Photo critique please !

Archived Thread
Our site is currently being changed over to the new version. Everything you see is currently in read-only mode. Additionally, the layout and UI will not be complete until all sections have been re-enabled, so please ignore any layout issues (or bland-ness) at this time.
#1 passerslife on 5 years ago

Hey lately I'm trying to look for a new direction to take with my photography. But before that it would be nice to get some feedback from ppl with more skills and experience! I would appreciate it greatly if I could be told what I need to work on and improve!

Here are a couple shots that I took recently




Complete sets can be found on [URL=""][/URL]

#2 nathancarter on 5 years ago

Overall, a decent set. Good use of natural light, and all consistent in the style and processing.

Opinion: I think you're relying too much on the ol' Dutch Tilt - that is, giving the shot an angle where none is really necessary; trying to force drama into an image instead of creating it with pose, facial expression, and other compositional techniques that AREN'T the dutch tilt. It works for the first image, not so much on the second and third. Looking briefly through your Tumblr, the majority are tilted a little or a lot.

Image 1: Good lighting and pretty good pose. The skin's a little hot, almost clipping on the back of her neck, but I personally like that - I often overexpose girls' skin by a half stop or even more; it's a cheap way to make skin look clean and fresh and blemish-free.

I don't like the hair right in front of her eye, obscuring the whole iris and pupil, especially since she would otherwise be making eye contact with the camera/viewer. That alone would prevent this one from being a keeper for me. Turn the head very slightly more, or very slightly less - just get that hair off the pupil and iris.

Image 2: The tilt makes it feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Otherwise, good poses and nice facial expressions, and the overcast/rain makes for a nice soft light.

It's overexposed a little bit; you're clipping detail in the white parts of the costume. If you often struggle with this, start using the histogram more, turn on the "blinkies" in your image playback settings in camera, and set exposure using the "expose to the right" theory, or ETTR.

Image 3: Again, I don't feel that the tilt contributes to the overall composition, especially since she's now looking right out the nearest side of the frame, and you've cropped her hand in half. A standard rule-of-thirds composition, in landscape format, placing her in the right of the frame and looking into the empty left part of the frame, would have been a much more solid composition.

Also, way overexposed, either in camera or in post. There's no detail in the snow, no detail in the white parts of the outfit, and no distinction between the two. It's quite possible to keep things white without blowing them out completely.

Cute model, and skin looks nice and well-processed (or made up) - but with half the image completely blown out, and with the tilted composition that detracts instead of enhances, I can't really bring myself to like it.

Here's a thread discussing the pros and cons of Dutch Tilt technique:

#3 WonJohnSoup on 5 years ago

Yeah, the excessive Dutch angle hit me first, and I'm a fan of the Dutch angle for cosplay. I think a big part of it is that the subjects in the first two are coming straight out of a corner, which is usually not a great idea for most shots when you're doing the Dutch angle. I though th third one worked well because it didn't do that.

Second one also didn't call for it much because with three folks stacked nicely (good job), it really didn't need it as it had the whole triangle balancing composition and varied poses done pretty well by themselves.

Overall, I liked these shots!

#4 TheWillBox on 5 years ago

I'd definitely be careful with upping the exposure to high where you lose details in the skin or costume. When skin blends into the background I lose the natural lines and lose focus on the photo.

The framing and posing is done well, too many people rely on the dutch angle these days so if you want to stand out try to only use it when it adds to the photo and overall story of the shot.

#5 passerslife on 5 years ago

Hey guys thanks for all of your great feedback!

I tried to do something new this time around, what do you think? (Although these are shot with a much superior camera/lens/flash)




(supergirl was shot last week with my own camera tho)


I tried to work around with backlight, not sure if I've succeeded tho. But it's something different from what I am used to I guess. I'm liking the change!

#6 TheWillBox on 5 years ago

I'm surprised we haven't bumped into each other yet since we shoot in the same city haha.

1) I like the story in this, the girl on the floor is not sharp which is a little distracting. The girl standing up her hair is a little soft too, but if you are looking for a over all soft look then it's fine. Nice use of back lighting and colors.

2) It's nice, I wonder if it would be framed better if the hands were dead center, the line behind them also dead center and the girl in blue wig showing one eye. It could be a nice symmetry piece.

3) Again the losing the hair to the sky is distracting and the background is a little too busy for this costume in my opinion.

#7 passerslife on 5 years ago

Hey guys, thanks for all the feed back. I am back again with a new set, would be greatly appreciated if feedback can be given ;D



#8 jcat on 5 years ago

I would be more careful with backgrounds. There's a lot of lines going through peoples heads.
Also keep in mind the harshness of the light you're shooting in, this is creating a lot of contrast and you're loosing detail through the highlights and blocking up the dmax. Use a reflector to even out the exposure a bit. Feather the light from the reflector to get the 3:1 ratio digital loves.
A quick and cheap reflector is a giant piece of foam insulation from a home improvement store that has silver foil on one side. Works great.
I don't know if you're shooting in RAW or not. I would recommend it, much greater control in the processing end of the equation. Use Adobe Lightroom for conversion, it has incredible control and would allow you to keep detail in the white fabric and open up the shadow detail too.
Overall, improving. Really pay attention to the surroundings as much as you do to the model. All the elements must work together so the eye will flow exactly where you want it. Lines leading off the image instead of into the subject makes people pass over your image and move on.

#9 SBoo on 5 years ago

You have a great eye for colors in all of your photographs, they really pop. I think two of the main things you need to work on are exposure and distracting backgrounds.

Exposure: It seems like the high-key look is definitely your style, but there is too much clipping in areas that would be better suited with more detail, such as people's hair or her cape and flower in the last image. The first thing our eyes are drawn to are the lightest areas in an image, and you don't want your viewer's attention getting caught on random details like the ones I pointed out above. This is a very easy fix in Lightroom or Photoshop.

Distracting Backgrounds: This is an easy fix with a longer lens, a shallower DOF or a combination of the two. And like the poster above me wrote, if these aren't available or you prefer using high apertures for a sharper image, try to pay more attention to the background so that you can choose angles that are less busy.

Hope this helps, awesome images!