Forums \ Photo Critiques \ Critique me please! Just starting out...
good eye. nice shot
ok, here's my opinion:
1) There is good contrast in the image between the green grass and the foreboding sky, and that adds a bit of a dynamic element to the scene. It looks like rain is coming down, and that helps soften the light under the clouds. I can almost feel the coolness of the rain. I like it.
2) You've applied the Rule of Thirds well, and the horizon isn't smack in the middle of the image, but at the line on the lower 1/3. Nice.
3) The background (trees, clouds) don't appear sharp and are out of focus. Without knowing your settings, I would guess you had used a wider aperture in this exposure, which has limited the depth of field severely, and also that maybe the camera focused on something in the foreground. For landscapes, it's generally good (not always) to have the entire image sharp and in focus, unless you want to draw the viewer's eye toward a certain spot. In this one, it might have been better to focus the camera on the trees in the background.
4) There is some noise in the image, likely due to using a high ISO. It might have helped to use a tripod (or rock, or a stable knee) for this photo so that you could use a low ISO and keep the image noise low. 5) The horizon isn't quite level, and that throws off the sense of balance when looking at the image.
If you want more info about the settings on your camera, there's tons of online resources (like this one: http://godigitalslr.com/shoot-manual-mode-cheat-sheet/)
Keep it up!
Alexa, I have to agree with the comments already posted I like the photo, the composition is good, as is the lighting. It would probably help, if we knew what your camera settings were. Even though I have been taking pictures for over 40 years, I have just gotten serious as a photographer in the last few years. There is a wealth of information available to you on the internet, especially on YouTube. Here are a couple that I have found very valuable:
Photography 101 with Jeff Cable http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksqfTapOk3o
The 15 Features of Your DSLR That Every Photographer Should Know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap7qnQHIuXI
Alexa, This post is kind of old but I thought I would add my two cents anyways :). First off congrats on the new camera! I am also newer to photography and have so much to learn..so take my feed back for what it is worth (and I did not read the others so sorry if I am repeating anything).
Good job on not putting the horizon right in the middle..that is one thing people tend to do when getting a new camera. When you put everything right in the middle of the picture it does not draw your eye anywhere else. As far as the subject of the picture...you want to make sure something catches your eye "tree/animal/person"..to me there is nothing that draws my interest to this picture. You have the grass right in front in focus but everything else is out of focus...with this picture I would either have it all in focus or have it the other way around..grass in front out of focus and background (trees/water) in focus. Could be my eye, but it looks like this picture is a little slanted (you can fix that if you have Lightroom).
Keep up the good work..the more you play with the camera the more you will learn! ENJOY!