Back Modifications (1)
Views 109 Unique 46 Award Shortlist   

Empty Bowl

By mikek1795
Please critique.
Editing on a laptop and moving the lid slightly changes the whole image.
Just wanting to know if i have got it all wrong?
I like anything real life and unstaged, warts and all. The wife arranged the bowl previously.
The bowl was empty the next day (grand kids) hence the title.
Getting to know my new Nikon, first DSLR .
All the best.

Tags: General 12

Get 50% off Adobe CC Photography plan with any X-Rite ColorChecker Photo product!

Comments


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

iancrowson Plus
10 215 168 United Kingdom
14 Jan 2020 9:16AM
Very realistic and congratulations on having grand children who eat fruit!.
On my screen the colours look just right, focus good and accurate bearing in mind the smallish depth of field in focus at f4.5. Certainly the nearer ends of the bananas are very sharply in focus
The photo being of a simple plain greyish bowl on a greyish background is not really exciting in its self.
If you like still life I suggest you google still life images, paintings and photos to get some more artistic ideas.
My view: good photographically, not so good artistically.
regards
Ian
Arvorphoto Plus
9 108 4 United Kingdom
14 Jan 2020 10:10AM
I would go along with Ian. Colours look right, focus is good but as Ian says, it's the grey background that lets it down.

This a random image, I just found
https://www.ephotozine.com/photo/quartet-58729597/match/1/tag/still+life/id/58729597

Have a look through the photo gallery and filter it for 'Still life' for ideas


Regards
Daryl
dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1606 England
14 Jan 2020 10:47AM
Welcome both to Ephotozine, and to the Critique Gallery, Mike.

Technically, this has worked very well.

However, as a picture, there's scope for improvement, I think.

The main thing is that you used direct, on-camera flash, which gives harsh shadows along the edges of your subject, and a lack of modelling.

I suggest, if you want to explore further, putting your camera on a tripod, stopping htelens well down, and letting the shutter speed go where it will. Light your subject with any convenient domestic light - I've used a 12 IKEA reading light sucessfully for some subjects, including portraits and closeups of cameras. It gives quite harsh shadows, but an IKEA floor light (delightfully, for me, called Dudero) gives wonderfully soft light for full-length nudes.

In otehr words, choose your light sources after trying them out - and don't neglect soft daylight from a window! It's worth having a look at chase's portfolio, HERE - she's one of several members who excel in this area.

Please say if you want any specific help.

pamelajean Plus
14 1.3k 2117 United Kingdom
14 Jan 2020 1:03PM
Welcome to EPZ and its Critique Gallery, Mike.
This is the part of the site where you can't get votes or awards (as in the main gallery), but you can be pretty sure of focused and constructive comments on your pictures.
It helps us if you respond to critique and indicate which ideas you found helpful.
That means we can tailor advice according to your needs and abilities.
We like this to be an interactive area of the site.

Thank you for giving details of your reasons for choosing the Critique Gallery, and for including your Exif Data.

The main issue here has already been commented upon, and that is the aesthetics of your image, that ingredient which endears a viewer to your photo, and which captures and holds the attention.
So, you haven't got it all wrong, but your "unstaged" idea isn't working here because you have placed the fruit in a bowl. That almost removes any idea of composition, be that composition random or purposefully arranged. Most still life images are "staged" and yet the idea is for them NOT to look staged. But even if you dropped a load of fruit from a height, onto a table, you would need to bring the fruits together so that they fitted inside your frame. Random or not random? Staged or unstaged?

Still Life is an art form that can teach the artist a lot about composition and lighting. HERE is a short EPZ tutorial about it.

Your fruit is well photographed - the colours and focus are good.
Your chosen background (tablecloth) is of one tone and nicely blurred at the back.
By taking the fruit out of the bowl we will see the whole pieces and they can also be separated better.

Just a thought, and maybe something to think about when you're better practiced, and that is to include something, or some other things, with your fruit. It makes the still life far more interesting. Look on google for still life old masters for some inspiration. Books, candles, jugs, etc. can complement fruit nicely. And enjoy it - have fun.

Pamela.
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4096 Canada
14 Jan 2020 1:12PM
Welcome Mike.


You will enjoy the camera Im sure. since its your first DSLR, I think you are brave to use Manual mode, - the majority of shooting is done in Aperture priority mode, so do experiment.


The result is quite decent as mentioned, and the flash is what I would consider a last resort due to the harsh light.

A tripod, good light, aperture priority and long exposure times (hence the tripod) are all your friends with indoor still life photography. A bowl like this isnt needed, - you can arrange the fruit without the bowl, and use some props, taking the shot from a lower position for a better appearance.

I did upload a mod, - click the modifications button to see ot. Whats different is Ive rotated it a little to look more levele to my eyes; adjusted the white balance to be less blue (often happens with AWB), and increased the exposure overall, ad the flash can cause exposure reduction as its reflected back towards the camera.


Experiment and have fun.


Regards


Willie
dark_lord Plus
16 2.5k 639 England
14 Jan 2020 2:57PM
Welcome from me too.

Bright and colourful, and good to bring back family memories.

The technical issues are well covered above. Of course there are changes thatcan be made, as described, but if there were only one thing I'd change it'd be the lighting. As photograpy meams drawing with light it's the most important consideration. It's a long and continuous learning curve.

So, not 'all wrong' at all, but at the first stage. Framing is fine and there are no distractions in the background or around the edges ( a common problem) so that's all good.

There are few still life images that are taken 'as seen', as it's one area where the different elements are introduced one by one to guild up the scene. The trick is to make it look like it wasn't arranged. Of course, if your wife has arranged it, that's a lot of the hard work done! But don't worry about adjusting the position of any item if that looks better as you look through the viewfinder.

It's an idea to take further perhaps with fruit of similar or contrasting colours or textures, for example.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2171 United Kingdom
14 Jan 2020 4:18PM
A warm welcome from me too.

Quote:Editing on a laptop and moving the lid slightly changes the whole image.

I don't think that this point has been commented on. I had the same problem with my last but one laptop, whereas more recent machines have given much more flexibility over the angle at which they could be viewed satisfactorily. I have no technical knowledge of the construction of screen surfaces, but my experience was that for best results angle the screen so that you can see your own face reflected - that means that you are viewing directly, not at an angle.

As others have said, colour and exposure look fine, but avoid direct flash for still life! Look for an angled light source, preferably natural light coming in from the left. The result will be much subtler, with better 'moulding' for the fruit. You did well to avoid nasty blown highlights on the glass, but the result of direct flash is a tonal flatness plus that very black shadow under the bowl.

I hope we shall see more from you.
moira
14 Jan 2020 8:45PM
Thank you Moira that was my major concern. Knowing if the colours would look the same as my laptop. I have my reflection looking back at me now.
14 Jan 2020 8:51PM

Quote:Welcome from me too.

Bright and colourful, and good to bring back family memories.

The technical issues are well covered above. Of course there are changes thatcan be made, as described, but if there were only one thing I'd change it'd be the lighting. As photograpy meams drawing with light it's the most important consideration. It's a long and continuous learning curve.

So, not 'all wrong' at all, but at the first stage. Framing is fine and there are no distractions in the background or around the edges ( a common problem) so that's all good.

There are few still life images that are taken 'as seen', as it's one area where the different elements are introduced one by one to guild up the scene. The trick is to make it look like it wasn't arranged. Of course, if your wife has arranged it, that's a lot of the hard work done! But don't worry about adjusting the position of any item if that looks better as you look through the viewfinder.

It's an idea to take further perhaps with fruit of similar or contrasting colours or textures, for example.

14 Jan 2020 9:04PM
The lighting was a compromise and something i was sure would be noted.
Staged or not staged is a catch 22, I just don't like that over staged look if you know what i mean.
Thanks for your input.
14 Jan 2020 9:15PM
Thanks Ian,
Artistic is not my strong suit, will keep trying.
I am still getting to know the camera and that has been my major concern.
14 Jan 2020 9:18PM
Thanks Ian,
Artistic is not my strong suit, will keep trying.
I am still getting to know the camera and that has been my major concern.
14 Jan 2020 9:24PM
I have a bunch of critiques I need to reply to.
But they all appear together not under each critique separately.
What am i doing wrong?
mikek1795
dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1606 England
15 Jan 2020 4:36AM
Mike - you can just put them all in one comment, and preface each section with the name of the member you're replying to. You don't have to quote their comment in full - just indicate who or what point you are responding to.
iancrowson Plus
10 215 168 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2020 11:53AM
Thanks for your replying to comments, it's good to know what you are thinking
All the best, Ian
chase Plus
14 1.5k 329 England
20 Jan 2020 11:40AM
Hi Mike, and welcome.
Thank you for your feedback far, always good to know what you think.
As far as still life goes, it's always difficult to drop in the artistic bit, it does take time and effort with a little research too.
I find this image does not grab my attention.Colour is good, focus is ok but at F4.5 you have left the frontmost fruit out of focus, maybe would have looked a little better with some more of the back fruit OOF instead.
Still life is just that...still....so you have plenty of time and opportunity to arrange your subjects.
Flash....I wouldn't recommend tbh as it leaves bright spots especially on reflective surfaces, natural daylight is always good and I have been known to use a small torch or desk lamp, diffused with an old net curtail or tissue paper.
You don't need to worry about shutter speed ( must use a tripod though ) as the subject isn't going to move any time soon.
Here, I think the fruit would have been better out of the bowl and simply arranged on the pretty lace tablecloth.

A good macro lens would be a nice addition to your Nikon but, well done for experimenting and using a DSLR for the first time.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.