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SoulReal

Critique and Advice?

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Hi Guys, 

 

Pretty new here, can anyone provide some critique on my portfolio and advice? (better keyword suggestions?/Portrait/Landscape preferences? etc) 

 

(I don't expect to sell straight away and know I will need to generally have a larger portfolio but for the meantime it would be helpful to know)

 

Any feedback is much appreciated!

 

Thanks

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I'll only comment on your technique - I'm sure others will comment on your keywords.

 

The first thing that stands out is that a lot of your images are way too dark. There are probably two reasons for this. One is that your monitor may be turned up too bright. This is fixed by calibrating your monitor preferably using a hardware device (£70 or so for a basic one). The second reason I'm guessing is that you are allowing the skies too much influence over your metering - you are losing detail in the ground and main subject areas. This is easily fixed by using exposure compensation if you are using automatic metering but a far better way is to use spot metering in manual mode, meter the subject and let the skies take care of themselves and fix them in post-processing. If you are not already shooting raw, then start now.

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I'll only comment on your technique - I'm sure others will comment on your keywords.

 

The first thing that stands out is that a lot of your images are way too dark. There are probably two reasons for this. One is that your monitor may be turned up too bright. This is fixed by calibrating your monitor preferably using a hardware device (£70 or so for a basic one). The second reason I'm guessing is that you are allowing the skies too much influence over your metering - you are losing detail in the ground and main subject areas. This is easily fixed by using exposure compensation if you are using automatic metering but a far better way is to use spot metering in manual mode, meter the subject and let the skies take care of themselves and fix them in post-processing. If you are not already shooting raw, then start now.

 

I kind of agree with this point and kind of don't... the reason is that most of these shots are tagged with "sunset". So the shots of the cable cars (Emirates Skyway in London), for example, are probably meant to be about the sky with the ground in silhouette,

That said, where it comes to the picture of the horses, I totally agree.

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I'll only comment on your technique - I'm sure others will comment on your keywords.

 

The first thing that stands out is that a lot of your images are way too dark. There are probably two reasons for this. One is that your monitor may be turned up too bright. This is fixed by calibrating your monitor preferably using a hardware device (£70 or so for a basic one). The second reason I'm guessing is that you are allowing the skies too much influence over your metering - you are losing detail in the ground and main subject areas. This is easily fixed by using exposure compensation if you are using automatic metering but a far better way is to use spot metering in manual mode, meter the subject and let the skies take care of themselves and fix them in post-processing. If you are not already shooting raw, then start now.

 

I kind of agree with this point and kind of don't... the reason is that most of these shots are tagged with "sunset". So the shots of the cable cars (Emirates Skyway in London), for example, are probably meant to be about the sky with the ground in silhouette,

That said, where it comes to the picture of the horses, I totally agree.

 

I think this depends on whether you want detail in the ground or not for sunsets. Simple sunset technique is to just meter the sky and let the land black out. My personal preference and that of many landscape photographers is to get detail in the land as well. This applies to general landscapes as well, not just sunsets, and is the reason why a lot of landscape photographers use or used grad filters and maybe polarisers. I gave up with grads years ago - a Nikon FF camera and good post-processing obviates the need for grads.

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horses-in-belvedereuk-HEY355.jpg

I spy with my little eye ...... (w... .ence:ph34r:

Please don't tell me it's intentionally  :huh:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Do tell.

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Looks like the pony in the foreground is tethered on a chain, I would maybe have taken the photo, with more of the tether showing to illustrate fly grazing which is a big issue in the UK at the moment, although they look in good condition. The blurring is probably a chain link fence out of focus, it is  underexposed too, would have tried a few different angles to get the second pony more in the shot. More of the background to show the situation they are in , poor grazing or rubbish surrounding them if that was the case. Doesn't have to be a pretty photo of horses if it serves a purpose for a buyers needs. Hope that's helpful.

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Definitely way too dark.  That was my problem at the beginning. I calibrated my monitor and man did it make a difference.

 

Jill

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park-in-central-london-HFA0HB.jpg

 

According to your keywords we should be seeing `someone` jog, jogging, run, running, tourist !

 

Think you might be better with better keywording !!

 

Or is my eyesight bad ?

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Definitely way too dark.  That was my problem at the beginning. I calibrated my monitor and man did it make a difference.

 

Jill

 

Yes.. I totally have this problem too. Infact, I currently have some images waiting for QC where I have re-edited existing images to address this issue and I will be asking contributor services to replace the old images with the new once (assuming) they pass.

 

Something that I find really helps, as well as having a calibrated monitor, is to pay more attention to the histogram. I often get myself to compromise a bit on what I think looks good as opposed to what the histogram says.. and once the images are uploaded, I am usually pleased that I did.

Edited by Matt Ashmore

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Thanks for the feedback guys! Cannot tell you how helpful your advice has been. 
 
Will definitely purchase calibration hardware and begin to use the histogram more. 
 
As for the 'sunset' images, my intentions were to produce landscape images with a richly saturated sky (to emphasise the gradient) and a good amount of bright and clean detail on land. 
 
Will re-edit and upload.

 

Thanks again!

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If you can afford it, don't go for the very cheapest hardware calibrator as it gives fewer options (e.g. the ColorMunki Smile is £79 whereas the ColorMunki Display is £109 from Wex). The cheaper one will certainly do the job though.

 

If you are not already doing so, try the grad filter in Lightroom or ACR for balancing skies and ground. If you are shooting raw, then you should get more than decent results - a tripod and low ISO are highly advisable to reduce noise.

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