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Friday Photo Critique #3

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Read Time: 5 mins

Friday Photo Critique is our weekly community project, where we publish a photograph submitted by one of our wonderful readers, then ask you all to offer constructive feedback on the image.

After a few days, I'll update the post to feature the most helpful and insightful comments. You will also be credited with a link to your website or portfolio, so be sure to enter it correctly when submitting a comment!

Quick Ground Rules

  1. Play nice! We've deliberately chosen photographs that aren't perfect, so please be constructive with any criticism.
  2. Feel free to offer any type of advice - composition, lighting, post-processing etc.
  3. You can also link to photographs that you feel offer a great example of this type of image shot exceptionally well.

Without further ado, here is this week's candidate for Friday Photo Critique!

The Photograph

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Photographer: Simon Brix

Please let us know what you think in the comments - how would you have approached the scene or taken the photo differently? A massive thank you to everyone who commented last week. The post has now been updated with some of the most insightful comments

The most constructive and helpful comments will be featured on the site, and you'll also be given priority to feature your own work in a future Friday Photo Critique!.

Feedback and Comments

Here are four of the most useful and insightful pieces of feedback given on this photo, taken from the comments:

Joel Abeyta

There isn’t much going wrong here. My old photography professor wouldn’t like because of the low contrast, the horizon is exactly in a third of the frame, and he would probably say the photo looks happenstance, random and not well thought out. But all of those things are what make me like it so much. There is much to be said for random photographs. I have taken my best photos when I wasn’t even looking through the view-finder. This photo feels like I’m sitting in my living room, shuffling through a box of old photos, and I run across this one. “Remember that day we went to beach and no one was there? We had the whole beach to ourselves. That was great.”

The vignette makes it awesome. I use vignettes a lot. When I’m having trouble making the subject stand out, I use a vignette to simply make everything else darker. In this case, it gives the whole image a vintage feel and keeps me looking at the hut in the middle.

The only thing that challenges me is the tire track across the bottom of the image. It’s like those puzzles we did in elementary school. There’s a picture of a banana, an apple, an orange and a cheese burger and you have to figure out which one doesn’t belong. However, it doesn’t, by any means, make the photo suck.


Take what I say with a pinch of salt since I am an amateur and this is my opinion.

Firstly the image seems flat/dull. I would prefer there to be some more contrast between the shadows and highlights (this would mean maybe waiting for better lighting conditions). If this flat look is desired then maybe change it to black and white where forms and texture will be more brought out and no focus on dull colours.

Secondly is the composition. I like this breaking of the rule of thirds. The sky occupies less than 2/3 but more than 1/2. However I would experiment with different points of view. Maybe get down a little lower and see how that works out, it might not, but there’s nothing to lose. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Overall great photo that is very interesting to look at but just misses that captivating quality.

Gaspar Garcia de Paredes

Solid composition and exposure in my opinion. I think this image is lacking in its attention to detail and the application of vignetting; the vignetting is too strong, in my opinion; yet it works.

As for details, there are a couple of distracting elements in the picture that should have been cropped out of masked away. Some of these, for example, are the tire tracks at the bottom of the image, and the stick on the bottom-right corner. Still, strong composition and horizon.

There are also two problems I find with the choice of colors which are distracting: the blue canvases, and the sand. As Clement mentioned above, I think the sand could be grayed out a little, or desaturated, to make the shacks stand out and the ground merge more with the sky.

As for the blue fabrics, I find the differences in HSL distracting. It would greatly help the image, in its composition and impact, to have made all the blue canvases a more similar tone of blue.

Can Berkol

This is a great one. Only thing that bothers me is the vertical balance.

The assymetry works perfectly on the horizontal line. You have given less space to sand comparing to the sky. Because of the huts, it’s really good. You have created a smooth transition between the ground and the sky.
With vertical balance, I actually mean the object stands from left side to right side. You could have either cut from the right side or included more on the left side.

The right most hut has a blue door or whatever it is. It is half visible creating a eye-distracting space. On the other hand the left most hut is cut slightly from its roof. It is placed in a narrow space.

Just a few millimeters will perfectionize the frame.

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