Photo Feedback

The original image as presented for feedback.

 

Our Anonymous Photographer sent this image to us some time ago and he or she may now be possibly thinking exactly the same way as I do. Living with an image and letting a little time pass allows us to better observe and edit our own work.

 

The composition is strong, colour palette pleasing, subject matter quiet and restful. It's an excellent image already, so my suggestions are only subtle. And the first suggestion is to make the foreground a little darker than the sky because, to my eye, this gives the image more of a base, more solidity.

 

 

Contrast can also be used to bring the foreground forward and send the sky back a little, so the bottom of the image has had a curves adjustment layer applied and the contrast increased slightly. Compare the image below to the first image at the top and compare. Is this to your liking?

 

 

Given the water in the centre of image is so well framed by the rocks and the sun, another adjustment layer has lightened this area of water a tad more, emphasising what I suspect the photographer found appealing. I hope the eye goes there more immediately now.

 

 

So far, all the changes have been very subtle compared to the original, and so are the final adjustments - darkening the sky right at the top, and vignetting the bottom of the image just a little too.

 

 

Sometimes our computer monitors are not good enough to show subtle changes like these and so if this is your challenge, rather than purchasing a new lens, think about buying a better monitor (I use and recommend EIZO). It will make a world of difference to your enjoyment of image editing.

 

Our e-book on How To Win Photo Competitions isn't just for making better competition entries, it's full of great advice on improving all your photos - you can find it here.

 

The original image as presented for feedback.

 

Our Anonymous Photographer will be very disappointed with this feedback. I wouldn't change anything. Okay, so I'd probably do a few things differently, but only because I could. How many photographers does it take to change an electric light bulb? Fifty, because they'd all do it differently. Don't understand this joke? Me neither!

 

Black and white would be interesting, but the colours in this photo of a tea factory in Sri Lanka work really well. Let's analyse what the photographer has done right, beginning with the colour. Note how the red crates on the ground and the red pipes and frames lead the eye around the photograph, with the oranges and greens acting as supporting colours. Yes, it is colourful, but the palette is quite restricted. Many colour photos work best when the number of different hues is limited.

 

 

Look at how the photographer has framed the image. It has been very carefully stage managed. Everything is vertical, there's similar spacing top and bottom and even just the right amount of space on the left hand side. It all sits together very well within the frame.

 

 

Next, look at the repetition of shapes. I can count over 50 square/rectangles in this frame, and that's in addition to the tiles on the ground. It is a delightful exercise in geometry. But would it be so successful without one more element?

 

 

The diagonal thingymagig or conveyor belt is what holds the composition together. It adds a sense of movement to an otherwise stilted and ordered environment. I think this is a great exercise in seeing.

 

Our e-book on How To Win Photo Competitions isn't just for making better competition entries, it's full of great advice on improving all your photos - you can find it here.

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