Very new & in need massive amounts of advice [C&C]


TPF Noob!
Jul 28, 2010
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South Carolina
Can others edit my Photos
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I've had a couple of people tell me that these "aren't so great." I've never taken a class and am otherwise very inexperienced in photography but eager to learn.

I'd really like to know why these are so awful and what I can do to fix them. Especially PP tips!

Oh and these were all taken with my Canon T1i & edited w/ CS4.










Now "aren't so great" isn't very specific, is it? Do you think they're good? If so, why? What do you like about them?

Here are some problems that I see:

1. Out of focus (OOF)...too late to fix
2. Boring...just a snapshot... too late to fix
3. OOF
4. Yellow
5. Noisy, OOF, boring composition, looks like a cell phone picture.

There are many websites and books available if you cannot take classes. Start perusing them, take more photos, come back for more CC if you have the stomach. If you choose to do so, I think you will be surprised at what you will learn.
First, your camera manual.
C&C per req:

To be brutally frank, I'm not sure that there's much to 'fix'. Here. These are what I would classify as 'snapshots' and not photographs. That is, images captured on the spur of the moment without a lot of regard for composition or technique. That's not necessarily bad, but generally it doesn't produce award-winning images. A few technical points:

1. Out of focus, poorly exposed, and very busy. The artists are (I assume) the main subject, but there are people walking by, as well as a lot of background distractions. A tighter crop, waiting for a clear shot and better exposure control would have helped greatly.

2. Focused, and reasonably well exposed aside from the blown area on the balloons, but only really interesting to the person being congratulated. You've clipped the corners off of the cake tray, and there's an odd colour cast to the image.

3. Cute, but again, unfocused and with exposure issues. A small amount of fill-flash would have made all the difference here.

4. Serious WB issues here; I think it's focused, but it's hard to say for sure. Again, blown or nearly blown highlights. Fill flash would again have saved this image.

5. It's a person in bed; really not much to say about it.

Just my $00.02 worth - your mileage may vary.

Now "aren't so great" isn't very specific, is it? Do you think they're good? If so, why? What do you like about them?

Here are some problems that I see:

1. Out of focus (OOF)...too late to fix
2. Boring...just a snapshot... too late to fix
3. OOF
4. Yellow
5. Noisy, OOF, boring composition, looks like a cell phone picture.


If these pictures look the way you WANTED them to, then your question is about composition and what other people find pleasing in a photo.

If you meant for the pictures to look like clear, crisp, naturally colored images, then your question is about technical operation of the camera.

Which is it? :)
Thanks! I'm totally open to the brutally honest since I want to greatly improve.

I personally think they're god awful, but didn't know exactly what was wrong or how to fix them.

These pictures did not come out the way I wanted them to at all. And to be completely honest, I lost my camera manual ages ago and therefore have never been able to read it and thought I'd just "teach myself"--and clearly fail.
Welcome to TPF! As mentioned there are lots of resources on the net. Do not worry about the technical side too much until you get a primer in composition such as the resources located at:

Guidelines for Better Photographs
Top Ten Photography Composition Rules

Once you have developed an eye for the way a photograph "should" be composed, then start on the other basics of photography such as:

Natural Lighting
Depth of Field
Shutter Speed

And for a great online camera simulator:


Good luck and happy snappin'!
go to the camera makers website and find a pdf file of your camera manual and read it from the computer or print it out.
that will be a start. take a lot of photos and keep working as there is nothing that beats experience along with reading the directions from your manual

basically all other points have been addressed
I agree whole-heartedly with ann...nothing beats keep shooting those humans...and other things...
Here's a link to the manual on Canon's website: Canon T1i User Manual

Google "photography composition" and "rule of thirds". Also search for "exposure triangle". That should give you some good information.

#1: I would have gotten closer to the artists, maybe picking one out that was currently painting and making it a portrait. Art capturing art. This image is waaay out of focus (OOF, as the forum likes to abbreviate it). If you're using manual focus, I suggest switching to auto focus. The camera will do a much better job than we will. Our cameras aren't designed to be focused manually, although they let us try if we want to.

#2: Try not to cut off your subject. There's a graininess to the image that's off-putting. I suspect it's from post processing (PP). Overall, if those two issues were resolved, it's not a bad image; just a bit bland.

#3: This would have been a great image had the focus been right. Always focus on the eyes. It looks like the focus is mostly on the ruffles of the baby's shirt. I think you need to use a smaller aperture (larger f/#). Your image doesn't have any EXIF data, so I can't tell. If you posted the original file from the camera, I could get a better idea.

#4: Way too yellow and over exposed. Reading up on the exposure triangle will help you here. Either your white balance (WB) was off, or the yellow cast was done in post processing (PP).

#5: Is super grainy. Do you have a tripod? If so, try turning the ISO down and leaving the shutter open longer. The high ISO is what causes the grain. Keep in mind, however, that the longer the shutter's open, the more chance for motion blur there is. Tripods are a necessity for low light.

My best recommendation is to read up on those concepts I listed above, then go out and try applying them. Post the results and we'll let you know what's good and what's bad.

Welcome to The Photo Forum!

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