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Archive 2012 · Improving?
  
 
Erc0917
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Improving?


Hello Everyone,
Here is a link to my 365 day project and flickr (most of the same images, just if you prefer it to the blogger page), and even though its only been 17 days, I feel like I am not improving and I want some critiques on as to how I can.

http://ept365.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27142011@N02/

I want to get better at people photography, so I've been trying to take photos of people's faces while trying to not have them look voyeuristic (the grocery store photos were all of people's backs). I am shooting with a Panasonic GX1 and the 20mm. I would appreciate criticisms on both the shots and/or post processing. Dont hold back on criticisms, but please provide some constructive feedback! Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Eric



Dec 13, 2012 at 05:27 AM
oldrattler
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Improving?


Eric; I am far from an expert at this but can tell you what I see. I see a person "Pushing" themselves to fulfill a self-imposed assignment. Your images are random, everyday images of life that lack drawing power. By this I mean they do not draw you in, nor tell a story. What are you trying to reveal to the viewer? Most are too far away allowing annoying distractions to be included. First, "Fill the frame". Eliminate distractions. Second, "Rule of thirds". This is not a deal breaker but a good practice to get into. Third, Use lines, angles, shadows, & light to "lead the viewer". Take them where you want them. Do not let them "roam around". Look into Kelby training for some great pointers. You have accepted the challenge of photography, now own it through education & practice,, Jim


Dec 14, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Improving?


You might find it useful to do what most of us do. Post an image or two for critique and discussion.


Dec 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Erc0917
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Improving?


Jim, Thanks for the review. I know I need to get closer to subjects, its something Ive told myself I need to work on. I believe the rule of thirds shows up in most of my photographs (the lady on the bench stands out as not following this rule nor filling the frame), but I'll be sure to keep noting it. Thank you so much for taking the time to look through some photos though.


Dec 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Erc0917
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Improving?


Here are a few shots:
The first is one of my least favorites. I feel as if there was much more I could have done to make it interesting, rather than just snapping a photo in passing. This is black and white since in hopes to make it a more interesting photograph.


The second is one of my favorites, not sure why it is though. This one is black and white since using my skills, I couldn't make the color versions look appealing.


I also like the third image since it somewhat shows a scene rather than just a subject.


The fourth is also a frustrating picture for me since I know it could have been much better. I feel as if it would be much more interesting had I gotten closer to the action and had a different lower angle with the chainsaw cutting in the foreground and the worker in the background.


(PS I apologize if the images are large, the uploader on here kept sending back errors so I just attached the photos to the post)



Dec 14, 2012 at 10:46 PM
 

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Camperjim
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Improving?


Old Rattler's comments really seem to fit the first two images. The background seems to be just clutter especially for the first image. Neither tell any sort of story that would interest the viewer. As you stated the first was just a quick snapshot. That is what is looks like and I am not sure why you expect something more. The second image also fails to capture my interest. I have no idea what the kid is doing. I don't see any expression on his face, not even his eyes and there seems to be no connection with the rest of the image.

I like your third image best. It has better lighting and a strong composition. You also caught some action. I assume the ball was just released. Of course, what is bowling without a ball? The ball is not visible and that would have added to the image.

The fourth image is more understandable. It shows a slice of life. In this case with a 14 inch electric chainsaw.

I think you have started down a tough path as a beginning photographer. Street photography can be really difficult. Even though these images are not very interesting, I think the practice is very worthwhile. You will hone your skills with a camera, you will train your eyes to see what is special and when you do have good opportunities you will be ready.

Best of luck and growth with your photography. I hope my comments were not too negative. By the way, the BH event space videos used to have some really good tutorials on street photography. They will show how experienced photographers approach this subject matter.



Dec 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Erc0917
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Improving?


Thanks (other)Jim.
Your comments are not too negative, its what Im looking for. Having people tell me photos are wonderful and great wont help me improve; I truly appreciate all the comments and criticisms. Hopefully I can apply them with some more practice, that is the objective of my 365 project anyway. Thanks once again for your time and comments.
Eric



Dec 15, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Improving?


Erc0917 wrote:
Here are a few shots:
The first is one of my least favorites. I feel as if there was much more I could have done to make it interesting, rather than just snapping a photo in passing. This is black and white since in hopes to make it a more interesting ...


@OldRattler and @CamperJim offer sound advice for a particularly difficult genre - typically what one sees as a fantastic image others see as little more than a snapshot.

I've reworked #1 a bit - if you object I will remove the image. First, recovered detail from her clothes and backed down the contrast a bit for what to me is a better view of her facial features and expression - which is actually the story. Obviously the crop helps isolate the subject and also reduce clutter and distractions. Also, I selectively blurred the back and foreground to help focus on the subject. Finally, a light vignette, which I happen to like, others perhaps not. I like your choice of BW as the light and tones help focus one's attention.

Other very general observations -

#2 has no appeal to me.

#3 - cliche but why did you not wait for the ball to strike the pins?

#4 - Is the subject the tree or man cutting the trunk?

Re composition -

#2 - no leading lines, action, or anything to attract and hold one's attention.

#3 - obviously all lines lead to the pins (hence where is the ball?)

#4 - all lines run mostly horizontal - pretty much static and lacking in interest.

#1 - lots of diagonals (bench position, lines of bench boards, shelving lines, bend in her arm, legs, etc) leading/pointing to the subject, plus general nice light/dark play of left versus right half of image.

Anyway, my 2 and best of luck on your project. Looking and comparing the early versus later images ought to be fun and very interesting,

Regards,

Bob

Afterthought - #1 violates the rule-of-thirds, etc. but to me still works - don't be a captive of rules









Dec 15, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Erc0917
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Improving?


Bob, thank you for the comments and recommendations. I do appreciate the reworked version, I think I got stuck into the B&W trying to make it look more contrasty and interesting rather than isolating the subject. With the bowling one I was more focused on getting that pose than the ball, it just unfortunately came out that she is blocking the ball (you can see its shadow right next to her knee haha). Thank you so much for taking the time to critique my photos.

Here are a few more from the recent days:
-The first one I wanted to make black and white to bring out the contrast in the white wall and the black hole that he was in. Plus it helped to highlight his face, which is what I believe is supposed to be highlighted.


-I think the second one really uses lines well to draw your attention in towards the person pulling the cart.



Dec 16, 2012 at 04:53 PM





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