Monday, April 18, 2011

My Two Cents

Hey, You! Yea, you with the camera. Can we chat for a second? Thanks. Please, take a seat. Let me gather some more people really quick, hang tight.

Okay, welcome. Let's introduce ourselves so everyone knows who is here. I am Morgan. I'm a student at UVU. I haven't been taking photography for too long, but I do know a thing or two about it.

This is Tricia. She is a soccer mom. Her forte is high speed auto usage.  Her son is on the varsity team at his local high school. She hasn't missed a game, and thanks to her record keeping, her husband hasn't missed a single game either!

Next, this is JJ. She's only 17, but last year she fell in love with photography. Ever since her mom bought her a Nikon Coolpix she has done photo shoots for all of her BFFs and she plans on moving on to bigger things soon!

Lastly, this is Thomas. Thomas owns a 5D. But his favorite part of the work flow is the photoshop part. It's the easiest for him. He feels it is extremely artistic. It's especially fun to use on his mac!

Now, all of us have something in common. We love to take pictures. Each of us, however, have a lot to work on. I'll start with myself.

Right now, I really need to find a niche, and stick to it. I don't enjoy shooting people, but I don't know how to make fine art interesting. I think that everything I've taken has been taken before by someone else. I actually enjoy shooting fine art and landscapes. Mostly fine art. I just need to work on making it all better, which comes with time. Here is a classic morgan mikel photograph:

copyright morgan mikel

Somehow, I need to make the photos pop.

Let's start with Thomas. Thomas, here, is a master photoshopper. His philosophy is "I'll fix it in post." That works to a point, bud. Unfortunately, not everything can be made better in post. Here is a classic photo that finds its way out of Thomas's mind:

copyright kristy broberg
The first impression of this image tends to be one of awe. Then, after looking at it for a while you realize that this isn't that fantastic of an image. The composition is off and the colors make my teeth hurt. A lot of professional photographers actually feel that the style is extremely tacky. Either go fully black and white or go colored. Don't go in between. We don't need that... at all...

Janice, let's talk about your work. Taking photos of your son is amazing! Good for you, girl! keep it up! But maybe you should give me your SLR and we could do a straight up swap? I mean, really. My SLR can do that easily. You don't need a two thousand dollar body with thousand dollar lenses to shoot a running boy. It's true that SLRs do make the pictures nicer, but you can't exactly call yourself a photographer if all you do is use the auto function to shoot a teenage boy.

This is a really neat picture, and I think that by the time your fourth son goes through the team you will be amazing! Just, please, you are not a sports photographer.

JJ... I saved you for last on purpose. We definitely need to talk. Listen, dear, I know that you love photography, and I know your friends appreciate your efforts, but honestly? You need some more formal training. Please just hear me out. You do portraits, which is awesome, but have you heard about exposure? And lighting? I'm not sure you have...
copyright olya black

Photographs are only 2D. We use lights to mold a 3D image. This image to our right is a bit...flat. It needs a lot of lights. Personally, I wouldn't pay you for this work. It is not flattering and it's really blah. It looks extremely photoshopped in all the wrong ways, as well. That's neat that you want to take pictures of your friends. Keep it up. But don't try to pass them off as professional.

Aside from portraits, JJ, you do landscapes. Is that correct? Awesome. Do you mind if we pull one of those up? Thanks, dear.

copyright olya black
Last time I checked, the lake was actually flat on the ground. I don't think lakes can logically sit diagonally on the earth. I understand the desire to want to be creative and different. But anyone with a sense of balance is not going to buy into this type of landscape photography. It is extremely nauseating. And I really hate it. Sorry to be blunt, but it's true. I feel like you need to talk to your doctor about an apparent inner-ear problem. It could really mess you looks like it already has.

Honestly, the shadows are too dark. The lights are too light. The ground is now a wall. It's gross. Here, go to Home Depot. Ask for a level. Tell them Morgan sent you. Next time you go shooting, place this level on top of your camera, where the hot shoe is, and make sure you aren't tipping over. That will spare everyone major headaches. Thank you.

As a photographer, your work is never perfect. There is always something to learn. Always someplace new to explore. Always another new person to meet and figure out. We always have things we could work on. I need to read up more on composition and fibonacci. Janice needs to learn that her camera has more than one function. JJ needs to see a doctor as well as read up on lighting. Thomas could use help in production as opposed to post. A good first shot really makes photoshop a lot more fun. You have a lot more options.

Thank you for joining this session of "Photographers Need Help." Please join us next week while I bash on plumbers! =)

1 comment:

  1. Okay let me just say that I LOVE this post and you literally took the thoughts right out of my mind. I look at pictures like that and think they are just awful. Now I know that I am definitely not a professional photographer but even I have a sense when something is just off. I loved that you talked about this!