View Full Version : Beginner looking for feedback!

10-26-2011, 08:52
Hi everyone,

Just looking to get some advice or critique on my work. I'm a beginner to the RF world and I'm trying to explore using black and white. I use a MP + Summicron 50/2 V3 (UV filter - in case anyone thinks use of different colored filters would be better).

Just general comments or feedback would be great: what you like, how I can get inspired, etc.


Thanks in advance!

10-26-2011, 10:36
Hey David, there are some great shots! OK I'm biased since I used to live in Boston but still. Three instant favorites: don't let me go, lines and lines, framelines. Very well seen. You should post the photos here to get more comments.

10-26-2011, 10:44

Thanks for the kind words - where do I post them? In the thread?


10-26-2011, 10:54
Good street work.
You seem to have found 'moments' and have also considered framing and composition. No easy task in street photography.
I think you could make a little more out of your shots in post processing with slight tweaks to the contrast and exposure, but all I can really do is give you the same advice as I give myself - keep shooting!


10-26-2011, 11:15

Thanks for the kind words - where do I post them? In the thread?


Yep. You're actually not quite in the right section for this thread. Since you're specifically asking for feedback, it would be better off in "Critique / Salon / Picks / Most Views." But this is close enough.

You could also place a few shots in your gallery here. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see them among the weekly picks on Monday, they're that good.

I agree with Bob, by the way, it would probably pay to play around with the scans some more. I totally s*ck at that myself so can't give specific advice.

Vince Lupo
10-26-2011, 11:48
Good start, but for me there are too many 'back of the head' shots, and too far away (as a result, it appears like you have a fear of doing it, though I could be wrong). Questions to ask yourself: How is/are the person/people being integrated into their surroundings? How are they relating to their surroundings? Is it possible to create some kind of a narrative for the viewer to ponder? How is the lighting contributing to the overall effect of the shot?

I liked the potential of the situation with the fellow unloading the shiny mannequins, but I think you could have stuck around a bit more to see how much more of a 'relationship' you could have made between the guy, the mannequins and the environment they were in.

Image-quality-wise, I think your blacks could be a bit more black -- images seem a bit light to me.....they need a bit more 'oomph'.

Street shooting definitely takes time to develop (not that I'm necessarily any great expert!). Probably the hardest thing to do is to photograph people you don't know -- and hope you don't get punched in the nose for doing it!

10-26-2011, 14:31
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I get my Epson V750 tomorrow and I'm going to rescan and tweak the pics a little bit to get the look I want :)

As far as "back of the head shots" go, Vince you nailed it - It's rather horrifying trying to approach people like you said. I'm still trying to figure out how to meter more quickly, does anyone have tips on that? Focusing and metering quickly would be sweet.

Any other tips?

Vince Lupo
10-26-2011, 14:54
I'd be really mindful of the light -- sometimes you can get the best street shots on overcast days, believe it or not. As far as metering goes, I'd pretty well meter once then as you move about, take note of the light conditions based upon that first reading, and adjust accordingly. This will likely take practice, but even if you overexpose by 1/2 a stop, it's not the end of the world.

As far as the whole concept of photographing people on the street goes, a lot of times you can build experience by shooting at an event -- like a farmer's market, a street festival, or something that gives you a reason to be there. Then, people will probably not really worry too much about your taking photos, as it's something interesting that's happening on the street, there are a lot of people there, and they (hopefully) have a degree of understanding why you're there taking shots.

I think it's really about taking your time, absorbing what's around you, and being very deliberate about what you're doing. Maybe having some kind of 'self-directed project' might help focus your intentions, rather than just shooting willy-nilly and hoping that something comes out. When I was in undergrad at Ryerson in Toronto in the early '90s, my one teacher Barry Philp gave us an assignment to photograph small business owners -- that was a really great project, and got us out of our shells and into the world of not only photographing people we didn't know, but also lighting, and problem-solving too.

So maybe that's it -- give yourself a self-directed assignment, and see if you can develop a body of work around whatever idea you come up with. Just a thought.

10-26-2011, 15:55
I like these a lot - Jeremy and the Reflective Bodies are my favorites.

For my taste, these are a little over-exposed and low contrast - others may feel differently. You might also want to get closer to the action on some of these. That is a fault of mine that I work constantly to correct, so maybe I see the fault in everyone. ;-)

Please keep posting.


10-26-2011, 17:24
Thanks everyone!

I'm a university student and I've been so bogged down with work - I do want to get closer to the subjects, but again I need some tips on faster metering/focus techniques. I know 'practice makes perfect' but I don't want to practice a bad methodology. Perhaps relying on the in camera meter is not my best option?

Also, should I toss a yellow filter on? I have a Leica UV filter right now..

10-26-2011, 17:52
which university? I actually just graduate from one of BU's MA programs. being back in Boston for a while after years of separation was extremely refreshing.

and as a result, many of these places are familiar.

and yes, you do need to get closer. with a Leica people arent going to really notice you that much anyway. I did my shooting in Boston with an OM-1 and people mostly ignored me even as I was working an arm's length away. But when I tried to use my 40D people ducked for cover.

I don't know about your tones. I mean they are much greyer than I like (I like high contrast. a lot) but that's not to say they are bad. Just not what I would personally do. Although for the empty seat shot it does work quite well.

However for your Remnants of Rain or Gated Descent (my two favorites) I would definitely do both up as high contrast shots.

framelines goes over pretty well my number one pet peeve and that is, and this is only my opinion so feel free to ignore it, ruining a perfectly good picture by having the tiny people way back there ruining your scene. It's like taking a shot of a huge courtyard and having two tiny people in it and it just drives me crazy.

again IMO: no people there = strong shot. those two guys there = annoying shot.

as far as metering goes just sunny 16 it if you need to work fast. but really, you don't need to meter before each shot. meter at the beginning and adjust as you go in your head.

10-26-2011, 18:05
Simple--don't meter every shot. If you're in the same surroundings, same average scenery, steady light, why change? You really need only two readings in the street, full light and full shade.

I would almost say don't focus every shot, either, but you're using a 50. Still, in good light and/or with fast film, you can get a lot of depth of field. Hyperfocal is your friend.

Just because your camera has a meter and a rangefinder doesn't mean they must be used all the time... They're there for the trickier situations. Take time to focus when the light is low and/or you're close up, or when you need to blur a distracting background.

10-26-2011, 18:20
I love how many people are from/have some connection to Boston.

Edit: Forgot to say I'm at Northeastern Univ.

I personally LOVE high contrast, I just didn't know if it was 'bad' to edit in post-processing to get the black/white look. Think... Ralph Gibson = love his stuff. I guess some of that contrast will also have to come with my film and developing methods, which I'll gladly take.

As for scanning, should I try to get that look I want out of scanner? Or just take what I have and then pass it through Lightroom/Photoshop.