I’m a fairly avid amateur photographer. I don’t have any sort of high-end equipment, but I really enjoy taking pictures, and I’m reasonably good at it. I’ve been able to make this into something of a paying hobby–I’ve gotten a few people to pay me for family portraits.
So I’ve decided to try to make a little bit of money from my landscape pictures. I have just opened an Etsy shop where people can download my pictures.
I would like feedback on this. Note – I am NOT asking people to buy anything. I want opinions on how things look, on the pricing, etc. I know what I like when it comes to this sort of thing, but I’m not sure what other people like.
I’m an amateur photographer myself.
I’d say that these photos show that you have potential, but they just aren’t that eye-catching to me. The "Colorado Rockies in Winter” is composed uninterestingly, and has telephone poles in it, which don’t help the image.
The boulder / flower image is pretty, but it’s not very dramatic.
"Sunflowers Over Pond” shouldn’t have the frontmost flower out of focus, IMHO.
"Fall Leaves Against the Sky” is probably the best of the bunch, but I notice that the Moon is in the image, and can’t help but think that if it was re-composed so that the Moon was more visible, it would have turned an average photo into a great one!
If you want raw, unvarnished opinions, post these to DPreview.com - the people there are brutal!
Also, keep in mind that everyone has different tastes - when we get home from a trip, I find that my wife loves some of my photos that I just skip over!
Shoot what you like, and I’m sure you will find customers who share your sensibilities.
I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but scenery photos, unless they are depicting something unusual, are about as generic as things get for a photographer. You don’t appear to have used any after-shoot program to sharpen your shots. I’d suggest taking a PhotoShop Elements class, if you don’t already know how to use it. The composition of your shots is somewhat muddled, but that’s often a problem for landscapes. It’s very difficult to capture the grandeur of a mountain. Your Colorado Rockies in Winter could be any mountain anywhere, and it’s not even really clear that it’s a winter shot. An editing program could have removed the tree tops sticking up from the bottom of the photo. Out-of-focus flowers are a distraction, not a selling point.
The above is just my two cents, and others may disagree. Do what you love, but try to make what you do stand out from what others are doing.
I don’t know what kind of camera you are shooting with, but almost all digital photos need at least some post-processing to look their best.
DSLR photos always need to be sharpened, and most straight-from-the-camera images can benefit from histogram equalization and black level control. This doesn’t mean turning your photo into one of those garish art-fair prints you see everywhere, but simply tuning the camera’s image to appear closer to the response of the human eye.
Those would have been my comments, as well. You really can’t be a purist with digital and expect high praise, unless you’re shooting with a Hasselblad or something else that nobody can afford. I have tons of film photos, most of which needed no post processing, but almost all my digital photos that are worth keeping need some help. I shoot with a Nikon D100; not the best out there, but a decent camera.
One problem with a DSLR is that most people don’t know how to shoot on anything but “Auto”. I had to take a class on how to get the most out of the camera by manually setting things like white balance and ISO. The auto setting is fine for quick shots, but manual gets the best out of what you’re shooting, if you have the time.
I think they are good photographs but they are way too pedestrian for me. Seriously, half those shots are available for free in Microsoft Window’s “Sample Photos” folder with a default install.
I bought some photo prints from my friend, who is an amateur photographer. I hang them on my wall, 3 different ones for each season. Each one has an element of interest, though.
Like a patch of tulips - with a goose meandering through. A field of wheat - with her elongated shadow across the front and a dark sky looking in the background. A leaf-less tree covered in ice, shimmering against a deep blue sky. Gourds of different colors and shapes all stacked up.
She also takes some really amazing close-up photos, like of leafs in puddles and paint peeling off a wall.
I’ll admit she does do some color correcting, more than just “correcting” she does make stuff “pop.” But still her instincts are good and the stuff she shoots is ALWAYS interesting.
Seems like you’re part of the way there, Flyer. You’ve got the gear, the will, and are wanting to get better. Maybe you need to study photography a bit and see what other people are shooting that is ART as opposed to just some pictures.
I sold a couple of prints on eBay, but they weren’t something you would find on the internet. They had specific light conditions and were unusual enough that people wanted them.
A suggestion for the OP: If you’re going to put photos on the web for sale, make sure they can’t be used for free. The ones you have on Etsy? Anybody can right-click and then click “save image as . . .” without paying you a dime. You need to protect your work, which an editing program can do.
I’m going to have to agree with the rest and say that there is nothing unique about what you are doing. These very much say “wallpaper” and I’m not sure that’s a goal anyone desires.
The one that needs the most help is the sunflower. To place the blurred on up front is very much a distraction.
Have you studied art? Are you familiar with basic “rules” such as the rule of thirds? My suggestion would be to study the works of fine art photographers. Learn from them. Go to museums, lectures, etc.
To not do this will pretty much doom any aspirations; Everyone is a “photographer” these days.
I just need to chime in here. I have done the landscape photography thingy, and while it is satisfying, I have now preferred to ask people if I could take their picture.
Humans (and pets even) are a much more interesting foreground against whatever landscape that occurs before your lens.
A guy waiting for the bus, on a bench, against a graffiti-laden wall…
A lady and her child in a playground.
Anyway…take your camera and shoot what you see, if landscapes float your boat - capture the moment. Make it visually interesting. Make it like we we wishing we were there.
Digital film is cheap.
BTW…shoot RAW so you can have more options post-processing.
I’m not really bothered about that. For one thing, there’s always a way to save pictures. Some websites make it moderately hard, but that’s all they can do. Also, I’m different from most photographers. I don’t really care what happens to most of my photos after I take them. I get the most enjoyment out of the process itself. I don’t really know if anybody will buy them, but I figured I might as well try.
I’ve experimented with the settings on my camera. In some situations, I know exactly what I need to do in order to get what I want.
I find it interesting that some people don’t like the out of focus sunflower. To me, that picture is one of the most “artsy” as opposed to straight landscape.
you’re off to a really good start
i like your sense of color and composition
but i agree wit others pictures of people are better
i also think you will have a real hard time selling photos when anyone can get nature photos for free
It’s because the depth of field usually used in a shot like that is to have the object in the foreground crisp and the background blurred (shallow dof). It brings the eye’s attention directly to the focal point of the picture.
At this point you’re taking snapshots of pretty things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to take it to the next level, though, focusing on the technical aspects of composition and how to get the most out of your camera will be necessary.
That you say it’s the most “artsy” makes me think that you have not studied art, either formally or informally. The problem I find with digital cams is that you can take a million pictures. There is something to be said about really thinking long and hard about a shot, the set up, the focus points.
In regards to having pictures stolen, most artists will put a watermark on the image.