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Just starting out

Published July 28th, 2011

I have been doing photography since I got my first DSLR (July 2007). I enjoy shooting everything and anything. The main subjects I focus on are my family, wildlife and lightning storms.

I enjoy sharing my work with other photographers and always welcome feedback and criticism (just go easy on me ;))

I look forward to sharing my work on this site and thank you in advance for your views and feedback.

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Cameron Johnson  almost 7 years ago

You're welcome!

Yes, It occured to me after I post that, that if its lightning outside its probably raining as well! So if does make sense to stay under the porch. If it cannot be helped that it's in the shot then try cropping the photo afterwards if possible.

Jay Callaghan  almost 7 years ago

On further thought I will try to remember, when shooting off the front porch, to lower the tripod to knee level and aim higher. This should eliminate the corners of the roof....just need to watch the rain.

Jay Callaghan  almost 7 years ago

Thanks for the feedback- much appreciated. I will certainly keep that in mind for future shoots...I am sure I have some in my collection that apply but am limited to the 20 / week so it will have to be next week that I try to get them up.

As for the lightning shots - it is usually dark so it is hard to see where the corner of the house is in the shots. Most are taken on my front porch and, unfortunately, I have a street light right out front that I have to content with and the roof of the porch as well. I try to keep it at 18mm focal just so I can cover as much sky as possible. I have a few spots I can drive to that offer better vantage points with less objects in the corners but sometimes I cannot make it there.

I am hoping to upgrade my unit to something in the area of the Canon 60D which will allow me more freedom in my shots.

Once again thanks for the feedback - very much appreciated.

Cameron Johnson  almost 7 years ago

Hey Jay,

After looking through your photos I have a few tips. I'm not an expert or anything but just my opinion on how you can improve your photography. They are mainly tips on composition.

First off, all of your still life shots (Dandy Life, Cottage Window, Morning Dew, Weather Vane) have the subject framed directly in the middle. In my opinion this makes the photos less appealing, and almost boring. The best thing to do is try and remember the rule of thirds. Keeping the subject off centered makes the image more dynamic, more alive. Sometimes depending on the shot, it's ok to frame it directly in the middle. Like the Moon, since there is nothing else in the sky, framing it to one side might have cause there to be too much negative space. The best example of which one of your photos would have been better by making the subject off centered is the Weather Vane. If you moved it to the right in the photo, they arrow would be pointing to the negative space (or sky in the background) and draw the viewers eye from right to left, giving it more depth. Also the Morning Dew photo, if you took the photo so that the base of the leaf was at the bottom right, and the leaf pointed up to the top left while becoming out of focus by the dept of field, it would have made a more eye pleasing photo. This is because the viewers eye would travel through the whole photo, instead of just a static image flat in the middle.

But don't worry too much, I always make this mistake as well. I'm usually so worried about getting the right exposure and focus I forget about composition.

Another thing I would like to bring up is it is good to watch the edges of your viewfinder. When you take a photo, try and make sure nothing is sticking into the frame that is not supposed to be there. An example is some of your lightning photos there are edges of rooftops sticking into the frame (Lighting Crashes) or edges of lamp posts (Split Lightning Bolt
). I find that when this happens it make the photo look more like a generic photograph or snapshot rather than one taken with artistic intent. Again, i do this all the time. I get too focused on the subject and forget to look around the frame as well to make sure nothing it out of place. An easy fix after the fact is to crop the image in photoshop.

Ok I hope I wasn't too harsh, i'm just an amateur photographer as well and those are just my opinions. Other people may have a whole different take on what makes a good photo.

So to recap my points, remember the rule of thirds, and watch the edges of your photos. Hope you find some of this useful and feel free to agrue against my points as they are only my opinions ;)