Observe as photography expert Steve Simon analyzes and critiques images, explaining how the photographic choices made impact the outcome of the composition.
- I think sometimes perfection in photography can be overrated. Hi, I'm Steve Simon, The Passionate Photographer and welcome to another edition of Critique of the Week. This week I have these four pictures out and which one I ultimately will select, and why. So you at home can take a look at the images and sort of form your own opinion. Cotton candy I was attracted to and for obvious reasons. The color, it just looked interesting in the environment there. You can see in the picture on the top left it's kind of a street scene.
The focus is on the candy itself. But you can see even though these players are out of focus so you get a sense of place and what's going on around. I like this image in terms of the distribution of the chess pieces as I sometimes call the people that are frozen in time in the image. And I think it works. This picture here is high lit against the architecture of place, and I like it for this reason back lit against the sky. This one here, it's a busy street corner.
The cotton candy kind of mimics the crowd here at least in my mind visually. Which is why I chose that one. And then this fourth picture which is, again, probably that same street corner if I can recall just from a slightly different angle. What's different about this is this little heart balloon which I really like, and it's become kind of an important element in the picture. So I think, for me, the weak link of these four, if I had to choose one I think would be this one.
Just because the light is not all that fantastic here in the dark shadows. I think it's maybe the least interesting of the bunch. This one here I like just because of what's going on on the street. I love the out of focus bouquet, as you know when I show some of my work often I'm using selective focus so that your eye goes to the most focused area of the screen. Yet even the out of focus area still contribute to the environment and storytelling of the photograph.
And then we have this image here. And I think that this one is probably photographically maybe the best image in terms of the perfection, if you will. I think maybe I would crop a little bit on the right here again, if I were not to keep this same aspect ratio adjust from overall balance I would maybe crop it maybe something like this. And then pull and now you can see it by eliminating the area just over here it makes, I think, a positive difference on the final composition.
And then lastly, there's this one. Now this one is maybe more imperfect than the other one. In the sense that, this pull is a little bothering me. This pull in the foreground here is on kind of an angle. And it's there. But what I like about this image is this little heart balloon there. You've got the person who's sort of focused about to sort of walk across the street hoping for customers. And I think I could sense that a little bit by looking at this picture. You have the beautiful cotton candy that's sort of front and center in these plastic bags.
Nicely lit compared to some of the other images. And this little little extra is this heart which I think is a very sort of strong pull in the picture. And with the symbol of the heart represents, I think is very positive in this particular image. So for those reasons I think maybe this would be my my final selection to pick the strongest image. But again, that said this picture here, I think is probably the most perfect in the sense there's nothing really distracting.
I do like the way the bunch of bags here is also kind of mimicked by a bunch of people. The environment is there, it's a little less central. It's really about the candy. But this was the reason I think that when you're doing this kind of photography street photography, perfection can be overrated. If something's too perfect it may not even look real. And by having a little bit off creates a little bit off creates a bit of tension that really ultimately adds to the strength of the image. Well that's it for this week.
I hope that you'll join me next week for a new edition of Photo Critique od 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.