Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Details

Closed to new replies
January 14, 2013
Link

Statistics

Replies: 24

Introducing myself, and asking for a little advice

:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Hey Photography forum, just wanted to introduce myself as stay-sick aka Oli Polhill and to ask; first of all, are my photographs any good/do they have potential? And as far as lighting goes - I can't afford expensive reflectors etc, so could I just use a piece of white Styrofoam or a white pillow case stapled to a board, or any similar contraption to reflect light? I just wasn't sure if it would work as well, then again I am really at the low budget end of the photography world :)
Reply

You can no longer comment on this thread as it was closed due to no activity for a month.

Devious Comments

:iconmisterharts:
MisterHarts Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Professional Photographer
When i first started i use to use my cars windshield reflector but Rcooper is right reg reflectors are pretty cheap and a great way to start. your work has potential keep it up.

-------------------
Harts Ortiz
www.hartbasscompany.com
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you :) yeah, I'm looking at investing in some regular reflectors
Reply
:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Bear in mind that the windshied reflectors in Walmart that are made of wire framed fabric (not the plastic or cardboard kind) are EXACTLY the same as the ones sold in photography shops, and they cost far less.
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't have Walmart here in the UK :) although I'm sure i'll find the same stuff
Reply
:iconmad-shrewd:
mad-shrewd Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
This takes some creativity.

If you use math (tm) you can create your own reflectors that do a fine job. It takes some algebra, but using the formula f(x) = a(x-h)^2 + k you can create your own reflector. Just place a tube light of some sort at the point h,k and line the reflector along the arch described by the equation and you should get a nice even light. Or, you can place objects at that point and just use it as a solar cooker. You can use foil or mylar for the reflective coating and you get a pretty good reflector like that.

If you need directions, google "home made solar cooker" and you should find videos and other resources.

If you scrounge parts, it should cost you pretty much nothing. And depending upon the level of precision you need, you could probably even make it fold up. When I return to the US, I'll probably do something like this. I should probably post a tutorial for it when I do it.

I found a beer can reflector online, but the site is dedicated to growing marijuana so I probably shouldn't link it here in the forum. But, google "do it yourself beer can reflector" and you should find it.
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013

Go to walmart's automoptive section. Do you know about the folding wire framed fabric shields that go in people's windsheilds and that keep their car's interior from going over boiling on a hot day? They have one metallic shiny side and one dark side -- and darned if they are not exactly like some of those expensive photography store reflectors, at about a tenth of the price.

About your photos: There are some problems, but you have potential. The poses are okay, but you have some things to lear about the rest of composition and about lighting. In particular you need to look up broad and short lighting and see what they do to people's faces. In the photo, "a cluttered background," the wrong kind of lighting (broad lighting, that broadens a narrow face), combined with a bad crop, has added 50 or more pounds of weight to that lady.

In "red is beauty," it looks like you've attempted to use the rule of thirds, but have used it incorrectly, with the result that the viewer's attention is drawn to the area behind her, only to find there is nothing there. If she's on the right side of the photo, she should be facing the left side -- unless you really do want to focus the viewer's attention on something behind her. If there was a really strong wind and her hair was blowing out behind her, that might work, but there was not and it doesn't. In addition, the unfortunate location of the wrinkles in her sweater have the same effect that skin folds in the same area would if she were nude, so they make her look more plump than she is and make her torso look shorter.

Also, if you are going to do portraits, you need to either get closer (classic head and shoulders) or farther away (head to knees or full length). Environmental portraits are also an option (subject in context). The distance you are using isn't working though, and I would recomment that you back off for most of them.

Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for that, I'll get to work on correcting those mistakes. I appreciate you taking the time to look through my 'art' (I'm my own worst critic), it really does help.
Reply
:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
If you think portraits are hard, try doing nudes sometime. You have all the things that can possibly go wrong with portraits, but over the whole body. Clothes hide all kinds of things that you will have to deal with (birth marks, scars, stretch marks, cellulite, bad tattoos and etcetera), not to mention body langusage, sagging things, and so on. That's when you REALLY learn things about lighting and poses.
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah I can imagine - you see it in the nudes posted here on DA. There are those photographers who have considered lighting and pose meticulously, and there are those who have just shot a naked model.
Reply
:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
There was some guy here who once said, in another thread: "If I could get a hot chick to pose nude for me, I could take good photos too." I still laugh when I think about that. It ranks right up there with the guy who saw my Vietnam Vet cap and said "I know what you guys went through; I saw "Apocalypse Now."
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Hahaha some people are funny. If only it were that simple taking photos :)
Reply
:icondinosayyrawr:
DinoSayyRawr Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Don't worry, I'm on the broke end of photography, as well. I've found outdoor lighting is one of the best routes to take, but if shooting indoor even a simple desk lamp can be used. No, It won't be as stellar as a box lamp and reflectors set up, but it works well for rim lighting especially. Aluminum foil or a one of those metallic car window covers can work. That's the route my high school art teacher took at one point.

As for the potential of your work, you have the technical skills down. You can take a clear shot, get the right exposure, and so forth. I can't lecture past that because I am purely a hobbyist who's still learning the ropes.

Best of luck!
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, I've been taking a lot more photos recently and have started using natural light to my advantage, positioning models in such a way that I can get away without having to use reflectors, etc. But there will always be a look or feel I want to achieve that reflectors would greatly help with.

Thank you, good luck to you too! Us rookie photographers gotta stick together haha!
Reply
:iconlaciemelhart:
LacieMelhart Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
If you want to play with a reflector without having to buy one - the silver sun screens for automobiles work pretty damn well :)
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah I've heard it said that those, or indeed any shiny surface will work :)
Reply
:iconlaciemelhart:
LacieMelhart Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
You'll still have to buy it - but I found one for $5 at a hardware store. It'll do till you're ready to invest.
Reply
:iconsilentmood:
silentmood Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist
I'm not a pro or anything and I don't even consider myself as a photographer yet, but I'm starting to get some shooting gigs as a backup shooter.

Anyway I see a lot of potential in your work, and if you really love photography and you spend your time developing your skills and learning all about it then of course without a doubt you'll be better at your craft.

And like they said reflectors are cheap, but if you can make a styrofoam work, then it works.
And do me a favor. I know you shoot pentax. Take advantage of those cheap manual primes that we can get for our cameras. Please try and get yourself a 50mm prime. The pentax M50 1.7 goes for cheap! it would be a crime for you if you don't get one... It's an awesome cheap portrait lens.

Also if you're interested in portrait photography, try to shoot with the best light. For me I prefer to do portraits early in the morning and an hour when the sun is about to set. It's what we call the "golden hour" almost anything that you shoot at golden hour will be awesome. Take advantage of it.

Cheers,
A

Also, if you're still not a member here [link] sign-up, there's a lot of cool people over there that helped me with my photography.
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, I used the 18 - 55mm that comes with the camera for a while until I realised (and was told) that it really doesn't flatter the model. So I went a little extreme and got the 50 - 200mm, which is awesome. But like you say, I need a dedicated portrait lens.

Thanks for linking me up to a specific product, a lot of people have just said "get a portrait lens" and I'm like "which one..."!

And yes, I've done my homework and the golden hour cropped up a lot - practise and observing other people's work has shown me that, for portraits, lighting is a HUGE factor in the quality of the piece you produce.

Thank you for your help!
Reply
:iconlaciemelhart:
LacieMelhart Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
I second the golden hour rule of thumb! Use it all the time for outdoor shoots with animals - unless I'm at a show I pretty much never shoot past nine or ten AM and never before 3PM.
Reply
:iconolda-g:
Olda-G Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
This is a useful site for low budget photographers [link]

As rcooper102 said, though you can get reflectors prety cheap.
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you, linking me to these resources helps so much :)
Reply
:iconrcooper102:
rcooper102 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
First of all, reflectors aren't expensive. You can get a 5 in 1 Reflector for as little as $20 USD ([link]
98743&sr=8-1&keywords=5+in+1+reflector)

Second, yes you can use other materials as reflectors, you just might not have the same degree of control. Foamcore is very commonly used be photographers for this very purpose. As a white reflector it is very easy to make your own. (Although it won't be portable like the folding ones you buy). For a warming reflector like the gold tinted one it is a little harder to make on your own but also possible.

Third, if you love taking photos then yes, your work has potential. It is very amateur but then again that is the level you are at. Keep practicing, maintain your passion and before long you will be doing much better. Focus on expression, light quality, and composition. I'd suggest watching as many episode of the grid as you can, it is a fantastic and free resource: [link]
Reply
:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Okay, thanks for the advice. It's good to hear that I've got potential, but also good to be humbled :)
Reply
Add a Comment: