Critique-a-Thon

I think in light of Jumo's post asking for critiques, we should all post an image for critique!  It's SUCH a great tool for learning. . .not only do you learn by posting your own images, but also by lending your own eye to others.


What type of image should you post?  I encourage you to pick one that you like, not necessarily one that you know is a failure. . .being that such an image (one you like) is probably one of your better ones, it will help to hear how you can improve on an already great photo!  


Play nice, and don't take anything personally :)  Photography, being both artistic and highly technical is one of those things that you can never ever perfect, nor is it something that will be perfect in everybodies eyes.  The point is that YOU love your work, and that you grow from it as well.  


Also - I highly recommend uploading to picasa or some other site and then hotlinking here instead of uploading to PW where file sizes and quality are greatly reduced.


PLEASE include specs: flash, focal length, shutter speed, aperture. . .as well as what you did in post processing AND your own critiques of your image if you are game to try being critical of yourself :) 


HAVE FUN! 

(yes, I'll post one of my own as well. . .I'm gonna go dig around a bit and see what I'd love critique on!)   

Posted on July 14, 2011 at 11:06 am
MountainBride
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(26) Comments

plumcrush01
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plumcrush01

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I am SCARED LOL!!  I will post one when I get home ;)  I really, really want to post a b-pic!!  Maybe I will just to get a handful of critiques & then delete it?!

Posted on July 14, 2011 at 11:29 am
MountainBride
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Do it Mel! ! !   I think I'm going to post a b-pic too:)  I haven't seen any of your b-pics, so I'd love to check it out!    


I'm scared too, but it's really really nice to get feedback!

Posted on July 14, 2011 at 11:33 am
plumcrush01
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plumcrush01

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Ok...here we go!!  Eeek :/  My heart is beating faster as I type this LOL!!


Focal Length: 28mm
Aperture: f/4
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 500
AWB
Flash was on manual, not positive what power...I believe 1/4 or 1/8


In CS3 I cannot remember exactly what I did :/  Lightened & brightened a bit, boosted the curves & contrast a bit & a very slight sheer haze.  That's all I remember.  My personal critique: Perhaps it needs more contrast!  I wanted it to appear soft & warm because I felt like it fit the surroundings.  The sheets were actually white but they def look cream after my editing, again I felt like it fit the room...I like warm pics, but perhaps it's too warm?! 


*I wanted to make it bigger than the PW medium, so it may take a sec to load :)


Ok here we go photo 3044927-1

Posted on July 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm
mrs.green2b
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ok seriously mel? that picture is amazing! From where I sit, I honestly can't think of anything negative to say! The only tiny thing I could say that would make this image absolutely perfect would be if you pulled out just a teeny bit more so that you didn't cut off the end of her hair on the left side of the frame. But really, that's nothing - IMO the picture is virtually flawless! I love that its not too contrasty (my personal taste) and I love the warmth - but I feel like a lot of that stuff is potato/potahto - depends on what style draws your eye.


Here's mine. Stylistically, I like to play around with blown out backgrounds. My intention with this shot was to get the background as white as possible, giving her an angelic-like light surrounding her. I purposely overexposed the image in camera and lowered the exposure in LR3 to bring back some of the detail in her dress. It was shot on the canon 5dmkii and the 50mm 1.2.


blake_ana_flkr-5 


PS, this took inches off her waist!


 


 

Posted on July 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm
MountainBride
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I'll come back and critique as well, but I'm throwing mine into the mix!


This is one of the brides favorites from a recent boudoir shoot, I swear I somehow reel in the most gorgeous brides. . .I was in LOVE with her red hair and brown eyes! ! !


50mm


F/4.0


1/25


Bounce flash fired remotely from left of subject, some natural light from window, and a bright white bulb used for ambient light to upper right of subject.


PP done to orginal RAW file in LR3 included a minor tone and exposure adjustment to brighten, as well as a very very slight vignette (wishing I'd left that off now that I look again), and then minor sharpening/size reduced/saved at 72dpi for screen.   


I ll come back photo 3045437-1 


This is one of those images I am immediately drawn too - love her shiny lips and catch light in eyes. . .but the more I look at it the more I see SO much room for improvement in the composition and crop especially!  Wishing I had put her eyes more to the right of the frame and not had such a tight crop overall.  My biggest peeve however is that I lost the detail/contrast between her right cheeck/jaw and chest.  Do'h!  


 Alright, let me have it! ! ! ! !


 


 

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 1:29 am
Alliesauce
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08/22/2010
Alliesauce

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Ok- here's mine... same boudoir shoot as Mel... my GOD she was so gorgeous!!  It was my fave shoot so far I think because it was just so much fun!


Canon 7D, 24-70 2.8L, 580 ex flash


34mm focal length, ISO 800, Aperture 5.6, 1/80 shutter speed


I love how her eyes are burning into the camera, but her face is still so soft and pretty.  I edited in lightroom, bumped up the contrast a bit, upped the brightness and exposure just a bit too.  I actually think I may have started with one of the LR B&W presets I have, but I can't remember.  I always tweak them a ton for different images to get the exact effect I want. :)


Ok here s mine photo 3045599-1


Please look at it here to get a better view of how sharp her eyes are, etc.


Press "L" to see larger and against black. :)http://www.flickr.com/photos/allieanddrew/5939136828/


I'm sitting here critiquing myself thinking maybe it would have been better as a vertical shot to show more of her hair.  But I do have a few of those at home too.  Comp was fluke-y last night and my internet locked up after I uploaded this to Flickr so I had to shut down and call it quits instead of digging through more. :)

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 3:51 am
mrs.green2b
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mountainbride - absolutely stunning! I love the smooth and creamy look of the shot and love how tight it is on her sultry expression. My only recommendation would be to shift YOUR position in relation to her so that you are slightly more forward - it looks like she's looking up too hard with just her eyes whereas if she didn't have to took up so high, it might have been even more natural looking.


allie - I love the contrast in this picture and the balance of her skin and the way she pops off of the white bedspread. I do agree that this shot may have looked better as a vertical to show more of her hair - or you could have taken some of her hair and spread it out more around her face instead of having it all pushed back? and then just one other tiny thing that I think would make it perfect is to be consious of cutting off bits and pieces - like her elbow and boob - unless the cut you're making is intentional (sometimes I cut people in half or show them from the nose up or mouth down to throw some out of the box composing in with the set....)


keep up the good work ladies!! can't wait to see more!! you're all so talented :D

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 6:17 am
Alliesauce
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08/22/2010
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Melissa- I love the color, her bright eyes and the warm tones are beautiful!!  Now that Andie pointed out cutting off little things, I just thought for second maybe you could have zoomed out slightly or moved slightly to the left to get the entire lamp, entire bedpost an all of her hair in the pic... but then again, every pic can't possible have every part of every thing in it!! LOL - So I really only think just to move slightly to get all of her hair.  Absolutely beautiful shot/processing!


Andie- I've been obsessed with blowing out the background in pics lately too, though I've only had the right lighting/situation to do it with Bpics.  It's such a pretty shot, just so elegant!  She really does look angelic!!  It's beyond gorgeous... I wouldn't change a thing!


Chris- I agree with maybe changing your angle just SLIGHTLY so she isn't looking up at you so much.  But man, what a gorgeous pic... she has that "come-hither" look down pat, and the tones are so beautiful.  I personally love your tight crop... amazing shot!!


Thanks for the comments on my pic, Andie... she was laying on the edge of the bed, so her hair was hanging over it... I probably should have readjusted that, maybe even pushing it to one side would have worked.  Though we did some pics where her hair was surrounding her face too, those were gorgeous as well!!  And I agree, maybe I should have zoomed out just a bit to get the elbow and the rest of her boob!! LOL  I need to get better about thinking how everything looks in a shot, I don't think I'm too bad, but definitely some room for improvement there!

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 7:06 am
MountainBride
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OK SO sorry ladies, our power has been out ALL morning and they are shutting it off again it looks like (the power company is in my cul-de-sac with a cherry picker).  Anyways, I typed this out this morning and then lost power and will come back and critique the new ones here as well if I have internet/wireless!


_____________


Ok my critiques - I'll be nice, I promise!  But I'm also going to critique from a nitpicky standpoint - it doesn't mean that your images are bad!  However, being nitpicky is a great way to develop a more critical eye. . .so here goes!


Awww crap my power just went out again. . .so, I'm on my laptop which is not calibrated and everything changes based on where the screen tilt is.  GAH!  Here goes nothing. . .

Mel - Overall a beautiful and flattering image and I'm sure your client loves it!  She looks super relaxed and comfortable, which I believe is one of the tricks to great boudoir - since I know you in person too I would say you are GREAT at working in person with clients!  


I wouldn't say it's too warm, my impression from this image is that you prefer more vintage style processing/washed out tones and color than bright or natural colors. . .so imo it works.  Plus, the walls are yellow so that will automatically create a warmer image.  Her skin tone looks great imo!   


That said, I do feel like we lose her eyes - I'm looking at her eyes, bra, and her shoes - they could use a little black in them (again, I'm not on my calibrated monitor so I could be wrong here) - would love to see this image with her eyes having a little more pop since they are the main focal point of the image.  In theory her eyes should really draw you in, however once you get there they do seem a little flat.  


I also see to the left of the subject some bright sun hitting the lamp shade - one thing that may help with that next time is hanging a sheer panel over the window to filter and even out the light.   :)


Mrs.Green I'm with you, I LOVE playing with overexposed backgrounds!  This is a gorgeous bride with a stunning dress - you are so lucky you got to work with her and I'm sure she'd love this photo.  I would say too that your color and tone are spot on, her dress is pure white even on my laptop and I love that!  


My critique on this one is that the rug and the door don't lend themselves to the rest of the image - you have this stunning overexposed ethereal look with the bride and the light coming from behind her, and then the rug and door are there screaming 'look at me!'.  I have two thoughts on this:


a.  If you had moved your camera up and then to the right - putting more of her train in the bottom half of the image and less of the door on the left (I see the wall to the right is white, which would have been less distracting). . .that may have mitigated the dark solids that are currently framing the photo. 


b.  In PP. . .might try a tighter crop to eliminate some of the rug door.


All that said, I love this photo!  And I think that some people would definitely disagree with my assessment of the door/rug though so take that for what it's worth :)


Beautiful work ladies! ! ! ! 


 

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 7:20 am
plumcrush01
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Should I have burned her eyes to make them pop more...or selected just her eyes and enhanced the color/increased the saturation?  Or just more contrast overall?  Thank you.

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 7:31 am
mrs.green2b
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mrs.green2b

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Thanks Allie :)


Mountainbride, I hear what you're saying about the rug. I have a version in b+w that might work better. Also have a more tightly cropped version. Personally, I prefer the more pulled out version (I think it's more dramatic), but totally hear you about the rug...it was a bit loud!


b+w version


Thanks Allie Mountainbride I photo 3046257-1


tigher cropped version


Thanks Allie Mountainbride I photo 3046257-2

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 8:03 am
mrs.green2b
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Oh and PS, I echo what MountainBride said about being super nitpicky! honestly, I had a hard time finding anything negative to say about your shots as well!

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 8:04 am
plumcrush01
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plumcrush01

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Bump!  Come on...no one else wants to play?!

Posted on July 19, 2011 at 6:39 am
yelppuppy
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05/23/2009
yelppuppy

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I wanted to, but haven't got around to upload the photo in question haha.  I only browse forums at work, and only edit photos at home, so uploading a photo to a forum is unbelievably difficult lol!


A little suggestion for the future though - maybe it's easier format one photograher per thread?  I can see this thread becoming very confusing once over 3 pages.


 

Posted on July 19, 2011 at 6:54 am
*slm*
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*slm*

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I am definitely going to play, plumcrush! I'm hoping to get a photo up here tomorrow or Wednesday and then respond to others. I think this is a great way for honest feedback because sometimes it's difficult to give and receive advice if it's not asked for. So this is a great opportunity in my opinion! :)
Posted on July 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm
as4968
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I will def play :)


35mm
f/4
1/2000
ISO 400


Didn't have to do much except increase the blacks in ACR. My favorite image of mine!

I will def play photo 3052759-1 


 


I will get to everyone's critiques at work tomorrow :)

Posted on July 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm
mrs.green2b
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as4968, GORGEOUS! Your exposure for silhouette is perfect and I love your composition, having the couple off the the left and the tree tops off to the right. I have nothing negative to say. Great stuff!

Posted on July 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm
yelppuppy
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05/23/2009
yelppuppy

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1) 


Finally got around to upload this- I'm planning to print it on a large gallery wrap canvas, so I'd love to hear lots of critiques!  I want to get it right before I print it.


f/3.5; exposure 1/60; 50mm; ISO 320; no flash, daytime indoor against natural light


1 Finally got around photo 3053051-1


 


2) Not so much looking for technical critiques (welcome them too if you have them!), but I simply don't know what to think of this one.  I know the room, the rug and why I took this shot, so I think it's one of those "you had to be there" shots.
Does it work for you at all? Why or why not?


ISO 3200; 35mm; f/3.2; exposure 1/25; nighttime indoor


1 Finally got around photo 3053051-2

Posted on July 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm
MountainBride
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MountainBride

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Oooooh I'll have to come back and check these out - I lost track of time and forgot about this thread for a few days! ! !   :) :) :)

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 1:44 am
yelppuppy
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yelppuppy

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Here's my critique to all the photos above me-


plumcrush- I think you achieved exactly what you had in mind.  It's not contrasty, but it's apparent that was your aim. It doesn't look too warm on my monitor.


mrs.green- I love the picture.  I like it more than the b/w version, even though I usually prefer b/w photos.  The red rug and green door work so well together.  As for the b/w version, I like the first pic a lot more than the tight cropped one.  The first one conveys the emotion that she's looking or waiting for something, and the second one is more like... she's standing by the door.


mountainbride- It's a great photo.  Her left cheek and eye draw so much attention I don't think you need to worry about her right cheek.  I didn't notice it until you pointed out.  I like how her left eye is in the dead center of the frame.  1/3 composition is so overused it's rare to see center composition anymore.  If her face is more to the right, we'll probably see her upper thigh and crotch area?  I think that might take some focus away from her left eye.


allie- the first thing that jumped out at me is her left nipple was cut off. That really bugs me.  It doesn't bother me at all that her hair is out of the frame, since she has a gorgeous face to get my attention on the bottom of the photo.  But my eyes kept going back to her chest.  Her bra is so contrasty that it becomes the focus of the photo (obviously not your intention), yet her nipple is cut off.  On the second look, I think this photo would work better with a lower camera angle, face in the center with more hair, and move the bra out of the frame completely.   It's not a flattering angle for her breast anyway, and I noticed her right bra is kinda empty.  I love the lighting and contrast on her face.  Her eyeliner really stood out and framed her eyes nicely.


as4968 - I like the sky gradient and the couple's silhouette. But the bushes on the right ruined it for me.  My eyes are not sure who is the focus here.  Coincidentally, there are 4 little dark clouds over the bushes acting like a frame.  I kept thinking they are stains on my monitor. I'd clone them out.  I don't think a cropped version of this photo would work, because you have to do it vertically to preserve the gradient, but then it won't give us the vast horizon feel, and the white clouds on the right side are so pretty.  Do you have a different shot from that series?

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 6:08 am
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