February 7th, 2008, 02:42 PM #81
Heh. Your priorities are set perfectly.
Originally Posted by PuckMonkey
1) Get the shot of the peacock.
2) Get child away from annoyed peacock.
Nice shot, too!
Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Bullets are cheap. Life is priceless.
February 7th, 2008, 03:09 PM #82
February 7th, 2008, 03:41 PM #83
I need to try harder.
February 7th, 2008, 03:42 PM #84
Originally Posted by ValleyFan
This is the one that does it for me. Having the signs in the upper left corner gives me a frame of reference for those buildings, instead of them just being misc background jumble. I like the solitary yellow traffic sign standing alone in the river of light. It's somehow symbolic of LA life now.
February 8th, 2008, 10:53 AM #85
PuckMonkey, the Peacock is NIICE. It almost doesn't look real. Great shot.
And it seems many of the suggestions are working, as the results are excellent. ValleyFan, I'll try and fiddle according to yours soon...... as well as put up a new image or two. Just gotta get through this f'n workweek.
Keep up the good work, boys and girl!
February 8th, 2008, 12:36 PM #86
February 8th, 2008, 01:32 PM #87
February 9th, 2008, 12:10 AM #88
Excellent suggestion, I'll try it and post it on my original post.
Originally Posted by ValleyFan
February 9th, 2008, 02:35 AM #89
February 10th, 2008, 06:37 AM #90
Okay. I'm back from work. I hat four-day trips with a passion! So here I am finally getting around to commenting.
Again, thanks to everyone who's participated in these two Challenges!
This post will be a round of comments on the new images I've seen posted since my last commentary. Again, picture critiquing is highly subjective, so don't take these as anything more than my opinions of the images. I am by no means a professional, and my **** is by no means flawless. Above all, remember that I'm learning just as much from your images by critiquing them as I am from you guys critiquing mine.
"Digging For Dinosaurs" is a great image, conceptually and compositionally. But I find myself looking for a places where the subjects are in focus, and I'm finding only a very few. The 1-inch or so band in the middle of the photograph where objects are most in-focus only encompasses the very tip of the brush and bottom end of the film canister. IMO, had you shot a bit wider, placed the focal plan a bit higher up on the objects (to bring the entire yellow film canister into focus, since that is what the eye is drawn toward in the image) or maybe deepened it with a tighter aperture, and cropped to get your desired composition, the viewer would be able to find in-focus subjects much easier. My opinion, is all.
The peacock image is visually stunning, primarily for the vibrant blues and greens. The circles of the "eyes" also fit well into the Challenge. Patience cleary paid off in this case.
I like the red-brick photo for its simplicity. The cut-off bricks at the edge of the photograph add squares to your red.
The dog pic, however, seems a bit "snapshotish" to me. The primary problem with this is that the dog appears to be motion-blurred and the focused area is impossible to find. When taking images like that, the eyes are where you want to be perfectly in-focus.
"Tack Attack" is a great idea. My two favorites are the ones with the black backgrounds. All of them could use some lighting, either via an off-camera flash or a light-stand. I think I'm seeing a bit of camera-shake in there, too. But that may just be my bleary eyes this early in the morning.
The Japanese matchbox images have SO MUCH POTENTIAL, but (and not to sound like a total dick here...just an opinion I'm stating) these images fall drastically short of that potential in terms of composition. The match-heads are red, right? Include them as a bigger subject! Find some different angles! It may be a relatively tiny object, but there's SO MUCH to explore with it! Also, the first picture's crop-angle is off just enough to make a person think "snapshot" instead of "photograph."
The traffic signal shot needs a background and better lighting.
Get the camera on a tripod with some off-camera flash (or other lighting) to shoot the masks and there'd be some major improvement. Also, maybe angle the masks in the image or play around another way with the composition.
You've obviously done some touching up on some of the images based upon other's critiques (which I would have mentioned as well), so I'll critique the "finished" images.
"Red Kitchen Bowl" is nicely composed and I like the color a lot, but I'm not finding anything in the image that's in focus. Even the water droplet seems blurred, though I'd have figured 1/1250th would have been a fast enough shutter speed to freeze it. I might feel differently about that if I were looking at the as-shot image instead of the shrunken-down version. Also, the first thing that catches my eye in the image is the bright-white reflections in the top right corner. It's difficult to keep my eye from wandering back to that part of the image. While it obviously gives depth to the image, it's brightness is a bit distracting to me.
"8 Second Stoplight" appeals to me. It's very HDR-like. Technically, it's obviously well-planned. Composition is appealing as well...I like the angle from which it's shot.
"5 South" also appeals to me, especially in its final form. It looks to me that you're square enough with the yellow sign that you may have been able to get it to reflect a properly-aimed pop from your flash to illuminate it. That might have saved you some Photoshop work. The brighter that yellow sign is (so long as it doesn't overpower the white headlight streaks) the more that image is "made."
Interesting images of the mixing board! I'm glad I'm not the only switch-flipper/knob-twiddler in here! Mine do different things, of course, but they're equally confusing to the layman. In the first shot, I imagine that less venetian blind in the shot might make for an even more interesting image. I also catch myself wondering "WTF?" about the thing in the top-right corner. Cropping it a bit differently would add appeal, as far as I'm concerned. OR, get tighter and use a more wide-open f-stop to play with the depth-of-field a bit!
The two red circles on the paper (I think it's paper, anyway) would be an interesting image if the one of the circles were in focus. It appears to me that the focal plane falls smack-dab between the two circles, drawing my eye to a plain piece of paper as the subject of the image.
"Twilight Tracer #1" is cooool. Lots of circles! Get the flash off the camera to avoid that wicked shine-mark on the ball and you've got a good image here. "Twilight Tracer #2" is too centered. Rule-of-thirds is your friend. Also, with a dark image like that it might have been better to place the ball on a surface that reflects the ball better. I'm not thinking 'mirror' here, I'm thinking more like a granite countertop or something with a smooth, somewhat reflective surface.
"36/36 Club" is an interesting image. Go with a longer lens and stand further away and you might get a better result in terms of composition, though. Also, it looks to me like your camera metered it's exposure on the center of the image, which would have been the side of the building. Meter on the brightest part of the neon (which in that image are a tad blown-out) and you will get rid of a LOT of the background clutter (like the street sign and the building's side) in darkness. That, in my opinion, would make for an image that focuses attention more on the signage that you're trying to capture, rather than the ugly building the signs are bolted onto.
Your second image is an almost-perfect example of what I was trying to say about the first.
I like the lighting in the image of the artist. Good capture! The only thing is that maybe you could crop it down from the top a tad. I get this "yeah okay, already!" feeling when I look at the top of the image. There are plenty of his pictures in the rest of the image that you could crop down a little and give the viewer a little less to wander around the frame about.
Tsk tsk tsk...the Doodah pictures were taken before this Challenge started!! They do fit, though.
And clowns are evil.
Again, you've already done some work with the suggested improvements other people have given you, which were pretty much identical what I would have said, so I'll hit the finished images.
The first rainbow capture (the one with the cityscape) is definitely improved by more creative cropping to get rid of the visually unappealing parts of the image. Only improvement left to make would be to go back and shoot that one off a tripod, but I know that's impossible. On the larger version of the image, there is definitely some camera shake visibile. I can't tell what the exposure settings were, but I'd suggest using a faster shutter speed at that focal length to help alleviate that problem. Also, since your subject is static, good breathing and a slow shutter-release squeeze might have helped as well. The second rainbow pic doesn't do much for me. I don't think the rainbow was quite vibrant enough to make itself the subject of that image. The mountains and bland sky sort of take over the shot.
The stubby lighthouse edited for rule-of-thirds is a good shot. I like the colors and the brightness of the white in the image. It really draws the eye to the subject. Again, looking at the larger version of the image reveals a tiny bit of blurriness due to camera-shake. But that's almost invisible on the smaller image, so I'd have to say, "Well done!" with the hand-hold.
The colors in the sunset shot are stunning. The problem I have with the final version of this image is that there's not enough contrast between the dark of the water and the shadow of the boat to make the boat pop out of the image as the subject. Because of that, my eye has a tendency to focus on the brightest spot in the image. I'm not sure how far away from the boat you were or what focal length you used for this image. I definitely am not certain exactly what could be done to make the boat pop out a little bit. Perhaps a matrix-metering instead of a single-point metered on the sun? Perhaps a fresnell-lens flash extender to help light the boat just a hint? Perhaps taking the photograph just a tad earlier (15 minutes or so) so that the sun isn't quite as low to the horizon? I don't know for sure, but pulling that boat out, contrast-wise, would make that a really really interesting shot.
Thanks for getting into this! That little Powershot takes some pretty descent photos!
The first image of the Chinese lamps could use a little bit more contrast and perhaps a slight bump in vibrance to get the sky to pop a bit more blue. A bit of straightening to get the white columns of the railing to be vertical is a must, in my opinion. A crop would be advisable too (though a slightly steeper angle to the subject for the shot in the first place might have been even better), to get the big outdoor light out of the bottom left hand corner of the image. Perhaps a portrait-oriented crop right out of the center of the image might make it really nice? Of course, straightening and cropping are unnecessary things if you keep an eye on them when framing the shot. If you get in the habit of taking a look all around the frame before you squeeze the shutter release to make sure you like everything that you capture, post-processing time goes way down.
The second image has an appealing perspective. It, too, could benefit from a slight increase in contrast and a tidbit of a bump on the vibrance slider in Photoshop.
The third image suffers from what the first image suffered from in terms of crop and straigtness. Again, more contrast would take the "haze" out. Get closer to your subjects! Explore different angles! For some reason, I want to see what these lamps would look like from underneath or close-in with the camera at a shallow angle.
The fourth image is kind of the "wtf" image of the group. I don't think you're close enough to the subject for the viewer to understand exactly what it is they're looking at (aside from blobs of color). Also, floating heads in the bottom of the image make it look sort of hastily-shot. In addition, the white railing is slightly off-horizontal, which gives the whole image a feel of "leaning" to one side. Had you gone portrait orientation with the camera and gotten a slightly higher vantage point from which to capture the image, it would have served you better, I think.
Aside from all that, I think that place is WONDERFULLY colorful! Is it always decked out like that, or was that for a special occasion? Can any average joe-schmoe go in there and photograph? If so, I may need to visit there.
Last edited by FBJ; February 10th, 2008 at 08:41 AM.
Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Bullets are cheap. Life is priceless.