Christmas Welcome – Photo Critique


For this week’s photo critique, we will look at “Christmas Welcome.”  It’s a photo of a Christmas wreath on the door of City Hall.  It was taken last Friday.  Let’s discuss some of the positive and negative aspects of this photo.

I love all the interesting textures in this photo.  You have the prickly needles, the rugged cedar leaves, the shiny textured bow and the smooth glass and wood.

The colours are also very appealing.  There are cool blues and greens.  This contrasts with the warm glow of the golden bow.

The composition could have been slightly better.  It just seems like the photo was cut off at the bottom.  I should have shown more of the bow and wreath.

There is a distracting “D” a few centimetres above the centre of the bow.  If I had Photoshop, I think I would have removed it.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!


Snow on Perilla – Photo Critique


This week’s photo critique is on “Snow on Perilla.”  The photo shows dead perilla flowers covered in snow.  These perilla herbs are from our garden.  The photo was taken in late November.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

I love the minimal colours in this photo.  There are just white, brown and grey.  It sort of looks like the photo has gone through a sepia filter.

The photo conjures up a different scene than what it really is.  If you squint, the background looks like snow covered trees in a forest.

The exposure is slightly off.  The photo looks a bit underexposed.

The focal point of the photo, the foreground perilla stem on right, is not all in focus.  The top portion of the stem is sharp, but as you go down, the focus is lost.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!


Highligther – Photo Critique


“Highlighter” is our photo for this week’s critique.  I believe the photo shows Winged Burning Bush leaves, but I’m not completely certain.  They were found in a wooded area near my place.  This photo was taken in November.  Let’s go over what works well and what needs improvement.

The most striking thing about this photo is its colour.  I love the leaves’ bright pink purplish hue. It really pops out from the slightly darker background.

There is also good detail in this photo.  You can see the serrated edge of the leaf and its lighter veins.

The background isn’t as nice as it could be.  I wished it were darker and didn’t show as much pink.  The pink in the background steals the thunder from the foreground pink leaves.

I wonder whether this photo needs a tighter crop.  There are extraneous bits of leaves on the left and some on the right that could be cut out.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Airbrush – Photo Critique


For this week’s photo critique, we will look at “Airbrush.”  It’s a photo of a trunk of a small maple leaf tree in the fall.  It was taken in November in a park near my place.  Let’s discuss some of its positive and negative aspects.

I like the perspective of this photo.  Here, I placed the camera very close to the trunk to get this unique viewpoint.  It resulted in the left side being blurred out, almost as if someone had airbrushed that portion of the photo.

There are interesting lines in this photo.  The small trunk eventually splits into three large branches going across the right side.  The little branch with the leaves, the focal point of the photo, repeats this pattern of three lines with its three leaf stalks.

This photo looks like it is slightly underexposed.  It appears a bit dark even after I adjusted the exposure in post production.

There are a few things that muddy the theme of three lines.   The out-of-focus large branch sticking out of the leaf near the centre right of the photo wrecks this theme.  Also, the leaf stalk radiating from bottom of the small branch adds a fourth line.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Change and Constant – Photo Critique

Version 3

This week’s photo critique is on “Change and Constant.” It depicts a maple tree next to utility poles.  The photo was taken in late October near my neighbourhood.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

When I look at this photo I see geometric shapes and lines.  The tree on the left forms a nice circle.  Beside the tree are utility poles with cables.  These form vertical lines in the photo.  They also act as leading lines guiding you to the bottom of the photo.

There is a good sense of balance here.  The tree on the left with its changing colours is the main focal point.  The utility poles and power lines then pull you towards the right.  They balance each other out.

This photo looks like it is slightly overexposed.  You can see that the sky is mostly blown out white.

When I initially took this photo, I didn’t want the road to be seen.  The road to me was not very exciting.  This meant I had to angle my shot up high, cutting off the bottom of the trees and poles.  Looking at it now I’m not sure if this strategy worked.  Does it look sort of weird being cut off at the bottom?

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

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!