View Full Version : How am I doing?

10-27-2009, 02:03 PM
So I just got my first roll back from the printer. I uploaded 5 pics today. 3 that I thought were decent and 2 to be honest and show my lack of experience. ANY and ALL input is welcomed. I don't remember the exposure and lens for all shots. Is this something I should write down, or will it come with shooting more film?

Denis K
10-27-2009, 03:14 PM
I really like the composition of the church photo. It looks like a place you could go back to often with different weather conditions and such. I guess where you are they never have snow but I would really like to see a follow on image with some threatening clouds to make a matched pair with the one you have with a clear sky.

This third image makes me sad that we don't have those kind of valleys in the lower forty-eight where they arn't filled up with homes and such.


10-27-2009, 03:22 PM
The church and the landscape are great but I don't understand the middle image, dosen't really do anything for me.

Adrian Twiss
10-27-2009, 03:30 PM
The church is my personal favourite. If I may observe, the right hand side could be burned in a little to tone it down. It is too eye catching at the moment an takes my attenion away from the church itself. Perhaps also it could be printed a bit harder to really make the spire glow.

Jeff Kubach
10-27-2009, 03:32 PM
I also like the church and the lanscape, the middle image is ok but not as good as the other two.


10-27-2009, 03:41 PM
I like the photo of the church.

Constructive insight: Photographs that have a clear subject or point of interest will hold a viewer's attention.

Try: One roll of film, find some objects that are smaller than a person and photograph them. Fill the frame with the object between 1/2 and 2/3. Use light at different angles. Have fun.

Thomas Bertilsson
10-27-2009, 03:56 PM
Hello Chris,

1. Church - I find, time and again, how naked tree branches can add a lot to almost any composition. One would think it would clutter the frame, but it doesn't. For me, it makes me think about the subject matter, and let's just face it - those branches are beautiful by any stretch of the imagination.
2. Building - I can't find anything to focus on. Sorry. I find it cluttered and much too busy. It's not clear what you're trying to show. Show me your intent.
3. Landscape - it's a nicely weighted scene with nice geometrical proportions. Once again there are beautiful tree branches, as well as a nicely rendered spruce. The tone in the sky is inviting; there's enough luminance and radiance to it to be interesting. The distant horizon seals the envelope for me, as it helps my eye to travel through and wander in between the components in your composition. Nice job!

- Thomas

10-27-2009, 04:27 PM
I like the church, classic. The second doesn't say much to me. The third, I like the composition, but would be better suited to my tastes if it had more exposure and you had used an orange or red filter to darken the sky.

In the two that I like (1&3), you have composed an entire composition, every part of the image gives weight to the composition . In the second there really isn't a composition that I discern. Doesn't really mean it isn't there, just that I don't see it.

Everything in photography is, however, subjective. What speaks or doesn't speak to me might not resonate with everybody, and nobody is "right". Keep shooting, please yourself, try different things, and enjoy the journey.

Poisson Du Jour
10-27-2009, 04:40 PM
The church image works well for me, much more successfully than 2 others. This neatly composed image has all the elements that make it an interesting photographand importantly, it is orthogonal — that is, no "falling steeples" from tilting the camera up, as so many so often blithely do.

If there are a couple of things that could be improved, it is looking around to excludee intrusions, such as the street lamp overlaying the trees. Plain sky is seldom successful in any photograph B&W or colour, so maybe re-visit the scene with clouds to add pattern to the blandness there. Mist/fog would work well with this subject, too. All that said, this image has so much working for it that these are only minor quibbles, but something to consider when you come across a scene of similar photogenic quality. Overall, it appeals to me a lot.

Christopher Walrath
10-27-2009, 04:57 PM
Hey, Chris. I'm pretty much in line here. Number two simply does not resonate with me. There is no emphasis on a clear cut subject, nothing to mentally focus on. The focus seems fine, your camera orientation and framing with the pole is good. You have top down knowledge of the subject as your are familiar with its dimensions, its purpose and what is not in the photograph. We have bottom up knowledge which is starting with the two dimensional photograph before us of a wall with a sign and some windows and the imagination doesn't go much further than our memories of hundreds of other buildings we pass in our normal daily lives without giving a second notice unless we owe them money or something.

I would like to know why you chose to show it with the other two. What was the reason that prompted you to include it.

That being said, the church and the landscape are very pleasing to look at and have been composed well. I would love to see what YOU would do with these negs.

10-27-2009, 07:41 PM
Well, Thanks all. I too favored the church image. The landscape, I thought would be better suited for color, but I'll look at it more with the suggestions that were given. I knew the Yukon Quest photo was a bust. I think I know why it doesn't sit well with anyone, I don't remember the point of the shot. Lesson learned. I posted it to get the harsh/honest feedback so I know what not to do again.

10-27-2009, 08:08 PM
The second one looks to me like a lot of my "less successful" images. There *is* a point of focus---the sign in the middle---but the rest of the image doesn't really draw the eye to it, and when the eye does get there, it isn't that visually compelling. I imagine the visual clutter looked quite interesting in person, right? That seems to be what consistently gets me to take similar images.

I really like the church, for all the reasons described, and I like the composition of the landscape. The sky looks kind of blown out and it might benefit from a bit of burning, and the trees look pretty dark---the range of the scene might just have been too much for the film. If the detail is there at all in the sky, though, I think it has the potential to be a nice moody dark landscape with the negative you've got.

I wish anything on my first roll had been this good! (My sister found the prints recently; she said there was a portrait of a football and a landscape showing some dirt. I was about seven years old and my dad gave me a 110 camera...)


Poisson Du Jour
10-27-2009, 08:10 PM
Fireguy2002, I don't think any photograph should be given the "harsh/honest" feedback, certainly not here on APUG. Many critics in the Arts consider themselves aloof, distant and untouchable while overlooking their own failings in the same field (you've probably seen this on things like — as a stab in the air mention — Britain's Got Talent where one or more "judges" with particularly poor personal resumés do their darndest to assert their meanness. Critique should ideally set out to be constructive and to initiate debate on improving skills, but never be confrontational, beliguerent or challenging.

When I saw your photos one immediately hit a resonance with me, while the others did not, but they all have a promising quality that will be more evident with considered subject choice, atmosphere and composition. The church is worth your while printing and framing as a memento of your early efforts. Then look back in same 10-20 years time. I think you do hold considerable promise in the landscape, whether in black or white or colour.

10-27-2009, 10:12 PM
I did think about leaving the less favorable shot out, but wanted to get some feedback on my early "work". I think I'll edit more strictly as I grow. A couple people have mentioned burning now. What is this you speak of?

10-27-2009, 10:20 PM
Hi Chris,

I have made plenty of photos that were really terrible. I keep telling myself that the shot of the cat was bad or my Photo of the stump was over-exposed. I tell myself that I will never do x, y and z again but I do end up making the same mistakes again. I learned a long time ago that I will never make a perfect Photograph. I have made some that I like. There are more of my Photos that others like. The nice part of a blank roll of film is that I can create something with it. As I get older, I get a higher percentage of good shots. Part of this is technical knowledge, part of this is learning composition and part is learning patience to get a shot with good lighting.

Did I mention that I like the photo of the church.


10-27-2009, 10:24 PM
Burning-in is the process of making a print and giving a localized part of the print extra exposure by using some kind of mask or object to block some of the light from the other areas of the paper while you are making the enlargement.

10-28-2009, 01:02 AM
Thanks Dave. I think patience is going to be the best thing to learn. So much for burning. I'm tapped out on the spending for now. Sans tripod, I am completely set for shooting, thanks to bartering on Craigslist.

10-28-2009, 01:21 AM
The first photo is very nice, as was said, watch out for "things not pertinent to the idea" from intruding into the frame. Not mentioned was the car tops at the bottom of the photo. With the street lamp coming in from the left and the car and truck tops and sign at the bottom it looks like you might be able to go back and take the same photo but a little higher and move to the right. If you get a little more height you can photograph right over the car and truck tops and avoid that sign near the car top and still get the bottom of the building. Just moving a little to the right and the lamp won't be in the shot either. Not knowing what the taking conditions are it's hard to tell you where to stand. Sometimes moving in isn't possible so it's up to the photographer to find the point of view that satisfies what you want to show in the final print. When composing take some time to look around in the viewfinder and identify the unwanted things like signs, street lamps etc.. All that said, you might have wanted to have them in there to show the church is in an urban setting rather than alone in the outskirts. I can only assume without knowing. If you eliminate the urban artifacts you can present the feeling that the church is alone in its surrounding. I really like the photograph and think it's worth going back again for more shots. Your onto a something here, explore it.