Olga Radzikh's picture

Looking for CC

So I posted these shots on Instagram and they are not getting much feedback. I felt that I did everything right - found a scenic spot, sunset light, included a foreground and a background, even placed a person in there for scale. There must be something that I am not able to notice, and it is making my shots not that good. What would you do differently here? Edited less? Edited more? Changed the colours? Composition? Angle? Any advice would be appreciated!

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26 Comments

Cristian Perotti's picture

I think they are great. It happens to me too sometimes. Maybe your followers are not the type of followers who would appreciate these type of photos

Olga Radzikh's picture

Thanks for your kind words. These are consistent with the rest of my Instagram posts, so whoever follows me must like seeing seascapes in their feed :)

Alex Armitage's picture

First, share your instagram!

Second, I think the photos are in a great place but if I was editing these, I'd want more range in them. By that I specifically mean the shadows are a bit too bright. If you want, feel free to send me the RAW/DNG and I can take a quick shot at showing you what I'm talking about.

Outside of editing, I think the compositions could be a little stronger. An example would be in the first photo I wish it was taken for a slightly lower vantage point just to get more of those foreground rocks in. Currently they feel like a second thought. That is me being very critical though and overall I do like the images.

Olga Radzikh's picture

Thanks a lot for pointing these things out. The photos look a lot darker on my computer, but when I get them on my phone the shadows are in fact too light. I will keep that in mind.
Also, how do I share my Instagram?

Alex Armitage's picture

A couple ways, you can link it directly like this
https://www.instagram.com/alexarmitage_/

Or just put it in your profile on fstoppers. Either way works.

Sam Ponsford's picture

Alex, this is very constructive, considerate feedback. I really like your tone. I think you'd be great teacher.

Alex Armitage's picture

Awww. Way to make me smile Sam, Thank you!

I think the photos look good the way you took them. But I would darken the shadows a little bit in both shots. You say that the photos look darker in your computer, maybe the screen is not calibrated? that's a tough one, when we edit a photo but other people see it differently on their end!

(Also, since the water is so still, i would invert the tripod and try to get a shot really close to the water, i think it would look pretty cool!)

just my 2 cents :)

Olga Radzikh's picture

What a cool idea, I will try that next time! Although the water is still mainly due to long exposure :)

Anonymous's picture

nice pictures, especialy the second one, but next time chase away the audience :-)

Olga Radzikh's picture

What audience?

Geoff Thompson's picture

Hi Olga. I think the photos are fine.I especially like the bottom one more. The placement of the person and the overall composition I think is nicer.Most of the comments here are fairly constructive but it mainly depends on what you like. I once belonged to a camera club in Australia where you have judging nights. The expert judge comes along and critiques your pics. One of my landscape shots he marked down because he said it had no point of interest. To me the overall scene I captured was awe inspiring and I was considering the whole scene before me was of interest. I am not in instagram so I am not in the business of amassing likes. I suppose if you were trying to use instagram as a marketing tool then you might want to know why you are not getting them.If you take the trouble to seek out the work of Darius and Tabitha Kinsey an American husband and wife team of about 100 years ago you will find how Darius always had people in his landscape shots to give scale. He was taking a lot of shots in logging forests with huge trees.You often had to look for the people though.They are my favourite photographers and the equipment they used was very primitive. You should try and find one of their coffee table books to purchase.Keep up the good work. Geoff

Darragh Sinnott's picture

Instagram has gone very commercial, targeted ads and a heavy algorithm for curation, so sometimes people that follow you will forget you're there. I quite like them however I feel like they would look better cropped in landscape tho.

Peter Cotton's picture

Hi Olga, your second shot appeals to me most and I agree with Greg, first please yourself. Have you considered turning the 2nd image into a square format, eliminating the large foreground rock. You might find the whole shot holds together better this way.
Cheers from Oz: Peter Cotton

Marcin Świostek's picture

These are great shots. Don't take Instagram likes number as a reference point for the quality of your work. Instagram is marketing. Sure, better quality means more likes or comments, but it's nothing without the marketing approach. Focus on the pictures, not on the likes. It took me a while to get that.
PS. You have one more follower. ;)

Jorge Garcia's picture

Your second composition is great and I like the colors a lot. I would've aimed lower in the first shot to get some foreground interest going. As far as these photos not getting much feedback on Instagram, it can be a lot of issues, none of them having to do with the quality of your photos because they're great.

As of late 2017, Instagram has 800 million users, and if I recall correctly, they recently made changes that affected the order in which users see posts. The sheer number of users and IG's algorithm changes makes it challenging to get exposure (no pun intended). On a personal level, I've noticed there's days where I get a lot of Likes on social media and days where no one seems to be watching.

Keep shooting and keep your head up.

Olga Radzikh's picture

Thanks so much for your feedback and kind words!

Shawn Mahan's picture

I too like your second photo the best, but great scene overall in both! Did you consider multiple exposures? In lighting like that it would really help the detail of the rocks in the first picture. Even though I say I like your second picture more, I really love the reflection of the person in the first. Great shots! Thanks for sharing!

Frederic Hore's picture

Thank you being brave and posting your two images Olga - I know asking for constructive critique can be intimidating.
First let me say you were at the right place at the right time - a great start!
On Image 1- I agree with previous comments, that getting lower to bring out the rocks on the lower foreground would have been better. This would also make you model stand out more. Hopefully you did this at the time of the shoot.
To make the existing image stronger, I would crop a bit off the bottom, closer to the shoreline as the jumble of rocks at the bottom I feel is not contributing to the composition. Perhaps some dodging might bring out a bit more of the colour reflections I see on a couple of the rocks by the shore.
If you shot this in RAW mode, remember the image will be pretty flat. Try adding some punch to the image with additional saturation. The image as posted here, is also a bit soft. Smart Sharpen in PS can really make it sing!

Image 2- This image could be cropped from the bottom too. The big bolder I feel is too dominant, and does not contribute to the photo. You have a colourful shoreline with the lichens and moss, and your model placement is excellent, compared to the first image. Repeating what I said for Image 1, applying the Clarity tool, some saturation and sharpening, will make a bit difference to this image too! See the attached reworked image below of how I would edit the image.

It's a small niggly detail, but I think, unless it was really cold, having your model remove their hat, to see more of him or her, would enhance the photo. The red of the jacket is an eye catcher, and unless that was the intention, I would have the model remove it or have them wear a solid dark colour, so they are there in silhouette, but not so obvious.

Remember, take many, move around and explore your scene, and work it until you have it right! Have fun!

And don't worry about IG likes - its a crapshoot anyway. Just make sure to use lots of hashtags (max 30) for the right areas you want people to see your photos.
Cheers,
Frederic from Montréal
https://www.instagram.com/frederic_hore/

Olga Radzikh's picture

Hello Frederick, thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough feedback. The colours in your edit show up as almost neon on my phone screen. Not sure if you see the same thing. I will certainly consider your suggestions. Lots of good points in here.

Frederic Hore's picture

Hi Olga, I looked and reviewed your images on a colour calibrated 22inch Apple Cinema Screen connected to my MacPro workstation. They look fine here, including the reworked and enhanced image I included with my original comments above.
Unfortunately, not all phone screens are created equal, or necessarily have good colour. I personally would never use one to evaluate the colour of a photo.
That said, I personally use an iPhone7plus for casual shooting and some quick record shots, and find overall the images are good under daylight conditions, as long as I have the colour temp set to Daylight.
If you want to upload high quality, sharp images to IG, I suggest using a laptop and running your images through Lightroom, Photoshop, ON1 or another quality image processing software first, to achieve the look you want. If you have a Mac, Grids for Instagram, available from the App store, works great to upload images directly from your laptop's HD.
hope this helps.

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

I like the images, they look really nice.
Without wanting to repeat everything that has been said before.

I too had the same experience with 2-3 photos on Instagram that i personally loved but didn't get half as much attention as other images.
That's mostly because they don't hit the current moody Instagram trend. If you check the fstoppers front page you can find many articles about that phenomenon.

Olga Radzikh's picture

Interesting, thanks

user-189304's picture

Any advice, hey?

Firstly, I would say the same as everyone else, they are fine images.

My advice would be to just do what you want to do, forget the people on Instagram. You're doing fine :)

Shawn Palmquist's picture

The photos look really nice to me, I don't really see any obvious areas for improvement that jump out. I think Instagram can be a pretty bad barometer of quality unfortunately, so I really wouldn't place much stock into getting a lack of feedback/likes when posting there.