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Suggest improvement and portfolio critique (game)

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Enigmacypher
423 posts
71
Message posted at 04/17/2012, 09:33:37 AM by Enigmacypher
Wow... it took me awhile to find this thread today since it both moved to a new forum and got a new name (I kind of liked the old name better, but oh well). Welcome to the new location of this game!

Anyway, I think the next critique should be one of Parkinsonsniper's.


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Androniques
834 posts
60
Message posted at 04/17/2012, 09:59:56 AM by Androniques
Enigmacypher, I think the new name implies also re-specifying or reiterating the format. Obviously, it would be strange not to have the authors response to the critique he/she gets, so maybe it would make sense to add the rule of waiting until the author replied to the critique. I also think that the new name means critique can be not just about one particular photo, but on the entire portfolio trends etc.

I imagine we could have here very interesting discussions and exchange of (sometimes subjective) opinions and even advices on shooting techniques.

That said, the next one goes for Parkinsonsniper's. :)
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Androniques
834 posts
60
Message edited at 04/18/2012, 18:39:53 PM by Androniques
Well, poor me... I have to provide a critique for the best Sniper ever :))) You should not even have thought of entering this game, Parkinsonsniper! Such a joke...

OK, my pick is more or less obvious:

 Istanbul City Ship 

I think you should have allowed a bit more of the ship to enter the picture, maybe it could be better if the whole boat was seen and its owner (if you managed to specify the company) would buy it for its advertisement. Seriously, composition-wise partly cut ships must sell worse than the full-length ones, imho. :) I know I also have a couple of pics where only the nose of a boat can be seen, but that's a different story... Well, the picture could also benefit from some colour/contrast enhancement, to make it look like it was a sunny day, not an early morning, or was it evening? - I think you'd better be specific about the time of the day too, as buyers might search for a sunrise/sunset view of a ship entering the Istanbul port. ;)
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Parkinsonsniper
1093 posts
72
Message posted at 04/19/2012, 01:43:56 AM by Parkinsonsniper
Hahahh...Andre thanks for inviting me (!) into this game! So I'm in now :))

The point of half-ship is to keep the mosques in the background. They are Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Mosque and they are very famous all around the world. On the other hand, the ship belongs to government (no chance of advertisement buyers) and actually it's not the main subject of this photograph. It is a classic symbol of Istanbul, that's why I tried to keep it half.

But...I agree about the not-perfect composition. As we can see, the ship is brighter and bigger then the mosques (actually Hagia Sophia was a church, but then Ottoman's transformed it to a mosque. Now it is serving as a museum.) which makes the ship the main subject, while it isn't meant to be. This is a wrong composition I agree about that.

Still there is a nice copyspace and 3 symbols of Istanbul in one frame :)) so I decided to give it a chance...

So this is Andromantic's turn now! Please whoever will comment on him, be cruel LOL
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Dieniti
347 posts
62
Message posted at 04/19/2012, 02:40:21 AM by Dieniti
Since this seems to be a two-person-game, I would like to add some fresh thoughts...

Admittedly I had a hard time to choose a pic out of your portfolio Andromantic! But here is my choice:

   Cows grazing in high grass   

I miss the sun in this pic. There are a lot more nice photos of cows on DT. May be it would help to focus on just one of the animals or to make a portrait of one of them. With that the bad weather would have almost no influence on the picture. Or you just have to wait for the sun coming out again ;-)

Sorry for my english... Hope you understand what I mean...
Canon Eos 5D Mark II+several L lenses Photoshop CS3 Photos...

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Androniques
834 posts
60
Message posted at 04/19/2012, 04:17:20 AM by Androniques
Parkinsonsniper, now you know how I am after a pint of beer ;-)
Should add, this is still a GAME! So some good jokes will only make it more fun, although to keep it meaningful every joke must contain some truth in it.

Dieniti, thank you for your critique and I had no problem with your English! :)
As a matter of fact, it was a dull day, and actually I carefully framed this shot not to include any of the greyish sky. :) I know some would say I could tweak the white balance and contrast to make it look like a sunny day. However my point of uploading this shot was that it is an "English countryside landscape with cows" - that was the original title. I even checked what DT had at that time for cow shots, and there was none in high grass on a hill in greyish British weather, and I am not joking! :))) Also, I liked how almost all the cows looked "into the lens"... but I regret I did not include a bit more to the left, because I was trying to put the front cow in the golden spot.

Yep, I agree that a closer portrait of one cow would be much better, I just did not have a chance to make such a shot - the cows were at some distance from me, behind a fence. There is yet another shot with cows from that day, where I managed to get a closer shot but also included a zigzag perspective of the drywall fence by which the cows were grazing. I guess I still have to learn to see a bigger picture by narrowing the lens angle.

There are some other pictures in my port from that walk in highlands in Yorkshire Dales, they all are greyish, but that's how it looks here most of the time, so I thought there was some value in terms of expressing the typical British countryside. I did send a link to my port to some of the tourist offices there, and I recall getting some sales shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, that time I did not realize I could include my ref.number, so no referred buyers for me yet.

OK, who is next - for Dieniti? ;-)
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Parkinsonsniper
1093 posts
72
Message posted at 04/20/2012, 03:15:38 AM by Parkinsonsniper
I think noone likes to be criticized :))
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Androniques
834 posts
60
Message edited at 04/21/2012, 19:00:18 PM by Androniques
Parkinsonsnipre, I don't think that it is all about not liking being criticized, it may seem just too my much of effort to go through someone's port and make up one's mind about what to write and not to look like "scratching the surface". On top of that, yet, to be criticized and put even more effort answering the critique. :)

We are so lazy sometimes... and the time/effort investment might not seem promising much in return :( This is why I have been trying to introduce more of a game perspective. If we don't look at it too seriously... Nobody is going to remove our "worst" images from the search results (except ourselves, if we consider the critique really crucial). I don't think buyers' reading this thread would be that foolish either. So, why not have some fun, by not merely showcasing our images in the too sugary "Nice" game. ;-)

The next chili critique is still set out for Dieniti...
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Arvacsaba
78 posts
78
Message posted at 04/24/2012, 05:28:58 AM by Arvacsaba
Hi everyone

I really like this photo, it is very pleasant and relaxing. I would like to sit on that chair and just daydream... in my opinion it would be better if there was someone on that chair, an old man smoking pipe or something like this.

   Place to relax, Patmos, Greece   

This forum is great, I hope there will a lot more reviews here.
Nikon D90

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Celiaak
768 posts
75
Message edited at 04/24/2012, 06:28:42 AM by Celiaak
Hard to choose, heh? So I will be picky.
   Empty Jewelry Box   
I think the shinny ground contrasts with the natural rough materials. It doesnt fit. Would put a ground that would not be so shinny.
Nikon D3100, Inkscape, Imagination, Hands

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Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message edited at 04/26/2012, 18:15:10 PM by Chanevy
I really like your portfolio! The only comment I have is that I thought the light in this one was a bit harsh.    Woven Fabric and Cane   
Canon 7D Nikon Coolpix P510 Samsung Galaxy S3 Canon L70-2...

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Igordabari
3700 posts
62
Message edited at 04/27/2012, 00:56:45 AM by Igordabari
So, it's my turn now :)

Chanevy, your PF is small but nice and I have choosen this picture for my critique:

 Six traditionally dressed women, Temple Mount 

On my opinion it would look much better if 1) women would be placed not in the center, but closer to left side and 2) we would see them not exactly from their backs (180 degree), but by some other angle, saying 120-150 degree.
I, me, myself + cameras: Canon 450d (for astrophoto...

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Celiaak
768 posts
75
Message posted at 04/27/2012, 04:23:44 AM by Celiaak
Chanevy, you're right, the was sun directly on it.

Igordabari, I find this image is tiled to the left. I would have aligned the door on the right verticaly, or make it less tiled.
   Covered way glassy roof   
Nikon D3100, Inkscape, Imagination, Hands

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Androniques
834 posts
60
Message edited at 04/29/2012, 19:02:43 PM by Androniques
Come on, folks! Don't be lazy and please don't turn this good-will advisory game into another sugary "be Nice" pitfall. ;)

I would like to remind that you may choose to give critique not for a particular picture but for portfolio trends, if applicable. Also, it is always great to hear the author's response to the critique (see above). :)

I will join you in due course... now it is still the turn of Celiaak's portfolio.
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Enigmacypher
423 posts
71
Message edited at 04/29/2012, 23:05:47 PM by Enigmacypher
Okay, I'll jump back in again (even though I have a very small portfolio -- I hope this doesn't kill the game).

Celia, I notice that illustrations tend to sell better for you than photographs. Looking through your photos, I think part of the problem may be with use of a direct flash. Many of your images look like they were taken indoors using the built in flash on your camera.

   Swirl Wood Carvings   

Notice the bright reflection of light that runs across the image 1/3 from the bottom. The lighting also washes out the richness of the browns that I expect we would see under different lighting conditions. To remedy this, consider the following options: 1) Take the picture outdoors, 2) Use a flash that you can direct - try bouncing the light off a white ceiling, 3) If you can't go outdoors or bounce the light from your flash, diffuse it. Even tissue paper over the flash can help in a pinch.


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Parkinsonsniper
1093 posts
72
Message posted at 04/30/2012, 05:10:57 AM by Parkinsonsniper
   Chain Links   

I know that it is going to be too short, but I ask "why not isolated!" Isolation would add so much value to this beautiful chain. In addition to this, if you can make a "seamless" chain, which will be perfectly copy pasted next to itself, it will add a little more value too...

See this shot here...this is a nice seamless fence.

   Seamless Window Fence   


...and these are others seamless examples.
23964136 - 24288865
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Celiaak
768 posts
75
Message edited at 04/30/2012, 08:30:24 AM by Celiaak
Enigmacypher, thank you for your sugestions. In fact, to date, and yesterday, I only sold one photo, so there is much to improve :)
I shoot near a big window in my home. I struggle with the light a lot. I always block flash, and have only that one source light. Any flashlights around are useless because the windows light is so strong.
Following your suggestions, i'll try to put vegetal cooking paper on the window next time trying to difusse it a bit. I cant go outside because I always have a lot of strong Sun (I live in Portugal) or none at all :)

-next to earn a critique is Parkinsonsniper, who made the last one. :)
Nikon D3100, Inkscape, Imagination, Hands

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Enigmacypher
423 posts
71
Message posted at 04/30/2012, 09:50:28 AM by Enigmacypher
Celia, it sounds like I was wrong about the flash, then. Let us know how diffusing the sunlight works for you. The other thing you might consider is reflecting the sunlight to give you a couple of light sources for more even lighting. I've seen very nice work done with light from a window and a single reflector. You can get these for not much money (less than $30 in the USA -- not sure what that would be in Portugal), and I've even heard of some photographers making their own from car visor reflectors. Good luck!

Parkinsonsniper, thanks for the comments. I had considered doing an isolation on the chain, but I simply had not gotten to it yet. Now that you mention that it would be an improvement, I think I'll bump that up on the priority list. (The isolated swing has recently become my best seller, so it does look like there is a market for this.) Seamless imagery is something I haven't tried for, but that sounds like a fun (and not too difficult) challenge to take up. Thanks!


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Parkinsonsniper
1093 posts
72
Message posted at 04/30/2012, 10:05:33 AM by Parkinsonsniper
Yeah...isolated stuff have more sale potential :)

Celia I think you will lose some light power, in return of better results!

Yes this my critique turn...I want some critics especially for my pics with models please! Others are not that important for me :))
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Androniques
834 posts
60
Message posted at 05/01/2012, 20:01:53 PM by Androniques

Originally posted by Parkinsonsniper:
Quoted Message: Yeah...isolated stuff have more sale potential :)Celia I think you will lose some light power, in return of better results!Yes this my critique turn...I want some critics especially for my pics with models please! Others are not that important for me :))


I told you before, you are the killer of this game! Unless Yuri himself comes to criticise... lol I dont dare to critique your model, so lets wait... maybe for ages.
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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