Your photos (62)
Take Better Photos

Hints and tips
by Philip Grosset

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with comments from Philip Grosset

"Philip, I have been interested in photography for about a year and have a great time with it. I am still learning and have trouble with the right f settings and depth of field but on the whole I do pretty well. The picture called " A Mothers Touch " was taken at a wedding I was asked to do. I snapped the picture because I liked what I saw. The picture called " Emily " is of my neice who was posing for me. The last picture is of my son when we were out on an outing. I love to work with B/W because of the mood it produces. What do you think? I think I do pretty well with catching the moment but need some tips on my settings. Thanks for your help."(Dan Croft, Mariposa, Ca.)

Your photo (on the left) looks a little over-exposed. On the right, I've tried darkening it. You may have intended the ghostly effect, but, to me, it just looks a bit puzzling. You call it "A mother's touch" so I presume the hand belongs to the girl's mother, but it isn't at all obvious from the picture. For once, it would have been better to have seen more of the scene!

Smiling girl
Smiling girl cropped
I think this photo (on the left) is much more successful, and I like it very much. But I've tried moving in closer, as on the right, to get rid of the dark area at the top of the picture. I think the result is really attractive.

Young man cropped
Young man
Yes, you are good at catching the moment, as on the left. The snag is that the dog merges into the background. Contrasting colors might have kept them apart! I've reduced the large area of mottled background in my version on the right, but would still have preferred a plainer background with b&w. But these are interesting photos.

Reply from Dan Croft:
"Dear Philip, Thanks for the help on my photos! I didn't expect to see them on your web page the next day! You have a great site and am sure you help a lot of people with their techniques concerning photography. Thanks again for the help."

"Hi my name is Karen I have sent you a pic and I thank you for you input can you help me with these ? we where at the Denver zoo when these where taken, I'm going to start school in January for photography, do you think I have a chance? these are taken with a Nikon n70 70-300 lens no filters the polar bear was taken through the glass. Thank you so much for your time. merry Christmas." (Karen from Colorado)

Butterfly closer
The butterfly (on the left) comes out well, but our attention is a bit distracted by all those leaves in the background. Move in closer (as on the right) and you've a really arresting photo. You should be very pleased with this one!

Butterfly silhouette
On the left: Your photo needed flash (or some sort of light) to show up the butterfly, then it would have been worth moving really close in. I don't think it really works as a silhoutte.
On the right: This is an amusing picture, although I'm left wondering what it is down the right-hand side of the frame, and wish you'd been able to capture an eye peering over a paw! Photographing through glass can work better than some people might suppose, as long as you keep the lens right up against it, as I expect you did here.

Good luck with your photography course. Take more photos like that big close-up of the butterfly, and go on noticing amusing subjects like the bear, and you're off to a good start!

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