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.
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...)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.