86

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 developed an eye for what is a good photo in my vision. I started with a ratio around 100:1 from before knowing what a good photo is! With a better idea of exposure ...


71

I think Stan said it best in regards to composition and light, but I'll try to be a bit more specific about your pictures. What are you trying to show? This is the most important question to ask yourself before clicking the shutter. If you don't know, or don't address it, the audience won't know either and the picture will look sortof "pointless". Your ...


71

Totally not a photography expert, but I would still like to offer my 2ยข. 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 some nice details there. Generally that usually means "too much land, not enough sky", or "I have to look 'up' to see the horizon". In your case, I feel you ...


68

You can digitally enhance your pictures by increasing the brightness and adjusting the contrast. You can also crop out any parts of the image that don't contribute to the impressive nature of it. Take advantage of angles to convey attributes such as size and distance. Using perspective can also help liven up your images. I think the main concern is that the ...


58

#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 Depth of Field Use blur and out-of-focus areas to draw attention. The effect is called Bokeh. Macro lenses and telephoto lenses work well with flowers by ...


41

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 orientation, its no surprise that most photos are taken this way as well. However, this leads to odd viewing on landscape-first devices, like TV and PCs. By ...


39

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 narrative. Here a young person has been frightened by an older person wearing a mask that is a bit spooky. The body language of both subjects and the facial ...


36

Firstly, you should pose your model. There are ways to accentuate parts of the body naturally. Try posing her arms so that they squeeze the bosom. Another option then is to break all the rules of portrait photography, and instead of using a long lens (that flattens features) use a wider angle (around 24-35mm on full frame maybe) and get closer! By getting ...


36

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 background is green, a colour far away from any skintones, one could try and desaturate the green of the whole picture a little. How far you go with this is a matter ...


33

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 ๐‘“/5.6. By using a faster lens, you can isolate your subject from the background. Here's an example, which is far from being a good photo (especially since the ...


33

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 events is held to a much different standard. Take this example: The depiction is of an actual event, the right person attacking the left. However, the lighting ...


32

"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, need for justification โ€” thus, it occupies a sweet spot between clearly opinionated comments like "very pretty!" or on the other hand, overly ...


31

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 to help composition than a rule. If you prefer to compose your image after the shot it is your style and your image but the "offline" composing has some ...


27

There is a Wikipedia article on top-left lighting, which cites as its primary reference the papers Where is the sun? and Is light in pictures presumed to come from the left side?. These papers support the conclusion that people prefer lighting from the left when resolving a convex-concave ambiguity, although the second notes that the correlation is weak (...


23

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 background into a soft field of green and draw more attention to the child. I used a gaussian blur to simulate the decreased depth of field that a larger aperture ...


22

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 you built a box with a grid or something and put it in front of your camera, like the old matte paint technique used in cinema. Instead of having a paint of a ...


21

The key to using prime lenses effectively is to use them enough that their field of view becomes instinctive to you, so that you can stand somewhere and know what the resulting image will look like, without even looking at the viewfinder. Then, rather than watching your camera, you watch the world, and when you see a photograph, you take it. With a zoom ...


21

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. I was shooting a series of soccer matches and ended up putting a long lens on the 7D and a wider lens on the Rebel. Most of my shots were with the long lens ...


21

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 add anything (in my opinion). My first instinct would have been to use vertical format, probably capturing a little above and below the child, then deciding in ...


20

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. First, accept that it's not a rule. Appropriated from Pirates of the Carribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Barbosa says "...more what you'd call 'guidelines' ...


19

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 to the background camera left than you are camera right. Use less distracting backgrounds--the brightly coloured curb running through the photograph pulls the ...


18

No, you are the artist and you decide what works best in your shots.


18

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 illustrate my point - this is original frame from Alberto Korda. You are no doubt familiar with the edited version. It has been cropped and contrast tweaked. ...


17

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 photography since its earliest days. Think of wet plate (without predefined format) and large format photography (typically almost square, 4"x5" or twice that size). ...


16

That's a picture of the remote sensing mast, which houses the main cameras. Since there's no one else there to be snapping the portrait, this had to be taken with one of the other cameras. In fact, it was taken from the Mars Hand Lens Imager camera on the robotic arm, and that's probably just the position it was in for the self-portrait, either because that'...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible