Hello there Steemit!
My name is Laurens Jansen from the Netherlands and I'm a photographer. I love going out into the world and shoot pictures of people, places and objects that interest me.
Photography, for me, is a combination of expressing your creativity and looking at the world at a more thorough and open way.
When I got introduced to photography, the world immediately seemed more interesting to me. I started seeing lines, patterns and light in a totally new way and this added perspective made it all even more beautiful.
Improve, improve, improve..
I constantly strive for learning more. One of the main aspects I focus on in my life nowadays is looking at other peoples photos and try to learn from what I see. The different styles of photography challenge me to express my creativity in various ways and thereby improve my photos.
It's not only photography that I want to learn about. I also constantly focus on being a better man, both to myself and the world around me.
This, in combination with my very analytical nature, encouraged me to start this Steemit account.
What is it all about?
I made this account, because I want to help other people improve their photography and storytelling skills, while improving my own skills as well! Your photos will help me look at photography in different ways and vice versa. In this way, we all learn from each other, so we can show the world to the people around us even better (through our photographs)!
How does it work?
If you have a photo that you want to have reviewed, please send it to:
In your email, please include the settings of your camera (see example later in this post) and a short story about where it was shot, why you shot it and what you wanted to portray.
I will select the photo that I think is most interesting to give feedback on. Not because it is the most beautiful, but because it has the most potential to teach us something. I will give very detailed (and personal ofcourse) feedback about composition, lighting, lines and so forth. I will also edit your photo with Lightroom, to maybe enhance it, or just to show a different view on the colors or crop.
In the next paragraph I will give an example of this, using one of my own photographs.
Example of a photo review
This is the original photograph:
Nikkor 35mm 1.8g prime lens, aperture at f/4.0, ISO at 100 and shutter speed at 1/500th of a second.
This is one of my colleagues during his lunchbreak. He always enjoys smoking a quick cigarette during his break to relax. This photo was taken in Amersfoort, my hometown.
When I saw this picture in Lightroom, I immediately noticed a few things:
- I like the space to his left, also called negative space. Negative space is used for balancing a picture. It is often pleasing to the eyes if the negative space is in the direction of the motion, or where the person is looking. In this case he is looking to the left.
- I think the highlights in the sky are way to bright and obvious and it grabs my attention away from the subject (my smoking colleague).
- I think his face is way underexposed. I want to up the shadows to show the texture in his skin more.
- The crop is quite nice. It's a close-up shot and I think it enhances the story of him enjoying his smoke.
- In my opinion the colors are not important in this picture. It's distracting, so I think I might change the picture to black and white.
After noticing these things, I tried to edit it to my preference using Lightroom. This is the result that pleased me the most:
What did I edit?
- I converted the picture to black and white.
- I added a lot of contrast.
- I dragged the highlights all the way down to zero.
- I upped the shadows a lot to show the texture of my subject.
- I slightly adjusted the crop. I removed a bit of the space on his right, to make the negative space on his left look even bigger.
- I added detail in his fingers and face, to show the wrinkles. This enhances the story of him being a smoker and it being bad for your skin.
- I added a lens correction for my specific lens (to correct distortion) and I removed chromatic aberration (fringing of color around edges of things in your picture). These two corrections are standard for all my pictures.
I like this picture a lot. It tells a nice story about him being a smoker and rushing outside to smoke his beloved cigarette.
The black and white lets you focus more on texture and composition by taking away the colors. I think this enhances the photo enormously.
The shadows in the picture are more drawn to the front. I like this a lot.
There are two white spots above/left of the cigarette which aren't visible in the original. This isn't overediting, but it's the smoke coming from the cigarette. It distracts a little, but it was almost inevitable if I wanted to reduce the highlights.
I think the composition of this photo worked out really well. It was kind of a snapshot without thinking too much about perfect lines or something. The lines of his face came out to contrast nicely with the sky!
What would I do differently?
To make this a better photo without even editing, I may have shot it with a wider aperture (maybe f/2.8). This would have made the background even more blurry, which adds visual weight to the subject.
The wall behind is head is a little distracting, so if I standed a bit to the right, the photo may have come out better.
Would you like to improve your (but also my) photography skills?
Please send the picture you want reviewed to firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe I will review it for you!
Please note that my opinion is not at all 'the truth' or 'the only (good) way'. It's simply meant to give you a different view on your own photos and alert you to opportunities you maybe didn't see.
I want to thank you for reading my introduction post and I hope to see your photos coming in very soon!