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Submit Your Best "Winter" Image

Critique of Winter Themed Photos
  • Submission Deadline: Wed, 18 Dec 19 16:00:00 +0000

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1.78 - "Needs Work" 

Taken recently early during a particularly frosty morning in the mid Willamette Valley in Oregon.

I'd like to add for all the perfectionists out there that I had a new camera, no tripod and only a 15 minute window before the sun would erase all that gorgeous frost and decrease the image's acceptability in this "winter" catagory. So tell why you rate what you rate so I can get better or know what's already right. Thanks.

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11 Comments

Jean Ermatinger's picture

I like to go through on full screen & rate without seeing descriptions & comments, then go back through and read to see if it changes my opinion. I'm a humble amateur, by no means a perfectionist, but I hear you asking for feedback so I'm willing.
First - it sounds like you already have several ideas that would give you a better image - but even without a tripod the detail BEHIND this leaf is amazing. The tiny ice crystals are sharp and intricate. If the point of focus was just a bit closer to the camera in this shot the detail would have been visible in the leaf you are centered on rather than the deeper items. Yes, practice & familiarity with your camera will probably change that in the future. Knowing the small window, yes, maybe getting a tripod, or monopod & mounting a camera the night before if there was a frost warning... having focal distance set knowing you'll likely be taking ground shots - no need to spend time changing - the pod sets the distance & you can set, shoot, and move on looking for other unique images or perspectives.
I'm sure more experienced pros would have more ideas, but that's what I have & I just felt your description deserved at least one response.

natasha's picture

Just be honest with yourself - how much time did you spend on contemplating+ developing this. There's your rate.
(This is a snapshot and you know it)

Michael Becker's picture

I agree this is no masterpiece, and even a 2, but I wasn't expecting so much post shot work need be done. And yours is quite a harsh critique, with no advice. Is the amount of work the only measure for a great image? Is that how we rate them? I rate by mood, whether composed well, and if technically correct, or if I simply just "like it". But I am new to digitally enhancing photos and have previously tried always to get it how I want IN camera if possible. Not saying hard work isn't a factor, just not the main one.

natasha's picture

Exactly this is the photo that is not done right in camera. If you get it right in camera, at least the focus - you don't need any enhancement in post to have proper photograph. And yes, we rate an image by the amount of work invested in it. I might needed 1 sec to shot an image but I worked 10 years to take it right. That is the main difference between a snapshot and a proper well thought photography. If you are very talented you might have a luck to make genius first image, but you still don't know nothing about what is needed to take that same photo again in different conditions.

Michael Becker's picture

I understand there is no substitute for experience. Also the frost would be gone moments after the morning sun hits it, so no time to prepare for years on that one. But experience is what I sorely lack with an autofocus lens, hence the soft focus. I admit it is definitely not technically perfect, but I liked it anyway. Maybe I just have poor taste. I'm not arguing the 2 star rating so much as the focus here on difficulty either taking or in processing images. Why does that make one image better than another? I can appreciate taking difficult shots, and credit should be given, but isn't it all really art?

natasha's picture

No it is NOT art ffs! :D Experience is what would lead you to make sharp, well focused and lit, and well framed photo. With auto focus feature you are not unable to use it as manual. Those sir, are all just excuses on your way up to wonderful results. If the image is not good, and there wasn't enough time to take it, then why upload it and defend it this much? Just skip it or do it again the next time. Just take a look at those beautiful images with aurora borealis in the gallery. Those are difficult photos to take, and they are having 3 of below 3 stars... Please.

Michael Becker's picture

You are failing to realize it is not my photo I am defending. I agreed it isn't perfect and has many flaws. I rate it a 2.5 myself. I am defending my right to enjoy what art/photo I choose regardless of the technical complexity of the image. You're seeming to say if it was easy it doesn't count. And I find that flawed. All that matters is the viewer's opinion. And we all have one. I enter this to learn. You stray into criticizing rather critiquing.

Tara Harvey's picture

I love the solitary frosty leaf! I’m definitely a very amateur photographer but looking at the photo I’d like the whole leaf to be in focus and think a different composition could help draw in the audience. I’m not exactly sure what that would be but playing around with some different ideas could provide somethings unsuspectedly awesome.

Michael Becker's picture

I am relatively new to digital slr's. And the autofocus. Am learning though, thanks for the helpful critique. If you could see how many leaf photos I've shot this season, you'd go blind. I seriously second guessed both my entries many more times than only twice. But this had the best "winter" frost of all my leaves. Guys are real tough critiques here. Good though to get ones ego hurt now and again, I think.

Daniel Carmony's picture

I love this photo but the focus is just a bit off on the right side of the leaf. Great idea, Probably bump the f/stop up to bring the entire leaf in focus. Looks to me you focused directly on the left center of the leaf which made the right side slightly out of focus. Next time focus on the center. Keep up the good work, great creativity.

Michael Becker's picture

Thanks for the critique. I am new to using a digital SLR with auto focus. And rechecked the f stop and it was either 8 or 9. Sometimes I love very shallow depth of field (not here though). I like the softness it can bring. My favorite subjects are just this side of macro. Or macro. Some lean towards abstract.