Looking for genuine feedback

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the APUG Community' started by minoltax570srt202, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. minoltax570srt202

    minoltax570srt202 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    hello, I'm an American amateur photographer living in Bangkok, Thailand. I'm looking for some genuine, honest feedback on my work. Any advice or suggestions, good or bad, are welcome. Here is my link:

    www.andymayphotography.com

    Just so you know, this is not a cheap attempt to get you to look at ads, increase my hits, or sell you anything, it's just my personal website displaying my photos.

    your help is appreciated,

    Andy
     
  2. Tori8x10

    Tori8x10 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    Ramona, CA
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Hi Andy. I'm by no means an expert in anything photographic but since you asked, I'll give you my initial impressions. You seem to have a much stronger connection to your portraits than the other images on your site. They have emotion and focus (NPI) that I don't feel in some of your other shots. Also, I would recommend, as gently as I can, that you edit the images you are showing. Be as honest as you can and try having this conversation with yourself, "Is this image here because it's a picture of a really awesome "thing (whatever it may be)" or because it's a really awesome picture. I liken it to either being a tour guide or an artist, and perhaps you want to accomplish both. For me, it was just too many images to go through to find the gems that I really wanted to look at. I hope this helps.

    Tori
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,129
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Two inches to the left
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi, Andy. I don't normally do these kinds of things but I thought I might make an exception this one time. I went to your sight. Easy to navigate and well laid out.

    As to the photographs.

    Your images seem to be technically proficient. Not much unnecessary clutter or distraction that I could see. As Tori wrote, good focus in your wrok. Particularly in your Ayutthaya, Thailand collection, IMHO.

    You make very good use of framing a subject to draw attention to it so I would always keep that in your grab bag. And, again in agreeance with Tori, your portraiture is very attractive, meaning that your contact with the people you have shot is very attracting to the viewer in pose, action and feature.

    One thing I found was, and I am at work on lunch and limited time, in the first six galleries I viewed I saw seven photographs that I would not have put on my own website. Perhaps because I don't have the personal connection to your subjects as you. But, as with most others, they were plain pictures. A viewer spares a glance, there is no focus or association and the viewer moves on.

    Be your own worst critic. This is not to say to be ultra hard on yourself when you screw up. Rather be ultra hard on your work to find what could or should have been done differently to better translate your vision to the viewer. ALSO, edit your displays better. Look at everything on your website and decide if it really fits with the body of the work it is in. See if a body of work has enough pieces or is complete. If not, add more or shelf it until it is more complete.

    Just some honest thoughts.

    Again, you do very good work. Just make sure you show your best.

    And, welcome to APUG.
     
  4. minoltax570srt202

    minoltax570srt202 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    thanks all of you for your feedback. i have taken your advice and have re-arranged and edited my website into a simpler format with, hopefully, fewer bad pictures. Your advice is good, the challenge for me is to leave behind photographs that i might have a connection to but i know are not all that attractive to other viewers.

    i feel, probably to a fault, very connected to my photographs because recently i started shooting an all manual camera and began processing film myself. setting the exposure, focus, choosing the developing technique, etc, all myself has caused me to be attached to them. i guess my bad photographs are like the kid who has a face only his mother can love, me being his mother.

    i certainly like portraiture the most and i hope it comes through. i desire to make powerful and dramatic photographs of people that reveal something about their humanity. im not even close to accomplishing this but i keep trying, it's what makes photography so much fun.

    just for fun, on the subject of "people" photography, in your opinion, what is the most important element in the genre of portraiture? example: lighting, facial expressions, action, emotion, skin texture, etc? which of these elements in portraiture speak to you the loudest?

    and please, everyone keep shooting film!

    thanks again

    andy
     
  5. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Location:
    British Colu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For me, eyes, then the facial expression. There are a some excellent ones in the gallery right now.
     
  6. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,129
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Two inches to the left
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I second johnny. It's ALL in the eyes. Of course it has to be a pleasing composition, but if the eyes aren't expressive, the portrait will probably turn out somewhat lackluster.