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Critique Requests

Hi everyone! I really like this photo. I wonder if anyone has advice as to how it could be better. I took it at dusk, without flash. I like the sense of blue light but I'm wondering if there's something I could have done to make it more appealing?

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Added by Trish
on May 19, 2012.
 

Comments

  • Russ K.

    It all depends on each individual's definition of "more appealing". It's useful to think about what "more appealing" means to you - after all, it's your picture. What attracted you to make this picture? Was it the bright flowers? Was it the bright lights in the building? Was it the dusky sky? Could it be the splash of light on the sidewalk? Was it the aroma and touch of a cool spring night in Vancouver? Getting at and expressing motivations is a good first step at defining "more appealing". cheers, Russ

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  • Trish

    Thanks Russ. You've given me a lot to think about. I do like the elements you've pointed out and now that I break it down, these are the motivations. The flowers against the building, the lighting, the sky, the feeling. I like the colour and the saturation. In terms of composition, I've been looking at cropping it at the bottom, but it would lose the light on the sidewalk (which I like). My eye goes to the imperfection in the flower bush (the bare spot), so perhaps adding more flowers if I were inclined to modify it. I like the angle. I tested other angles that didn't do it for me but one thing I didn't do was take a wider view. Perhaps it could have been approached with other elements that would help to showcase and draw into the elements I like rather than framing so tightly. In terms of lighting: I didn't try a flash because it really was the light that first drew me in with the deep colours and the peek of the sky giving that dusky feeling. Maybe if I were to do it again, I might step back and view it with a wider angle to see what else I could add in that would showcase the flowers, the building, the light and the sky. Any other comments that might help? Thanks!!!

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  • Russ K.

    Good call to go without the flash - if your intent was to capture the ambient light, the flash would have destroyed that. You mention "the feeling" in your motivations list - what feeling? The more precision you can give in words, the easier it becomes to identify the actual components that give rise to "the feeling". In the case of "the bare spot", I wonder if it might have been possible to make use of the "the bare spot" in some way - like show the splash of colour on the sidewalk through it? It's just something I like to do: make use of imperfections in things - turn bugs into features. I am also a big fan of context in pictures, and this picture has plenty of context - but experimenting with an even wider view is always a good experiment. Given all you've said, the one element I would question is: the green-ish leaves in the lower right corner. They don't seem to fit - and the glimmer of blue sky could be a little bigger, in return. You could have tilted up very slighty, and twisted the frame slightly to reduce that "leaning back" look of the building, which would have also reduced the amount of the greenish leaves, expanded the sky and kept the sidewalk. cheers, Russ

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  • Trish

    Thanks ever so much for your thoughtful response Russ. I see what you mean. Very good learning! :) Have a fantastic day!!!!

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  • Paul D.

    I like it a lot but agree with Russ. Before I read his comments I was finding myself bothered by the angle of the buildings.

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  • Peter K.

    I believe the noise level could be reduced if you would have use a tripod and took a longer time exposure and lower ISO setting. (provide it was not windy)

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  • Paul D.

    and maybe bring the luminance on the reds up a bit to brighten the flowers?

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  • Trish

    Thank you!!!

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  • Wendy

    The other comments are amazing but most about widening the shot. I've given thought to the varying textures, soft petals, hard cement, wood, even the lighting in both the area and the light in the windows, including a blue light up high from a window. If you were to crop the photograph vertically on both sides, I just used paper towels over the photograph and moved the right side to eliminate the two lower right windows. On the left side, I moved the border to eliminate the first top window with all the frames of light. It seems that reduction of size puts more focus on the flowers which are almost back lit. It also reduced all the volume visually of different textures and reduces it to a more dramatic level; that are varying and really interesting. I'd love to see a cropped version and then enlarged a bit more too. Even the longitudinal shape would counter balance the roundness of the petals of the flowers. This way even the colour contrasts would be more dramatic. Maybe the less is more applies to my thoughts.

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