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Looking for some constructive criticism

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by SpartaK, Aug 12, 2018 at 10:04 PM.

  1. SpartaK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 3,735

    Location: London

    Hey guys, I'm off on holiday next month and a big part of my travelling involves taking photos as a hobbyist and I am always working on improving upon my photography. I think some constructive criticism of my photo's would be appreciated as I am always looking to up my game to the next level and challenge myself.

    Would appreciate if any of the pro's on here could review some of my photos and I'd be interested in any feedback on things you can identify that I might be doing 'wrong' or where I can improve upon.

    Here are some photos taken back in March last year in Japan:

    https://goo.gl/photos/PJzMFz5BoN42we7F9

    Gear:

    Canon 600D
    Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Drollic

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 24, 2013

    Posts: 2,647

    Location: East Midlands

    I'm no pro, however I can suggest to try and take less photos making sure every one is more carefully shot - framing, light, composition etc. Also, maybe try some basic editing of RAW files with camera raw & photoshop. If I go on a trip like that, I probably take around half of what you have whilst quite a few get deleted in camera at the time. Of that half, I'll probably process around half of those. I'd be happy with 10-15 good photos, with say 3-5 standout ones.
     
  3. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: Oct 20, 2002

    Posts: 59,716

    Location: Wish i was in New York

    I think you need to learn to process, or to be more specific, you may have processed them but they don't look like they have been. A bit of tweaking in LR will lift them up.

    And you don't need to take as many, or may be you do….I took a TON but you don't need to show that many.
     
  4. mattyg

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 17, 2007

    Posts: 7,103

    Hope you don't mind

    There are others here that could do a better job but I always like these kind of shots so I thought I'd give it a tweak for you

    Original
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]IMG_9492


    [​IMG]IMG_9492-2
     
  5. SpartaK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 3,735

    Location: London


    I'll admit I tend to get way too trigger happy and will take your points into mind, thanks for that.

    I've only done some image crop correction in DX Optics but have not messed about with any of these in Lightroom. I am keen to learn using this program and I still have the RAW files for all those photos linked so that will provide plenty to work with.

    Thanks for that edit, it does look way better after your edit. May I know what you did and what program you used?
     
  6. mattyg

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 17, 2007

    Posts: 7,103

    First thing was to crop a little tighter to get rid of the shelf at the bottom, and some of the darkness top right. Then I just adjusted Saturation,Vibrancy, Sharpened a tiny bit etc..All in lightroom.
     
  7. SpartaK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 3,735

    Location: London

    Thanks for that, think I'll be grabbing myself a copy of Lightroom and seeing what I can achieve!
     
  8. doodah

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 17,045

    Location: London

    LR is great but a few one here have mentioned Capture One Pro. I believe it's free and fairly decent though I didn't get how to use it when I tried so jumped straight back to LR :o:p.
     
  9. Energize

    Caporegime

    Joined: Mar 12, 2004

    Posts: 27,277

    I see a lot of photos that are fairly far to the left on the histogram, some of the flower ones would be great if the shadows were lifted and the image made higher key.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. SpartaK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 3,735

    Location: London

    I'm amazed that the editing on these photos can actually produce these results, that's amazing!
     
  11. Quartz

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 5,561

    Location: Aberdeen

    I'm no pro, and your photographic skills are far better than mine, but I did notice three things in general:

    Firstly, in many photos you have the edge of a subject - often a building - just off-picture. Thus the subject appears cropped. you really want to get the whole thing in the picture or just concentrate on a particular feature of the subject. Look at the second two photos of the bamboo water fountain. The first shows the whole thing and is messy around the edges; the second is a close-up and the edges frame it. It's a pity about the focus in the second (see also rule of thirds below).

    Secondly, you have a lot of photos with the subject square-on, rather than angled or off-centre. Such pictures make good records, but often not aesthetically pleasing photos. They often look flat. For example, look at the photos of the footbridges. You have some taken straight on at eye height and some taken from one side, and the latter look - to me - far nicer. You might also try photographing from much lower down. Look at the photo @Energize edited and see that you have the whole building in shot (see above) but are also shooting it at an angle so it does not look flat.

    Thirdly, remember the rule of thirds. Look at the pictures of the monkeys and the deer. In particular, compare the one just of the deer with the photo of the deer in the foreground on the right with the crowd in the background. Again, the photo above obeys the rule of thirds - tree on the left, building in the middle, and tree on the right - and looks the better for it.
     
  12. SpartaK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 3,735

    Location: London

    Thanks @Quartz appreciate you taking the time to go through the pics and provide some comments. I never really noticed these things until you've mentioned it if I'm honest, and now looking back at my pictures I can see what you are talking about. Will take these points into mind, thanks :)
     
  13. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 3,971

    Location: Finland

    Do you just want to get pictures out of camera or do some processing with RAWs?
    Out of camera JPEGs are more sensitive to getting correct exposure, while RAW gives more leeway for corrections.

    Mirrorless cameras have always given live exposure preview and histogram.
    That helps in figuring out how close exposure is to good, or best compromise.
    But with DSLR you need to better know/remember what kind pics camera takes in what situation to avoid trial and error.
    Anyway for very high contrast situations you can try lowering contrast setting.
    In camera processing likely uses rather agressive contrast setting to give in general "punchy" images.
    But in many situations that results in very dark shadowy areas/dark objects, while brigh areas/white objects burn easily.
    And looks like camera has tried to retain highlights, so overall exposure becomes somewhat dark.


    Then for composition that rule of thirds is good general rule.
    Instead of having main subject in center it should about one third from one side both horizontally and vertically.
    For example this could do with less empty on right side, while there would be more building on left side to give background:
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn

    Of course that rule must be broken when approriate.
    And IMO for this centered framing works extremely well:
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn


    Also this could do with third less on left side to minimize amount of the leafless tree.
    Just use some paper to cover left third of image on monitor to visualize effect.
    Right side could be trimmed some to make that stump more focus of image with tighter framing.
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn
    Though that was certainly very hard scene.

    For animals/people rule is to have space ahead in direction of movement, or in direction of look, like you've done mostly. (for example with those monkeys)
    Again this image is like cut from left with nearly two thirds from right being meaningless:
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn
    Cropping it to vertical image would help.

    Also same positioning goes when there's some kind path etc in picture.
    Having it out of center and in oblique angle makes image more livelier.
    Like this:
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn
    Vs this:
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn
    (for out of camera JPEG that could have also used strong decrease of contrast)

    And this could have used framing toward right with that nature path first reaching to left side of center before turning to right:
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn


    Also when photographing some individual object try to look for background.
    I mean this statue has tree growing from its head/hat:
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn
    Of course in that case there likely wouldn't have been other way to take picture.
    But don't take that as habit.


    For some later cropping this could do with removal of some of that sky:
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=Y08yVnVxcTBxVFdYeFVIQXVhY0xLMEUyM1dGREtn
    Remember that images don't have to have fixed aspect ratio, if it doesn't fit to image.
     
  14. SpartaK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 3,735

    Location: London

    Will be doing processing with RAW's going forward, I'm keen to learn LR.

    Thanks for all the comments @EsaT alot of useful information and advice there that is duly noted.