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Pebbles

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Just some pebbles

I would LOVE critique, or any tips you have for me.

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D90 Check out Nikon Nation!
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:17 Apr 2014 - 12:01 PM
Focal Length:35mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.4
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/125sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:250
Exposure Mode:Not Defined
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Auto, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Pebbles
Username:ameturephotographer ameturephotographer
Uploaded:23 Aug 2014 - 7:58 AM
Tags:Close-up / macro, General, Wildlife / nature
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7431 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1015 Constructive Critique Points
23 Aug 2014 - 9:07 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Elise, welcome to ePHOTOzine and to the Critique Gallery, I see that you have just joined! I hope you will enjoy it here, it's a good community and you will find there are a lot of opportunities to learn. Explore the site, there are articles on technique but more importantly there is some great work to study, and a lot of very nice people who will pass on tips!

This is right up my street, a sort of natural abstract - real tactile objects, but the composition and the effect of the image depend on curves, shapes, not context. The light and colours are gorgeous, the exposure is spot on.

The site isn't picking up all your camera settings here. I'd like to know - did you decide on F5.6 or did the camera set to this for you? It's not a bad choice. The lower the F number, the larger the aperture, the shallower the depth of field. So you have some pebbles sharp, well defined, and then the background pebbles gently become softer.

I particularly like the way you have angled this, creating a pattern of rising diagonals. That's upbeat, dynamic, positive. But very subtly so.

But something to bear in mind when you get up close to a subject and use a low F number - the objects in front of the spot where you focus will drop out of focus much faster than those behind. You have half the depth of field in front compared with behind. So those two pebbles at the front suddenly become very soft. And because the one bottom left is large that presents a bit of a barrier to the eye. To see what I mean, try holding a finger up immediately in front of your nose and then try to look at the view beyond. The finger becomes a blurry annoyance. That's what you risk here.

Secondly you thought well for your crop, but I would go for a true square. This is not-quite-square which looks a bit flabby, undisciplined.

Both the above points can be sorted with a crop. I'll upload a square crop Modification in a few minutes, it will appear under the Modifications button below your upload, click on the thumbnail to view. I'll also get rid of that tiny brown stalk, which breaks the clean lines.

By the way I very much enjoy this sort of work, I know that there are people who will want something more - a starfish, a length of seaweed, a child's abandoned spade. That would create a different, more approachable image. It can be fun to do.
Moira

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 23 Aug 2014 - 9:13 AM

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom851 Constructive Critique Points
23 Aug 2014 - 12:01 PM

You need a focal point. Simply that. Which of those pebbles is the subject? You need something in there, suitably situated, to give a focal point.

Paul

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8768 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1596 Constructive Critique Points
24 Aug 2014 - 3:14 PM

Welcome to the Critique Gallery, Elise.

My kind of subject, too. I like all the different shapes, sizes, colours and textures.
Stones are especially attractive when wet, they come to life.
You have very nicely filled your frame with them, using a shallow depth of field.

When using such a shallow depth of field, try to choose just one or two of the most attractive stones to have within that focused area. Don't just get down and shoot, consider the important bit, that bit which the viewer's eye is going to first be drawn to. It may be the brightest, the most colourful or just the one you find most attractive.
I like the red ones on the left.
It's a little disappointing that there is a broken stone within your focused field.

If you just want to fill your frame with stones and have them all in focus, then you need to use a smaller aperture, which means a larger f-number, and greater depth of field. These stones would have provided you with an ideal subject to test out different apertures and to get your head around the difference they create.

Pamela.

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