Critique-john-smith MIKE EDIT

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Personal Photo Critique Prepared For: Fred Bloggs Date: 20-02-16 By: Melissa Fox at PhotographyCourses.Biz

Image 1:

Nice  leading  lines    

Place  the  cup  on  the  left  upper   third  to  make  it  more  pleasing.  


Blue-­‐ish  color  cast  





1: Overall Impression: When I first saw this image, I felt I want to have my morning coffe, My eyes lead immediately towards the cup. 2: Artistic Points:I like how you lowered your angle to bring up that leading line from the ground/table. Great use of depth of the field making the background and coffee bag blurry, that made the image interesting. Reflection: I like how the reflection of the cup is sneaking out of the floor/table. Cropping: If you had cropped the image to place the cup on the lower third of the frame this might be more pleasing. 3 Technical Aspects: Adding more contrast on this image either in post production or the camera settings itself may add more details to it and make it more ‘punchy’. 4 Lighting: I love the ambient light that is used on this image, not harsh but it still gives a soft highlight, shadows around the cup and the coffee bag all the way to the floor/table. Personally, I would prefer to have the white balance warmer or color corrected instead of the blue-ish cast. Coffee supposed to make you feel warm and cozy. Maybe you made it blue because that’s how you like it and that’s OK if it was intentional. 5 Composition: The composition is good. However, if you just tilted the camera ever so slightly higher and placed the cup on the upper third of the frame, this will also make the coffee and coffee bag more dominant and have more emphasis. If you had moved a bit to the left to lose that white thick strip on the right side of the frame which distracts from the image, it would give the entire frame more space. The word ‘Italian’ is slightly cropped and would be better either in or out of the frame. 6: Use of focal length / lens choice: I would say good choice of focal length for the subject. It doesn’t distort the cup. 7: Sharpness / depth of field: Watch out on this one. If you have the widest aperture it can make some parts of the main subject soft, therefore unfocused and that’s what happened on this image. Choose the right focusing mode, and always check your liveview to check sharpness. Using a slightly smaller aperture for a little more depth of field would have helped. 8: Exposure: The image is slightly over exposed in the highlights. This might be improved in post, but under exposing it a little bit will give more details on the white cup. You can always check your camera’s light meter for a starting point and adjust accordingly. 9 The good points and why they work: Good job on shooting this on a the low angle, really give me that great perspective because the leading lines take me directly to the subject. Well done for getting them absolutely straight. 10: Areas for improvement: Composition: Placing the cup slightly higher (or lower) would have made the image more pleasing. In this case a basic “rule of thirds” might have helped. Once you perfect this, you can start to break the rules and be more creative. Focus and Sharpness: Read your manual on how to leverage all the focusing modes so you know which one is best for each situation, combine this with the right aperture think on how you want the depth of the field/ shallower blurry background to emphasize the subject.



Suggested tutorials to help you: Where to focus: Auto focus modes:

Rule of Thirds:

Image 2:

Nice  composition  –  ROWS.  

And  good  job  on   perspective      

Main  subject,  but  not  pin   sharp.  

Nice  foreground,made  it  intimate,   but  too  m uch  can  distract  

1: Overall Impression: When I first looked at this image, I felt the closeness to the subject, Great job on putting the ball as a foreground 2: Artistic Points: I like how you lowered yourself to look along the balls. It’s a different point of view and therefore unusual and eye catching. Well done on using depth of field to focus on one ball, this also gave artistic effect. 3 Technical Aspects: I like the presence of the foreground but I think it gets too much on the right of the frame to the point it no longer supports the main subject, but bordering on distracting from it.   3  


4 Lighting: The lighting works using indoor ambient light. Though it can be improved by using artificial light, and lit it up on the side to bring more shadows and highlights. Slight backlight would help make the balls more round. 5 Composition: Using of rows as a composition really works and brings out the strength of the depth of the field and gives a viewers a pleasing experience looking at the image. 6: Use of focal length / lens choice: 50mm worked well with this image to compress the balls and give you a shallow depth of field so the viewer knows where to look. 7: Sharpness / depth of field: Well done on using wide aperture to achieve the shallow depth of the field, careful on focusing though for on my screen the middle white ball is not sharp enough. 8: Exposure: The image can be more flattering if it’s a bit brighter, on my screen it’s a bit under exposed. 9 The good points and why they work: The composition works pretty well, Rows gave viewer a good journey for the eyes. Perspective – low perspective always is interesting because it’s different. 10: Areas for improvement: Focus - You could have double checked the focusing on your camera, and double check the main subject in the LCD to see if it’s sharp enough. Exposure: You could have check the light meter on your camera and take one or two shots on different exposures and see which one works better. Suggested tutorials to help you: Where to focus: Auto focus modes:

Exposure: There are several films, which will help you learn how to adjust your exposure according the shooting mode you are using. And explain why the camera’s light meter can sometimes get it wrong. Please visit and check the ‘Exposure’ box in the Topics section.



Image 3: You  could  place  something   here  and  focus  on  the  pen  so   it’ll  be  blurry.  

Align  level  and  horizontally   with  the  camera.  

Focus  on  the  tip  part  of  the   pen.  

Overall Impression: When I first saw this picture I felt the context on it, a story of someone trying to write something in a coffee shop. 2: Artistic Points: I like that you tried to put three elements in one frame, notebook, pen and coffee cup to create an interesting story. 3 Technical Aspects: The image has blue-ish cast on it but this white balance can be easily fix on the post. 4 Lighting: I love the lighting on this image, It brings out the highlights and shadow on the pen that falls down to the notebook. 5 Composition: The composition could have work pretty well if you put the cup of coffee someone on the background not on the site, and focus on the tip of the pen, lower yourself and move backward a little bit to frame the entire cup with the pen and paper. 6: Use of focal length / lens choice: 50mm works well on this image if only the composition is well executed to bring out the ability of the focal range. 7: Sharpness / depth of field: If only you used a smaller aperture to give more depth of the field to make the pen sharper, since the pen is placed diagonally and have to fit inside the focal plane from edge to edge, if the point of focus is on the tip of the pen, then I could say using a wide aperture will work as well, but certainly it’s slightly unfocused reason for the pen (subject to be blurred). Also will help as a practice to use a tripod and play manually with the focusing ring, find the sweet spot and   5  


when your eyes map out the look of which is sharp or not it will be easier for you to get the sharp spot. 8: Exposure : For me it’s under exposed but it works, for it creates drama on this image. 9 The good points and why they work: I love the lighting on this image, it brings out the subject which is the pen and paper, the light source is on the left side and falls sideways to the subject creating this 2 dimensional image and not flat. 10: Areas for improvement: Think this could have improve if you put more background and recomposing the image, by putting the cup at the background somewhere on the right side of the notebook, move backwards and align the notebook to have a level horizontal and focus on the tip of the pen.

Suggested tutorials to help you: Food photography: I know you’re not shooting food but many of the techniques are applicable. Product photography: Where to focus:

Conclusion: In general your strengths are a mix of composition, light and being artistic. Areas for improvement are focusing and sharpness. Please watch and practise the tutorials I suggested because I’m sure they will help you. Practice is the only way to become good at something, and one thing is certain your passion for photography is present, and that itself your strength for everything will follow.

Melissa Fox Visit: PhotographyCourses.Biz