Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #15 · 2012 Images (for critique) |
I rarely do this, but I'm going to give notes on technique and composition. Hopefully that's OK, if not accept my apologies.
#5 - composition question - is the ceiling fan more important than the bottom of the dress? I assume that you're cropping out something undesirable lower than the frame. But it has added something undesirable and less-communicative to the top. Perhaps rehang the dress is a less-cluttered area?
#6 - Foreground bokeh is usually distracting and confusing since we don't really experience it in real life. Plus, in this case it is an opposing color which draws attention away from the rings. Even shifting the color from red to green would improve this, but generally (despite popular opinion) foreground bokeh should be avoided as it confuses the viewers eye.
#9 - Nice moment - status pose (not saying you should pose, maybe just wait for some dynamic movement from the bride. Expresssions are not super flattering. Highlights also seem blown - could just be my monitor. Nice setup for the shot, perhaps another moment would have been even better?
#10 the mirror shot is so much cleaner (no clock, chair, couch, AC unit, ec) that focusing on that as we see it here might have been better. Difficult composition to view because the subject is facing out of frame on both sides. Our eye is constantly moving out of frame which is visually frustrating.
#13 - The bride's expression isn't flattering, tilt adds nothing to this image. Tilt generally indicates something is wrong to the human equilibrium/state of mind. Try looking at the world with your head tilted for more than a minute or so - regardless of the strain on your neck your brain doesn't like it - we're built to scan horizons. As such a tilt is often used in filmmaking to indicate a problem - fear, drug abuse, villainy, confusion, etc. In this case the tilt adds negatively to the expression.
#14 - Nice moment, again the tilt looks like a mistake.
#15 - The silhouette tells us nothing about the person, the shot outside that is properly exposed is not super interesting.
#19 - pose makes her look much wider than she may be. She needs about a 1/8 turn to her left, slightly more towards camera. That would allow her arm to bisect her body vertically and cut her mass dramatically. Would also allow her neck to lengthen towards the camera and accentuate the shape of her front rather than the expanse of her back.
#20 - I don't love the stuff trailing off in the background, but I suspect that you've done the best you can with the location.
#21 - In a low key image your eye will immediately land on the brightest spot in the image - in this case the blown dress at the lower
part of the frame - it competes with her face since her face is much closer to the tone of the background than the blow out. Black and white doesn't help this image because it causes her face to blend to the background and accentuates the blown out highlight. If it were in color her face would be more visible. Also, she is between profile and facing the camera, meaning we get just the hint of the eyelash behind the nose - usually better to either go full profile or not have the nose bisect the cheek line. This might be a case where the window light is too harsh and too low to use as intended?
#22 - same pose note as 19. When her arm hides the front silhouette it accentuates how wide she is from behind, hides the curves of the front and makes a skinny girl look wide. Just a slight additional turn over the right shoulder towards you will add a more dynamic and flattering shape to her overall.
#24 - very clean composition
#25 - nice idea, overall expressions are not super flattering though.
#27 - looks really blown on my monitor (could be totally fine in reality though). I don't think the girl at the bottom adds to the story, and her inclusion possibly necessitates more blown out background to be included, perhaps crop down to the subjects?
#28 - Unflattering expression, very distracting background, hands clipped at the bottom of the frame (which reoccurs often going forward I noticed). Looks like you're relying on center point focus which is driving the subject low in the frame and included a lot of nothing at the top).
#29 - is there a better expression or more dynamic pose from this idea?
#30 - framing is awfully tight for what is going on. What is he interacting with? THe guy in the background on the shoulders is clipped oddly - feels like we want more expanse/context.
#33 - clipped hand at the bottom of the frame - coordinator (?) at the back bisected in half.
#34 - clipped hand at the bottom of the frame (at this point in the set I'm really noticing the processing - color pop, locks like added grain and heavy vignette - not necessarily a problem, but I'm noticing it).
#35 - hands clipped at bottom of the frame.
#45 - hand clipped. This is the same bride from #19? Now she needs a little more help in posing. She's placed in front of the guy which makes her wider to the camera. It is bought to explain how to exactly thin her out typing like this, but some more curve to the body and strategic use of the guy could help.
#47 - clipped thumb. He's got quite the recoiling double chin.
#48 - unfortunate that they are bisected by the traffic light.
#50 - clipped just at the ankles, which is awkward.
#51 - if you care going to clip people (like if #50) this is a much more logical place to do it.
#54 - not terrible, but him turning just 1/8 or so to his right would give a slightly more dynamic pose to both of them - less so flat on.
#56 - fairly static pose combined with equally static, vertical background. Something more flowing and dynamic would flatter them and use this background better.
#57 - why clip him?
#58 - nice use of black and white to draw attention to the people/moment.
#59 - feels oddly static compared to the cleaner and more dynamic composition in #60. Background detracts here I think.
#61 - all back and half a face. Nice moment but I think you missed the shot and something weird in the foreground bokeh doesn't add to the image, it detracts from the subjects. His tie also bisects her nose. This would be a discard for me.
#63 - clipped oddly at the feet.
#68 - ever so slightly clipping the hands at the bottom - the logical clip points around the frame need just a little more room to feel deliberate.
#69 - hands, very distracting foreground bokeh.
#72 - maybe shifting them over to her side of the window would clean this us and not bisect him?
#73 - try using the two skinnier girls (on he right) to mask the larger ones. Put the larger people next to the bride and slightly behind with the smaller people slightly in front of them - slims everyone and de-emphasizes the arms which are contrasting with the dresses. You'll help them out where the dresses are hurting them.
#74 - why clip the girl on the left?
#75 - wide shot adds nothing to the moment and takes away from the intimacy of the interaction - zoom in.
#76 - odd clip of the feet in an otherwise nice image. Scan your frame edges before you shoot, you'll clean up a ton.
#79 - clipping her and the girl on the left - are you shooting primes?
#81 - clipped to close to the feet.
#82 - guys barely clipped on edges - why?
#85 - hate the tilt, but that's the kind of guy I am.
#86 - she looks awfully wide here, maybe wait till they rotate to a more flattering angle? The foreground bokeh add nothing IMO, others will disagree.
#87 - hate the woman who looks like she's checking her phone in the background. The people in the background don't look like they are paying attention, which means they don't add to this image unfortunately.
#88 - clipping elbow.
#89 - much better, although now we're clipping chins.
#90 - clipped the top of her head and his arm/ hand
#92 - I don't know if the tree adds to this image - was the foliage a theme of the wedding? It looks like the people in the background are paying attention and enjoying it, which is probably more of the story than the tree.
#94 - this is a nitpick because this is a candid and we all have to shoot them, but she looks awfully wide here.
#97 - just a little wider? Clipped her dress and it seems like there is more scope to an image that is about scope and all the people paying attention to them?
#99 - do we want to see the people paying attention on the right or not?
#103 - I'm not a fan of the positioning - feel like we wanted something wider? More of the people on the edges? The whole sparklers or their feet? Feels like we've gotten stuck with too narrow a lens? I wonder if color conveys the moment better?
With respect to the last several Bride and groom shots so many of them are about the background or the photo technique (OCF, silhouette) that I almost get no sense of who the people are. Maybe that is a benefit, maybe that is a drawback. If the brand is about being able to execute the same thing regardless of situation/people then great. If the brand is about getting to know people and showing personality I think it misses the mark of making a statement about who the people are. You often can't see faces and the poses are relatively static and clearly photographer driven. Just some thoughts on what this type of thing (while popular amongst photographers) might be saying to the client.
If I had to hazard a guess I'd say you're shooting Canon with primes? I say that because I'm seeing trends - lots of center point composition and tilting to fit into a prime view or clipping things on the edges because the lens doesn't allow for breathing room. Just some observations on what the gear choices might be forcing in your work. Not saying you should buy/sell anything if I'm right, just that some things are evident (to a photographer mind you) based on the improvements that could be made).
Todd, you rock!! I really appreciate you taking the time to go through my images so in such a thorough way so that I can improve as a photographer. To answer a few questions...
1. I shoot Canon and was mostly primes until recently. I test drove the new 24-70mm and fell in love, so I sold my 35 and 50mm and I feel much more freedom in composition now.
2. I usually pay more attention to lighting in an image than expression, which is something I need to work on. Sometimes I get great moments, but don't like the lighting, so I choose to post the one where I prefer the light.
3. I've known for a while that I clip too much, and I think that's lacking attention to detail while I'm shooting.
4. For #99 the people in the background are the little girls parents and the groom's best friends, so it added to the image.
5. Your point on posing being photographer driven is true. I'm taking Hoffer's workshop in March mainly to become better at posing, because he rocks it when it comes to posing.
6. My brand is creativity, romance and emotion, having someone feel something when they look at the images. Therefore, if I'm more focused on light than moments, I'm probably not supporting my brand the best I should.
7. Very helpful technique with posing overweight brides. I've watched some of Jerry Ghonis' videos to help me with that, I just need to apply it more.
Thanks for taking the time to do this. I've been following your blog and podcasts for over a year, so I really respect your insight.
Quick question if you have the time, what strengths do you see that I should continue with?