Author Topic: Critique thread?  (Read 9015 times)

  • Offline zpyder

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Critique thread?
on: July 07, 2013, 23:18:19 PM
How about a thread (this one?) where we can post images and get some constructive critcism going. I know we do that on some photos in other threads, but generally comments are along the lines of "nice shot" etc. If at least something is "put out there" to get torn to shreds, there's no chance of hurt feelings. I'm happy to start the ball rolling with the below shot:


Oakers Doline by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

I think I missed an opportunity here. Yesterday I revisited a site I surveyed in 2010. I've gone back each year since. Didn't get to the site till 6-6.30pm so the light wasn't quite "golden hour" but it was close. I used a neutral density filter, but the thing I regret with this shot, is the horizon. *THE* feature is that pond in the lower left, surrounded by sphagnum. I was that focused on getting nicely exposed sky, that I've ended up with a shot that is 1/3 empty blue nothing. I think I'd have been better off recomposing so that the tops of the trees were about halfway up the available sky perhaps? Having said that, there wasn't much of interest in the foreground.

I think the ideal would have been to swap to my 10-20mm lens, and get closer, with the skyline as mentioned above, but this way I'd have more of the interesting pond/sphagnum in the shot, rather than in the distance?

Re: Critique thread?
Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 23:38:19 PM
Good idea, where its great to hear when people like a shot its sometimes better to hear why people dont like a shot something that doesnt happen on flickr really.  Last time I postes criticism of a shot I think they deleted me as a contact, probably just a coincidence though but thanks mrt!

I'm on my phone so its a bit awkward to see the photo and type so I'll comment on it tommorrow.


Re: Critique thread?
Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 12:05:28 PM
an excellent idea, and congrats on being the brave one to kick it off! Looking at other people's shots critically is actually a great way to learn about what makes a good photo. It sounds silly but you actually end up learning about what YOU like in a shot, and that helps your own photography. Everyone wins.

I can see why you wanted to photograph this scene, I've got plenty of shots of similarly beautiful places in real life which turned into photos which I was disapointed with.

For me, this shot lacks an obvious subject, my eye roves around looking at everything and nothing and doesn't really settle on anything.

I think you are right, swapping to the wide angle and getting in closer to the pond might well have resulted in a more interesting composition.

Re: Critique thread?
Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 12:11:40 PM
Forgive my uneducated eyes, but that's just a boggy field. :/ what pond? :)

Re: Critique thread?
Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 12:59:43 PM
Forgive my uneducated eyes, but that's just a boggy field. :/ what pond? :)

this illustrates my problem with the current composition perfectly :)

(left of centre, behind the reeds)

  • Offline bear

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Re: Critique thread?
Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 13:34:06 PM
Good idea, well I could also go with more sky to get the puddle closer (a speck of cloud would be good) or getting more of both, crop to get it more pleasing and have the possibility to test out a good crop position.

Re: Critique thread?
Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 20:39:58 PM
Having seen it on a big screen you've managed to get the exposure nicely balanced with the ND Grads but it lacks any real foreground interest and you've got the horizon right in the middle of the shot, because there isn't any clouds in the sky to make it interesting there's no point including it. 

I'd have said you'd have been better sticking the 10-20 on and getting right up close to a patch of long grass on the left of the pond (not the patch in the middle looks to be some on the left hand edge of the pond) then shooting portrait you'd get the grass as the foreground interest, the pond itself would be the middle ground leading you on to the trees in the background and just a small bit of sky so as not to chop the top of the trees off.  The only thing after that is taking it an two or three hours later when the sun is setting, might give it a nice orangey colour.

Course there's no chance I'd actually do that myself if I was there!

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: Critique thread?
Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 07:50:07 AM
Thanks guys. You're all pretty much seeing the things I see that are wrong.

Sadly the option of getting wider and closer would have been tricky, even where I was standing, if you jumped, the ground wobbled/bounced (We were standing on a mat of sphagnum). As you get closer to the doline, the sphagnum depth and density gets less and less, increasing the chance of falling through and into the water which is several metres deep. A few years ago, when I was there on my own surveying the site, I was stupid enough to get right up to the edge of the doline and look in, but not any more!

Also, moving to the left would have been difficult, as the site is marred by a large overhead power line with pylons, which I think would then have been visible.

Hopefully in a few weeks time when I am redundant at work, I will be able to devote more time to photography, and actually get up in the wee hours to get some good sunrises! Will be able to practice positioning my horizons then!

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  • Offline Clock'd 0Ne

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Re: Critique thread?
Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 09:55:59 AM
Maybe you need a small stepladder?

Re: Critique thread?
Reply #9 on: July 09, 2013, 10:18:25 AM
increasing the chance of falling through and into the water which is several metres deep.

:o no shot is worth that! it's fine as it is! :o

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: Critique thread?
Reply #10 on: July 09, 2013, 12:51:51 PM
Maybe you need a small stepladder?

Or a UAV :D

Re: Critique thread?
Reply #11 on: July 09, 2013, 13:45:44 PM
increasing the chance of falling through and into the water which is several metres deep.

:o no shot is worth that! it's fine as it is! :o

Yeah I'd go with that, can't imagine trying to get out of something like that as being very easy, if possible at all.

Re: Critique thread?
Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 06:15:36 AM
Maybe you need a small stepladder?

Or a UAV :D

New toys. Quadcopter camera mount. :)

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2


Re: Critique thread?
Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 12:00:08 PM
I'll play:


  • Offline zpyder

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Re: Critique thread?
Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 09:07:55 AM
With the nice wispy clouds, I wonder if the composition would have been better if you panned up a bit, so the base of the image would be just below the waterline/rocks/algae? To me the sand is less interesting / visually pleasing than the sky, otherwise I like the exposure.

I'm also wondering what it would have been like if you zoomed in a bit so that the composition consisted of the hills in the middle left, with their reflection in the water, and that small rock outcropping in the middle of the picture - I guess if you imagine roughly cropping it so you just had the top left "quarter" of the image or so. I think this might work, as I guess you intended on the rocks in the middle of the image to be the focal point, but I only just noticed them when thinking about cropping it down/zooming, they're maybe a bit "drowned out" by their surroundings?

Where is this place? it's cool.

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