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My 'portfolio'; constructive criticism requested


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#1 The Sego Sago Kid

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 01:07 AM

Hiya! So I've only recently started photographing birds (or anything for that matter), and I think I'm starting to figure out what I'm doing. I figured I might post some of my stuff that I perceive as less terrible than the rest and see what you think. Plus, I really only ever post terrible photos in the "help me identify" board, so posting better photos will make my fragile ego feel a little better.

I have a notoriously bad eye for the visual arts, so if you notice something off (focus, composition, whatever), your feedback would be most welcomed.

Click on the thumbnails for the full size photo:

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As always, thanks!

Shoot 'em all; let Photoshop sort 'em out.
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‚ÄčNever explicitly trust my IDs.  I have no clue what I'm doing.


#2 Joejr14

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:59 PM

Here's my critique 'speech'.

First off, what are you looking for out of your pictures? Do you want them critiqued at a 'pro' (or maybe it's 'wanna-be' pro level like me) level, or are you just looking for some basic suggestions?

Secondly, we need your EXIF data to be able to give you some feedback if something is 'wrong' with the picture. For example, if you have a blurry shot or something is just a hair out of focus, knowing shutter speed helps us figure out if it's camera shake or if you just missed the focus. So, what would help would be: Camera make/model, lens make/model, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and what type of metering you used (spot, evaluative/matrix), and what mode you used (manual, aperture, shutter).

I'll hold off on the bulk of the critiques until you answer those questions (I don't want to make you cry....j/k! :) ), but my starting critique would be....GET CLOSER! I know that's easier said than done, but if you can get yourself a few feet closer each time your shots will improve dramatically.

One technique I always try to use when I see a bird I'm looking to photograph from a distance....get a few shots to start off with so I have them. Pick the rig up and walk 15 feet, stop, take a few more shots. I keep doing this until either the bird takes off or I get the shots that I'm looking for.

Edit: That last line sounds bad so let me re-phrase. I don't continually harass and follow around birds looking for the 'shot', at least that's not the intent. Certainly some birds are more comfortable with people and will let you get a lot closer than others. If I can tell that a bird is not dealing well with having it's picture taken, I'll back off. But the for point of the critique, it's a good habit to get yourself into. You can rarely be 'too close' to a bird when photographing.

#3 canon eos

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 12:09 AM

Hiya! So I've only recently started photographing birds (or anything for that matter), and I think I'm starting to figure out what I'm doing. I figured I might post some of my stuff that I perceive as less terrible than the rest and see what you think. Plus, I really only ever post terrible photos in the "help me identify" board, so posting better photos will make my fragile ego feel a little better.

I have a notoriously bad eye for the visual arts, so if you notice something off (focus, composition, whatever), your feedback would be most welcomed.

Click on the thumbnails for the full size photo:


Posted Image



As always, thanks!



Actually the EXIF is intact, just right-click on any image (at least with a PC). As Joe said, it helps to critique an image, technically.
I'll use your 5th image (it says Ovenbird?) as I like the look of it.......
I see your camera is an Olympus E3, a 4yo design that is quite good. It's a 4/3 camera and at that stage (4 years ago) wasn't quite as good as comparably priced cameras with APSc sensors.
I suspect you are using a 50-200mm lens (as your EXIF shows 200mm for most/all shots). Looking at your settings I don't see anything 'wrong' as such; they are all within reasonable ranges. I'm not sure whether you shoot RAW or not?
With your crop factor of 2x your lens is equivalent to 100-400, which sounds good. But things are really at their limits, or beyond likely most of the time. So, you need to get in closer, physically, if you can!
I would also encourage (more careful) editing. Distracting elements really take away from the prime subject, the birds.

I hope this helps some.

#4 The Sego Sago Kid

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:28 PM

Hey thanks guys. I've read and digested both your posts and I appreciate the comments.

Getting closer is tough, but I think I'm learning a few tricks every time I go out.

Canon eos, you have correctly identified my equipment. Good to know I have no jacked up any of the settings! The manual hurt my head reading it.

Oh, and you didn't sound like a jerk Joer, so don't worry about it, haha

Shoot 'em all; let Photoshop sort 'em out.
"Yeahhh, let's party!" - A true scholar

 

‚ÄčNever explicitly trust my IDs.  I have no clue what I'm doing.





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