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.
Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
- [Steve] I think there's a tendency for photographers to shoot from kind of a comfortable place, which makes sense. Standing positions, certain distance from your subject. Hi, I'm Steve Simon, the Passionate Photographer, and welcome to a brand new edition of Photo Critique of the Week. And this week we're going to look at a few photos that have taken a bit of a different vantage point. And as kind of an idea for you to kind of remember to kind of get outside your sort of standard procedure for photography and move in, go down, go up, and move around and try and find a unique angle that offers the viewer a kind of a different view of a similar subject. Which ultimately I think is going to make your picture stronger. So here's an example where this beautiful woman in Havana, I noticed and obviously I'm really close to her, so I took a few shots of her, but then I noticed her beautiful hands and her jewelry and the nails and I thought, that might make a stronger image than just the sort of more standard portrait. So I went in and I focused a little closely. As you can see here from the metadata, I actually gave myself a little more depth of field, because I wanted to make sure that the hands and the nails and the rings were all sharply focused and even at f/7.1, at a 44 millimeter focal length with my 24 to 70 on my Nikon Z mirrorless camera I still was able to kind of blur out the door post behind, so that the viewer's focus is on her beautiful hands and jewelry. And it's just about when you see a subject, your first instinct is to shoot, but then kind of move and try something a little bit different. This is a picture by photographer Alan Swift and obviously in the car and obviously maybe a little bit dangerous, something you don't really want to do, but it did offer kind of a different, kind of an exciting view of the subject. Driving around in these dual convertibles on our workshop. And I think that because of that it made for a very strong photo. And again, don't underestimate the things you know best, the things that are around you, the things you have close access to. Of course, we were photographing outside the cars at the various things that were going on. I had to really very quick with a fast shutter speed to get a sharp image. But this arguably was stronger than anything that he got when sort of focusing outside of the car, because it was an intimate, interesting angle of an interesting moment. In this particular shot by Karen Swift, the photographer decided to photograph this boxer with his reflection basically in the mirror. And I think that made for an interesting photo, you can sort of see the sort of fact that the mirror is kind of all dirty and I don't know what's going on there. But it added the atmosphere of place and relevant I think to the world of a very professional boxer. So it kind of made sense from that perspective and was a different unusual angle. Here too we're back in the car and Wendy Smith is photographing not so much the outside, but kind of the inside through the reflection in the rearview mirror. And I think that she did a really good job of composing this image. The car's going fast, the fact that she was able to kind of compose the mirror as kind of a micro composition and then still get a really nice overall composition, including the lamppost in the corner top of the frame, it was really kind of a nice serendipitous moment, but yet the photographer was very careful in composing this and that's what made this picture work. A lot of photographers took this kind of picture, but hers was likely one of the most effective ones. A Marc Rochette again inside the car. This time the back lights and the composition here, you're in the car, you have a unique perspective, and what really makes it I think is the reflection on the hood of the car that he's in. And it's kind of the right moment and even though it's kind of atmospheric in the sense that it's not overly detailed, 'cause it's a little dark, it's sharp, but it's a little dark, it creates a real moody kind of capture that I think really makes you feel what it feels like to be inside that car. And if you can, if your photographs can make you feel something, wow, that's really a great goal to have. In this picture Scott Abbey was photographing ballet, but he took a different tact and he basically with a wide angle lens photographed from the crowd of dancers watching this sort of test going on. And because of that most of the frame is the dancers and the bystanders, but the moment that he captured of this dancer in the air and the position of where the dancer is literally, and the fact that all of the dancers are looking towards him makes him the focal point of this picture, as he should be, and all eyes go there, and so do the viewer's eyes. So it's a very strong different kind of a composition, not just focusing on the dance, but showing kind of the atmosphere in the room and doing it in such a decisive manner that really works. Patty Watteyne took this picture. Again, a really interesting angle in that she got down low and got the foreground of this car. And she's almost kind of lurking to make this shot. But what really makes this picture work is the moment that she captured and even though those guys are relatively small in the frame, they're perfectly positioned compositionally and the moment is strong, it's really the peak of that handshake, great expressions, and it's just really a nice composition. So I think, how did she know this was going to happen? How did she react so quickly? That's the gifts every photographer has that they bring to their work. But this one particularly works well. And you can see how the foreground just kind of brings you closer to the three elements of the car here, the car here, and then these guys. It's just a very layered, three-dimensional composition that works really well. And Karen Swift photographed this boxer, again, not from a traditional place, but you can sort of see the ropes if you will and the moments and the concentration and just kind of the lonely determination of an elite athlete and what it takes to get to that level. You can see from his body that obviously he's worked hard. And it's just a really strong composition that really highlights a powerful moment. And the picture's very storytelling in that regard. It becomes a very iconic image for boxers rising through the ranks, the atmosphere is not very luxurious. And you can see from the background and the steel and just the contrast between the boxer and the surroundings is also very, very powerful. So again, a very different view that I think we should all kind of look at and be inspired by. So there you go, that's it for this week. I hope that there's something here in my critique that you can bring to your own work. And I also hope that you'll be there for the next edition of Critique of the Week. And until then, great shooting everybody.
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A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.