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Critique Submissions

This page contains selected February 2002 submissions from photographers who wished to have their photographs reviewed by the publisher of this site, Michael Reichmann, as well as by other readers on our Discussion Forum

Because of the large volume of submissions, as the month progresses you will find that this page loads slowly. Be patient.

For details on how to submit a photograph for critique please see the Critique / Contest page. 

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Clay E. Williams

Clay E. Williams
Long Beach, Ca; USA

Camera: Mamiya 6, Lens: 75 mm, Film: Fuji Provia, Exposure: Unrecorded but estimated to be 1/60 @ f5.6 (hand held)

Photo taken in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. 

While driving along one of the many back roads, my wife spotted the elk, which were about 100 yards from the road (I approached slowly keeping a tree between the animals and me). I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the Elk antlers with the down-turned bare branches. Photoshop adjustments limited to histogram optimization.

Michael's Critique

Clay's instincts we're correct. The juxtaposition of the antlers and the branches is strong. A very fine environmental wildlife image.

My suggestion though would be to crop more tightly, removing the right-hand tree and a bit of the foreground grasses. This produces a more intimate feeling and also accentuates the antler / branch relationship.

You can add your own comments on Clay's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Rich Shelton

Rich Shelton
Westport, CT.
rich@sheltons.net
www.sheltons.net
Canon S100
 
This shot was taken from an airplane 20,000 feet over the Central Florida marsh lands.  I used a tiny Canon S100 2 megapixel camera.  The reflections, light rays, and shadows created a very interesting sight...  I always try to have a small camera with me just in case something like this presents itself!
 
You can see a larger version at http://www.sheltons.net/temp/FlaSunsetBig.jpg .

Michael's Critique

It's hard not to think that this is a composite, but I've seen enough strange and fascinating sights from airplane windows to believe that this is the real thing. Dramatic and enjoyable to see.

You can add your own comments on Rich's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Thomas W. Earle

Thomas W. Earle
Pendleton, Oregon (USA)
 twade@bmi.net

This picture was taken near Sunset Bay State Park along the coast of Oregon.  I like the colors of the rock formations near the last standing tree on this outcrop.  You can see two skeletal trunks from two trees that were downed by some unknown storm of the past.  I like how this picture depicts the beauty of the Oregon coast, and, at the same time, shows the never-ending onslaught of mother nature.
 
    Film:            Fuji Provia 100F @ ASA 100
    Exposure:    1/15 sec @ f45
    Camera:       Wisner Expedition 4x5
    Lens:           Fuji 450C 450 mm f/12.5

Michael's Critique

I'm not very moved by this photograph. There's no unifying graphic component to the composition and the bland sky further prevents it from capturing my interest. While it serves as a record of the scene, it fails to provide a unique perspective. The warm light on the rock is the only redeeming feature, but it isn't prominent enough to help much.

You can add your own comments on Wade's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Jim Heikkinen 

— Place your cursor over this image to view my suggested variation.

Jim Heikkinen 
Sweden
jimh@fotografi.se

Nikon N70
Sigma 28-70/2.8 EX
Fuji Provia 100F

The image is a stitched panorama consisting of five images taken at 28 mm. 

Larger version can be found at: http://www.fotosidan.se/gallery/viewlarge.htm?ID=13317

Michael's Critique

Jim hasn't been afraid to expose for the highlight of the sky around the sun and to let the shadows fall where they may. A striking image that nicely evokes a winter feeling. I find though that the colour balance is much too magenta. Place your cursor over the image to view how it looks with the magenta removed.

You can add your own comments on Jim's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Gottfried Scheel-Haefele

Gottfried Scheel-Haefele
Darmstadt
,Germany
gsh@photolog.de
www.photolog.de

Color foto converted to B/W in Photoshop using the film/filter adjustement of Russel Brown (http://www.russellbrown.com/body.html) Taken in the mountains near Andermatt, Switzerland, January 2002

Michael's Critique

There's possibility here but the image is let down by a lack of detail. As seen here, and in the somewhat larger version that I received, I simply can't see any texture or fine detail in the snow. Without it there isn't enough intrinsic interest in the composition to bring it off. I believe that with a high resolution image this same composition would have been much more interesting. 

You can add your own comments on Gottfried's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Bruce A. Krobusek

— Place your cursor over this image to view my suggested variation.

Bruce A. Krobusek
Farmington NY USA
brucekro@aol.com

Nikon F100, 80-200mm f/2.8, Fuji Provia 100F

During a photo workshop I attended in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, at dusk I spotted this fishing shack on a spit of land. The tonality of the water and sky made the horizon almost impossible to spot, and made the land and shack appear to be floating in midair.

Michael's Critique

This minimalist image has a lot of appeal, but I feel that the large expanse of continuous-tone sky detracts from what strength the composition has. Cropping out some of the sky would make for a somewhat stronger image. Place your cursor over the image to see what I mean.

You can add your own comments on Bruce's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Eric Fredine

Eric Fredine
Edmonton, Canada
fredine@telusplanet.net

Canon D30, EF 24-85mm

This photograph is a composite of two images: one exposed for the sky and the other for the foreground snow and mountains. I've used this technique as a digital alternative to using a graduated neutral density filter. The only other digital processing was some color correction and a small contrast increase using curves. It shows a recent sunrise over Medicine Lake in Jasper National Park.

Michael's Critique

There's no denying the strength of this photograph. But, I'm left a bit uneasy with the technical execution. The edge between the sky and the mountains is too perfect, and I feel that the foreground snow would have been coloured a lot more by the sky than is the case in this print. A split ND might have worked more convincingly.

You can add your own comments on Eric's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

David H. Jernigan

David H. Jernigan
Aransas Pass Tx 
djernigan@cableone.net

Sunrise at the Ski Basin Rockport Tx

Michael's Critique

As photographers we can learn from weak as well as strong images. There are several things here that could be improved. First, there is no center of interest. It was likely intended to be the birds against the sunset, but a lot of things get in the way. The birds are much too far away and lost in the mid-frame clutter; the horizon isn't straight; the foreground is unnecessary and messy, and the telephone poles and lines are distracting. The sky is also lacking in interest.

A lot of things could be said about what might have worked better, but it's best left as an example of what not to do.

You can add your own comments on David's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

David R. Gurtcheff

David R. Gurtcheff
Westmont, NJ USA
gurtch@aol.com

Pentax 645N, 35mm manual focus Pentax lens, Orange filter. Film: Kodak Verichrome Pan.
Negative scanned with a Polaroid 120 Sprintscan into Photoshop 6.0. Sky and foreground each isolated, and put on their own layers. Adjustment layers (levels) used for each individual layer. Dodging and burning performed, and edges and corners slightly darkened to simulate the way I would print this in my wet darkroom. For printing, a color adjustment layer is added, (after converting to RGB), and 5 units R, 5 units G, and 7units B used. A 13"x19" print was made with an Epson 1270 on Premium Glossy Paper. The resulting print looks like a hand printed darkroom print, lightly toned in Kodak Blue (gold chloride) toner. Image made Jan 2002 on Long Beach Island, NJ.

Michael's Critique

I find this to be a compelling image. What works best about it is the dimensionality — the extreme depth leading the eye along the fence into the sun, and how the con-trails act as accents in the sky. Well seen and well printed (if I can use that word for a web-image).

You can add your own comments on David's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

James P. Nelson

— Place your cursor over this image to view my suggested variation.

James P. Nelson
Coralville
, Iowa, USA
nelsonimages@home.com

Denali Sunset
Canon V1 with Canon 17-35mm f2.8 lens.
Late August Alaska trip to Denali. Evening sunset at mirror lake. Very peaceful......

Michael's Critique

This is a pleasant image that nicely captures the feeling of the locale. But, like many submissions that I receive, I feel that it is let down be not being judiciously cropped. About 20% off the top of the frame removes sky that doesn't contribute to the composition, and also brings the viewer into a more dynamic framing that better emphasizes the expanse of the Alaskan wilderness. Pass your cursor over the image to see what I mean.

You can add your own comments on James' photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Vesa-Pekka Per”kyl” 

Vesa-Pekka Per”kyl” 
Helsinki, Finland 
vpera@hotmail.com

EOS-3, 100-400mm at 400mm, Sensia 100, about 1/100s and f6.7, handheld.

Taken on holiday in Finnish Lapland where we had a short walk with my family above the tree line at Pallastunturi ("tunturi" = fjeld, small mountain). Taking the amount of work (lack of it) needed for the photo in to consideration I liked this environmental reindeer portrait even though the light was somewhat dull. Unfortunately last year the best fall colors weren't there either.

Michael's Critique

I don't receive that many wildlife submissions, so I was pleased to see this one. The elk's pose is classic, though as Vesa-Pekka says, the foliage colour and the light are less than optimal.

My only suggestion would be to crop off the sky. It makes the composition tighter and no longer draws the eye away from the main subject due to its brightness.

You can add your own comments on Vesa-Pekka's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Jason Larson

Jason Larson
Shadowplay Photography
Gainesville, Florida
www.shadowplayphoto.com
jlarson@shadowplayphoto.com
 
Canon D30
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX HSM w/ 2x Teleconverter @ 140mm
1/20 sec @ f5.6
ISO 100
 
This shot was taken at Lake Alice on the campus of the University of Florida. I thought this photo very fitting since our mascot is the Gators and our colors are orange and blue. We were there on that evening watching the wading birds fly in to roust in the trees at the edge of the lake. There was a spectacular sunset and as I shot this gator I moved around to get the reflection in the water. Sometimes things just fall together with little help from us.

Michael's Critique

This one is just plain fun. Combine the classic alligator "peek" with the warm colours of sunset and you have a captivating photograph.

You can add your own comments on Jason's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Phil Regendanz

Phil Regendanz
Four Ducks And A Passing Summer Storm

Lake Ontario at Pickering, Ontario. July 1999

OLYMPUS OM-1 body, Zuiko 24mm f 2.8 lens, Kodacolor 400 film, Exposure f 8.0, 1/125sec
Digital:  Scanned into Corel Photo Paint from 4x6 machine print on Canon N650U flatbed. Alterations:  USM, Contrast (+5)

If the lightning that preceded this scene was the end of it I'd have gone
home happy... as luck and timing would have it though, the sun broke through and everything went into fluorescent mode.  Having a roll of 25 Kodaclolor or a 4/5 would have done this scene complete justice.  Only did one variation of this and no brackets. Ahhhhhhh...

Michael's Critique

I'm afraid that the four ducks mentioned in this photograph's title aren't visible at this size, but regardless, they are not needed to make this a strong image. What makes this more than "just another pretty sky" is how the thin line of foam along the shore echoes the white clouds above, and how the fluorescent clouds at left are reflected in the lake, thus creating an image with two almost contradictory palettes.

You can add your own comments on Phil's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Dennis McKenzie 

Dennis McKenzie 
Wasilla, Alaska, USA.  
djmckenzie@webtv.net

Nikon N80, Tokina f/2.8 28-80mm pro lens, Provia F100, Tripod, cable release.

Sitting on a beach near Rome, Italy on our last day there. I set up my gear and watched with wonder as the setting sun put on an amazing light show from the softest pastels to the strongest reds I had ever seen. This image is only worked in PS to match the slide. The colors are true. It was a great ending to a great trip as I had a conversation with an Italian man who spoke good English while I pushed the cable release from time to time and was able to exchange views and idea's of life while the sunset around us.

Michael's Critique

What raises this above the typical pretty sunset is the layering of the clouds as well as the variety of colours and tonalities in the sky and water. I find the foreground object obscure though, and therefore distracting. Either the photograph would benefit from it being more distinguishable, or not there at all.

You can add your own comments on Dennis' photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Leigh Perry

Leigh Perry
Sydney, Australia
lperry@breakpoint.com.au
Provia 100F, Canon 17-35L lens at 20mm, Canon EOS 50. Two exposures 3 stops apart, merged in Photoshop.
Other digital processing: Curves & saturation adjustment, unsharp masking.

This photograph was taken on Sydney's coastline 20 minutes after dawn last weekend. A rainy night had cleared the sky and created interesting cloud patterns. A large version is here. Here is another take on the same clouds from a minute later.

Michael's Critique

Sometimes it takes one component of a composition to bring life to the others. The sky is the most dramatic aspect of this image. Block it out with your hand and look just at the cliff and water. Interesting, but not compelling. Put them all together though and you have a very strong photograph.

You can add your own comments on Leigh's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Birgir Freyr Birgisson

Birgir Freyr Birgisson
Iceland
logos@mmedia.is

This photo was taken July 2001 with a Mamiya 645 camera using the 80mm f2,8 lens set at f11 on Fuji Velvia. Shutter speed not recorded. Only corrected color hue in Photoshop. This is the largest waterfall in Europe.

Michael's Critique

There are two things that catch my eye in this photograph. The first is, of course, the figures standing at the edge of the cliff. This is one of those cases where having humans in the landscape are a must for establishing scale. The contrast of the green moss-like foreground and the monochromatic water and mist add interest as well.

You can add your own comments on Birgir's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

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