Friday, February 13, 2015

Before and After - Part 1

I sat down and had a portfolio review done the other day by a local photographer.  It's hard to find someone that can give you honest (and knowledgable reviews).  I'm hoping to get a more in-depth one done with a well known pet photographer soon but I couldn't seem to find the time to wrap my head around all the information I needed to provide to make it worthwhile and it was easier to just gather 30 photos together and get some quick and dirty feedback.

It was good. I learned a lot - mainly about what I should be doing better in editing but a little bit about what I could be doing differently while shooting too. Going into this process, I didn't feel like I needed to agree with every comment he said, but for the most part, I found I understood his point and agreed with him.

I thought I would re-edit the images based on the review and then post some before and afters. Mainly so I can remember and refer back to it, but also in case some of you want to learn from my mistakes.  :)

I tended to make the same "errors" over and over again.  The biggest one is putting my subject in the centre of the frame.  There are times when it's the best option, but often it isn't.  I know this.  I've heard this before, yet I can't seem to stop myself.   I don't tend to centre my subject in the middle of the entire picture - but often they are in the middle from side to side or from top to bottom.

In this situation I took quite a few pictures of her under the tree so I just chose one with a crop I could work better with to include the feedback - which was essentially to put her on the right edge and to include more of the tree on the left.

Another common criticism (although I didn't specifically write it down for this one) was to darken the background elements and increase my contrast so I did that too.




K-Koira said...

That is a great idea, to have your portfolio reviewed like that. I should find someone to do that for me, since I would love to keep learning more about photography. How did you go about finding someone to do this?

Taryn said...

There is always something to learn! I never thought about it before but you do tend to center your shots pretty often. I am always in awe of the gorgeous focus you get as well as the depth of field. I am a big fan of your work and always enjoy what you post.

I don't have a body of work worthy of a portfolio, certainly nothing in print. I also don't have photoshop/Lightroom so my editing is very limited. I do try to read photo websites for composition tips, etc. I think the first thing I need is to be more technically comfortable with my camera's settings.

Paws on the Run said...

K-Koria - I knew about him through other local photographers. He's a member of the PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada) which is the Canadian version of the PPA. And he's taken a course to be a "judge" for their competitions and such. Which is why I chose to ask him - he actually has some training in critiques. He's a portrait photographer so I figured the subject matter was close enough. I'd suggest contacting the PPA and finding out if anyone in your area has qualifications to do one. I'm not sure if it's a service he usually offers - I just emailed and asked if he'd do it.

Paws on the Run said...

Absolutely Taryn - you never run out of things to learn! And yup - I love a centred subject. :)

I didn't have it printed out - just used my iPad. Made things cheaper that way too - well if you don't count the expense of an ipad. :) I highly recommend taking a photo course. Just getting comfortable with your camera is HUGE. Then you can make it do what you want it to do! And I'm with you on the editing... I never used to want to do anything but it truly can make a big difference - in sharpness, colouring, etc.

K-Koira said...

I will definitely look into that. I may not agree with everything someone says, and we all have our own unique views and enjoy different things in photos. But there is always the chance to learn and grow and find new ways to edit and photograph.

K-Koira said...

I guess I don't actually know, are you a professional photographer? And if so, is that what you do for all of your income, or as a side? I started my photography business last year, and mostly do sport event photos (barn hunt, lure coursing, etc) but would like to do more outdoor/natural portraits as well.

Paws on the Run said...

Yes K-Koira, I do some portrait work - but it's a very small part of how I make my living. I don't market it much and mainly get clients through people I know or through the daycare that I own. I used to do events too, mainly agility, but I am going to take a break from that this summer.