Critique a beginner
/forum/topic/1063103/0



lowcel
Registered: May 27, 2009
Total Posts: 56
Country: United States

Any advice appreciated.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13162
Country: United States

Suh-Weeeet ride !!! Drool (from my youth).

My first thought is to ask, "What's your point?" that you are trying to convey.

I ask that because of the crop through so many of the bike's components, I'm not sure what it is that you want me to specifically look at. The right handlebar tries to grab my eye, but the scaffolding behind it competes with it. My eye then tries to find something else to land and it goes back to the frame areas, then the name, then the seat, brakes, chain, gear set, tires, hub, water bottle, etc. ... never really figuring out where you want me to be.

In that regard, Im' not sure why you cropped the bike the way you did. I'd suggest that you either show the bike as a whole ... or crop/compose differently to focus our attention a bit more strongly where you want to direct us. That, and maybe have a "less busy" background.

On a different note ... I can't even imagine what it must be like to ride such a piece of workmanship and technology. My sweetest ride was a French Motobecane back in the 70's, but I knew what to drool over. To that end, I see the dichotomy between the new composite materials and the old wooden barn.



lowcel
Registered: May 27, 2009
Total Posts: 56
Country: United States

Thank you, I just wish I knew the answer to one of your questions. I have had my camera for a couple of years but I very rarely have time to play with it. I need to make more time to learn what I am doing and what I am trying to do.

I also appreciate the compliments on the bike. I absolutely love it and ride it as often as possible. It is worth every penny I invested in it (and that was quite a few pennies).

Here is a shot of the complete bike.



Kaden K.
Registered: Mar 14, 2008
Total Posts: 3367
Country: United States

Basic pointers:

1. Don't worry about the camera. Instead, decided what you want to have an image say and follow that vision irrespective if you succeed or fail at first. It is never about the camera. It is always about the photographer's vision. Example - a friend who teaches photography just had her class make pinhole cameras out of pumpkins for halloween and posted the results.

2. Shoot, shoot, shoot and eventually move on to learn other things like printing and/or other alternative methods of photography. Being stuck with "I can't stop pressing the camera shutter blues" is generally a bad thing. If you must be stuck and obsessed having that obsession targeted to a great final product is always the best way to go.

3. Don't worry about technique. Too much self evaluation or external critique can/will stiffle creativity.

Hope this helps.



lowcel
Registered: May 27, 2009
Total Posts: 56
Country: United States

Kaden K. wrote:
Basic pointers:

1. Don't worry about the camera. Instead, decided what you want to have an image say and follow that vision irrespective if you succeed or fail at first. It is never about the camera. It is always about the photographer's vision. Example - a friend who teaches photography just had her class make pinhole cameras out of pumpkins for halloween and posted the results.

2. Shoot, shoot, shoot and eventually move on to learn other things like printing and/or other alternative methods of photography. Being stuck with "I can't stop pressing the camera shutter blues" is generally a bad thing. If you must be stuck and obsessed having that obsession targeted to a great final product is always the best way to go.

3. Don't worry about technique. Too much self evaluation or external critique can/will stiffle creativity.

Hope this helps.


Thank you very much for the thoughtful reply, I appreciate it.



cgardner
Registered: Nov 18, 2002
Total Posts: 9376
Country: United States

Good contrast with a background will define the overall shape of an object with your second shot is doing. The first has a very distracting counter productive background...







I find the illusion of overall 3D shape of many rounded objects in 2D photos is created when they are key lit from behind at about 135 from the camera axis...

















Note how the front side is mostly in shadow. Consider the phases of the moon and what makes it look like a flat disk what make you see it as a sphere. So generally speaking shape is reveal better if you shoot into the shadows vs. with the sun over your shoulders. But to control the tone of the shadow in front you need a fill source which appears as shadowless as possible. Shadows from the fill will be rendered as dark unfilled areas in the photo.

Often just the light from behind and fill from the front is sufficient to create the 3D illusion, but for additional modeling add a key light above and to the side of the object so the light hits from vertical and sideways 45 angles if you want natural modeling. Natural light comes from overhead angle of 45 at about 10 an 2 o'clock creating this pattern ...





Note the position of the highlights on top and to the side. The catchlights mirror the angle of the light. When they move lower the lighting will not look as natural because natural light comes from overhead. The other primary clue to shade are the size and angle of the shadows cast on the lower parts by the downward light.

Faces are somewhat if a unique lighting problem because of the recessed eyes and nose but are instructive in understanding how highlights and shadows model shape. The 45/45 key light position models a face in a way that causes half the nose to be seen in shadow, which is how the brain figures out what it's true 3D shape is






The lighting here is flat with little in the way of 3D rendering. Walk around the bike 360 snapping photos and observe how it affects the illusion of 3D in them.



lowcel
Registered: May 27, 2009
Total Posts: 56
Country: United States

WOW, what an awesome reply cgardner. I have read it a couple of times already but it is going to take a few more reads and a lot of playing with the camera and lighting before I can completely grasp it.

Thank you very, very much for taking the time to post such a detailed reply.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13162
Country: United States

You gotta love Italian design ... sleek & strong.

Take a 360 around your bike and think what it is about your bike that really calls out to you. What is your favorite feature or attribute that really strikes a chord with you. Then, try & think about different ways that you can showcase / accentuate that feature, characteristic or attribute so that others will think about it like you do. I like to play with different angles and using foreshortening by getting closer.

There's always a zillion different ways to do things ... but the one thing that I try (sometimes I forget too) to keep in mind, is what is it that I'm trying to convey to the viewer .... i.e. "What's my point" that I want my viewer to see. Accentuate those things in that direction, while minimizing things that detract from it.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with to 'showcase' your sweet ride. Like Kaden was alluding to ... embrace & enjoy.



dmacmillan
Registered: Nov 03, 2007
Total Posts: 4789
Country: United States

RustyBug wrote:

Take a 360 around your bike and think what it is about your bike that really calls out to you. What is your favorite feature or attribute that really strikes a chord with you. Then, try & think about different ways that you can showcase / accentuate that feature, characteristic or attribute so that others will think about it like you do. I like to play with different angles and using foreshortening by getting closer.


Good advice here.

This is also a good time to train your eye to see the background. I've found from my years of teaching that it's common for beginners to concentrate on the subject so much that they don't pay attention to the background. In your original photo, how does the background relate to the bike? Did you see it when you photographed it?

In photographing a bike, you can place it in its element so that the background plays a part in the photo. The use of a small aperture and/or a relatively wide angle lens will help keep it relatively sharp. An alternate but equally valid approach would be to separate the bike from the background by shooting with a large aperture and a long (telephoto) lens. In this instance, if you want the entire bike in the photo, then you'd need to use a pretty long lens, such as 200mm or longer and a pretty large aperture, f4 or even f 2.8.



cgardner
Registered: Nov 18, 2002
Total Posts: 9376
Country: United States

Good advice is often repeated too ...