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.
Rob
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Old 08-01-2006   #4
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I'm in....
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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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Old 08-01-2006   #9
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OK, second attempt.
"Wet Corner"
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my submission
Old 08-01-2006   #10
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my submission

title: healthy choices
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Last edited by ampguy : 08-01-2006 at 22:40.
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Old 08-01-2006   #11
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Here is mine

title. . . um. . . ."alley colors"
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Last edited by sf : 08-01-2006 at 23:14.
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Old 08-01-2006   #12
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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   #13
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I'll be back in the morning, folks. Well rested and ready to give the photos my full attention.
Rob
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Old 08-01-2006   #14
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off to bed as well - will return tomorrow to ad comments
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Old 08-01-2006   #15
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Title: "Dog Fantasy"
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Old 08-01-2006   #16
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Look forward to commenting and further discussion tomorrow.
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Old 08-02-2006   #17
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Gentlemen, you first, I insist!
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Old 08-02-2006   #18
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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 10:37.
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Old 08-02-2006   #19
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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.

- Robert
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Old 08-02-2006   #20
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healthy choices - Ampguy

First off the child is adorable. The central composition is strong and has a sort of quick movement that pulls the eye straight to the child. Once there the viewer is drawn into the facial expressions and then the eye is free to wander through the shelves and see all of the products that surround the child, and the products that the child is looking at.

I feel that the image could be cropped in a little bit to make it a little stronger, perhaps about 5% off of the top and the left and right sides. This could work to make it so the the child is a little more prominent in the picture. Also have you tried this in B&W? The texture of the grain could provide a nice look to a black and white photo, it does to color as well.
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Old 08-02-2006   #21
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Well, here goes:
I looked at these in the order they were posted so I'll comment on them in that order.
Chaser--
I really like the colors of this photo. Color infra-red? And the geometry of the trees on the left "pointing" to the guy in the hat.
If I were to do anything differently it might be to crop the bottom slightly--just below the kerb.

Ampguy--
I like that there is a lot of visual "stuff" going on in this one because, I think, it speaks to what the child is seeing/experiencing. I imagine the child running/walking along the aisle taking in all the different colors/shapes/smells and finding something familiar--the pears or apples(not sure exactly which he's looking at). And stopping to point them out to you.
It may well be my monitor but, I might have adjusted the color balance to minimize the color of the store's lights.

Shutterflower--
This photo proves that "rules" like having moving objects/people move into the frame should some times be ignored. And I like the juxtaposition of the clarity and detail of the static background with the mtion blur of the rider.
The top of the scene seems to be monochromatic and I can't decide whether the photo would be stronger with out it or as you have shown us.
The three windows form(to my eyes) an arrow pointing the way for the rider to go. I could see making two photos from this; dividing them at the level of the blue paint on the wall.

Honus--
I like the contrast of this and the narrow depth of focus that seperates the hydrant from the back ground. The strong directional light helps this also.
This is so well realized, I really don't have much constructive to add except that I might've come in a little tighter on the right edge.

This was not easy, and I will be looking at these photos some more.
Excellent work all!
Rob
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Old 08-02-2006   #22
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shutterflower - "alley colors"

The color in this shot is great. The sort of graphical nature of the building with windows, ladders, and shapes in the blue and white paint, interact with the bike rider in this shot, to create a really strong picture that I envy. The mental contrast of the animate and inanimate in this photo is really strong.

Because of the strength of this interaction i feel that the lines of the building and sidewalk could stand to be a little straighter, but i think in many ways that the perspective on the building could vary for the viewer if different styles of presentation were used...this is to say that while on the monitor the perspective seems to detract a little, in print if the picture was say a medium size that pulled the viewer to it, in a gallery setting per say, the curvature would be far less noticeable, than if the viewer is farther away. Also if you were working in a strange pseudo panoramic format you could crop this photo just to the left of the ladder and have a really cool vertical shot, it would then lose a lot of the feeling of motion that is gained by the extra space on the left, but I just wanted to mention that because it is great when a photo can hold its own in two different crops.
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Old 08-02-2006   #23
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Honus - "Dog Fantasy"

The tonality of this, as well as many of your photos that I have seen, is simply spectacular. It is dramatic and eye catching without being garish. You really seem to have a handle on the tonal representation in photos. The interplay of intersecting lines really works in this photo, the two shadows coming off of the hydrant intersect with it and really give it a feeling of three dimensions. Since those two shadows are so obviously on a flat plane it makes it seem that the hydrant is jutting out of the ground at the viewer, and this is helped also by the dof.

I would like to see this pulled back just enough to see the shape in the bottom left hydrant shadow.
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Chaser - Untitled
Old 08-02-2006   #24
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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.


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

So here goes. Untitled.
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rbiemer - Wet Corner
Old 08-02-2006   #25
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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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rbiemer
OK, second attempt.
"Wet Corner"
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