Sunday, March 27, 2011

Criticism is a bitch but nice to hear anyway

Last week, a couple of us spent an hour and a half talking with Jan, photographer extraordinaire, who went over some of the basics and some of the not so basics and metering, which a couple of us weren't using at all (even though we've been shooting manually for nearly a year and a half). She gave us an assignment and we met with her earlier today so she could critique our work. Criticism is a bitch but I appreciated everything she had to say. Also, while there we figured out how to adjust my camera so that it wouldn't re-focus when the shutter release button was partially depressed and I moved the camera so my subject (typically Hen) would be off-center. Her thoughts were pretty much that we're doing what we should be doing we just need to:

  1. slow down - not take shots willy-nilly in the hopes of catching one that is good, take time to compose a shot
  2. be mindful of the light source (which thankfully you do automatically when you use metering)
  3. try different angles and don't be afraid to get close, real close (also known as fill the frame)
  4. work on figuring out the best aperture/shutter speed/ISO balance to get your subject(s) to POP!
  5. play with crooked horizon lines (a little off looks weird but a lot off looks artistic)
  6. get creative in post editing - vignetting, cropping, etc.
  7. look for interesting backgrounds to blur
  8. focus on the eyes, particularly when using a higher aperture (higher meaning lower number)
  9. cheat when taking a photo of a subject near a window - look for the triangle of light on the side of the face that is in shadows
Shutter 1/125 Aperture f/1.6 ISO 200 - cropped from original

Shutter 1/600 Aperture f/1.8 ISO 200 - cropped from original

Shutter 1/400 Aperture f/1.8 ISO 400 - edited, probably could have used cropping on this one

Shutter 1/3999 Aperture f/1.4 ISO 200

Shutter 1/1600 Aperture f/1.8 ISO 200

Shutter 1/1600 Aperture f/1.4 ISO 200

Shutter 1/1000 Aperture f/3.5 ISO 200

Shutter 1/125 Aperture f/3.2 ISO 200 - we're thinking of having this printed on canvas for our bedroom

Shutter 1/3200 Aperture f/1.6 ISO 200

Shutter 1/100 Aperture f/1.8 ISO 1250


Rachele said...

1/3999 ??

I have no idea what the triangle of light is.

It really boggles my mind that you all have been shooting in manual without using the meter. I can't even grasp it, as I am so dependent on it whenever I switch to manual (which I am SLOWLY doing more and more).

Christie said...

Yeah, I have no idea how the 1/3999 came up but that is what was listed so I guess that's where it was.

I employed the 'take a picture and adjust' method of determining what my aperture and shutter speed should be. Using the metering certainly makes this easier. Also, the meter on my old camera didn't work - we figured that out in the Creative Camera techniques class when Zeb admitted I needed a new camera. Good news, it works on the new camera!

Snickollet said...

Wow, Christie, these photos are gorgeous. Henry! Cute! Love!