View Full Version : B&W Sunset

08-21-2013, 06:40 PM
Hi all,

First time sharing a photo and would like to know what you think.
Feel free to critique and give suggestions. I will gladly accept them.

I was trying to take advantage of the sunset at the beach to photograph my wife when I remembered trying some silhouettes. The "model" is a friend who was also enjoying the sunset and didn't even notice I took this.
This particular photo was taken in color, but I think it works better like this (actually the original has very little color anyway).

B&W Sunset | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/97350961@N08/9566954584)


Thanks in advance.


08-21-2013, 07:48 PM
First off, welcome to the forum.

As for my critique:

You call this sunset, but it looks like you are a couple hours away from the actual sunset considering how high the sun is in the sky. The composition is very nice. What sits odd with me is how much you burned the sand. It is not adding up with the amount sun is still left.
Over all, I like the image, great sharpness on the silhouette and very nice composition. Just the lighting in the foreground (or lack of it) seems too forced.

08-22-2013, 01:23 AM
Welcome to the forum Nunopcampos, glad you joined!

As for critique, I like the overall composition, very pleasing to the eye.
Critique-wise, For me, and it's always a matter of opinion :) the story of the image (hang around a bit and you'll find I talk about this a lot, lol) is that you caught a photographer photographing in the late afternoon. Our eye hangs on the photographer because the silhouette is nice and sharp. That said, I think my eye would prefer to see the scene in its natural colour.
Now had the waves been dramatic or had the model taken on a more dramatic gesture like get down on one knee to shoot, then his own body would have created a more interesting form and colour detracts from that. "Colour is the enemy of form" is a phrase attributed to Picasso and then Jay Maisel, a famous NYC shooter. If you are up for it, I think it would be cool if you posted the colour version.

08-22-2013, 05:23 AM
First of all, thank you very much.
It's great to have constructive feedback.

Regarding calling it sunset, I guess you are right, maybe late afternoon was more accurate. It took about an hour for the sun to disappear on the horizon after that shot, if I remember correctly.
Regarding the color photo, as I was trying to do a silhouette, the difference from black and white isn't much. I'll upload it anyway (directly exported from raw to jpeg with no changes) and please feel free to give some pointers on how to improve these kind of photos. Specifically, how could I have taken this picture so that the colors were a bit more visible? I guess here is also where some of my inexperience shows :)

Also, I think I understand what you mean about the history of the image, but haven't quite reached the 10000 mark that Henri Cartier-Bresson was talking about for that to came natural to me :)


Again, thank you for your valuable input.


08-22-2013, 08:41 AM
Glad you are finding the comments helpful. Welcome again.

I like the colour version better. For me it makes more sense that if the shot is about a photographer photographing a sunset, that the environment be an important part of the story. In this version, the environment gets better 'weight' tonally; we can see it much better here. True there isn't much colour, but the warmth/sun can be felt better in this monochromatic-like image. There is a better connection between environment and photographer and thus the story is clearer for me. The BW version is a bit too dark for me as well whereas in this version some subtle tones have opened up in the foreground sand. Hope that may help.

Be curious to know how long you have been shooting and what camera body you are using.

08-22-2013, 09:30 AM

Thanks again for your input. Much appreciated.

I've always liked photography and had a Canon Powershot SX100 IS that I bought a few years ago but never went further than casual shooting.

Recently, a friend of mine (the "model" in the photo) started learning about photography with his father's Nikon D5000 and I started enjoying to experiment with it and the level of control you can have with a DSLR.
Finally, on the 28th of march (this year), my wife and a group of relatives gave me a Nikon D3200 with the AF-S DX 18-105mm/3.5-5.6 G lens for my birthday. That made me want to learn more and improve as a amateur photographer.

Meanwhile my father also found an old camera of his that he gave to me: a Minolta Hi-Matic 9 (it has a fixed 45mm f1.7 lens). Seems to be in good shape, so I cleaned it a bit, got a B&W film and I'm also playing around with it. Let's see what will come out of it.