Tag Archive: movie photo forums


I am going to go out on a limb with today’s blog and do something a little different.  I am going to tell you about pictures that I took that just weren’t quite good enough.  Everyone makes mistakes.  I am no different.  That is the best part about shooting digital.  If you make a mistake, you can see it, and correct for it.  Then you can shoot it again with the correct settings and Voila!

I picked out a few pictures that I have taken within the last week that didn’t pass the test for one reason or another.  I will post up the picture and tell you why I didn’t think it was good enough.  I know this may be frowned upon by many, but I think it needs to be said.  None of us picked up a camera on day one and were automatically perfect.  I have deleted more than my fair share of pictures because they didn’t make my cut.  I will add this though – most serious photographers (myself included) are horribly over-critical of their own work.  People tell me every day that my work is amazing, and while I appreciate the compliments, I can usually see things that I think aren’t quite good enough.  I don’t know why it happens, but it does.

Because of this, I am sure I have thrown away perfectly acceptable pictures many times.  They just didn’t seem quite good enough for me.  I do get a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism from my peers over at the Movie Photo Forums.  They definitely motivate and challenge me to be a better photographer.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Here’s the first picture I have to talk about.  I was driving around on Saturday during a storm way up on top of a mountain and I saw this house.  This shot was taken in the car, through the windshield.  I was driving, so I pulled over and took the shot.  The UV glass in the car gives it a greenish hue.  It also wasn’t composed very well.  Using the rule of thirds in composition, this picture is not composed well at all.  The image shouldn’t be in the middle.  It should be in the bottom or top third of this shot.

In this picture, the most obvious problem is the A-pillar of the car and reflection from the windshield in the bottom right.  I had the 70-300mm lens on the camera and wasn’t far enough away to get the whole house in the shot without changing lenses.  I didn’t want to change to a wider lens in case I saw something in the distance I wanted to shoot.  Also, the green hue from the windshield exists in this one.  The light was great against the almost pitch black background.  If I had switched lenses, and rolled forward a few hundred feet, I could have put the window down and gotten a clear shot.  Maybe next time…

I really like this picture for the most part.  Sometimes as a photographer, you get smacked in the face with reality.  You take a picture and step back and say to yourself, “I did that.  I took that picture”.  This was one of those times.  But not with this exact image.  I took four or five more after this and had one I loved a little more.  This one to me is way too dark.  The top of the flower is chopped off and should have more background above it.  The dew on the flower is not sharp enough either.  I do really love the bokeh (or blurry, out of focus) background.

So, what do you think?  Am I crazy, or does this make sense to you?  I know that I am way to critical.  There’s nothing I can do to change that.  It’s instilled in my brain.  I’d like to know how critical you are, and do you look at your pictures with the same crazy over critical attitude I have?  Do you just take pictures and post them, because they are good enough?  I am curious to know.  See ya soon!

Advertisements

I have been a photographer for about 8 or 9 years now.  I am a self-proclaimed amateur, but sometimes I get some really good shots.  I missed out on the film era.  Well, I missed out as a serious shooter that is.  I have had cameras for years, but before I got into digital, I had only used little 35mm point and shoot cameras.  Sure, I remember the 110 and the Polaroid, but I never shot seriously back then.

Over the last few years, I have gotten pretty serious in my shooting.  I even started a Meetup group in the area to help others with their passion for photography.  I wont claim to be a great photographer, but I think I do OK.  But sometimes, I run into areas that I am just not good at.  Tonight was a good example.

The weather had been wonky all day.  It was very windy, rainy and gloomy.  Around 5pm it even spit some icy precipitation.  I assume it was sleet.  After the storm, the sun came out and the weather got a little better.  It was still only in the 40s, but it wasn’t as windy as it had been earlier in the day.  The sun was setting and it was a beauty, so I decided to go out on the back deck and grab a few pics.  They came out pretty well, even though there’s only a small area between the trees to see the sunset.

I came back in and got right to editing the pics I had taken.  I even posted one on Facebook.  A friend commented on one of the pics and asked if I had seen the moon.  No, I hadn’t.  I went to the window and looked out, only to see a beautiful moon.  I grabbed the camera and the tripod and back outside I went.  This is where the trouble started.

I got the camera set up on the tripod with the 70-300mm lens on it and set it on manual focus.  I set my f-stops and shutter speed and looks through the viewfinder.  A little blurry.  A little adjustment on the lens and it was nice and clear.  I took a bunch of shots and came inside to process.  Crap.  They are all blurry.  What the…

It wasn’t crisp.  It was not sharp.  What did I do?  So, I looked up some info on the net and bounced it off some people I really respect over at Movie Photo Forums.  I took the advice and tried it again.  The results this time were a little better but still not quite what I had hoped for.  Here is what I got.  Please keep in mind that this is a 100% crop.

Here is the same shot with a little bit of Photoshop tweaking.

I like this one a little better, but it still isn’t good enough.  I guess I need a much more powerful lens and a lot more practice.  Do you have tips for shooting the moon?  Settings you would like to share?  I would love to know what works for you.

See ya soon!

A few years ago, I met Rose’s cousin Tom when we went down to visit him at his home in Honesdale, PA.  I had never heard of Honesdale, but it was somewhere I had never been, so I was happy to go and check it out.  Honesdale is about 3-3 1/2 hours from here in the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania.  It is a relatively small town of around 5,000 people.  Honesdale is a very quaint town.  I would equate it to a country type setting like Voorheesville or Altamont, except it’s a little bigger and they have a Walmart.

While we were there, I was able to take some shots around Tom’s house up in the rural area and also down in the more populated area of Honesdale. These shots were taken right in his yard.  You can see the natural beauty of the country in them.

The fountain in the front yard

Some flowers in the yard

A dying rose

There was a nice small set of falls there called Carley Brook Falls that I really enjoyed shooting.  They were flowing pretty well that day, and also made for a great subject to shoot.

Carley Brook Falls

As I mentioned in the title, it is a small world.  Months later, I was in my favorite photo forum, Movie Photo Forums, and I met Erin and she had Northeast PA in her signature line.  So, I asked what part of PA she was from and she said Honesdale.  What?  Seriously?  Get the heck out of here!  I mentioned that Rose had a cousin there, thinking she might not know him, and as a matter of fact she did.  She not only knew him, but met up with him almost every Tuesday night as she is a part of the same Harley Owners Group he is, and they ride together.  That blew my mind!

I really hope to get back to Honesdale now that the weather is better in hopes of all of us riding together.  I think it would be a blast!

Have you had something like this happen to you?  Let’s hear about it!