I'm not sure if this falls under art or snapshots……
so I apologize if it's the latter.
I'm trying out for “ photographer” for my course’s student society, and, while I'm keeping my fingers crossed (I think I blew the interview, but, since there are only two other people applying I do have a chance), I'm hoping I can get some pointers on how to improve my pictures.
I was allowed to photograph the first years introduction camp, and while I really tried my best to take interesting pictures (trying to capture the emotions of the students and trying to pay attention to things like composition), I definitely feel there is room for improvement (apart from some obvious fuzziness >_>)... My fellow classmates are rubbish at giving good critique :/ All I get is: "Good!"
So, please let me know what you think, and especially let me know if there's anything that makes you cringe with horror
Especially because near the end of November I get to photograph a special event held at our school (some kind of robot battle thing)… So, I feel a huge responsibility to do a good job and take some great pictures of that, even if I'm a super Pro beginner
(for some reason I liked this one best…so…tear it down )
(I have a feeling this one might be too busy?)
I'm also trying to look for a photography course in my neighborhood, but so far every course that I could attend, timewise, has gotten canceled .
I won't be able to reply right awya...arms are now shot and shaking rfom typing so much (RSI..woohoo) but...I'll be back B-)
I'm not 100% sure what a student society would do, or where these pictures would be used. I'm assuming printed publications that emphasize the student body and activities by said body. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts on these:
#1: Feels like it's trying to hard to be artsy. I'd like to see a different lens/shot where you can see both the student and the lightbulb. There's no real interaction between the two main elements here. The light bulb itself is even out of focus.
#2: Getting better, but I extremely dislike how we have two faces cropped in the top corners. I have no idea what they're doing with the marbles. Is this some newfangled games the young-ins are playing?
#3: Feels like a nature-scape - is that the intention? I don't know why there's a basketball in a grassy field in the middle of nowhere, or why I should care. The crap on the bottom doesn't really add anything, and that cropped chair is horrendous. Having the pole for the basketball hoop in the dead center is very static and boring - all the action is on the right and there's a void on the left.
#4: Best one so far, but I still don't know where we are or what we're doing here.
#5: Good, but again, don't know what exactly we're doing here.
#6: Just a worse version of #5. Same flaws apply.
#7: An alright shot - assuming it followed other shots that established context.
With all of these, establishing context seems to be a recurring issue. I want to emphasize that I don't have any real experience with photography, so grain of salt. We usually just critique artwork here, so I'm not sure how many replies you'll get, or if this might get moved to a better section.
Thanks for your honest opinions!
they are a lot more useful.
I'm really not sure in what forum I should post this, because, this forum is usually used for painting/drawings etc.
But the photography forum seems more for... pro stuff...
Yes, after coming home from the camp, I noticed that I have way too many pictures where either faces or arms etc. are cropped. So that is definitely something I will watch out for next time I take pictures of people. And I'll make sure to wear my glasses to avoid as much blurriness as I can.
Being a photographer for the students society, as far as I understood it, mostly entails taking pictures of student activities for their Facebook site and eventually taking pictures for the yearbook (which nobody even knew existed haha..our student society is pretty crappy). I thought it would be a good opportunity to improve whatever skills I have.
Our school is really small (66 students total), and every year has gone through this introduction camp, so for most of the students when they see the pictures they will know what is happening. But I guess for the outsider this looks really weird.
Basically, they were taken to an Army base where they had to do teambuilding and had to go through an obstacle course, carrying these wooden poles around.
And at the campsite they would do various teambuilding activities ( like that newfangled game for the young-in's... In that picture they were building a chain reaction thing... That is also why there is a basketball net in the middle of the field).
I did want to clear out all of the crap from the basketball picture, but I thought that as a photographer I shouldn't really interfere with all of the stuff laying around, so I figured I could eventually crop the picture so that you wouldn't see that stuff. But, I do understand what you mean, also with the whole void on the other side.
The reason I took this picture was because it was taken a little after the Army training... And so after having gone through a lot of stress at the Army base, I like that this image felt a lot more relaxed. But... Perhaps it is a bit boring for people to look at.
regarding context, there are more pictures so maybe that helps... But as standalone pictures, unless I add the little caption or something, I have no idea how to create context in a single picture.
Last edited by ebi; November 3rd, 2012 at 05:07 AM.
From what I’ve read and what I’ve seen Hexokinase really gave a great break down of the individual issues with each photo.
Now take this information with a grain of salt, my degree is in animation but I have been trained in some high end cameras for film and I believe film and photography have some major similarities.
One big thing you should always keep in mind is the rule of thirds- It will make your photos much nicer to look at, kinder on the eyes.
Secondly on those action shots get some higher shots, get on a stool a table capture the action and the people. If that second shot was 3 feet higher it would be significantly better.
You are the photographer, they hired you, don’t be afraid to kick trash out of the way to get your shot, even ask people to pose, with the promise of being in something like a yearbook I am sure they would be happy too. And your bosses/supervisors will tell you if you are asking to much or interfering.
An action shot like the basketball does not read relaxed. For that you may want to get a picture of people hanging out, sitting, enjoying the day.
Think of some fun angles the difference between a medium shot like that and a low shot from the ground. The effects that has in the picture.
Focus is a big thing, it really has nothing to do with your eye sight- from the looks of it you have a camera with automatic focus, see if it has a manual focus and play with it, see what you can do by blurring objects in the foreground or background.
Learn Photoshop it will save your butt. The work you can do afterwards in photoshop to improve a picture is miraculous.
Lighting is a big thing, light is what makes your picture more and less readable, try to get as much natural light as you can it will really help the quality of your image.
Get a nicer camera, it looks like you are using a regular point and click digital camera- if you are interested in photography you should consider getting a high end camera.
Get rid of the light bulb photo it is weird, unfocused, and looks like it is filled with man jelly.
Lastly there is a forum for photographers I have never been there because I am not but that may be a community you are interested in!
Pretty good work for a beginner! Practice makes perfect make sure you just constantly take photos, the more you take of a scene in different angles the more you have to choose from when it comes to your final decision and submission!
A Cartoonist is just a lazy Animator.
Thanks for taking the time to reply and thanks for your input. Just like Hexokinase's response, I really appreciate it. Even though I know that I'm a super beginner and everything I do will suck for a while, your feedback really helps me to pinpoint what I can work on and what goals I can set for myself.
I feel horrible because I wasn't really using a point-and-shoot... I was using a DSLR ( Nikon D 5000), and I hate autofocus, but, I guess as a beginner who is still a little afraid to use the settings and, in general has not that much knowledge of photography yet.... I probably have the special ability to make even the most expensive, most high end camera look like a point-and-shoot haha.
And now feel awful for submitting that lightbulb picture to the student society. I hope they won't publish that picture. the light bulb was some sort of award that they handed out to one of the groups during the intro camp. The man jelly is actually glow-in-the-dark stuff.
Sometimes I have a hard time with focus, like with the lightbulb, even though it's a horrible picture but that aside.... I really wanted the lightbulb to come out super crisp, but I had a really hard time deciding at what point it would be in focus and at what point it would become a fuzzy mess. And I was afraid that if I took too long I'd be annoying the people around me.
But, you are right , in cases like this, I should be able to ask people to pose and do stuff like that, instead of stressing out about being fast enough to take the picture and acting as a fly on the wall. So next time, I'll make sure to interact with the people more and I won't be afraid to ask them to pose or to move aside and such.
anyway, this post is getting way too long and I'm just rehashing what you said but I really appreciate all these pointers and I will try to follow them as I practice and get ready for that big event in November. Maybe I can even bring my own portable stool so I can get up higher, even when there's nothing to stand on.
And, I guess since I won't be following any photography courses any time soon, I should just cave in and get some books.
So I will get myself at least one book on composition and maybe one or two books on editorial photography or photojournalism. And most likely one about general photography, so I can learn more about the settings/lighting.
I did see the photography section, but since I was looking for feedback specifically, I wasn't sure if that would be the appropriate section to post in. And so far the mods haven't moved my thread, so I guess they agree with my decision.
I will think about Photoshop, it has been on my to do list for a very long time, but because of my RSI it will be a little hard to use... Even writing this post is a bit painful, despite that I'm using speech recognition software (I often have to correct mistakes and such by hand).