Spotted – Photo Critique


“Spotted” is our photo for this week’s critique.  The photo shows sumac leaves that have changed colour.  It was taken in late October in a wooded area near my place.  Let’s talk about what the photo shines in and where it needs improvement.

What strikes me first are the colours.  You can see bright oranges and yellows.  It stands out from the darker background.

There is some fantastic bokeh happening in this photo.  On the left side, you can see there are lots of lovely circular bokeh.  It nicely fills the otherwise dead space on the left.

The condition of the leaves is not so great.  They look quite blemished.  There are lots of black spots and patches on the leaves, making them look rather sick.

Is the focus off?  Although the terminal leaf is in focus (which is what I wanted), the other foreground leaves are blurred.  It makes the photo look sort of awkward.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!


Not Cold Enough – Photo Critique


For this week’s photo critique, we will look at “Not Cold Enough.”  The photo depicts a wooded area near my place.  It was taken in late October.  Let’s discuss what works well and what could be improved.

This photo has a lot of linearity to it.  All the trees, from skinny ones to thick ones, create lines that go from top to bottom.  It produces a nice regular pattern.

I also like the colour palette in this photo.  I love the bright green leaves that seem to transition to yellow.  The darker browns in the tree trunks appear to oppose the bright colours.

Does the depth of field work in this picture?  You can see that this photo has a shallow depth of field.  Hence, only the foreground tree trunks on the left and some of the leaves are in sharp focus.  Would this photo look better with deeper depth of field?

Parts of the photo appear to be overexposed.  This photo was taken on a sunny day and some of that sunlight is shining brightly on the leaves in the top centre.  It looks like that area is a bit overblown.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Green Go – Photo Critique


This week’s critique is on “Green Go.”  It’s a photo of a maple tree branch in the autumn.  This tree was found in my neighbourhood.  The photo was taken a little more than a week ago.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

I’m immediately drawn to the colours in this photo.  Two colours dominate here: green and red.  I love the lively green set against the fiery red.

There is a framing effect that is evident in this photo.  The green leaves near the centre is nicely framed by the red leaves surrounding it.  It really draws attention to the green leaves.

One glaring problem with this photo is the focus.  Since the green leaves are the focal point, they should have been in sharp focus.  You can see in the photo that the focus is just slightly below the centre leaves.

There is also a distracting element in the picture.  On the upper right there is a bunch of green leaves.  These green leaves compete with the green leaves in the centre and effectively take away the spotlight from the green centre leaves.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Classy – Critique


“Classy” is our photo for this week’s critique.  It captures the glass facade of the Scotiabank building in downtown Kingston.  This photo was taken in August.  Let’s talk about the good and the not so good aspects of this photo.

This photo is all about geometric shapes, rectangles to be more specific.  We see it everywhere.  Rectangles are found in the glass, and the red metal structure. They are repeated in the design, creating a regular rhythm.

I love the leading lines created by the repeating rectangular glass.  What I’m talking about is the middle, light grey, smaller rectangular glass that transverses the photo.  It guides the eye from the right side all the way to the left side.

The photo looks unbalanced.  The red colour of the structure on the left has so much visual weight that takes a lot of the attention from the remaining photo.

The inside of the glass facade isn’t very interesting.  There isn’t much going on inside the building.  I think if the glass was more reflective and showed what was outside that it would be more interesting.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

All Stages – Critique


For this week’s critique, we will look at “All Stages.”  It’s a photo of what I believe is bush mallow flowers.  They were found in the Greek Orthodox Church’s garden.  The photo was taken in August.  Let’s discuss what the photo excels in and what needs improvement.

In this photo we see all the stages of the flower on display.  At the top are buds.  Then we have an unopened flower at the bottom.  In the centre, we have a fully bloomed flower, which takes the main spotlight.  It shows nicely the different stages of the flowers.

I also like the leading lines produced by the flowers.  It starts at the bottom with the closed flower.  Then you head up to the opened flower.   Then, the rear-facing flower and buds draw the eyes further up.

The photo is slightly underexposed.  I have done some exposure correction, but you can definitely see the darkness in the background.

The composition could have been improved.  The very top bud is cut off and the bottom part of the photo looks like dead space.  The photo could have been moved up slightly to get the bud in.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Pollution – Critique


“Pollution” is our photo for this week’s critique.  It depicts the sculpture entitled Pollution  by Yves Cozin.  This art piece is located in MacDonald Park in Kingston, Ontario.  The photo was taken in August.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

What is immediately apparent is the simplicity of the photo.  There is really just a few elements in the photo: the sculpture, the grass, the sky, the lake, and the trees.  The small number of elements doesn’t distract away from the focal point.

Here, there is a real contrast between geometric and organic shapes.  You can see circular, and rectangular geometric shapes in the sculpture.  Organic shapes are also represented in the sculpture in the amorphous foundation, and also in the tree and shadow.  There is a real dichotomy of shapes in this photo.

The clear sky takes a large percentage of the photo.   Although it’s a nice background, there isn’t much going on in the sky.  It looks like a lot of dead space.

The cylinder in the foreground forms a very interesting circular frame.  Could I have taken advantage of this and recomposed an entirely different picture?

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!


Praying – Critique


This week’s critique is on “Praying.”  It’s a photo of a purple Cosmos taken in August.  The flower was found in The Greek Orthodox Church garden.  Let’s discuss what works well and what needs improvement.

This photo has beautiful colours.  You can see the gorgeous purple and bright yellow in the flower.  They look good together because they are complementary colours.

I also love the details in the photo.  You will find when you look closely at the stamens of the flower that they are star-shaped.

It’s very clear that this photo is just slightly underexposed.  I think it would have looked more cheerful if it had more light.

The background is a bit of a mess.  There is a lot going on.  I think if the background was more out-of-focus it might have worked better.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Five Sculptures – Critique


For this week’s critique we will examine “Five Sculptures.”  It’s a photo of art sculptures on Queen’s campus called “Five Sculptures on Topological Themes” by Alan Dickson.  It was taken in August.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

Composing this photo was a bit challenging.  I took many photos at various positions around the sculpture to find a sweet spot.  To me this was the best viewpoint.  Here, the sculptures create an order, going from  tallest on the right to shortest on the left.   This order generates an interesting invisible diagonal line drawn through the tops of the sculptures.

There is a nice juxtaposition of living things and non-living things.  You can see the grey lifeless art pieces are placed before the living green trees and plants.  I like this contrasting theme.

Would the photo look cleaner if I had gotten closer to the sculptures?  Is the red hanging pot of flowers distracting?

Are the buildings in the background taking away the spotlight from the sculptures?

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Sit for a While – Critique


“Sit for a While” is our photo for this week’s critique.  It depicts a red dragonfly resting on a spruce branch.  This scene was found in my front yard. The photo was taken in August.  Let’s discuss what works well and what could be improved.

The subject matter in this photo is quite special.  I rarely ever capture wildlife, and it was a treat to shoot this dragonfly.  I love its intense red colour, which stands out in the sea of green.

This photo really captures a strong sense of depth.  You can see there are three layers to this photo.  The first layer is the foreground, which is in focus.  Then the second layer further in is the semi-focused branches in the middle of photo.  Finally, we have the third layer, which is the out-of-focus branches in the background.

Would a tighter shot of the dragonfly work better? In the present photo, the insect is quite small relative to the entire photo.  Zooming in closer to it may work better here.

There is a lot of negative space surrounding the dragonfly.   Is it too much?

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!

Wallpaper – Critique


For this week’s critique, we will be examining “Wallpaper.”  It’s a photo of purple cornflowers taken in July.  The flowers were found by a house in my neighbourhood.  Let’s go over it’s strengths and weaknesses.

The first thing that I notice immediately about this photo is the vivid colour.  I love the rich, and bright purple of the cornflower.  You can see its brilliance provided by the radiant sunlight.

The background in this photo is quite lovely.  Although there isn’t much beauty in a chainlink fence, here it provides an interesting backdrop pattern for the cornflower.  It resembles a quaint wallpaper.

The one flaw in this photo is the buds and flowers on the left lower quadrant.  It appears extraneous and is distracting.

I think the photo could be improved by taking a closer shot of the cornflower.   That way  more of its details would be seen.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!