 is a nice action shot, although it suffers from the awkwardness of that other birds beak being too close to the main subjects' beak. Kind of a weird echo thing that doesn't feel very intentional or beneficial.

3 is okay. Better than a side view of an isolated perched bird, but still not terribly exciting. Still, coloration is a lot better than set 1, and it is more interesting regardless.

4 is a bit less exciting, and that blade of grass is really distracting. Probably the weakest of the bunch.

But you're getting there. For just a month's time, being able to notice an actual difference is great.
 

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