Blog Post, Photo Critique

Public Photo Critiques - Feb 1, 2019

Good afternoon everyone, thanks for following.

I’ve started a new bi-weekly public photo critique that I’ll be doing here on my blog, as well as tied in with my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. I’ll be posting the call for photos every other Wednesday, the next one will be Feb 13, and you have until Friday evening of that week to send me something that you would like critiqued. I’ll do a blog post like this and post the critiques to all of my social media accounts that evening or the next day (today is Saturday because I was super busy last night).

That’s it. I would love to see more people take advantage of this.

Most of my photo comments will come from the items that I teach in my composition and lighting classes, which you can check out here. Those two are good for all photographer levels and any camera (even phones).

Let’s get to the photos.

Our first photo is from Jose Pacheco from our Facebook page. He sends over this cool little snow man looking to be in an urban area with a lit tree up behind it.


Thanks so much for submitting Jose. This is a very unique snowman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with the foil and scarf like that, and I really like it. I can definitely see why you wanted to get a shot of this.

So when you have a subject like this you really have 2 options. 1. Treat it like a portrait 2. Add more background into it to create a little more like a landscape. Here it looks like you went with Option 2, and I believe it was probably because of the lit tree in the background. Great thought, and it would work out great probably if you didn’t have all of the urban lights behind it.

Given the background here, I probably would go with Option 1, treat it like a portrait. This means you will crop into the photo and remove most of the background. You lose your lit tree, but with it being so busy behind it I think you would have to do that. Also the tree is blurred from the depth of field that you had, so It is what it is.

Another distraction in the photo is the pole on the left. Long lines grab the audience’s attention more often than not, and I personally find myself looking right at that pole. So when you crop the photo I would get that out of it as well.

I took the liberty of throwing a quick crop on to demonstrate what I was walking about, I hope you don’t mind.


Another think I like about this crop is that it puts the face on the rule of thirds, which really brings the focus into that area. Which I believe you want.

Thanks again for posting. Hope to see more photos!

Next up we have a landscape photo from Nancy Hausrath from the Facebook page. Nance sends in this small scale landscape photo taken in the winter near a river. Some nice frozen drops and moss on the rocks. Thanks for submitting Nancy.


I like this photo a lot. The frozen branch at the bottom creates a long line and really draws you right in. The moss adds in some detail and color into the composition as well. I feel like I could easily put myself right here and feel the experience.

One thing I would do here is a crop on the photo. You have a shallow depth of field, which is giving you plenty of blue in the background. I’d forget the little fall in the back and focus on the super sharp foreground with those unique ice formations and the reflection in the water (that kind of hides itself in this shot because there is so much more going on).

I’ve taken the liberty to do a crop to explain what I meant, hope you don’t mind.


As you can see, it completely changes the photo. I LOVE it like that. The background is no longer busy, focus is brought in on this very cool ice formation and the stick and reflection balance each other out.

Now that I’m looking at it cropped I’d say the whites are a tiny bit blown out. Maybe just a little less exposure on it and you’d be there.

Great photo. Thanks again for posting. Hope to see more photos!

So that’s it for this photo critique. Thanks again to those who submitted. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more photos for my next one in 2 weeks. Until then, don’t forget to follow me on all of the social medial platforms and check out my events page for a TON of upcoming classes, workshops and exhibitions.