Board index PBase Show and Tell I'm learning... please comment!

Show and Tell

I'm learning... please comment!

Announce and discuss your photos.
Posts: 19

I'm learning... please comment!

Post Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:24 pm

I'm new to photography and have recently posted my first photos - please visit my gallery, constructive comments welcome! They were mostly taken with my new Canon G3, but some of the older Italy ones with a point and shoot film Fuji. The Chinese Village shots were from a field trip with my intro to photog class (we've had one session so far). Thanks in advance :)

Posts: 14

Post Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:43 pm


Are you really new to photography? If so you are doing extremely well! I couldn't really make any constructive comments at all. Occaisionally I saw a few photos that were ever so slightly over exposed, but that was just because I was trying to be picky. Digital cameras go all funny when they are over exposed so the colours can de-saturate, then they just disapear (turn white). I usually tend to under expose slightly - the image will remain in-tact lots more if it is brightened afterwards rather than darkened.

I thought I'd highlight one example, which is this one:

I have to repeat, I'm only trying to be picky here. You have some great galleries and I enjoyed the tour!


Posts: 126

Post Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:24 am


I left a comment on your Chinese Village Gallery page, but also wanted to respond directly to your request for constructive comment. It is hard for me to believe that you are new to photography -- if so, either you have had excellent instruction or you have great natural talent, perhaps a combination of both. Digital cameras offer you an advantage as well -- you can see your image on the spot and work to improve it with the next shot and so on. Your G3 is serving you well. I have used the G2 for a year, and now I am using the G5, which is basically your own G3 with a extra megapixel. You have an excellent tool to work with but as I tell my own photography students, cameras don't make pictures. Photographers do.

The colors in your Chinese Village Gallery make it the most striking of your galleries. The Miami Beach images are not as varied in content or as rich in color -- the key to those images would be in the detail. Unfortunately, you are too far away from those details to isolate and emphasize them. In architectural studies such as these, light should play a bigger role than you are able to accomplish here. Go back in early morning or late afternoon, get closer, and watch things happen with your details.

The most effective shots in your Italian gallery are the black and white image and the mime. Both of those pictures are simpler, more abstract and say more by showing less. (If you crop most of the street away in front of that mime, you will see a big improvement.)

Your nature images are pleasing to look at it, but some of them are a bit washed out -- learn how to use the spot meter in the G3 and use it to paint your pictures with light. Also use the cloudy white balance setting to warm up your pictures, even in sunlight.

If you want to discuss any particular image or comment at greater length, please always feel free to send me an email. And be sure to take a look at the nine gallery 'cyberbook' on expressive travel photography I've posted here on Pbase. In it, I discuss and illustrate a number of important concepts that should be useful to you. Good luck, Girasole, in your adventures in photography.

Phil Douglis

Posts: 10

Post Sun Sep 28, 2003 2:07 pm

A good start.

Posts: 19

Post Sun Sep 28, 2003 2:59 pm

Thanks to those who responded for taking the time to view my galleries and/or for the generosity of providing your comments and advice! I'm flattered, as yes, I am totally new to this art. I've always appreciated photography, and have owned one simple camera or another (pocket instamatic, etc) but never took pictures, I think I was afraid! I'd travel to the most incredible places on earth with 10 rolls and come home with 8 of them unused. But I guess that finally a little creative voice inside told me it was okay to express myself and experiment and take risks, so I bought the digital camera. I'm totally intimidated by the camera, am not technically oriented, and struggle with my attention span for reading manuals. But I'm definitely up for the challenge!

JB and Phil, yes, I can see what you've pointed out regarding the nature photos.

And Phil, I totally agree about the South Beach pics, I never was particularly happy with them, I think I shot them to try out my camera and to show off my city without the thought I should have given to the technical or compositional aspects. No excuses though! I think the Chinese Village exercise was great, now I can look at the South Beach architecture with the same eye. Also I'll play with the cropping of the mime (I'm not a mime fan, but they do make good subjects, don't they!). I don't want to take up too much space here, but I will definitely check out the gallery and take you up on the offer for more advice outside of this forum!

It will take me some time to understand enough in order to follow up with intelligent questions. But for now though, just wanted to acknowledge the helpful responses!

Robin aka Girasole

Posts: 126

Post Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:13 pm


Thanks for responding and for letting us know how you feel about your work to date. Looking at your galleries is like looking at work from three or four different photographers. Your eye is certainly improving.

Please don't be intimidated by the Canon G3 -- it is a magnificent learning tool. I'll be glad to answer any questions you might want to ask -- just email me. And do read the 'cyberbook" I've posted here -- I had beginners such as you in mind when I put it together.

You can also get instant help from G3 owners all over the world by going to -- the most useful digital photography site on the web -- by clicking on "forums", then on "Canon Talk", and posting your questions there as well. If you do a topic-specific search on's Canon Talk Forum you can find postings on all aspects of the camera's performance and operation.

Take it from me -- I've been teaching photographic communication for 33 years, and I know from experience that the more you shoot, the more familiar you will become with your camera. Eventually, it will become an extension of your eyes and mind.

Here are some tips I offer my beginning students in digital photography: for now, just put the G3 in its "P" mode; choose the highest resolution (superfine, large); use the single autofocus mode; select the white balance "look" that most pleases you; disable the flash so you can benefit from natural light and color; use an ISO most suited to your purpose; to avoid shutter lag, always first press the shutter button halfway down to focus and expose, and then shoot; when you have great variation in light, try using your spot meter; and fire away until you get what you want. And be sure to use your rotating LCD to compose your images instead of the optical viewfinder. You will see exactly what your picture will look like before you take it. Don't be afraid to experiment -- you now have free film for life! And instant feedback.

Good luck, Robin, and I look forward to watching you take off.

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