Upload & Sell: Off
Mitch Alland - As I'm looking at them, I'm thinking for the shots you took, the settings seem to be working against you. For instance, one shot mentions f/5.6 and honestly half the frame is dark, so really you could have gotten away with a f/2 exposure and you could have dropped the ISO considerably, and exposed properly since it seems you brought it up two stops in post (the grain in the images makes me think that you shot about 2 stops under and tried to bring it up, true?). I read that you said you have problems focusing in the dark, and honestly thinking back, in dark situations I'll usually either spend another second or two really trying to hit focus, or I'll take a succession of shots. You must have been shooting in really dark conditions if you felt the 5.6 was needed to maintain focus.
Shots 1, 3, 4, 7, 8 it happened that you got close on your exposure's and still maintained a very moody cinematic look, with the exception of 4 and 7, they're on the list for being acceptable (in my opinion) due to content (chicken photo, most of the frame is bright, the other I'll mention below). I feel that the 3rd one and the last one work the best for me, in giving that "gritty night market feel" Because your subjects are really illuminated (not just people, but important content like food/veggies). And there's very little grain distracting from the darker surroundings, which allows me to understand the scene better, without being distracted.
For me 2, 5, 6, 7, are really situations where unless you felt the person was going to yell at you, or stiffen up due to your presence, you could have honestly taken a few more seconds, and shot more wide open, and dropped the ISO down a bit. Again a lot of grain gives off the impression of the image being softer, so a cleaner file, would have sharpened up a little better (visually on the web).
I also mentioned 7 twice (once for content, and once for settings) because I felt you could have taken time with him, he doesn't look like he would have cared to look at you. And two, because of the framing, you could easily convert to black and white, and still get a great image, my eyes are really drawn to the subject right away, but the problem is, I'm quickly distracted by all the color noise, when I'm trying to place him (looking at the surroundings for more information about the scene). Black and white may take care of the color noise distraction.
I agree though, the M9 really happens to play well in the dark. I find my canon and nikon DSLRs really don't give me what I want (although that might be because I use more semi-automatic modes w/the DSLRs when walking around in the dark).
Admittedly one of the main reasons why I wanted the M camera so bad, was because it did better with high ISO settings. And shooting events, my mentality has shifted to making sure I get the best high ISO files possible. So anytime I see grain, I'm always correcting it (clients don't seem to like it to the point where sometimes black and white conversions are necessary).
Unfortunately these days my photographic likes and dislikes are set by my clients, and not by self-expression.