Thursday, November 15, 2012
Here are some of the things I look for when I critique a shot. Of course, not all things apply to each image and there are always exceptions to "the rules".
1. Is it in focus? This is actually a more complex question than you might think. Sometimes an OOF shot is what the photographer is trying to do (such as showing movement), but generally the subject should be in focus even if the surrounding area is not. Notice the depth of field and see if it is working well for the image. Would it look better with a narrower or wider DOF?
2. What is the subject? Is it apparent when you look at the picture? Are your eyes drawn to it, or are you asking yourself why did they take this shot? If it has to be explained, it probably is lacking a purpose.
3. How is the composition? Are there extraneous areas that are not adding to the overall effect? Is the subject lost in a sea of background? Not getting close enough to your subject may be the problem. Maybe cropping will save the shot. Maybe changing from horizontal to vertical would make the difference. Is your eye moving easily around the image from subject to secondary subjects (visual rest spots) in a visual path or are there abrupt stops? Would following the "Rule of Thirds" improve it?
4. Does it have impact? Are there any interesting elements, such as perspective, dramatic angles, leading lines, colors, textures, shapes, etc? What makes this shot stand out from the usual? What grabs your attention? Anything in the shot that helps set the mood?
5. How is the lighting? Are there blown out highlights or areas so dark you can't make out details? Has poor lighting created shadows that distract? Can some post processing help? Has the direction of the light hitting the subject helped or hindered?
6. What is the mood it evokes? If you still feel uncomfortable commenting, particularly on a technical level, mention how the shot makes you feel. Discussing it on an emotional level is just as valid and important. Remember, technical or emotional, it's all opinion anyway.
7. Offer a solution to the problem if you can. Do you know some editing trick that could help? Can you give a suggestion that would fix the problem next time?
I usually start out by saying something positive, and there is always something positive, about the picture, and then pick out something that I think could be improved. If I can, I explain what they could do to fix it or what to do next time so the problem won't happen again.
And a few rules for people asking for a critique:
1. Include pertinent information: camera and lens used, camera settings, time of day, perhaps what you were trying to achieve.
2. Asking a specific question, such as "How can I improve the lighting?" and explaining what lighting you used will get you the precise answers you need to improve.
3. Saying "I love this picture! What do you think?" will not get you the help you need to improve.
Hope this is helpful!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
294-366 "I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."
Monday, October 22, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
It is beautiful outside. The leaf colors seem so vibrant this year. I know autumn leaf images are so cliche and overly abundant, but if you are lucky enough to live in an area like I do and they are right outside your door, you simply have to take advantage of it. And when the sunlight hits them, well it's just magic :)