Just one comment on XYZViper's shots. I don't really like panning the way a lot of people do it, keeping the whole subject perfectly "clean", so the rest of this post is purely my (probably minority) opinion.
I understand why people do it, but at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, you lose something that's important about what you're taking a photograph of - the movement of the car (or bike). There are situations when it's desirable to really see the car clearl, for example if you're really interested in the details of the machine, but if you're interested in photographing the "experience" of watching the bike/car go by, some blurring of the machine would be better, in my opinion. Coincidentally, Nellis has a few shots on his Flickr illustrating what I mean, for example "IMG_5854.jpg". There's still some blurring on the car's rear end, that suggests movement, the pan blur adds to the sensation of speed, but you can still see the car clearly.
Having said all that, I really like the first one No idea why, whether it's the B&W, or what, but it just works for me in that "experience capture" sense. It could have done without the other car on the left, sure, but then on the other hand that also adds to it (depends what one considers the "subject" to be, I suppose - is it the Porsche, or is these two cars passing one another?).
^ Regards the violin shots I'd say that they'd be slightly better with a less cluttered background - something that you can move around should be a lot easier to do this with (a black widow you can take photos of where it is, but try a more plain background to stop it drawing attention )
Yeah, I was pretty limited with how far I could move the violin due to lighting. I tried to get as much of the background covered with the black bedspread as I could, but I also have to be super careful with the violin itself as it's worth a small fortune. I should really play it more often. They need to be played.
I'm not a photographer. I'm not even pretending that taking pictures is a hobby of mine. I am just owning a small Casio digital camera for snapshots and when I see something nice, I take a picture. No planning, no careful composition, no art, no massive reworking in Photoshop. Just trying to catch the mood. Nevertheless I would like to know, what others think of some of the pictures I took in the past.
For starters here are some pictures from some rather grey, cold winter morning in December 2009, after sunrise and after some heavy snowfall during a windy night. You might wanna open the pictures in a new window to get the full resolution: