September 01, 2014, 10:24:29 PM

Author Topic: So I really stepped into it....  (Read 1794 times)

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
So I really stepped into it....
« on: May 06, 2014, 10:21:16 AM »
So I'm a member/participant on Facebook of my local photography club.  A woman who is a novice asks what can she do to improve here photos of her daughter who is a comparative weight lifter.  The woman said she has a Canon t3.

So I proceed to give an honest critique.  Focus looks off here, try using a tripod and live view focus, the guys in the background are distracting, try either slimmer depth of field or move so they aren't as visible, have something in the foreground that is characteristic of the sport and blue it out, maybe do a long exposure with second curtain flash so there is movement...

There was a portrait where the subject was on the left side of the image looking left and I said to frame it differently so the open space of the photo is in the direction she's looking....

And boy oh boy did I start something.

This is what I heard... I can't copy and paste on my phone, but the gist was be positive.  I was positive.  I was positive that I have good advice.

Then I heard... put some examples... So I did of a basketball shot where the ref was blurry in the foreground, and a softball shot where the catcher was blurry in the foreground... And the response I receive is that it was too distracting.  Ok sure... busy foreground aren't someone's cup of tea... but it is a widely used technique.

Then I put up some toy model to explain the concepts about depth of field, live view focus, etc. And the gist of that response is it was an embarrassment to photography. 

They aren't just throwing the baby out with the bath water, they are putting the baby in a blender so it goes down the sink easily.  Oh my.

So I came here to rant... because while I don't care about the group, just like here, seeing different images do inspire.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 10:28:34 AM by jdramirez »
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

canon rumors FORUM

So I really stepped into it....
« on: May 06, 2014, 10:21:16 AM »

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2760
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 10:24:50 AM »
Facebook
Isn't one of the main concepts of Facebook to make people less anonymous so they don't attack each other ???
EOS 1D X, 5DIII, M + EF 24 f/1.4II, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2II, 300 f/2.8 IS II || 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8II || TS-E 17 f/4, 24 f/3.5II || M 22 f/2, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS || 1.4x III, 2x III

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2014, 10:27:30 AM »
Facebook
Isn't one of the main concepts of Facebook to make people less anonymous so they don't attack each other ???
Is it?  I thought it was too see who from high school got fat.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 10:30:20 AM »
I'll put up the photos that are an embarrassment to photography when I get home...
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2760
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 10:36:13 AM »
I'll put up the photos that are an embarrassment to photography when I get home...
Look forward to seeing those!
EOS 1D X, 5DIII, M + EF 24 f/1.4II, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2II, 300 f/2.8 IS II || 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8II || TS-E 17 f/4, 24 f/3.5II || M 22 f/2, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS || 1.4x III, 2x III

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8480
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 11:24:24 AM »
Its just a fact of life, people may like the images the way they take them, and many like / want the entire depth to be in sharp focus.  They can also be sensitive to criticism, even though they asked for it.
 
Its ok, if they like them, isn't that what counts?

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2014, 11:29:03 AM »
Its just a fact of life, people may like the images the way they take them, and many like / want the entire depth to be in sharp focus.  They can also be sensitive to criticism, even though they asked for it.
 
Its ok, if they like them, isn't that what counts?

The original lady hasn't publicly said a peep.  And I don't care if she uses my suggestions or not.  But I wasn't attacking her, I was actually doing as asked... which is... how would I make the resulting images better.  And I didn't say she needs to get a 5d mkii, a 300 mm L f2.8, studio lighting, etc. 

I think people are way too sensitive.  I'm a softball coach and practically every other game someone is crying.  Hey... do it right and you won't get yelled at.  Well... instructed. 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 05:02:25 PM by jdramirez »
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

canon rumors FORUM

Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2014, 11:29:03 AM »

dcm

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 214
  • 6D, M
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014, 12:04:56 PM »
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Walk into an art museum - some things will catch your eye, others won't (but will catch other people's eye).  My wife and I gravitate towards different sections.

I never assume I have the same definition of beauty as someone else.  My daughter and I will take decidedly different photos of the same subject - mine are more technical, hers more artistic.  I am an engineer, she is an artist.  If she asks my advice I have to focus on what she is trying to achieve, not how I would do it for my style.

When I act as a consultant in business I find it often works to understand things from their perspective first.  When asked such an open question my standard response is usually "It depends."  In a situation like this I would ask a few questions before offering advice.   What they were trying to achieve?  What do they like and dislike about their photos? What do they wish they could change. That gives me a better basis for answering their question in their terms and help them improve what they are already doing.  Sometimes I find it better to provide the advice as questions to soften the tone.  Have you considered using depth of field to better isolate your subject from the background? 

The other big issue, particularly with beginners, is TMI.  As an engineer I can easily jump into the details.  This works fine with a peer, but not so well with a person at a different skill level.   It's usually best for me to offer one or two things to try out first to help them progress from where they are.  More than that and they are often overwhelmed.  If they like my first comments, they will come back for more advice later.

Responding in a forum is a whole other matter since there are many different definitions of beauty, photography styles, and skill levels.  Some may be fine with the advice and find it helpful.  Others not so much.  It really comes down to knowing the audience really well and addressing everyone, not just the OP.  This is something we all struggle with, even in this forum.   ;)
6Ds, M, zooms and primes

AcutancePhotography

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014, 12:12:43 PM »
Don't really see a reason to rant.  Don't worry too much about what other people do and you will be happier in life. So she did not take your advice.  It was advice not a command. Don't dwell on it.  So other people in the club don't agree with your advice.  Don't sweat it.

"So I did of a basketball shot where the ref was blurry in the foreground, and a softball shot where the catcher was blurry in the foreground" 

Blurry objects in the foreground is a common technique.  I am not sure how common blurry people in the foreground are.  I think that many people would find that distracting.  Especially people more interested in the "documenting the event" type of photograph as opposed to the artistic composition type.  It can be done and done well.  It can also be a distraction that pulls the eye from the subject.

I try to avoid putting blurry people or words in the foreground as I find them distracting.  Other objects can be blurred in the foreground for a nice effect.

But in any case, getting back to your experiences with this photography club people, remember the two rules in life

1.  Don't sweat the petty stuff
2.  Don't pet the sweaty stuff.  :)
I shoot with a Camera Obscura with an optical device attached that refracts and transmits light

Menace

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1355
  • New Zealand
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 04:36:26 PM »
I'll put up the photos that are an embarrassment to photography when I get home...
Look forward to seeing those!

Lets see those images! 
1Dx | 5D III
85 1.2L II | 100 2.8 | 400 2.8L IS II 
24-70 2.8L II | 70-200 2.8L IS II

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 04:54:11 PM »
I'm home.  I get to upload before I am coerced into yard work. 

Here's what I said about this image:

I like clean backgrounds... and while isn't always possible, if you can account for the foreground/background in the set up for your shot, it will make a difference.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 04:55:17 PM »
Here's the 2nd.

Same shot... but with a water bottle and directv remote in the background. As I'm shooting at a shallow depth of field, the bottle and remote become blobs of color and aren't as noticeable and distracting from the main subject. I'd prefer they not be there... but if given the opportunity, I don't really wanna see them even if they are there. As many of us know, depth of field is based on a few factors... distance from your subject, aperture, focal length, and crop v. full. Shooting wide and cropping will result in a greater depth of field than zooming to 250 or 300 (which are common ef-s zooms) and filling the frame. Though, as a quick counterpoint to shooting at the tele side with those lenses... they are variable aperture which gets smaller the further you zoom... which increases the depth of field and counteracts the focal length
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 04:57:36 PM »
and finally...

The image is following the rule of thirds, focus is on the eye (though I think I missed and it is on the eye brow), using live view, using manual focus, using a tripod, using a wide open aperture... I didn't use a flash mostly because Shipwreck wasn't moving so 2nd shutter wouldn't have done didly... nor high speed sync... though i kinda want to do a silhouette... Maybe tomorrow... maybe tomorrow.

And here is the comment about being an embarrassment to all things photography.

Well, here's my response Joe. These action figure images are an embarrassment and if I were you wouldn't hold them up as an example of anything even remotely related to good photography. This page represents the local (sic) Camera Club and I think we can do better than this.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

canon rumors FORUM

Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 04:57:36 PM »

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2014, 05:00:31 PM »
I thought I was being informative... helping a newb in the ways of depth of field and proper focus techniques using her gear... little did I know that I was belittling the sanctity of the world of photography.  If I only had known...
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 05:04:41 PM »
1.  Don't sweat the petty stuff
2.  Don't pet the sweaty stuff.  :)

I like the line, though I've seen a multitude of gals at the gym...
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

canon rumors FORUM

Re: So I really stepped into it....
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 05:04:41 PM »