- You know as photographers, I think we're curious animals which is why we're often, well at least I am, sort of peering into windows with my camera to see if there's some photo possibilities there. Hi, I'm Steve Simon, The Passionate Photographer, and welcome to another episode of Photo Critique of the Week. This week we're going to look through windows through the eyes of some photographers. And I think why windows makes such an intriguing subject for us is that the reflections combined with what you're going to see inside the window can create something very unpredictable, yet very interesting.
I think often with reflections people think about a polarizing filter to get rid of them, but I think often those reflections can be very interesting especially when it comes to windows and what we're seeing on the inside and the outside. Like in this image by Steve Attard of the little girl, it looks like it's in a bus. It's kind of dark and contrasty or that's the way he made it. And her expression really sort of fits and the beauty of photographing through windows is there has to be the right combination of light falling on the subject that you're focusing on inside the window, as well as the outside.
In this next image, Anna Blanco got in and photographed someone have their lunch, it looks like. And you can see the storefronts and you can see what the possibilities are that you can order in there, and you can also see a very interesting reflection in the background that gives it a sense of place. My one criticism of this image, and it's something we have to look for, if you move slightly in this image you might be able to have her face clear of the words. I think it's a little bit distracting to have the smoothies kind of on her face.
But what I do like is the shadows on her shirt is really kind of interesting. It almost looks like they're printed on her shirt but we know that they're not. So different times of day, you're going to get different kinds of light inside the window. Often, in my experience, later in the day is a good time because that's when the light tends to illuminate what's inside a little bit easier, and that makes your searching for these kinds of images through windows a little bit better. Jennifer Clark, a similar image, a little girl, rainy day, you get a sense of the surroundings, but I think most important you get a sense of the little girl and how she feels about being in this, what looks like a nice restaurant, but she'd probably rather be out doing something else.
I think that this picture could probably be fine if you were to just crop it so that it was just the little girl and not the rest of the image, and that would be kind of an interesting shot. And you can figure out maybe some people might say that the chair is a little bit distracting, but it's worth a look. We'll just crop it something like that. That can be very successful. But I also think too that perfection is over rated and the chair in front doesn't really bother me, although maybe I'd come up a little bit.
But having that other person there, maybe it's a father figure or a relative, just cut off at the edge of the frame, adds a different element, a little mirror finish. And it just allows the image more room to breathe and allows the viewer, I think, it just feels a little bit easier to digest without being distracting from the main center, which is that little girl. This image by Lisa Osta, I'm not even sure what is going on or why that window is there, but it's a little peek into another world.
You can see the light is even and bright outside, but inside it's a little less so and a little warm. I think again from a breathing standpoint, and I say that in terms of the edges of the frame, I think that I would rather see a little bit more to the right so I can see this window finished and have a little bit more breathing room to look. I think it's just a little bit abrupt to have it cropped like that. This image, really atmospheric. Obviously one of these tourist buses on a rainy night, and I think the star of the image is in here.
And I think maybe it's just being a little bit lost and I think we can make this image as strong as it can be, and it is strong, and I'm going to keep the same aspect ratio and see what that looks like by coming in. And let's see here. Now when you have letters, you always look at the letters, so I'm just going to see, I think there's enough megapixels to avoid that. I'm going to try a crop like this, maybe come down a little bit here. And the method to my madness is this is where I think is the most beautiful and strongest part of the picture.
I find that the light pole there is a little distracting, as is this light sort of begging your attention. So let's see what happens when we pull it up. Wow, I think it's even stronger. Maybe I can bring it up a little bit closer to here and see what that does. And you know this kind of moving around, you want to spend time. An image as strong as this, you definitely want to bring out the strength of it. And I think now the eye goes to this main area here which is this woman and I think her expression really does match the mood and feel of the image.
And I like it a lot more than in its original form. What do you think? All right, speaking of windows, you never know when a window photo will present itself. I fly on planes a lot, but I always have my camera ready. And when this little guy was looking with wonder at the fact that this giant metal object was 30,000 feet in the air, that's the way I look out the window too when I'm in a plane, I think it makes for an interesting shot. Very simple, and I think you understand where it is.
Another rain shot, rain is nice. Looking through a window of an automobile in the comfort of your car, put the windshield wipers down, and see what happens. Water collects, and when they're out of focus they become these little jewels of color. And for me in this composition, the most important element was this figure here. And without it, it would still be, I think, a pretty image. With it, I think it gives it a little extra star, a little extra meaning, a little extra emotional or evocative nature because you wonder about that figure and I think it makes it a little stronger.
And then to end on an inside look of a window, just beautifully backlit, the beautiful scenes, the beautiful flower, just a real beautiful image by Peter Simon. No relation, although I wish it was a Steve Simon. I really like that picture. I think that photographing through windows is something we do on a regular basis if the picture is there. In looking at some of these images here today, it makes me realize that it might be something I might want to go out with direction and look a little closer and see what I can find.
I'm all about coming up with new themes in photography. If you go back in your archive, you may also have some window pictures. Critique them, see if they're successful and maybe why they're not for some of the reasons that we talked here. So thanks for watching and I hope to see you in the next episode of Photo Critique of the Week.
Check back each week to watch as more critiques are added, covering new work from many different genres. This series is designed to help you discover how to improve your work as a photographer. By heightening your awareness through analysis, you can harness the information to enhance your photographic eye.
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