Looking for some critique

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#1 TheWillBox on 5 years ago

Hello, I'm new to this community and started seriously shooting cosplays for about 11 months now. This shot was from this past Saturday (March 22) and I wanted to get some critique on what you guys might have done differently with the lines, framing, colors.

I always like to see what other's do and try to see where I can improve my own shots.

[IMG]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3797/13407735225_b95487e3c6.jpg[/IMG]

Link to set:
[url]http://flic.kr/s/aHsjVnz8Gt[/url]

BG info on the shot: I distorted the framing to extend her arm out a little more, gradient the horizon to catch the clouds, kept the tree lines darker but not enough to clip. Radial exposure on her face to keep up the tones. No flashes or reflectors were used, but the snow was a natural reflector anyways.

#2 TykeJack on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=TheWillBox;4849499]Hello, I'm new to this community and started seriously shooting cosplays for about 11 months now. This shot was from this past Saturday (March 22) and I wanted to get some critique on what you guys might have done differently with the lines, framing, colors.

I always like to see what other's do and try to see where I can improve my own shots.

[IMG]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3797/13407735225_b95487e3c6.jpg[/IMG]

Link to set:
[url]http://flic.kr/s/aHsjVnz8Gt[/url]

BG info on the shot: I distorted the framing to extend her arm out a little more, gradient the horizon to catch the clouds, kept the tree lines darker but not enough to clip. Radial exposure on her face to keep up the tones. No flashes or reflectors were used, but the snow was a natural reflector anyways.[/QUOTE]

I think you did a good job with this image and I like it, but that's irrelevant to a critique.

I think the lighting is fine, though adding in another light source for some directional lighting can offer a stronger dynamic and help lead the eye through the image.

My main critique will be on pose and composition. I feel that you have too big of a margin on the right side of the picture. Essentially, everything past her left arm is unnecessary for the pose. This is why I listed them together because the pose should determine composition. You see, her hands already create a frame and a story. So the image/composition should start with one hand, her right, then end with the other hand, her left. With the way her right arm is extended and her left arm is angled up, this would position her head right on the right rule-of-thirds vertical line and ideally place her head at the top rule-of-thirds horizontal line, right on that sweet spot. The extra trees, sky, and snow on the right of the image don't add anything to her pose and since that pose naturally closes the image with her left arm, it's just extra. Now, it might be a different story if you had that extra space on the left side of the image because then you could argue that it creates the scene as it leads into the pose that ultimately closes with the left arm.

My next criticism is with the pose itself. I like the pose, it's a great pose, but I have a problem with where her eyes are pointing and where her right hand is directing towards. There is a disconnect there. Normally when you have your hand raised in such a way, you're raising it directly at your opponent and naturally your eyes would be pointed in the same direction. Now, sure, it's possible maybe she's surrounded by enemies and she's looking at one enemy while facing another, but there is nothing in the image to support or suggest that interpretation. It's just a common posing technique, that you look where you point.

Keep in mind, this is a good photograph. These two critiques are just minor technical issues. The lighting suggestion is simply that, it's just a suggestion, not a critique because there is nothing technically wrong with the lighting. I never use any lighting equipment personally, so I'm not trying to be a hypocrite. I'm just commenting on what adding a directional light would do for the image.

Hope this helps a bit.

#3 TheWillBox on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=TykeJack;4849553]I think you did a good job with this image and I like it, but that's irrelevant to a critique.

I think the lighting is fine, though adding in another light source for some directional lighting can offer a stronger dynamic and help lead the eye through the image.

My main critique will be on pose and composition. I feel that you have too big of a margin on the right side of the picture. Essentially, everything past her left arm is unnecessary for the pose. This is why I listed them together because the pose should determine composition. You see, her hands already create a frame and a story. So the image/composition should start with one hand, her right, then end with the other hand, her left. With the way her right arm is extended and her left arm is angled up, this would position her head right on the right rule-of-thirds vertical line and ideally place her head at the top rule-of-thirds horizontal line, right on that sweet spot. The extra trees, sky, and snow on the right of the image don't add anything to her pose and since that pose naturally closes the image with her left arm, it's just extra. Now, it might be a different story if you had that extra space on the left side of the image because then you could argue that it creates the scene as it leads into the pose that ultimately closes with the left arm.

My next criticism is with the pose itself. I like the pose, it's a great pose, but I have a problem with where her eyes are pointing and where her right hand is directing towards. There is a disconnect there. Normally when you have your hand raised in such a way, you're raising it directly at your opponent and naturally your eyes would be pointed in the same direction. Now, sure, it's possible maybe she's surrounded by enemies and she's looking at one enemy while facing another, but there is nothing in the image to support or suggest that interpretation. It's just a common posing technique, that you look where you point.

Keep in mind, this is a good photograph. These two critiques are just minor technical issues. The lighting suggestion is simply that, it's just a suggestion, not a critique because there is nothing technically wrong with the lighting. I never use any lighting equipment personally, so I'm not trying to be a hypocrite. I'm just commenting on what adding a directional light would do for the image.

Hope this helps a bit.[/QUOTE]


Awesome dude! Very clear and concise, I love. Thank you for taking the time to observe and write all of that, I really appreciate it.

1) I tried just blocking off the right side of the photo and you are right, it's extra and does not add to the focal part, in fact the eyes kinda avoid that section or fall off the lines when it reaches there. I originally had it a closer zoom but for some reason I didn't like her taking up so much of the frame. I'm not sure how else to fix it though, but I'll keep that in mind as I re-edit.

2) That's a valid criticism as well since I did more work angling myself to make her lines work, than actually auditing her pose and her eye line. That honestly has never come up in my head, a consistency of body direction and eye line... you totally made me think of something new. I'll keep that in mind as well. Thanks for bringing that up since it's not something I really notice.

Yeah I wish I was adept in using flash and off camera lighting. I know it can really help tell the story and create lines for the eyes to follow. I think I need to play around a lot more with my lighting set up before I use it in my shoots. Then again I guess that's the best way to learn how to use it.

Thanks again!

#4 shumi31 on 5 years ago

Oh stunning photo, seems like the real one!

#5 jcat on 5 years ago

Overall pretty good. But since you asked for a critique...
The hand positions need work. Fingers should be spread more evenly and tilted so show all of them. Missing the thumb on her right and the middle & pinky curl into the palm too much on the left and disappear.
Her direction of movement and eye position do not match up. As an overall rule you don't want your subject looking off the image. Our own eyes will follow the subject's eyes to see what they're looking at so you need to have something there.
When we look at image we do it the same way we read, start at the left top and work our way right and down. Look at the objects that get in our way as we work toward the subject. Do they add and draw us into where we want the eye to flow? Where will the eye stop?
There is too much empty space on the right and the eye will keep going thinking there might be more when there isn't and will stop there. We don't like looking back to the left unless something forces us to. Years of reading have ingrained it into us, so you need to use that to your advantage when composing.
Adding in a swooping snow wave starting lower right and rising up and around to the left would create a wonderful line for the eye to follow slowly upwards and then accelerate down and into the face. You would need a full body shot to do this, build it off the dress flowing behind to give a sense of movement and transition that onto the snow swish and back up over the arm onto the head and you will have a very dynamic image. Give her an object to focus on from an angle of power and you have a story.

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