Last night was critique night and three of our club’s qualified judges gave their opinion on club member’s images.
We were allowed three images each to be critiqued but all thirty five images entered took a while to be loaded on the system and in the end there was only time to view two images each.
However, coffee was available whilst images were being loaded on the system. Once loaded it was decided that Chris would put up one image from each member in turn before going down the list for a second round.
Images did not have any titles or the author’s name but the evening was inter active and questions could be asked. The judges after critiquing an image always asked if the author had any comments or questions to help the author.
Although there were two rounds and twenty eight images discussed I have just added the first round of fourteen on the blog to give everybody that entered a chance to see their first image talked about.
The first image to be displayed
Was some shutter doors against a stone wall.
Alan the first judge said images like this are all about texture and lines. Alan could see an area on the shutters which was slightly different from the rest of it and he would look for something quirky in the picture to make it stand out. He suggested something like a couple of fingers appearing from the slats that might just start to tell a story.
The next image to be displayed
was a windmill. Julia our second judge said silhouettes work well in monochrome. The shape of the windmill sails makes this picture but just a piece of the sail is missing at the top which is a shame. There is a bright bit that needs darkening at the bottom right of the image which is leading the eye away from the main subject. Always best to use a wide angle lens when taking this sort of picture.
The next image has two people well composed on the stairway. The windows may be a little too bright but worth checking on the histogram. The guy walking down has an odd pose which often is the case when walking down stairs and Julia suggested to take the shot just as the man has two feet on the ground. The colours are lovely but the windows could be darker. Alan suggested perhaps the guy could be cropped out but Kathy and Julia thought the archway makes the composition. So all subjective lol
The next image a sail boat in the sunset. Alan loved the cloud formation at the top but thought the lighting on the boat was a little lacking and almost silhouette. I think all three judge’s said the foreground of the water could be cropped as the sky was the main thing in the image. Also most peoples eyes were drawn to the red light on the boat and it was suggested that it be toned down a little.
The next image a swan on the river. Julia loved the red vegetation on the far bank and as the bank was split the red nicely leads the eye into the river and what may be beyond it. The foreground was creating a bit of a barrier for the eye to go over before getting the nice serene scene of the graceful swan. It was suggested by Kathy to take out one of the long reeds in the front. Also darken down the red jacket of the guy on the far bridge.
The next image was of a busker, the judges were a bit silent at first but Kathy was a little concerned by the player’s fat hand. Julia and Alan seemed more happy with it and the guy had been using his hands for years. The face was strong but Kathy would remove the tree in the background if possible. Julia pointed out the bag under the arm needed to be toned down.
The next was a heron taken close in. Alan would have liked the background to be less prominent as it has straight lines but a lovely picture which fills the frame. Just a little tight at the end of the beak if more space could be added. An image done well and nice and sharp a cracking shot and loved the feathers said Kathy.
Next was a colourful cross legged statue in a shopping centre in Fuerteventura . An interesting context but does it have an artist impact said Alan. Perhaps better taken lower down to get more of the sky said Julia. Like the window shutters earlier needs a object or intervention to make it your own. May also have needed to lighten the face a little with a flash or torch.
The next a landscape scene, lovely clouds said Julia with snow in the foreground but the background under the clouds was a little dull. The early evening light was probably not doing any favours. The eye is struggling to rest somewhere said Kathy. Also there is a band of trees to get the eyes over into the scene said Julia.
The next image a man checking his watch. This is telling a story as to why he is looking at his watch said Alan. A nicely created portrait with the background out of focus. We can’t see the eyes but that does not matter. Julia pointed out the hand with the watch needed to be darkened down a bit.
The next was a flower, the judges were not sure what the flower was but the subject was strong and with the minimal colours of red, yellow and green worked well. Kathy said the flower on the right was going out of focus so made the central flower the prime subject. Certain botany rules on photograph were discussed and it would pass in normal competitions but up against other flowers in Natural History competitions it would not pass their rules. Alan said he thought this was taken in a natural environment as in a studio setting the secondary flower would not be there and a twig running across the bottom of the picture would have been removed. The author told us it was an Africa flame violet.
The next picture was a swimming pool reflection but had the judges completely confused as to how the shot was taken as nothing added up. Alan thought perhaps a glass table as the angles were not right. The top part of the picture was strong and loved the reflections in the sea and Alan thanked the author for putting it in. Julia said the flag pole was at odds. The author told us it was an infinity swimming pool which I had worked out so perhaps I had looked at too many holiday brochures these last few years lol.
The next image had the judge’s wowing. Julia loved the colours and said the animal had just fed. Just a marginal cropped off of the top to make a perfect image. The lighting is nothing like we get in the UK but perhaps the author is going to tell us it was taken in Whipsnade lol. Just brighten the eyes a little, said Kathy, but I am struggling to find anything wrong with this one. Just an odd stick out of place on the right, said Chris.
The last image was of London, the Thames at night. Taken with a long exposure, said Kathy, the red dome lights on the left need to be toned down. Perhaps look at cropping the bright building on the right which draws ones eyes to the side of the image. Also a crop along the bottom of the water to bring the strong image nearer with its lovely detail
We then had coffee before starting a second round of images but hopefully this has given you a good insight of the evening and thank you to our judges Kathy, Julia and Alan for giving their time to make various points to improve our images.
Next week is
How to shoot….
Tuesday March 5, 2019 from 20:15 to 22:15
An evening split into two sessions where we will focus on two categories of photography and take you through some key techniques and tips, taking you from taking the shot to processing the images for optimal results. The two subject areas will be confirmed nearer the time but this will be a trial evening and if successful, we will repeat in the future for other genres.