10 votes

Photography feedback

14 comments

  1. Grendel
    Link
    This is my first new print on n a long time and I'd love to get any feedback that anyone would care to offer. This print is just a low quality proof as I haven't finished the final product yet....

    This is my first new print on n a long time and I'd love to get any feedback that anyone would care to offer. This print is just a low quality proof as I haven't finished the final product yet.

    I've been putting a lot of hours into large format photography and this is the first image that I've felt might be worth keeping.

    Thanks!

    5 votes
  2. [4]
    Bearskin
    Link
    Photography was my primary study in college, and I worked as a professional for over a decade. Not to toot my own horn because that's all in the past, but I felt qualified to weigh in. Dig the...

    Photography was my primary study in college, and I worked as a professional for over a decade. Not to toot my own horn because that's all in the past, but I felt qualified to weigh in. Dig the grain, dig the mood, and especially dig the black & white.

    The eye is drawn to the intact piece, and it is off-putting to find it in such an extreme corner. I'm sure you've heard of the rule of thirds--imagine a tic-tac-toe grid over the photo. You would have a better image if the intact piece was on the closest intersecting line. Everything else can break the rule, but the primary focus of an image should be dead center or fall on one of those intersecting lines.

    I desperately want to pick up that piece and move it just slightly up and to the right. However, from a design perspective, everything I said could be tossed out the window. The image could stand as is if a quote or logo were to fill the void in the upper left. That would provide balance to the image.

    If the intent was to purposefully make the viewer feel uncomfortable--the intact piece tucked away in a corner accomplishes that goal. All of this is subjective, but an image more pleasing to the eye is more likely to land you a publication or a buyer.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      Grendel
      Link Parent
      That's some awesome experience you bring to the table! I appreciate your feedback and I'm definitely going to try and make some adjustments. In my "previsualization" I intended the pawn to be in...

      That's some awesome experience you bring to the table! I appreciate your feedback and I'm definitely going to try and make some adjustments.

      In my "previsualization" I intended the pawn to be in the bottom left intersection of the rule of thirds, with the trail of glass going relatively straight across the photo to the upper right corner.

      The problem is I'm very new to large format photography. I composed the shot using the rule of thirds, but I left the dark slide a little to far into the film holder and lost a chunk of the left hand side, so I had to try something different when printing. I was struggling to use the camera movements to get the focus to travel diagonally, so after hours of composing I ended up adjusting the path of the glass.

      On top of this the camera I was using (1940s Ansco 5x7) is over ten pounds, and can produce like 25 pounds of force if angled certain ways. It's much too heavy for my tripod, so I have to be careful that the angle I use doesn't apply too much pressure.

      I spent a long time in the darkroom trying to crop/rotate this just right, so I think I'll try some other options.

      If I can't get it to work that way then I'll just try and take the shot again. That's actually why I'm going for staged shots instead of street photography, to get practice in a more controlled environment.

      For context this is my camera and my "studio" :)

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        Bearskin
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        You get all the respect in the world from me for utilizing a darkroom. The last time I stepped foot in one was over 20 years ago. My teacher would give me a hard time for wasting all the sepia...

        You get all the respect in the world from me for utilizing a darkroom. The last time I stepped foot in one was over 20 years ago. My teacher would give me a hard time for wasting all the sepia toner that smelled like rotten eggs.

        I've played around with the old Eastman Kodak box cameras, but nothing like what you're using. Most of my work was shot on a DMC-GF1 that would fit in my pocket with a 20mm lens attached.

        I'm curious to see what your Ansco can do with portraits in natural light. The photographer I studied most used an early precursor to your camera, and was able to work magic with it. Do post a follow-up once you've had time to tinker and experiment.

        4 votes
        1. Grendel
          Link Parent
          I don't print in the darkroom because I take pictures, I take pictures so that I get to print in the darkroom 😊 I was always pretty casual about my photography until I first tried a dark room. I...

          I don't print in the darkroom because I take pictures, I take pictures so that I get to print in the darkroom 😊

          I was always pretty casual about my photography until I first tried a dark room. I had never even been in a darkroom before I "built" mine in my garage, but the moment I saw my first print appear on the paper I was hooked for life.

          I'll definitely update once the photo is complete. I may end up trying to retake the shot, and it will take time to print it and mount/Matt it, so don't expect to see it too soon.

          What's cooler is that my lens was manufactured in 1909, so I'm especially excited to see how it performs. if you want to see a natural light picture here's one I took with the same set up (I've got this set to auto delete after 5 days since it's a picture of a family member)

          4 votes
  3. [2]
    cfabbro
    Link
    If I were to give it a title, it would be 'Broken'. Not just because of the object being depicted, but the overall feeling that it gives me. There is something incredibly melancholic about it as a...

    If I were to give it a title, it would be 'Broken'. Not just because of the object being depicted, but the overall feeling that it gives me. There is something incredibly melancholic about it as a whole. And for some unknown reason it reminded me of the opening credits of Penny Dreadful. I'm not a photographer or an art critic by any means, so I wouldn't feel right criticizing any of the technical aspects, but that's how it made me feel and what it made me think of (which I quite enjoyed the stirrings of, BTW). :)

    4 votes
    1. Grendel
      Link Parent
      Thanks! I've not watched Penny Dreadful, but after seeing that intro I find that quite a compliment :) I know some artists are bent on producing a certain feeling in their audience, but I feel...

      Thanks! I've not watched Penny Dreadful, but after seeing that intro I find that quite a compliment :)

      I know some artists are bent on producing a certain feeling in their audience, but I feel happy just know that my art inspired any kind of feeling at all

      2 votes
  4. [2]
    mundane_and_naive
    (edited )
    Link
    It makes me think that if I were a drunkard, I would probably want to hang this somewhere in my house to remind myself to stop drinking. Probably not the most insightful feedback but that's all I...

    It makes me think that if I were a drunkard, I would probably want to hang this somewhere in my house to remind myself to stop drinking. Probably not the most insightful feedback but that's all I got as a viewer :p

    Edit: This could be just me but the glass bit at the bottom right corner feels weird to me. Like, everything seems to form a gradual flow from bottom left to top right but that bit pulls me out of that flow.

    3 votes
    1. Grendel
      Link Parent
      Addiction not only destroys the afflicted but often those around them. Maybe seeing the piece knocked over combined with the broken glass that didn't come from the piece but something near the...

      Addiction not only destroys the afflicted but often those around them. Maybe seeing the piece knocked over combined with the broken glass that didn't come from the piece but something near the piece gave you this sense.

      Thanks for that tip, it could be a printing error on my part, I'll definitely lookout for it the next time I'm in the darkroom.

      5 votes
  5. [2]
    TemulentTeatotaler
    Link
    Also not artisticly-informed or inclined. The piece on the left reminds me of a glass pawn and also of a door knob. In the pawn take the significance of a tipped pawn vs a king gives a bit of a...

    Also not artisticly-informed or inclined.

    The piece on the left reminds me of a glass pawn and also of a door knob.

    In the pawn take the significance of a tipped pawn vs a king gives a bit of a split mood. The piece itself still looks like an unbroken pawn, with the curving of the head of it making it a little ambiguous (to someone that ain't great at recognizing stuff) if there was a larger head than implied or another joint on top of it that is the source for the other broken pieces. Much of what's broken is blurred. It could be that an inconsequential piece was broken and the game continues, or that "en passant" someone who felt insignificant caused harm. It could be about being 'Broken' or not being broken, just being in an environment that makes that hard to know.

    In the doorknob take the straigh-ish- lines on the right become the frame of the door. The speckles of white give a nice "spacey" feel to fit some sort of strange door that shouldn't exist. The lines aren't perfectly straight, the angling of the handle doesn't match, and maybe the dark of the lines isn't a depth-cue about the side of the door but dark leaking into the room-- all very good traits for very bad doors.

    2 votes
    1. Grendel
      Link Parent
      Wow, that's such a cool take on it. That idea of a door knob is so unique, I'd never have caught that. I love your ideas on the chess side of it as well. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that...

      Wow, that's such a cool take on it. That idea of a door knob is so unique, I'd never have caught that.

      I love your ideas on the chess side of it as well. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that you've put more thought into it than I did 😅

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, it's really encouraging to hear that it provokes some thought :)

      3 votes
  6. [3]
    HotPants
    Link
    I would love to see the photo as envisioned through another camera. Even something as simple as a phone. One thing I noticed is that even on a modern micro four thirds digital camera, a wide...

    I would love to see the photo as envisioned through another camera. Even something as simple as a phone.

    One thing I noticed is that even on a modern micro four thirds digital camera, a wide aperture has a razor thin focal point. The focal range of a large format film camera on a subject so close must be either zero or negative.

    I think you are struggling with two things. Asking for feedback on your photographic skills, while challenging yourself with the most difficult technical format possible.

    I can't in good conscience comment on the dust or hair or framing or focus or subject matter when I think how hard technically any of this is to even come close to pulling off.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Grendel
      Link Parent
      I really appreciate your understanding of the challenges of this form of photography. Some part of me has always been drawn to taking the difficult path and photography is no exception. But I know...

      I really appreciate your understanding of the challenges of this form of photography. Some part of me has always been drawn to taking the difficult path and photography is no exception. But I know that this challenge will give me skills that I wouldn't have otherwise developed.

      Someday I'll be able to take and print this photo and have something that really looks good and doesn't seem lower quality than a digital shot, and I'm willing to work/wait however long I have to in order to get there :)

      Spending 10+ hours on a single picture and getting no returns on it is discouraging, especially when you repeat that for several months. In honesty I think I probably posted this not only to get feedback for improvement, but also because I feel like I haven't made any progress even after so much time invested, and I wanted reassurance that I was at least heading in the right direction

      2 votes
      1. HotPants
        Link Parent
        It took me years to feel happy with my photography, and I had a digital camera with a nifty fifty lens that could take thousands of shots an hour and I had easy access to books, studios, friends,...

        It took me years to feel happy with my photography, and I had a digital camera with a nifty fifty lens that could take thousands of shots an hour and I had easy access to books, studios, friends, family who could give advice.

        I never tried large format, but I think there are a couple of things that might improve your chances.

        Low light (indoors) is not your friend. It will force a wide aperture. A wide aperture is not your friend. A lens that produces perfectly sharp photos at an aperture of 9 will produce a blurry mess at 1-2.

        Have you tried photographing something outdoors either in cloudy conditions or during the magic hour 30 minutes after dawn or 30 minutes before sunset?

        Macro photography is not your friend, especially indoors, especially with a wide aperture.

        Have you tried photographing an outdoor scene that is far away? A nice rolling hill with nothing in the foreground for instance.

        You are doing great. Photography isn't easy. Film isn't easy. Wide format isn't easy. Macro isn't easy. Low light indoors isn't easy. You are doing this on ultra hard mode. It will take you ten hours to learn what most photographers learn in under ten seconds. But if you want to make faster progress, there are other things you can experiment with.

        35mm is only 25% larger than micro four thirds, yet it is ten times less forgiving on low quality glass. Large format is ten times larger than 35mm. I can only imagine what that does to a lens on a wide aperture.

        Have you considered trying to get a perfect shot first with 35mm film and a 50mm lens? It wont be easy, I promise you. You can pick up an old digital 5D for only $300 on ebay. An old school film canon AE-1 goes for under $100.

        Have you read books on photographic theory (light, composition) and technical skills specific to large format? There are a ton of great books at the library.

        Have you looked for ~similarly hardcore~ others with large format cameras who might help you on your journey?

        Whatever your choice, be proud of yourself.

        I have often dreamt of buying a large format camera, and developing film, but I am naturally lazy.

        1 vote