It's another one of those "critique my photos" threads!

WakeboardrB

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Hey guys, I just got back from a weekend long music festival and decided to take pictures the whole time. I pulled off about 300 or so pics and just got done sorting them. I picked a handful of ones that I thought were good (there are other great ones, just tired) and It'd be really cool if you all could critique them for me.

The pictures were taken with a Kodak 6490 and were only resized, no touchups yet. They were taken at Haymaker Music Festival in Spotsylvania, Virginia and are of Keller Williams and two of the members of Tea Leaf Green.


keller150resize.jpg


Keller072resize.jpg


keller238resize.jpg
 

jayjaya29

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They could all use some minor adjustments in photoshop, but other then that, they look great.
 

WakeboardrB

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Thanks a bunch. Yeah, I was messing around with the color channels and everything but all in all I'm extremely happy with how they came out.

Actually I have a cool story about it. When I was taking the first set of photos Friday night (the first two darker photos) a woman came up to me and asked to see my photos. She checked out what I had and said that she was a professional wedding photographer and sees a lot of photos day in and day out and she hadn't seen photos that good in a long time.

So after that she introduced me to her boyfriend who happens to be lead singer for a local band that plays in my area quite often and he wants me to take pictures for them this Friday...


Quite exciting :)


Thanks for the suggestions though, I'm going to post a few more after I can resize them.
 

Tim_axe

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#1 -- It would be nice to see their faces. The lighting turned out nice and warm in that picture, and it looks like they're beginning to kick up the beat and have some fun. You get to see enough of the stage that this is more about them making music and having fun than singing right at you.

#2 -- I think this was a good moment to take the photo with his hand up. The guitar player looks at ease. I'm wondering what he is looking at though. Too bad you can't be on stage with a fish eye lens (or a ultra-wide rectilinear) to get him and the crowd in the same picture. :p (one more thing I notice is that the camera focused on the sound-board instead of the guitar player, something you should be aware of)

#3 -- Was this picture taken from further away than the other 2? If you clone out the mic on the left side of the picture I think it'll help the picture.


Cheers, and congrats on being invited for the Friday performance.
 

WakeboardrB

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Thanks for the great suggestions Tim!

#1
I was trying to get both of their faces in there and I actually did get a few pics like that, but I just haven't had a chance to resize them and upload. I actually think I'll do that right now.

#2
If you've ever seen or heard Keller Williams play you'll see he does lots of stuff like that. There was one pic my friend took (so I won't be uploading the photo without his permission) With Keller playing this Bass/ Drum pad type thing. He ran his hand over the instrument and it sounded like thunder was cracking all around us and he just put his hand up to his forehead and looked out into the distance. It was an awesome pic.

As for the focusing I believe it's when I had multipoint focusing on the camera (no manual focus :( ) and it split the focus points between the sound board and the guitar in front of him. Oh well, it still made for a good photo

#3
I was thinking about taking the mic out of this pic, but I decided to leave it in due to the contrast and sharpness of the pole. It really grabs attention to the right a little bit and fills in the picture quite nicely in my opinion. Otherwise I'd have a lot of dead space on the right side of the photo. Also I was actually a bit closer to the stage in this photo, probably only about 10 feet away from Keller when I took the picture. I took it over to my former place of employment (as of yesterday), OfficeMax and printed up a 8x11" and 11x17" print of this picture on their color laser printer and it came out absolutely georgeous. I've actually got a few friends that want to buy some prints of it which was very flattering. The only problem is that I'd be afraid to go farther than 11x17 due to the resolution of the pic.


At any rate, going by the recommendation of one very drunk wedding photographer and her slightly less drunk boyfriend (lead singer for the band), I now have a chance to break into the show and event photography biz. I'm just trying to see if everyone else sees the same things in these photos that both I and everyone else see in it and if you think I have a shot at making it in the biz? (Keep in mind, not many sober people were looking at these photos and it wasn't just alcohol, which puts it in perspective :D )


Oh and P.S. : If you all have never had the oppertunity to listen to any of Keller William's stuff, go check it out now! This dude literally oozes music out of every orifice of his body and he can play so many instruments. I went to a show of his in September and he had no less than 15 instruments on stage (guitars, banjo, bass, drums, theramin device, synth guitar, and his funky fresh beatbox mouth to name a few) and he jammed out on all of them. Check out Freeker By the Speaker, Moondance (from his album Stage), Skitso, or any others. Trust me, he's that freakin good! :D
 

WakeboardrB

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Here are some more. Keep in mind they are all unedited, but if you could tell me what needs to be done photoshop wise for each one to really make them stand out I would appreciate it.

Haymaker2005295.jpg


Haymaker2005220.jpg


Haymaker2005241.jpg


Haymaker2005155.jpg
 

WakeboardrB

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Anyone else have any input? I want to make sure these things are worthwhile so I can actually do something with them.
 

Tim_axe

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Wakeboard -- back to #3. I was talking about the black mic on the left side of the frame that cuts through his shirt sleeve and elbow.


Onto the new set...

#4 - I think the performer is too small in the frame to be worth doing much with. This angle also doesn't really do it for me. Just MHO.

#5 - Contrast/saturation enhancement should help pop the colors. Try USM with a radius of 10, and experiment with the amount for some local contrast enhancement. Also, watch the horizon line and make sure it is horizontal and crop if needed (it may be difficult when holding it above your head, but practice :p)

Also I don't see much exciting going on in this picture, so when the chance comes when everyone is jumping/moshing/cheering and you feel your equipment is safe, take a picture of it.

#6 - While it is against the unwritten rules to cut off appendages at a joint in sports photography, I'm not sure how it applies to event photos. I think he is wearing shorts, so somehow this violation doesn't seem that awkward. Consider cropping to make the photo thinner so it appears to be taller, but stick to standard ratios (ie, 2:3, 2:1)

#7 - We see eyes this time, which is pretty rare. It may have been awesome to have a little more of him in this picture (aimed a little lower) so he fills the frame a little bit more, but you can probably crop (remember standard size -- 3:2) to make his head come closer to the top of the frame. Work with the colors to maybe cool it a little bit and also boost contrast, but I think of the new pictures you posted this one is a little better.


----------------------------------------

I don't really do event photography, but you might be interested in seeing my events gallery for the Arts Fest performances: http://www.timaxe.com/events/


Cheers.
 

WakeboardrB

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Thanks for all the hot advice Tim, this is going to help me out a lot. I've got a show that I'm going to be shooting at the request of the lead singer / keyboardist (who I met at this festival). I need all the tips I can get since it's been a couple of years since I took a few photography classes in High School.


OOOh.. I still do have my College Photography books, I guess I'll be doing some heavy reading tomorrow before Friday's show and hopefully they'll turn out quite a bit better. Also I'll be bringing a tripod and hopefully will be able to get up on stage to take some angled close ups.

This weekened definitely did rekindle my love for photography and I must say as much as I enjoyed developing my own photos, Digital is SO MUCH EASIER TO WORK WITH. Turn around time depends on how soon you can get to a Computer and plug it in.


Also I was planning on possibly selling a few of these photos to either a magazine that covered the Festival (I'm sure someone did, it was about 4000 people and 35 or so bands) or to the group that put on the event. I think that if they put a few of these up and also maybe got some other pictures from the other photographers there it will increase their exposure by quite a bit.

Also I've had quite a few friends want blown up prints of some of my photos and I've run into a lot of other people that love to spend a couple of bucks for some nice looking prints.

What would be my best course of action to maybe make some money off of either these or my future prints? Are there any copyright or other laws I have to be concerned about? Normally I wouldn't even consider this, but I just quit my job and I figure it's high time I get serious as a photographer and try to turn it into a career. I'm tired of meaningless jobs, this has been an ongoing dream of mine for the past 6-7 years.


Thanks in advance, I'll be sure to give as much credit as I can to whoever can teach me the ways of a professional photographer.
 

Tim_axe

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Well copyright law is a confusing thing when you really get down into it, but you can find out what you need to know by visiting http://www.copyright.gov/

You own the copyrights to your images from when you create them, but it means little if someone infringes your copyright and you want to sue them. You'd lose the case. (hint: register)

To be able to sue someone for infringing uses, and win, you need to register with the Copyright Office, usually within 30 days (check the website to be sure) of first publication or the infringing use. You can burn your pictures to CD (can be resized JPEG files) and send it in with $30 to register them all at once. Many people apparently do some sort of quarterly annual / bi-monthly registration of images for protection.



As for selling your photos...another weird thing comes up -- releases. Generally 100% of the time, to legally sell photos of someone and have your butt covered you need a model release. This can be easy to get at times, and a PITA to get at times. The exception is editorial uses where no release is required. (editorial doesn't pay very well, btw)

One thing many photographers are concerned about is owning the rights to their photos. This may sound funny, but the sad truth is that there are quite a lot of photographers out there who do not own their photos due to Work For Hire contracts, among other things. You're going to have to make the call -- Work For Hire and have no shot at money from relicensing (though most organizations buying the photos prefer WFH because they keep all of your pictures and get off pretty cheap), or stick to your guns (and watch 20 other people devalue pictures by doing WFH -- unless your photos are unique).



Hopefully the groups like the pictures. Just so you know the photography industry is meeting weird times where everyone has a digi camera and can point & click. Unless you can seperate yourself from the crowd, you'll probably struggle to keep floating in this industry.

To be blunt, there are a lot of people who produce better photos than what you've shown in this thread so far, so I hope you have other photos and areas you cover so you can figure out if you have a unique angle of something. If you want to do photography, you have a lot of catching-up to do (mastering techniques with what you have now, and if that is good and you feel like continuing getting new 35mm/SLR equipment so you can use its potential before it becomes antiquated), so you should definately consider another job while you relearn. Good luck, you'll need it. Cheers :)
 
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