Author Topic: Site v3.141592654  (Read 3812 times)

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Daniel Ho

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Site v3.141592654
« on: April 21, 2011, 03:33 AM »
http://danhophotography.com/site/

Hi! I just updated my site ... do let me know what you think of the new format!

Do excuse the different watermarks as I was trying out different things. They will get phased out as I update the pictures.

I would really appreciate some critique as to the content of my news portfolio in particular. Thank you!

And I do have a question about "shows". When I got my portfolio reviewed the first time, stage shows were generally a "no". I hope to get some clarification.

Does a cultural show, say native indians dancing in a pow wow ... count as a show as much as irish dancers on stage? Are they both a no? What if the Irish dancers come with some really cool lights? :D

Also, do sad/angry/sombre/agonizing faces make a better portfolio than happy faces?

Totally based on the assumption that news photography is a power to change something and sad/angry/sombre/agonizing people are those who want change ... generally not happy people. Is that a valid assumption?

Thanks!! :D

« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 03:41 AM by Daniel Ho »


Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Site v3.141592654
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 01:11 AM »
Sports pictures - no problems except the rodeo picture needs much more horse and less "Dodge Rodeo Tour". For a portfolio, the signage doesn't matter unless it provides some sort of odd juxtaposition.

Remembrance Day - Too much going on, especially the background - bright sky, crooked building, bright crooked windows and that crane or boom arm thing. Too many unrelated people.  Would it have been possible to photograph only the sea cadet(?) silhouetted against the clock?

Firefighter funeral - what about a picture from the back of the truck to show the casket and firetruck under the flag and ladder arch? This would instantly say "funeral" rather than "some sort of ceremony".

House fire -  A full length crop would reveal more of the situation. Is "Stonehouse" the surname of the people? (insert cruel irony here).

Method Man - Nope.

Magic Show - Wrong camera angle. Compare this photo to the picture of the woman spinning yarn: that's the camera angle you needed for this magic card photo.

Maanijidowin - Not bad but personally I don't like the big empty top left corner that occupies 20% of the frame or the white stuff in the top right corner. The picture is the two girls looking at each other. You just need a better camera angle.

Caroling kid -  Despite the flash trick used, you need the kid singing with open mouth and eyes -> some sort of emotion and action. Otherwise, he's not caroling but just reading, and someone's about to hit him on the head with a program.


Recent Work:

Abortion:
Second picture has tree branches coming out of the guy's arm and face.


Sikhs:
1st picture: Perhaps a lower crop to show the hands holding the swords. Otherwise, the swords appear to be coming out of their stomachs. Make it vertical and crop off the far left guy who's doing nothing.

2nd: Nope.

3rd: Maybe a looser crop to complete the window frame which would then frame the people.

5th: Nope. The picture is the guy with the sword rather than the backs of people standing around. Could also do a tight picture of the logo on the back of the yellow jacket. Close-up detail pictures can help break up the "sameness" of the other pictures.

7th: Close but no cigar. The chakkar should fill the entire frame which would create an unusual abstract pattern with the guy in the middle. Don't need to show the road, police car and road signage.


Family Day:
Watch the backgrounds. In the 2nd photo, what does the bright red FULL RESS mean?

Sometimes, for stuff like this, position yourself first, to get an acceptable background and/or foreground, and then let the action come to you.


Nerds (I spent 17 years shooting models):
1st picture: I will assume the girl is somewhat important in the photo. :D Yet the bright, shiny laptop is as big as her entire upper half, and bigger than her head. The picture is about the girl not the props.

2nd: when body parts, like arms, are pointed at the camera, they tend to lose their apparent size and shape which can make things look a bit odd or awkward.

3rd: Girl is missing an arm?

3rd and 4th: Pictures like these often need to be larger than life so that they read properly in a photo. Both need a physical gesture and a strong facial expression. They need a "hey look at me".

The gun girl has no eyes, and eyes are somewhat important in a photo. :D  This photo would be better if the girl was reacting to the camera and not looking away from it. Eye contact is very important for a photo like this. She doesn't have to be looking at what she's doing because her arm positioning will show the reader what's happening. Be nice if the two flowers matched.

The superman girl should be pulling open a jacket, shirt and tie to reveal the t-shirt, all with one hand, holding the cell phone in the other hand, and looking directly at the camera to express that she just got an emergency call and her superpowers are needed.

As is, the picture is about a girl reading a cell phone. Nothing super about that. Also, she's missing an eye due to the eyeglass positioning. Use a backlight to add separation and depth to this picture.

––

Quote from: Daniel Ho
When I got my portfolio reviewed the first time, stage shows were generally a "no".

Does a cultural show, say native indians dancing in a pow wow ... count as a show as much as irish dancers on stage? Are they both a no?

Unless you can get a fantastic feature picture out of it, I'd say "no" for portfolio use. They can be used on a web site to let potential customers know what you've done, but for editor reviews it's a no go.

Also a "no" for most concerts and almost anyone speaking at a microphone.

Quote from: Daniel Ho
Also, do sad/angry/sombre/agonizing faces make a better portfolio than happy faces?

Totally based on the assumption that news photography is a power to change something and sad/angry/sombre/agonizing people are those who want change ... generally not happy people. Is that a valid assumption?

Bad news attracts more readers. People recall bad news more than they remember good news. News reporting is/was about reporting things that have gone wrong or are not normal.

"Person drives to store" is not news. "Person in car crash on way to store" is news.

We see more smiling or normal faces everyday than angry/sad faces, except if you work in customer service. Angry/sad faces often include more body language than a happy face.

But having said all that, do sad/angry faces make for better pictures? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the face and any body language involved. I wouldn't automatically exclude any picture because people are happy.

Never under-estimate the joy factor (which most papers ignore). The right smile with the right facial expression can be huge.







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Daniel Ho

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Re: Site v3.141592654
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 06:45 AM »
Wow thanks for taking the time to type all that up.

I remember in Loyalist Frank hold us that sometimes we get emotionally attached to images and we can't let go of them ... kinda like the magic card picture. I just liked the cards. :)

I'll edit and ask for a re-review if you don't mind!



Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Site v3.141592654
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 02:48 PM »
Quote from: Warren Toda
7th: Close but no cigar. The chakkar should fill the entire frame which would create an unusual abstract pattern with the guy in the middle. Don't need to show the road, police car and road signage.

Something like this by Aaron Elkaim of CP, from yesterday's parade in Toronto.

Toronto Star gallery here. (ignore the Star's bad spelling).

Another chakkar photo by Richard Lautens of the Toronto Star, from a couple(?) of years ago.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 02:53 PM by Warren Toda »

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Daniel Ho

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Re: Site v3.141592654
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 02:38 AM »
Well, I was trying to go closer and try for something close to the picture Aaron took actually ... but with my wide angle ... but then the guy said "I'm kinda new at this" .. and I quickly decided to keep my distance .. :(

Seeing how the weather was switching between hail and wet snow and was miserably cold, the weapon could've flown out of his hands! Wasn't feeling like sporting a Hominick style head around for the next week or two. :D

I guess I could've tried with my longer lens too ... but been shooting w/ mostly my 50mm and 16-35mm for anything not sports ... so I'm not thinking telephoto ... just walking in close.

I'll try to shoot a bit more w/ the long lens the next few assignments so I'll get back to thinking about using it!



Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Site v3.141592654
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 02:46 PM »
Quote from: Daniel Ho
I guess I could've tried with my longer lens too ... but been shooting w/ mostly my 50mm and 16-35mm for anything not sports ... so I'm not thinking telephoto ... just walking in close.

I'll try to shoot a bit more w/ the long lens the next few assignments so I'll get back to thinking about using it!

Different lenses (should) make you think and shoot differently. I think the choice is that you either use the len that you have and figure out how to do a decent picture with it - or - you figure out a decent picture first and then use the appropriate lens for that picture. Not sure if one way is better than the other. Aaron's picture was with a longer lens but Richard Lautens' picture was with a shorter lens.

Which comes first, the choice of lens or the choice of picture?


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Daniel Ho

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Re: Site v3.141592654
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 12:49 AM »
Well, I usually guess at what my picture could be, fix my lenses on the body, then shoot for what the lenses can do while I'm on assignment. I don't really switch lenses too often.

Would like your opinion about what should go into the "recent work" section, Warren (or anyone else).

Should it be portfolio quality "recent work" or just a blog of recent stuff? I haven't posted much because I shot hockey three weekends in a row sometime around March and just got bored of posting hockey stuff.

When you took a look at my "recent stuff" too, you commented as you would on a portfolio. I appreciate the comments, but that also raised questions about how people, in general, see the 'recent work' section.

Do you think people see it as a "I understand it's not quite portfolio quality, but recently shot" or is it seen as a sort of portfolio with the "you're only as good as your last picture" mentality?



Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Site v3.141592654
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 11:51 PM »
Why is your google analytics code after the closing body tag? It may still work but normally it goes immediately before the closing body tag.

The Recent Work (blog) pages run backwards?? The viewer navigates left to see the next picture rather than clicking right. It's like reading right-to-left rather than left-to-right. (Or maybe that's just me).

Quote from: Daniel Ho
Should it be portfolio quality "recent work" or just a blog of recent stuff?
(...)
Do you think people see it as a "I understand it's not quite portfolio quality, but recently shot" or is it seen as a sort of portfolio with the "you're only as good as your last picture" mentality?

Recent Work can be:
(a) pictures that you couldn't be bothered to add to the portfolio  :D

(b) a photo that's similar to an existing portfolio picture, so you run it in Recent Work so folks won't notice the similarity.  :)

(c) a photo that has something you'd like to point out: nice lighting, weird lens, new technique, funny moment, interesting back story, etc.

(d) just a nice picture to show folks that you're still alive and kicking.

(e) pictures that don't fit into your portfolio pages.


Photographer in Toronto
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