Photos and Critiques

From an on-line photography class by Carol Leigh

Developing Your Creative Edge #2

Assignment # 4: S - Curves

From:  caroleigh@c...
Date:  Thu Nov 18, 2004  9:19 am
Subject:  Critique: Rich Baker (S-Curves: 3 photos)

Oregon Beach Walk - Hmmm, I seem to recall seeing this photo in another class depicting the concept of "emptiness." You clever guy -- making a photo do double duty! I liked the photo then and I like it now -- perfect S-curve. Now I'm seeing the photo in a different light. I don't remember what I said about this photo before, but you know what I'm thinking now? I'm thinking that if you cloned out the two people on the left and just had the one person walking there in the lower right, that the photo would have more impact. What do you think? Right now the three people don't seem to be related to one another -- and I'm not sure who to look at. But if you got rid of the guy on the left, the little kid, and left the one person there in the water, the photo would be cleaner, simpler, and you'd notice the S-curve more.

Chaff Cutter - Wonderful curves, wonderful light, wonderful S-curve. Clean, simple, abstract image. I like how you placed the wheel and I even like the nail or whatever that thing is that leads our eye down and out of the frame off to the lower right. Nicely done.

Lupine Curve - Beautiful. Just beautiful. And I like the shallow depth of field so that the foreground lupine is the one we really notice the most. The light is exquisite. Photographing this on a sunny day would have (probably) resulted in darker shadows, more glare, and the colors would not have been as saturated.

As an aside: In an intimate landscape such as this, any time we have dark shadows and/or glare, those are places in our photos where color will NOT come through, thus reducing the colorful impact of a photo. (You rarely see colors in shadows; you rarely see color in glaring hot spots.) So, as we saw when we were photographing fall color . . . Bright sunshine? Go for the big picture. Overcast skies? Go for the intimate landscape.
Getting back to your photograph. What if you were to have chosen a smaller f/stop? A smaller f/stop, or aperture, will give you much more in focus from front to back. The photo may have been equally as impactful, since we'd be seeing sharply focused lupines from front to maybe all the way back to the trees. That could have been dramatic, too. But I like this shot and think you did a wonderful job with it. Kudos.

Carol Leigh


Oregon Beach Walk

Chaff Cutter

Lupine Curve


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