88 votes

I know what a bad photo is, so why do I keep taking them?

Practice, practice, practice. This is something I set myself to do and it is progressing although not as easily as anticipated. Like you, I decided to simply not take the poor shots after having ...
  • 101k
72 votes

I know what a bad photo is, so why do I keep taking them?

Totally not a photography expert, but I would still like to offer my 2¢. The mistake I often do is include way too much of the part of the image that isn't relevant to the scene, just because there's ...
58 votes
Accepted

How to compose flowering plants?

#1. Keep it Simple Cherry tree flowers are beautiful. Branches, sticks and leaves... not so much. With cherry tree blossoms, compose simple shots. Try looking a bit closer. #2. Evaluate Focus and ...
42 votes
Accepted

Why do people like square photos?

Square photos are not new, but given our mobile world, they have a unique benefit: they look the same whether viewed in landscape or portrait. Given that smartphones are normally used in portrait ...
  • 14.4k
41 votes

Does every interesting photograph have a story to tell?

You can tell a "story" without necessarily creating a "narrative". I think you may be hung up on believing the only form a story can have is to create a narrative. Some images very clearly create a ...
  • 169k
36 votes

Why is this child portrait not compelling? What went wrong and what could have been done better?

In addition to what has been written (cropped feet), in my opinion the greed hedge in the background draws a lot of attention away from the child because it is so heavily saturated. Since the ...
  • 1,014
35 votes

Is it moral to remove/hide certain parts of a photo, as a photographer?

Artistic photography follows the beauty is in the eye of the beholder ethos. There is nothing inherently immoral about it. Photography that is meant to make a political statement or journal actual ...
  • 20.3k
34 votes

How to compose flowering plants?

Bokeh One of the aspects which is lacking from your photos is bokeh. In all three photos, and especially the last two, the background is too sharp; I imagine that the photos were taken around 𝑓/5.6. ...
32 votes
Accepted

What does it mean when something is "distracting"?

"Distracting" is a word often thrown around in online photo-critique, usually without much specificity. It's a criticism that can be applied to any aspect of a photo without, ultimately, ...
  • 140k
31 votes

Is composition after capture against any traditional photography rules?

First of all: Photography is a form of art and everybody can perform his art like he wants. With that said the so called photography "rules" especially the rules of composition are more of a guideline ...
  • 689
23 votes
Accepted

How to reposition subject in the same place and pose in a series of images over time

Fun idea. That could be called hyperlapse. If you use a specific memory card for that project, you can always switch from viewing the first photo of the project to live view. Another option is that ...
  • 21.3k
23 votes

Why is this child portrait not compelling? What went wrong and what could have been done better?

The leaves in the background aren't an interesting part of the photo, and they're a bit of a distraction. Blurring the background by shooting at a wider aperture (smaller f-number) would turn the ...
  • 31.2k
21 votes
Accepted

How to avoid changing lenses all the time when shooting with primes?

I'm by no means an expert. But one thing that I've tried is having 2 bodies. It sounds expensive, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. I have an old Canon Rebel, and more recently bought a Canon 7D. ...
  • 2,833
21 votes
Accepted

Why is this child portrait not compelling? What went wrong and what could have been done better?

The first and obvious problem is framing. Almost never do you want to put a small head in the middle of a large picture. There is much space to the left of the child in the picture, but it doesn't ...
20 votes

If viewers don't respond to the rule of thirds, why do some photographers still emphasize it?

I was tempted to mark this to be closed as "primarily opinion based" but then realized that I can prove that the "rule" of thirds is not a matter of opinion. Well, sort of. In one specific way. Maybe. ...
  • 12.3k
19 votes

Why is this child portrait not compelling? What went wrong and what could have been done better?

To improve your portraiture, try simplifying your composition to better focus the viewer's attention on your subject. How? (No particular order): Square yourself with the background. You are closer ...
  • 1,040
18 votes

Is composition after capture against any traditional photography rules?

From artistic perspective a photographer is duty bound to use all means that are at his disposal to achieve the intended look. This includes cropping and / or other image manipulation techniques. To ...
  • 5,900
17 votes

Why do people like square photos?

The square photo format is as old as photography, not something new. (Even if TO and probably people in general have the impression that it is new). It has been a major tool in professional ...
  • 1,040
16 votes

How to use the Fibonacci spiral to create better photos?

First, everything @mattdm says in his answer is basically true. There is no secret formula that makes the golden ratio or the spirals that can be derived from redacting a series of golden rectangles ...
  • 169k
16 votes
Accepted

When are people or cars in photos not the subject?

What they are trying to tell you, even if they don't realise it or quite know the right language, is that the vehicles/people are a major distraction in the image. If what the viewer perceives as the ...
  • 9,440
16 votes

Why does this photo's skin tones look, weird?

The skin is exactly the same in both images. It's your perception of the skin that is different based on the surrounding colors. Our eyes and brain have a remarkable ability to adapt to different ...
  • 169k
16 votes

Is it moral to remove/hide certain parts of a photo, as a photographer?

The context changes what is acceptable and what isn't. Nature photographers are expected to photograph nature, not caged animals or taxidermy specimens. Documentary photographers are expected to ...
  • 26.4k
15 votes
Accepted

Is it better for a beginner to start with black and white photography?

Traditionally a price factor, but not anymore. The idea that you should shoot only black and white as a beginning "serious" photographer is both highly subjective and highly restrictive, especially ...
  • 326
15 votes
Accepted

When does "Fill the frame" become "Too tightly framed"?

I don't have any other examples immediately, but I'll try to answer the basic question. You're hearing two sometimes-contradictory pieces of composition advice, and are trying to figure out how they ...
  • 140k
15 votes
Accepted

In which scenarios does it make sense to have the subject look straight into the camera?

It isn't necessary to have the subject looking into the camera. In fact sometimes the photo is all the better when the subject isn't looking into the camera. It all depends on what you want to ...
  • 169k
15 votes
Accepted

My attention gets repeatedly distracted by the elements needed for the context in this picture. Where am I going wrong?

I think you are pushing yourself too much to have "context" on your photos. I have read your other posts and tried to comment on them too, but I will focus on this image. The crop It is ...
  • 21.3k
15 votes

I know what a bad photo is, so why do I keep taking them?

Your photo looks a lot like my "wish I'd done better" photos as well. The first thing that comes to mind is that you're trying to balance a couple of ideas/rules and end up with bland. Like the person ...
  • 491

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