Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Constructive Criticism

My photography class is over.
That was something, let me tell you.
I'm smarter and also know less than I did when I started.
Because now I've opened up the huge vast world of settings and I've just scratched the surface.

I spent 5 weeks with everyone in that class and today...the day after the our final assignment was due...did I finally figure out how to put a photo in my signature line.


I'm pleased that I can add that to the things I accomplished in the class though.

This grouping of three is what I chose as my signature picture.  I think it's pretty representative of my work, don't you think?

This next photo was my final submission for my class.  I was supposed to put it all together in one photo, one that I would hang on my wall,  using the basics we learned in class - White balance, Exposure, Composition, Skin tone (n/a here), Focus, and whatever else I have forgotten at the moment.  

Please click to enlarge the photo

This is the explanation I gave with my photo.
I mostly take pictures of things, nature, landscapes, objects, etc.  I decided for my final shot, to put everything together in a subject that I would seek out to photograph.

I think this shot could have been over exposed a little bit more, but I was nervous about losing the silver gray color of the spanish moss. I wondered if the bends in the tree could be considered joints and they shouldn't be cut off willy nilly. So I thought about where I was going to place each bend in the tree that was going to be in the frame. My goal was to get the tuft of plant material (the fern looking growth) in the crosshairs and to have the back branch lead your eye from one side to the other. I would hang this on my wall.

The crosshairs I referred to is the "Rule of Thirds" where the focus of the photo is usually better if it's in the intersections where the lines cross.  Funny thing is that for the most part, I frame things naturally that way in my camera.  I actually don't have to think about it, I just do it.  

I've only received three comments so far.  One was from the teacher and two from the mentors.  I think that's because most of the people in the class don't know how to give CC (Constructive Criticism) on photos that aren't of people. One person used their husband as their subject, I used the tree limb and every other person used a photo of their child.

Ashley said:

I really love how much thought you put into this final shot, Kristin! That's awesome that you made such deliberate decisions about what you wanted to photograph and how you wanted to execute it...and it paid off! You ended up with something you love, something you would hang in your house, and that was the goal. Way to go!

I love the feel to the shot...the WB is really cool, but it definitely fits with the mood of the image and with the subject matter.

I think your composition looks great, and I really am pleased that you put so much thought into that aspect of your shot.

My only real CC would be that I probably would have lowered my ISO and opened my aperture some. I don't know that you needed your aperture to be closed down quite so much. And if you had opened it up some, that would have given you room to lower your ISO a bit, and it's generally a good idea to try and keep that as low as your other settings and lighting allow.

You've done a terrific job throughout the workshop, Kristin!! Keep up your great work, and please keep sharing with us!

Lynn said:

oooh! You know what you have here? Golden Triangles!!  I love the textures of the oak, and spanish moss and the green moss. Your use of the strong diagonal was brilliant!

I agree with Ashley about the settings

You've done a fabulous job this month, Kristin! I hope that you have an amazing holiday season and fabulous 2011!!

I need to find out what Golden Triangles are!

Mrs. Fun said:
I love this!! It's so interesting to look at. I love that with an AP of 14 you have blurred DOF. Your exposure is great. 

DOF = depth of field.
I just love the name, Mrs. Fun haha!

The comments I received really helped.  I still don't understand the relationship between ISO, shutter speed and Aperature, but it's becoming much much clearer.  One thing I know for sure is that I will understand it in the near future.  It's no longer something that I wish I could learn.  I've learned.  I can understand it later, but I've learned :)

I can see the rule of thirds just looking at something, while others have to learn that.  I think I'm lucky that I don't need to learn the creative side of the camera, just the math side.

Thanks Clickin' Moms!  You have made my membership totally worthwhile, that's for sure.

Have a great day!

I got another comment on my assignment, so I wanted to add it here, just for me mostly :)

Sarah Phillips:
Nice job Kristin! I see golden triangles too! I'm so impressed by the amount of thought you put into the composition. It turned out great and my eye is drawn exactly the way you had hoped.

Happy Holidays!


Unknown Mami said...

Well, I think you are a natural.

42N said...

Love it. Love the depth of field, the silver tones and various textures. Very nice. Congratulations on graduating. A+.

Lisa said...

I am so glad you are pleased with the outcome of the class. I envision you taking many more in the future. You should be very proud. The technical end of photography isn't an easy thing to master. If you leared anything, it was worth it. And it sounds like you learned alot. That is priceless.

qandlequeen said...

About a year ago I came across a blog that outlined the basics of ISO and aperature. I knew it was good information but it was much too advanced for me to understand. The only thing I've managed since reading that was to stop using auto-focus.

I'll poke around and see if I can find a link for you. Maybe it's time for me to re-read it as well.

Keep clicking - I love your pictures!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Your pictures are always amazing to me. I think your group of three is perfect and that is you. I love the moss photo and I would hang that in my home. I do love the moss in Florida, it's one of my favorites to take pictures of. I would have been lost in that class.