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From bottom to top: Lensflare, datestamp, colors blown out (and datestamp). Don't shoot directly into the sun. Ever ever ever. That is not excessive light and radiation burning out your CMOS, it is divine judgement against bad photography. There's no composition or intent to any of 'em either, but basics first.
Your camera looks like kinda a piece of junk from what I can tell, so there may be limits to how much you can do to prevent blowing out. If you can adjust the exposure, shoot stuff like that leaf at a somewhat lower one, half a stop or so should do the trick. You shouldn't be getting that flat, blaring yellow with no detail or variance, that effect is useful in very limited cases (Asadex blows out his colors a bit in some of his more recent photos to good effect), but most of the time like here it's detrimental and you need to learn the basics of photography before you'll do any good getting into the kinky shit anyway. If you can't change exposures, there's stuff you can do with junk cameras too that's pretty nice, in some cases way cooler than anywhere you can get with traditional photographic techniques, but you need to familiarize yourself with its unique properties and learn to use them accordingly. Either way you need to stop taking snapshots and start considering light and composition for it to really qualify as art photography.
You should really take a photo class to introduce you to at least the general concepts of what you should be looking for and teach you how to see photographically. It'll help with your drawing as well. There's... not a lot critique can do for you here until you know the basics, beyond pointing out basic technical issues with the operation of your camera so you can get recognizable images and don't fry the damn thing.
first off, i have taken photography in my school, and passed with an A.
my camera isnt that bad, but its was only 250.
the first picture i have i think has great composition,contrast, and texture. i dont see where your seeing anything flat becuase it looks llike there are some major value changes to me.
the second picture I liked a lot as well, and didnt think its composition weak at all, although not as strong as the first one.
the third picture was a quick snapshot, so im not offended by your "highly educated" retort.
but im wondering why im not allowed to shoot into the sun?
and if you know how to get rid of the datestamp, that would be helpfull.
Last edited by smoothrider_41; October 24th, 2007 at 03:30 PM.
Last edited by Asadex; October 23rd, 2007 at 09:31 PM.
"L'arte è una logica contorta"
I think you can get rid of the date stamp by changing the settings in your camera.
Getting back to the photos, I pretty much agree about the overexposure and the lens flares. I'm guessing that you don't have that much control over aperture and shutter speed on your camera, so the best advice I can give is that you should not shoot in direct sunlight. This is a problem with SLRs as well. By changing the time of day your photos could be much better and have better tonal ranges.
I really like the image with the trees though. It has some nice colors and tones and the composition is great. The only thing in the way is the lens flare.
Hope this helps. Keep shooting and posting!
Instructions for operating your camera are in your manual. My $20 camera has a manual, albeit in hilarious Engrish, if your $250 one did not come with one you might want to reconsider your choice of retail outlets and/or fences.
Your first picture's composition is bad. It's 2/3 occupied by a leaf that, as noted, is severely blown out and consequently not very interesting to look at. You're seeing a lot of contrast, and there is - in your background and everywhere you don't want it - but none in your actual subject. It's got basically no internal features worth attention, and whatever is there is mostly eaten up by the blowout, so the picture ends up just being this big yellow blob and then some heavily contrasty mulch that's just random noise and, again, not visually appealing or contributing to anything, serving only to distract the eye even further.
You also cropped bits off, which is unfortunate. You need to have reasons for what you leave out just as much for what you include - unless there's a really good artistic reason to cut off the ends of the leaf it leaves an incomplete shape and produces an unpleasant effect, and in this picture there is none. You could have gone whole hog and just photographed a small bit of the leaf that was in itself interesting, but when you've got most of a shape generally it pays to complete it. It's sorta like how there's no problem with taking a head-and-shoulders portrait of a person, but if you take a full-length photo and cut off everything below the very tops of their shoes that just looks wrong. If you're going to include a whole subject, include the whole subject and give it some space, too. A bright yellow leaf isolated in one corner of a big, dark background can be a cool photo. A macro shot of one edge of the leaf curling around in the dirt can be a cool photo. Incorporating any number of other objects and shapes in the surrounding area can make for a good photo.90% of a big, severely blown-out leaf lying randomly placed over some visually irritating mulch is a pretty unexciting photo.
If you're in your school's advanced class and still taking pictures like this, your teacher should be sacked. It's not your fault, if you don't know why shooting directly into the sun is bad it makes me wonder what exactly your prof is teaching you. You might wanna try your local community college, there's no guarantees they'll be great there either but they should be at least vaguely competent. We can keep doing critique here but it's really imperative at your level that you get some proper education, we could spend pages on each picture and you'd learn next to nothing because you haven't developed a clear conception of what makes a good photograph yet. What you need right now isn't critique, it's instruction. This thread and this book should give you some basic understanding of the elements of photo design, and hopefully get you looking at things in terms of what they'd look like in a photograph rather than as leaves or trees or whatever that you want to record.
You dont need to challenge the compitence of my teachers, I'm just trying to figure out why I cant use lens flare. I like the composition, and so has almost every other art instructor at my school. I'm sorry you dont like it or find it amatuer(it is). I dont claim to be professional, and I like taking pictures of things I see. Thank you for the refs., and the crit was helpfull, but you dont need to attack like you did.
Last edited by smoothrider_41; October 24th, 2007 at 09:54 PM.
But after you have a few thousand exposures under your belt, and have looked at 10,000 photos by other photographers, you will understand that the chance of lens flare being a positive element in a photograph, is very slim.
The last two shots lokks "a little" overexposured and out of focus.
"L'arte è una logica contorta"
Personally, i think that first photo woud have been improved if you'd have had about half of a leaf with more of the textured background of the forest floor [i assume its a forest floor, looks like it to me ]
The second one has a decent composition but the sun looks too bright, and dominates the picture, though it does have sme nice tones in there aswell =]
The new ones i think would be decent ref's for those of us who dont spend all our lives drawing eyes [ which counts as me ]
Keep posting, =]
let's take the upper pic:
you probably stopped and thought "what a nice constellation of leaves. Symmetry and colour contrast" *click
Problem is, it doesn't make for a good photo, imo.
I have looked at it for quite a while (considering it's not something that makes me go "Ah!").
The leaves and the grass give a complementary colour contrast alright. But at the same time, the values don't help the pic at all. You've got some very light spots on the grass blades and its structure is all over the place in all directions catching your attention. Light on the leaves is flat and uninteresting.
You kind of took a photo of a small area of wet, overexposed grass with two leaves in the way.
Reduce - reduce as much as possible. Considering you might have a problem judging the values in your pic accurately it might even be a good idea to shoot b/w film for a while.
First three images: someinternetguy, while rather aggressive, was spot on.
Second two: Both are out of focus, blown for no visible reason and not particularly interesting.
Last two: Again, stop blowing out your leaves, please. Your photography teacher may love it, Joseartist may love it (sorry, in joke) but technically it is very poor. You didn't take in what someinternetguy said about cutting off the shoes, and once again managed to get from the 'ankles up'.
Before you go saying 'you don't understand my work' or something similar, I'll give you a comparison. Some people do 'abstract art' merely because they can't paint for shit. Picasso was a great abstract artist, but it came through technical awareness from doing amazing realistic drawings and then understanding the abstraction. First you must learn the rules, then when you know them intimately you may break them, but only as long as you know how and why you are breaking them.
Now, I know you're probably thinking these guys hate me. This is not true. We want to help everyone as much as we can. We a a supporting community, but if you ask for help and get it but then don't listen then everyone is wasting their time. Come back with some more photos, even of leaves if you must, but make sure they're not blown. My personal challenge to you is to take a leaf inside, put it by itself on a black sheet /piece of fabric/whatever for a background, and make sure you expose it to get every bit of detail out of the leaf you can. Then you will start your learning process.
If you have further questions, please ask either here or by private message.
To add to what the other people have said, try exploring different viewpoints. Your leaf photos in particular are very much taken as you've found them. You need to have some kind of really interesting subject for this to work well because otherwise you're just taking the same view that everyone sees, and that isn't likely to capture and hold people's attention. Once you've found a subject you need to take the time to think about how you can arrange it so that it's more interesting to the viewer. Can you change the composition? Can you emphasise certain parts? Can you find a spot where the lighting is better? Can you find a spot where you can crop out unwanted detail? These are the kind of things that you need to consider before you press the shutter.
Also, try and have some more control over your exposure settings if you can. If you're using the automatic settings, try and venture away from it. If your camera has shutter or apature priority, use it instead. If you can control both manually, do that and experiment what effects you can create by altering both of them.
Klips and Rabbit, thanks.
I have a really crappy camera right now, but im saving up to get a better one.
Im kinda unfamiliar with the one im using right now, so its takign some gettign used to. Im trying to photograph somethgin i dont usually photograph to get used to it. I usually do ots Photography of people and architecture. I actually have a huge collection of pictures of the buildings in ym city from our tour the other day. Kinda like a photo essay. But its got 100 pics =P
If anyone is interested PM me, and ill send you the link to it.
*Takes on terrible german accent*
"Zis, zis is vhat ve call ze improvement"
Big improvement, first one is a huge step up from where you were. Still waiting for the single leaf though
Heeeeaps better! Can you see how much more detail there is in the leaf? This is what you need to try and do, make sure that you're not losing the detail to overexposure or overprocessing. Well done, I look forward to more!!!
*takes on terrible australian accent*
thers roight sur, oi told ye: reduction!
this is really nice. I am always fond of seeing people leaving habits and exploring new approaches. It's so important for learning, imo.
These work much better for photography because of their reduced information alone. Light is much better. Watch out for the crop though.
Most importantly: don't stop! All shall be well.
very nice lighting on the last 2 photos. very nice indeed
So today, the sky was absolutely amazing. I went to take pictures, but they ended up looking nothign like what my eyes were seeing. A few of these are blown out, and some have a nasty lens flare in them. I still wanted to put them up to be critiqued. I took a few shots of the bridge and a house near where i shot this(at the dam) as well.
And if anyone could give me any tips as to how be able to see both the sky AND the mountain range that you cant see in this picture becuase the sky was so bright it fucked the light meter up... it would help a lot.
And the lensflare. I know its bad. I know i should use it. And i think these last few pictures would have been much more effective without it. Its rather distracting. Anyoone know how to prevent that with sunsets?