Hey all, just got my new camera and thought I would put up a few of the good fall pictures I've taken up, and some others will be coming soon.
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, =]