Must do better


The above picture was taken using my Olympus OM1 with a roll of Kodak Portra 400VC.

When I receive my images back, I think like most people, there are some I immediately like and those I immediately dismiss. I then review subjectively again a few days later.

As mentioned before I am not a professional photographer and am on a journey taking it one step at a time to try and improve my images.

I don’t have a mentor so I have to rely on my own eyes to firstly decide if I like the image and secondly could I have done better.

A quick point on social media here, it will only tell me so much about my images.  Some likes are because of a genuine like of the image, some will be supportive of what I am doing and finally people’s views are subjective so it is not the best guide as ultimately if I really like it that’s important to me and how I want to continue.  Very rarely will we get feedback on ways to improve.

I have had the opportunity to attend a couple of courses where my images have been reviewed by a professional and it has helped me immensely.  One comment in particular where it was pointed out that I had blown highlights in a lot of my B&W images and this distracted the eye from the main point of the image as well as being technically wrong.  I needed to be told this.

However I can’t always be on courses so I have to look at my own images with a critical eye as best as I can.  Thus I thought I would share my thought process using the above image as an example. Hopefully you find it interesting but also I would welcome any honest feedback on my review and anything I may have missed.

So firstly I do like the image but it could be much better.  I was aiming to get the gentleman in the foreground calmly watching the skating, him still and well separated from those on the ice rink.  I like the fact he is offcentre from the main part of the building.  Other than that I see the following that could have been better

I tend to be very annoyed if I don’t get straight lines so the building being at an angle annoys me, but that is a personal thing.

I should have shot it a bit lower as that would have got the barrier he was leaning on in the shot, this I believe would have provided better separation between the viewer and the skater.

But most of all I spent time getting him into focus and using I think an aperture of maybe f2.8 (sorry Mike didn’t have my photomemo with me) to get a more blurred background but as it was a bright day this needed quite a fast shutter speed.  I should have also tried slowing down the shutter speed as there is not enough movement in the skaters, I think this movement would have made the image much more interesting.

I should also have taken a few shots of the scene as it would be hard to legislate where in the image the skaters were so a couple of extra shots might have got one where he didn’t have any that take away from his shape.

I try and do this with all my images not to rubbish what I am doing but to ensure I try and get better.  In practice it is difficult once back out with the camera to remember everything but if even one thing becomes more natural it should improve my images

Thanks as always for reading

2 thoughts on “Must do better

  1. I do enjoy reading your blogs! I’ve been very absent lately and I think I’ve missed a few, but this has meant I now have a few to read and catch up on! #everycloud 😊
    I think you’re doing it exactly right, you’re not putting yourself down, you’re just acknowledging things that you know might have/probably would have (especially the railing as I did think he was standing on the ice!) improved the shot. Sorry if that sounds like I’m patronising you, I don’t mean to, but text sometimes doesn’t convey the sentiments behind the words. Right, I’m off to read another one of your blogs!
    G x

    Liked by 1 person

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