Join Steve Simon for an in-depth discussion in this video Good, better, and best image critique, part of Photo Critique of the Week.
- Good, better, best. Hey, best is what we're always striving for. Hi, I'm Steve Simon, the Passionate Photographer, and welcome to another episode of Photo Critique of the Week, where this week, I have a few examples of the similar scenario, only we're going to see a good picture, something a little better, and then the final one, which was one I'm hoping for, which is the best. So let's take a look. So these first three images is a gentleman working on his car, so I would say good.
Better. And best. And my thinking is, you know, sometimes it makes sense to get in closer, not always. You know, you've heard it said that if your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. That's not necessarily true, of course, but in this instance, I think that, you know, the capture of his expression, it hasn't really changed in any of the images. Obviously, you can see the car in all three images. But really, the one that I consider to be the best is the one that is more focused on the human, the man inside the car.
You still have the car. You don't know exactly why he's looking forlorn like he is. I think in the other two images it's a little more obvious that it's a car situation. But I think often the pictures that don't answer all the questions are more intriguing, and pictures that ask questions. So I think that the one that's closest up is the one that ends up being the stronest one. Good. Better, potentially.
And best. And I think a lot of the time, when we're looking at our take from a shoot, it's a little bit difficult, and I think one of the things we can do is maybe give a little time after the shoot to decide whether or not you made those initial right decisions. But I think, you know, in editing, often it's the instinct that tells me what's going to work. Obviously, the picture of the closeup of the cake is something a little bit different. I think it's more interesting to include the actual person that's carrying the cake.
And you can see that the expression hasn't really changed all that much, but what's different about these two images is you've got a little bit more of the streets and some of the figures, which I do find kind of interesting. But then when we sort of focus in on her face, I do think that the face here is, there's a little bit of a sly smile that's being communicated, and, you know, one of the things that I think you take away from this series is how little subtleties can make a big difference, you know, in the final image.
And it's our job as photographers to really represent ourselves with the strongest work that we make. So we can't get lazy when it comes to editing. We really have to take it seriously, so we absolutely choose the right image. You know, during the course of this program, you may not always agree with me, and that's great. Because two plus two does not always equal four in any kind of creative endeavor. But that's part of the reasoning why I went with that image over the other one.
Otherwise, pretty similar. But, you know, her eyes and her smile are saying a lot, and for that reason, that's the one that I picked. Good. Better. And best. Obviously this young guy is speaking with a coach in the corner, and you know, all three images kind of communicate something a little bit similar. But in this image and this image, you can see the coach's finger is there, and I think that finger is very directed and more of an order, if you will, than in this picture, where his hand is out and he's, you know, reasoning and explaining and coaching.
So I think when you look at these two pictures, this picture, to me, is obviously stronger, so I'm going to eliminate that one. And then look at these two. You know, very similar. I do like the pointing finger, because I think that says something. And then when you come in and really look at the eyes, I like what's happening in this picture, which is why I chose that as the strongest one. But it's a process. Good.
Better. And best. I think I just like this one because you can really see what's involved. Man, after watching these incredible artists, athletes, perform, it's amazing to see, and I think a picture like this shows just how difficult it is, the physicality of it all, to show kind of what's involved. And I think, too, that just from a compositional standpoint, the focus on the legs is a little bit clearer, I think.
So I do like the movement in this one here on the right, but ultimately, I think this is the one that I would represent from this particular shoot. Good. Better. And best. I just thought it was more interesting to have some foreground elements, and so I waited for it. I mean, I was shooting a variety of different things. You know, it shows the texture of the wall, her expression hasn't really changed much, but I do think that it's just another layer and it's a younger person, older person, the color is very nice here.
So I just think it's a little bit more interesting, and I'm always trying to find ways to make pictures a little bit stronger if it's possible. Good. Better. And best. And again, very, very subtle differences, but I'll just show you these two and we can dig in a little and look a little bit closer and sort of see the expressions as to why. This one, I just like the fact that her eyes are closed too.
I just thought it makes for a slightly stronger image. Not a dealbreaker, they're really, really close, but for me, this was the one. I just love the hand and the moment and the fact that her eyes are closed, to me, makes it a little bit stronger than when her eyes were open. Good. Better. And best. You know, I think in this final image, you're just right there, and I think as photographers, you're looking for images that you find compelling and interesting to you, and then you want to sort of share them with the world, but you want people to care.
And the fact is, everybody's taking pictures these days, but that's not a problem, because you have a unique vision. And the more you can communicate that, in the strongest way possible, the more people are going to take notice and look at your pictures. I mean, the beauty of still photography is now, it communicates very, very quickly, the whole thousand words idea. And because of that, we all have the opportunity to share strong images. But maybe people aren't going to care so much about this, but this one just sort of takes them in.
So it's something I'm always thinking about when I'm out there shooting. So there you go. We saw a few examples of some images and how the shoot progressed, ultimately culminating with an image that I was happy about, one I could truly call the best of the lot. Thanks for joining me, and I hope to see you next week on another 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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