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Holiday Traditions
Holiday Traditions

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Holiday Decorations (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-600D/T3i Rebel
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Location: My living room
Date: Dec 20, 2011
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 3200
Shutter: 1/6
Galleries: Family, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Dec 22, 2011

This is my first entry into any challenge. Our tree is filled with Hallmark only ornaments, and these are two of my favorite. I thought I would share them with you.

Place: 76 out of 78
Avg (all users): 4.3458
Avg (commenters): 4.3333
Avg (participants): 4.3947
Avg (non-participants): 4.3188
Views since voting: 299
Views during voting: 253
Votes: 107
Comments: 4
Favorites: 0

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01/06/2012 08:41:18 PM
Greetings from the Critique Club!

First impression: Made me smile as I love Miss Piggy, I gave you a 7 :-) Also, this looks like so many of my entries here when I first joined, it takes me right back...which means I know exactly what you need...we'll get to that later.

Artistic: Very cute and whimsical use of two popular characters who hold a spot in many of our childhood hearts. I like the selective desat, you did it well and then refrained from popping the colours like crazy. You have a lovely concept here and tried hard to get it, so I appreciate the effort you made.

Technical: Now down to the nitty gritty. The concept is good, but the execution is lacking. The crop is far too tight, all of Kermit's skiis should be in the shot. Miss Piggy's adoring eyes should be at the intersection of the thirds in that corner - probably approximately where her elbow is. And yes, all of her should be in the frame too. The composition is on the right track, leading us from Kermit to the smitten Piggy, so you have the right idea. Your lighting looks fine.

The aperture is fine; f5.6 will pretty much save your butt every time. But your shutter speed, at 1/6 is exceedingly slow; at ISO 3200 you should have been able to shoot at least 1/200, assuming you shot handheld, as I think most of your problem here is plain ol' camera shake. Basically you cannot shoot slower than 1/40 handheld, without it being apparent. (Curious...why such a high ISO?)

So you need to do two things: learn to shoot at a faster shutter speed, and get a tripod. At this stage, you don't have to go hawg wild, at this stage a bare-bones basic tripod from Wallyworld will probably cost you about $25. And you'll learn a lot from using it, because then you can shoot with smaller apertures and slower shutter speeds. Trust me, if you ever want to shoot stuff like painting with light or star trails, you can't do it handheld!! :-)

Overall: A very decent first attempt, and I applaud your efforts. Maybe reshoot with the ornaments spaced roughly in relation to each other as they are now, both handheld at faster shutter speeds, and also with a tripod - if you can't afford one yet, try using a beanbag. Then shoot, and shoot, and shoot some more, as that's the only way to learn.

And by all means feel free to check out the stuff in my portfolio especially from 2006 - I'm sure you'll get a few good chuckles out of it.

Hope this helps, and I really do wish you all the best and look forward to seeing more entried from you.

Feel free to PM me with any questions.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/01/2012 01:09:26 PM
Oh so close! Just a little more sharpness and this would be right up there.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2011 10:01:39 PM
Focus seems a bit soft on the ornaments.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/26/2011 10:10:16 AM
Good idea, I like the idea of the photo. Selective desaturation can get some hard votes so good luck! Couple ideas for next time: this would have been great if the Missy of Piggies was all the way in the frame, along with skiing Kermit, and it was not slightly out of focus. Good luck & merry christmas!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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