Commons:Photography critiques

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color palette logo Welcome to the Photography critiques!

Would you like a second opinion before nominating a photograph of yours as a Quality Image, Valued Image or Featured Picture candidate, can't decide which of your images to enter into one of the Photo Challenges? Or do you have specific questions about how to improve your photography or just would like some general feedback?

This is the right page to gather other people's opinions!




If you want general suggestions to a good photo, you can ask here, and we already wrote guidelines.

See image guidelines >>

If you don't get some terminology used here, don't be shy you can ask about it, or read

See photography terms >>

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Any of this could be FP?[edit]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Cvmontuy (talk • contribs) 03:27, 12 September 2020‎ (UTC)

  • That's certainly an interesting subject! Not sure the soft light is doing those colors justice, though. Especially the last one looks like you exposed for the sky/clouds, leaving the subject somewhat underexposed. --El Grafo (talk) 09:24, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your review --Cvmontuy (talk) 10:32, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

Castello del Boccale[edit]

Mare mosso al castello del Boccale dagli scogli Piatti - Livorno 04-10-2020.jpg

I had already proposed this subject without success, yesterday I photographed again, I ask if this photo can be proposed for QI or for FP. PROPOLI87 (talk) 10:41, 5 October 2020 (UTC)PROPOLI87PROPOLI87 (talk) 10:41, 5 October 2020 (UTC) ==

It is a very nice photo. The light is nicer than in this other version (though not quite as perfect as this one, which is really beautiful ... if only it were a bigger/sharper it would be FPC for sure). It might be a QI, but for FPC there are two main issues. The first issue is the crop -- it is a close crop at the top and right of the structure. The bigger problem (and more complicated) is that it seems overprocessed. The rocks and water in the foreground, for example, look like they had a filter applied or perhaps too much "clarity" adjustment (or maybe an "art"/"scene" filter in the camera). In the EXIF it says you used Snapseed, which might be where the filter was added. What does it look like without the Snapseed processing? The effect makes it look like a painting, which is fine for some purposes but a problem for FPC. :) There are also elements of oversharpening. See, for example the noise in the bushes on the right or the roughness of the structure.
These are lovely pictures, but there are technical issues that will prevent them from becoming FPC. For what it's worth, FPC is not the measure of a good picture -- it's a particular kind of good picture. :) — Rhododendrites talk |  17:28, 5 October 2020 (UTC)
I 100% agree with Rhododendrites. The composition feels a bit crammed, could use a bit more breathing room at the top, right, and maybe even left. The editing looks great (!) at thumbnail size or on a phone, but it all falls apart when you view it full size on a big screen. That's in line with my (very limited) personal experiences using snapseed: excellent results for Instagram and the likes, but not what we are typically looking for at FPC/QI. That does not mean that it's any worse, it's just good for a different purpose. I'd even argue that this kind of editing is very useful for e.g. lead images and infoboxes at Wikipedia precisely because it is optimized for being viewed at small sizes. There, the lack of fine detail does not matter, and what we would perceive as oversharpening at large size just adds structure and punch to a thumbnail. Cheers, --El Grafo (talk) 08:46, 6 October 2020 (UTC)
That's right, exactly what you described happens.PROPOLI87 (talk) 09:58, 6 October 2020 (UTC)PROPOLI87PROPOLI87 (talk) 09:58, 6 October 2020 (UTC)
I uploaded a new photo version from the original working with lightroom. Can you see now? I made this elaboration to show small changes to the original. For the movement of the water on the rocks, I still prefer the snapseed processing (selective modification of the structure), but unfortunately the selection is not so precise and the whole photo is ruined.

Thanks for your suggestions.PROPOLI87 (talk) 09:56, 6 October 2020 (UTC)PROPOLI87PROPOLI87 (talk) 09:56, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

and after applying lightroom, I snapseed back with selective modification, the texture on the waves. Is there at least one presentable version of this castle?I ask also and above all for the elaboration of other photos with the Castle that I have among my numerous shots.PROPOLI87 (talk) 10:20, 6 October 2020 (UTC)PROPOLI87PROPOLI87 (talk) 10:20, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

I think I see an additional issue: 3,164 × 2,432 (877 KB). Somewhere along the line these are getting very compressed. Make sure your jpeg expert settings are at 100% quality. Ultimately I think Snapseed is doing you more harm than good. IMO it's generally best to avoid all filters, compression, etc. from the camera or from photo optimization/stylization programs, and just work with raw in lightroom and/or photoshop, then export at the highest quality. — Rhododendrites talk |  15:00, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

I have to see the settings of my camera to save the images in raw and not in jpg, and then understand how to work the same raw with lightroom. I will study it. We'll update. Thank you.PROPOLI87 (talk) 15:34, 6 October 2020 (UTC)PROPOLI87PROPOLI87 (talk) 15:34, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

Aquarium exhibit[edit]

Sardines in the Open Sea Exhibit
Bigfin reef squid

I've been debating whether it's worth it to send these pictures to FPC. Both taken at the Monterey Aquarium. I don't have a great sense of expectations for photos of things in water. The squid is relatively straightforward. I like the light, the sharpness seems decent, etc.

I'm more interested in what people think about the sardines, though. So, the exhibit is IMO quite special. It's a big open completely dark room with a great big viewing window. When you're in there, the water seems relatively bright, but my camera made it clear to me that it is not actually bright. :) Meanwhile, the sardines are moving pretty quickly, so I couldn't use a very long shutter unless I wanted to completely blur them. I also wanted to capture the silhouettes of the people in front of the window, so a long shutter wasn't even an option. So did the best I could with the light conditions. I did some sharpening and noise reduction in post, as well as bringing the light up a bit to feel more like it did to me while I was there. But of course the fish themselves are not sharp (this would not make a good documentary photo of a sardine). What could I have done differently? Perhaps I should've traded some ISO for aperture?

Personally, I like the image regardless, but I'm curious how it could be technically improved (and whether people think it's worth a run at FPC). Thanks. — Rhododendrites talk |  16:54, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

@Rhododendrites: Love the squid, definitely give it a try at FPC. The sardines are difficult to predict: I wouldn't oppose them, but I'm not sure I'd support … It's got plenty of "wow". There are technical shortcomings, but they're to be expected (to some degree) under those conditions. Might be worth trying to retouch that vertical line where the glass panes meet in the center. --El Grafo (talk) 09:02, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

Help & tips to taking pictures of watch movements[edit]

Hey! I've begun taking some images of watch movements, and since i know nearly nothing about photography, I would love some help or tips to improve the quality of the pictures I take. I don't have - or intend to buy - amazing and expensive equipment. I have a fairly simple camera which should be capable of taking some decent pictures. Below are some pictures that I have taken so far, but if anyone has any tips to improve, that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks. Kaffe42 (talk) 11:13, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

Very good idea to take pictures of the inside of watches! The images below aren't QIs jet, because they are not so sharp. But I'll suggest some simple improvements in setup so you don't need to buy equipment:
  • If your cam has a manual mode, activate it: Because it's a static setup you could mount the cam and set a longer exposure time, but keep ISO at 100.
  • The DoF (area of sharpness) is poor, therefore the whole object is not sharp enough. Tip: Position the cam straight above, for watches it's a objective and suitable perspective. If you want to keep the perspective anyway, use a higher aperture-number. A technice called focus stacking leads to better results, but is also more difficult: You take many pictures with variing focus, then you stitch the resulting images with a special software like heliconfocus (commercial) or Combine Z (freeware).
  • Use a bright lamp or better daylight and use a sheet of paper as background. The images below are a bit to dark. Crepe paper with a bright lamp is a sheap possibility to create soft light.--Tesla - 💬 23:14, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Tesla, thanks for the tips! I'll try them out. I appreciate the help. -- Kaffe42 (talk) 09:06, 11 October 2020 (UTC)

How do you create splash and waterdrop pics?[edit]

I've created theese two pictures:

I've taken the liberty of nominating the tea pic for FP. There's a bit motion blur in the 2nd photo, that was intentional, but the light is not perfect: Do you have tips for positioning flashlights/building the setup?

Do you like the first one better (maybe FP?)? There, I tried to create a sculpture, not just the regular waterdrop shot.

Thanks very much for your feedback, especially if you have tips for creating slash shots.--Tesla - 💬 10:20, 10 October 2020 (UTC)

@Tesla You got a lot of feedback on the second photo on the FPC so just briefly about the first one: I think it's not sharp enough for FP. It's got an interesting composition but it's lacking some sharpness. You inspired me to try to do something like that by myself though so I'll see if I can get it any sharper :) Regards, --Podzemnik (talk) 00:17, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

What to correct for QI, VI and FI in image below ?[edit]

Sosnowiec
  • is enough sharp ?
  • do you think has some problems with quality ?
  • is enough descriptitive / ilustrative for Sosnowiec downtown ?

If you have any suggestion or comment i will be very thankful. Krzysztof Popławski (talk) 21:47, 11 October 2020 (UTC)

It is unlikely to pass QI, unfortunately. The sharpness is the biggest issue, yes. This looks like you were holding the camera, right? Not with tripod? For nighttime shots like this, or whenever using a slow shutter speed (this one was 1/5 second) it is extremely unlikely you will be able to produce a sharp result without a tripod (or, if need be, resting the camera on top of something). It is also not quite clear what it's a picture of. By that I mean it seems like the building in the back is important, but most of the building is very dark. If it is the space with the umbrellas, I would expect more of that to be visible. There are several interesting things about this shot, but probably not right for QI (or FP). As for VI, you will need to see if it is the best shot we have of this space (see COM:VICR). — Rhododendrites talk |  21:56, 11 October 2020 (UTC)

    Yes. You are right. The photo is taken without tripod, but i think it's not a very big problem nowadays. I extract from raw more version with different light levels and expose more details and make bit sharper. The main topic of this image is square - this is a central square in Sosnowiec, Poland. Can you check again quality of image ? Krzysztof Popławski (talk) 21:21, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Railway photography[edit]

EMU884 at Tai'an (Sep 21, 2020)

I've just started taking pictures of trains to aid my editing on Wikipedia. I'm not very experienced in photography, so here's one that I'm pretty proud of so far. I'm concerned about the lighting: are the surroundings too dark, and should I illuminate more of the side of the train? Also, I don't know how to do post-editing but I'm thinking of learning - what stuff should I change? Any help is appreciated. Ganbaruby (talk) 14:43, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

@Ganbaruby: It's a good photo actually, no problem to pass a QI mark. I think it's well exposed, no need to play with gradual filters or something like that. There are some interesting lines on the left and the only thing that bugs me is the distracting column and the building on the right. It may be worth thinking about cropping these things out, see the note about the suggested crop (although it may feel a little bit too tight after the crop so I'm not really sure, I'm just pointing it out for now). Please delete the note after you check :) Also, the shadow on the right bottom part might be clipping but that's just a minor issue. Good work, you're definitely on the right track. --Podzemnik (talk) 00:13, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
@Podzemnik: Done, and I think it looks better! Lines on the left of the train are shadows from the columns on the left (out of image). What do you mean by the bottom right shadow? Ganbaruby (talk) 03:37, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
@Ganbaruby: Cool. Don't worry about the shadow, I had a look at a different monitor and it looks all good to me. --Podzemnik (talk) 04:46, 13 October 2020 (UTC)