Back Modifications (2)
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By JustJack2004
One of the first photos i took on my first camera, no editing, critique would be nice but not necessary as just me excited taking photos with my new camera! Grin

Tags: Nature General


dudler Plus
16 973 1536 England
10 Feb 2019 11:43AM
Welcome to both Ephotozine and hte Critique Gallery, Jack.

Critique follows - and please get back to us if anyone posts soemthing that you don't understand. I'm assuming from what you've written that you're a complete novice, and that you therefore don't understand most of hte jargon that comes naturally to us here...

I'm also assuming that you are 15, or just possibly 16 from your choice of user name and enthusiasm! Please forgive me if I'm wrong about htis - but it puts me in mind of my own start in taking pictures at around that age, a very long time ago. You have a hobby htat can last all your life, and provide you with a lot of fun and satisgfaction. And there's so much to learn - it's worth making an effort with some of hte technicalities now, because mastering them is the key to (relatively) effortless image-making.

I love that you've got in close, and put your main subject to one side, so that the statue is in context. You sued the wideangle end of your zoom, and focussed on the bowl: I might have chosen the face - and it's often a good idea to take several variations on a theme, then choose the best one later.

So, first tech point - learn how to choose which AF point the camera uses. There'll be a setting in the menus to choose a single point, and a way of moving htat point around the viewfinder. It's all about takign charge of the decisions, and not letting hte camera take them for you.

And you used Program mode - a good starting point ofr a complete newbie, but as soon as you start to get a grip on what aperture and shutter speed do, start using Aperture mode, and choosing how much is sharp, and where. Plus how blurred the rest of the picture is - that's a technique called differential focussing, and it's a very powerful tool for controlling how the image looks, and where the viewer concentrates their attention.

The biggest single thing to get your head round is the Exposure Triangle - look at THIS LINK. Along with the idea that a higher number on the aperture scale means a smaller hole in the lens, and thus less light getting through, that leads on to a lot of the ways to control your images, and make them lok the way that you want them. Deciding that in advance, rather than seeing what happens is called previsualisation. You don't have to do it all the time, but it's an important tool in photography.

And practice. Keep taking pictures. Keep playing and exploring - and please post them here!

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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4046 Canada
10 Feb 2019 2:00PM
Welcome from me also Jack.

I see you have uploaded a full set to your portfolio, and youre already practicing, and improving. I noticed that spider you eventually caught nice and sharp. A creature not from the Northern Hemisphere! You also have a closer version of this one thats nice.

A tip for using the site, - when you upload an image, voting is disabled by default, so when you upload to the general gallery next time, select the option to allow voting and awards, and save your preference. The first batch dont have voting enabled and it nice to get some votes.

Let us know what photo editing software you are using also, - you can add that as a comment.

I did uploaded a quick modification of this image, - click the Modifications button to see it.

Enjoy the site and the camera,


pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2096 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2019 4:53PM
I'd like to welcome you, too, Jack.

This image of the garden Buddha is a fine start to your portfolio here on EPZ. I like the expression on his face, his closed eyes, and the feeling of being welcomed into his private space. What a viewer feels about a picture is important because you took the shot and wanted to convey the mood or atmosphere that you felt to others.

You shot this in the early part of the afternoon when the light was quite bright, but because the statue is surrounded by foliage, that light hasn't been allowed to completely penetrate through, and so you have what is known as dappled light filtering through. This has helped you to achieve a fairly good exposure, and avoided the light spoiling your image by making it too bright. Most of the bright areas are upon the Buddha's legs, and therefore not too bad.

You focused on the hands, and probably chose that part of the figure because it was the nearest part to your lens. That was probably a good choice because, if you had focused on the face (which would have been the obvious choice), the hands would probably have ended up out of focus, and there would have been a blurry part right in front of the figure, which wouldn't have looked good.
If you had wanted more of the figure in focus, you could have used a smaller aperture (higher f-number) and shot the figure from a side angle so that most of it fell into the same focal plane. In other words, there
wouldn't have been parts closer to your lens than others.

The figure is a little tight in the frame. It's always a good idea to give your subject some "breathing space", some space around it, but at the same time fill the frame with it and make the viewer certain that this is your chosen subject by keeping any distractions outside your frame, which you have successfully done here.

Compositionally, you have placed your subject over to the left of the frame, which is very good, with space on the right, space for the figure to reach into. A bit more of an angle on the statue would have been even better, which would simply have meant moving yourself to the left a bit, so that he is holding the ball out to the right side of the frame.

Well done, this is a great start, and it's good that you are so excited about your new hobby.

mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2097 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2019 6:04PM
Hello, and a warm welcome from me too! Congratulations on your new camera.

Looking at the pictures you have uploaded, you have a good eye for an interesting subject, and you are placing the subject well in the frame (not just plonked in the middle); you are looking for interesting angles; and you are filling the frame. And you get down to the same level as your subject, it's amazing how many people don't think to do that!
With regard to this subject, I like the way you explored the possibilities - this is a good idea.

You've had a lot of good advice. I'll just add a few points.

John has mentioned that you are using Program. That leaves a number of important decisions to the camera. Now the camera has a very good calculating brain, and the settings it has used here are pretty sensible. But it has absolutely no imagination or intuition. The better you understand the settings the more control you can take - and that matters for relatively specialist subject such as sculpture.

That Exposure Triangle that John has linked to is the key - really get to grips with it. It's a bit like juggling and keeping three balls in the air at the same time but after a while it become a reflex response.

Feel free to ask questions, we can guide you.

I hope that you are using a single focusing point (not a pattern of points) - looking at a few images in your portfolio, I think you have that sorted.

How do you compose - do you use the viewfinder or the LCD screen?

Watch what is getting into the background, there's a sort of spring attachment just above the left (to us) shoulder. Once you notice it it's a real distraction!

Finally one important thing, which is particularly important here. Photography is all about light, the word means drawing with light. You need to look at what it is doing, work with it.

The little sculpture was in shadow here, with dappled light lower down. That's attractive - but it does rather camouflage the sculpture against the background branches. Light catching the side of the face would add a lot. Assuming that it is easily accessible, could you move it round, try different angles, light at different times of the day? You might be surprised at the difference it can make!

Have fun, enjoy your photography, I hope we'll see more from you in the Critique Gallery.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2097 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2019 6:54PM
I decided to download this and have a play. I worked to put some more light on the right side of the face and figure - the result was very similar to Willie's modification.

So I took it a stage further and I have uploaded a mono conversion, with some dark vignetting for a really enclosed, 'secret place' feel.

I darkened on greens and lightened reds, which gives the sculpture more prominence. I think mono gives a sense of mystery, and greater harmony. Looking at this , that's something that you are already exploring!
pablophotographer 8 1.3k 353
11 Feb 2019 12:21AM
Hi 5 Jack, welcome from me too.

I like your depicted theme, a sculture! Still live is a good start for developing sound photographic understanding.

Which is not about the camera, actually. It is about the light. Pamela Jean mentioned the light on the legs of Budha. But given the pose and the importance of the gift he passes on you have me wondering: Does the light ever hit the gift? Why not wait until then?

Which stresses to the importance of observing, adjusting your point of view, waiting and in some instances directing the light onto the subject.

Technology is wonderful and very appealing but try not to be gravitated too much by it the last nearly 200 years people have taken beautiful pictures with some reaaaally primitive cameras compared to what we use now. Much of their success was from understanding how light makes something look beautiful or intriguing. Truth is that they knew how their caneras worked too, but you see cameras change every year.

If monkeys can take pictures with modern cameras understanding light will give you the edge in producing better images.

pablophotographer 8 1.3k 353
11 Feb 2019 12:23AM
Ooops I should have typed "Still life" on thd third line of my comment above
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
11 Feb 2019 9:06AM
Nothing to add. You obviously want to learn and this is as good a place as any to do so. Always remember that any comment is an opinion and you should finally aim to pleas yourself, or the client if you ever get into that position.

I am a great believer in quality, so master your camera and what it can do, but make sure you are boss, not the camera.

dudler Plus
16 973 1536 England
11 Feb 2019 11:17AM
Pablo makes a very important point in his comment: in the end, it's about light and making a picture. Photography means 'drawing with light' and we forget that at our peril, and can end up producing competent, sharp and well-exposed pictures that are boring. And sometimes, that is what you need to od as a record, or because someone is paying you to do it.

But I am with Paul in believing that if you master the tools, you will be a better photographer.

One of the best photographers ever (in many people's estimation) was an American landscape photographer called Ansel Adams. He'd trained as a concert pianist, and understood that to play a brilliant solo requires daily practice of scales.
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2096 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2019 6:26PM
The picture in your portfolio that Moira linked us to is really good. There is a strong feeling in this one for the viewer, as if being offered the sphere in no uncertain terms. Focusing on it in this one is very important.
JustJack2004 Junior Member
15 Feb 2019 8:35AM

Quote:The picture in your portfolio that Moira linked us to is really good. There is a strong feeling in this one for the viewer, as if being offered the sphere in no uncertain terms. Focusing on it in this one is very important.
Thanks! i feel like this was the strongest photo of the ones i put up

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