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The "Have People Criticize Your Own Photos" thread

StevenEleven

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#1
This is a thread where you can put up your own photos you are not so sure about and have people laugh at them or whatever. My intent would be for people to be constructive and gentle but helpful.

Here is a picture. I took it. It has some problems. This is an out-of-camera jpeg, except I reduced the size so it would fit as an attachment. I shrunk it down to HD dimensions. I am sorry if you have a 4k or 5k or quad HD monitor, the pixels won't fill up your monitor. I am so sorry. Otherwise no changes have been made to it. I have a raw file too so I can do just about anything with the colors, etc., and I can improve technical quality by a good margin. In another thread it was mentioned that the foreground should be in focus. I think the foreground is in focus but you might want to look closely to make sure. Otherwise, if you have criticisms, suggestions for edits, etc., fire away! I tried this with another picture on a photo web site and some troll guy came by and smashed my head in so I said I'm not doing that anymore. So I'm going to try it here where people might be a little more gentle. I find parades very challenging because of the motion, trying to get in a good position for the shot among a crowd, the difficulty in keeping the subject in focus, the distracting backgrounds, the very high contrast, and the lack of predictability of the behavior of the subjects.
smaller parade photo-5855.jpg
 
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amirm

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#2
It is a very good picture. Nice on the eye with all the colors and good subject matter. Depth of field is just right, with enough focus to see the dancers but not have the background out of focus.

The only flaw I see is chopping off the feet from the center dancer. This is a big rule in bird photography where if the feet are cut off, the picture has no commercial value. Human photography is similar to birds so the same rule applies.

Then again, if one doesn't know about the above rule, it won't bug you. But now that you know, it will forever as it has for me. :)

Again, very good work.
 

mansr

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#4
That's really nice. I don't know how you guys do these bird pictures. I like how the picture flows from light to dark when you look from the bottom to the top and I think the horizontal dark line in the background is compositionally well placed to balance the picture and draw attention to the subject. I like the way the head and eye are in focus. I like the shadows on the pole. The exposure is dead-on. The top of the pole ends at a very good place in the picture. Everything looks well-balanced and framed to me. And you got the feet!!!

The only thing that crosses my mind is that I'd like to see a higher percentage of the bird in focus, not just the head and neck and top of the back--but that's really really picking knits given how hard it is to get good bird pictures. You were obviously playing with a very shallow depth of field as evidenced by the top of the pole. Once we snap the shutter we got what we got and you got a very nice picture there.
You're right about the focus. I misjudged just how shallow the depth of field would be. As for framing, I've cropped the image somewhat. The background is what happened to be there.

Here's another bird:
img_6343.jpg
 

StevenEleven

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#5
Thanks. Let me gather my thoughts on that pic. I like pigeons, I like the colors and their personality. I have a picture of a pigeon too (actually two different pictures as I think of it), posted somewhere on the Interwebs. Below one of them is the following caption:

I stand by this pigeon, unadorned! You who would worship the hummingbird, the goldfinch, the eagle, the vulture, the canary, the blue-jay, the cardinal, and all other manner of predators and pretty-birds. . . let it be known: I stand by this pigeon, unadorned, and I always will!
 

amirm

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#6
Here's another bird:
You followed another rule of bird photography. As with the other, once you know it, any other treatment will bug you to no end. :)

The head is turned and pointed more toward the photographer and hence us. Images where the head is turned away tend to not be as attractive. In other words, if you take the picture as a flat plane, the head needs to put more toward us the viewers, than the other way around.
 

amirm

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#7
I tend to want the picture to be more about about the pigeon. I would prefer it be a pigeon rather than a scene that happens to have a pigeon in it.
This is the general rule about bird photography. The only exception is showing a bird in its natural environment (nest, where it feeds, etc.). That would be a behavioral shot.

For this reason, you need to have a bright lens that lets you shoot wide open and thereby, throwing off the background (blurring it). You can also use exposure to good effect to darken the background as I have done in this shot:



This one is a combination of both:

 

andreasmaaan

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#8
This is a thread where you can put up your own photos you are not so sure about and have people laugh at them or whatever. My intent would be for people to be constructive and gentle but helpful.

Here is a picture. I took it. It has some problems. This is an out-of-camera jpeg, except I reduced the size so it would fit as an attachment. I shrunk it down to HD dimensions. I am sorry if you have a 4k or 5k or quad HD monitor, the pixels won't fill up your monitor. I am so sorry. Otherwise no changes have been made to it. I have a raw file too so I can do just about anything with the colors, etc., and I can improve technical quality by a good margin. In another thread it was mentioned that the foreground should be in focus. I think the foreground is in focus but you might want to look closely to make sure. Otherwise, if you have criticisms, suggestions for edits, etc., fire away! I tried this with another picture on a photo web site and some troll guy came by and smashed my head in so I said I'm not doing that anymore. So I'm going to try it here where people might be a little more gentle. I find parades very challenging because of the motion, trying to get in a good position for the shot among a crowd, the difficulty in keeping the subject in focus, the distracting backgrounds, the very high contrast, and the lack of predictability of the behavior of the subjects. View attachment 28602
The colours are beautiful and the composition with the closest dancer centred is perfect IMO. The one thing that bothers me - and I'm not sure if an actual photographer would agree lol - is that both the white lines on the asphalt and the imaginary line formed by the uppermost row of dancers' heads are sloping downward from left to right. I think I would find the image more pleasing if it were re-oriented slightly so that the top row of heads were horizontal... Definitely don't listen to my advice on photography though ;)
 
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StevenEleven

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#9
The colours are beautiful and the composition with the closest dancer centred is perfect IMO. The one thing that bothers me - and I'm not sure if an actual photographer would agree lol - is that both the white lines on the asphalt and the imaginary line formed by the uppermost row of dancers' heads are sloping downward from left to right. I think I would find the image more pleasing if it were re-oriented slightly so that the top row of head's were horizontal... Definitely don't listen to my advice on photography though ;)
I think you're absolutely right but if I do that I will chop off even more of the front dancer's feet because of tilting the bottom of the picture and @amirm will become incensed. One thing I can do is try a raw converter program that lets you see what's on the edges of the sensor but wasn't officially part of the picture. With some pictures that gives me a little extra to work with the bottom and the edges. I haven't used the program for a long time and upgrading to the current version would cost me cash-money, so I'll think about that.

By the way @amirm , I had read from some light-hearted Scott Kelby (?) book that you can chop people up but you shouldn't chop them up at a joint line. But I think in this picture your rule is much better and it would have been great to get all of the feet. I hadn't noticed that and I appreciate the observation.
 
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StevenEleven

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#12
The bottom one is extremely cute and fascinating in terms of what is going on and that carries the photo, but the top one is just dazzling in terms of photographic artistic impact, IMHO. Wow those Puffins are absolutely other-worldly.
 
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LTig

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#13
Here, since we are all posting bird pictures, this is one of my very first bird pictures. I think I might know where I took it but I am honestly not sure. It looks like I took it in 2009 and edited it in 2016. I think it breaks a lot of rules. It is expressively entitled, "Bird on branch in lake on rainy day." Again I had to shrink it down to fit as an attachment. I have no idea what kind of bird it is. Whatever I did in this picture, I would suggest you not use it as an example. I think the feeling I was going for was a very relaxed but uncertain moving forward, like I feel sometimes. I don't think there is a word for the feeling in English so here is a picture of it. View attachment 28666
Breaking the rules makes photos more interesting. I like the composition. What I don't like are the white reflections on the right side.

Keeping to the same rules (like the golden ratio) for every photo is just plain wrong. Following a specific rule leads to photos with a specific impression on the viewer. If you want to create this specific impression then follow the rule, otherwise break it - use another rule which leads to the desired impression. The art is to know which rule creates which impression.
 

LTig

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#14
The bottom one is extremely cute and fascinating in terms of what is going on and that carries the photo, but the top one is just dazzling in terms of photographic artistic impact, IMHO. Wow those Puffins are absolutely other-worldy.
Thanks for the flowers :). The top one is not out of cam.

Puffins are very cute and absolutely fearless - I saw this at 4 different cliffs over 35 years (northern and southern Norway, Scotland and Iceland). The one gathering material came closer than 85 cm (the minimum focus distance of my 85 mm lens)! Knowing that a fast jump off the cliff brings them into the safety zone probaby helps (no human would follow, it's at least a 100 m jump down into the ocean).
 

Patrick1958

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#15
Here, since we are all posting bird pictures, this is one of my very first bird pictures. I think I might know where I took it but I am honestly not sure. It looks like I took it in 2009 and edited it in 2016. I think it breaks a lot of rules. It is expressively entitled, "Bird on branch in lake on rainy day." Again I had to shrink it down to fit as an attachment. I have no idea what kind of bird it is. Whatever I did in this picture, I would suggest you not use it as an example. I think the feeling I was going for was a very relaxed but uncertain moving forward, like I feel sometimes. I don't think there is a word for the feeling in English so here is a picture of it. View attachment 28666
This is a Cormorant.
 

amirm

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#16
Thank you! I just Googled images of Cormorants and I see some with blue eyes and they seem to hang out on sticks coming out of the water to pose for photographs quite often. I suppose they must be rather vain.
:)

They are one of the few birds without oily feathers so they have to sun that way to dry themselves. It allows them to dive deep in the water to get food.
 
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#18
This is a thread where you can put up your own photos you are not so sure about and have people laugh at them or whatever. My intent would be for people to be constructive and gentle but helpful.

Here is a picture. I took it. It has some problems. This is an out-of-camera jpeg, except I reduced the size so it would fit as an attachment. I shrunk it down to HD dimensions. I am sorry if you have a 4k or 5k or quad HD monitor, the pixels won't fill up your monitor. I am so sorry. Otherwise no changes have been made to it. I have a raw file too so I can do just about anything with the colors, etc., and I can improve technical quality by a good margin. In another thread it was mentioned that the foreground should be in focus. I think the foreground is in focus but you might want to look closely to make sure. Otherwise, if you have criticisms, suggestions for edits, etc., fire away! I tried this with another picture on a photo web site and some troll guy came by and smashed my head in so I said I'm not doing that anymore. So I'm going to try it here where people might be a little more gentle. I find parades very challenging because of the motion, trying to get in a good position for the shot among a crowd, the difficulty in keeping the subject in focus, the distracting backgrounds, the very high contrast, and the lack of predictability of the behavior of the subjects. View attachment 28602
Has your camera priority modes? I did shot a couple of times at carnivals, which are kind of the same but for me was even more difficult because it's at night with poor light. This was the first year I'm having a pro lens with f/2.8 constant aperture.
I saw the EXIF data from your photo... The foreground focus seems right but I can find motion in the whole image... maybe you have to rise your exposure time... 1/500 sec is somewhat low. Try the speed over 1/1000 and the ISO over 1200, without worry.
Idk anything about your camera, but keep in mind this suggestion.
Sorry for my english :/
 

StevenEleven

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#19
Has your camera priority modes? I did shot a couple of times at carnivals, which are kind of the same but for me was even more difficult because it's at night with poor light. This was the first year I'm having a pro lens with f/2.8 constant aperture.
I saw the EXIF data from your photo... The foreground focus seems right but I can find motion in the whole image... maybe you have to rise your exposure time... 1/500 sec is somewhat low. Try the speed over 1/1000 and the ISO over 1200, without worry.
Idk anything about your camera, but keep in mind this suggestion.
Sorry for my english :/
The camera I used was a low-end aps-c camera with a slow, compact, mediocre superzoom. I'm surprised that wasn't in the EXIF data. It says right in the EXIF data, "Low-end aps-c camera with a slow, compact, mediocre superzoom." :) The camera is light, compact, and fun.

I nearly always shoot in a priority mode, which one depending on what I am trying to do with the picture. Here, I made an absolute conscious decision to shoot at 1/500. No excuses.

You're right--lesson learned--I would have been better off having shot the same aperture at 1/1000 at ISO 1000 and it would have been a better exposure choice. But in the moment I ended up shooting at 1/500 at ISO 500, and the great majority of my mental resources, of which there is no abundance, were dedicated to getting the shot, because I had no more than a small fraction of a second to do so. Next time a bunch of dancers are rushing toward me in broad daylight I'll shoot at 1/1000. ;)
 
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#20
Here I upload two pictures... they belong to my city's waterfront.
The first one is the most recently took.
Nikon D500 - Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 - At f/9, 1/60 sec., ISO 160, 18mm. Edited on Capture One, retouched on Photoshop.
The second one was taken in 2014.
Nikon D7000 - Kit, 18-105mm - At f/4.5, 1/2000 sec, ISO 100, 18mm. Edited on Lightroom, retouched on Photoshop.
The last photo was on my beginnings.

Comment, criticize, suggest...
 

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