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CuriousGreen

By JustJack2004
One from my portfolio, any critique is welcome! tried to encapture the plant almost leaning in towards the camera, feel like i did alright but always plenty of space for improvement, especially as a beginner!

Tags: Nature Green Flowers and plants

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mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2053 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2019 8:59AM
Hello again. I have to go out soon, but I'll post the thoughts that came to my mind as soon as I opened this.

First of all the nearest leaf to us, so the first thing the viewer looks at, is badly damaged. So the 'story' becomes about that damage, rather than the plant as a whole. Better to find a twig with complete leaves, to give a sense of the whole.

Secondly, where did you focus? That damaged leaf needs to be sharp, and it's not. If you look carefully, the background leaf on the left is in better focus. So the question that I asked on your previous critique upload remains - when you take the photo, do you see a single focus point or a pattern of a number of points? You need a single point (particularly for close work!), and you need to use it carefully.

Something else to bear in mind with a subject like this, you only get half the 'depth of field' in front of where you focus compared with the depth behind. That expression refers to the distance within which things will be reasonably in focus. So the more your subject is at an angle to the camera, the less of it will be in focus.

You used program again, I hope that we'll see you taking some control of settings. The camera used F5.6 here. Find a subject like this, try using aperture priority, select that aperture, focus carefully on a subject, and then see what happens to the rest of the frame. Then try the same with other apertures. That's how you'll learn about what the camera can do for you.
Moira

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12 Feb 2019 11:05AM
Hello Jack-

Moira's covered lots of important stuff, but I'd like to add a few thoughts on the subject of composition.

Your main subject here is positioned very close to the bottom of the frame. In my experience, with this kind of subject, it can be difficult to make that work, and placing your subject either central ( in the vertical plane ) or more towards the upper half of the frame usually gives the picture a more satisfying visual balance. In the case of this particular image, recomposing in that way would also have excluded much of the sky that's showing through the background foliage, and which some might find distracting. Allowing more space around the subject would also give you room to play around with various ways of cropping.

I like how you've positioned your subject off-centre, which usually ( though not always! ) works better than putting it slap bang in the middle. But the line/vector formed by the twig is pointing out of the frame, and it might have looked better if you'd positioned things so that it was pointing into the frame. Then, if you could have placed your subject more towards the right-hand side, it would have given a further refinement to the composition... as we in the West tend to read visual images from left to right, it's often helpful, especially if your picture is in "landscape" orientation, to have something, though not necessarily your main subject, positioned well to the right, as that provides a visual 'stop,' a kind of bookend in a way, something to stop the eye falling off the end, if you understand what I mean. It closes the image.

Bear in mind that none of these ideas are "Rules" written in stone. Like the famous "Rule of Thirds," they're tried and tested ways of approaching the art of composition that, more often than not, simply work. But it's always worth trying to extend your options by looking for other ideas to consider.

Alan
JustJack2004 Junior Member
12 Feb 2019 11:46AM

Quote:I like how you've positioned your subject off-centre, which usually ( though not always! ) works better than putting it slap bang in the middle. But the line/vector formed by the twig is pointing out of the frame, and it might have looked better if you'd positioned things so that it was pointing into the frame. Then, if you could have placed your subject more towards the right-hand side, it would have given a further refinement to the composition...

Ill be sure to take that into consideration next time, each time i take pictures now i think ill try numerous framing positions until i can naturally imagine which would fit the most, so advice like this is super helpful!
JustJack2004 Junior Member
12 Feb 2019 11:53AM

Quote:First of all the nearest leaf to us, so the first thing the viewer looks at, is badly damaged. So the 'story' becomes about that damage, rather than the plant as a whole. Better to find a twig with complete leaves, to give a sense of the whole.

this bothered me to,but i thought it may have been the best comprmosie as at this location it was the only branch that wasnt either completely destroyed or inaccessible.

Quote:Secondly, where did you focus? That damaged leaf needs to be sharp, and it's not. If you look carefully, the background leaf on the left is in better focus. So the question that I asked on your previous critique upload remains - when you take the photo, do you see a single focus point or a pattern of a number of points? You need a single point (particularly for close work!), and you need to use it carefully.

I actually didnt notice that, ill have to be more careful in the future. this was still not long after i got the camera, so i hadnt had time to put your previous advice into practice but ill be sure to check this next time im able! thanks for pointing it out as now ill be more wary of this in the future and ensure i put more time into the focus.also ill be sure to take that note on depth of field into consideration, Thanks!
banehawi Plus
14 2.0k 4002 Canada
12 Feb 2019 1:16PM
HERES A USEFUL LINK

You can enter focal lengths, apertures, distance to subject and get a good idea of thats in focus and whats not.

Might have provided it before, but now its homework!
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2053 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2019 1:40PM
Thanks for getting back to us, the Critique Gallery works best when we get a conversation going.

You're getting a lot of information, I know it's difficult to digest it all at once. I would suggest that you look at the advice, try to follow it for a new picture, and then upload it for us to see. At this stage, that is probably more useful than uploading pictures that you took when you first got the camera.

By the way, photography trains the eye. You will find that you become more alert to details and problems in an image!

Moira
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2053 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2019 2:01PM
One further thought. Composition, placement, framing - it's a very big subject. I'm not sure that it can be taught but it can be learned.

Really it's about getting viewers interested, making them want to look into the picture, explore it, think about it. I don't believe that there is any virtue in taking a technically perfect picture that nobody will be interested in.

There are different ways to do this. Diagonal lines are effective. Off-centre placement can work because it allows space, it says 'Come on in'. A good idea is to spend time looking at pictures in the main gallery, decide which ones work best for you, then try to work out why...
dudler Plus
15 855 1483 England
12 Feb 2019 5:31PM
Two additional points to add to what's above.

First, raising the ISO setting will allow you to shoot in dimmer light, and also to take more control of shutter speed and aperture: here, stopping the lens down (higher number, say f/11) would allow more of hte plant in focus, while keeping hte shutter speed high enough to avoid shake.

Second, it's possible that the camera focussed on the closest thing it could, the leaves behind the damaged one. Choosing which AF point or points the camera uses matters for closeups, and the various settings that the menus allows are worth exploring (I'll leave it to a Canon user to tell you what is avialable - I simply don't know the options or the terminology!)
dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 574 England
12 Feb 2019 9:41PM
Just a thought about focus points.

You would (should!) have had a copy of Canon's Digital Photo Professional when you got your camera. Or possibly a link to download it, which you can do anyway if you have the camera's serial number.
It's free and very capable.

There's no need to talk about all its abilities now, there's a lot to understand, but it should allow you to view the active focus points on any image taken which you can use as a learning tool and as a reminder.
So for example when you have an image with a blurred subject in ront of a sharp background if the active focus point (could be automatically selected by the camera or selected by yourself) shows on the background you'll know why. Often it's more subtle than that, but that's the general idea.
paulbroad Plus
11 127 1282 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2019 8:53AM
Al of the above is correct and the depth of field is not enough to give separation and impact. I fear the basic problem, as an image, is that the leaves are damaged and nothing very spectacular. Other than to someone interested in certain types of foliage, there is nothing in the content or treatment that makes the image stand out.

Paul
JustJack2004 Junior Member
13 Feb 2019 10:06AM

Quote:You're getting a lot of information, I know it's difficult to digest it all at once. I would suggest that you look at the advice, try to follow it for a new picture, and then upload it for us to see. At this stage, that is probably more useful than uploading pictures that you took when you first got the camera.

Will do, might take a bit as i dont always have access to the camera but im looking forward to taking all the advice into effect.

Quote:Al of the above is correct and the depth of field is not enough to give separation and impact. I fear the basic problem, as an image, is that the leaves are damaged and nothing very spectacular. Other than to someone interested in certain types of foliage, there is nothing in the content or treatment that makes the image stand out.

As so far my options of photo subjects have been fairly limited ive yet to expermient with more spectactular looking subjects for photos, but ill be sure that from now on i take note of all the factors influenced by the subjct matter itself, rather than the picture as well.

Quote:You would (should!) have had a copy of Canon's Digital Photo Professional when you got your camera.

Oh yes i forgot about that! i planned on looking through it but got excited and completely forgot to keep going through it, whoops... ill look through it next time i have it.
JustJack2004 Junior Member
13 Feb 2019 10:10AM

Quote:You can enter focal lengths, apertures, distance to subject and get a good idea of thats in focus and whats not.
Might have provided it before, but now its homework!


Ill look into it! at least this homework is a bit more interesting.

Quote:Second, it's possible that the camera focussed on the closest thing it could, the leaves behind the damaged one. Choosing which AF point or points the camera uses matters for closeups, and the various settings that the menus allows are worth exploring (I'll leave it to a Canon user to tell you what is avialable - I simply don't know the options or the terminology!)

Seems like this is one of the main points for me to focus on, ill put in some research as soon as i can!

Quote:There are different ways to do this. Diagonal lines are effective. Off-centre placement can work because it allows space, it says 'Come on in'. A good idea is to spend time looking at pictures in the main gallery, decide which ones work best for you, then try to work out why...

Ive tried making sure not to place the subject matter directly centred most of the time, ill try working with angles and lines through the image now too. ill get right to looking at some of the other photos too, best to take direct inspiration for improvement.
dudler Plus
15 855 1483 England
13 Feb 2019 6:03PM
There's nothign wrong with shooting imperfect subjects, especially for early practice!

That way, when you find the perfect example, you'll know precisely what to do and how to do it.

Read some theory every day, if yo ucan fit it in, and then take pictures to test it.

Teenagers with new cameras are always exciting to talk to - it takes me back to when I was 14 and 15, just learning and taking my own first steps. And every picture, every camera, every control was exciting - when someone iwth your enthusiasm arrives here, it takes me right back, and makes it all exciting again for me. (WELL - it's all still exciting, actually. MORE exciting. EVEN more exciting...)
JustJack2004 Junior Member
14 Feb 2019 8:52AM

Quote:Read some theory every day, if yo ucan fit it in, and then take pictures to test it.

First time ive actually liked theory homework.
and happy to know my enthusiam takes you back, one day i hope ill be in your position too and keep this hobby, turning it into something more if able to and helping others as you all are helping me Grin
dudler Plus
15 855 1483 England
14 Feb 2019 9:04AM
Thank you, Jack!

I was very science-minded when i was at school, so the Ilford Manual of Photography and physics lessons weren't far apart. I won't suggest looking ofr the 1968 edition that I still have, but a similarly-comprehensive technical book or two may be worth having. There's a load of good material on the interwebs, as wel las some utter dross: but I would particularly commend Michael Freeman's books. He writes in depth, and from enormous practical knowledge, so one or two titles might be good for a birthday list some time.

And, if you ever visit National Trust properties, have a look in the secondhand bookshop that most of them have. My great inspiration was John Hedgecoe's 1976 publication, The Book of Photography. It was the first textbook to have copious illustration, and Hedgecoe's pictures weren't so splendid that you look at them and think 'I could never do THAT!' - they always made me thing that - on the right day, on my day, I could, perhaps. It's out of date now, as it's 25 years pre-digital, but may be worth 2-50 if you see a copy.

And... Thank you.

Smile

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