Your photos (37)
Take Better Photos

Hints and tips
by Philip Grosset

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with comments from Philip Grosset

"Your comments, please? Thanks!" (Christie Uhler)
Road cropped
I think your photo (above left) is very attractive. I like the way the road leads you into the picture, the very pleasant subdued colors, and the dramatic sky above. However, I've still come up with an alternative version on the right! Here I've tried to concentrate on what seems the most interesting part of the picture, with the less relevant road leading off to the right now cropped out. I've also slightly increased the contrast so the whole picture appears a bit sharper, and lightened the picture. But I still like your original version!

You've used a path leading into the picture again here, but the result is less interesting. Perhaps if we'd seen more of the tree in the foreground, it might have helped. Or, alternatively, showing someone on the path might have given it it some human interest.

Snow Snow made whiter
Your snow picture (on the left) is underexposed. This often happens because a large area of white tricks an exposure meter into giving too little exposure, unless you compensate in some way (perhaps by taking a close-up reading of a skin tone). On the right, I've restored a more accurate rendering of the snow. You might have produced a more interesting result by getting in a lot closer, with the snow on the haybales featured in the immediate foreground. When far visibility is reduced, as here, it's a help if at least foreground objects are really sharp.

This is a very pleasing photo, that would obviously fit in very well into a wedding sequence. It is just the sort of telling detail that a photographer should look out for. Nicely observed!

"I am attaching a couple of photos to get a critique on. I am a camera collector, who has recently started to use the cameras in my collection. All my photos so far, are with manual everything type cameras. These 2 photos are from my trip to New Orleans this past Aug. Thanks for any input." (Robert Neumann)

Alleyway cropped
I've seen excellent results from really old cameras. It's just a lot more work to get them! Your photo (on the left) effectively captures the scene, but I'm not entirely sure what you found most attractive about it. Presuming it's the glistening surface, in my version (on the right) I've moved the end of the road off-centre, so eliminating most of the black area on the left. This draws more attention to the road.

In your version (above), I'm not quite certain where you want me to look. We're a bit too close in to see the building as a whole, and too far away to see the statue very clearly. If it's the statue that most interests you, you could try cropping the picture, as on the bottom left, although this rather gives the impression that the horse is moving out of the picture. I think it might be more dramatic, and give more sense of the building behind it, to choose the version on the bottom right. The important thing is to consider all the possibilities - then go for the one you really prefer.

Statue closer Statue mid-distance

Reply from Robert Neumann: "Philip, Thank you for your input, it is great advice as usual.In the picture of the alleyway,it was around 7 a.m. in New Orleans,and the scene looked so peaceful compared to what New Orleans usually is.The picture of the church and statue,was taken in front of Jackson Square,with a 135mm telephoto lens.The statue was a couple hundred yards closer than the church.I have only been using a camera for about 2 years.I look forward to reading more tips from your site.Keep up the great job.

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