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not technically good..... why?
Hi all,.

Been looking at lots of other people's pictures on the internet, and I came across this one:.

Http://www.dailysnap.com/2007/0809.shtml.

And one thing I find curious in the comments, he's said "... this photo isn't the greatest (goodness knows how off it is on the technical side) ..."I'm looking at the photo, and I'm curious as to what's not technically good about it. It seems to be in focus, colour's pretty good, composition doesn't seem too bad (although maybe bland, but it *is* a portrait-ey style thing...) .... so what's wrong with it?.

I'm just trying to learn, to see what other people think, so I can improve my own shots. .

Cheers! Thanks in advance for any help!Michael..

Comments (17)

Michael Sallaway wrote:.

Hi all,.

Been looking at lots of other people's pictures on the internet, andI came across this one:.

Http://www.dailysnap.com/2007/0809.shtml.

And one thing I find curious in the comments, he's said "... thisphoto isn't the greatest (goodness knows how off it is on thetechnical side) ..."I'm looking at the photo, and I'm curious asto what's not technically good about it. It seems to be in focus,colour's pretty good, composition doesn't seem too bad (althoughmaybe bland, but it *is* a portrait-ey style thing...) .... so what'swrong with it?.

I don't think the writer is saying there is something wrong with it... he is just suggesting that there *may* be technical faults with it but he isn't experienced enough to know what they are ('goodness nows how off it is...'). I agree with you: it is not the best portrait photo have seen but it is perfectly OK. The background s a bit distracting (the classic 'branch going through the head' look) especially as one side is in shade and the other is brightly lit - the pic could do with some cropping. And the lighting is a little harsh - several shiny hotspots (from fill-in flash?) on the lady's face. But it is a perfectly good portrait and I would be pleased to have taken it (though I'd crop tighter and do some PP-ing on the hotspots)..

Just my humble opinion, free and worth every penny..

Best wishes.

Mike..

Comment #1

Technical goodness does nothing for a picture. It's got to create a reaction in the viewer..

Does this picture do that for you?.

Read my blog -> http://radio.weblogs.com/0101365/..

Comment #2

Technically and aesthetically......

Should have been "portrait" orientation. (Or vertical edges cropped.)Oversaturated colours.Background far too "busy".Contrast too high.Fill flash too strong.Depth of field too shallow. (Check doggie's paws OoF.).

Then again, it might just be me being picky LOL...

Comment #3

ZenerEffect wrote:.

Technically and aesthetically......

Should have been "portrait" orientation. (Or vertical edges cropped.)Oversaturated colours.Background far too "busy".Contrast too high.Fill flash too strong.Depth of field too shallow. (Check doggie's paws OoF.).

Then again, it might just be me being picky LOL..

I agree with everything you said..

But it still makes a nice quick snapshot photo.If you think that makes sense, then you must have read someone else's post!..

Comment #4

I really like her smile and together with dog - very nice models..

Technically, too much space waisted by horizontal positioning..

Background is too busy..

Lens bokeh is not as smoove as good portrait or macro lenses produce..

Exposure is good, detai on her face is good (sharp)..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #5

Chris101 wrote:.

Technical goodness does nothing for a picture. It's got to create areaction in the viewer..

Does this picture do that for you?.

Hrm, sort of, sort of not. What sort of 'reactions' would you expect to photographs? Just that I rarely have any sort of reaction at all, to most photos I see..... guess I'm too much of an engineer, and not enough of an artist. .

Cheers,Michael..

Comment #6

ZenerEffect wrote:.

Should have been "portrait" orientation. (Or vertical edges cropped.).

Yep, I can see that..

Oversaturated colours..

How can you tell that? just by "feel" (and experience), or is there a particular area you can see that gives it away? I wouldn't have thought there's anything wrong with the colours, but I guess I'm trying to learn what others think, and why. .

Background far too "busy"..

Is it mostly the dark tree that you're talking about? if so, I can understand that.... other than that, I thought it was quite nice (provides a bit of context, and a nice soft background for the image...) Thoughts?.

Contrast too high.Fill flash too strong..

For both of these, how can you tell? I'm not saying they're not too high/strong (looking at it now, I can sort of see what you mean), but it's not something I would have picked myself..

Depth of field too shallow. (Check doggie's paws OoF.).

Yep, didn't notice that at first, but I can now.  Out of curiosity, if you were shooting that shot, to get it all in focus, what would you have done? If I had to guess, I'd say I would have focused at something more to the front (like the dog's nose?), since I remember reading somewhere that DOF is something like 30% in front of the focal point, and 70% behind?.

Does that make sense, and would that have been a good idea?.

Then again, it might just be me being picky LOL..

Nah, that's perfect exactly what I'm after. I'm trying to learn all the little things, because I've been shooting for a few months now, and I'm starting to look at my own images and think "there's something not quite right about this, but I don't know what.....".

So thanks again for your help!.

Cheers,Michael..

Comment #7

Stan_P wrote:.

I really like her smile and together with dog - very nice models..

Aye.... I think that's the reason I posted it originally, because I saw it, thought "that's a really nice picture.... but I wonder what could be improved?", since I want to try to take some nice photos of my partner... like, the sort of ones that look nice enough that I go "hrm, I might get some of these printed, and I'll frame 'em.".

Technically, too much space waisted by horizontal positioning..

Hrm, if you wanted to keep it horizontal (for some other arbitrary reason), what would you have done differently? ie. just composed it with the model off to one side? a bit tigher on her face? what about the dog?.

Lens bokeh is not as smoove as good portrait or macro lenses produce..

Hrm, now this is something I don't fully understand yet. Is the bokeh something you can control with a lens at all? (ie. could he have done anything with the equipment that was in his hands) to improve bokeh?) Or is it fixed for a given lens?.

Also, do you say that because of the visible circles towards the left hand side, near the fence? Or is there something else with the bokeh that isn't good?.

Again, thanks heaps for your help, comments, and insights. .

Cheers,Michael..

Comment #8

Michael Sallaway wrote:I'm starting to look at my own images and think "there's.

Something not quite right about this, but I don't know what.....".

You've learned the hard part. Now the rest is easy..

If you think that makes sense, then you must have read someone else's post!..

Comment #9

She's got a branch going through her head..

Not to mention the branches on the right are distracting and the bokeh is funky..

Michael Sallaway wrote:.

Hi all,.

Been looking at lots of other people's pictures on the internet, andI came across this one:.

Http://www.dailysnap.com/2007/0809.shtml.

And one thing I find curious in the comments, he's said "... thisphoto isn't the greatest (goodness knows how off it is on thetechnical side) ..."I'm looking at the photo, and I'm curious asto what's not technically good about it. It seems to be in focus,colour's pretty good, composition doesn't seem too bad (althoughmaybe bland, but it *is* a portrait-ey style thing...) .... so what'swrong with it?.

I'm just trying to learn, to see what other people think, so I canimprove my own shots. .

Cheers! Thanks in advance for any help!Michael.

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #10

Michael Sallaway wrote:.

Hrm, now this is something I don't fully understand yet. Is the bokehsomething you can control with a lens at all? (ie. could he have doneanything with the equipment that was in his hands) to improve bokeh?)Or is it fixed for a given lens?.

Also, do you say that because of the visible circles towards the lefthand side, near the fence? Or is there something else with the bokehthat isn't good?.

Bokeh is created mainly by the lens. To change the bokeh you have to use a different lens..

A quick look at the photo on a small monitor looks like the bokeh is 5 cornered instead of a nice round shape. Or something of that effect..

Nitpick.If you think that makes sense, then you must have read someone else's post!..

Comment #11

Michael Sallaway wrote:.

Hrm, if you wanted to keep it horizontal (for some other arbitraryreason), what would you have done differently? i.e. just composed itwith the model off to one side? a bit tighter on her face? what aboutthe dog?.

Yes, composing it with the main subject to the right-hand side of the frame would've been my choice if I absolutely needed the "landscape" orientation. That would've got rid of the distracting whitish/pale green areas on the extreme right, whilst leaving the relatively OK bokeh (ha ha ... poetic eh?) on the left hand side..

Bokeh is one of those things that need somewhat more consideration other than just letting it happen  as it were. In this case, the photographer has used a wide-ish aperture of ’2.8 which creates a more shallow depth of field (blurry background and/or foreground). But, it's also dependent on the focal length of the lens and whether it's zoomed in or not..

Hrm, now this is something I don't fully understand yet. Is the bokehsomething you can control with a lens at all? (i.e. could he have doneanything with the equipment that was in his hands to improve bokeh?)Or is it fixed for a given lens?.

The physical shape of the lens iris  the number of blades and the blades' edge profile (rounded or straight) plays a part in producing so-called "good" bokeh. Normally, perfectly rounded bokeh with soft edges is regarded as better than hexagonal or pentagonal shapes with sharp edges. In this example, there's evidence of sharply defined circles in the bokeh, and which probably shouldn't be there in a portrait such as this..

Also, it's next to impossible to get "good" bokeh with a point 'n' shoot camera with a small digital sensor..

Remember too that a film camera has an equivalent "sensor" size of 36mm x 24mm (the size of a single 35mm film frame) whilst an average point 'n' shoot digital camera has a sensor size of roughly 7mm x 5mm. Look at the difference in their areas  which equates directly to their light gathering capabilities as well..

That shot was taken with a Nikon FM film camera using Fujifilm 'Velvia' which produces very (over?) saturated colors in daylight, and with high contrast. Velvia is probably one of the finest and smoothest grain films available, so there's no way you're going to get that "look" with a digital camera  other than with a software emulation. Personally, I don't like the "look" of Velvia and prefer the old Kodachrome 25 or 64, but that's just old-fashioned me LOL..

Cheers ..

Comment #12

You know, for a "bad photo" this one sure has gotten a lot of viewing!.

If you think that makes sense, then you must have read someone else's post!..

Comment #13

Well, I'm a chemist, and I illustrate experiments all the time, so a lot of my work-work (as opposed to artwork) is very dry and technical. The reaction I look for there is "Oh yeah! I see it now!" You know the technical "Aha!" that a good illustration can provide for a verbal description that gets overly complex due to too many parts..

Artistically, I want a more 'organic' (and I don't mean carbon containing!) reaction, fear, desire, humor, irritation, wonder ... That sort of thing..

Read my blog -> http://radio.weblogs.com/0101365/..

Comment #14

Stan_P wrote:.

...Lens bokeh is not as smoove as good portrait or macro lenses produce.....

If you want the background to be out of focus to help isolate the subject, use a longer lens, wider aperture or get closer. All this seeking the lens with the best 'bokey' is crazy. If the part in focus isn't gonna grab you, the blurry part doesn't matter..

Read my blog -> http://radio.weblogs.com/0101365/..

Comment #15

Chris101 wrote:.

Stan_P wrote:.

....

All thisseeking the lens with the best 'bokey' is crazy. If the part infocus isn't gonna grab you, the blurry part doesn't matter..

That's funny!.

If you think that makes sense, then you must have read someone else's post!..

Comment #16

ZenerEffect wrote:.

... [ a whole heap of really useful, interesting information ] ....

Aaah, ok, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks heaps for your time and detail in your reply it makes things a lot clearer, now. .

That shot was taken with a Nikon FM film camera using Fujifilm'Velvia' which produces very (over?) saturated colors in daylight,and with high contrast. Velvia is probably one of the finest andsmoothest grain films available, so there's no way you're going toget that "look" with a digital camera  other than with a softwareemulation. Personally, I don't like the "look" of Velvia and preferthe old Kodachrome 25 or 64, but that's just old-fashioned me LOL..

Hrm, interesting, I didn't even really consider the film aspects of it.... when you say never going to "get that look with a digital camera", do you mean the colour/contrast, or the.... er.... whatever the film "smoothness" and grain affects? If the former, fair enough, that's what my post-processing's for  ..... if the latter, what "look" does that photo have? I can't see any grain or anything in that picture, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.....

Thanks again to everyone for your time and help answering my (naive?) questions!.

Cheers,Michael..

Comment #17

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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