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Archive 2012 · Late to this party!
  
 
Ernie Aubert
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Late to this party!


I've been aware for years that this Photo Critique forum existed, and I've glanced at it on occasion, but I'm just now realizing that this suits me much better than most of the others. I think I'll jump in and throw a few of mine up for comments, starting with a few people shots...
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Dec 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Late to this party!


Welcome to the forum. I am not very good at people shots so I will merely relay that my preference is for the 2nd. I think this is because I like the setting best.


Dec 18, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Late to this party!


The eyes help people shots come alive and help with expressions and moods. There could be some improvements with that issue.

I would agree with Ben. I like #2 best. The setting is nice. The tree branch helps frame the image. The young lady has a pleasant smile but again neither seem to be able to keep their eyes open.



Dec 18, 2012 at 08:25 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Late to this party!


Party is still on!
Glad to have you join us!
I think most here would consider Karen aka AuntiPode our resident portrait expert.
She is likely to chime in.
Here is my 6 cents (there are three pics, after all....)


1. You seem to have captured at ease, enjoying themselves. Looks good technically.
A few thoughts about the composition. Are the signposts meaningful to them? Is the writing on the foreground post needed? If not, I would have opted for shallower DOF.
They are placed fairly statically, center-frame, perhaps because of the need for the posts. But it adds to a frozen capture rather than a sense of movement across the frame. I would have preferred a less busy background, more OOF, possibly shooting a bit closer to eye level or perhaps captured from a bit more in front of them. And a placement of the subject to the right in the frame (motion leading into the larger space)

2. Again looks good technically, although there is some issue with a bluish cast seen best over his shirt. While it looks like they are enjoying themselves, I think the timing of the capture is a bit off. Better to have them with eyes open, and/or looking in the same direction. I like the framing of the tree. There is a grayish linear object behind them that is a bit distracting but could be readily cloned out. But I dont think this is a keeper.

3. A precious moment. Nice choice of DOF. Backlighting on hair is nice.
Probably a challenge to get a cleaner shot without the heads below and with the minister(?) either out of the image or centered more behind them. I dont shoot weddings but have brought my camera to take images at family events. And ended up more appreciative of the positioning, timing the pros have. If a pro is there, they usually have locked up the best shooting positions already.

Scott



Dec 19, 2012 at 01:55 AM
gneto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Late to this party!


Camperjim wrote:
The eyes help people shots come alive and help with expressions and moods. There could be some improvements with that issue.

I would agree with Ben. I like #2 best. The setting is nice. The tree branch helps frame the image. The young lady has a pleasant smile but again neither seem to be able to keep their eyes open.


+1

I miss the eye contact a lot. It's kind of a requisite to me, save for very special exceptions.

Image #1 could use a tighter crop. The composition has really strong diagonals leading me out of the frame to the right (it's actually a triangle which ends outside of the frame, on the right side). Besides helping create the "offending" diagonals, the two white posts really distract, especially the one where the text is readable.

The composition on image #2 is very pleasant. The harsh lighting didn't affect this image too much, but since their faces are in shadow, the girl's "glowing" sleeves end up drawing the eyes instead of their faces (if their eyes were open this effect wouldn't be so strong I guess).

Image #3 has "floating heads" in the lower part of the frame, and the priest is in a bad position partially hidden behind the couple. You have some overexposed highlights on the head of the priest, and also on the back of the girls, due to the harsh lighting.


On a more general sense, lighting is too harsh on all of them - just look at all the contrasty shadows and you can tell that. Shooting closer to sunset or sunrise would have made a lot of difference. Also, if you have the possibility of decreasing your depth of field, you would really benefit from a more blurred background on these shots. The man should be wearing long pants on the first 2 images, bare skin really attracts our eyes and thus his legs become a strong distraction.

By the way, given the harsh lighting, you did an awesome job with exposure.

Last but not least, don't pay too much attention to what I say here - it's pretty easy to criticize, much harder to actually try and do better. "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena" said a wise man once (mr. Roosevelt I believe)


--------

Actually, I just googled that phrase and the text is so relevant to a critique forum that I'll hijack your thread just a little bit to post it - here it is, an excerpt from a speech by mr. Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


I actually feel really inspired by these words.
Sorry to hijack your thread






Dec 19, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Ernie Aubert
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Late to this party!


Wow - this is the kind of feedback I regard as great! I can see that this forum will be my home at FM henceforth.

Given that these shots were candid, not arranged, I didn't really have much choice on a lot of the factors... I tried to get what I could. I'm still very much scratching the surface of Photoshop; I know that a skilled Photoshopper could improve on what I was able to do. But it's fun trying and learning. And these people, who were newly met friends, were happy with the photos I gave them (there were many more) of their wedding weekend.

Regarding Karen: Since these are not portraits, she can be excused. I will post some portraits; I have a few of people who wouldn't mind.

A question about the rules for this forum: Is there a limit to the number of images in a thread, or on the number of threads that one can start in a day?



Dec 19, 2012 at 03:01 AM
 

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sbeme
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Late to this party!


The guidelines are one thread/day. When its really slow around here we all have stretched this a bit.
Generally you are best off posting 1-3 images, not much more, per thread. And I find that posting related images, variations or linked by a subject, approach, common question get the most traction and response.
Lastly, there is an unwritten understanding that images posted here may get re-worked to illustrate a suggestion, suggest a different interpretation, show processing improvements, and....truth be told, to learn a bit in the process of practicing ourselves. However, if you do not want your images reposted, you probably should indicate that upfront.

Scott




Dec 19, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Ernie Aubert
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Late to this party!


Thanks, Scott. I can't imagine any reason why I would be unhappy if someone copied, modified, and re-posted any image I might post. On the contrary, I'd appreciate seeing other people's different approaches.


Dec 19, 2012 at 03:39 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Late to this party!


Ernie Aubert wrote:
Thanks, Scott. I can't imagine any reason why I would be unhappy if someone copied, modified, and re-posted any image I might post. On the contrary, I'd appreciate seeing other people's different approaches.


I find it a great learning experience.



Dec 19, 2012 at 02:30 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Late to this party!


+1 @ the merit of the doer
gneto wrote:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in
...Show more

The heart of a critic can be to either "put the man down" (cynic) by telling him how much he failed ... or, "lift him up" by sharing (mentor) that which he might consider, so that he might try again to work toward the greater victory he seeks.

I think you'll find most good FM'ers are all about the latter, rarely about the former ... and never forget the paths and journeys they have experienced along the way from those who have helped them as well.



+1 @ Scott (et al)

I'm of the "iron sharpens iron" perspective ... and hopefully, we've all been honed more than when we first arrived.



Dec 19, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Travis Rhoads
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Late to this party!


Not to pile on, but to add to what has been said, the third image could be cropped to lose the floating heads, and I could live with the odd off centering of the minister/priest/officiant, but the faces that are the subject are just a bit out of focus. That should be the prime concern for that shot, it needs to have them in good focus.


Dec 26, 2012 at 05:56 PM





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