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 Post subject: My Wildlife Photography - Criticism & Advice Needed!!
Unread postPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:36 pm
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Location: London, England
Hi - hopefully, you can all help me here to get some better results. Below is a weblink to some of my shots from a trip to Kruger last May and also a few bits and pieces from some UK safari parks and zoos.

Where am I going wrong here? What suggestions do you have as to how I can get better results?

Please be as critical as you like!

http://photobucket.com/bennkempster

Thanks,

Benn

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 8:54 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
Fill in flash is your friend during the day in africa it helps to get rid of the harsh shadows.

Then optimal shooting time is from first light till about 7:30 - 8AM and then again from 3/4 till about 30 minutes after last light depending on the subject matter and also depending on the season and if there is cloud cover or not.

The rest of the day is harsh light and very unforgiving if you want to take photo's that time of day I would advice to take your light meter reading of the sky and use a flash to fill in your subject a bit.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:40 am 
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That, and a bit of using the rule of thirds. Almost all the photos are centered.

Taken at random, this photo:
Image

If you had moved the camera over a bit, less greens on the right and bottom the kudu would have 'space' to look into, and would not be afraid of bumping his horns on the top of the frame.

Do you like this photo?

Image

And why?

I made it, bit of a walk but worth it, with the rule of thirds completely in mind. It's a very simple photo, but as you can see it works.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:01 am 
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Can only add.
As with the kudu try to make the composition in a way that the head/horns are free from the tree.
And if you use autofocus and have the abilitly to play with the focus points try to shift the focus to the right or left for eg.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 5:06 pm
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Location: London UK
Hi Benn

Looks like you had a great time!

All the advice so far is excellent.

When I changed to an auto focus cam., it took me a surprisingly long time to adjust my photo framing.

Just a few idears:-

Are you shooting in RAW or JPG as quite a few pics. look a little lacking in saturation, eg. the Ellies and Rhinos? Experiment with adjusting the saturation in the soft ware that comes with the camera, but don’t overdo it as a tiny bit too much can make things look unnatural.

Sometimes a little overall darkening/lightening or an increase in contrast will lift a rather flat looking pic.

When shooting animals or birds, always, always focus on the eyes, out of focus eyes mean the shot is for the recycle bin!!

:cry:


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 Post subject: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 10:18 am 
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im sheldon and i love wildlife photograpy can any1 plz rate these pics and give some advise!!!(even though i live in australia i took these on holiday in april/may)
crocs
Image
cat at sanbonani
Image
lions
Image
impie
Image
ellie eye
Image
fish eagle
Image
hammerkop
Image
flower forgot the name
Image
kudu
Image
ellie bull
Image
goose at perrys bridge reptile centre
Image
leopard in reeds
Image

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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 5:39 pm 
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@sheldogz23
The flower is a Strelitia.

Nice photo's, but then I'm no photographer :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 5:46 pm 
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nice pics indeed!!! :dance:

I have a point & click!!! :roll:

The flower...also known as "Bird of Paradise"? :?

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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Great pic of the cat! I like it!

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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 7:43 pm 
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crocs: nice comp. the 2 crocs from left to right makes it very pleasant
cat: if only the other eye was also clear :cry: Great one
lions: same issue. the male under the bush.and not to sharp
Impy: not to sharp
ellie: nice , except for the harsh light
fish eagle: Nice one. light is good and composition is okay
hammerkop: like the composition and the light in the back
flower: nice, except for the harsh light
Kudu: composition is good.Nice one
ellie bull: agian, not to sharp or crisp. looks like it has been photographed through a window
goose: very nice compostition. a bit sharper would have been perfect
leopard: the best performance in the situation.

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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 4:48 am 
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thanks 4 tha info on the flower :D
really good advice thee bert bear in mind im only 15
:thumbs_up: 8)

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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 6:42 am 
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I'm no expert on photography, but that goose composition is superb! The placement, clarity, and mildly interesting background does it for me!

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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Hi Sheldon

A couple of points. Firstly, I am not a professional photographer, so the comments are not from a professional perspective. Secondly, I am hyper-critical, so please do not be too sensitive about the comments. Thirdly, are these taken with a D-SLR, or a point-and-shoot? Here are my comments:

- The crocs - Ho-hum, and nothing special. Very difficult to get great pics of crocs, especially when taking pictures from above;
- Cat - Not a bad effort, but two things, the focus must be on the eye, not the bridge of the nose, and the grass over the left eye spoils it for me; You would get different results from a DSLR and a point-and-shoot;
- lions- Just another happy-snappy - nothing special - time of day would not have allowed for much improvement;
- Impala - nothing special, and again, probably the wrong time of day for photography. Composition OK, but you have very little control over the lighting;
- ellie - Nice and unusual. Keep trying at these unusual pics as often, one will stand out;
- Fish Eagle - again, nice with its prey, but being in the shade, over which you have no control, not too special (special sighting, and a great memory, though);
- Hammerkop - I like this, especially with the back light, but a pity you have lost the legs which spoils it a bit;
- Crane flower - Great, clear and well defined - Nice One;
- Kudu - Nothing special, but keep trying, and keep checking for the right light;
- Ellie - Out of focus, and light not great for taking pics;
- Goose - Pic of the bunch - In my view, Brilliant. Extra special well done on this one :thumbs_up: ;
- Leopard - Another pic over which you often have no control over the light. Too far from the subject, so unless you have telephoto lenses on a DSLR, there would have been little you could have done about this.

The fact that you are only 15 years old is a plus, in that you have a lifetime to continually improve, and that you are able to learn in a time when taking pictures does not include the cost of development of film. Take LOTS of pictures when the lighting is more appropriate, like early in the mornings and late afternoons and select the best from those. The difficulty in getting great wildlife pictures will be rewarded when that one special picture is admired and commented on, without you having to ask for it.

Photography is a great hobby, and a lot more difficult than most people believe. You have made a great effort and some of your results show it. Just remember that, no matter how good you become at it, there is ALWAYS more to learn.

I have been trying to take wildlife pictures for over 10 years, and have taken 10's of 1000's. I keep comparing my pictures to those in magazines, and try to learn composition and lighting from others. That is the joy. Most important, have fun while doing it, and never give up trying to improve.

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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 3:28 pm 
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sheldogz23 wrote:
really good advice thee bert bear in mind im only 15
:thumbs_up: 8)

Dont worry sheldogz23, many adult amateur photographers do less
And you have many years to get perfection.

But one of the most important factors is always light.
And that is the one thing you can control
If its to sunny (time of day), resist the urge to take a photograph.
btw, what equipment do you use

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 Post subject: Re: rate my photos
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:31 pm 
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:clap: :clap: sheldogz23
Some nice photo's :thumbs_up:
Like Bert Said light is key :D
I'm only 17 and i really love photography although it is a really expensive hobby(and on my wages it takes awhile to buy equipment) it id really a great feeling when you get your photo's just right.
Just take as many photo's as you can, btw what equipment are you using?

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