Sunday, 23 January 2011

Photo Critique 1 (Mark Fukui)

Ok this week I got an email from a person who watches my videos on youtube, here is how the email went:

Hey Dom,
 I've been teaching myself photography for about a year now, and i 
 have to say watching your videos has improved my skills and creativity 
 immensely. The hardest thing for me to find right now is a good critic. 
 I show my photos to my friends and family, but they usually just say 
 its good. It doesn't help much. I was wondering if i could send you a 
few photos and have you critique them. I can imagine your a very busy 
 person so if you don't have the time that's fine; but do you know any 
 websites that have forums to critique photos? I cannot upload the 
 photos in this box, but if you if you respond i will send them as 
 attachments. Thanks for the videos again. 


So He wants me to be a critic!  And he doesn't want the nice kinda critic so I am going to have to go all Simon Cowell on his portfolio that he sent me!

Shot one, looks like a shot of a woman holding the sun in her hand.
issues with the image, the woman if it was to be a total silhouette is not in front of enough well lit background, she kinda fades into the dark at the bottom of the image.  putting a flash off camera left would have been a very nice touch, keep the camera at the current ambient light settings for that nice saturated sky but lets see the person holding the sun.

2 remove the random sun flare that is appearing in-between the model and her hand.
3,  rule of thirds… the sun and horizon are in the centre… would be fine but you have an object of attention (the model) 

Score 1/5

More after the break

Image 2 
rulle of thirds used on the horizon and central focus point of the pier,
but really just some dirty sand in the foreground, needs something of more interest.
the shutterspeed was fast as there is no creative blur of the waves, and exposure is a little low, maybe one and a half stops below.

score 1/5

Image 3
Its a shot of a beach and city in the background.
rule of thirds used on the horizon , and some use of leading lines and curves in the image of the beach and curve of the water the softness of the sea.beach against the jaggedness of the sky vs building outline.
not much forground interest and what there is in the foreground (a wet walkway) its not all that attractive.



Image 4 First he gives me his photo details.
Hey Dom Bower,
     Thanks for the opportunity. Here are the camera details: ISO 100, 28mm, f/7.1, 1/100 sec. Taken with a Nikon d60 and Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. My camera was on a tripod and i used an sb 600 off my camera for lighting. I triggered the camera with a wireless remote and had 2 sec. delayed shutter release. A friend was holding the flash. This picture is taken of myself and was inspired from your youtube video Creative Flash Portrait Photography. Thanks again. 
Mark Fukui 
P.S. Your video on flash, aperture, and shutter speed was a big help

Camera settings good, camera and lens good, use of tripod good and use of off camera flash good.  Friend working as a VALS (voice activated light stand) good.

Firstly well done you have a good body. The use of light and shadow on the contours of the muscles make this a good artistic nude image (although not nude the part that we are focusing on is nude ie it is not a fashion shoot)
It remindes me a little of Edwards Westons Pepper (see here for example)

A crop taking out the underpants wold be good as they are distracting and confusing… is it now a fashion image>
hands also maybe have them corpped.

contrast is a little low, a slight boost in the curves for the brighter regions would be good.

Score 3/5

Image 5

Body shot
interesting lighitng as it could almost look like you are falling, no light landing anywhere else.
cropping off the legs at the bottom as they just look like random things at the end of the page, as the contrast is so … not the contrast but the blacks are all so black there is no definition from background to black underpants so legs just seem a bit odd.

again a bit more of enhancement of the brighter tones in curves would be good


Image 6
a leafe, with shallow depth of field again almost artistic in its concept
background is slightly distracting. and the closest bit being blurry distracts from the central attention area of the leaf.

score 1/5

If you would like a critique please send your image to me and I will critique them, Hopefully you will gain some knowledge and ideas rather than just be offended by me not giving the friend style comments of oh thats nice.




  1. nice one. pure critique. very helpful. do please categorize the level of this photo. example, beginner, intermediate, advance etc... up to you.

  2. Hey Dom. Thanks for the critique! It's really helped a lot. What i can now is i need to remember all the photography skills i have learned and apply them when i am taking the photos. For example i used the rule of thirds on the landscapes, but nothing of interest really drew the viewer into the photo. I need to work on drawing my viewer into the photo with a interesting foreground. Also having a blurry foreground that distracts from the subject is horrible. I am trying to avoid doing what i did in the leaf picture. In the muscle pictures i kinda went crazy with the blacks in editing. I really wanted to bring out the muscles, but i went a bit overboard. A lot of the time in my photos i just feel they are bleh. And when i say bleh i mean not very interesting. Your critique of the landscapes hit that right on the head. Since i am stuck in college with no mode of efficient transportation i have gravitated towards portraits because i feel the campus beginning to become boring. Thanks for the critique again. It is very helpful.

  3. this one really helps and inspire me to send mine too..:) thanks for sharing..