A few days ago I gave a critique of one of my own images on our facebook group. I share it here so a wider audience can see it. This critique is of my initially selected highlight image from our recent Anytime Light workshop, flaws and all. At the bottom is a slightly different version (a different frame) selected after writing this critique which corrects some of this images flaws.
Before I give a critique, there is some background about critiques that you should be familiar with. The critiquer does not know or care about the conditions the photographer faced, the restrictions placed on her, or the limitations of her equipment. A good critique looks at the images purely as it is. As a result, the advice given during a critique is often impractical or impossible. I’ve had critiques that said “you should have moved 5 feet left” which would have put me hovering 1000 feet in the air over a river. That is the nature of a critique. It is really a question of “how, if anything were possible, could this image be better?”
The subject appears to be brooding. The image is dark and moody. The hues in the image are predominantly blue and orange. All of these elements work well together to give the image a unified feeling. The pose would not work as well, for example, in a “normal” brightly exposed image. His pose is strong and lends the image a “devil may care” look that one might see the hero of an old western. All he needs is six shooter on his hip and a hand rolled cigarette.
The ground under the subject appears to be tilted. Generally the horizon, or what is perceived as the horizon, should be level especially if it is close to the edge of the frame. Doing this would make the subject lean, which is also not good. The current rotation is a good compromise, but the subject should have been placed on more level ground.
The subject’s left hand is to bright and is distracting. It should be burned down (darkened). There is a small spot of light peaking through the subjects legs at his crotch. This draws attention there and is distracting. The point of view should have been shifted, or the subject moved slightly so that there was either much more sky showing through, or none at all. Both of these issues have to do with the fact that our eyes are drawn to the brightest spots in the frame, which should generally be some aspect of the focus of the image, not an incidental (in this case the subject’s crotch or hand).
There are some post processing artifacts around the subject. They show up as a shadow around his left shoulder and near his right hip. They appear to be the result of a sloppy mask used for local exposure adjustment.
I’d like to see a little more separation (tonally) between the subjects legs and the background, maybe a separation light or slightly more light on his legs in general. They aren’t totally black so it is ok, but would be better if his legs were a little more distinct from the background.
The Image: Version 2.0
This is another frame from the same set that I selected with a little more care. Some of the flaws from the image above have been corrected in this image.
He is a self taught experiential learner who is addicted to the possibilities that new (to him) gear open up. He loves to share the things he has worked out. Andrew started with a passion for landscape and night photography and quickly branched out to work in just about every form of photography. He is an ex-software developer with extensive experience in the IT realm.