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Thread: Maggie's photos
October 6th, 2007 #1Registered User
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No studio, no helpers, no models
I am a junior in HS. I want go to college for photography,film, or illustration
Thought I would share some of my photos
I use a Canon Powershot A510
Ignore the photoshop on the eyes. She wanted that.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberOctober 6th, 2007 #2Registered User
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ill be blunt, they look like snap shots and some of them are over bright and over saturated
i think the best out of the set is the 3rd one, it just stands out to me.
Go and have another crack at it. and if possible take a look though some of the other peoples work on here to give you some creative ideas. It looks like all your lacking is a subject, u have the will and equipment
best of luck,
October 10th, 2007 #3
October 10th, 2007 #4Registered User
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Yeah, you've got big problems with blowouts there. Just controlling your whites would improve the images a lot. 90% of digital-era photography is just keeping in mind what the eye is going to be drawn to and using the tendency to focus on certain things (bright areas, faces, lines) to do the job you want.
The first picture doesn't have a very engaging composition, but it could be made much stronger by exposing so that that umbrella wasn't totally blown out and giving your model a little more lead space to the right.
I'm not sure what the bottle in the second shot is supposed to be, but the long diagonal of her arm leading from off the frame right to it and the huge blindingly bright area immediately above make it the subject. All the radioactively white areas need to go in any case, since they're not contributing anything visually but noise that breaks up what you do have, and if you want the bottle to be a point of interest it'd help to make it a little more immediately clear what it is and why it's there. It's also not typically a good move to have the model staring off into space - her face immediately drives one to try and look at what she's looking at that's so interesting, since she's not looking into the camera/at the viewer and her subject is nowhere in the scene, in-frame or implied. It gives the feeling that the real action is happening somewhere behind and to the right of the photographer. Given that she appears to be throwing something off-frame, there's not a terrible lot of action in the shot, either - she could just have well been holding that pose for half an hour for all the dynamism it has.
The third one's a bit more solid - the blown-out areas are more under control, and there's a sense of composition there. Here the main problems are that the girl's face is a little too dark and lacking contrast, making it fall into the background while her brightly illuminated arm and those flowers grab away the attention a bit. Mostly though there's just one thing to look at (your model), who isn't doing anything particularly interesting, so unless the viewer has some reason to care about the girl herself rather than her as a piece of art (i.e. sentimental or informational value) there's nothing to hold the viewer.
The tiger one's kind of interesting. Your big enemy here is the shadows from the trees. Strong, dappled shadows are the nemesis of all outdoor photographers, not just beginners, they mess up pretty much any picture where they're predominant. Not much you can do about 'em either, except go shoot somewhere else or on a different day. Or break out the chainsaw. Other than that, only minor flaws stand out - cropped way too close and those green... whatevers are blown out.
Your last one has all kinds of lens flare crap going on. Lens flare crap is death. Depending on the shape of your lens, you can usually get rid of sun streaks from off-frame by shading the lens closely with your hand, taping a card to the top, or just buy a lens hood for your diameter and not have to worry about getting a big blurry palm in frame. There's not a lot of cases where you want to be shooting into the sun anyway - on a rare few occasions you can get really cool backlit scenes out of it, but most of the time (as here) it just makes everything flat and dull.
If you want to go to an arts college (and you can't get good art training from a place that isn't a predominantly art school unless you're really incredibly lucky), you need to take some more art classes starting now. I don't know if you've taken whatever photo courses your HS offers, but if you did they really haven't taught you anything. Your local community college will have more over the summer, which will probably at least get you the basics.
In the meantime, you can learn a bit from some books on composition and color theory. This is an excellent starter, which will teach you most of the basic principles of composition you would learn in a reasonably thorough photo class and give you at the very least something to work with. Once you've had some concept of what characteristics make a good photo good and a bad photo bad, it's mostly down to practice, but if you're just firing blind you can blast off a million pictures and never get one jot better.
Mods: Not sure what the policy here is on stuff like the book I linked. It's an incomplete scan of a book that's been out-of-print for thirty-odd years, so I figured it'd be kosher as an open teaching material, but if the IP rules here are stricter just delete it and let me know what's okay and what's not.
Last edited by Some Internet Guy; October 10th, 2007 at 02:44 AM.