Handsome – Critique


For this week’s critique, we’ll look at “Handsome.”  It’s a photo of the facade of Chernoff Hall on Queen’s Campus.  It was taken over a month ago.  Let’s go over it’s strengths and weaknesses.

One of the strengths of this photo is the viewpoint.  Here, the camera was angled so that the structure and frames are not vertical but are instead on a diagonal.  It creates a very different and interesting composition.

There is also an element of repetition.  We can see that the frames in the windows and the limestone structures are repeated.  It gives a very pleasing design.

As for weaknesses, this photo has a somewhat distracting object in it.  The branches on the right side to me doesn’t add to the photo.

As you can see, the photo was taken on an overcast sky.  I wonder if it would have worked better on a bright sunnier day.  That way more shadows would have been casted to reveal the structure better.  Also, the textures would have been more pronounced.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Fiery – Critique


This week’s critique is on “Fiery.” It’s a photo of tulips found in front of Dunning Hall on Queen’s University Campus.  It was taken about a month ago.  Let’s go over what works well and what could be improved.

The colours in this photo are what instantly grabs your attention.  Reds, oranges, and yellows abundant in this photo suggest hot fire.  The cool greens nicely complements these warm hues.

We have some pretty good bokeh in this photo.  There are subtle circular bokeh just to the right of the tulip in focus.

The condition of the main tulip could be better.  As you can see, it’s starting to wilt and die off.

The background is somewhat disorganized.  There is no pattern to the tulips in the background.  It just looks cluttered and all over the place.  I think if I had angled the camera lower, I might have gotten a photo where all the tulips heads were aligned.

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!

House of Knowledge – Critique


Our photo for this week’s critique is “House of Knowledge.” It depicts a walkway outside of Stauffer Library on Queen’s University campus.  It was taken about three weeks ago.  Let’s look at the positives and the negatives of this photo.

The repetition in this photo is one of the positives.  You can see that there are repeating elements in this photo,  the columns on the left, the benches, the trees, and the plants beside the trees.  The repeated elements create a regular rhythm moving from the edges of the photo to the centre.

One more positive is the sense of linear perspective in this photo.  The columns and the trees gradually become smaller and diminish towards the vanishing point near the middle of the photo.

One negative is that both the repetition and linear perspective is very short.  If the pattern was continued for a longer distance, the photo would have been more spectacular.

Another low point is the distracting eye sore in the photo.  That eye sore is the ugly trash container in the centre right.  I should have paid more attention to it when I was taking the photo.

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!

Justice – Critique


For this week’s critique, we will look at “Justice.”  It’s a photo of the Frontenac County Court House near Queen’s University campus in Kingston, Ontario.   The photo was captured a little more than two weeks ago.  Let’s discuss what works well and what needs improvement.

What works well is the relationship between the fountain and the court house.   The much smaller fountain in the foreground acts like a stepping stone, or an antechamber, to the much larger court house.  You would “leap” from the fountain before landing on the court house.

I also like the minimal colours in this photo.  There are basically four dominant colours, brown, turquoise, grey and white.   The white in the sky really isolates and brings attention to the architecture of the building.  The minimal colours also simplify the photo, and help to focus attention on the geometric shapes and textures.

What could be improved is perhaps the composition.  You can see that the fountain and the building’s name are cut off.   Would it have looked better with those intact?

This photo was taken on an overcast day.  I wonder whether it would have looked more cheerful if the sun was out?  Do you think the colours are a bit drab here?

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!

I’m yours – Critique


“I’m yours” is the focus of this week’s critique.  It’s a photo of bleeding hearts.  These flowers were growing in front of the Greek Orthodox church in downtown Kingston.   They were photographed a little more than a week ago.  Let’s go over it’s strong and weak points.

The simplicity of the photo is one of its strong points.  There is really just one element in this photo, and that is the bleeding heart flowers.  Nothing else takes away from these flowers.

I also love the colours in this photo.  There is essentially two colours, maybe three if you’re being stringent.  As you can see, the red and green complement each other.

One potential weak point is the very shallow depth of field.  I wonder if showing more of the flowers in focus would be better?

The photo almost looks like it is slightly underexposed.  A longer exposure might have worked better.  Or some post-production exposure correction might have helped.

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!

Nightlife – Critique


This week’s critique is on “Nightlife.”  It is a photo of Ontario Street in Kingston after sunset.  It was taken about three weeks ago.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

The one thing I really love about this photo is the sharpness.  You can make out the exact time that this photo was captured on the City Hall clock.  You can also clearly see inside the drum of City Hall.

There is a bit of linear perspective in this photo.  The vanishing point is close to the bottom right.  I like the triangular shape formed by the buildings as they recede into the vanishing point.

One weakness of this photo is its complexity.  There is a lot going on.  We can see two people and a car moving towards the camera, the buildings, the street lamps and building signs, the flag and trees in the background.  There is a lot of elements in this photo.

There is also a lack of continuity in the car headlights.  The trail of white lights from the car starts and stops after a short distance.  It would have looked better if the light trail was continued across the photo.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Opening up – Critique


We will discuss “Opening Up” for this week’s critique.  It is a photo of a white tulip found in my backyard.  The photo was taken about two weeks ago.  Let’s go over what works and what can be improved.

I love that the tulip is the centre of attention.  The white and yellow flower jumps out at you from the darker background.

The depth of field here is quite flattering.  You can see that the important part of the flower, its centre, is in sharp focus.  Everything else is blurred.   The blurred effects create a very soft touch.

What could be improved is the background.  It’s clear that the background is very muddy, and jumbled with different colours.  If it was a monochromatic green or blue, it would have been better.

The composition could also be improved here.  There is quite a lot of negative space on the left.  But the flower leans to the right.  What would have worked better is to have more negative space on the right side so that the flower has room to “move in” or “look” in that direction.

Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!