Critique #1
Old 08-01-2006   #1
RayPA
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Critique #1

Welcome to this critique thread. Please read the purpose statement and the guidelines regarding participation.

Purpose
The primary purpose of this thread is to provide a forum where photographers can give and receive constructive criticism on one another's photographs. By setting up some basice guidelines we hope that this thread will provide a forum where the give and take of honest constructive criticism can help us become better photographers.

Additionally, we asked RFF members to provide their methodology for viewing images. If you'd like to participate in a critique thread and need some ideas about how to proceed with viewing images critically, you may find this thread helpful:

Critiquing Photos Reference Thread

Note: This is our first critique thread, so we've purposefully put some limitations in place. If you are not an actual participant in this thread you are of course welcomed to view. We'll ask members to provide their input and thoughts on how the critique worked in a separate thread—once this thread closes. If the thread is deemed to be successful or worthwhile, the intent is to have several "Critique" threads open an waiting for participants.

Guidelines/Ground Rules
The thread has very specific rules regarding participation. The one basic rule is that you cannot provide criticism on an image or comment in a critique thread unless you also have an image posted. To post an image to this thread you must be a participant. Participation in this thread is limited. Here are the guidelines and ground rules for participation:

Participation in this thread is limited to 5 photographers
Participants join the thread by posting their intention. You can simply reply with your intent to join by posting something like: "I'm joining," "I'm in," or just state your name
Joining is on a "first come, first served" basis. The first 5 to reply become the participants
Once the thread has 5 participants, no other photographers can join or participate in the thread
Once the thread is full of participants all photographers will upload their image(s)
The number of photos for each participant is limited to one
Photographers attach photos as thumbnails (no inline images or links)
Photographers post their images supplying titles (if any) and other pertinent information (the amount of information should be minimal)
Photographers can only comment on their own images and reply to comments only when everyone else in the thread has posted their comments on the image
Every participant must comment on every photo (except their own—initially)
Every participant must make at least two comments, one positive comment, and one constructive criticism (which is actually two positive comments)
Once every photographer has commented then a free flowing discussion begins. It is at this point that every photographer can comment on their own work and reply to comments, ask questions, etc.
The participants decide when the thread closes.

Remember: Please do not provide criticism on an image or comment in a critique thread unless you also have an image posted.

This thread is now active, please follow the guidelines if you'd like to participate! Have Fun!



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Old 08-01-2006   #2
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I'm in....
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Old 08-01-2006   #3
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Ya know, Ray, this is going to keep me up late .
I'd certainly welcome the criticism.
I'm in.
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Old 08-01-2006   #4
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Old 08-01-2006   #5
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I'm in for sure.
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Old 08-01-2006   #6
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Old 08-01-2006   #7
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I think Ampguy makes 5. Gents, shall we post photos?
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Old 08-01-2006   #8
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looks like five to me...

So here goes. Untitled.
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my submission
Old 08-01-2006   #9
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my submission

title: healthy choices
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Old 08-01-2006   #10
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Here is mine

title. . . um. . . ."alley colors"
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Last edited by sf : 08-01-2006 at 22:14.
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Shutterflower - alley colors
Old 08-02-2006   #11
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Shutterflower - alley colors

I like the colors and shades of the building, the whited out graffiti, and the windows a lot. It was obviously taken with a very wide angle lens, showing quite a bit of distortion, but this may add to the photo's allure. The main focus of this photo seems to be the moving cyclist. Is he riding a bike that is too small for him?

So how could this photo be made better?

-- the cyclist in motion should maybe have been frozen more so that he looked like he had a normal balding. I would have gone with a little more detail on the cyclist, it almost appears that his bicycle is a shadow. I like the motion, but combined with him out of focus, and the wide angle distortion, it might be excessive.

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Originally Posted by shutterflower
Here is mine

title. . . um. . . ."alley colors"
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Old 08-02-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy
I like the colors and shades of the building, the whited out graffiti, and the windows a lot. It was obviously taken with a very wide angle lens, showing quite a bit of distortion, but this may add to the photo's allure. The main focus of this photo seems to be the moving cyclist. Is he riding a bike that is too small for him?

So how could this photo be made better?

-- the cyclist in motion should maybe have been frozen more so that he looked like he had a normal balding. I would have gone with a little more detail on the cyclist, it almost appears that his bicycle is a shadow. I like the motion, but combined with him out of focus, and the wide angle distortion, it might be excessive.

yeah - this is a shot from the Canon SD700IS - not my beloved RF645. I was taking a picture of the wall (on my way to work from the bus). I was hiding in a recessed doorway so this guy didn't even see me when he came riding down the alley. I was about to take the pic of the wall when he popped into frame, so I snapped as quickly as I could. I do wish that I had fired the shutter more promptly - only to get the entire bike in the shot, and that I had been using a more quality piece of glass. Oh well. The SD700 is my pocket camera. Medium format rangefinders don't quite fit.
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Chaser - Untitled
Old 08-02-2006   #13
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Chaser - Untitled

This vertical image immediately strikes me as an "art photo" and I immediately gravitated towards the bright unnatural colors of the trees and patches of lawn. This is a very cool effect, I am not sure if you did it with film, filters, IR, or photoshop, but it is attention getting in how you changed the green, yet left the blues intact and slightly altered the blacks and whites. The trees have good highlight detail, even with the radical non-natural coloring. The purple patches of lawn and trees seem to lend itself to a psychadelic induced or dream sequence situation. To add interest to the picture, the man walking across the street in the funky hat is mysterious. He seems dressed up, but not really dressed up for business. Is he dangerous? Is he the devil? What kind of stride is he making? Is he holding a cigarette? Is he up to no good? It makes one wonder and imagine, which is good. I also like that the photo has few or no digital artifacts. Often things like telephone lines get pixellated, but in your image, they retain sharpness.

So how could this photo be improved?

-- Well, the framing on the right is not clean. There is the front of a white car on the other side of the street, and there is a corner of a sidewalk, but it is not clear if it is a driveway, or an alley or street in the foreground. I would consider cropping out the car and sidewalk corner leaving the walking man at the edge of the frame.

Overall it's a great photo and makes good use of artificial colors mixed with natural colors.


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Originally Posted by Chaser
looks like five to me...

So here goes. Untitled.
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Old 08-01-2006   #14
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OK, second attempt.
"Wet Corner"
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rbiemer - Wet Corner
Old 08-02-2006   #15
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rbiemer - Wet Corner

This b&w vertical took me a minute to get oriented as to what it was. By adjusting my monitor, I realized the octagon light was not the moon but some other reflection, and the building has a brick style texture to it. I like how it captures the contrast of sidewalk blocks that are dry because convex vs the concave squares that hold water and reflect. It makes one wonder if it is raining now, or was ever raining, and just wet from a leaking pipe or gutter from the top water falling in the center.

So how could this photo be improved?

-- I think the flared octagon is kind of weird, I think the photo could stand on it's own without that artifact, and possibly give the viewer the correct interpretation of a sidewalk at the side of a building with a street in the background a little sooner. The angle at which it is taken, and the contrast of the reflected wet stones and their texture is very very good.


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OK, second attempt.
"Wet Corner"
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Old 08-01-2006   #16
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Sorry for the delay, but I'm scanning as fast as I can!
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Old 08-01-2006   #17
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I'll be back in the morning, folks. Well rested and ready to give the photos my full attention.
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Old 08-01-2006   #18
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off to bed as well - will return tomorrow to ad comments
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Old 08-01-2006   #19
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Title: "Dog Fantasy"
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Honus - Dog Fantasy
Old 08-02-2006   #20
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Honus - Dog Fantasy

Very nice horizontal shot of an old non symmetrical fire hydrant. There are several interesting aspects of this photo -- the diagonal pedestrian white line with wear down to the street, and what initially looked like shadows, but may be a water leak or maybe multiple light sources. Very high contrast and sharp image of the hydrant.

So how could this photo be made better?

-- The crossing line is almost the same white hue as the hydrant, so this poto might have been better in color, or maybe from a different angle that just captured the hydrant. The shadows are confusing, and there is also what appears to be a removed white street line in the mid right of the frame that is just a shade darker than the shadows adding possibly unneeded complexity to this otherwise simply elegant water hydrant photo. Great job!


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Title: "Dog Fantasy"
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Old 08-01-2006   #21
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Look forward to commenting and further discussion tomorrow.
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Old 08-02-2006   #22
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Old 08-02-2006   #23
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Looks like I will get this started.

Wet Corner - rbiemer.

I like the tone and mood on this shot. The composition i feel is strong as well. There seems to a a sort of disjointed (I mean this positively) correlation between diagonal lines., the sidewalk and the shadow veer off to the right and intersect with the road in the background making a sort of seven shape that pulls the viewer through the image. The octagonal flare seems to fall in a good spot on the image as well.

I feel that the lack of sharpness, in the foreground, specifically is working against this photo. There is a bit a of softness in the pipe- rainfall area that can add to the mood, but in the foreground the sidewalk, being prominent and a little brighter than the rest of the picture, seems to distract from the picture due to the sharpness.
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Last edited by Chaser : 08-02-2006 at 09:37.
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Old 08-02-2006   #24
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OK, here goes.

Chaser -
- The image of the man is very strong. All shadow, with slivers of light. Very mysterious. I think the composition holds together very well.
- I think the photo could be strengthened even further by cropping the right side right up to the edge of the man. The curb interferes with the strong diagonal of the pavement.

rbiemer "Wet Corner" -
- This is the type of photograph I am always looking for (some may interpret that as a harsh criticism ). An abstract play of light and dark, textured surfaces and flat planes. The rain adds movement. Very atmospheric.
- I am not sure what the focal point is. If I had my choice, I would like to see the edge of the drain pipe as a sharp edge.

ampguy "healthy choices" -
- We have all been at this place. It feels very familiar. You have captured the light and mood very well. Well composed.
- As much as I like all of the elements in the photo, I wish there was tension present. Maybe it is the pose of the child that is not quite right. Maybe if he was reaching for the bleach on the right

shutterfly "alley colors" -
- The blurred cyclist against a sharply focused backgroud works well for me. The tones and color palette look just right. It reminds me of a Mark Rothko painting.
- Usually mis-aligned perspective does not bother me. Often it adds tension that helps. In this case, I would like to see the horizontal and vertical lines be, well, horizontal and vertical. The photo to me has a geometric precision that would be strengthened by having the lines perfectly straight - offset with the blurred, nebulous figure in the corner.

I look forward to reading the other comments and having further discussion.

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Old 08-02-2006   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honus
shutterfly
ShutterFLOWER. . . .

Of course, I should really get a screen name that matches my sex. I can think of another play on words. . .
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