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help needed to improve photos.

studioline 11 72 4 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 7:36PM
I have been trying to work on improving my photographs. Wondering if I am missing something. I do use ephotozine as a judgement on my images and I know the voting system is flawed etc but nonetheless it is not heavily flawed and does provide valuable feedback. Anyway my thoughts.

To improve the images and no doubt the number of votes , you could do a number of things.

1. Improve lighting.
2. Dramatic background.
3. Great model.
4. Themed shot.
5. Emotion
6. Crop
7. Good props

So I am working on the lighting aspect but thought I would throw in the other bits too into my last image and then I think..hmmm maybe I am missing something as this has only managed to get 11 votes. If you look back at my older photos, they seemed to have got up to 4 times this number. Surely I could not have got worse? Lol.

Any thoughts please.
miptog 16 3.6k 65 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 7:43PM
Agree, the first step is to understand light, how to use and control it to get the resullt that you want. Related to this is pre-visualisation, the ability to visualise the shot that you want.

A great model can make a major difference too.
studioline 11 72 4 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 7:45PM
Well working on the lighting has certainly helped. I will say that. Given the images more drama and focus.
Jestertheclown 13 8.5k 253 England
16 Oct 2011 7:52PM
A quick glance at your Pf. tells me that whilst not every one of your shots is a masterpiece, there's some really good work in there.
Having read your post, it's fairly plain that you're agonising over the quality of your work using the voting system as a yardstick.
You've said yourself that the system is flawed, heavily, in some peoples' opinions, so don't use it.
Try uploading a few shots to the critique gallery where you'll receive honest, worthwhile appraisal of your work.
You've called this thread "help need to improve photos." The critique gallery is the place to look for it. And forget about votes.

studioline 11 72 4 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 8:10PM
Agonising yes but also enjoying the challenge of improving. It's fun and painful at the same time. Thanks for that very good advice though.
Johnnyboy101 10 20
16 Oct 2011 8:11PM
Hi all.
I agree completely with jester, forget the voting system. The best way to get lots of votes is to post some dodgy looking model in cheesy looking 80,s topless poses.
Sometimes it just amazes me. A lot of your pt is just class.
End of rant.
studioline 11 72 4 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 8:32PM
Lol. Johnny . I thnk you may be very right in saying that.
studioline 11 72 4 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2011 8:32AM
But the voting is soooo exciting too. Life sucks. I think I am enjoying the journey so much that I never want it to stop. Thanks for all the advice guys.

I will try a combination of critique and voting.

Thanks a million
Graflex 18 488 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2011 8:59AM
Johnnyboy is right-to get votes get some girl looking like death warmed up smoking a weed picture up against an old tin bath thrown in an alley-a 100 votes straight away.

Would your pictures get past an editor on a top magazine is something to aim for....what I have seen is,with your ladies try NOT photographing them in the coal hole,bring them into the light,give them lighter backgrounds and come in closer.
Look at the Hollywood style of the 1930s beauties.Try picturing at an angle.Use rim lighting.

What I see you are on the right track-in fact,the problem is,you just need someone to tell you that.Well I have...

17 Oct 2011 9:09AM
You need something that will make you stand out from the crowd these days too, take a look at Uppercut's portfolio, for lighting look at John Tisbury and Carsten (focused-photography), Brightonian to name but a few, Truex's work also. There are lots of people on here with inspirational work and most will give you advice.

Theres are also some really good articles on lighting and portraits in the techniques section heres a start
TRUEX 14 218 10
17 Oct 2011 9:32AM
For what it's worth, I think your doing fine.

This site is where you will find all my work from the start 4 years ago, the good, bad, and ugly.

What turned my work around was doing some training days with a professional photographer whose work I admired, and also learning how to process the shots in photoshop. I keep banging on about this, and while it may seem expensive at the time, in my opinion shooting with a pro is a good way to learn.

It's a hobby for me, my reward is my albums of prints first, then my website and been on here (in short
User_Removed 11 4.6k 1 Scotland
17 Oct 2011 9:39AM
I like a lot of your pics.

But previous contributors are right when they tell you to totally ignore the voting system. You say:

Quote:I know the voting system is flawed etc but nonetheless it is not heavily flawed and does provide valuable feedback

No - it is fundamentally flawed and, as far as I can see is run by "click cliques" - people for whom the pre-adolescent "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" has transformed into a barely-adolescent "I'll vote for yours if you vote for mine".

Going back to your list of issues to be addressed, I like that approach. Work through it methodically and you will improve at every stage (not that I think you have much to worry about at present).

Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
17 Oct 2011 9:53AM
I was just thinking as I reached the latest Truex photo in the gallery this morning how you've come on since joining (wasn't sure how long ago)
It's well worth a look at your portfolio, which I thank you for leaving in tact Smile
The early photos were all very competent studio lit shots using standard studio lighting sets, and then, if I remember rightly you went for outdoor flash and the quality was a bit hit and miss as you got to grips with the more tricky balancing of smaller units in trickier outdoor sets, and then you grasp that and started to produce more complex and well balanced work. Now every shot seems to have that carefully considered lighting, comfortable pose and balanced background placement.
studioline 11 72 4 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2011 9:59AM
Well inspired by everyone's words I put up a new image. Normally this would show the young ladies entire back and all her arms in a 6 by 9 but I decided to read a book on composition and hehe I cropped in tight. I showed you the detail I Thought was important. The rest you can imagine. I will read some more and hopefully improve.

Such good advice on here.

I am also working on the photoshopping heavily in the belief again that less is more. My new style of photography is now my current style. Dark heavily photoshopped images conceal so many errors and also make for errors too.
User_Removed 11 4.6k 1 Scotland
17 Oct 2011 11:04AM
Purely as an aside - in that photo you describe it as "Carlton Hill". As a matter of interest, is it Calton Hill? (The one with the mock-Grecian "folly" up from Waterloo Place)

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