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Amature/noob photographer looking for advice
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NJSlacker


May 21, 2009, 1:40 AM
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Amature/noob photographer looking for advice
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Hey all. I'm putting this here since the critique forum appears to be dead. If an admin wants to move it there that's alright.

I'm focusing on climbing for my beginners photography class and looking for some advice and such. Here's some of what I've got.









altelis


May 21, 2009, 6:40 AM
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Re: [NJSlacker] Amature/noob photographer looking for advice [In reply to]
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Hey, I think that there are two things you really need to work on

1) METERING---- you seem to be really good at blowing highlights. read a bunch, play around a bunch, start bracketing, etc. get a really good handle on what changes to the setting result in what changes in your photos? are you shooting film or digital? if film, keep a notebook with you and jot down the metering type you used (spot, center weighted, etc), what you metered off of, and shutter speed/aperture settings. If its digital, the shutter speed/aperture will be recorded for you, so just jot down the metering details. now here's the important part: don't just bury that notebook. really go through the photos in your session w/ that notebook and figure out what worked what didn't. it will honestly really help to go out and shoot like 30-50 frames on 4-7 different shots. play around with all the settings, metering types, metering subjects, etc. this way you'll REALLY understand how changing these things change up the results. you can read all the stuff you can, but you your mind won't really know what to do with a shot unless it has the appropriate memory to match the new experience to...

2)composition: some are fine composition just weren't executed well, and others need a bunch of work. can you shift the camera or your position to get better lighting? can you zoom in or out to get the sun glare out? to remove the super bright area that's bound to be blown out no matter how you monitor, etc. look up the rule of thirds. look at a LOT of japanese landscapes paintings (for an example of really beautiful pieces of work that BREAK the rule of thirds). you have a tendency to both put your subject in the middle of the shot and also not have any interesting lines taking your to or away from the subject. while a photo is a static representation of a dynamic world you don't want the viewers of your photos to view them statically. you want to lead and guide their eyes around the photo. do this with natural lines, subjects gazing off the frame, an interesting something cropped so its not completely in the frame, etc....


i typed this fast and i don't have enough coffee in me, so excuse the typos, etc. i'm not editing that Cool


melekzek


May 22, 2009, 12:54 AM
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Re: [NJSlacker] Amature/noob photographer looking for advice [In reply to]
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first two are very good, definetely not noob !


(This post was edited by melekzek on May 22, 2009, 12:56 AM)


rtwilli4


May 24, 2009, 7:44 PM
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The first two are good, the third is interesting, and the rest are pretty much crap.

Before I go any farther, let me say that I am not a photographer and a lot of these photos aren't mine. Hell, I can't tell you much but I do like to think I know a bit about what to look for.

Climbing photography is about capturing the moment... the climbers feelings. Most of the best photos I've seen are taken from very close to the climber, or with a zoom lens. Either way, you want the focus to be completely on the climber, usually his/her face. Use a lens with a shallow depth of field to put the focus on the subject. Also, get better angles. Get above the climber, not beside him or on the ground.



I have an edited version of this one where the horizon is straight but that's not my point here. Remove all of the "crap" from your photos. If there had been some dude walking around on the beach or a boat up close, this photo would not have worked. In your first photo, there is a hoodie hanging up that is really distracting.



A good example of shallow depth of field and being close to the climber. This would be a very average photo if it weren't for the eyes... and the hand, which are basically the only things in focus.



Usually a picture from straight above looks funny but since this is a Deep Water Solo pic it works. More importantly though, you can see the determination on his face, and the exposed nature of the climb. Your third picture could have been great because of the spot you guys were at, and the color the climber was wearing. Instead you were too far away and didn't even get half of the climbers body in the photo.



If you are going to do a silhouette, do a real one on dramatic terrain... not a half ass, underexposed one taken from the ground.



An amateur pic and its blurry but you can see all four of the climbers limbs. You get a descent idea of how high he is because he is at the top of the frame, and his face tells you where he is going. A wider lens would have gotten the beach and more of the crack, and brigher clothes would have made the subject pop.



This is one another blurry one but it shows the face and the intense nature of the crux moves.



If you are going to be farther away from the climber, then it should be a more dramatic photo... not just a climber plastered to the wall like your pics. Also, if you are far away, you better have a nice backdrop... not just another wall with climbers on it. In your last picture, the climber in red takes the attention off your subject.



This guy "pops" because of what he is wearing. I hate wearing clothes like this but a lot of people don't. Get your climbers in some bright colors. In your second to last picture, the woman basically blends into the woods because she is wearing black, not to mention the huge depth of field which is present in all of your pictures.


A few more things I've picked up:

-Top Rope pics usually suck. You want intense action and emotion and a TR takes away from this.
-You want ACTION, which some of the photos above are actually missing. A static climber is not as interesting as one who is moving.

Hope I helped... I got kinda carried away :)

PS... that crack has bolts because it is in Thailand where no one carry's around 3's and 4's... so I don't wanna hear it about the bolts!


jmeizis


May 24, 2009, 8:00 PM
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Did anyone else notice the bolted crack. Sorry, nothing else to add.


rtwilli4


May 24, 2009, 8:38 PM
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Yea... it's a bolted crack... I mentioned that at the ed of my post. That's what you get in Thailand.... it is holiday climbing.


jmeizis


May 24, 2009, 8:40 PM
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Sorry, I have trouble with the reading.


guangzhou


May 24, 2009, 8:58 PM
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Bolted cracks, they are the norm, not the exception on Asian limestone. As a crack climber, I can say with all honesty, they don't distract to much from the climb. I am happy that my rack doesn't get covered in sand when I hit Thailand. My draws are all wire gates, so they survive fine too.


NJSlacker


May 28, 2009, 6:08 AM
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In case anyone was interested, here are some of the pictures I submitted as my final project.








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