I would never say anything to put someone down, but I can't see how anyone can say that her photos are better than yours. They look like a typical set of shots taken with a fast 50 by someone who has practiced photography for awhile.
Actually Luke, I was going to say something similar. Her shots are lovely but they look rather like a lifestyle shoot for a magazine and it would appear the only picture of herself is her mirrored selfie so I hope someone else got some shots of her enjoying the time also!
I applaud and admire your desire to grow as a photographer, Kyle, as well as your willingness challenge yourself and be critical of your own work. These are the fundamental components of getting to where you want to go. So kudos to you.
You've taken some nice pictures in this set, but I see two things that your friend has done that you may learn from:
1 - She has told a story while you have a small collection of photos. Part of the difference is due to the simple fact that she has more photos that you. So while you start with one photo of the cabin, she has a half dozen or more that show the cabin and the snow and the ice and the woods. Your Flickr collection has some of that, but they don't appear to be organized with telling a story in mind. In a way, you are telling a story with bullet points while she is using full sentences.
2 - There is a visual consistency to her imagery, warm tones with strong contrast and a little saturation pulled away while letting the blacks go black. Even the black and white images, with their high contrast and strong blacks, fit within this look. The use of a single lens helps with this as well. This gives an overall impression of a single voice, a single point of view.
Think about these things the next time you attempt to document an event/weekend/gathering. Take enough photos to tell the story thoroughly, edit with the story in mind. And maybe, to give you more headspace for those things, just take a single lens.
Kyle, I start thanking your openness and your thread. Really fresh point of view and it moves all of us further in our common hobby: photography, when used right. Thank you for sharing 'your cabin' with us!
First I think that both the photographers, you and your friend, have done good job, independently. Set of your Pro-friend is very nice, good story as John above already pointed out. Post-process and constant image quality and usage of single lens / angle of view, gives strength to the story telling. If I hadn't seen your shots, I would think: "Wow. Nice. But what are they selling?", if you get what I mean. It is almost too good to be true, and without knowing, I would expect it to be set up.
You're shots are more personal, and by no mean 'worse' than your friend, IMO. (And I don't even like to use words worse/better in this kind of sentence). And I really like a lot your set too (in Flickr). I don't want to repeat what John pointed out, I believe you got it in the first time already
Little bit thinking, learning, practise, so that you can concentrate to subject and on the same time make a story (what I mean is that 'taking pictures' is not making you feel that you disturb someone or that you're not taking part in your time with your friends, that it is natural to grown up a camera from your hand )
Good luck and thanks, this inspired me a lot, already
I agree with John's remarks about telling a story, but I don't really much like her processing. Perhaps I am more used to more saturated stuff, or something. Her shots are well composed and shot, but there seems to be a hazy kind of appearance which makes me blink a lot... trying to clear my eyes. Yours are clear, and I love the one of the child with the eyelashes. I didn't need to visit flickr to see them (I'll do it later), that XT+56 is a great performer in your hands, it seems to me.
Sue just took most of what I wanted to say out of my mouth/keyboard
Not a fan of this kind of processing either. It's one way of adding consistency, yes. But draining the images of color also drains them of some life to me. Sounds a bit dramatic maybe but in any case, the faux-film filter puts a disconnect between me and the scene. With your shots I feel more like "I'm there"...
Also, she has a lot of shots of one person standing in an otherwise empty room. Not bad as such of course, but to me not telling the story of a group of friends having fun.
Your shots (looking at flickr) - while maybe less "perfect" tell that story a bit better. To my eyes...
Not saying that her shots are bad at all, or that you shouldn't try to learn from her (if you want to do so)... just throwing my thoughts out there, to add another personal taste to the mix
Thanks very much, all this helps IMMENSELY. It's very hard to get outside your own head, and to see your own work the way others do. And ultimately, as photography is a sharing endeavor, it's that view that's more important... how others see your work. I completely understand what John's saying, and it will saturate my thinking for next few weeks as I keep stumbling forward.
Last night I just went to a 2nd birthday party for one of the little girls who was at this cabin. I brought the XT and the 35 f1.4, and nothing else. It went pretty well, and I managed to process everything last night during the Oscars. I found myself pulling the bottom left end of the curve up off of black just a little, imitating that slightly washed out look, and it made me pause... is that a look I LIKE? Does it help explain some of the way I respond to her photos? I'm debating it. Light handed, if I do it at all... Finding your own processing voice is tough.
I wouldn't worry about if you think you're copying her or not. Because her processing makes me think of film emulation. Nothing wrong with that at all, but if you enjoy that look go for it. It can be a style added to your repertoire. I think the tough part is deciding if that style works with a certain photograph or not.
cool series! how great are your family photo albums going to be! I wish someone in my family would have been interested/talented in photography when I was growing up. I think it must have skipped a generation as I found some great shots from my grandparents generation (someone must have picked up a brownie).
She (the pro) is offering a paid internship this Spring / Summer for wedding photography. My so-so feelings about that specific specialization aside, we're probably going to move in a few months to the west coast, so I wrote her back and thanked her for bringing it to my attention, but that i didn't feel right applying for it knowing I probably won't be here for all of it.
One thing I might pick up from your photographer friend though is the image host she's using.
Hadn't heard of that one before and it looks pretty good to me - especially the mobile/smartphone versions work very well. So thank you & her for that!