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  • in reply to: Lesson 10 – Photo Styles: Cityscape #18960

    @teacher wrote:

    Interesting interpretation on this assignment.

    This assignment you’ve used lines, shapes and colors as your primary elements. pyramid shape structures are great because they naturally create triangular shapes and diagonal lines which helps create a naturally dramatic look. It’s always interesting to get away from vertical and horizontal lines. Diagonal lines and triangular shapes are less common in our day to day lives and that is likely one of the reasons that photography audiences are drawn towards photographs that incorporate these shapes and lines.

    Looking at this photograph from a technical standpoint you’ve done a great job. Both of the sides of the pyramid were cut off at the same point on each side ensuring that the photograph maintains its left / right balance. You’ve chosen to amputate this photograph at the perfect place. You’ve also used the rule of thirds in both your colors and objects. The bottom of your image is the bright grass, the middle of the shot is the light brown pyramid and then the other 1/3 of the photograph is composed of a brilliant blue sky (did you shoot this with a polarizing filter?).

    Each color represents about 33% of the pixels which helps emphasize the very balanced and symmetrical look you were going for. Great job.

    This is not a criticism, but instead a general recommendation: It would have been interesting to see how this shot looked with a wide angle lens. You would have been able to stand at the same distance and you would have included both sides of the pyramid. Not only that, but you would have pulled out the front corner of the pyramid. It would have exaggerated the depth of the pyramid and made the viewer feel slightly closer. Although, based on your lens choice I think you did the best with the lens you used. I would just be interested to see how this shot looked with a wide angle or super-wide angle.

    Again thank you very much!!!!

    I did not use a filter…I did some processing in photoshop for the sky…

    I agree a wide angle lens comment, I would have loved to shoot it with wide angle to get the whole pyramid, but as you have commented I was limited to my 24-70mm, lens, so in order to get as close as I wanted I had to cut off the sides of the pyramid…I love wide angle lenses, so I am right there with you!!!!

    in reply to: Lesson 9 – B & W Photo #18958

    @teacher wrote:

    Perfect execution of this assignment.

    I’ll start by saying you’ll do very well as a photographer. You have both an artistic and technical understanding of the artform.

    Your assignment accomplishes exactly what was asked of you. From a tonal standpoint, your first photograph has a wide tonal range but is slanted slightly towards the light end of the spectrum. Although, it’s still off balance towards the highlights, it’s more balanced than your second photograph which is a low key photograph with only small areas of highlights.

    The most impressive thing about both of these photographs is that you’ve found true tonal range. Your shadows and dark areas are dark black and your highlights are bright white. This is not always an easy task to accomplish in a natural environment.

    Equally as impressive, is that you’re bringing your knowledge from the previous lessons forward with you. You’re doing a great job with your exposure, your framing and you’re also doing an incredible job choosing interesting depth of field settings.

    There is a lot of thought that needs to be put into each photograph before you close the shutter. Overtime, some of these things need to start to come naturally to you so you can capture the decisive moment without having to stall and think about what to do. It seems as though much of the technical and artistic elements of this art form are starting to come quite naturally to you.

    Wonderful job.

    Wow, thank you so much for the compliment, that is so wonderful to hear!

    in reply to: Lesson 8 – Advanced Photo Comp. #18955

    @teacher wrote:

    Beautiful shot Brandon.

    So far this is the best shot of yours I’ve seen, and you’ve had some great shots. Using backlighting, is for some reason under-explored with portrait photographers. However, it casts such a nice highlight around the subject and really helps separate the subject from the background. It also gives, in my opinion, a very elegant feel to the photograph. The highlights on the right side of the face and in the pigtail are beautiful.

    You’ve incorporated all of the elements from your technical lessons, composition lessons, lighting lessons and black and white lessons in this photograph. The placement of the subject, the angle of the lighting, the wide tonal range and the pose of the subject are incredibly well thought out. Congratulations.

    As you mentioned with the girls legs, it’s not a problem at all. It’s not that amputation is always bad, it’s just that usually frame cut offs are not that well composed. However, in most busy photographs some type of amputation is necessary; it’s just a matter of quickly planning out your cut lines in the most opportune places. You’ve done a great job of that in this photograph.

    In general, try to avoid the joints on the human body (which you’ve successfully done in this photograph). Cutting off at the knees, the ankles, the wrists etc will often lead to awkward framing.

    Great photograph.

    Thank you very much…With my photography, I try really hard to have well thought out photos but keep it natural…I also try to be way more artistic and break the mold of classic portrait photography, thus the back lighting with sun in view flared and blown out…Again, I avoided cutting the girls legs off at the joint, I always avoid that when I am composing a photograph….As you have said in some photography, one must cut limbs and stuff off…I do this alot, as my style requires me to, in order to get a closer shot of the subject I must cut limbs off….

    in reply to: Lesson 11 – Digi Darkroom #18962

    @teacher wrote:

    Wow. Great assignment.

    I would like to draw other students attention to the boys eyes. It is said time and time again that the key to good portraits is in the eyes. Being focused crisply on the eyes makes the photograph go from good to great. By not only having great focus on the eyes in this photograph, but also increasing the saturation (i.e. color vividness) slightly, you’ve made this photograph very personal. You feel as though you’re looking at a real person not a picture, when you look at this photograph.

    The obvious example of the power of the eyes in a portrait can be seen in a photograph by Steve McCurry’s. He captured a brilliant image of a 12 year old Afghan girl during a time of war. You can see the photograph here

    It’s undoubtedly one of the most famous images and there is a lot to learn from it.

    Besides the eyes, you’ve also done a great job of the texture in this photograph. The lips of the boy are wet and add a nice glare. There are white flairs in both of his eyes. His sweater is also noticeably textured as is his hair and skin. The lighting in the photograph brought all of these things out. Great job.

    Your choice of background is radical and very interesting. It adds an entire other element to your photograph. While many portraits overly simplify the background, you’ve chosen to make your background a secondary object worth looking at. . I’m assuming that you shot through old glass with a simplified background on the other side? Maybe you could tell us how you set up your background?

    Thank you very much!!!!

    I am confused what you mean by the background, are you talking about the texture that I used or the actual background behind the boy?

    What I shot with was new glass, 24-70mm 2.8 , wide open…We were in a rose garden and the colors you see are the rose bushes…

    If you are talking about the texture that I applied, it is just a photo of a texture that I overlaid in photoshop and made some adjustments to it…

    If this does not answer your question, let me know and I will do my best to answer your questions…

    in reply to: Lesson 12 – Online Port… #18965

    @teacher wrote:

    Beautiful website. Very well designed.

    I do want to draw your attention to 1 technical detail…

    Your url structure and meta tags could be optimized more effectively.

    1. Your meta tags
    Meta tags are how search engines find you. They are how your site is indexed in search engines such as Yahoo, MSN and Google. However, your meta title reads

    Brandon Perron Photography – Portland metropolitn area, Oregon and Seattle metropolitin area, Washington Lifestyle and Wedding Photographer.

    That is simply too long of a title, it’s a better description. What you need to do is mimic the character count of titles of similar websites that show up for your keywords. I know you’re trying to optimize for as many key-phrases as possible, but the trick is to use your main page for your main search term (or 2 search terms) and optimize internal “landing pages” for your “long tail”.

    For example you may want to optimize your main page for “Portland wedding photographer” and an internal page for “Seattle wedding photographer”…. it’s important that you don’t make 1 page do the work that 5 internal pages should be doing.

    2. Secondly, your site URL structure should be search engine friendly and optimized. When you optimize for your “long tail” you should choose URL’s that reflect your keywords.

    For example, if you optimized an internal page for “Seattle wedding photographer” the desired URL would be:

    Right now your pages are dynamically generated and that won’t help you out too much.

    I hope this helps! Like I said, the site is beautiful, but I want to ensure you’re getting as much organic traffic as possible, so while you’ve incorporated a great design, I want you to make the changes mentioned above for business optimization. I’ll get to your other assignments my afternoon tomorrow!

    I am not concerned with the meta tags so much…SEO is on its way out anyways, or so the experts say…plus the site is flash so it is invisible to search engines anyways…the only thing that is not is the landing page… As for meta tages, it is shorter then any other meta tags then the photogrpahers who show up organically on the first page of search engines in my area…Again you reference the first page of the site to have more keywords, but I can not, like I said the site is flash and it is invisible to search engines…so that will not help me…So I understand how all this works, and if I wanted to set it up like you suggest, then I would have made it an HTML page, but I do not like HTML or XHTML sites.

    I would also appreciate you looking at my 4 other assignments that I turned in…thanks very much.

    in reply to: Lesson 6: Basic Photography Composition #18831

    @teacher wrote:

    A work of art! This is your best photograph submitted yet. It blew me away when I took my first look at it. Everything is spectacular about this photograph. Let me begin by pointing out some of the highlights of the picture in point form (because there are so many)

    1. Your lopsided tonal balance adds a very dramatic high key feel to the photograph
    2. You´ve managed to capture the widest tonal range possible. This is a spectacular black and white photograph
    3. You´ve pulled your main object out from the background and isolated him using the ideal depth of field.
    4. The use of the shapes in the umbrella gives the viewer an interesting secondary object to explore. It also helps set the overall mood of the photograph and gives the photograph some context.
    5. The un-posed facial expression of your main object is delightful
    6. The lighting and subsequent texture in the man´s face is nothing short of breathtaking.

    What a spectacular photograph. I´m really impressed with this one. Great job.

    Wow, Thank you very much on all the compliments of the photograph. I love this picture as well…I look forward to the next lesson.

    in reply to: Lesson 5 Assignment Entry #18762

    @teacher wrote:


    Great shot. I’m very interested in seeing more of that blue tractor. I have a feeling there are many more shot possibilities with that object as your main area of focus. The colors and the textures alone are worth photographing. However, equally, if not more interesting, is the contrast in this picture. By that I don’t mean color contrast, I mean the contrast between:

    Nature vs. Machine
    Technology vs. Decay

    There are so many interesting possibilities within this photograph. If I were you I would move in closer to the textures in the tractor. I think showing the contrast between the rust and the vibrant blue colors could create some very interesting shots. There is always something visually appealing about the texture of rust on metal surfaces. Try shooting this again, closer up when you have sufficient lighting coming from the side (this will help bring out the texture).

    Strictly from a technical standpoint, you’ve accomplished what was asked of you for this assignment. However, I want to call attention to one element that you effectively eliminated in your last assignments photograph but has crept back into this photograph.

    The details of your sky in this picture are completely lost. In order to expose the brush and tractor properly, your camera overexposed the sky. It becomes a lifeless white blog without the texture of a sky. It usually happens do to the limitation of the camera and when you’re shooting in “auto” setting it’s a good compromise. However, it’s still not desirable. I think in this case you could have benefited from removing the sky from the picture totally. Again, this goes back to my previous point about “moving in closer”. This will help eliminate those details. It would also help to further color simplify this photograph since you wouldn’t have the obvious white tone in the background of the image. Instead you would have a stronger focus on your brilliant green and blue colors.

    Overall, great work though. I look forward to seeing what you can create for your next assignment.

    Thank you for the comments…If you would like to see more, you can visit my website , there is that one and more of the blue tractor and another tractor…I agree with what you mean about getting rust and the metal, however I was just trying to stick to what that assignment called for…as for the sky I agree it is blown out and white, I tried a crop of it and the tractor sitting there just looked kind of funny. It was also very dark where this was at, so if I did not have the blown out sky, the tractor would have just been a black.

    It looks kind of cool with that crop…

    Thanks for your comments…

    in reply to: Filter #18732

    @teacher wrote:

    That is an absolutely spectacular photo. Personally I love the infrared look so I’m a little biased. But even the composition is very well done in this photograph. I would like to draw your (and other students) attention to some of the key highlights of this photograph.

    1. You’ve used your foreground very effectively. I have different “layers” in the photograph but your foreground is particularly impressive. A good foreground helps lead the viewers eye into the picture.
    2. Secondly your use of a leading line (the cement pillars in the foreground) act as a nice diagonal to further help lead the viewers eye into the photograph.
    3. All of the elements of the photograph are interesting. The trees, the texture and the shapes all help create a beautiful piece. However, you’ve also managed to fit in a “primary object” in your center (the waterfall). This gives the eye something to rest on while it’s not exploring the rest of the photograph.
    4. due to the filer used, you’ve managed to simplify the color range and also provide a very dramatic tonal range.
    5. Considering you used a large range of high tones in this photograph, nothing is overexposed or washed out (including your sky). This is quite rare in outdoor daytime photographs.

    Great job. The best of yours I’ve seen so far from a composition standpoint!

    Wow thank you very much!!! I like the photo when I took it…I guess I need to trust my instincts more cause I just wanted to take photo to play around with the filter and this is what i decided to take and it looked like a good photo…So thank you very much.

    in reply to: Lesson 3 Assignment Entry #18723

    @teacher wrote:

    Wonderful photographs.

    Your first shot with the slow shutter speed is particularly fantastic. You’ve done a great job of capturing the movement within the shot on the right objects while freezing the other elements of the photograph. Technically, as far as shutter speed is concerned it’s very well done. However, I want to bring two things to light.

    It could be argued that the movement you captured should have been more precise. For example, the audience sees movement in the hair dresser’s head, hands, upper body and so on. Focusing in on one area (although very difficult) would have been ideal. For instance try focusing on the movement of the hairdressers hands and hair so it seems planned and not simply out of focus. This is not to say that a photograph should never have a fully out of focus person because this is not the case. However, in this case focusing in on the main element (hair cut / hands / and the process of getting a haircut) would have been ideal. Seeing the hair move, but the body stay sill. Seeing the hairdressers hands move but not her body… etc.

    Secondly, pay close attention to background details. I know you don’t’ always have full control over these elements but try refocusing, changing your position or waiting for an ideal time to make sure you minimize amputation of distracting elements in the background (ie. Door frame, light switch, pictures and something is also on the right side of the picture which I’m not sure what it is). If you can’t get out distracting elements try changing your aperture setting to create a shallower depth of field.

    The night shot is very good as well. It’s composed very clearly and you’ve done a great job of exposing it properly.

    Overall great job on both shots!

    Thank you for the compliments and the advice. The reason she is out of focus more is because I went with a slower shutter speed and actually she was moving at the same time (she was leaning to set a curling iron down), I wanted to give the effect that everyone was moving around the girl getting her hair done (my sister), which I think is what I achieved.

    As for a shallower depth of field, I see what you are saying and I will do that next time. Makes good sense to me.

    in reply to: Lesson 2 Assignment Entry #18720

    @teacher wrote:

    Very well said. The purpose of this assignment was to get you to raise questions about yourself such as “what your style is”. You can often learn more about your own style by analyzing the photographs of photographers you admire. So by saying that you like the “darker side of life” gives me a good indication that your photography portfolio should have the overall look to it. Night photography with vibrant colors is quite hard to achieve both technically and artistically. That being said, as you know, it can also be one of the most pleasant forms of photography to work with.

    Based on the information in this essay, if it’s okay with you, I would like to see a strong slant towards the theme “dark side of life”, in your next assignments. It doesn’t have to be in them all, but it will help you gain experience shooting this type of photography.

    I look forward to seeing your next assignment.

    Glad to hear what I wrote is ok, I was a little worried about it.

    Yeah, I know night photography with vibrant colors is a very difficult photograph to take properly. That I what I am hoping to take away from doing this, is to possible be able to learn how to take them…I love a challenge and am willing to do what it takes to learn this skill set.

    I will totally work “the dark side of life” into my photography through out all of this, granted some lessons may not require that type of shooting. But I will try to incorporate it into my lessons. Thanks for the kind words…

    in reply to: Lesson 1 Assignment Entry #18718

    @teacher wrote:


    Great work! I really like both sets (but I had to delete one because you’re only supposed to upload 1 set!). I choose to leave your first set, which I found to be more impressive.

    Let me start off by saying that you did a wonderful job of showcasing the power of what careful attention to detail can have. Your first shot looks exactly how I wanted it to: Boring, dull, unimaginative and easily forgettable. The first shot shows various distracting elements and cuts off objects on the 4 edges of your photograph. However, these are some of the biggest mistakes that first time photographers make. They focus too much on the main object (in this case the stereo system) with complete disregard to other important photographic elements. Your second shot however, incorporates some very powerful visual elements which really make it stand out. In fact, this shot is great for 2 main reasons.

    1. It uses informal balance which is often more visually pleasing to the eye. You’ve used the rule of thirds (to be discussed in a later lesson) to organize your photograph and you’ve adjusted your depth of field to help with simplifying the photography and helping to place emphasis on more important elements (In this case the blue light).

    2. Most impressively you’ve managed to color simplify. This is often hard for first time photographers to do. They let in too many colors which leads to an overall unorganized and chaotic look. You have chosen only a few colors which really make the photograph stand out.

    Overall, great job. Exactly what I was hoping for!

    Thank you very much…I understand about only 1 photo, the stereo would have been my choice as well. I am very excited, because what I was taking a picture of, is exactly what it apparently conveyed to you, so I am super excited about that. I wanted to showcase the blue light from the knob, but not just have the blue light and knob in the photo, cause it would have looked and felt weird, so I chose to make that sharp and then the digital elements from the rest of the stereo just be there and give more life to the photograph but not become the subject of the photograph.

    I understand what you mean about too many colors, the thing I love about the photograph is the blue light, so that needed to stick out and be the most prevalent in the photograph.

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