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Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


New images from today's shoot on the top row of my port.  Please inbox me with suggestions on how I can improve.  Thank you.
Jan 28 13 07:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,004
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


Jackson frontier photos wrote:
New images from today's shoot on the top row of my port.  Please inbox me with suggestions on how I can improve.  Thank you.

You need to work on your composition. The top row especially. familiarise yourself with the 'rule of thirds', but more importantly stop amputating the model's limbs.

Jan 29 13 07:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lee_Photography
Posts: 8,286
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130128/17/510723dc6730b_m.jpg
Of the photos I find this to be good starting point
Areas to think about:
Accessories think some turquoise earrings would work well
Due to pose and camera angle model has no apparent neck
Too much space for me at top of photo, suggest a tighter crop
Lint on models blue dress chest area
Fill the bottom of frame, move models left arm out to side more [toward right photo border]
Eyes are ok, but might want to give them a bit of sharpening in Photoshop
Jan 29 13 08:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Drew Smith Photography wrote:
You need to work on your composition. The top row especially. familiarise yourself with the 'rule of thirds', but more importantly stop amputating the model's limbs.

I was told I needed to get in closer and fill the frame with the model.  Any close up portrait amputates something and often limbs, you have several in your port.  So is it not more of a question as to how and specifically where to amputate limbs?  The face or eye of the subject is directly on the intersecting points in all the photos in my top row, so not sure why you added that.

Jan 29 13 02:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Lee_Photography wrote:
Of the photos I find this to be good starting point
Areas to think about:
Accessories think some turquoise earrings would work well
Due to pose and camera angle model has no apparent neck
Too much space for me at top of photo, suggest a tighter crop
Lint on models blue dress chest area
Fill the bottom of frame, move models left arm out to side more [toward right photo border]
Eyes are ok, but might want to give them a bit of sharpening in Photoshop

Please don't add thumbs here.  I'm going to try a tighter crop, thank you, and I'll take out the lent.  Too late to move the arm but will keep in mind for other shots.  Thank you.

Jan 29 13 02:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,004
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


Jackson frontier photos wrote:

I was told I needed to get in closer and fill the frame with the model.  Any close up portrait amputates something and often limbs, you have several in your port.  So is it not more of a question as to how and specifically where to amputate limbs?  The face or eye of the subject is directly on the intersecting points in all the photos in my top row, so not sure why you added that.

Okaaay. smile

Plonking an eye on an intersecting line doesn't make it good composition. Cropping close doesn't necessarily mean you amputate hands toes etc. There are places that work best if you are going to crop limbs.

However, I see little point in responding further, you seem to already have a handle on what you want to hear.

Jan 30 13 09:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Drew Smith Photography wrote:
Okaaay. smile

Plonking an eye on an intersecting line doesn't make it good composition. Cropping close doesn't necessarily mean you amputate hands toes etc. There are places that work best if you are going to crop limbs.

However, I see little point in responding further, you seem to already have a handle on what you want to hear.

I came here to get constructive criticism and your point about being more aware of limbs when framing the subject is valid and I will definitely pay more attention to it this weekend.  Thank you.  Respectfully, though, you've changed part of your argument.  One of your criticisms was specifically about the rule of thirds, that is the criticism I thought was not valid.  When I pointed out that my top row all utilized the rule of thirds, you broaden your criticism to composition in general in apparent realization that the specific criticism was incorrect.  So, I appreciate it but I'll take what is useful and leave the rest.

Jan 30 13 04:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jean Renard Photography
Posts: 1,985
Los Angeles, California, US


actually you'd be wrong in ignoring Drew's critique and only taking a part of it away.  He's right.

The rule of third applies artistically to your intended subject, as Drew said, merely putting an eye on a geometric formula does not make a great shot.

Next you mention that he crops hard, great, do his shots suffer from his cropping?  If not, his argument is even more valid.  When you ask any of us for a critique, we tend to go with what we respond to most or find lacking, that is also a clue as to what we look for in our own work.  (I never take the rule of thirds into account consciously but when I see it at work properly it is very cool)

You should at least learn from folks like him who obviously have it down cold.  It is is about integrity in overall execution.
Jan 30 13 07:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Jean Renard Photography wrote:
The rule of third applies artistically to your intended subject, as Drew said, merely putting an eye on a geometric formula does not make a great shot.

Using the rule of thirds may not make a great shot but it does utilize the rule of thirds, which was his criticism.  It not being a great shot isn't helpful, obviously I want to know what I can do better. Saying I didn't do what I clearly did isn't helpful.  Now could I have done it better? And how, that I'm interested in.

Jan 31 13 09:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jean Renard Photography
Posts: 1,985
Los Angeles, California, US


you applied the rule of thirds to a photo, not to your subject.  Your subject was merely in a photo and not the star of the photo.  In the bridge shot for example the lines take you away from her, the bridge wins not the subject.  There is an order in which you apply certain rules, if at all. You never apply a rule before knowing what you want to shoot and more importantly why you are shooting it..
Jan 31 13 10:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Jean Renard Photography wrote:
you applied the rule of thirds to a photo, not to your subject.  Your subject was merely in a photo and not the star of the photo.  In the bridge shot for example the lines take you away from her, the bridge wins not the subject.  There is an order in which you apply certain rules, if at all. You never apply a rule before knowing what you want to shoot and more importantly why you are shooting it..

Thanks that helps.  As an after thought I found the lines to be too bright of a color.  At first, I thought they drew attention to her but you're the second person with that criticism. Do you think it's the lines or their bright color? If so i might try it in black and white.  And if its the lines themseleves, what makes a line draw attention verses away from the subject?  Thanks again.

Jan 31 13 10:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Deleted, duplication.
Jan 31 13 10:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Deleted.
Jan 31 13 10:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Also, what shot in the top row is the best?  Thanks.
Jan 31 13 10:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Daeda1us
Posts: 1,067
Little Rock, Arkansas, US


You asked about when the lines draw your eye toward or away from.
The answer is surprisingly simple.
The human mind wants to follow lines to their resolution, so it tends to drift in the direction of line convergence.
In the bridge scene, with the vertical blue/green lines, the long lines of the bridge converge on the extreme left of the picture.

This is very handy if there is something in the distance you want to draw the eye to, but you dont want it so large as to jump out of the picture immediately.

On the first pic, I played with the crop a bit, and think it looks better with a much tighter crop, losing all the space above the head and then some.
2nd pic, my preference, would be placing the model further to the left of the frame, in keeping with the rule of 3rds.  I would also be strongly tempted to get lower and shoot with a smaller aperture, making the box car in the background slightly soft, but keeping more detail in the tracks leading to it.  That would create more visual interest in the background, but the soft focus would prevent it becoming a primary interest point.
3rd pic, I think would work better in either of two ways:  Get CLOSER, making it basicly a portrait with very little background or (the way I think I would prefer) getting further back, allowing the model to fill the bottom third and letting the tracks trail to the top right corner.  Proof is in the pudding and that treatment might totally suck, but I think I would try it that way, were it me.

This is a response for a request for critique.  I am not being intentionally mean.  Just trying to help.  Feel free to ignore anything you think wont work for you.

As always, this is my two cents, YMMV

Daeda1us

Edit:
In response to the question, which do you like best of the top row?
I prefer the one with the boxcar in the background.
IMO, that was close to being an excellent photo!
Jan 31 13 10:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Daeda1us, that was the most helpful critique I've ever read, thank you very much!
Jan 31 13 11:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


Hummm, if the direction of the line convergence is the factor to consider... then just about all railroad shots need to be scrapped.  Tracks converge in the backdrop, taking the eyes away not toward the subject...
Jan 31 13 11:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Daeda1us
Posts: 1,067
Little Rock, Arkansas, US


Jackson frontier photos wrote:
Hummm, if the direction of the line convergence is the factor to consider... then just about all railroad shots need to be scrapped.  Tracks converge in the backdrop, taking the eyes away not toward the subject...

It depends on how you do it.
As the lines converge away, if the scene becomes less interesting, ESPECIALLY if they converge to a point on the photo, then it can still work.

Something else you might consider... making the convergence work FOR you.
In the bridge scene we discussed earlier, you could place the model on the far left, so the lines of the bridge converge to her, emphasising her position as the prominent element of the photograph.

Just my thoughts,

Daeda1us

Jan 31 13 02:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jackson frontier photos
Posts: 531
Joplin, Missouri, US


You're the second photographer to suggest that, I'm shooting at a bridge Sunday and will do that very thing. Thanks again.
Feb 01 13 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
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