View Full Version : Actual Critique this Time lol

04-23-2008, 11:09 AM
Ok I shot this photo in the black and white mode on my Camera, did some post processing in light room. Had a vision of what I wanted. I read an article the other day to get you to pay more attention to what your shooting. I took my camera out and only allowed my self for the outing to take 36 pics, no more. I found I worked harder to find the right angles and spent more time evaluating shots. If you try this out no looking at preview either. I also left my camera in the B&W mode for the time I was doing this, just my preference. Anyway here is the photo I want critiqued. I also added a link to a larger version. I am using this photo out of the lot for a reason, so interested in what feedback I get here.

Larger Version (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2116/2436079768_ec8f3717d7_b.jpg)


04-23-2008, 12:34 PM
Looks nice too me.... :)

I like the sky texture..... some shadows maybe lost on the left side...

I'm with you on the shooting black in white thru your cam.... I can't shoot B&W any other way... most people say to shoot always in colour and convert to B&W so you have more to play with... this is logical but doesn't seem to jive with the romance of shooting B&W in the moment...

question: was the shot underexposed to begin with?

04-23-2008, 12:43 PM
wow - i think its beautiful...
very nice sky, love the lighting on the columns/posts of the building.
if there were some way of making the tree stand out a little more, maybe the outline, with keeping the darkness, thats the only thing i can think of! but as a newbie, i have no idea if its possible and if so, how to do it...

i read somewhere that a photographer that has a future will shoot a gazillion pics, all slightly different, of the same scene/item, and end up with only a couple really good shots. its the 'not being scared' part that helps you take chances and learn and experiment. (this is pretty much exactly how i shoot)
i do, however, also agree with your idea of limiting shots, and tweaking things to make it 'just right'. certainly worth trying!

04-23-2008, 01:00 PM
No it wasn't underexposed, the original still isn't. Why I shoot in RAW it gives so many options when I work with a photo. I underexposed it and added some vignetting. The print lost none of the shadows and the original size you get more clarity and less shadow loss. I saw the cloud coming down from the north west and I stood and waited for 5 minutes hoping it would end up somewhere I would like find interesting, but was happy it ended up where it did and since I was limiting my self just to 36 photos for the day I couldn't keep snapping and then pick the best, had one chance at it and it was the beginning of the day so did not want to use up my 36 exposures to early.

PS: I agree with the tree comment, tried it a few times and may at some point try again.

Keep editing this post lol, I usually shoot a ton of photos and then pick the best out but I found I was rushing all my shots, I am trying learn to see the picture before it happens. Out of the 36 shots I think I hit the target on around 5 of them and that is a much higher good/poor ratio than I usually get. That of course is just my take on my photos.

04-23-2008, 01:56 PM
Overall I really like this shot! It is dramatic and eye catching.

For me, the tree is perfect in the lighting it is in. The focus is the building IMO.

The main problem for me and this is ALWAYS a problem for me (in my own shots and critiquing others) is the brightess of extraneous elements.

In this case, it's the white cloud. My eye immediately goes there and it's not the focus of the shot. The dramatic sky is GREAT, it's just that white cloud. Personally I'd tone it way down through burning or cloning. I might also lighten the lower part of the facade of the building just a touch. Aside from that the building is 'leaning' a bit to the right and I'd also fix that in PS.

Hope that helps,


04-23-2008, 02:56 PM
Well so much for going out in the Sun, get all ready get outside and it starts to rain and hail. Well back to the topic at hand, thanks Marco for the input. I may play with it a bit more but part of the reason I wanted input, I emailed the Church with a copy of the photo and offered it to them and they are interested in it. I am meeting with the Priest with a printed copy in the morning and he said if the Print looked as good as the online copy they would love a copy to hang in the Church reception area. If they agree to hang it, I think that would be very cool. So I will tweak it a bit from the input and print a final copy later so it has overnight to dry, just need to go get something to transport it in and keeps it flat. It is a donation so I would not get any money for it, but I don't care, not sure what came over me to be so bold to email them but I did lol.

04-23-2008, 03:02 PM
ive taken a closer look at the larger version now, and actually think the larger trees outline looks really good. it looks a little clearer, lighter leaves make it stand out more. the smaller tree in the right-hand bottom area being darker makes me find it after my eye starts to wander off the building & sky, so its quite a nice touch. :) seeing it larger, i think id also do a tiny crop on the bottom, after you adjust the tilt (as marko mentioned), to remove that structure/clutter at the very bottom, right-hand side. and possibly clone out that 'P' sign, so its not dated. thats a really great job, if this is the single shot you took of the building! i cant imagine not taking 40+... :p great subject & outcome!

04-23-2008, 03:04 PM
and awesome job talking to the church! what a great idea - you should include a business card of some sorts - maybe a little spot with your name and date on the frame... way to go! :D

04-26-2008, 07:55 PM
There is too obviously a loss of detail toward the bottom of the image. A little more exposure/brightening is necessary.


04-27-2008, 05:35 AM
There is too obviously a loss of detail toward the bottom of the image. A little more exposure/brightening is necessary.


Thanks for the comment but I found when I did the actual 13"x19" print the minute details were amazingly clear and the fade between the tones was stunning. I found when I compress the image for online viewing much of the details I see in the actual image is lost for web viewing due to compression and viewing size when the detail is minor over a larger viewing area it does not always show well. Thanks for all the input.

04-27-2008, 07:37 PM
OK, why a 13" X 19" print, which does not seem to jive with the basic aspect ratio? Why not even 16" X 9" or 32" X 18" or 12" X 8" or 24" X 16" which fits the aspect ratios that I and others can use without cropping?


04-28-2008, 07:54 AM
I can print up to 13" in length or width and up to 44" the other way. After it was done the actual photo was 12X18 on a 13x19 paper leaving a 1/4 inch all around to allow for matting and still leave a 1/4 border showing and it was how I thought it would look best. What's wrong with my aspect ratio? Am I missing something here? That you and others can use without cropping? It was what worked if you and others decide your photos would be a different aspect/ratio well it would be your choice and depending on the photo, might be the correct one. I made the one I did for how I thought this photo would look best displayed. It is all about choice, I make the ones I do based on the photo and what I like and hopefully others find appealing when it is all said and done. The framer and I did some tests on how it would look with or without a border and we both thought it was best to leave the border in on this one with the frame we decided to go with, if not would have been easily enough trimmed off.

04-29-2008, 10:36 AM
There does seem to be a new dynamic going on when it comes to printing because these days many advanced amateurs and pros are printing with prosumer or pro printers. Those printers do not necessarily match the conventional paper sizes (8x10, 11x14, 16x20 etc) that traditional photographers used in the darkroom before digital took over.

That plus that it's so easy to make an image any size you want gives photographers the easy leeway to do whatever they want.

If you are selling prints for a living though - it probably makes the most sense to print them so that they fit into standard sized frames.