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10-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Looking for some honest critique
Lens: 18-55mm WR Camera: Pentax K-30 

Hey everyone, I've been shooting with my K-30 for about a month now and I would like some critique from you all.. I haven't been doing DSLR photography for very long and I would like some feedback, both positive and negative. These are what I would consider to be my best shots so far. Please be harsh if necessary

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


#6


#7


#8


#9


#10


#11



Last edited by shaX 07; 10-30-2013 at 06:19 AM.
10-29-2013, 01:05 PM   #2
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From one amateur to another - I'd say you're off to a good start! Your long shot of the city and river is sharp and well-exposed, and I also like your autumn shots as well. The weakest shot here imo is #5 - made more difficult because of the high contrast subjects. There's quite a bit of fringing at the top of the markers, but that can easily be corrected in post. I don't know what aperture you used here, but stopping down a bit more might help to keep the foreground in focus better, and also might help with the fringing. Pretty good panning technique in the first one. As I said, I'm hardly an expert so take these suggestions with a grain of salt. But I think you're doing well - keep shooting!

Last edited by paulh; 10-29-2013 at 01:30 PM. Reason: revised awkward phrasing
10-29-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
From one amateur to another - I'd say you're off to a good start! Your long shot of the city and river is sharp and well-exposed, and I also like your autumn shots as well. The weakest shot here imo is #5 - made more difficult because of the high contrast subjects. There's quite a bit of fringing at the top of the markers, but that can easily be corrected in post. I don't know what aperture you used here, but stopping down a bit more might help to keep the foreground in focus better. It also might help with the fringing as well. Pretty good panning technique in the first one. As I said, I'm hardly an expert so take these suggestions with a grain of salt. But I think you're doing well - keep shooting!

#5

1/100
f/3.5
ISO 200

And thanks, I am fairly happy with what i've done so far and certainly see plenty of room for improvement. I haven't shot much yet with my 35mm f/2.4 lens so I am planning to try that out with my next assignment for my class and I expect to get some better IQ with that lens.
10-30-2013, 06:08 AM   #4
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I'm far from being an expert in photography, but I do like to try panning shots.

#1.
I think you've got the shutter speed about spot on and the cars are nicely tracked, so that's a promising start for technique.
The image looks slightly over exposed on my screen.
Two things to consider:
The fences in the foreground are always going to be a distraction, but not much you could do about that.
The photo needs some more drama, therfore look for better vantage points such as corners or bends.

In #2 I would have got more interior of the car such as steering wheel and seat/seatbelts in, things of more interest.
To get that shot, I might have composed it from slightly begind the helmetand perhaps used the windscreen as a view out onto the track or other cars, if that was an option.
It would have given more of an impression of a race day.

#3 is good and sharp with nice colours.
Do you use a polarising filter?
It might be worth investing.
Also, play around with the metering settings.
I think your autumnal shots are good especially # 8. It can be a difficult shot with the sun breaking through the trees.

10-30-2013, 06:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mickey Quote
I'm far from being an expert in photography, but I do like to try panning shots.

#1.
I think you've got the shutter speed about spot on and the cars are nicely tracked, so that's a promising start for technique.
The image looks slightly over exposed on my screen.
Two things to consider:
The fences in the foreground are always going to be a distraction, but not much you could do about that.
The photo needs some more drama, therfore look for better vantage points such as corners or bends.

In #2 I would have got more interior of the car such as steering wheel and seat/seatbelts in, things of more interest.
To get that shot, I might have composed it from slightly begind the helmetand perhaps used the windscreen as a view out onto the track or other cars, if that was an option.
It would have given more of an impression of a race day.

#3 is good and sharp with nice colours.
Do you use a polarising filter?
It might be worth investing.
Also, play around with the metering settings.
I think your autumnal shots are good especially # 8. It can be a difficult shot with the sun breaking through the trees.
Thanks for the feedback! This is very helpful.

#1
The fences at the race track definitely annoyed me and as you mentioned, I couldn't do anything about them. I was in the pit area, standing in the highest row of the bleachers and I still couldn't get Over the fence. Since I was using the 18-55 WR lens, I couldn't get any good shots of the cars when they were on the other side of the track, because they were just too far away. if I had the 18-135mm or even something up to 70mm, I probably could have.

I have another race photo of those same 3 cars that you may like better - I added it to the original post, its #11.

I just like the shot of the 3 side by side because 1) going 3 wide on that race track is daring and doesn't usually end well for the guy on the outside and 2) They were racing for the lead! They weren't just 3 random cars in the back of the pack. Pretty cool I think.

#2
I agree and I will think of doing more things like that next season. I was actually helping to work on this car so pictures were just an "in-between doing actual work" kind of thing that day

#3
No polarizing filter, but I did have a Pro Master UV filter on during that shot (Actually I think I had it on for every shot in this thread).
10-30-2013, 07:39 AM   #6
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Hi
The exposure and focus seem to be OK. Sharpness is OK also, the softness and CA are likely due to the lens rather than technique. As for comments. #1 No. I don't think you're going to get anything good from this vantage point. The pan is a good idea to convey speed but too much clutter and distractions, the fence especially. #2 I like this one. A subject not commonly seen. Good sharpness and color. I might crop out the left side window to get the helmet off center and tighten the frame. Some pp with dodge and burn and such could make it more interesting. (I like to rework images, some people don't. Some feel it should come straight from the camera the way you shot it. I feel things can usually be improved or altered to make it more interesting.) #3 Good sharpness, DOF and color but I feel it's a record shot, nothing to grab your attention. The eye isn't drawn to anything in particular. #4 A potential image here with the right light and angle. Some things are hard to make work. A lot of disparate elements that are hard to pull together. The location has a lot of distracting background clutter that draws the viewer's attention away from the subject. Perhaps a different angle or tighter crop, not showing the whole bench but only part of it. Or perhaps on a foggy day etc. #5 This one I think has potential. I like the potential simplicity. Sky, flags, monuments and grass. The arc of the monuments is good. The backlighting is good. The sky reflecting off the surface adds interest. The lighting will often make or break an image. Perhaps trying different angles. When you see something that catches your eye, take the shot but then move around to see if there is a better way to photograph it. In this case maybe moving a bit more to the right to have the names show up better. Having said that without seeing the location you might loose the reflections on the stones or something distracting will be in the background etc. so it's easy to suggest things that may or may not work, just something to consider. I would watch the verticals and horizons. The howitzer in the background is a distraction. When taking an image it's a matter of what to leave out. Anything that isn't contributing to the mood, composition etc. is a potential distraction and might be better left out. Consider if you were painting this scene instead of photographing it, would you paint in part of the gun in the background? Simplifying an image will usually make it stronger. I did an edit to show what I mean. Maybe not your taste but to show what I'm getting at. Posted it here. Photo by shax07 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Cropped, straightened, moved flag, tweaked color and softened the background.
#6 The lighting isn't as interesting on this one. A lot of distractions in the background. #7 Shooting through the bench to frame things is creative but again I feel there is too much going on. The monuments are the subject but I find all the other elements a distraction, streetlight, jeep, buildings, path, other benches etc. I do like the light on the monuments surface. Again moving around and looking for a better shot before the light is gone. #8 Good lighting, sharpness and exposure. The backlighting is good. The streak of sunlight on the path adds interest. #9 Color and sharpness are good but for me it lacks impact. Perhaps moving to the left or right a bit to have the path at an angle or a couple waking down the path would add more interest. #10 Interesting pattern with the leaves and branches. Good exposure and sharpness. Has potential for several different treatments. Just my take on them. Keep on shooting. Regards
Greg
10-30-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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Far be it from me to tell you how to improve, but I can tell you what I'm seeing as a viewer in these images. The best advice for improvement is to keep doing it and never lose the drive to do better. Eventually things will build into your thought processes and be automatic. Things like better vantage points, and keep it straight and level, and where's that focus point, and what about the light? (It's ALL about the light) - it doesn't always need to be behind you but that's a good start. And so eventually these things will become instinctive.

I can't comment on the White Balances because the monitor I'm using to view these is uncalibrated.
#1
I photograph a lot of planes, and I know to stay clear of fences or expect rubbish results. Your result here is not rubbish, but let's say it could be better and a million times better without that fence. It's also skew, a bit overdone on the colour richness, and too contrasty.

#2
Not getting the point of this image. Everything is great except the composition and the subject, which looks like a decapitated head. Zoom out and put the helmet to the side with some context regarding the surroundings.

#3
Skew and ... not very interesting, and the colours are a bit overdone. Now I take plenty of shots that aren't interesting, so like Ansel Adams said once: "Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." The rest is just easy on your eyes and chaff to most others. You get over the hurt feelings when people drop off during your slide shows - I know.

#4
Want to see more of the bench - the whole thing and the flags. Skew image. Lighting is harsh - blown highlights. The colours here are good.

#5
Skew with blown highlights. Composition is interesting which is good. Maybe try from even lower down next time to catch more sky reflection in the granite and to give a sense of looking up at the names of those inscribed.

#6
Colours are a bit much and the sky is washed out. Needs more subject isolation/presence.

#7
With this one I want to see only the granite slabs that are standing upright. Trim off the top. Trim off the bottom right through the grass, and trim off the right between the vertical slab and the jeep. This gives more subject isolation.

#8
A nice peaceful walk-in-the-park type shot. Pretty good considering it's backlit.

#9
Not very interesting and has blown highlights.

#10
Nothing here to command my interest. Bunch of leaves-on-twigs stuff.

#11
Keep practising the panning and ditch the fences. I know sometimes you can't choose your location, but then you just have to swallow the fact that the images will have that could-have-been-better feel.

Having said that, keep shooting and you'll keep getting better and better. I found my very first ever roll of film the other day and winced!
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