Susan, you got a nice fall shot. The colored leaves are unmistakable. I have personally shot many images like this one. None have stayed in my selected edit file. I think it’s because it’s too much of a snapshot. Nothing special. I’ve seen so many shots like this. Not to deflate your enthusiasm, but you’re a much better photographer. So go for a better shot. Look at the scene. And think what was special that made you pause. Is the scenic? Or is it a detail? I would guess it was the color and the contrast of red and green. Then, your mission is to bring that concept to the viewer and capture that idea. Anyway that’s just a thought. It’s a little early in the fall. You have plenty of time. Go shoot some more leaves. Even the leaves in the front yard can be a source of material.
Technical: Nikon D90, 1/125 sec, f5.6, focal length 170
Kevin has a thing about chipmunks. He hates them. It’s good he doesn’t have a gun. But Susan shot this one. The upper leaves are overexposed. It’s because there is too much dynamic range in the light. To make it simpler, the upper background is too bright. You can compensate in the camera. Usually the meter will under expose the chipmunk. In order to get everything to look naturally unnatural, you would shoot two images exposing for the light and dark. Or, you could shoot raw and manipulate in Photoshop. I’m less inclined to overthink the image. If you’ll notice the chipmunk is pretty dead center in the image. It tends to get that way when you don’t take time to compose because the critter will only be there a split second.
So she cropped it and got the doors front and center. That’s a way to get the center of attention. It leaves the viewer with little doubt as to intent. Susan, if it was the doors, then shoot the doors. That is to say get in close and focus on the doors. Zoom up. I tend to think that it was probably not the doors, but like you, I agree that there’s a good image here. Just what it is is hard to decide. You needed to change the angle, move your feet, zoom in, out, or something. Something caught your interest. It’s just that you couldn’t really get it on the image sensor and into the memory card. Shoot early and often… or was that vote early and often?
Susan visited Norwich and Kevin’s old school. She liked the door. I know ‘cause she told me. She later sent me a crop of this image. The door is placed at approximately one of the intersections in the ‘Rule of Thirds.’ What caught my eye was the fall flowering chrysanthemums. The eye gravitated to the color. The doors are too small and are outdone by the large bushes. It’s a good image but not a good image of doors.
Jeffrey and Matilda, first day of school, it’s always special. It’s pretty hard to get them to pose, too much else going on. Great shot, Susan. Lighting was good. The expressions are sweet. It’s not crucial to have them looking into the camera lens. I like the hair against the darker contrasting background. This is a very nice image.
Susan wrote: ‘I thought the hands were cute.” And, they are. It’s a touching picture of grandpa Kev and his favorite grand daughter. There are more (grand daughters) so I’m just stirring a little trouble. The image is a good one in terms of exposure and composition. But if what you are pointing to the viewer’s attention is the hands, then that is what you must convey in the image rather than by email. I’d have gone for a close up of the heads and hand. It surely would have left the viewer to appreciate Matilda’s hand on her favorite grandpa. Hey, did Kev put on a little weight?
I like this portrait Susan shot of her grand daughter. The lighting is sweet. There is enough blurring of the background to make it pleasing. Yeah, it could be tweaked a bit. But mostly this is fine. It’s good as a horizontal image. I might crop/zoom closer. But the trade off is to loose the doll. I think it’s an important element. It’s something to think about. What to include or exclude? This is the decision of what the photographer sees to be important to their image. Again, I would encourage experimenting in the camera. Take a couple more images rather than think that you can compensate in Photoshop.
David sent this in, a portrait of his beloved birds. It’s an interesting composition. The upside down view is distinct. So why don’t I love this more? The colors could pop a little more. And I might try a different cropping. Since it’s the upside down pose that’s interesting, maybe a vertical crop with less of the bodies. Just concentrate on the eyes and head. It would be stronger graphically. Here’s an instance in which I would go ahead, edit, and enhance in Photoshop.
My eye immediately fell upon the portion sitting atop the leaf. It looks like a bug (mantis) poised. Of course it’s not. And David is absolutely right to say this is a mean looking plant. The contrasting background nicely enhances the thorny spikes (that are not so prominently seen in the lower left). It’s the spikes that David emphasized. This makes or breaks the image. Good work.
Technical: Canon EOS &D, 1/800 sec, f1.4, focal length 50
David used a 50mm focal length and f1.4 to get shallow depth of focus. I like the image composition. I’m unsure about the focus. Perhaps more depth of field would be in order here. It’s really a graphical image with angles and curves. Except for the stool, which is also graphically placed, the image almost looks like it was masked. I think that HDR processing might be an interesting thing to try here. For me, I wouldn’t have the patience to set up the tripod and so forth. So it’s just a thought on my part. And again, I appreciate David’s continuing contributions. He’s got some pretty sweet images.