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Great Darren 2004-03-15 2:48

Hi Dave.

First of all, you say you are a rank amateur, but the looks of this shot certainly don't suggest that to me. Your framing of the man is really excellent. I will try to help as much as I can, not sure what it will be worth. First, I am only guessing, but this looks like a crop from a larger photo. There is a certain "fuzziness" to his face which suggests this to me, although I could be wrong. IF this is a crop, my biggest suggestion is to do exactly this, but zoom/walk in closer so you don't have to cut any of your photo away. The more you have to work with when it comes time to print (I assume that is your purpose, could be a net presence too), the better your results will be. Your exposure seems very good here, very little save for a small patch of background is blown out completely and certainly your subject has received enough light so show details in his face. For an older man, where you want to emphasize the hardness of his life through his wrinkles, bright, mid day sun like you have used is helpful. Try that with a smooth skinned woman or a younger man you want to look "pretty" and it is a recipe for disaster.

I will continue this as a discussion.

Old 03-15-2004, 09:50 AM
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Darren Darren is offline
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Default To Darren: Further on My Critique

Pleasing looks will almost always come from early morning or late afternoon sun, or saving that, a subject in the shade with no direct sunlight in the shot at all. I think you have pretty much perfectly placed the man in the shot. although even a further crop from the right wouldn't hurt either. I don't mind that he is looking away, but his eyes are just a tiny bit hidden. Seeing the eyes clearly, especially when a little eye contact is made can make for a very impactful shot. My personal taste is that this shot could use a little sharpening in post processing, but that is more my taste than anything concrete. Knowing what camera and lens you are using I think might be even more helpful for me to give some further shots. I am guessing by your restricted DOF (depth of focus/field) that you were using an SLR, but that could have been done simply because you shot from so close. Anyways, the more the viewer knows, I think the more he/she can help.

I would like to recommend you look through <a href="">Clod Reno's</A> work, as he is a very accomplished photographer, with many subjects similar to what you are showing us.

If you truly are as amateur as you say, you really have made a great start into photography.
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Old 03-15-2004, 06:15 PM
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DaveLarson DaveLarson is offline
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Default Re: To Darren: Further on My Critique

Wow, thanks a lot for the detailed critique. Very helpful.

Actually, no, I didn't crop it all or nor did I do anything else to it. However, advice on post-processing is exactly one of the things that I'm looking for. I just bought photo editing software yesterday (actually, I had to get some to reduce the file size down to TE's requirements - that may be where the "fuzziness" that u mentioned came in. In its original size -650K, it's super sharp), and was a bit overwhelmed at all the choices therein (cropping, mask, color, composition, special effects,etc. I literally didn't know where to start). At the very least, you and others have recommended that I crop a bit of the right.

You said that the shot could use a little sharpening in post - if you have time and are willing, pls feel free to do a workshop and/or to give me instructions on how I would do that.

Techs: I'm using a simple Olympus C740 digital and I have Paint Shop Pro 7 software (available - as I've said, I haven't used it yet, except for downsizing the file).

Thanks again,

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