Critique my photography, please!

So I’ve been trying my hand at photography recently. Just got my first DSLR not too long ago and have been working on learning how to use it, as well as how to edit my photos in post. I’m interested a great deal in street photography and have been spending a little time out and about taking lots of shots, and trying to not get too nervous about shooting people in public (no trouble with anyone so far).

Anyway, here’s my Flickr photostream. I’d love to hear what you think of these. I think there are only 8 shots in the album at the moment but I have a few more I’ll be adding later on.

Please be kind, I’m new at this.

Well I’m no street photographer but I can see lots of technical ability, nice composition, humour and story telling. Nice images.

That looks like a pretty good start to me. Street photography is very hard to do well.

10 (the juggler close up) is the best of the street shots. 4, with the big hand mural, is a great location that’s a bit wasted on that shot I think. 11 too. With 2 and 3 you got the right moment, it’s a shame the composition doesn’t really show it off - that’s the frustrating thing about street photography, getting all of that together is pretty much just luck.

The guy grabbing his own ass while he watches the chick’s ass wiggle was good. Too bad she wasn’t closer.

Thank you!

Thanks. I agree on all of your points. I took shots of a lot of different subjects going past the scene in #11, but I picked that one because of the girl’s hair flying up. I’m going to process a few of the others to see if any of them work better.

Haha… I didn’t even know that he was grabbing his ass, or that he was watching her until I got home and started going through the pics. I started taking the shots of him just because I liked the look with the apron and was surprised to find that shot in the mix. I might have some of her closer to him, but without the ass grabbing.

I’ve looked at pretty much all of the threads asking us to criticize their photos, and generally they’ve all been pretty mediocre. Yours make me think you have a natural eye for composition (or cropping). I liked them all, although I think I would make the juggler just a head shot. The photo of him with the little girl looking back is the better of the two. The eye in the wall art seems to be watching the two young women, and I like the hand seeming to push the man along the sidewalk.

I’m a fine art appraiser, and I’ve seen a lot of photography. Be proud. For a starting photographer you’re doing great: clear eye for composition, good choice of subject matter, very good timing in deciding when to take the picture. If I have any negative comment at all, it’s that your choice of subject matter isn’t particularly distinctive; but you have the eye for it, and I’m sure you’ll recognize it when something special presents itself. I’ve seen a lot of art students’ work from photography classes that weren’t as polished as these.

Awesome, they all look really good to me. I could walk to the exact location you took these (except for the mushrooms). My two favorites were of the dude in front of Barnes and Noble–especially the one with the girl. And I know the dude walking in front of the mural on Davis street.

I’ve long enjoyed snapping pics with my point & shoot and iPhone camera but never really took it seriously. I’ve always thought I had a decent enough eye, but now that I have a “real” camera it’s a big learning curve to figure out the settings. Today I pretty much just kept it on Aperture Priority mode at around f/7-9 and snapped away. I might try a tighter “head shot” crop on the juggler (though, I should mention that he wasn’t juggling. Those were shakers and he was singing and bobbing his head. I had a hard time getting him without head motion).

Wow. That’s an incredible compliment. Thank you.

The mushrooms are probably closer to your house than any of the rest of them. :smiley:

I’ll be honest. None of these are really leaping out at me, but it’s a reasonable start. Street photography is difficult to do well, though. I will agree that the juggler is the best of the bunch, and the mural with the hand has potential, but that wasn’t quite the right moment/subject. I’m not sure WHAT the right moment/subject is, but I would have camped out there for awhile to see if anything more interesting came by. (And I possibly would have considered something a little bit more loosely cropped. Or even just waiting around for better lighting.)

Here it is cropped tojust a head shot. I like it, but probably about equally as the other shot.

I’ve also added a few fireworks shots from the 4th (easy difficulty level, I know), and another one from today’s street shots.

Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. Yeah, today’s goal was to just get out and practice and get over my fear of pointing my camera at people in public. I didn’t run across very many subjects that were too interesting today. I’ll probably go back to some of the better scenes and see if I can get some better subjects in them.

If you like taking street shots, you might want to invest in this sneaky little device…

I’m trying to remember who it was, but I remember some guy back in the black-and-white film era used a device like that to take candids. My memory is candids of people at the horse races. Anyone remember what I’m talking about?

I see that Ben Shahn used a right-angle viewfinder, but that’s not quite the same thing, and the pictures aren’t the ones I’m thinking of. The guy I’m thinking of, I could swear he used a mirror like that.

Don’t know who you are referring to - but I only know of the device because a good friend in Germany used one for his photos when he travelled. He had amazing shots of people on streets in India, China, Africa…and he knew that he would never have been able to get those candid shots without this device.

I suppose you could say it might not be all that ethical to take those secret photos, but then again - the people were on public streets, so I think it is pretty much fair game around the world to take photos.

I personally don’t have any ethical concerns with that.

I don’t have any particular expertise, but I’d like to speak up in defense of the hand mural photo. I had to stop and think about it, figure out what I was looking at, and that’s a good thing in my estimation. I can’t think of how you would improve upon it. I’d hang it on my wall.

A close second is the little girl looking at the juggler. I like the contrast between them. The distracted wedgie picker is hilarious, of course. The fireworks photos seem like, well, fireworks photos; nicely done, but there’s only so much to do with fireworks and black sky. I do like the composition in firework_3 best of those. I think evanston_7 suffers because of Road Worker #1’s finger placement. (I keep thinking of Jerry Seinfeld: “It wasn’t a pick! It was a scratch!”) evanston_8 looks technically marvelous but kind of static (not your fault, of course). Finally, I see where you were going with evanston_13 but I would probably have cropped it a little more, especially at the bottom.

I think you need to keep taking pictures fer damn sure. I quite enjoyed them.

I agree with what’s been said here already: you have a good eye for composition and subject matter. Here are some thoughts about a few of the pictures.

I think the picture of the juggler with the girl looking back at him tells a good story, but the background is bright and cluttered. I think it would improve the picture to darken (and possibly blur) the background, and to try to bring out some detail in the dark areas of the foreground. For instance, the juggler’s pants blend into the building so that it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. This problem is caused by the scene having very high contrast, which makes it hard to get an exposure that preserves detail in all areas. Shooting in raw mode helps - jpg compression often eliminates detail in dark areas.

I like the mural photo. The huge hand poking the guy in the back is what makes the picture for me.

I also like the picture of the two women walking, but I don’t like the greenery in the upper-left-hand corner. What makes the picture interesting, in my opinion, is the juxtaposition of the two women with the beat-up geometric shapes on the wall. The leaves don’t fit with this, and I think they are a distraction, especially since they’re bright. I think you could improve the picture by darkening or even eliminating the leaves, resulting in a dark triangle in the upper left. Normally, having a dark area like this would be a compositional problem, but I think it fits with the geometric shapes on the wall. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could put something else into the triangular area (for example, a piece of wall from another shot).

I’ll also point out that in the same picture, the women’s black clothes blend into the wall in some places. Maybe you could try to lighten either the wall or the clothing in these areas to separate them.

I like the shot of the guy walking in the archway formed by what looks like a bridge. I really like the colors in this picture - the deep greens and reds contrasted with the light yellows. There is also good detail in the dark areas - this is a well-exposed picture. You might want to try to bring out detail in the dark areas on the left.

The shot of the guy looking at the woman is good, but I think it would be better if the bicycle wheel weren’t there at the edge. I’d be tempted to Photoshop it out. You might also want to tone down the bright red object over the guy’s shoulder. You might even want to take out the no parking sign.

Nice work. I keep going back, looking, hoping you’ve posted more.