PHOTOGRAPHY CRITIQUE & ADVICE

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[FORMAL CRITIQUE] LITTLE IN COLOUR

BYRON BYRON 12085 posts

F I R S T – I M P R E S S I O N S:

  1. Out of focus.
  2. Busy background.

E Q U I P M E N T

Brand / Manufacturer: Kodak Easyshare.

Model: V1003

Specifications:

  1. Sensor: 10 Megapixels CCD
  2. Lens 3x Optical Zoom / 4x Digital Zoom f2.8-4.9
  3. Exposure Settings: Program, Automatic
  4. ISO: 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 400, 200, 1600
  5. Metering Characteristics: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
  6. LCD Screen Size: 2.5 inch

S E T T I N G S

Aperture / F-Stop: not advised

Shutter Speed: not advised

ISO/ASA: not advised

Focal Length: not advised


T E C H N I C A L

Exposure: Generally good. Nice deep blacks, whites are well exposed with no over-exposed or burnt-out areas. Plenty of detail in all areas.

Overall the image is quite dark [which helps with colour saturations] but it could be brightend a bit in post production. Dark images are fine, but you need to be aware of the effect on the viewer. Dark=gloomy/moody, Bright=bold/happy/excited.

Lighting: From the left, and quite soft. Nice effect especially on the other elements of the image.

Colour Saturations: Good saturations, colours are vivid.

Focus / Depth of Field: Focus is off. The prominent part of the flower is blurred and out of focus. Petals behind this are in focus but they are too small to have any meaningful impact.

DOF is good, the background is nicely out of focus and suitably dark, which helps to maintain interest in the flower itself.

Sharpness: Some areas are badly out of focus and as a result the elements that should contain sharp detail and texture are poorly represented.

Score (out of 10 points): 4


Look at this image by LISA KENNY

LISA has used a very simple design that concentrates on subject detail, contrastiing colours, excellent lighting and colour saturation, and has even used a completely complimentary colour in the background to off-set the colours of the flowers.


I N T E R E S T

Aesthetics / General appearance: StarBellyDesign, it is a shame about the issues with Focus/DOF, because the other elements are quite pleasant. The colours are attractive, and the darker background [while a bit busy] works well to maintain interest in subject.

Compositional issues with the flower itself are not helping either. We can see the broadside of the petal, and pretty-much nothing else. The most interesting part of a flower are the Stamen & Pistils. With this composition we really don’t have anything else to look at except a large blurry petal.

Emotional Content: Very little emotional content due to issues with Focus and composition.

Storytelling ability / Creative communication of a concept or idea: It’s a blurry flower.

Originality: Not at all. Nothing unique or creative is being displayed here.

Score (out of 10 points): 4


Look at this image by LJMAXX

LJMAXX has filled the frame with flowers and got in really close providing the viewer with lots of colour, detail, and multiple Points of Interest. The background has been almost completely removed. What does remain of the background is identifiable but does not detract from the main subject or struggle for the viewer’s attention.


C O M P O S I T I O N

Framing / Cropping: The Framing and Cropping suit your subject StarBellyDesign, but it is not overly orginal.

Simplicity of Design: The simplicity is enhanced by the central position of the subject.

Points of Interest: n/a – the flower is the only real POI, and it is all that is really neccessary in this style of photography.

Rule of Thirds: n/a

Lines & Diagonals: n/a

Balance / Use of Negative Space: Enough background/Negative Space is included to balance the subject without overpowering it.

Score (out of 10 points): 5


Look at this image by JANINE HEWLETT

Janine has kept the composition very simple and clean, there are three Point of Interest [Petals, Stamen, Frog] and the background has been reduced to a mottled green and black blur. The viewer’s attention is kept firmly on the Frog, and DOF has been used to help maintain interest in the central part of the image around the two primary Points of Interest.


G E N E R A L

StarBellyDesign, your photo had the potential to be quite a good image of a flower, but the major issues with focus and composition [of the flower itself] are really distracting. Only being able to see the large blurred petal does not give the viewer anything else to look at, so long term interest is not really created for the viewer.

When assessing your subject, break down the elements and ask yourself these questions:

“What aspects do I need to include/exclude make this an interesting image?”, and

“How do I best communicate to my potential viewers what I feel about this subject?”

There is detail in the back of the petal, but being out of focus – we can’t really appreciate that. Maybe try getting in a lot closer [if possible] so that the petal fills the whole frame.

The background is a little bit busy [but nicely out of focus], but you should also be aware of your backgrounds, keep them clean and simple and only include what needs to be there.

As a rule, try to have three things for your viewer to look at: the petals, the stamen, and a simple background.

Total Score (out of 30 points): 13

lucin lucin 39 posts

I learned a bunch having these critiques together! Your advisories are marvelous direction. Thank you!

Jess Mo Jess Mo 61 posts

Thank you so much, Byron! I take a lot (and I mean ALOT) of flower pics, but I really needed some direction to make the shots better, and you’ve given me that :0) One reason I like this forum so much is the feedback from others allows me to detach myself from the pictures I take and see things in them I hadn’t noticed before, which gives me a starting point for improvement.

I understand too about the focus on the petals. Once I get my viewfinder fixed that won’t be an issue, but as it is now the camera focuses where I have it pointed and that is pretty much a guess. This was one of the first macro shots I took with my kodak and was a complete experiment.

BYRON BYRON 12085 posts

If you were doing a macro shot [its not quite macro] make sure you use a tripod, and you may need to use a tape measure to make sure you aren’t inside the minimum focal distance.

The specs for your camera state that the macro focal distance is between 5 – 70 cm [2.0 – 27.6 in].

At 5cm, you really arent shooting Macro, and certainly wont be at 70cm.

Characteristics of Macro include a DOF that can be as short as a couple of milimetres, and the lens almost touching the subject…

Looking at your image, I don’t think you were 5cm from the flower. You can focus without your viewfinder, since your camera is an auto-focus system, even in Macro Mode. I don’t know how much it will cost to fix your camera, but I would also consider an entry level DSLR. They come with twin lenses for less than $700 nowadays and are a great way to get into SLR technology.

One great advantage of using DSLRs for macro work, is that you don’t need to use an expensive macro lens, you can use Extension Tubes which give you near-as-dammit-to-macro photography for less than $100AUS

These tubes go between any lens and your camera body. They can be used individually, or joined together. If you use a 300mm zoom lens with them you can get some scary amazing images, and the distortion from a wideangle lens can be stunning.

While we’re here, it is a good idea to understand the definition[s] of MACRO…

This from Wikipedia [the font of all information…]:

“Traditional Macro” means the image projected on the “film plane” (i.e., film or a digital sensor) is close to the same size as the subject.

Many 35mm macro lenses are 1:1, meaning the image on the film is the same size as the object being photographed.

Most 35mm format macro lenses achieve at least 1:2, that is to say, the image on the film is 1/2 the size of the object being photographed.

In recent years, the term macro has been used in marketing material to mean being able to focus on a subject close enough so that when a regular 6×4 inch (15×10 cm) print is made, the image is life-size or larger.

With 35mm film this requires a magnification ratio of only approximately 1:4, which demands less of lens quality than 1:1

With digital cameras the actual image size is rarely stated, so that the magnification ratio is largely irrelevant; cameras instead advertise their closest focusing distance.

Sooo there are various definitions for Macro ranging from a ratio of 1:1 to 1:4, but to any photographer worth their salt, Macro, has been and always will be a ratio of 1:1 between the subject and the image recorded on the film plane. The rest is just “Close-up”.

DragonFlyer DragonFlyer 2263 posts

Ooooh Byron – how on earth did you get into my house to take such a great shot of my extension tubes??? They are waaay good!

@ would you believe silly me hadn’t even thought of putting them between my camera and my really cool wide-angle glass – thanks for the tip (I don’t have a zoom lens though – unless you count the stock lens that came with the camera – and I don’t count that any more…. Waiting and wishing for $1750 to drop from the sky into my lap to buy me a decent longer lens still…)

Peggy Berger Peggy Berger 802 posts

Every time I see one of these Byron full critiques I learn something … thanks!! great!!

Nikidun Nikidun 91 posts

Just to add, about the extension tubes.

from www.thkphoto.com regarding Kenko extension tubes (and most extension tubes in general.)

Please Note;

1. When using extension tubes the lens will not focus to infinity. The focus range will be greatly limited to a very close focusing distance.
2. There is light fall off when using any extension tube, sometimes the equivalent of 3 f-stops of light is lost when using multiple extension tubes together. This light lost can affect the camera’s ability to auto focus. Manual focusing is recommended should the lens begin to “hunt” (not lock onto the subject).
3. Nikon “D” information is not transmitted because the lens is focusing closer than its programmed to focus.

but

4. Kenko DG Auto Extension Tubes are auto focus compatible with Nikon AF lenses including Nikon AF-S (silent Wave) lenses. (yay!)

I only mention it because there are things you have to be aware of with extension tubes, as great as they are and however much they’re on the top of my Christmas wishlist! LOL (even above jewelery this year!)

I love seeing reviews and critiques like this, to really understand things and improve my own photography.

BYRON BYRON 12085 posts

Just to add, about the extension tubes.

well, yes… excellent info Nicole. Thanx.