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Friday Photo Critique #5

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Read Time: 4 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: Eric Coelho

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 is a selection of the most useful and insightful pieces of feedback given on this photo, taken from the comments:

Andy H

I’m not one of those people who think it’s a cardinal sin to cut off limbs and whatnot, but I think one fairly obviously flaw here is the composition. Cutting the women’s heads off in this way, together with the focal plane and the shirts the women happen to be wearing, makes this photo about cleavage and girls having fun spinning – an odd combination. I’m left thinking, “What’s this really supposed to be a picture of?”

I think if the focus had been on the girls instead of the women, even with the same framing it would have been a much better shot. Or better yet, much wider framing.

Can Berkol

As a viewer it’s hard to find the focus on your story. There are to many subjects and I don’t realy know where to look, what to see. Did you want to shoot the hands; did you want to put emphasize on trust, happiness, innocence or all?

There are also few other kids on the background and many other distracting objects.
I think you have just taken the camera and pressed the shutter without any ideas what to shoot for. You’ve just seen a great moment. Sometimes capturing the moment is not good enough. You have to try to capture the moment right.

Here you could have lessen the distraction by using a wider angle; maybe moving back one or two steps would have helped.

If your focus point was the hands you could have tried a different angle and you could have tried to capture all hands connnected and visible.

The other thing you could have done was to capture one or two faces in full – preferablly one the kids face.


Contrary to everyone else, I thought cutting off the heads is fine. This composition emphasises the connection made between the women and the children through their hands, and cutting off the eyes eliminates the distraction of yet another subject to focus on. The jacket the woman wears on the right is quite glaring though and is distracting.

Try shooting from between and behind the women. That way you could see the faces of the two girls being framed by the mothers, their hands, and the little girl poking her head through, while eliminating the glaring jacket – since the light is hitting them front on, the jacket would be darker shot from behind than in this picture.

Ian G Lang

Critique: The focal point looks like it should be on the hands, but the dark patch and the patterned angles treeing off the center point lead my eye up like from a fire to the sky. I agree with Jessica (above) – The moms needed to cover up a bit more. The background is busy. I all but missed the 5th person in the photo.

Opinion: I instantly thought wouldn’t that shot look awesome if posed and taken from the top down with their heads being slightly cut off around the outside of the image, but with their heads tilted up a bit so you could see them all laughing/smiling.

Praise: This image really captures the ‘fun’ and you can almost see the togetherness. It’s warm and family focused. It looks casual and natural.

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