Hanging On – Critique


This week’s photo critique is on “Hanging On.”  It is a photo of three dead leaves on a branch.  The photo was taken in February at a small park in my neighbourhood.  Let’s discuss what works well and what doesn’t.

I like the shape that the three leaves impart.  The two outer leaves are the two sides of a triangle and the tips of the leaves form the base.  Alternatively, each outer leaf forms a triangle with the middle leave.  Either way, I like the shape they form.

The branch that the leaves are attached to provides a nice leading line.  It takes you from the left across the photo to the right.  Diagonal lines across the photo often creates interest and a sense of movement.

One of the things that doesn’t work is the focus.  As you can see the middle leaf, the one farther away, is not in sharp focus.  It should have been as it forms the triangular motif.  Again, I will have to work on my focusing and depth of field.

Related to the focus, the recognizable background isn’t blurry enough.  You can clearly make out the other branches of the tree and also the house on the left.  This is another issue with depth of field.  I need to pay more attention to this when I’m out shooting.

Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!

Fork in the Road – Critique


This week’s critique is on “Fork in the Road.”  It is a photo of a large dead tree branch covered in snow.  It was taken this past Thursday in a wooded area near my neighbourhood.  There are some good points and some flaws in the photo.

I love the leading lines in the photo.  If you follow the dead wood, it leads you from the left to the right, splitting near the middle into two directions.  Much like a “fork in the road.”  In a way, it creates movement in the photo, a dynamic edge.

Another good point is the textures in the photo.  I love the smooth, hard surface of the wood.  On top of that is the smooth, and grainy texture of the snow.  There’s also a nice contrast of colours between the two.  They work really wonderfully together.

One of the most distracting things in the photo is the other darker trees and branches in the background.  I wish they were more blurred out as to be less obvious.  My aperture was probably 4 or 5 here, which is the lowest on the lens that I was using.  If I had another lens with a larger aperture, I could have gotten a better background.

A minor flaw of the photo is that it wasn’t positioned well.  You can see at the bottom, the lower branch is slightly cut off.  I wish I had taken the photo higher up so more of the bottom branch could be seen.

Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!

Just Right – Critique


I was sick for over two weeks so I wasn’t able to blog.  But I’m better now, so we can continue to discuss photography.

This week’s critique is on “Just Right.”  It is a photo of an evergreen tree and a broken tree trunk.  It was taken about a month ago in a wooded area in my neighbourhood.  Let’s see what are the positives and negatives of this photo.

The most obvious thing in this photo is the perfect framing.  As it can be seen, the evergreen tree is nicely framed by the broken tree trunk.  The framing is impeccable, matching the shape of the evergreen so accurately.  I had to move around a bit to get it “just right.”  The triangular framing adds a uniqueness to the photo and interest.

Geometrically, I like the shape of the elements in the picture.  The broken tree trunk and the evergreen in the centre depicts a triangular shape.  This shape predominates the entire photo.

One negative is the clutter the other branches create in the photo.  They distract from the centre element, and make it harder to see.  If they were removed or reduced, the triangular framing would stand out more.

The other thing is the evergreen tree is slightly out of focus.  It would have been better if it was shaper.  This was likely an aperture issue, that is, not getting deep enough depth of field.  It is something that I will have to work on.

Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!