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Brownie – ReWorked

Coffee with My Brownie 3 - Reworked

Back in February I had a go at doing a still life with a brownie I had made and Cafe Latte, the post was One Brownie.  I set it up on my dining room table.  I can remember being really happy with the composition, but I do remember getting some comments that weren’t very nice and it really depressed me.  I almost considered giving up on HDR images, in fact even had doubts about my abilities as a photographer.  Let me show you the original HDR image as I had it on my blog.

I can see so many of the problems now.  I can see that it is too saturated, the colours aren’t great.  Too much detail, and the brownie doesn’t stand out enough, but at the time, I loved it and was so proud of it.

I don’t remember if it was this particular post or another one at the same time, but I do remember I got some comments that were very critical.  I don’t know if they were meant to be that way or they thought they were offering some nice advice, but I found it rather confronting and not very nice.  Constructive criticism is never wrong, but when someone comments and seem to have nothing nice to say, that is never good.

I have had someone else recently doing a similar thing.  The say one nice thing, then tear the image apart.  It isn’t a nice thing to do.  I don’t like, and I never do it to others unless invited to do so.  Even then I am not comfortable doing it.  I don’t mean that I don’t like criticism, but it has to be done carefully, and if you don’t like criticism yourself, then you shouldn’t do it to other people.

I think we forget looking at all these images on the internet that people put their heart and soul into them, and just like any work of art, people are very precious about them.  The other thing to consider is, would you say it to their face if you were viewing the work in front of them.  It is so easy to criticise someone when they aren’t standing in front of you.  Having said that, I have never minded people saying what they do and don’t like in an image, which is far different to someone telling you how you should do it.

Anyway, let’s get back to the image.  I redid the HDR processing using Photomatix Pro this time, and straight away I got a much more realistic look.

I find this far better.  I do like the composition.  Everything out of focus except for the brownie on the plate.  I haven’t added any blur to this, it was all done with depth of field.  I did a lot of work to the chair in the background trying to make it disappear more.  I thought it stood out too much.  I lightened up the brownie, darkened the foreground, and added some colour to the brownie.  I didn’t want to do too much because I wanted that more natural look.

I did some reading and learned some new stuff in photoshop, I used some of it in this image.  Always learning.  I wonder if I will ever feel like a master of photoshop, seems unlikely.  I still feel like a novice, though I know that can’t be true.

Thanks for everyone’s support over the last week, hopefully my internet will be back to normal tomorrow morning.  It will be good to be able to get some stuff done on the internet, and to see what all of you have been up to.

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107 Comments Post a comment
  1. Have to agree that the second image is very much better.

    September 14, 2012
    • Thank you, I think it is must better as well.

      September 14, 2012
  2. Ongoing Search #

    I liked the second image, it stands out in the picture…

    September 14, 2012
  3. Great job, Leanne – what a difference!

    Don´t take things to heart too much – so many people LOVE your blog and all your photography. I know I do :)

    Thank you for all your hard work in your tutorials.

    September 14, 2012
    • Thank you Marianne, I try hard not to let it effect me, but I think that is part of the nature of artists, we do tend to do that. I am getting better at it.
      You don’t have to thank me for the tutorials, it is great that people like them, that makes me feel good and that keeps me going. :)

      September 14, 2012
      • In my excitement to praise your photography, I totally forgot to mention the first thing that came into me head when I saw the title of your post. Of course, BROWNIE was the name of one of the first ever cameras, so a very aptly titled article from a photographer! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownie_%28camera%29

        September 14, 2012
      • I have one of those too, a little box brownie, I have no idea how I came across it, maybe I should put it on a plate with a coffee and take some phtoos, haha.

        September 14, 2012
  4. You are an excellent photographer and striving to improve is always a good thing. Feedback should be given in a “positive” way. I only started blogging in April and I am only an amateur photographer. I have come to learn how difficult it is to photograph food. I have a newfound respect and admiration for food photography.
    Keep taking beautiful pictures!

    September 14, 2012
    • I think to photograph food the lighting is very important, I agree with you, it is very hard. Though if you enjoy doing it you should keep trying. There are ways of making the lighting is good.
      Thank you, for the lovely things you said. I do feel like it is a learning curve constantly. I couldn’t imagine being so good you couldn’t learn anymore, it would be boring then.

      September 14, 2012
  5. I have this problem right now, I have pictures that I know will make great HDR pictures and I cant seem to get the balance quite right and I keep revisiting them over and over. Luckily no one has been too critical of the ones I have posted, infact the one that I like the least everyone really likes, head scratching. I sometimes wonder if its is best to just process the image and forget it. If people don’t like it then who cares its your work, learn from any mistakes you make and move on to the next image.

    September 14, 2012
    • I think it is true, everything you said. It takes a while to get the right balances and even then, when you think you have it right, you could look at it in six months and think it was bad. I think you have to keep trying and the more you learn the better they will get. I did a post recently on doing HDR’s it is under my tutorial page, I don’t know if it will help. It certainly can be head scratching, you never know what people will like. My husband keeps telling me to hard up, it is hard, especially when people say things and you can only wonder if they realise how horrible they are being, or whether they have some other purpose for trying to bring you down. I don’t respond to those comments anymore. Thanks for all your thoughts Craig, I hope you work out your HDR images.

      September 14, 2012
  6. This is a big improvement and shows how well you have learned and improved. Criticism should be constructive but I’m afraid it is not always delivered in such a way. Someone made a fairly scathing comment on one of my images recently. I doubt if it was intended so but it felt that way. After brooding for a while, I thought, you know, they’re right. It is bad. I redid it and it was a lot better. We all need a thick skin if we offer our work for critique. The trick is to analyse the comments as objectively as possible. Sometimes they are wrong and sometimes it’s a matter of taste. But as we learned at school, nil illegitimi carborundum.

    September 14, 2012
    • Huh, I don’t know what that last part is, I’ve never seen that before.
      I think what I was trying to express, is that while everything you said was true, we should all try and be nice about it. You can offer criticism in a way that is constructive and doesn’t make the artist want to give up. I saw the best critiques and the worse at uni when I was studying art, and the best always left you feeling like you could improve and made you want to try their suggestions. That is the best way to do it. But when you get someone who thinks you should change everything, and is very unforgiving, it isn’t constructive and is really, just down right rude. I ignore those now. I think for me to take on someones comments or take their critique on board, it also has to be from someone I respect. I never respect rude people.
      Oh dear I have gone on a bit. Sorry Andrew, thanks.

      September 14, 2012
  7. I like both. And that’s not because I don’t want to offer any criticism! :) You know that I personally don’t like to edit my photographs, as I want them to represent the reality as close as possible. So, if I knew which one of the 2 pics’ colours were closest to the reality, I would probably choose that one! :)
    Although, I just had another good look, and I must say I like the warmer colours in the first pic.

    September 14, 2012
    • It is funny, but I do know that about you, and I respect that is how you feel. :) I don’t necessarily agree, but I know that is your opinion.
      As for the images, the second one is a lot closer to the more natural look of the image. Part of the reason I wanted to change it was because I though it looked unnatural. Thanks Zelmare, :)

      September 14, 2012
  8. Liz #

    I absolutely and completely agree with Andrew. I think that sometimes we have to take the good with the bad or in some cases the bad with the good. At the end of they day you know the work you are happy with and that which you are not. Most people are hugely positive. They will always be some that aren’t., and some of that negativity will be absolutely valid and some of it wont be. For me it is about being able to look at your own work through others eyes and try and see what has inspired the comment and in that way judge whether you want to listen to what they have to say or not. I think at the end of the day anyone who publishes on the net invites criticism of some sort or another but you definitely get to choose whether or not you pay attention to it. As for the brownie – can I eat it please?

    September 14, 2012
    • I am happy to have people not like my images, but sometimes the people are just downright rude in their criticism and I don’t think that should ever be tolerated. I accept that when I put my work up, not everyone is going to like it, like I know you don’t like a lot of the dark images I produce, I accept that. What I find hard is people who I don’t know getting on my blog and then telling me how I should do my images, as though nothing I do is right. I like being told what people like and what they don’t like, but there are ways of saying it without being offensive or rude. I remember seeing someone’s blog, they are changed the leave a comment, to saying something or another, and then be nice. I think we should all expect that. I wonder if those people would be that rude in person, though at art school there were some lecturers that were like that, and no one took any notice of them. The ones you wanted to hear from were the ones that seemed to care and wanted to bring the best out of you.
      Those brownies are the best ever, I can send you the recipe if you like Liz, they are very decadent. Thanks

      September 14, 2012
      • Liz #

        Actually your dark images are growing on me quite a bit, I especially like todays school one. Would love the brownie recipe I think I need a bit of decadent in my life at the moment I ‘m being way too responsible.

        September 15, 2012
  9. I think the goal of any photographer should be continuous growth and improvement and you certainly are achieving that! I look back on some of my older images and feel proud of the progress I have made. It is discouraging when you produce something that you think is really great and others don’t share your enthusiasm, however when you get over the initial feelings of disappointment and clinically analyze their comments that is what pushes you to learn and grow. The majority of photographers are really nice people who are excited to learn and grow with other photographers and share what they have learned, but you are right, I have encountered those mean spirited ones who are either jealous or arrogant and forget that they had to learn too. I just avoid that negativism and relate to the kindred spirits. I think that composition is innate, but can be learned, but that processing is very much a learning experience. Before we had the tools that we have now the great photographers were always the ones with the inborn sense of composition and light, and still are! I love your work and am amazed by some of the images you put out. I have not delved into the HDR processing yet, but hope to one day. My passion at the moment is portrait photography and I am putting all of my time and energy into becoming the best I can be in that genre!

    September 14, 2012
    • Thank you Joylene, I can’t disagree with anything you have said. I am learning to ignore those horrible people, thankfully there aren’t a lot, though I do find it can really upset me for a little while, my husband usually has a great way of getting me back and grounding me. It is great to look back over old work and see how much you have developed as an artist, I love seeing it. I think that is one of the reasons I love doing the reworks on Fridays, gives me an excuse to do that.
      Keep going with your passion and I will mine, who knows where it will take us. :)

      September 14, 2012
  10. Ed Spadoni #

    I thought the first one was pretty nice, the second even better. We often forget that photography, like art, is subjective. Since we’re all different so are our preferences. The internet gives everyone access to everything, which is wonderful. But it also makes some people lose their civility. Keep up the great work Leeanne.

    September 14, 2012
    • You are so right Ed, I think that the internet gives people an opportunity to being rude without the face to face contact, and you have to wonder if they would be the same if they weren’t face to face. Glad you like the reworked image, thank you Ed.

      September 14, 2012
  11. I think that both images are beautiful in their own way. I love colour, so I tend to over- saturate by professional opinion. That’s where I am at the moment, and I love it. But I can also see the beauty in the second image. The point is, don’t ever try to please everyone else, because you never will. Do what pleases you, what makes you happy. Ignore the naysayers. I think your work is wonderful, and you’re a really nice person, too. You’ve helped me so much with your tutorials. keep up the wonderful work. Thank you. Blessings always from Lizzie Joy

    September 14, 2012
    • I used to be like that, I did love the over saturation, but eventually I got to a point that I wanted to be able to do more with my images, so I started experimenting more.
      I really agree with you say Lizzie Joy, and I respect peoples right not to like what I do, but sometimes, well, you get someone that thinks they know so much better than you about what you were trying to do. Thank you, I love what you have said, and I will try and keep it up, another tutorial tomorrow. Bless you too.

      September 16, 2012
  12. dangerously decadent

    September 14, 2012
  13. I think they both have merit…the first one looks surreal, with its saturated colors. If that’s what the artist (that’d be you, sweetie ;) ) is going for at the time, then it works.
    The reworked image is more natural, so it might have wider appeal…
    Remember this: Not everyone loves Picasso. Monet himself thought most of his work was crap after he got glasses that worked, late in life. In the early 20th century, no collector wanted the Dutch Masters, because they weren’t in vogue. Times and tastes change…Your work represents you, and where you are at that moment in your professional and personal life. Don’t let the Internet Jerks make you doubt yourself.
    Oh, and feel free to say anything you want about my (often) awful photos…it won’t change how I feel about them – or you :D

    September 14, 2012
    • YOu are the most wonderful person Marie and one of the people I have enjoyed meeting the most in this blogging world. You always manage to put a smile on my face. You are absolutely right, and I know it, when I read the comments, I get angry, but then my husband and I much around discussing what I could say in return, and then decide that I should say nothing. It is better, but I just wish that people understood sometimes, that it is personal. If they don’t like it, don’t comment, that is what I do. I hate upsetting people, and if they like what they are doing then I am happy for them.
      Thank you so much for you lovely words, they really help.

      September 16, 2012
  14. You did a great job reworking this image. The second one is definitely better and the brownie really stands out. You know I look back at some of my earlier HDR images and think to myself….”What was I thinking?” The wonderful thing about photography and post processing is that we’re always learning and enhancing our skills. Also remember that art is very subjective. What one person may like another may not. If your happy with the image that’s the most important thing.

    September 15, 2012
    • That is so true, I always make sure the original images remained untouched so I can do that. When I first start art school I was going to throw out some of my first attempts and someone told that I should keep them then I could use them to see how much I had improved, it is a fantastic thing to do, and also works with photography. Glad you like the rework and thank you for the support.

      September 16, 2012
  15. I could only say thanks for sharing this your experience. :)
    This is a lesson learned for me. :)

    September 15, 2012
    • It is an interesting experience. YOu haven’t done this to me, not that I remember, if you are talking about the harsh criticism. Thanks Inge. :)

      September 16, 2012
  16. I really like how inviting the second one is (not that anyone really needs to invite me to enjoy a delicious brownie!).
    The anonymity of the internet sometimes brings out the worst in people. I just try to interact with positive people and limit my exposure. I’m glad you put it out there that some people (presumably on YOUR blog) were simply being rude. Keep your head up. I return because I love what you share :)

    September 15, 2012
    • I like the second one more too, it is more realistic.
      You are so right, I think the anonymity gives people encourage, of course there will always be those that they would do it to you face, but then you know exactly how rude they are. I am with you, I try to interact and support people I respect and and people I like. Thank you for being one of those. :)

      September 16, 2012
  17. Thanks for the wonderful article. Photography and editing is a work in progress. You are a true artist and I love seeing what you come up with :)

    September 15, 2012
    • Thank you Josie, that is so kind of you. Glad you like. :)

      September 16, 2012
  18. Kerrin #

    Unfortunately there are a lot of people that consider themselves experts on certain subjects and think they have a right to make rude comments under the guise of “constructive criticism”. What I’ve found, and this isn’t always true, is that they are actually far from experts and instead may be a tad jealous of the abilities of others to produce work that draws a lot of positive comments, or just comments in general. Because their blog doesn’t get the attention they think it deserves they take their frustration out on someone else which is such a petty thing to do.

    Anyway, I agree that the second image is an improvement over the first but honestly I’d eat either brownie, they both look delicious. :)

    September 15, 2012
    • Thank you Kerrin, you have basically said exactly what I have been thinking. My husband asked me once if I thought I was an expert in photography, and I said no way, I still have a lot to learn, and he thought that made me good at doing this because people who think they are experts are usually people who don’t know much and refuse to learn more. I really appreciate your thoughts on this topic, thanks.
      The brownie was very delicious, they are probably the best brownies I’ve ever eaten. I was given the recipe and they really are so good. :)

      September 16, 2012
  19. The second one looks more realistic, but I prefer the first one. The brownie looks more inviting, the lighplay on the rim of the plate it is on looks great and overall the picture has this nice surreal look.

    September 15, 2012
    • Really, ok, I can accept that, you aren’t the first person to like the first more. I am not a fan of the surreal look. Haha. Thanks

      September 16, 2012
  20. Photomatix can be all kinds of seductive for the n00b, which I am. I’m slowly learning how to dial it back, as you have done here to such nice effect.

    September 15, 2012
    • It can be easy to play with all the special effects, but I think deciding what you want as the end result first up is always good. I’m not a fan of the over saturated look and I like my HDR images to look more natural, then I add my stuff to them. Thanks Samuel, good luck with yours.

      September 16, 2012
  21. annerose #

    I think you struck a chord, with your thoughts about criticism. Please don’t “hard up” too much, you want to stay sensitive to the world to make your art.
    Thanks for not responding to rude comments. I think you have more art in you than all the rude commenters put together! The Latin quote means don’t let the bastards grind you down.
    I love the reworked image and the slight tilt to both of them.

    September 15, 2012
    • Oh aren’t you lovely, that is so sweet. No I can’t see myself hardening up too much, I just need to ignore those remarks.
      I won’t let the bastards grind me, down, I really do love the work I am doing and love watching it grow and getting better. It is mine and I should do it the way I want. Thank you so much for your support annerose, it really is appreciated.

      September 16, 2012
  22. saymber #

    I like the first one the best because I can almost taste how delicious that brownie is lol! Sometimes people think because they are behind the screen of a computer they can take liberties with brutal honesty. You are so right when you mention that if they were standing next to the artist and could see their eyes and facial expression….they wouldn’t say what they do. The problem with cyber words — is the context and inflection…the emotion. Always have to take computer text with a grain of salt but it’s hard when it’s harsh.

    September 15, 2012
    • I don’t think you are alone in your preference saymber.
      It is hard sometimes, and I think that people forget that you might have a nice friendly voice when you are writing something, but the person on the other end can’t hear that. I think you have to be extra extra careful when you are writing. Thanks again Saymber.

      September 16, 2012
  23. Tricia's Blogs #

    I liked both of the images. In the first image, the brownie was more saturated like you said, but it made the chocolate stand out and seem more inviting (to eat!). The second reworked image seems brighter and more natural, which I think is what you are saying you were going for. Sorry you have had unkind words posted, that’s something I would have a hard time with too. You take it very well. Please don’t give up. I am one of many who enjoys your blog and your art. :)

    September 15, 2012
    • Thank you Tricia, I am glad you could see what I was trying to achieve.
      I won’t give up, I just need to learn to switch off when I see comments like those. I will continue to produce and develop my style Tricia, no need to worry about that. Thank you, so much. :)

      September 16, 2012
  24. Haters gonna hate. :)
    That being out of the way, being a violinist, I can relate. Even my husband doesn’t like my furniture work at times!
    I want to eat the brownie! I’d love the recipe, too. I love the warmth and how inviting the 2nd picture is, but yeah, it can feel like you’re publicly being ripped apart to shreds when a stranger publicly tells you everything you did wrong.

    September 15, 2012
    • Yep they are. My husband is the same, he doesn’t like much of what I do, I can accept that, he isn’t nasty about it, just doesn’t like it, and I know a lot of people don’t like everything I do, I respect that, but the people who tear it apart and want me to make it into what they consider right, just isn’t right.
      I think you are all fighting for the brownie. If you want the recipe just send me an email and I will send it to you. So happy you like the send one. Thank you so much.

      September 16, 2012
  25. I like the new image and the brownie looks good enough to eat. In creative writing classes, one of the rules is to find something good to to say about someone’s work before laying into the rest of it with a meat cleaver. And always to give reasons for your criticism, along with suggestions for making it better, rather than “This is crap!”

    September 15, 2012
    • I have never been told it is crap, but one person did give the one positive then, then told me how to change it and redo it, but I think that is crap too. I think with images, there is always going to be aspects that people aren’t going to like, but to try and change the complete image doesn’t seem right to me. It is like telling a writer to change their story. Does that make any sense. The image then becomes what they won’t and not mine anymore.
      Glad you like the new image, it seems to be not as popular as the first though. Thanks

      September 16, 2012
  26. Leanne,
    First of all, thank you for liking my posts. I truly appreciate every “like”.
    I typically am not a blog reader, but I occasionally drop by yours just to check out photos. I saw the first shot HDR shot in this post and it made me stop and read.
    And I’m glad I did.
    I’m a sucker for constructive criticism, especially from peoples opinions I value. The more I get, the better I get. I did not take the time to see what others wrote on the initial post, but I’m sorry they did it without tact.
    I agree with what you wrote about your own shot being a little over the top initially. The difference between the two are night and day! Such an improvement.
    I guess I mainly wanted to write because I was thinking about going back over some of my work and re-editing with my improved knowledge base. And I was stoked to see someone else doing the same. Someone else on that never ending quest for excellence.
    Long comment short: You rock! Keep it up!
    Cheers,
    elo

    September 15, 2012
    • It is a great thing to do, to go back and try redoing older images. It is a great way to compare how much you have improved as well. I am glad you dropped by as well.
      Constructive criticism can be great, I do listen to it and I like it if people think it might benefit from something or another, but I don’t like being told that that is what I should do, I think it is best if it suggested, and thought should be given to how the criticism is given and how it will be taken. I hate critiquing others work, unless I have been invited to, even then I respect their right to their images and only offer suggestion.
      You keep up the work as well, and thanks for giving me your thoughts, always appreciated. :)

      September 16, 2012
  27. Thanks for sharing this story, Leanne. So many good reminders for us, photographers and non-photographers alike!

    September 15, 2012
  28. Sometimes I believe the problem is not the photo or the colours but that we cannot see the actual colours because of the screen settings on our computers. Sometimes on my screen my pics have great contrasts but on the one where I work the contrasts aren’t nearly as good as at home.
    I like the colours on your first one, but ok, I guess they could be a bit less intense. What I actually would have changed is the horizontal line, because it does seem as if the brownie might vanish from the table soon, but the setting is great – and what do I know ;)

    September 15, 2012
    • I have noticed a similar thing. Photos on my laptop are always lighter than on my desktop, I can’t change my desktop though. I want a new one, but the husband doesn’t seem to think it is important. one I can calibrate. Apparently you don’t need to do them to laptops, or so I’ve read.
      I am usually a stickler for the horizon being straight, but for some reason, I really liked the horizon being on the slant and the curve of the flowers seemed to bring it back. You have your opinion, that is fine, I don’t mind that. Thanks. :)

      September 16, 2012
  29. Wish I could eat that brownie right now! =)
    The first photo is very vivid and has a lot of detail.
    However, I do prefer the second image. Its very natural and I like the soft lighting! Very nice!

    September 15, 2012
    • Thank you, I couldn’t agree more. Sorry, but the brownie was eaten a long time ago. :)

      September 16, 2012
  30. Don’t worry what those awful people said, I get nasty comments too, one person especially seemed very mean spirited, you just have to think that they must be very sad people…stay inspired and keep doing what you are doing!

    September 15, 2012
    • I like to think they are just jealous, thank you so much Angela, I really appreciate your thoughts.

      September 16, 2012
  31. Laura Williams #

    Lol, personally I prefer the first one – I really like the warmer colours!
    As for the criticism I guess as artists we have to remember that everyone has different opinions and different things they like, though I’m not sure what it is that makes some people have to voice an opinion if they don’t like something. Unless someone has specifically asked, then I keep my mouth shut & move on if something’s not to my taste! Anyway, try not to let it get to you – your are a wonderful photographer and I always look forward to seeing your photographs.
    Oh – and that Brownie looks gorgeous!!

    September 15, 2012
    • You aren’t alone in your preference for the first one Laura.
      I am exactly the same as you, I don’t offer my opinion unless asked, or if it is positive. I am uncomfortable and think it is forcing my views on them and that would not make their work then.
      Thank you so much for this. It is great advice. :)

      September 16, 2012
  32. Second image is much better — love the more realistic look. I know what you mean about the “constructive criticism”. It sometimes really deflates you.

    September 15, 2012
    • Thank you, it certainly can. I agree, the second image is more realistic.

      September 16, 2012
  33. I actually like both versions of the image – but the second is much more naturalistic and “lighter”. Very nice.

    September 15, 2012
    • It is funny, I am surprised at how many people prefer the first, I think the second is better myself, we all like different things I guess. Thanks Richard.

      September 16, 2012
  34. My vote is for the second image as well. Very nicely done!

    September 15, 2012
  35. I like the setup and the colour of the second image, makes me hungry. ^_^
    Some people forget how to be polite and they can be quite hurting in their words. I guess we just have to try to ignore them and keep on doing what we enjoy. No point letting these people kill our joys. This is my thought. ^_^

    September 15, 2012
    • I like your thought, it is a good one, very good. I try to do that, it usually bugs me for a while, then I pick myself up and start working on some more stuff.
      Glad you like the second image, thank you.

      September 16, 2012
  36. When I’m working for pay, my number one objective is to please the client–something I’ve done now for 34 years. The images I post on the Photoblog, Facebook, G+ and 500px are my personal work, my interpretation of things that interest me. I’m gratified if others enjoy them, but not terribly concerned if they aren’t. Constructive criticism by anyone is always welcome although it would have more meaning to me if it were a critique by someone I consider an expert or master in the field, rather than some nameless, faceless internet person. Continue to work your craft and don’t worry about the ‘nay-sayers’. kkeith

    September 15, 2012
    • Thank you, I think what you say is right, I try to be like that. I put my art up here, and it is very personal to me, and sometimes, I think people don’t respect that. I have people who’s views I really do respect and if they suggest, and I use that suggest, that I might like to try something I always consider it, it doesn’t mean I will do it, but I consider it. Sometimes I agree, but it is from people I have got to know and respect, and rarely from someone I”ve never really heard of and the first comment they leave is to criticise what I have done, and how they think I should do it.
      I will continue doing what I do, when I was art school one of my lecturers told me that I had to stop trying to get approval from others, he was right and that is what I do know, I do what I like.

      September 16, 2012
  37. I took a several hits this year. It stated with a couple’s portrait shoot, they loved the images but I had some serious issues with the post processing and it clearly showed in the final product. They were overall happy but at the same time they were upset. They liked the composition and the creative things but didn’t like the post processing. Their comments hurt and I didn’t pick up my camera for a month. I just stopped taking photos.

    Then another family friend asked me to take some photos, So I set up the studio and got on with the job. Then she said similar comments to me as well. This also hut a lot but really made me go back and have a good look at my post processing technique. I found that my technique was flawed in several areas and I had to go back through all of my images and redo them. This took me over almost 2 months to complete to a standard that I was happy with.

    The moral of the story is that if you take a hit like this, go back and have a look at your techniques in either taking the photograph or post processing. Then and only then you can be sure that you did everything right. Ignore the faceless people on the net, You will never learn if you don’t make mistakes, and trust me I make mistakes everyday and I learn from the majority of them.

    September 15, 2012
    • Great story Theif Images, It is interesting the process of images. I would listen to people if they were paying me, I think you have to. I found the comments left on my blog, just rude, I know I am learning, but I have come a long way, I really do like what I am doing and I love people giving comments, but I don’t like the comments from people who think I should change everything I do, then the image becomes what they want and not what I intended. I know not everyone will like what I do, I am not that naive, I know it is all subjective.
      Thank you for your comment.

      September 16, 2012
  38. Really love the re-work, Leanne…now the brownie is no longer overpowered by the background items, and the lesser amount of saturation makes this more of an ‘advertisement pic’…for two things (coffee & brownies) which are tasty favorites!

    Also, the flowers have become background, rather than looking as if they were going to bend all the way down and snatch up that delicious brownie! (Haha!)

    September 16, 2012
    • Thank you 1000, I agree with everything you said and think the same, it was definitely my intention. Haha, yes, I was worried about those flowers.

      September 16, 2012
  39. WOW! You jus keep getting better and better

    September 16, 2012
  40. Although, i’m someone that really loves sharp colors in a picture so I find the first attempt also very good

    September 16, 2012
    • You aren’t alone, many have seemed to like the first one.

      September 16, 2012
  41. I really like the composition of this photo a lot. I think that is one of the main key important of a still life photo. It has to stop the viewer to see and think about it first.

    I also I completely agreed with you about making comments to others’ photos. I believe that every one loves their works and they are precious in their eyes.

    September 16, 2012
    • Thank you YellowCable, glad you like the composition. I wasn’t so sure at first, but it has grown on me.

      That is so true, I think people forget that photography is also an art form and they are tearing apart your art which is part of you. Thanks

      September 16, 2012
  42. paperportraiture #

    lord!! i need that brownie..it looks so good!! I hope youknow because of you I now have to eat some chocolate haha…I like the second one better, although I do see why you re-worked it (give the brownie and coffee more protagonism) either way, one word: YUMMY

    September 16, 2012
    • Oh no the responsibility, I hope you didn’t have too much. Thank you do much, I think it worked much better as well.

      September 17, 2012
  43. I think a lot of the image depends on the screen you are viewing it thru. When photos are printed and displayed in a gallery the artist has control in a way that will never happen when that same image is viewed thru thousands of of different screens. It makes it so tough!

    September 17, 2012
    • You are so right, I even notice the difference between my laptop and my desktop. It is hard to know. I can’t wait until the images are in a gallery. Thank you so much.

      September 17, 2012
  44. Thanks for your likes at Pairodox Farm Leanne … really appreciated from someone of your skills. I’m sorry I don’t visit more often. When I do, however, I always learn something. D

    September 17, 2012
    • YOu don’t need to thank me, I believe that we should all support one another, and when I was scanning the reader the blog name stood out and I had to take a look. Thanks for liking and visiting my pages.

      September 17, 2012
  45. Leanne, I am smiling because I know what a perfectionist you are. And that’s a good thing. The “good” and “bad” that you see in your photographs always strikes me as a matter of taste. I’ve never seen what I thought was a bad photo here. I love very crisp, realistic, sharp photos. However, I love what I call “paintings” too. I think the choice of which to publish depends entirely on where you are publishing and what your intent is. I love the rich, deep and warm colors of the first photo. I also like the more natural colors and selective focus in the second. If I were going to display either, I would enjoy the first more. Forget the criticism. YOU are the artist here. It’s your heart and soul speaking through your work.

    I post many photos that I know are technically awful. I smile when I do it. I decided long ago that I would post whatever I personally liked. I just posted some awful photos on She Kept A Parrot. They were supposed to be black and white, but the processing was so different that they did NOT work together at all. I know I need to develop some presets so the B&W photos work together, but I’m impulsive and lazy! :-)

    September 17, 2012
    • Thanks George, I can always rely on you to make me smile :).
      It is interesting posting photos on the net like we do. I do it because I like the record, I can go back and see what I did. I don’t enjoy harsh criticism, but I am starting to see that no one does. I wish I could just ignore it, but it does cut deep, and takes me a little while to overcome it, but I always do. I know that I have the support of a lot of people here, like you, and that is always great.
      Thank you so much George.
      PS I did a little bit of work on that image of yours, and I think I can do something with it, do you have an email address that I can send it to when I’m done?

      September 17, 2012
  46. I had some photography professors who were really skilled in delivering critiques. They were the ones who really helped me learn. But I remember I was still a bit hurt at even their gentlest suggestions for improvement, since I was trying so hard. But I look back now several years later and remember what they said — and they were absolutely right! So now I really value good critiques, but they have to be from people who really know what they’re talking about!

    September 18, 2012
    • I think it depends on who it is coming from. If it is someone who does it respectfully, and you respect them, then I can always handle that. It is the ones that come from no where, and you have never heard from them before and they act as though they know everything and you would do really well if did what they say, as though you have no taste, or any idea of what you are doing.
      I remember those similar professors at art school, criticism is always hard and it should always be done with gentleness and kindness, and only if it is asked for. That’s just my opinion.
      Thanks Sherry.

      September 19, 2012
  47. I struggled with this when I started taking HDR a while back; I wanted everything to be HDR and I tended to overprocess many of the photos. Now I’m learning to take my foot off the gas a bit more, and also learning when to use HDR and when to stick with a single RAW image. It’s something I think everyone figures out in time; your pictures are amazing and you’re doing the most important thing in the world and that is taking a lot of pictures and actually analyzing them! Personally I like the second image better, very well done!

    September 18, 2012
    • Hello stranger, how are you going?
      It is so true and I think everyone does the same thing when they start HDR, over process. I like the more natural look, and that is what I try to achieve. I want to be able to do other things to my images. I do do HDR for all my images, but it is a starting point for my work, and never the end. It is important it look as natural as possible. Thanks Aaron, great to hear from you.

      September 19, 2012
  48. There isn’t any need for being mean! My hubs follows a few photo forums and says there are always the “know-it-alls” who berate everyone else’s pics. He’s complained about that a few time. He’s a lurker so has never been at the receiving end. So sorry. I can see the top pic being used in brochures for a restaurant! The bright HDR colors are the rage. The bottom one is a nice one for posting a wonderful recipe. 8-)

    September 19, 2012
    • No there isn’t, I don’t understand people who are mean. My husband keeps telling me to do forums, but I end up getting so upset with people who are exactly as your husband said, think they know everything, have no respect for other peoples opinions and are just bully’s really. Hey no need to apologise, one of the things I have learned here is that not everyone is going to agree with me, and that is the way it should be. Thank you so much.

      September 19, 2012
  49. Wow! what a difference! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I always learn so much from your blog and that is greatly due to the fact that you are willing to make yourself vulnerable. That takes courage. I appreciate your courage…and your amazing photography!

    September 21, 2012
    • Wow Pamela, I had never thought of it like that, thank you. I do love it that you and other learn from me. I feel a bit humble and speechless now.

      September 21, 2012
  50. Val Bridge Digital Photography Biz #

    really liking your work Leanne…..

    September 21, 2012
    • Thank you, that is really nice of you to say.

      September 21, 2012
  51. Mmmm now I want brownies! HAHA

    October 5, 2012
    • Haha, that has been common, I have made everyone want Brownies, thanks.

      October 13, 2012
  52. Hearing you r thoughts on your photos is helpful for me as a newcomer.

    May 14, 2013

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