April 18, 2015, 09:27:58 PM

Author Topic: Would love some feed back  (Read 1498 times)

fcc56

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Re: Would love some feed back
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2015, 01:02:00 PM »
I think the straightening is necessary here given the extremely sharp lines that are in the background -- the empty bleachers.  If they were full of people and faces, it might be less distracting.  But I still think you want to present a generally level shot.  These are basically photojournalism, documenting reality as it happens.

On the other hand, if you were trying to present a particular close-up as an "action portrait" like triggermike's first tennis shot, I think you could take a little more artistic freedom.

The cropping, as always, depends on the intended usage.  I don't see a lot of empty space or extraneous clutter at the edges.

I agree about the straightening. It's one thing if you're going for a deliberate effect (such as you often see with auto-racing photos), but in this case it looks pretty clear that the tilt is unintentional—and if you're going to tilt intentionally, the viewer needs to be able to recognize that it is deliberate, otherwise it just looks like a mistake (even if it's not).

Level images can be a challenge in any circumstance, and in sports photography with moving subjects it can be especially difficult. My own sense of level when looking through a viewfinder went off years ago—I bought the grid focusing screen for my EOS 3 to combat it. I also have a spirit level that fits in the hot shoe, but unfortunately the hot shoe on that camera is not level with the body so the level wasn't very helpful. I recently got a 70D and the level indicator in the viewfinder is a huge help.   :D

For cropping I personally prefer the examples from Northstar; for me they have more immediacy and impact. But as noted, the intended use can be a determining factor. Years ago I was shooting college ice hockey for fun, and when players' parents started asking for prints the photos in which they could recognize their daughters were the most popular.

I found a monopod to be indispensable for sports shooting. It provides good stability without being a hindrance the way a tripod would be.

The flat lighting doesn't do your photos any favors, but color and saturation can look pretty flat with raw images in any case. At quick and dirty way to get punchier images is to open the raws in DPP and apply one of the pre-set picture styles (similar to the in-camera styles for JPEGs). Canon's styles are pretty aggressive as far as producing bright and saturated images so you might find them a useful starting point.

[I registered just so I could write this!   :P  ]
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 01:07:26 PM by fcc56 »

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Re: Would love some feed back
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2015, 01:02:00 PM »

mailmanc03

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Re: Would love some feed back
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2015, 09:09:54 PM »
First let me say thank you to everyone who commented and i truly appreciate your comments and i see the huge difference in the photos i will keep working and working on editing skills. So thanks everyon

fcc56

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Re: Would love some feed back
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2015, 01:20:04 AM »
First let me say thank you to everyone who commented and i truly appreciate your comments and i see the huge difference in the photos i will keep working and working on editing skills. So thanks everyon

In the "old days" you just bought transparency or neg film with the characteristics you wanted for the subject at hand and had it processed by a quality shop (Kodak mailers for Kodachrome, for example) and that was all there was to it. If you wanted enlargements you took your slides (or negs) to a lab and had them made, or you could futz around with Cibachrome making high-contrast prints from your slides. If you were really serious or did B&W you might have a darkroom set up in the corner of your basement, but for most folks most of the time all the post-shoot work was done for us.

With digital you now need to do it all yourself if you want to have anything to look at or to show to others, and it's not that easy or simple to learn—it's as if you had to process all the prints from your negs yourself in your basement darkroom. Sure you can load your files into DPP, apply a style and some sharpening, and have something you can post online or send to friends by email (or just take RAW + JPEG), but that will only take you so far—if you care about your work you probably won't be satisfied with this for long.

I find digital a real challenge after years of working with film. I got my first DSLR in 2008 (or '09?) and still have a difficult time regarding my digital photos as more than snapshots. Maybe it's because digital images straight from the camera seem to lack any identifiable character compared to film (where you chose your film to suit the subject), or maybe because that first DSLR was a Rebel XSi (450D), which is less camera than I ever would have bought for film and so never seemed to be a serious tool (although I am not a pro), but with the exception of one particular event I can probably count on two hands (with fingers left over) the number of digital photos I've taken that I feel are worthy of public display of any kind.

This is not intended to be discouraging but rather the opposite (keep plugging away!). Quite aside from camera technique, getting good results from digital is a lot of work and requires quite a bit of knowledge and practice. It's not like anyone is going to sit down at a computer and start pumping out first-rate edits of their digital files just like that. I've been dabbling with digital images for about fifteen years and I'm still not very good at it. I can get a decent image out of Photoshop but I'm certain I could do a lot better if I knew more about how to use it.   :P

At root photography is a craft like any other, that you can develop and improve over time. We can improve our eye (how we see the possibilities of our surroundings or our subject), our technique (mastering the camera), and our "post-production" (editing). If you keep working at it, a time comes when it all kind of falls into place—working the camera becomes second nature (you don't need to stop and think about what you're doing), your eye is seeing photographically, and you're getting the kind of results you saw in your mind's eye.

And then you need to figure out where to go from there. I reached a point where I was getting postcard- or calendar-quality images, but from there I wanted something more—images that could be hung on a wall and stand on their own, without context or caption. I haven't gotten there and I'm not sure I know how to. It doesn't help that I've been living in a place that doesn't interest or inspire me photographically in any way, but it could well be that I've reached the limit of my talent—at the place where craft becomes art, I can't cross over. But that's okay, it's still fun. Now if I could only become more adept with Photoshop. . . .     ;D
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 01:24:45 AM by fcc56 »

Roo

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Re: Would love some feed back
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2015, 03:36:24 AM »
I do prefer the way Northstar has cropped the images but a lot of the time it depends on the story you are trying to present. In this case, there is nothing to see in the empty bleachers so they should be avoided in the shots.  Sometimes you're better off going up in the bleachers and shooting down so that the field is your background - like triggermike's tennis shots.   

Unless you are deliberately going for an angled shot, then they should be straightened.  Even then it can backfire.  I deliberately angled a skiing shot of a friend once as there was no dynamic when it was level but it was immediately picked out by a skiing instructor friend as the angulation in her legs didn't really match the angle I'd placed her on  ;D
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Re: Would love some feed back
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2015, 03:36:24 AM »