Instructor's Critique for Assignment #1 Is Here
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    DefaultInstructor's Critique for Assignment #1 Is Here

    Instructors please post your critique here so everyone doesn't have to wade through all the photos to find it. Thank you!!

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    DefaultRe: Instructor's Critique for Assignment #1 Is Here

    Critiques for Assignment #1.

    ThatsMyGirl -- over all this is a nicely done photo. Your composition
    is good. Exposure is good. I like that you set the dog up in a natural
    area, and the brown grass plays well with the dog. My only nit with this
    photo is that the lighting is a tad flat.

    Yellardawg -- Nice exposure on this but the composition could use some
    improvement. I find the post and barnacles directly behind the dog to be
    very distracting. I also find the barnacles on the post in the foreground
    to be distracting (my eye keeps going there instead of to the dog). Be
    aware of everything in your frame and look for distractions to your main
    subject and then try to move into a better position if/when you can.

    ownlabnjrt -- Nice exposure with the snow. But, you cut the dog off! Had
    you stepped back a few paces and included the entire dog in the shot, it would
    have been excellent. Be aware of what is in your frame... either step closer
    to crop the dog's head in the frame or step back to include the entire dog
    in the frame.

    georgie -- I like the background you've chosen for this shot however you have
    two things working against you. First, you have underexposed the dog. I would
    have chanced blowing out the bits of snow to get more light on the dog (dropping
    your shutter speed to allow a little more light in). Also GET DOWN ON YOUR DOG'S
    LEVEL. I tell you this a lot You need to be eye level with a dog to get the
    best angle/shot. In this picture you are standing and shooting down at your dog.
    Next time squat so that you are eye to eye with your dog.

    AbbyandMolly -- You have way too much happening in the background here. I'm not
    sure if you were trying to take a portrait or action shot of the dog. Be aware of
    everything in your frame. Set your subject up away from distracting clutter when
    you can. Don't be afraid to get closer to the dog as well. You do have
    nice exposure considering the harsh sunlight.

    delmonico -- a good attempt at taking a black dog in the snow. This is by far one
    of the hardest things to shoot. My advice, if you don't want to play with camera
    settings, is to set the dog up better. Try moving the dog back to the fence and sit her
    there. Get on level with the dog (you should shoot dogs at eye level, your eye to
    their eye) and with the fence behind her it will help light her and your camera will
    read her better than with all the snow around.

    marciabee -- Nice depth of field on this and a nice close up portrait. You did crop
    the dog a little too close though. Leave a little more room around your subject and the
    edge of the photo. Also, the reflection in the eye on the left is distracting, I'm not
    sure how you got that without using a flash? There are ways to fix it in post processing
    so it's not a major boo boo

    Labz4Me -- nice exposure. The composition could have been better than shooting the dog
    squarely in the center of the frame though. Another thing to pay attention to is the
    background. The way the horizon cuts right through her head is distracting. By shooting
    angled upwards or downwards a tad you could move the horizon.

    Anne -- I really like this. You've done an excellent job on the exposure. The snow is blown
    out in a few places but not so much that it's distracting. The light on the dog is wonderful.
    The composition works for me but could be cropped a tad on the left hand side. I'd like to
    see you start shooting in Manual. I think you'll get the gist of it quickly.

    Emma the Lab -- This is a nice portrait shot and I like that you've chosen to shoot it
    vertically. The exposure is a bit off however and the dog's face has a somewhat bluish
    hue to it. Also, the fence in the background is distracting. If you could increase your
    depth of field by opening your aperature setting it might help. Don't know if you can
    do that with your camera.

    TheBigRaloo -- Nice exposure and color. This would work so much better though if you were
    eye level with your dog instead of shooting down at the dog. Sit on the ground if you have
    to, but try to get your eye level with the dog's eye.

    sidneygirl -- A good attempt at exposure in the snow. Your camera is getting it's light
    reading off the snow instead of your dog's face. Not sure of what settings you have available
    on your camera. If you can drop your aperature down one or two stops (the f/stop setting) and/or
    decrease your shutter speed you could get more light on the dog. You'll chance blowing out some
    of the snow, but I don't think it would be all that distracting. Good portrait shot. I would
    have cropped it off just a tad more on the left to get rid of that part of a pole or tree.

    Cinder4evr -- Not sure if you were going for a portrait or action shot. But you've cut part
    of the dog off. Again, getting a nice exposure of a dark dog against snow is very difficult.
    You have to use what you have to get more light on the dog's face. Try having the dog lay down
    in the snow with her back up against the brick wall/ledge so that the bricks are behind her face.
    You should get a better exposure then with some snow in the foreground. Get on level with the
    dog, sit in the snow if you have too.

    Felix -- nice exposure and composition. Love the depth of field you've achieved. You don't have
    any camera settings posted? Cropping it just a tad on the right would be the only thing I'd try.
    Good job.

    zoesmom -- I'm wondering why you've chosen such a high ISO? You have nice exposure on this, but
    I think it could have been even better had you chosen a lower ISO and increased your shutter speed.
    1/25 is very slow and you do have some blurring (probably need a tripod at this slow speed). Using
    a high ISO is generally for fast moving sports shots or very low light conditions. Being at the
    beach you could have probably gone with 200 or 400 ISO (it does look a bit cloudy) and increased
    that shutter speed and gotten a very sharp image. Nice composition.

    Jimbo -- this reminds me of an Andrew Weyth painting. Compostion could be improved by cropping so
    you don't see the top seat cushions (take about an inch off the top) Good use of ISO to get the
    light you needed, however your image is too soft (blurred) at that shutter speed. You probably
    had camera shake. Try a tripod at lower shutter speeds. Or use a lower focal length, at 100mm
    your depth of field is making the area of your dog's elbow and across her back the focal point
    instead of her face.

    chocco_23 -- You've got some funky glare going on here. Was this shot taken in a car? The
    moulding that runs along the left side of the photo is very distracting. The image is slightly
    blurred as well. It looks like you have a lot of light coming in from the right. If you can,
    I would increase shutter speed.

    Buckyball -- Too much background going on. Get closer to your subject and get down on your subject's
    level (eyeball to eyeball). Exposure is pretty decent but I'd have increased shutter speed to
    eliminate some of the light. Also watch where everything in the frame is located. The brick pavers
    coming out of her back are very distracting. Shooting from her level would have helped eliminate

    Kwinon -- a decent attempt at an action shot. It's very hard to get correct exposure when you have
    a black and light colored dog. You will either blow out the light dog or underexpose the dark dog.
    I would have liked to see you down on the dog's level more and had you either capture both dogs entirely
    (not cut off tails and butts) OR get closer to the action at their heads and make the tuggy rope
    the focal point. Overall this shot is underexposed.

    hark67 -- excellent capture of Mr. Jay. Birds are difficult to get. The composition is nice.
    The image is blurred (increase shutter speed). Yes, you can tell the camera not to fire the
    flash by going into your menu options. But better yet is to set it on manual

    TroopersMom -- Eye Eye Eye! Those glowing eyes! For a night shot this isn't too bad. You have decent
    exposure. About the only way to avoid the glowing eyes with flash is to bounce the flash away from
    the dog's eyes or have the dog's eyes focused away from the camera. Also, I think this shot would
    have been greatly improved if you had gotten down on the dog's level.

    Emyly N Rio -- Cute shot but... You need to get on the dog's level. This means you either squat
    down or sit down on the ground... don't stand and point the lens down at the dog, it really distorts
    the dog. Considering the bright snowy background, your exposure is good. Use your camera's built-in
    light meter to meter on the dogs face next time. Also, crop your dog so you're not cutting him off the

    Trickster -- Cute image. I love it that you are on the dog's level. Thank you!!! This is a tad
    over-exposed. If you can try to increase shutter speed or use a higher f/stop. Also, keep
    aware of your background. You have a lot of things in the background that distract from the dog.
    Look for simple backgrounds.

    CenTexLabs -- You have very nice exposure here. I would personally like to see you bring the dogs
    a bit closer in frame and move your position to eliminate that electric pole in the background. Good

    Linda1 -- Love the depth of field you're getting, but the wide open aperature is causing you to
    overexpose the dog a tad. Try increasing your shutter speed on this to get more detailing in
    your dogs fur and keep that lovely DOF in the background. Very nice composition. To help you
    with exposure, there is a selection on your camera menu called "highlights" that will make the LCD
    screen "blink" in areas that are over-exposed. Try using this to help you get better exposure.
    It's a great tool.

    Sadies Mom -- nice attempt at exposure against snow! I would try dropping the shutter speed a tad
    to get a bit more light on your dog's face. Also, watch your background. This would be nicer if you
    had moved the angle down just slightly to eliminate the bottom of the trees on the top of the picture.
    Or you can physically crop the image in Photo Shop (but the intent of this course is to help you
    get pictures better right out of the camera). Nice composition.

    sirhobart -- I'm thinking you made this B&W because you underexposed the dog. It doesn't work.
    Your dog is still underexposed. I'd drop both your ISO and your shutter speed and use your
    camera's light meter to get a reading on your dog's face. Also, get eye to eye level with your dog,
    don't shoot down at him.

    Heather, I really like the white on white of this shot but your composition needs work. You've
    cropped way to close to the top of your dog's head. Also, your dog is smack center in the frame.
    I'd salvage this by actually cropping is closer around the dog's face. Get rid of that red and
    green ball, it's distracting (my eye goes immediately to the color as it's the only bright
    color in the shot). Image is a tad soft, possibly some camera shake?

    Aim -- Nice exposure. This is what I was trying to tell delmonico to try. Setting your dog back
    along this fence helps diffuse a lot of the light bouncing off the snow. You could have gone back
    further with the dog (set him closer to the fence) and eliminated that line of the fence running
    right behind his neck. Otherwise, not bad composition and the exposure works.

    JacksAndLabs -- very nice composition. I really like it. Exposure wise, it's just a tad flat. I'd
    like to see a bit more contrast. Try bracketing (shooting one f/stop higher and lower) to see what
    kind of exposure you'd get. Some camera's have automatic bracketing features, you just shoot one
    picture and the camera will actually do three different exposures (I believe your camera has that
    feature, read your manual).

    azlab -- shot is overexposed. How much can you change settings on your camera? Try a higher f/stop
    or shutter speed to get better exposure and contrast. The composition is good, I like the way you've
    gotten close and framed your dog in the shot. Get rid of the date on the picture

    KLM -- cute shot, really cute. Like that angle, it's different and works well. Be aware of what you
    are capturing in the frame. You've chopped off the tip of your dog's ear, give a little more room
    around your subject. Your exposure is good and you need that high shutter speed to capture the
    action of his paw. The fence in the background is a big distraction. Again, be very aware of
    everything in the frame before you shoot the shot, reposition yourself if you can to get rid of
    background clutter.

    mattgusmum -- this shot is overexposed and out of focus, and, you cut the dog off the frame. One of the
    best things you can do to get better shots of your dog is to teach your dog a "stay" command. That
    way no matter where you set the dog up, you know the dog will stay and not move so the camera can
    focus well. As for it being overexposed, are there any settings where you can control shutter speed?
    That's the easiest way to correct exposure, higher shutter speed means less light.

    bibber -- decent exposure given the harsh sunlight. I like the composition as well. You've left enough
    space around the dog to make the crop work. You have some blow out on the dog's coat (areas where there is no color only white). This could be corrected by shooting with higher shutter speed and f/stop. Learn to use your camera's built in light meter, it's a wonderful tool.

    Shelia -- nice attempt at stop motion. Exposure is a little off and focus is off as well. A higher
    shutter speed would help. Also, you have cut off part of your dog. Step back from the action to
    include the entire dog.

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    DefaultRe: Instructor's Critique for Assignment #1 Is Here

    ThatsMyGirl - Black dogs are hard to photograph, the exposure is hard to get 'right'. I think you did a very nice job. I like the background, like the dog's focus away (candid). Lighting is pretty even, soft. Nice job.

    Yellardawg- (Me). Uhm...well, I wish I'd gotten her eye in focus more, sharper. I like the forced perspective of the barnacles in the foreground, but I appreciate other's perception of it and respect that opinion. This shot is an actual hunt in a location that is extremely difficult to get to. I am actually in a boat in 4 inches of water on top of 2 1/2' of mud so movement is extremely difficult for the camera. I look forward to hearing some constructive critisism on it from the others.

    ownlabnjrt - The subject is nice, I love the snow (not something I get to see much anymore). But, you need to use a wider angle lens or step back and the light shade of the dog and the snow almost wash out for me, It's a decent picture but I might have experimented a little with under exposing it to see what 'developed'.

    georgie- Get on the dogs level and like I said above...Black dogs are difficult to photograph. It's hard to get the exposure right to show detail in the face and expression in the eyes...especially when the light isn't cooperating. I like your setting, your background. I think you did a nice job. Maybe slow the exposure and see what develops or...try the flash to fill and give more light on the face (I know, wasn't part of the assignment).

    AbbyandMolly - Exposure looks good. Eyes stand out, facial features not lost, a good technical pic. Background...leaves something to be desired for me. Consider the whole shot next time, not just focusing on the dog.

    delmonico- I'll say it again, Black dogs are difficult to photograph. This is a technical photo, the contrast of the black dog on white snow is sweet, but adds to the difficulty of the photograph. You brought the dog up closer to your level, but still are shooting down at it. Get level with the dog, maybe square up the background.

    marciabee - I like the picture, Like the depth of field, maybe needs more background around the image (back up/widen lens). Pretty good picture.

    Labz4Me - I like the subject, the head turn. Background is more natural than others (a plus for me). But, the lens (wish you knew what lens setting was used) looks fisheyed to me, seems to distort shapes.

    Anne - More of the dog! Turn the camera 90 degrees. Nice focus, good exposure IMHO. Great natural background. Overall good job.

    Emma the Lab - Nice subject, nice background, I don't like the horizontal line of the fence, maybe blur the background by opening aperature more. I love the colors in this and the reflection on the water. Overall, I like the shot.

    TheBigRaloo - get down on the dog's level. I like the attentiveness in you're dog's face and eyes. The exposure is good.

    sidneygirl - I like the picture. a little dark on the exposure, decrease shutter speed and consider the background a little more, one or 2 steps to the left could have given you a more uniform background (and cut out the pole and the shed behind the dog.

    Cinder4evr - Black dog again...difficult to photograph under normal circumstances but the snow makes it harder...a great shot when done right. Decrease shutter speed or open aperature more, will really make the snow worse, but will give you detail of your dog's face. Also, get more level with the pup and frame a but better.

    Felix - nice job, good background and depth, nice colors. I'd suggest a focusing on the eye a bit more. Maybe if you'd have stepped to your right a bit (and turned the dog a hair) you'd have gotten more light on the right side of the dog's face and less shadow. Good job.

    zoesmom - I love the composition, love the dog's ear up (even tho' you don't). High ISO makes for 'noise' in the picture. Lower that setting, increase shutter speed, Maybe slightly under exposed (eye is very dark) I think this could've been a great pic. Make sure the filter is on tight and keep the camera safe and clean in this environment (I shoot alot near the water and it's a great concern of mine).

    Jimbo - I like the softness of the light. Focus more on the eye. The framing is ok as it can be fixed easily.

    chocco_23 - backlighting is difficult. Pup is cute, consider things in the frame that may distract.

    Buckyball - Nice exposure, nice focus, background is distracting. If you'd have moved to the right, you may have been able to eliminate much of that in the background and had more of the berm in it. Take a knee and get a more level shot.

    Kwinon - Black and white dog with white background...difficult. To get the Black dog's exposure 'right' you may wash out the white dog and the snow. Get on their level, get both dogs completely in the shot. Lighting looks grey, underexposed.

    hark67 - good color, good exposure, tail is cut off a bit. Focus on the eye.

    TroopersMom - get down on the dog's level. Flash pics of dogs often cause 'Cujo' eyes.

    Emyly N Rio - get down on the dog's level, frame better to include all parts of the dog. A little under exposed, decrease shutter speed or open the aperature, 11 is small (Your dog's eyes are lost)

    Trickster - cute, good exposure, maybe center the dogs face, maybe have moved to your let to get more green in the background and get less of the 'white to green change'. I like it.

    CenTexLabs - only complaint is the pole, maybe get closer or zoom in a bit more (could be cropped). Like the image.

    Linda1 - simple, I like it. Maybe under expose it a bit (increase shutter speed) to make it more crisp (or use a sharpening tool in a photoediting software).

    Sadies Mom - this pic could be cropped and be a really nice picture. Or, you could've gotten lower and back a bit and gotten a slightly different pic. Nice job. Nice capture of the eyes.

    sirhobart - underexposed, B&W makes it worse for me. Shutter speed is too fast. Get level with the dog. Our dog's eyes are so expressive, we've got to get them in the shot and it's difficult on Black dogs.

    Heather - what a cute picture, the dogs eyes really speak, my only real complaint is that you cropped it's head. If you'd have been lower, you'd have gotten rid of the ball in the shot and maybe not cropped it's head.

    Aim- lighting is the only issue I see (different time of day would produce a different pic in the same location), Background is simple, exposure is good, composition is good

    JacksAndLabs - Very nice.

    azlab - Get on the dog's level, consider lighting direction (right side of photo is overexposed, left side is severely over exposed/washed out)

    KLM - cute pic, Black dogs are difficult to photograph as the darkness causes us to loose detail. Feet and ear are cropped, it looks like a great background is available..but you got the fence. It's nice shot.

    mattgusmum - Over exposed, faster shutter speed or higher aperature (f) value could help. Good background, dog cropped. Where are you located to sun that high in the sky at mid day? (Southern Hemisphere???...looked at profile, Austrailia, cool). Morning and early evening would have helped the exposure.

    bibber- directional light makes harsh shadows on the dogs face and washes out the chest area. I notice in your signature pics that they are around the pool too, if you can, try different locations and experiment with backgrounds.

    Sheila - I like the action shot. Dog is cropped. Increase shutter speed to capture the moment better, slightly out of focus, good attempt.

    In summary, watch the exposure on black dogs, consider backgrounds, get on the dog's level (or below it) and frame the entire subject (doesn't have to be the entire dog if you are focusing on a smaller part of the dog). I also shoot alot of my pics at multiple fps (frames per second...Canon XT/XTI folks, I believe you can get 3fps and the person with the 30D, I believe you have 5fps available) and shoot 5-10 of the same thing and occasionally, I'll change shutter speed or Aperature value to experiment. I'm amazed at how subtle differences can make a difference and catch something that you'd have missed if you were taking 1 pic at a time.

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    Buddysmom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Instructor's Critique for Assignment #1 Is Here

    JL Photo Class Assignment #1 Critique
    Monnie Fishel – buddysmom

    ThatsMyGirl – Very nice shot. It’s sharp, the exposure is good, and you’ve turned your subject sideways rather than shooting straight on. I would have tried a portrait orientation rather than a landscape orientation. You could have done this by turning the camera sideways or just cropped it in portrait orientation. This would have highlighted the dog more and not had quite so much bare area around her. I would have shot with an ISO of 200 so you could have used a faster shutter speed. This is just personal preference. You have a very clear sharp picture, so it turned out ok. Sometimes with a slow shutter speed, you’ll get camera shake.

    Yellardawg - Your exposure is right on. I like it. Your composition is very good and interesting. I do have a problem with the white barnacles on the post on the dog’s left. I find them distracting. If you could take this same picture without the post, it would make the shot a little less busy. Otherwise, great shot.

    Ownlabnjrt – This shot has a lot of potential. You’ve captured great expression in the dog’s face. The shot is clear and sharp. The exposure is good. I would step back or zoom out and get the whole dog. You’ve done the right thing with having room in front of the dog’s face, but the dog is too chopped off. Watch having the dog look like he’s falling off the page.

    Georgie – Nice job. I would have used a little slower shutter speed to try to bring out the detail in her face. Nice job shooting from the side with her looking in the direction she’s sitting. I would crop a little off the top and up to the log on the left. I think she’s a little too centered. You don’t want to crop too close on the left because that’s the direction she’s looking in.

    AbbyandMolly - Nice capture in his eyes. Watch your backgrounds. This shot has too many distractions behind the dog. When you’re shooting in auto mode, you can’t change the setting, so you have to pay extra attention to your composition. We’ll deal with setting the dog up for a great shot in the next lesson.

    Delmonico - It is really hard capturing a black dog in the snow or any bright white background. It’s very hard to get the correct exposure. In this shot, you need to get closer to the dog and get rid of a lot of the background and foreground. Filling the viewfinder with the dog will make it easier for the camera to expose the picture.

    Marciabee – WOW, great shot. You captured wonderful expression on the dog’s face. You’ve filled the viewfinder with the dog. I’m just nitpicking here, but I would clone out the brown leaf in the grass to the right of the dog. I find it distracting from the great eyes of this dog. Great catch lights in the eyes.

    Labz4Me - Good try. Watch shooting an animal or person straight on. It’s more interesting if you shoot off center. Also, watch centering the subject. I would have walked in a little closer. I would have taken off the bottom just above the ball and a little from the right side.

    Anne - Great shot. The exposure is good and it is very sharp. I love the light on the face. I would have shot this in portrait orientation or cropped a little off the left side. I love the touch of snow on his face. I like the backgrounds blurred with this type portrait. If you had used an aperture around f4 or less, the background would have blurred and the dog would have stood out more. Also, there’s no reason to use an ISO of 1600 in sunlight like this. It doesn’t seem to have hurt this photo. Just watch using an ISO above 400, if not needed. You can get a lot of noise from an ISO above 400 especially with a Nikon camera.

    Emma the Lab – Great shot. I really like this. You shot in portrait orientation. The light is perfect on the face and gives great catch lights in her eyes. I would like to see the background blurred a little so it doesn’t distract from the dog’s face. We’ll teach you how to do this later.

    TheBigRaloo – Nice exposure and very sharp picture. I love the lighting on the dog’s face. It gives it great modeling. I would have shot this in portrait orientation. I would also have gotten down just a little lower on the dog’s level.

    Sidneygirl - Yes, it is a little dark. I’m afraid the flash would have done more harm than good. You could have made a reflector from some tin foil. Again, I would have shot in portrait orientation. Also, if you had moved to your left about 4/5 steps, you would not have shot the dog straight on and you would have eliminated the shed in the background.

    Cinder4evr – I would not have tried to shot her on the move. One thing you’re looking down on the dog and she’s too close to the right side of the picture. The exposure on the dog appears to dark. It’s hard to shoot a black dog in snow.

    Felix – Great job. You have your subject off center and not facing straight forward. The lighting is very nice on the face. I love the boka (blurred background). The only thing I would have done differently was to shoot this in portrait orientation.

    Zoesmom – Good try. The composition is good. The shot is a little flat. It’s hard to tell if the sun is shining or its overcast. I think its overcast. That’s why the picture appears flat. I would have used a 200 or 400 (if it was overcast) ISO. This would have increased your shutter speed. You needed just a little more light on the eyes to show her expression. Just a personal preference, I would have cloned out or moved to get rid of the hills in the background. Either that or I would have moved to have more mountains.

    Jimbo – Good job. I would like to see the top and bottom cropped a little more. I would also leave just a little more room on either side. I love the expression in the eyes. Remember the eyes in most portrait type situation should always be in sharp focus unless you’re going for the soft style photo. In this case with an AV or f/2.0, you have a very shallow DOF. You have to make sure you are focusing right where you want the sharpest part of the focus to be.

    Chocco_23 – This has the potential to be a good shot. It looks like you shot with the sun behind the dog. This created the haze. The picture to the left in your siggy is a much better shot.

    Buckyball - Good try. Watch having too much area around your subject. I would have gotten in closer and filled the viewfinder with Bucky. He’s a little over exposed to my liking. I would have increased the SS a little or shot at ISO 100.

    Kwinon – Next time try backing up a little and getting all of the dogs. This shot is almost impossible to get correct exposure on. White snow, yellow dog, and black dog on a very overcast day will equal impossible exposure.

    Hark67 - Nice Jay. It looks a little underexposed and soft to me. BTW, I like the shot in your siggy. Try cloning out the rest of the leash on the dog.

    Troopersmom – Nice try. Next time get down more on the dog’s level. This would make a better perspective. Also, back out a little and leave just a little more room around the dog. Also, taking the picture from a side angle might get rid of the red eye.

    Emyly N Rio – Watch shooting down on your subject. If done sparingly, it can be a good perspective. Usually, though, getting down on your subjects level gives a more interesting picture. I would have decreased your SS one stop to lighten the picture up a little. The eyes appear a little dark. I would have included more or less of the dog. This looks chopped off. More would have included the entire dog or less would have made it a portrait.

    Trickster – I love this shot. This is a great perspective. The eyes are well exposed and sharp. I would have liked to see a more blurred background so it didn’t distract from the cute photo.

    CenTexLabs - Good job. I like that you’re on the dog’s level. I would have moved in a little closer. Watch your background. You could have moved over just a little and gotten rid of the telephone pole.

    Linda1 – Good job. I like this. You moved in close, got on the dog’s level, and took the shot from the side of the dog. You also blurred the background. You did a very good job.

    Sadies Mom – You’ve done a good job with this shot. The exposure is right on, and the photo is nice and sharp. You got down on the dog’s level. I do find the area above her head distracting. I would crop down a little closer to eliminate it or clone the snow over the entire area.

    SirHobart – Watch getting distracting elements in your photos. Next time move your hand out of sight or crop it out. This is underexposed. You need to decrease your shutter speed to bring more light to his face. If it was overcast, I would have increased the ISO to 200 or 400.

    Heather – Watch getting too close and cropping off the top of her head. I would have turned the camera sideways and used portrait orientation. I also would have cropped above the ball at her elbows and left a little more room at the top of the head. The exposure is pretty good, but a little flat. This is because of the overcast day. The differing shades of yellow on her face create modeling which is good.

    Aim – Nice job. Watch shooting head on. This would be a better shot if he was looking at you, but his body was turned sideways. Also try turning the camera sideways in portrait orientation. Your exposure is good. I like the light coming in from the right side of the picture. Notice how this creates shadows and highlights on the face. It gives it a 3D look.

    JacksandLab – Very nice shot. Normally I like single dogs in portrait orientation. In this one however, I like the landscape orientation. I like the wet dog, snow, and grass. It makes me feel like he has just finished a retrieved. The exposure is right on. It’s so hard to get good facial detail on a black dog. You’ve done well.

    Azlab – Good try. Couple of problems I see with this picture. The sun appears to be interfering with the shot. It has caused the side of the face to be too over exposed and the picture to have too much haze/glare. Make sure the light is coming from behind you. You need to get down on the level with your subject. This makes the subject more interesting, and you don’t seem to be towering over the subject. This is especially true with children and animals.

    KLM – Great shot. I like the angle. Next time try to leave a little more room on either side of your subject. Here the ear and foot are cut off. I would also like to see the fence removed from the picture. I find it distracting. You have good exposure and clarity.

    Mattgusmum – You really need to watch the time of day when you shoot. Taking pictures anytime after 10 am and 4 pm tends to give picture too harsh of a look, if you’re not careful. Since you are using auto setting, the camera metered off the black dog and blew out the sun and side of face. You might try moving the dog into the shade to take the picture or use an auto setting with a faster shutter speed. You should watch taking pictures of single dogs in landscape orientation. Although you don’t want the dog centered in the shot, you don’t want it falling off the edge either.

    Bibber – Nice shot. I would have moved a little more toward the pool. This would have made the dog turn it’s head just a little toward the sun. This would have made the darker side of the dog’s face a little brighter. I would also have taken this shot from a little lower angle.

    Sheila – Nice try at an action shot. Next time move back farther. This would allow you to get the entire dog in the frame. Since you’re using the sports mode which should have adequate shutter speed, I think the blurred action is coming from camera movement. Try moving back, sitting down in the field, and catching the action as the dog runs across your path. Try to make sure to steady the camera so you get less blur from camera shake.

    Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
    CDX, RE, WC, CGC, TDInc.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    DefaultRe: Instructor's Critique for Assignment #1 Is Here

    My reviews will come tonight...I am at work right now

    A few things to keep in mind when shooting portraits for the future...the other reviewers touched on most of these....

    1) Cloudy days are really evens out the light in the frame. Constant light across the frame makes for some good even shots.
    2) If you have a dslr, decide first what is important: a) do you want to use a high aperture (low f #) to blur the background b) a low (high f#) aperture to get more in focus behind the subject c) F# does not matter in your situation - if so, use F8-f11 if you can
    3) F-stop number of F8-F11 will usually give you the sharpest shot (sweat spot)...use it when depth of field (dof) does not matter and you have enough light
    4) If you use a low F#, say 3.5 - keep in mind, part of your dog my be out of focus. You will be amazed that if you are like 5ft from the subject and use a low F#, part of your dog may be soft or out of focus....
    5) If your background in the picture is distraction, try to get it out of the frame - get closer or use that lower F# to blur it a bit....
    6) Shooting as High Iso will cause grainy pics...I try to keep it between 100 and 400 (usually 100 and 200)...anything more, i risk grain, but some cameras handle it better then mine does. I use higher ISO when I am indoors and the flash would not help as the subject is out of flash range...a good, fast (low F# lens) come sin handy as well. In this situation, I was inside, and could not use a flash as I did not want him seeing me take the shot. In order to get the speed to 1/40 of a second, which is pretty slow, I had to go to ISO 400. I could have shot it as ISO 800 and 1/80 of a second, but the shot would have been ruined with grain. Or I could have gone to ISO 200 and 1/20 of a send, but I don't my hands would have been steady enough. i could have also lower my F# below F5, but I was about 4 feet from him and risked both shoulder being out of focus.

    I will post my reviews later tonight.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    DefaultRe: Instructor's Critique for Assignment #1 Is Here

    Thatsmygirl- It must have been a cloudy day after seeing your High ISO, and slower (1/60) shutter speed, alongside F4. I like the shot, good composition, I like that the dog is not looking at the camera – makes it feel more intense. What made the tough shot is getting the right exposure of a black dog with such a light background, but you did a good job of it. Many would have either over exposed the bush or under exposed the dog – I think you did a good job of it….it usually takes a few shots to get it right. Cloudy days are actually easier days to get good exposure. Good Shot!

    YellarDawg – Love the setting with the water, tree (fungi), brush…I really enjoyed this shot. Dog looks happy and again, I like that the dog is looking off in the distance. I like that you got really close to take this shot yet got so much into it. The one draw is the sky, but I would imagine, getting the correct exposure on the sky would have sacrificed it on the rest of the shot.. that nice tan (yellow) color make exposure easier compared to a black dog – Keep up the good work!

    Ownlabnjrt – Lucky you have such a light dog or that shot would have been bad…but it is okay. Shooting in the snow is tough being that it is so white and light. I have found the best way to get the correct exposure is to lock the meter off the blue sky…that would get the exposure of the snow close to perfect. I must say, however you did it, it came out well. I personally would have liked to see either a tighter shot or the rest of the dog – Again, that is my personal opinion for this shot. Overall, impressive considering how difficult it could be to get the right exposure in snow. Again, if the dog was black – that would have been very tough.

    Georgie - I like the setting, but again, snow shots and black dogs – Not easy to get the right exposure. You dog looks darker then it actually is. Actually, I am also curious as the zoom you used because it looks a tad soft to me. Not that you did this, but always remember, if you are really zoomed in on something, that shutter speed must go way up otherwise its tough to get a sharp shot. I also like that the dog is not looking at you.

    Abbyandmolly – I like the action, but the setting is distracting as you probably now already.. Also, the light is distracting…with a black dog, you need to be real careful of light – you want it to be as even as possible – otherwise you get blown out (white, really light) parts in the image….see what I wrote to the other people above. Next time, try metering, if possible off of other items in the frame…if you can’t – move the dog into the shade…good luck.

    Delmonico – as you seem to already know – black dog and snow are not good combos…dog is way to dark. What may have helped is getting down and taking most of the snow out of the frame and maybe keeping the fence as the only thing in the background. The dog was in a good shot to get a portrait - sometimes it is the shooter that needs to move. Good looking dog – I think you produce some nice shots.

    Marciabee – Nice shot, nice eyes, sharp, good composition, nice facial expression – nothing negative to day – good job!

    Labz4me – Good shot, looks like you got on your knees for this. Nice setting as well. With that facial expression, it would have been nice to see a real close-up of that face.

    Anne – why did you shoot as ISO 1600? Great shot though! Sharp, good composition… Draws me straight to the eyes…tough shot with the snow, but you did great! I would have been at ISO 100-400 though,. Was I really windy? High ISO, means graininess for those that do not know…but it does allow you to shoot as higher shutter speeds.

    Emmathelab – Nice shot, good composition, love the background. Only thing is the dog’ face looks a little blueish to me, which means the white balance may be off a little. The body color right though, so I am not sure…do you see what I mean. I do like the shot. Keep it up! Oh… and those long ears – very cute!

    Thebigrallo – good shot, sharp and cute…you will see the there is more light on one side of the body, called side light…could make exposure tougher, but overall a nice shot

    Sidneygirl - white balance may be off on the camera, try setting it to cloudy. Also looks a but dark and gray to me. I love the snow on the face. I think a real closeup really would have done this picture justice.

    Cinder4evr – not so much a portrait, but freeze action shots are coming up in a few weeks. Black dog and white snow – tough shot as you will read above.

    Felix- Love it – great color, sharp, good composition, well done all around! And the dog is so proud, which adds so much to the shot.

    Zoesmom – good shot, I think the ear inverted is distracting though, I always put them in normal position for my shots as long as it is not an actions shot…however, it must have been pretty dark as your fstop is high as well as your ISO…and your shutter is still slow…Handholding shots at 1/25 of a second could be tough - but you did okay. Just noticed your sentence about the ear – funny!

    Jimbo – Good angle – different yet nice! I bit soft for my liking, but maybe that was done on purpose, I would have liked to see a little less of the step. Overall pretty nice.

    Chocco23 – bright light ruined the picture – you could have used a flash, that may have helped – avoided huge difference in light within your frame and you will improve greatly.

    Buckyball – Too much light, I think we talked about this already..try one of the methods I posted in the other thread to adjust the exposure…I do like the angle and it’s a good look dog. The solar panel/light thing is a little distracting - tighten up the frame a little as well. I also try to avoid auto whitebalance – if I am outside, 99% of the time, during the day, I have it set on cloudy,

    Kwinon – see my other reviews for ideas. Fun shot though.

    Troopers mom – white eye, would have to be removed with a program or you can get an external flash. That being said, that was a tough shot to take – I would have avoided it myself. That motion mode, probably ruined the shot, but I am not sure…you can do better, I am sure of it!

    Emyly n rio - nice shot, sharp, good composition,

    Trickster – I really like it, grass is to light (blown out) as is the background, but overall all good comp, sharp, great angle, fun and cute…good one!

    Centexlabs – good shot, good exposure considering all the colors you had to deal with – I like it. Remember the rule of thirds – that may or may not have given this picture an extra touch – I like it though. One negative is the distracting pole in the background.

    Linda1 - Like it, something tells me you know what you are doing! Very nice shot – nothing bad to say

    Sadies Mom – check the white balance, snow looks blue – cute pup, I like the expression a lot. See other ideas in my other reviews.

    Sirhobart – dog is underexposed, you will have to make some adjustments. I gave some ideas in another thread today. Usually I would not like the hand in there, but I do in this shot.

    Heather – nice shot – you just missed the composition by a fraction at the top of the head. Also check the white balance – snow looks a little blue to me.

    Aim – like it, the non level fence though distracts me. You did well with the exposure though considering how technical the shot was

    Jackandlabs – Excellent, you know what you are doing. Not much I can say to improve this – well done!

    KLM – very cute, good colors, fun, sharp – as you already know, the flash fired sort of distracts this quality shot.

    Mattgusmum – a bit over exposed in some areas. We all really need to pay attention to the light, then the dog…I like the angle though.

    Bibber – very cute and sharp..good shot. I would try to stay away from those “modes” if possible and try to make the adjustments yourself. You will learn more that way. The sidelight worked well in this shot.

    Sheila – in two weeks, we will do freeze, action shots…

    Lablover – not bad…I would have maybe tried this shot from the side, but I do like it. Keep in mind, clouds are good, they even out the light.

  9. #7
    Buddysmom's Avatar
    Buddysmom is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Summerville, SC

    DefaultRe: Instructor's Critique for Assignment #1 Is Here

    Lablover - nice shot. You filled the frame with your subjects. The background is uncluttered. The exposure is great on the chocolate. I would like to see a little more light on the right side of the black dog's face. Hard to get correct exposure on black dogs. Great shot.

    2Labpups - This is a perfect example of watching your backgrounds. Your dog appears to have palm fronds growing out of his head. The exposure is pretty good. I would have changed the angle just a little to get more light on the shadowed side of the face. You could also have decreased the SS a little to bring more light to the face. Just watch over exposing the other side of the face.

    MyLabsMom - Nice try on getting light on a black face. Watch getting the shot too flat. I would have gotten closer to the subject and gotten rid of the distracting background.

    LabLoverLady - Your picture isn't showing up.

    Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
    CDX, RE, WC, CGC, TDInc.


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