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Critique Submissions

This page contains selected January 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

The winner this month's contest and a free issue of the Video Journal is Nick Thomas.

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

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Nick Thomas

Nick Thomas
Cardiff
South Wales, UK
nick.thomas3@virgin.net
Pool & Sky
Canon D30 with Sigma 24-70mm f2.8, Blend of two exposures in Photoshop (1/15 at f22 for beach, 1/60 at f22 for sky) with levels and curves adjustments to bring out the reflection in the pool on the sand.
Photographed on Southerndown beach, South Wales on a misty overcast afternoon.
 
Larger image and more images can be found at
http://freespace.virgin.net/nick.thomas3/index.htm

Michael's Critique

Simplicity, texture, gorgeous light and excellent composition make this a highly successful photograph. Nick has also utilized technology well in producing an image that would have been much more difficult to execute with non-digital means. Simply lovely.

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

Adri de Groot

Adri de Groot
adrijanus@juno.com

Shot with Linhof 617 on Fuji Velvia, last frame of film on roll. Taken with tripod. Data unrecorded.

Michael's Critique

I enjoy the contrasting tonalities of this photograph — the way they transition from the white snow, through the brown grass and then finally to the blackness of the trees. The counterpoint of the three major trees, bare branches, spruce and then the forked pine adds a graphical dimension. These, combined with the wide aspect ratio create a dynamic tension that is appealing.

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

Paul Fisher

Paul Fisher
Perth, Western Australia
pdfisher1@iprimus.com.au

Nikon FG, Nikkor 28-80 at a fairly wide setting Kodak Gold 100 print film, scanned from the negative by the lab. On-camera flash Hand-held

Digital manipulation has been limited to levels adjustment, edge-preserving smooth to reduce grain, and a touch of unsharp mask. 

This wonderful place is called Star Swamp, and is located in the northern suburbs of Perth. The site is surrounded by roads and houses, and a primary school is just a couple of hundred meters away. However, it is possible to walk a few steps off the pathway, and find yourself in an incredible pristine wetland. Melaleuca (paperbark) trees grow in the water, and are reflected in its glassy still surface. Sunlight filters through the trees, and is reflected from the water, creating an eerie ambience. In this case I used a tiny pop of on-camera flash just to lift the light levels a bit. The whole site was slated for "development" a few years ago, but a concerted campaign by locals had the decision reversed, and the land is now a nature reserve.

Michael's Critique

At first this appears to just be a jumble, but then slowly one sees the patterns of the branches, and a weird symmetry evolves. The colours also contribute to making this a fascinating but disconcerting image. It also shows how interesting subjects can sometimes be found even in ones own "back yard".

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

Nikos Roussos

NIKOS ROUSSOS
ATHENS,GREECE
E-MAIL:DRSOF@HOL.GR

SHOT ON TRANSPARENCY FILM WITH PENTAX LX AND 28MM LENS .

LOCATION: METEORA, GREECE. THIS IS AN AREA FULL OF MASSIVE ROCKY FORMATIONS, SHAPED BY WIND AND RAIN CORROSION.

Michael's Critique

I like the drama of the light in this photograph. There's a lot of mystery, and once one sees the scale of things a bit of awe as well. My only suggestion would be that the branches in the upper left, though in shadow, are somewhat distracting. I would be tempted to "clone" them out, or to darken that side a bit more to make them less obtrusive.

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

Jack Kitchen

Jack Kitchen
Scottsdale, Arizona
USA
Jkitchen2@hotmail.com

Taken with a Canon D30,  EF 17-35mm, cropped for better composition.  I made a minor adjustment in Photoshop with curves and the Unsharp Mask.

The photograph was taken near Bartlett Lake just outside of Carefree, Arizona in December 2001.  Just after snapping the shutter, a light rain started, followed by a rare snow fall.   

Michael's Critique

A lot of the right pieces are here — a dramatic sky and a stark silhouette. But I feel that the tree is a bit too much toward the center for the composition to hold. If the shot could have been framed so that the dark cloud and the branch were in opposition it might have been stronger.

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

Max Lyons

Max Lyons
Arlington, VA, USA
maxlyons@erols.com

This picture was taken (I believe) from near the spot where Ansel Adam's famous picture of Half Dome Winter was taken. But I was looking the opposite direction. The late afternoon sun just managed to peek through the hazy clouds for a couple of minutes, and illuminated these yellow trees. The image was taken in mid-November, 2001 and is a composite photograph, stitched together from three Minolta DiMage 7 images. I used Panorama Tools and PTAssembler to do the stitching, ColorFix for the color space conversion, and Photoshop for the final blending. The larger version of this photo can be found in my "California" gallery linked from my home page: http://www.erols.com/maxlyons

Michael's Critique

The light on the right side of the frame is lovely. I find the dark left half to be obscure and not to add very much to the composition or content interest. I have re-cropped it here to what I consider to be its more interesting aspect. Of course a bit more of the tops of the trees would aid my suggested composition.

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

Jim Adams

Jim Adams
San Jose, California
jtpa54@hotmail.com

Pentax 6X7 - 135mm lens, 6 sec. @ f32 - Ektachrome 64

Shot two miles above sea level in the Colorado Rockies immediately after a snowfall, before the wind and sun had a chance of destroying the beauty. The stillness enabled me the long exposure time required for the small f-stop needed.

Michael's Critique

Lovely tonalities and forms and well executed. This image only suffers from one thing, and that's the abrupt termination at the top. There's no clear point at which to crop and so the viewer is left with the feeling that there's something more above the frame which has been lost. I see no way to avoid this, but it leaves me feeling unsatisfied.

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

 

Bob Towery

Bob Towery
Granite Bay CA , USA
bobt@escapetech.com
 

Canon D30, 70-200 F4  L, tripod

We experienced an unusually fine rain for several hours.  More than a mist, but less than ìrain.î  I took out my camera and went hunting, looking for ìmicro landscapesî with interesting water patterns.  A shot like this one looked the most promising, so I returned, this time with tripod, and shot at many different apertures to achieve the necessary depth of field.  I wanted the background blurred, but most of the raindrops in focus.  It was tricky because of the breeze.  This was an occasion where I wish I had a macro lens ñ my 70-200 has a 1.2M minimum focusing depth, adding to the difficulty of the shot.  The little fuzzy thing is only about 2 inches long.  Cropped and processed in photoshop,  Taken on Dec 30th  - my best picture of the year.

Michael's Critique

I can understand why Bob likes this image. Lovely to look at and well executed. Good images are everywhere. One just has to "see" them.

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

Clay E. Williams

Clay E. Williams
Long Beach, California, USA
cew3jsm@mindspring.com

Mamiya 6 Camera, 50 mm lens, Gitzo G126 Tripod, Medium size Novoflex Head, Fuji Provia 100F. Exposure unrecorded (but is was many seconds long)

Antelope Canyon, Page Arizona, August, 2001. Shot is looking almost straight up. Photoshop manipulation limited to histogram optimization.

Michael's Critique

Antelope Canyon has become both an icon and a clichÈ of the American landscape. It's very enjoyable to photograph but tough to produce something original. Clay has done so with great skill. This is one of the finer Antelope images that I've seen. Very well seen and executed.

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

Patrick Campbell

Patrick Campbell
Redding, CA, USA
drsoup@pacbell.net

Nikon Coolpix 995, ISO 100 setting, 1/60th second,  f 6.0, zoom at 109 mm (2.9X). The camera was balanced on a car window. 

The levels and saturation were adjusted slightly. No other color correction. 50% Unsharp Mask was done after the resizing. (All editing was done using Adobe Photoshop 6.0.)

We were leaving the ski area at Mt. Shasta at sunset. I noticed the light on the mountain and got the camera out. As I had tired, hungry kids in the back, and the light was changing fast, I didn't stop to get a tripod out. I was able to take a few frames before the light faded and the protests became too insistent.

Michael's Critique

Gorgeous light light in a great location. This shot creates a fine record of the time and place but doesn't offer us a unique perspective. Maybe with a bit more time to find a better foreground, or a longer lens to isolate the glowing snow and sloping tree line, a more compelling interpretation could have been created.

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

David Killick

David Killick
Christchurch
New Zealand.

Leica minilux, 40mm lens, exposure unrecorded. Film: Kodak Elite Chrome 100. Scanned professionally onto Kodak Photo CD, transferred on iMac to email format using Graphic Converter, but not otherwise manipulated.

Subject: Champagne Pool, Rotorua, New Zealand. 

You wouldn't want to sip from this pool though! The water, from a volcanic source, is close to boiling point and highly toxic. I liked the look of the lowering clouds, steam rising from the pool, and the sharp contrast in colours.

Michael's Critique

There are contrasts happening here on several different levels. I particularly like the mystery of the black mountains in the distance and how the rising steam merges with the ominous clouds. Very well seen and executed.

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

BJ Nicholls

BJ Nicholls
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
bjnicholls@sisna.com

This image was taken with a Hasselblad Xpan and 45mm lens stopped down to f/22 using the center gradient filter and Velvia film. A larger version of this image can be seen at  http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=498309&size=lg Since Luminous Landscape was one of my key resources that helped me decide to get into an Xpan, I thought I'd submit one of my more successful images made with the camera to-date. On our way back to Salt Lake City from the California coast December 22, 2001, we stayed the night at Stovepipe Wells. We got up before sunrise to photograph the nearby Death Valley Dunes - along with a surprising number of other people. One even had a vanity plate on a Jeep reading "DUNE GUY". I had to set out at a trot to find a vantage point free from a view of a couple that seemed destined to enter any image I thought of framing.

Michael's Critique

It's a familiar spot but the XPan perspective and some great morning light make for an enjoyable image. The clouds are a nice counterpoint as they repeat the space and texture of the dunes.

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

Horst R–dding

Horst R–dding
2340 M–dling Austria
 
h.roedding@kabsi.at

Hasselblad 500EL/M Distagon 3,5/60 mm, Fiji Reala, Imacon Flextight Photo, Photoshop 6,0

I took this picture on my first visit of USA 1995, early in the morning in Joshua Tree NP. It was the 3. or 4. day of our trip and my first impression of the landscapes in the southwest. 

Michael's Critique

The contra jour lighting is handled very well and gives a very "painterly" feel to this image. I know the spot well, having shot there several times, and recall that working it with early morning backlight is tough to execute.

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

Patrick Chatelier

Patrick Chatelier
Place Mailly
66600 Rivesaltes
FRANCE
E-mail : chatelier@photilus.com
Homepage : http://www.photilus.com

Chine> Guangxi> Longseng> Terraced rice fields

Nikon F4 - 20mm/f:2,8

Early in the morning in Dong country, China

Michael's Critique

A stunningly beautiful location captured with sensitivity. The colour, contrast and texture is so compelling that it's hard not to stop viewing this photograph. My only concern is with the somewhat distracting foreground foliage.

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

Mike Davis 

Mike Davis 
Seward, Alaska U.S.A.
mdavis@edulynx.com

Olympus 2000Z

This shot was taken on a cold still November afternoon looking west down Resurrection Bay toward Fox Island where Rockwell Kent spent a formative winter with his son, Alaskan landscape illuminated by rich low angle light, and an Alaskan pioneer Lars Matt Olson.

Michael's Critique

Beautiful light and a good composition. But it's a bit too much like what the camera wanted to frame, rather than what the image wants. I've therefore created an alternative framing which eliminates some of the superfluous foreground.

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

Doug Montgomery

Doug Montgomery
Harlow,
Essex
England

Does this qualify as urban landscape?

This was taken at a road underpass (subway) in my town in England. Its what they call a 'new town', which translated from local political jargon means - drab 1950's/60's urban blandness. Fortunately, although it was daytime, the lights remained lit from the night before. The couple asked me "did we spoil your picture?". No, they had enhanced it, I reassured them. 
 
Camera: Pentax 35mm 
Lens:  Centon 18-28mm zoom
Increased contrast in photoshop 5.
Photographic experience: 4 months.

Michael's Critique

It sure does qualify. I don't get many submissions of this type but this one certainly caught my eye. It is graphically very strong, and the appearance of the two pedestrians completed the image by giving it scale. Powerful and fascinating.

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

Nuno Campos

Nuno Campos
Porto, Portugal
ncampos@iol.pt
 
Canon EOS 300, Canon EF 28mm f2.8, red filter and tripod. Shot on Ilford PAN F 50, scanned from the negative.
 
Taken on my first visit to Guincho, a beach near Lisbon famous for its lovely fences and sand dunes; mid-afternoon on a cloudless winter day.

Michael's Critique

Well seen and executed. A strong submission that holds my attention. I would like to have seen a bit more depth of field though so that the distant part of the fence was more distinct.

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

Kevin McLoughlin

Kevin McLoughlin
Cobh,
Co. Cork,
Ireland
bot@eircom.net

Photograph taken with Canon G1 - F8 @ 250/s. Location, Upper Lakes, Killarney 30th December 2001 at 10 am.

Michael's Critique

Crisp, clean and elegant. These are the words that come to mind when I look at this photograph. Not unique, but very pleasing. Also shows, as do so many other recent submissions, that even a digital point-and-shoot can produce fine images.

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

Matthew Ward

Matthew Ward
New York
USA
wardmatt@yahoo.com

Sunrise Over Annapurna

This image was taken at 5am on Poon Hill in Nepal and is of  the Annapurna mountain range. It made it worth  getting up at 4am !!

Minolta 7xi, polarizing filter, 35-80mm, minolta power zoom

Michael's Critique

Matthew has created an excellent composition from a dramatic subject. I particularly like the way the foreground cliff edge and the line of mountains meet. The foreground rocks provide a visual anchor to the frame and the mystery of the dark area at right is almost a magnet to the eye. Needless to say, I like this image a great deal. 

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

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Concepts: Photography, Image, Lighting

Entities: Jeep, Carefree, Salt Lake City, Lisbon, Joshua Tree, Canon, Nikon, Kodak, Adobe, METEORA, England, FRANCE, Nepal, USA, Bartlett Lake, Poon Hill, Colorado Rockies, Michael Reichmann, Michael, Patrick, Nick, Andri, Bob, Ansel Adam, Paul, Patrick Chatelier, Kevin McLoughlin, Patrick Campbell, Clay, Nikkor, David, Matthew, Nikon Coolpix, Jack, Doug Montgomery, Kevin, Max, Nuno, Jim, Star Swamp, Shasta, Horst, Doug, Mike, South Wales, southwest, California, Arizona, CA, Photoshop, Hasselblad Xpan

Tags: Discussion Forum, Critique section, photograph, image, Michael, unsharp mask, Canon D30, gorgeous light, photoshop, excellent composition, camera, on-camera flash, larger version, picture, Patrick Campbell, Kevin McLoughlin, Patrick Chatelier, Doug Montgomery, successful photograph, misty overcast afternoon, composite photograph, dunes, MASSIVE ROCKY FORMATIONS, distracting foreground foliage, incredible pristine wetland, weird symmetry evolves, wide aspect ratio, WIND AND RAIN, Gold 100 print, foreground cliff edge, Nikon Coolpix 995, low angle light, minimum focusing depth, late afternoon sun, great morning light, rare snow fall, Half Dome Winter, little fuzzy thing, minolta power zoom, contra jour lighting