Image Critique with Ben Knoot
All right, So this is our image critique. I want to give a shadow to all of you who submitted images to the class page. Can't wait to see your work. But what we're going to do is just about half an hour of critique, and you can learn so much so, Ben, let's start by. Why critique? What are you looking for? When you're looking at other people's images, What can they learn? Absolutely eso first, all critiquing your own images is really, really important. So when you do that, that's how you advance your skills. That's how you look for what kind of style you're getting into, and also how you can advance your own style and to make it really, really make it into your own niche. So when you look at other people's photos as well, you see, I like that I don't like that. Oh, that's interesting. I should try that. Oh, that's interesting. I should try that and then advance on that. So there's a lot of different ways that Kitty can help. It is something that I would highly recommend you do often oft...
en very often. Often there's so much to learn from other people's images as well? Definitely. Yes. All right, so we're going to start out. Let's just get right in. And our first image maker is Alton Marsh. So make you Alton Per Semitic. Yeah. And first, just a quick note. I'm gonna what kind of walk around the screen here and point out kind of some things that I like and just kind of some other critique. So first off, we have a great blue heron here taking off. So you did a really nice job of timing. You got the timing of it taking off. One thing that I would recommend here is you have a little bit of wing blur here, and it's on its right wing, and that's just caused by a slightly too slow a shutter speed there. But also, Wing Blur is a very personal choice. So I like to add, I like to have frozen wings. A lot of people like a little bit of blood because it shows the motion very well. So here, that was probably my guess would be about ah 1 1/1000 of a second or something close to that. Most birds in flight need about a 1 2/1000 of a second or 2500. Even Teoh kind of freeze the wing. Um, you've cropped it nicely to where the bird is flying pretty into the frame. I probably would have added a little more room on the left just to have it. When you have a flight shot, especially or any type of shot, you want the bird moving into the frame well, and this one it's pretty good, I would add. Maybe it's just a tear on the left there one things, a couple things you've done very nicely. Those you've you've exposed it very well. So none of your spots here and one of the highlights and the trees were blown out. You've captured the shadows nicely in the wings on in the head. So that's all good. And the image overall is sharp and in focus. It's just you have a little slight blurring on the wing there. Um, yeah. I mean, other than that you got the timing, which is great, which is the hardest part. Honestly of a flight shot is the timing on the other thing, and it's very minor, and I can just barely see it, but I think just here there's a little noise or like a little dust spot. So when you do post processing, if you do it in light or in photo shop, you can just use the clone tool to get that out. That might be a little. That's just a little thing, though, but other than that, I think it looks very nice. There's, like I said, just maybe a little more room on the left, um, and then maybe increased the shutter speed next time if you want that frozen wing. But if not, if the blurred wing is your is your style than that looks nice. Yeah, all right, let's go to the next image and thank you. Olten. So this one is from Colleen Church, and Colleen has been in the chat rooms with us. So thank you so much. Um, what we have here is a peregrine falcon love. I love these Raptors. First of all, it's one of my favorite Raptors. A similar similar comment to the last photo. You want to try to keep the bird looking into the frames. As you can see, this guy's not quite looking left, but it's kind of postured a little more to the left. So you want to move the bird over this way a little bit and then keep that and keep this negative space over there. Get rid of some of this. So maybe kind of crop it in about here ish, but you might want to keep that wing. So that's why you want to move the whole image over if you are able to. If if it was a tricky shot and you had somebody next to you which often happens at, you know at good shooting locations, right, a zero or wherever, Wherever you're shooting, that can be hard. But you have best try your best, really, to make sure the bird is looking into the frame, moving with the photo instead of having all this negative space on the right. If the bird was looking this way, though, this would be the right crop where you have this space here that the bird is looking into. Uh, another thing. This looks pretty good. That might be a bit bright a bit. It's a it's It's well exposed, but I think maybe just a touch of highlight correction in photo shopper in light room would make that really, really nice, but you got your focus perfect. You had a good F stop, and they have a nice soft background. Birds nice and clear and and focus so overall. Really nice photo. The everything is well balanced except just maybe that little spot there. They bring that down, but overall very nice, and you can use the I touched on it a little bit in my class, but you can use the paint brush tool in light room. Use the noise reduction on the entire image and then paint paint the bird and then add the noise back to the bird. That way you don't lose the detail in the bird, but you can get rid of some of this noise in the background here. It's not too bad. There's a lot of her side. There's not that much noise, so it still looks really nice, but it's just something toe kind of add to the image a little bit there, but overall overall, very nice image. I would just crop it slightly and lots more tips on post production in your class, you said. All right, let's move on. Our next image is from David Kessler and David has also been alive. Student year with us. Very cool. Okay, awesome. Okay, so for this one black skimmer, these guys, a really tricky first of all to get in flight there faster, low down with water. They're hard to focus on. And you definitely need a good shutter speed for their wings just because the rings are a very stiff wing beat. So you really want to make sure that you keep those and focus for this one? The first thing I noticed. I generally don't like to clip wings. Eso you want to try to keep your full? The full wing in the image. Now there are some instances where a clip doing is actually good, but usually that's kind of mid mid wing. So usually when they're coming out, you kind of at a bank, you can clip it mid wing, but tipping using birzeit clipping wingtips is not something you want to try to avoid. Just cause it's a little it's a little it became is a little awkward to look at. But if you want, there's some good lessons online on how to repair a wing tip. Actually, in photo shop you can't do that in light room that you have to do in photo shop with layers. But that is irreparable. If you'd like to do that, all you would do essentially is you just grab this wing tip here, make a new layer, put it on the top, extend your canvas and you're done. It's actually a very it's a very fun trick. Um, the next thing I would notice is it looks like if you notice the skimmers actually kind of coming downhill a bit or down down river town River of it. You want to try to keep those types of things level on, and one of the things you can do in light room is used, that leveling tool that's in the crop feature and what I would do here is you can you can't really see the I if you could see the I. One fun thing is to drag it from the eye to the other eye, and then that will make that part vertical. But what you can do here is used. They kind of they here at the the edge of the splash Here, distract that to the beak. Those should be relatively level with each other when they're finished, just because of how the bird is and that will help level out your image. Once you've done that, you've left a lot of space here, which is great. You have the bird flying in, so you've done that. Will the blacks are exposed pretty well. The white over here looks a bit hot, which just means you might have lost a little bit of detail if you edit in adobe Light room. This might be read when you hit the little triangle up there in the top, right by your history. Graham. If that's red or so, if that triangle is highlighted in this area is red. That means you've lost the detail in the white that you can fix with either the white slider or the highlight slider. But it's not. It's not too bad it's not. It's not to where it's really weird to look at it like it's not that hot. It's just it might be a bit bright and that something can change in post processing. But you did get the focus right. You have a little bit of blurred down here by the water where the foot is. And like I said, you really need a fast shutter speed for these guys. Probably at least 2500 or even 3200 of a second. So definitely want to increase the shutter speed next time. But yet you got your focus. Good. You have a pretty good wing position there, and you've left some good space on the right. So really just increased that shutter speed and then watch your exposure conversation. Black skimmers in particular, are black and white, which doesn't help with your exposure just because you're trying to expose for the black and whites. So those were really, really tricky. So for these guys, definitely make sure you're shooting and really good light homes. So shooting with the sun in your back and then exposed for the whites. That will help, because the blacks, usually with sun on them, exposed just fine, and the whites usually have to under exposed by about 2/3 even a full stop. So but overall, overall, you got the main points of the image bird coming into the frame. You got a nice wing position. Just increase that shutter speed. Try not to clip off the wing and then just exposed your whites. What I really appreciate is that you have been able to identify all of these birds so far. So we'll say. Well, we'll see what that thing is from Deborah Fluency. So thank you, Deborah, for submitting. Yeah, this one here looks like a double crested cormorant. Correct me if I'm wrong on that one, but it looks like that same kind of points as the skimmer there. You want to make sure it's level, So this one looks like again just a tad going downhill. Um, we want to keep those level for this one. You can actually almost see the eye down here so you can grab that level tool in crop. Just place it on the I click hold, drag it up to the other I and you should notice that your image will go from this to like this. And then that means that the eyes are vertical and that means the body will be vertical as well. So also those ripples to you want those vertical or horizontal because if they're leading down it, it just kind of looks a bit awkward. Now, what I noticed on the skimmer with the wing tip. This one here that you cut off the tail. That's okay. In this image that actually works. I might have even cut it off a little more, actually, because you've cut off just the tip of the tail. So it's kind of similar to the skimmer, but if you brought it into about the body there, that kind of it looks like he meant to do it. Really? Um, whereas wing tip police from my experience, I don't mean to ever cut up wingtips. It just happens. But if you bring it into a kind of half the body, then it's just part of your composition. That is part of you want of what? You want it. I really like the colors in the water. Those air pretty crazy. They look kind of magenta and blue and green. So you have some really nice colors there? Um, See, I want you level it out, maybe move that crop in. But you've left good space on the right here. Nothing going. Tosu pretty well defined halo around your subject. That's usually caused by a bit of over sharpening, especially in the radius feature. If you use light room, but that you can take down very easily. The other thing that could be caused from is if you had to bring out the shadows quite a bit in post processing. So maybe didn't expose the photo right in in camera, which is okay. I do that all the time. But you wanna watch that? Because that creating that halo around the subject is a bit distracting. Because really, what I want to focus on is the eye. This bird has an amazing I and an amazing beak area. I want to focus on that. I don't really want to focus on the halo, which is what I find myself doing a little bit looking at this photo. But other than those few things I really like the color, the ripples in the water. Awesome. And then it's just an awesome bird, especially with that beak. So you have highlighted that beat very nicely in your compositions. Lovely. You just have Teoh probably do a little bit of post processing correction on the sharpening, a little bit of noise reduction and then maybe a different crop. Alright, Awesome. Love it. Okay, so now wildlife beyond birds, this is Mike Baines and take it away. Yeah, this one. I'm so I don't know the specific species on this one, but this one of a pretty nice 1st 1st impressions, you have a really nice crop looking up into the negative space. Um, your backgrounds. Really nice. You must have usedto don't know. 56 or something. Nice. Nice. Soft. Okay. With very in sharp and clear subject, you've exposed everything very nicely. Highlights are not too bright. Shadows not too dark. The one thing I might have done and honestly, I mean, you might not have had the opportunity because I didn't know what situation you're shooting. And but this is a bit This is a tad distracting up there. So if you just moved to the left, just curious if you had moved to the left with that have been out of the frame, that's it. But then there might have been something over here that you got in the frame. So you want to keep that other friends? So I get you, Um, so you know, one thing that I'm always doing when I'm looking at that birds are at I think that's the type of baboon I would assume you are the type of baboon is once you've gotten a couple of shots and if you notice your subject is still there, try some different backgrounds because seriously, chances are if you just go like this, there's a whole different background for you. So that's really the only thing I can see that I would have done differently with this photo than that. It's lovely. Like I said, you've exposed it nicely. If nice composition. Nice, um, movement into the frame. Yeah, lovely. Just kind of check your background. Love those eyes too. Yeah, I know that. That's very nice. Nice photo. All right, now we have Helen Car and we're back to the birds. Yeah. Greater Roadrunner. I have a couple of these in my yard. Very nice there, hunting the lizards right now. So it's cool, but very cool. I like it. I like where you've put the bird. Kind of looking up into the frame. I think that's pretty cool. The one thing. Well, the five things are just the, you know, the sticks kind of everywhere. And I think I see what you were going for. Their it kind of frames the image. So I do see that. And I think that's pretty cool for mean. For me personally, it's a bit distracting, but I see what you were going for. Their but like these large white dots from tree, I would assume from a tree are a bit distracting for me personally. Also, the image looks quite warm. Eso all of this on the back here and on the breast here that looks quite warm. Andan the sky looks quite cool, so I'm wondering that must been done in post processing of it is him, which is a fun artistic, which is a fun, artistic choice. And I do see what you're going for with the framing and the colors and everything like that. So for me personally, I would move this a little more into a creative art piece. Then, like Robert Portrait Peace. Um, so, yeah, this one's a little harder for me to critique just because it's mostly it's more of ah, ardor and Artie form. Um, but yeah, overall, I like the movement into the photo and, you know, actually, I look at it more and more and I start to like the framing more and more so I think it's fun. I think it's fun. I probably would have I would probably get rid of this piece here. I would probably get rid of that because I kind of like I like the definitely like these appear, but I would maybe get rid of that there. Yeah. Interesting. I like it. So So you're what you've done there is made me think outside of my box, which I like a lot. No. Which I appreciate it. I really like that because I'm always looking for different things to try. I do again. I really like you. Put the bird right in the corner, which is fantastic. And it's looking up into the frame. That's fantastic. So thank you, Helen, for pushing my boundaries. I appreciate that. That's cool. Nice. I was going to say we all learn, Teoh. All right, here we have a gym M. Okay, so here we have a mourning dove, and it looks like he was either did you scoped or put a vignette ing on, which is just the black around the edges. That kind of making a circle effect. Um, usually people use this to really focus on the subject if I am going to use them. Getting what I tend to do is make them really, really soft and really light for me, for you know, you want your well, not that you want me personally. I like from even getting to be a little more subtle. This is a very either obvious vignette or a very obvious digit scope, which is fine, if that's what you were going for. But it also means that you're your lines here are very crisp on, and so you are very, very focusing this on the subject. But then you've got all this black space That's kind of not wasted necessarily. But it just it's part of your image that I don't think really belongs there. Um, in that kind of respect, um, a couple of things you have this bloom halo here on the dove. That's pretty easy, actually, to get rid of in light room. If you go to the Hugh luminous and saturation area in basic editing, you can actually just select that color and remove it. It's pretty cool. You just put that saturation all the way down. Just remember or sorry. Just be aware that it looks very similar to the hiring color here, and that might affect of that as well. So just be careful with that. But that's usually caused by either the background or the bird getting significantly lighter or darker than where you took it at eso. It's not a huge is not a huge distraction, but it is something that you want to try to avoid in the future. Um, if you notice here the beak, the big is a bit software, as your focus was looked like here kind of on the shoulder, and that's likely due to your F stop setting. Your F stop was probably really low number wise. You probably shut it at F 456 whereas you may have needed to be add eight or 11 that where you would have gotten a beak and the shoulder and the head perfectly in focus and sharp. Other than that, um, the crop, the crops not bad. I generally try not to cut feet off either feet and toes. You want to try to keep those, So I mean, maybe move this up just a tad just to kind of hear or include all of the feet. If you have all the feet in the image. Um, rather than that, though you have a nice color in the background, everything is exposed very well. You did that very well. The blacks in the shadows and the whites in the highlights are all very nice. There's no blown out areas, and that's great. So, yeah, I would just for this one. I would maybe try to get rid of that blue halo there, and then try a more subtle vignette ng if you want. Unless that's exactly what you're going for. In which case Kudos. That's great. Thank you again, Jim. And now we have Linda Jackson. All right. Thank you, Linda. Ah, this is an all spray one of my favorite raptors. A couple things here to note. Looks like the whites are a bit blown out a bit hot on. And that just means you just had a little bit too much light. So you want to compensate that by lowering your exposure competition? The bang on what mode you shoot in? Um, if you shoot manual, one thing you can do is just up your shutter speed or drop your eyes. So if you shoot in shutter part while you probably should, since shutter priority probably shot it in a V. If you shot a navy than just lower your exposure conversation maybe minus one minus one on the third. And what that will do is that will expose for the whites here. And also you see, I mean, the this is Ah, this is definitely a younger all spray. So it's supposed to be a little more brown anyway, but it also make your blacks blacker instead of brown. That is not not something you'll get on a young osprey, though they are brown, but that'll help with the whites. Definitely. Um, the other thing and this is, you know, this is hard Teoh to tell because I wasn't in your situation, but ideally, you want a relatively clear background when you're shooting birds. So, for instance, all of these sticks here, it's actually very difficult for me to tell where the beak is. It's actually this kind of little area right here, and that's just because of all these sticks and all this foliage in the background. That may not be something you have control over, so that's situational. But I would always recommend getting the clearest background for your images. You can't unless you're trying to something artistic with it. But this one, this one definitely. This guy needs a clearer background to really get the clarity of the head. Other than that, There you got your focus, right? Your focus is right on the bird. It's fairly centered in the frame. So if you wanted to do a crop, if you have a little more room down here, what I would recommend actually is bringing this whole area down, putting this into the top left frame. So like, let's just imagine this is the frame. I would put this guy up here and then if this stick extends all the way down, I would put that in the corner where you've done it. But I would essentially just move this down that way. He's kind of like this, and that way the stick flows into the frame and the bird looks back into the frame so that you're kind of making this kind of makeshift. Yeah, it's a triangle well called a triangle makeshift triangle on. That's that's a little more of a pleasing image than having all of this foliage here in my opinion than having all this foliage here in the background. Um, so for this one, Yeah. Check your highlights. Try to expose for those whites as a bunch is possible on then Really have your bird and the other subjects, like sticks and trees. Have those working into your frame and then looking out of your frame, but in your frame, if that makes sense. So the stick works into the frame, hits the subject and the subject looks out of the frame, but still has the frame toe look into Hopefully, that makes sense. It does it. All right. We just have a couple of minutes left. So let's head to the next one. And this is from Linda Lamar. Thanks, Linda. That's very cool. Said a American alligator. Thanks. So I came in this one of those, um, but very cool. I love these types of shots. Still water. Nice reflection. Beautiful warm light on the side. There. This is that side lighting that I was talking about in the class. Very nicely done. The Onley. I'm Honestly one thing that I would do is I would just move this down. I would have him or her up here looking down into the frame because you have less negative space here than you do up here. So really simply bring that down. And that's done. That's a very nice sort of like it. Head is in a clean spot. Head is in a clean spot. Head is in a clean spot. I a sharp whole animal is sharp. Nicely done. I mean, just super Very nice. Yeah. All right. Let's say this one is from Nelson Nelson, and that's gonna be the last one. Okay, last one. Um OK, so a couple things that I really like, I think the crop is good again. Steve, cut off the body, which is fine because you have almost all the body could if you really just have its neck here and its head. So that's nice. Your composition is nice. It's looking into the frame. One thing I might have done is it looks a tad blurry here, so maybe a slightly fast shutter speed. It looks like it was raining, so it's probably gloomy day. You probably slow shutter speed on, and you just want to make sure you get everything really sharp. For the most part, is a really sharp image. So you did find that may be just another. I don't know. Another half stopped up and shutter speed would have been good. Looks a tad hot, overexposed on the top of the head there. Although I'm looking at it on a different TV and that one looks good. So maybe it's just that part there, but the Yeah, I just make sure you watch your explosive conversation cause a light bird with this kind of darker green background can be kind of tricky to expose, but I think overall overall. Nice. Nicely done. There's not too much that I can see that I would have done differently. So awesome. I love the fact that personalities can come out of these animals. Use images like this one. Yeah. So much fun. Well, I just want to say thank you to everybody who did submit images for critique. That was awesome. Good. So much to learn. Yeah, and we still have another critique tomorrow, and that is with Peter Baumgarten. And so that one is for Astro night photography. Landscape photography. So you still have a little bit of time to get those images in as Well, I want to make sure everybody knows where to follow you on Instagram Bend. Oh, yeah, That's Ah, that's my instagram if you'd like. I am always giving out tips, actually, on my instagram as well. Um, I'm on Facebook. Just my name there. Um And then also, I do tours for tropical breading tours, and I do my tours is workshops and a lot of the other guys to their towards his workshops as well, where you can learn cameras, setting spurred behavior and all that kind of jazz. So, uh, all three of those air great resource is for you, if you want to know more. Awesome tropical birding dot com in the field all over the world. Yes, man. All right, so we're gonna take our next break, And when we come back, we're gonna be back with Mr John, Gringo. As we continue the fast start class over the break, I want you to go enter a sweepstakes that we are doing with Olympus just announced today. You can scroll down the page, find the link, get that information, but we are giving away. Olympus is giving away a ton of gear. I think you're gonna be allowed, Teoh, like you and I probably details about who can are there on that page. So I click on that link and got all the details, and we will see you back for John Gringo. But also e appreciate such a pleasure to have you here on creativelive. Your class was awesome. Thank you. It's been a lot of fun and thank you for tuning, and I appreciate it.