Photo Feedback

The original image as presented for feedback.

 

Our Anonymous Photographer believes his photo tells a story – and it certainly does. The idea and concept of juxtaposing the diners with the pots of soup behind is a great one and certainly tells the viewer what it’s all about. However, we’re not quite so sure about the framing. The fact that the two diners are so severely cropped at the bottom, while there’s still room at the top and to the sides of the pots, seems a little out of balance and perhaps unintended? A wider angle at the time of capture could have solved this, but given this is what we have, could a tighter crop make the severe framing at the bottom seem intentional?

 

 

As the diners aren’t centred with the pots, the question is do you crop tightly on the diners and have the pots off centre, or crop off the pots and have the diners to the side?.

 

 

We have chosen to crop with the diners centred. This leaves a bit of the background on the right which is a little distracting, so lets darken that down, vignette the edges and lighten the faces.

 

 

Shooting under artificial light is always challenging for colour photography, so one thought was to switch to monochrome. This is a personal choice – not everyone loves B&W.

 

 

Having done all this, does the tight framing at the bottom of the frame now look intentional? We’re not quite sure, so maybe an even more severe crop could do the trick? What do you think?

 

 

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.

 

And if you're interested in a photography tour/workshop in the next 12 months, I have trips going to Bhutan, New Zealand, Norway (Polar Bears) and Antarctica. The Silk Road trip for 2019 is booked out. Full details on the Better Photography website!

The original image as presented for feedback.

 

Our Anonymous Photographer has presented a well-composed landscape photograph with the curve of the dirt road leading the eye into the distant hills. All the elements are well positioned, including the post on the left in that it is not too close to the edge of the frame to be a distraction.

However, the overall colour balance seems a little on the warm side and perhaps the tonality is a little muddy too. What about going into Photoshop or Lightroom and using an auto colour adjustment – say Enhance Per Channel Contrast for Photoshop? This redistributes the tones and colours to produce a better ‘theoretical’ result and very often it works well. What do you think (see next pic).

 

 

My next suggestion is to darken the photo. Although the automatic adjustment has done a good job, Photoshop/Lightroom doesn’t know what the photograph is of, so it is up to us to make a subject decision. I have darkened the road and the sky, leaving the background hills unchanged.

 

 

So, how do we get a little more mood or emotion? Shooting in the middle of the day with bright sunlight like this has produced a flat result. Maybe that’s what the photographer wanted to show, but imagine this same scene with strong side lighting and some shadows. I have given a hint of what I am thinking of using Photoshop (below), but it’s a lot better to return to this location when the light and weather are on your side. Sometimes the best results are achieved just by waiting or revisiting a location and letting nature do its thing!

 

 

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.

 

And if you're interested in a photography tour/workshop in the next 12 months, I have trips going to Bhutan, New Zealand, Norway (Polar Bears) and Antarctica. The Silk Road trip for 2019 is booked out. Full details on the Better Photography website!

The original image as presented for feedback.

 

Our Anonymous Photographer has not been quite as successful as planned with this image. Exposure is dark and dull and the fence post on the right of the image is very distracting. It is neither wholly in the photo, or better still, wholly out! However, the subject matter is interesting and the grass field creates an interesting horizon line that cuts the building off part way up its facade.

 

So, what do we do? Let's look at the compositional elements within the frame first. If this is the desired angle and focal length, then we need to get rid of that fence post and the easiest way would have been to walk a step or two forwards. We'll use Photoshop to see how it might have looked...

 

 

This is much simpler, but we can also make a stronger composition just by cropping out the fence and slightly reposltioning the building within the frame.

 

 

Next, lighten up the foreground and darken down the sky and the photograph is starting to come together a little better.

 

 

There's lots more we could do to add interest to the foreground grass and get the building to stand out a little more strongly, but at least now there is a stronger composition to work with.

 

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.

 

And if you're interested in a photography tour/workshop in the next 12 months, I have trips going to Bhutan, New Zealand, Norway (Polar Bears) and Antarctica. Full details on the Better Photography website!

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