Blog Post, Photo Critique

Public Photo Critiques - March 9, 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, 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 Sydney Haney from our Facebook page. Sydney sends in a landscape shot with a beautiful waterfall, some still water, and cliffs. Looks to be in the fall time range maybe. Here is the shot.


Thanks so much for submitting. I appreciate it.

Okay, so this reminds me of some photos that I have done in the past. It’s clear to me what you are trying to show me. It’s obviously a long exposure shot of a gorgeous waterfall (where is this BTW?), and looks to be late fall time frame since I see the ice around the waterfall.

This photo I like, look likes you did very well on the long exposure. You possibly exposed it too long as the detail in the waterfall’s center is hardly noticeable. When taking a shot like this I would take multiples and varying exposure lengths to see which one I liked. You may have, and this may be what it is, not sure. I do find interesting the look of the water below the waterfall. It’s not a glassy and flat as I would expect it to be with a really long exposure, so given the fact that its a cloudy day I would say this is possibly a 2 second exposure? I like very much that the waterfall, as well at the surface of the water are on the rule of thirds lines, I am clearly drawn there first.

With that said, I am a bit lost in the left side. I feel like the photo is over-weighted to one side because everything in the left is small and busy. What I do catch is the one tree half way up and what looks to be a walkway, which instantly makes me cringe. :) Sorry, the reason I say that is I am thinking nature nature nature, beautiful waterfall, nice cliff, tranquil water, man made walkway. Ugh. Now, you cannot move it, for sure. So what I would do differently is forget about the landscape orientated shot. I would love to see more reflection of this waterfall in the water, so I would turn the camera to portrait mode, put that waterfall in the top of the frame and have it’s reflection in the bottom of the frame. Almost a mirror image in it. I could see that working out well and you lose the walkway and “sort of” deadspace on the left. One other little personal note, it looks like you have a filter on this for something. I am not a fan at all of filters, but that’s just my personal taste.

Still a great photo. Thanks for sharing. Hope to see more.

Next up we have a landscape photo from April Atwood from the Facebook page. April sent in a landscape type shot, but not your wide vista type. This is a small scale shot of a tree during a snow event. Here is the shot.


Thanks for submitting April. I really appreciate it.

In looking at your photo I actually have more questions that I feel like I have answers. My main question was what are you trying to show me here? I believe it is the tree with the snow. I feel like the photo is very busy with a lot happening in it, which is where I am getting a bit confused on what I am trying to be shown. To me, I feel like the wood behind the tree is very distracting, as well as the huge fence behind it. I get caught up in the color off to the left and the slight red (possibly a tail light) on the right.

I’m going to go with you are showing me the tree. I do see the limbs on one of the rule of third lines, I like that. It catches my attention. I do like some of the snow on the ground a bit.

What would I do differently? I’d look for a less busy spot. I feel like shots of the snow coming down are very difficult. You walk a line of landscape and action photography that I don’t think I’ve ever been happy with any of the ones that I’ve taken :). If I was shooting just right here then I would get down on the ground and take a shot along the top of the snow. This will give a different perspective that may work out. Another thing that you could do is crop the photo to be less busy. You are already cutting off the top and some branches, so maybe trim is some more. I took the liberty to show an example. Just what I would do,


Thanks again for sharing. Hope to see more.

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.