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Old Mar 19, 2010, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default My first photo critique

I've recently taken an interest to photography and just started using a new camera that my dad brought me. Please let me know what you think of this shot and what I could've done to make it better.
To take it, I stood under a tree and put my head up and took the shot.

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Old Mar 19, 2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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I personally really like it.
I like the rays and the different colors they made [purple, green and red].
How could you have made it better?
hmm...
Maybe if the tree was higher or covered more of the sky?
Or if you somehow had the number of branches more balanced instead of having most of them on the bottom?
I don't really know, I'm not a professional photographer.
You did a great job, keep practicing.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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This is an interesting idea. Notice that you have "blown" both the highlights and the shadows. Not to much you can do about that, but I find that what detail I see in the shadows to be distracting. It's "noisy, it doesn't show enough to show the actual leaves.

In my opinion the way to improve this shot is to decrease the overall brightness of the scene, until you are left with something approaching a sillouette. Doesn't have to be all extreme dark and light - But push the post processing until most of the detailess leaves are dark. This also has the side effect of making the sky more dramatic

Something like this:



This probelm with highlights and shadows can be exploited to make an interesting picture. You might also try the same scene, but doing so when the sun isn't directly or almost directly shining right into your lens.

Dave
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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well Dave (chato) already spoke to the blown highlights and noisy shadows which really just ruined anything for me in the first shot.

i think sometimes you can exploit the flare and shooting into the sun for a certain effect, but i think this one lacks some context. usually scenes that make use of that are there to show the nice sunshine of a summer/spring day. and usually at least having enough context, for example maybe a less tight crop, etc, may be helpful.

but its an interesting idea, and trying some new things is always great. if you try something like this again, first think about "what am i trying to convey/say here" and then "what do i need to include in this photo to say it" then start shooting away.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 2:56 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for your feedback

kimo11: Thank you so much for liking it =) Your advice is great, I suppose if I tried taking it from a different angle I could've managed to cover up the sky more and it would've made it look much better. Thank you so much for your advice =)

chato: i am very new at photography so could you please explain to me what you mean by "blown the highlights and the shadows". Your tips were very helpful and the picture definitely looks better when its darker

hards80: thanks alot for the feedback, i think ill try to take a shoot of something similar again but bearing in mind these tips
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 3:06 PM   #6
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chato: i am very new at photography so could you please explain to me what you mean by "blown the highlights and the shadows". Your tips were very helpful and the picture definitely looks better when its darker
Not a problem. Only people who ask questions get anywhere.

If an area of light has detail, but your camera, or the way you use your camera, cannot capture that detail, we call this blowing the highlights. Same for shadows. For example I took a picture of this woman photographing my dog - The sky was blue - I blew the highlights because if you look at the pictures, it's white.

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Sometimes we do this deliberately, but as in the example above, I simply "blew" the highlights...

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Old Mar 19, 2010, 3:36 PM   #7
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Ah alright, thanks alot. So I guess blowing the highlights and shadows could be good in some photographs but not so good in others, right?
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 3:49 PM   #8
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Ah alright, thanks alot. So I guess blowing the highlights and shadows could be good in some photographs but not so good in others, right?
Absolutely. But the trick here is to learn how to capture as much of the shadows and highlights as we can. In other words, if a situation comes up where you decide to blow the highlights, is quite different than my example, where I didn't blow the highlights deliberately - I just screwed up...

It's much like any other form of art - We learn the rules, how to use our tools, and once we're comfortable with our knowledge - We can then use our knowledge to break these rules.

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Old Mar 19, 2010, 4:35 PM   #9
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Ah I understand now. Thanks alot for the tips, I will bear it in mind from now on.
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