Hey, thanks a great deal for both the kind comments, and the critique. I'd have to say this is actually a very well-done critique, not to put down any others that have done it, but I guess this is just how I'd do it.We're getting better!! Well done! And, if truth be told, it's good to see someone trying out the techniques being suggested.
Next steps. How's about trying to be even better?!
Pricked ears? Tick
Eyes in good focus? Tick - well, just about. I aim between a dog's eyes to try to avoid having the nose in focus and the eyes out of focus.
Background nice and simple? Ah. These are rather busy. You don't really want a studio background but if you get the DoF (depth of field) correct and the distances (look up DoF calculator to get an idea of this) you can blur out the background. You don't always want to blur out the background though, it's not a hard and fast rule.
Photograph editing? Another Ah Editing (or post processing) is all part and parcel of digital photography. With these, I'd be looking at cloning out the drop beneath her(?) eye in the first and the couple of hairs and bits below her mouth in the third.
Now - this is being really picky and is particularly nit picking critique. I'm only suggesting these things just to try and show you how you can begin to stand out from the crowd. These are perfectly good photographs and what is encouraging is that you are improving too from your original images. I sincerely hope this doesn't sound patronising as I'm hoping to sound more encouraging.
For me these are 4/5 - I'm trying to indicate how you might achieve 5/5.
Richard says, "Nice set" and he's right - it is! I'd go a little further and say they're cropped well and the exposure is good.
First, thank you for your generous response. Critique when given face to face is much easier than on an internet forum where the facial expressions aren't seen. Like everyone else on this particular forum, we do our best to be friendly with the comments but sometimes they don't appear so in the first instance, not that I'm suggesting you were put out on this occasion. It does happen though which is why I thought I'd mention it. Please, if it does happen, don't take it personally! We're just doing our best to help and words come out wrong sometimes.I don't have anything at my disposal, just yet, that can give a simplistic background.
You are very welcome. As for getting me down, well, somewhat, but not really. More of what I prefer is having people critique my work by telling me both what I need to fix, and what I don't need to fix so I know what to change, and what to keep with. Like a review. I did ask that once on here, but I felt like I sounded like a demanding jerk, and I can be bad at expressing myself, so it might have made people think I was being thin-skinned, so I removed it. I do want the first for certain, so I know what to fix. But, again, I'd like to know what not to fix as well. I almost feel rude now, like I'm potentially badmouthing others that might do it this way, but it's what I mean. But, at the same time, I don't fault them, as they are just trying to help, and sometimes their method of critique is telling them what to fix, maybe feeling the subject might infer what doesn't need fixing. But I'm one of those that like to be sure. Thanks for the help from everyone, though. Needless to say, I have learned and applied this advice, so it was worth it, and I am thankful for it.First, thank you for your generous response. Critique when given face to face is much easier than on an internet forum where the facial expressions aren't seen. Like everyone else on this particular forum, we do our best to be friendly with the comments but sometimes they don't appear so in the first instance, not that I'm suggesting you were put out on this occasion. It does happen though which is why I thought I'd mention it. Please, if it does happen, don't take it personally! We're just doing our best to help and words come out wrong sometimes.
On to the background, this where the depth of field comes into play, especially when blurring out the background (bokeh is the word for this). Without going into the mathematics which I don't know anyway - I just know how my camera and lenses work - if you photograph him(!) at about 8-10 feet away with a wide aperture (e.g. f/4) and have the background at least 50 feet away, you should get the background out of focus. The further the background is away the more it will be out of focus.
And, slightly more advanced, with a 200mm lens, if you focus at about 20-30 feet away and down at the ground with the background a good 200 feet away, preferably getting on for a mile, you will isolate him so everything is out of focus apart from the small area he is occupying. I'm not 100% confident of my distances with this as I work by eye with my technique.
There will be various tutorials on YouTube which is a great source of nuggets of photographic techniques.
In the meantime, keep posting!
Just now saw your post. I am still getting used to how my camera works, and how to point it. I think Snips described it best when he said point it in between their eyes, which should help a lot. And yeah, I am noticing the theme with their heads getting cropped. I am actually starting to notice how it detracts from how the subject can be presented.The positives: They are sharp, in focus, and well exposed. That being said, you need to focus on the eyes and not the dogs nose.
The negatives: The backgrounds are very distracting. A very easy solution is to hang a sheet or blanket over the back of a chair or something similar. Preferably of a plain pale colour.
In the last image, for me, it is too tightly cropped, and you have clipped the top of its head.