Beginner Why are my photos such a failure?

Messages
18
Name
Zhivko
Edit My Images
No
#1
Hi,
Could you please give an advise why my photos are so rubbish?
My camera is Panasonic Lumix G80, the lens Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f4.0-5.6
Here are the photos:

MOD EDIT: LINK TO PHOTOGRAPHS APPEARS TO BE BROKEN - please post some images directly into the forum - (keep them under 1000pixels longest side and use the "insert image" icon)

Any advise will be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Messages
22,695
Name
Alan
Edit My Images
No
#2
Hi there...

I obviously can't see the pictures but... If the problem is that you're getting soft pictures it could be down to the 45-200mm. I had one of those and I really struggled to get sharp pictures out of it so I changed to a 45-150mm which is IMO a much better lens, it's not 200mm but it's a better lens.
 

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,453
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
Hi,
Could you please give an advise why my photos are so rubbish?
Probably the same reason mine where so rubbish when I started.... Photography takes a while to learn to get it right.. well for me it was :)
 
Messages
1,345
Name
Tim
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
can I ask what about them makes you think they are rubbish? what were you trying to achieve that didn't work?
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
18
Name
Zhivko
Edit My Images
No
#8
can I ask what about them makes you think they are rubbish? what were you trying to achieve that didn't work?
They seem too bright, and I find the coulour kind of not deep enough, not juicy enough. Looking at the pictures now I suspect it was because of the sunlight. I am affraid the camera may not be very good with colours, I'm just waiting for someone to comment "Listen, that camera is rubbish." It is a second hand camera.
 
Messages
1,700
Name
Lee
Edit My Images
Yes
#11
They are okay but to me they don't contain anything interesting. No eye catching composition, no low winter light or shadows, no main point of focus to grab your attention. But don't take anything to heart as photography is a craft & something to grow into :)
 

steve_lyt

Bottoms Up!
Messages
1,691
Name
steve lythgoe
Edit My Images
Yes
#12
most the images are very busy its not clear what you want us to look at. the train in the stations is ok though. just keep going you will get there
and the images are sharp enough. all the opinions are personal , its not that I dont like the others the scenes are difficult. maybe try B & W that may work
 
Messages
1,069
Name
Jason
Edit My Images
No
#13
Winter daylight! I think this is the bug! What do you mean by "flat sky"?
Flat sky = nothing interesting in it (some fluffy clouds, some blue sky, sunrise/sunset colours in the sky

The sky in your pics is overwhelmingly featureless white/grey - compare that with a (cloudless) azure sky as a contrast with the buildings, guessing it would be more appealing (but with something of interest in the sky, even better perhaps?)

Read about the blue hour & golden hour and set your alarm clock accordingly :) then prepare to be disappointed more days than not because it just couldn't be that easy (every day you get up at dark o'clock the sunrise will be rubbish, the day you sleep in Instagram will be full of awesome sunrises taken outside your front door)
 

simon ess

Just call me Roxanne.
Messages
8,201
Edit My Images
No
#14
Get close, closer, much closer.
 
Messages
4,369
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
#15
What is your subject? Why are you taking the photo?

Think about why you're taking the photo before you press the button. Consider moving around a bit. If your photo has a subject - look at how you can separate it from the background. If it doesn't have a subject, then ask yourself what you're trying to convey and pause to think about that before you put camera to eye.
A good photo starts with visualisation. You need to see what you're taking a photo of before you press the shutter, and frame it accordingly.

When I ask people why they took a photo they're not happy with, more often than not they shrug and reply that they don't know. That's never a good start for a great image.

In My Experience, a better camera can improve photos a bit, but better thought behind the image will improve them significantly more. Significantly!
That's my tuppence.
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
18
Name
Zhivko
Edit My Images
No
#17
They are okay but to me they don't contain anything interesting. No eye catching composition, no low winter light or shadows, no main point of focus to grab your attention. But don't take anything to heart as photography is a craft & something to grow into :)
Thanks!
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
18
Name
Zhivko
Edit My Images
No
#18
Flat sky = nothing interesting in it (some fluffy clouds, some blue sky, sunrise/sunset colours in the sky

The sky in your pics is overwhelmingly featureless white/grey - compare that with a (cloudless) azure sky as a contrast with the buildings, guessing it would be more appealing (but with something of interest in the sky, even better perhaps?)

Read about the blue hour & golden hour and set your alarm clock accordingly :) then prepare to be disappointed more days than not because it just couldn't be that easy (every day you get up at dark o'clock the sunrise will be rubbish, the day you sleep in Instagram will be full of awesome sunrises taken outside your front door)
From my experience so far this is exactly what happens! Every time I go out for shooting hoping for cloudy day, it will be a bright sunny day, in Manchester, where this is rather very rare. Thanks for the good ideas!
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
18
Name
Zhivko
Edit My Images
No
#20
What is your subject? Why are you taking the photo?

Think about why you're taking the photo before you press the button. Consider moving around a bit. If your photo has a subject - look at how you can separate it from the background. If it doesn't have a subject, then ask yourself what you're trying to convey and pause to think about that before you put camera to eye.
A good photo starts with visualisation. You need to see what you're taking a photo of before you press the shutter, and frame it accordingly.

When I ask people why they took a photo they're not happy with, more often than not they shrug and reply that they don't know. That's never a good start for a great image.

In My Experience, a better camera can improve photos a bit, but better thought behind the image will improve them significantly more. Significantly!
That's my tuppence.
Thanks! In fact I'm perfectly OK with the subject, even with the composition, considering the small scope of the lens. The excess brightness and the weak colours is what worries me.
 
Messages
3,746
Name
droj
Edit My Images
No
#22
The excess brightness and the weak colours is what worries me.
Do you mean as seen on your computer screen? It might be set too bright - a lot of them are out of the box. Because your pics don't look at all bad on my monitor, which is set up for photos.
 
Messages
4,288
Name
Terry
Edit My Images
Yes
#23
Shoot in RAW, learn composition and get your self to Lyme Park (near Stockport - much more to photograph there than a dreary northern town).

You'll be able to find more interesting compositions in the right light conditions (unless urban architecture is what floats your boat).

Keep at it, there's nothing wrong with the sharpness of the lens.

Also you could try underexposing by half a stop or so, this will increase the colour satuation and keep some detail in the skies.
 
Messages
599
Name
Clint
Edit My Images
Yes
#24
In my opinion these are typical beginner photos. Don’t be too self critical. A camera doesn’t magically take great photos. It involves many things such as vision( having a concept in mind), composition, correct technique and post processing. Practise makes perfect.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,288
Name
Terry
Edit My Images
Yes
#26
Manchester is a vibrant modern city full of Northern grit and with a stirring industrial heritage. Careful what you say!

I know Manchester well as my daughter lives there.

Being a country born boy I feel the same about any City to be honest. Especially a rainy one.
 
Messages
5,921
Name
Garry
Edit My Images
Yes
#27
There's a secret that no one has mentioned so far. While many people are rightly proud of getting great straight-out-of-the-camera shots, most of us post-process our photos to bring out the contrast, colour, and sharpness. The reason for this is that unless you've got a large sensor in your camera, it won't be great at capturing contrast, colour, and sharpness. And in some conditions, even large-format cameras might struggle.

You didn't say if you're processing your photos or not, but if not, look at Adobe Lightroom, or On1 Photo Raw, or Luminar, or even something really simple like Snapseed (which I use on my iPad). If you want your photos to look good, make them look good.

You might also like to check out Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Getting your photos looking their best while still in your camera will give you a good head start when it comes to processing.
 
Messages
5,260
Edit My Images
Yes
#28
Snip:
Hi,
Could you please give an advise why my photos are so rubbish?
My camera is Panasonic Lumix G80, the lens Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f4.0-5.6
They seem too bright, and I find the coulour kind of not deep enough, not juicy enough. Looking at the pictures now I suspect it was because of the sunlight. I am affraid the camera may not be very good with colours, I'm just waiting for someone to comment "Listen, that camera is rubbish." It is a second hand camera.
If you were a beginner at cookery, would you expect to create a gourmet meal of your own design within a week or so of starting? Or to buy a pair of football boots and be playing for a Premier League club within a few weeks? Or buy a guitar and get a record deal within a month of playing it? Now, if you found you couldn't do these as well and quickly as you'd hoped, would you then think buying a better cooker, boots or guitar would be the answer?

The truth is, as with any hobby, sport or interest, it usually takes a lot of practice and study to get the results you want, and that includes looking at the work of others to see how it's done. Things like the brightness and colour of a photograph can be changed using a computer (up to a point), or by altering the settings on a digital camera... but the composition of the photo can't be changed afterwards if it's not a good photo. Yes, they can be cropped and straightened, but this won't usually turn a poorly composed photo into a good one. You can't turn clay into gold!

Your photos look about right for winter light, however, look at the vertical objects such as the mill chimney, the lamp posts and buildings. Are they straight or do they lean to the left or right? Were you trying to get this leaning effect, or did you not notice it when you composed the photograph?

As others have said, look at the composition... ask yourself what was your eye drawn to see when you took the photo, and then look at the photo and see if it shows what you saw? Then think about that next time you are out with your camera.

Look at the work of some experienced photographers that have taken photos of the streets and landscapes of Manchester, and if you think a photo looks better than yours then try to see why. What takes your eye, what makes those photos look good? Once you've learned to 'see' what makes a photograph good, then try to look for that when you are taking photos yourself. Learning to 'see' is probably the best suggestion I can give you if you want better looking photos. Don't expect amazing results right away, keep practicing and keep learning, and don't give up! (y)
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,288
Name
Terry
Edit My Images
Yes
#29
There's a secret that no one has mentioned so far. While many people are rightly proud of getting great straight-out-of-the-camera shots, most of us post-process our photos to bring out the contrast, colour, and sharpness. The reason for this is that unless you've got a large sensor in your camera, it won't be great at capturing contrast, colour, and sharpness. And in some conditions, even large-format cameras might struggle.

You didn't say if you're processing your photos or not, but if not, look at Adobe Lightroom, or On1 Photo Raw, or Luminar, or even something really simple like Snapseed (which I use on my iPad). If you want your photos to look good, make them look good.

You might also like to check out Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Getting your photos looking their best while still in your camera will give you a good head start when it comes to processing.

I think I mentioned RAW above.
 
Messages
4,982
Edit My Images
Yes
#30
As some others have remarked most of the photos are too "fussy", apart from the image on the wall - that is interesting and I would say keep that one and learn from the others.
BTW it takes many years to learn photography, and the learning phase, for most of us, never ends, which is what makes photography so challenging and addictive.
 
Messages
3,896
Name
Dominic
Edit My Images
Yes
#32
I have a Panasonic gx80 but shoot in raw format, so don't really take much interest in the jpeg picture/photo style that is produced by the camera. But it might be worthwhile for you to have a play around with the different styles your camera has and see which one is best suited to you. You can also manually adjust some of the settings yourself eg contrast, saturation, sharpness etc.
 

steve_lyt

Bottoms Up!
Messages
1,691
Name
steve lythgoe
Edit My Images
Yes
#33
As some others have remarked most of the photos are too "fussy", apart from the image on the wall - that is interesting and I would say keep that one and learn from the others.
BTW it takes many years to learn photography, and the learning phase, for most of us, never ends, which is what makes photography so challenging and addictive.
Very true , sometimes cropping or getting creative can make an image, when you take an image , look around for things that can distract you from what you are intending to photograph. Oberservation is an important part of photography3
 
Messages
2,035
Edit My Images
No
#34
Agree with Terry about using RAW. Most of the photos probably just need a bit of PP'ing (post processing). Flat days can be made to sparkle (a bit) with added contrast etc. Keep working at it, it will you some time to master it (if ever). Post here for constructive criticism...
 
Messages
1,069
Name
Jason
Edit My Images
No
#35
From my experience so far this is exactly what happens! Every time I go out for shooting hoping for cloudy day, it will be a bright sunny day, in Manchester, where this is rather very rare. Thanks for the good ideas!
I lived in Manchester for 4 years - it failed to precipitate in some form on 26 days during those 4 years :)

Around sunrise, around sunset, just ahead of an impending storm, just after one... long exposure shots of traffic, of trains, of streets full of people even...
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
18
Name
Zhivko
Edit My Images
No
#37
I lived in Manchester for 4 years - it failed to precipitate in some form on 26 days during those 4 years :)

Around sunrise, around sunset, just ahead of an impending storm, just after one... long exposure shots of traffic, of trains, of streets full of people even...
Thank You!
 
Messages
7,539
Name
David
Edit My Images
Yes
#38
All good advice above. (y)

Hi @jivko2 ... I was looking at your shots yesterday https://photos.app.goo.gl/f7U6weK5Qc3pHaKH9 and was thinking of offering some critique ... bottom cut-off point not right, too tight in the frame, no clear focal point, ..... then thought some more about things like the focal length and object distance (?). That 45-200mm is a powerful lens good for zooming in on relatively small subject, separating them from the distant background too. A wider-angle prime might prove better for city-scapes. The lumix 25mm is well worth owning if you don't have it already. It will mean getting yourself in closer, but that brings me to what I'm guessing is part of the problem you're facing .... I think you are reaching out too far for too much.
 
Last edited:
Top