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!

Spruce After The Rain – Critique


“Spruce After The Rain” is our photo for this week’s critique.  It depicts a branch of a spruce tree after the rain.  This tree stands in our front yard.  The photo was taken in August.  Let’s discuss it’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s clear that the spotlight is on the one branch in centre of the photo.  This branch is in crisp focus, and its colours suggest life, and vibrancy.  It takes your eye from the bottom right across the photo to the top left.

This photo has a lot of beautiful bokeh.  The sunlight makes the raindrops hanging on the needles sparkle.  That’s where all the circular bokeh comes from.

The branches below and above the central one to me is a little distracting.  It doesn’t add anything to the photo, and steals the spotlight from the central branch, particularly the small branch below that is in focus.

There are a few spots in the photo that appear overexposed.  On the right side, some of the raindrops are glaringly white.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!


Blazing – Critique

Purple Blazing Star

This week’s critique is on “Blazing.”  It’s a photo of purple Blazing Star flowers growing in a garden close to my place.  This photo was taken in July.  Let’s go over what works and what could be improved.

What I immediately love about this photo is the crisp fibrous flowers.  You can see the texture and the vivid colours of what I presume are the petals.

There is good balance in this photo.   When you look at this photo, your eyes first go to the flower on the left side.  Then you notice the two out-of-focus flowers on the right side.     This creates equal weight on both sides of the photo.

The background is a problem.  You can make out the rather unappealing brown building in the background.  I would have rather the background be all green or be blue on top.

There are more flaws in the background than the building.  On the right side, there is a white spot which could be an unfocused sign.  It is overexposed.  Furthermore,  there are two blurry flowers behind the main one that to me is distracting and could be removed.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Ornaments – Critique


“Ornaments” is our photo for this week’s critique.  I believe the photo shows Canadian Buffaloberries, but I’m not completely certain.  They were found in a wooded area near our place.  This photo was taken in July.  Let’s pick out what’s good and what’s not so great.

What you may not realize at first glance is the repetition of the number three.   What is obvious is the three bright orange berries.  Less obvious are the three leaves facing the viewer adjacent to the berries.  In this one area, the number three is repeated.

Another subtle element in the photo is the bokeh in the background.  There are a few circular bokeh on the left side that makes the background look interesting.

To me the right side of the photo is a bit of a clutter.  There are branches and leaves that are superfluous.

The berries look they may be slightly overexposed.  You can see there is too much highlight on the berries.  I wonder if I should have spot metered the exposure on the berries to get a better exposure.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

The Meaning of Love – Critique


This week’s critique is on “The Meaning of Love.”  It’s a photo of a red rose that was in our front yard garden.  It was captured in June.   Let’s go over its good and not so great qualities.

The colour in this photo is magnificent.  The red rose is brought out by the complementary green background.   They strongly contrast each other.

There is also contrast in the sharpness of the rose and its background.  You can see that the background is very soft and fluffy.  This highly contrasts with the sharpness of the rose.

The composition could have been better.  What I’m most disappointed in is the bud that is behind the rose.  You can just barely see it.  I wish that it was completely hidden, or jut out more so it can be seen and appreciated.

Is the perspective dull and boring?  You can see that I took this photo facing directly at the rose.  If I had changed the perspective, looking sideways, down, or up at the rose, would that have added more interest?

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Framed – Critique


“Framed” is our photo for this week’s critique.  It’s a picture of the medical building on Queen’s campus.  It was taken in May.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

This photo is all about lines.  You can see there are lines going horizontally and vertically.  What I especially like is the criss-crossing of the lines to form “X’s” on the left side.  There are three of these “X’s” going diagonally across the photo.

I also like the muted monochromatic-like colour in this photo.  The soft faint blue colour of the glass creates a melancholy mood.

To me, the structure inside the building on the right side ruins the photo.  It disrupts the lines, and monochromatic colour scheme.

This photo looks a bit underexposed.  Does this add a moodiness to the photo?  Or would the photo look better with more light?

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Regal – Critique


Our photo for this week’s critique is “Regal.”  It’s shows a pink and purple flower.  I believe it’s a peony but I’m not certain.  The picture was taken in June.  Let’s discuss what works well and what needs improvement.

I love the sharpness of the pink flaky petals.  You can see the details in the petals like the smooth texture and the transition in colour.

Speaking of colours, the colours in this photo rock.  The different shades of pink are the stars of the show.  Bold purple petals lie behind the pink centre and creates a beautiful background.

Here, the focus isn’t on the exact centre of the flower.  Should I have focused in the centre? Would that make a better photo?

This was a very tight, close-up shot of the flower.  Am I too close?  Would backing up a bit help with the composition?

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!