Re: Re: Lesson 3 (posted on behalf of stephiej82)

Duncan Rawlinson

Hi Steph,

Photo 1

First and foremost don’t let anybody tell you the world doesn’t need more photographs of flowers. Some jaded photographers will tell you never to do this but I say the more flowers the better. Shooting flowers is always a good idea because they have natural color and they are usually interesting to look at.


You’ve done well here but I want to remind you of some of the fundamentals of composition. For instance people often forget to include all of the most interesting element in the frame. Note how you’ve cut off parts of this flower. There is not rule saying you can’t do this but sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. For instance if you are shooting a really tight portrait of someone you can occasionally crop off the very top of their head and it works. I guess what I’m saying is be very aware of the edge of your frame and try not to cut things off unless you are doing so for a good reason.

One of the most important things you can do to improve your photographs is to remove everything from the frame that doesn’t need to be there. One way to do this is to hide things in a clever way. For instance in this case you may have been able to hide this extra stuff behind the flower and nobody would have known. The idea being that if you remove everything distracting and make the most interesting subject stand out your images will really improve. Otherwise people will just get distracted.

Whenever this comes up I think of this quote:
A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
– Ansel Adams

This also applies to where you position your camera!

I really like that you’ve kept these in the background but again notice how they aren’t quite in the right spot. They are overlapping with your main area of interest. Again this is a simple fix. Just move your camera around in space. Even a couple inches here and there. In fact if you watch a good photographer they will be moving their camera around in space to place the camera in just the right spot for the composition, the light etc etc.

Finally one thing that could improve this image would be the use of a polarizing filter. That would reduce some of the haziness you see here.

Now, all of that said you have certainly succeeded with the goal of the assignment. You have created a nice little image that features relatively shallow depth of field!! Way to go!!! 😉

Working on your control and understanding of depth of field will really help your photography. When it comes down to it just try to make the interesting stuff in focus and the non-interesting stuff out of focus. That is easier said than done!!! Practice practice practice.

Photo 2

The other photo in this assignment is a little easier to critique because it has one simple problem: Camera Shake

Camera shake refers to the blurring of photographs that usually results from slower shutter speeds. This is because your camera is allowing light to come in through the lens and onto your sensor or film for a longer period of time. While that time is going by if your camera moves it will blur the image. Think about it like this, it’s like shaking a painting around with lots of thick paint on it before it has a chance to dry. Does that make sense?

The simple solution to this is to use a tripod. In fact when shooting images like this you really have to use tripod. Of course if you are a ninja and can remain perfectly still you can get away with it.

Another tip for an image like this is to get an Neutral Density filter. This will cut down on the amount of light and allow you to take longer exposures.

Also a shutter release is another way to reduce camera shake.

Now don’t worry, the key here is that you understand what is going on and I think your photo shows this. You shot this photo at a 2 second exposure on shutter priority. So you’ve got the idea! You just need to refine your technique. In this case 2 seconds is probably too long and a tripod would have been handy.

Good job here!

See you on the next assignment!!!

😀 😀 😀