Criticism and discussion about clicks to improve composition, skill

#1 Aug 18th, 2016, 14:16
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  • shubhra_roy is offline
#1
As a beginner I really need and want a discussion about my mobile clics(I want to develop my photographic skills first, then switch to really good camera) from the photographers guys. Basically self-learning is not sufficient for a person, even it may lead him/her to a worse level by his/her self-appreciating theories which may be entirely wrong concepts. So please you guys help me and the beginners like me. Beginners can upload your work for the discussion from the expert guys.
#2 Aug 18th, 2016, 14:20
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#2
Let's start. Requesting to help me.
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#3 Aug 18th, 2016, 14:25
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#4 Aug 18th, 2016, 17:42
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#4
The second one is appealing to me most. Nice clean image , the boys engrossed in game , the ball clearly visible above the tree , excellent timing. Probably a bit more light is needed.
The 3rd is also clean , an image with potential but only if you could focus on the cyclist instead of the background wall. As a rule try to avoid blurred object in the foreground . Even if you could freeze the head of the cyclist sharp , it would have elevated the image further.
The first one is suffering from clutter. A lot of distracting elements. It is getting the attention of the viewer diverted.
Thanks for sharing.
#5 Aug 18th, 2016, 17:51
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#5
I jotted down a few points which I paste here. They are relevant, specially for landscape photography, but would also apply to other genres as well. You may have a look at the thread "Landscape photography tips" in my signature. A lot of members have put in theirs thoughts there.

TECHNIQUES

Now in this part we exchange ideas about technique. I use the term “technique” loosely because I consider myself not be qualified enough to talk about technique. The term “avoidable silly mistakes and omissions” will be more apt. If you study 100 travel photographs then you will find that in majority of them the image suffered because of very small & trifle issues. I will discuss my understanding here and will expect all of you to join in. I start with some basic good habits for travel photography:-

1. ALWAYS KEEP THE CAMERA READY WITH YOU : I have missed so many good photo ops because my camera was sleeping under two layers of protective cover in some bag. I am sure that many of you have the same experience. Should you repeat the same mistake ? No non nada. You MUST have at least one camera always ready with you. If you are loath the carry the big DSLR then at least get a good compact camera with you. If you are apprehensive about battery , keep spare multiple cells. But at all cost you have to carry a camera which gets ready to capture an image at the flick of a switch.

2. THE JOURNEY IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT : Get a good window seat , at any cost. Keep the camera standby on your lap. Enjoy the passing landscape and the inhabitants of our beautiful country and you will be rewarded with many keepers I bet. One great advantage is the when you are shooting from a car/train etc the subjects on the road are not usually guarded. So you can shoot a lot of candid shots with priceless emotions being displayed on the faces of the people. If you reach a particularly beautiful spot then ask the driver to stop the car and try to make the most of this opportunity( a warm smile and perhaps offer of a cup of tea/cigarette works wonders to build up rapport with the drivers, no one likes a long faced guy with big black cameras and tons of attitude).

3. AVOID THE CLICHED FRAMES : Tajmahal , Victoria memorial, Qutab Minar, The Varanasi ghats and aarti. Thousands upon thousands frames have been made of them and nowadays we are bored to death by watching these beautiful sights. If you have to tick off some list then shoot them to your heart’s content but please don’t flood the Facebook with them. Anyway ultimately it’s your choice. While the usual frames are oh so boring of such monuments, a little twist, if properly captured can give you keepers after keepers. Try to include something emotional into the frame. For instance I saw a very nice photograph of Tajmahal where the main monument was in the faded background and in the foreground you could see a parakeet pair flirting around. The amazing image is still in my mind.

4. EXPLORE UNUSUAL POINT OF VIEWS: Shooting with your camera from your eye level generates a very usual and normal kind of point of view. They almost always fail to evoke any interest. Rather crouch low to ground level or put the camera on a monopod or tripod and extend it over your head to a 10 feet height. You will see that even mundane views are looking interesting. You are watching the world as a small puppy or a giraffe would. Ain’t that interesting ? Try it in as many ways as you want and be pleasantly surprised.

5. GETIING YOUR LANDSCAPE NICELY FOCUSED: We generally expect our landscapes to be in focus from corner to corner , at least major part of the frame has to be in sharp focus. To achieve that use of relatively larger aperture is advised. I usually restrict myself between F5.6 to F 11. Larger apertures like F2.8 etc. will not allow a large enough depth of field. Smaller apertures like F16 etc will generally cause diffraction to set in ( look through almost closed eyelids and see the view gets hazy).

6. STABILITY AND FREEZING ACTION: This is often an ignored issue. There are two aspects to it, firstly the camera has to be kept stable and secondly, if the subject that you are shooting is moving ( like people or animals walking or running etc.) then you have to capture them well into your photograph.

For landscape photographers there is no better friend than a stable tripod. Higher DOF>use of smaller aperture>slower shutter speed>hence use of tripod , usually that is the flow of logic. If you are shooting during golden/blue hour you will have to use unusually long shutter speeds often running into minutes. Use of tripods and cable release comes to help in such circumstances. Why don’t we use higher ISO to get higher shutter speed and thus mitigate any shake? Because firstly we often “WANT” slow shutter speed to get that dreamy effect of water, light trails etc. and higher ISO means higher noise and less details which is not at all acceptable. Where tripod is not available/allowed use beanbag, your own camera bag, flat rocks, walls etc. to get the required stability. If your camera / lens has VR /IS ( vibration reduction/ image stabilization) then always put them off before using upon tripod.

The modern VR/IS technology is quite handy in many situations but is NOT THE SUBSTITUTE for tripod as yet. In low shutter speed it helps but I have seen that often at higher shutter speeds (faster than 1/500 sec) VR/IS works in an opposite manner.

For freezing moving subjects we must have commensurately high shutter speed. How high a shutter-speed is required that varies on case to case basis. On the other hand you may NOT WANT TO FREEZE action and alternatively may want motion blur. In that case a slower shutter speed is used and all this comes with a bit of practice.

7. HOW TO CAPTURE THE SCALE, THE GRANDEUR :
Many a times we see a captivating sight, a gigantic mountain, an endless sea. We capture the same scene and return home with images which fail to evoke the same thrill. The following points are often helpful in catching the scene the way we want to catch it i.e. in a breathtaking manner :-

a. Try to put an element, whose size is commonly known, like a human figure, a car etc. into the landscape. It will clearly illustrate the scale of the scene. Imagine a shot of a mountain. If we see a truck plying through the winding roads, we immediately get to understand about how huge the mountain is.

b. Look for an anchor point. An unsual rock formation, a statute, a human figure. Anything which breaks the monotony of the frame will command attraction. Imagine a big blank sea. A single boat in the frame will command immediate attention of the viewer.

c. Foreground is important. We often ignore it. If you can include an interesting foreground element then that will impart depth into the photograph.

d. Look for lines. Lines help to guide the eyes of the viewer to the subject. Include lines to pave a path for the viewer’s eye.

e. Choice of lens is an extremely important issue. Use of wide angle lenses to “capture it all” and “include it all” often causes subsequent pain. Wide angle lenses have this property of enlarging the nearer elements and miniaturizing the far elements, hence often the distant mountains are too small in the picture. On the other hand the tele lenses do compress. So in many situations use of tele ( often in the neglected focal length range of 105-200 mm) may enhance the photograph.

f. Keep the horizon straight. A tilted horizon definitely looks ugly. Also try to avoid putting the horizon bang in the middle of the frame. If the sky is more interesting then let the sky dominate the upper 2/3rd and the horizon be on the lower 1/3rd . The opposite will help if the foreground is more interesting.

g. Try to avoid obvious distractions like electric cables, poles, Phone towers etc.

Please share your thoughts and add your inputs as always.
#6 Aug 19th, 2016, 02:00
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  • shubhra_roy is offline
#6
Thank you, thank you very much to give me the approaches to better photography. I will keep in mind the techniques. Actually as using a mobile phone camera I face some focus and shutter speed problems. But I will try to improve shots with respect to the technical constraints of the camera. And as Street Photography, distractions really makes me upset. I don't know how to achieve the focused subject without any kind of distractions.

Thanks again. I shall post some more for your guides. Hope you guys will help me. And again, I want beginner guys post their work if they want to be guided.
#7 Aug 24th, 2016, 23:11
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#7
Hope you will step forward and help me by discussing about the clicks.
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#8 Aug 25th, 2016, 08:23
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#8
Love the second one. A lot is going for this composition , nice moment , low POV.
The first is dramatic , you can crop a bit from , left and bottom so that the viewer comes closer.
#9 Aug 25th, 2016, 08:44
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#9
I must be a numbskull. I totally disagree with iamsomnath, who is one of the best photographers (if not the best) on IndiaMike that I have seen.

In post #2, my favourite is the first picture. The lady with the brolly draws your attention, momentarily. Then soom you move to the next umbrella, but finally you are fixated on the background and the mohalla (community, atmosphere).

In post #7, I also prefer the first, unlike iamsomnath. Though less dynamic, it is more dramatic and tells of a time and a place, sadness and loss. It is moodier.

But all this is so subjective. Ask Van Gogh, in his lifetime.
#10 Aug 25th, 2016, 08:55
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post I must be a numbskull. I totally disagree with iamsomnath, who is one of the best photographers (if not the best) on IndiaMike that I have seen.
Thanks for the generous praise , though showered and hence wasted upon unworthy me. But that is not why I am writing this post. Just wanted to appreciate and say it again , perhaps the umpteenth time , that we all possess different expectations, visions , imaginations and what not !! So basically what we see , we see and should try to show that to our viewers. How the viewer will interpret is beyond anyone's control.
So much truism
Regards
Somnath
#11 Aug 25th, 2016, 09:04
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#11
iamsomnath, some of your photos have taken my breath away. That is not a slight thing. It is a gift which you and some others have that has to be celebrated.

The OP has posted some marvellous pics, and your inputs are invaluable. Thanks again.
#12 Aug 25th, 2016, 14:18
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by shubhra_roy View Post As a beginner I really need and want a discussion about my mobile clics(I want to develop my photographic skills first, then switch to really good camera) from the photographers guys. Basically self-learning is not sufficient for a person, even it may lead him/her to a worse level by his/her self-appreciating theories which may be entirely wrong concepts. So please you guys help me and the beginners like me. Beginners can upload your work for the discussion from the expert guys.
1. Understand the limitation of your camera. Then put those limitations on its head, and use it to your advantage.

2. Visit as many free curated sites as possible.

3. Join specialized forums devoted to sub category of the vast spectrum of photography.

4. Sometimes the eye needs to be trained, and sometimes no training will help if your heart is elsewhere. In the end, you cannot be a pitcher and catcher at the same time, or in india-speak, you cannot be a bowler and wicketkeeper at the same time.

5. Take part in as many free walking tours organized in your city by Photography clubs.

If you do not plan to monetize your efforts, then enjoy the moments, and avoid the angst and stress of instruments, pixels and brands.
Last edited by nycank; Aug 25th, 2016 at 15:24..
#13 Aug 25th, 2016, 14:54
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#13
If you're serious about photography join a workshop. You'll learn quickly by doing and that's easier than reading online and attempting to implement unsupervised.

If you're not very serious, then welcome to the club - you're on the right forum.

Edit: Forgot to add, if it's a paid workshop you join, you'll ask tougher questions to get value for money. Free advice is, well, free! Could go either ways.
#14 Aug 25th, 2016, 17:54
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#14
I think there is no argument about the versatile perceptions about art. And for that reason iamSomnath and ViShVa can prefer the shots in a different way. After all you both are welcome!
But Somnathda isn't it will be an unbalanced composition if I crop the 1st picture of #7 from left? I mean if I crop the wooden walls from the left the two men approcing will be at an edge which will make the composition unbalanced. Then what to do with this picture for a closer look to the subjects?
#15 Aug 25th, 2016, 18:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post If you're serious about photography join a workshop. You'll learn quickly by doing and that's easier than reading online and attempting to implement unsupervised.
Thank you. I am also looking for suitable workshops. But sadly it's not happening now. If you guys know about it in kolkata please make me know.

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