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Critique Submissions ‹ July, 2000

This page contains submissions made during July, 2000 from photographers who wished to have their photographs reviewed by the publisher of this site, Michael Reichmann. For additional details see the Critique / Contest page.

The July winner of a complimentary 1-year subscription the Luminous Landscape Video Journal was Enrico Pocopagni.

Enrico Pocopagni ‹ July, 2000 Contest Winner

Enrico Pocopagni, Genoa (Italy)


Po river
Picture taken in February 2000, roughly at 6:30 p.m. from Gerola's bridge on the Po, the major italian river.
Camera & lens:    Mamiya RZ67 with Mamiya-Sekor Z 90 f3.5W
Film:                    Kodak E100VS rated at 100 ISO
Light meter:         Minolta Spotmeter F
Tripod:                Manfrotto 141RC tripod
Filters:                None
Time:                  8 sec.
Aperture:            unrecorded
Flash:                 None


Picture taken in April 1999, roughly at 7 p.m. near Murano (Venezia)
Camera & lens:    Nikon F4 with AF Nikkor 300 f4 ED-IF
Film:                   Fuji Velvia rated at 50 ISO
Light meter:         F4 internal in matrix manual mode
Tripod:                Handheld
Filters:                None
Time & aperture:  unrecorded
Flash:                 None

Professional architect, teacher of Building Mechanics and Technology at high school for surveyors.
Theory, History and practice of Photography were my passions from my teenage.
Now, photography is not my job, but does have an important part in it.
So I consider photography more a cultural activity than a hobby.
My favorite subjects are landscapes, especially under particular light, still life and flowers.
In my landscapes is almost always present the sign of Man for my main interest is to investigate the relationships between natural world and human history.
No need to say that your site is one of the better photography sites I visited ever; very appreciated the possibility for everyone to submit pictures.
I hope the love for the beauties of this planet can go far beyond photography, to reach all those that in some degree are responsible of their waste.

Michael's Critique

These two photographs stand out from the other submissions thus far this month. They are beautifully seen and executed. I am particularly taken with the consistency of vision that the two images display. Though photographed in different place at different times with different types of cameras, the use of monochromatic colour unifies them. Enrico has an artist's eye.

The only suggestions that I would make would be to crop the Po River image slightly at the bottom. A more rectangular format would give it a slightly greater tension and I feel that the removal of the extra ripples would take nothing away from the informational content of the picture.

The Venetians could be cropped somewhat more severely. I would crop it on the left side just to the right of the pole and at the bottom just below the wave. Because of the severity of the crop and the fact that this was shot on 35mm, quality might not hold up for a large print though. Overall two very good photographs!

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

Ken Cravillion 

Ken Cravillion
Oshkosh, WI USA

Canon EOS-1V HS
EF 300 2.8L IS
Fuji Provia F

Ken's Comment:

This shot was taken at my local park.  I was actually shooting a test roll for my then new EOS-1V and this shot came as a nice surprise using P mode to see how good the 1V was.

Michael's Critique

Ken's submission has appeal. The chick is quite cute and has been caught in a lovely moment as it apparently practices how to soar.

But, the photograph fails in a number of ways. The out-of-focus foreground is a messy distraction. The horizon line is tilted and the chick's beak disappears into it's wing. The image also looks like it could use a bit of spotting.

Having an appealing subject isn't enough. A good photograph has to work on both the technical and esthetic level.

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

Paulo Bizarro

Paulo Bizarro


Sunset: EOS 1n, 180 macro, f/3.5, 1/350 sec., E100SW, tripod

Flower: EOS 1n, 180 macro, Provia F, probably f/22 and 1 sec

Spider: EOS 1n, 50 macro, TriX. Exposure unrecorded.

Michael's Critique

Paulo's 3 submitted photographs (the rules now say only 1 submission) are each lovely in their own ways. Each is also technically quite nicely done. But, I've seen them all before, many times

So often it's easy for photographers to feel comfortable with what they've done because it breaks no new ground. It's safe and predictable, and often for this reason boring. Pretty isn't good enough. Safe isn't good enough. Paulo has a good eye but needs to be more adventuresome in his subject matter. 

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

Boris Buschardt

Boris Buschardt, Berlin,

Michael's Critique

A straightforward perspective and an undramatic subject, but I still think it works. The threatening sky is the key component while the yellow foreground flowers add a graphic counterpoint, both in terms of colour and texture.

Not a great landscape photograph, but a good one, well executed.

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

Attila Kirjak

Attila Kirjak, New York 

Technical data: taken with the Canon 1V, 100-400IS on a tripod at 100mm, aperture f5.6, Fuji Velvia. 

Location: Just next to Jones falls in Pottawatomi Conservation Area, Canada. I was just leaving the falls when I saw these roots hugging the soft and mushy looking rocks. It was an overcast day, so I could open up and blur out the bridge over the Pottawatomi river.

Michael's Critique

An interesting attempted visualization, but ultimately unsatisfying. My eye doesn't know where to go. There's no central point of interest. Colour doesn't add much (it could be stronger as a monochrome image), and the out-of-focus foreground rock is distracting and unattractive.

I'm not sure that there's any way to improve this photograph.

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

Cowan Stark

Cowan Stark, from Durham, New Hampshire, USA

Place:  Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah.

Film:  Fuji Velvia
Camera:  Pentax 67
Lens:  55mm/4 with polarizer
Settings: f/22 (exposure bracketed)
Date:  Last week of October, 1999
Scanner: Minolta Dimage Multi.
Comments:  Usually this area is heavily used by ATV's and dune buggies, but we got there just before sunset just after a windstorm blew through and the tracks were blown over.  The setting sun over my right shoulder cast this incredibly warm light on the sand and brought out the ripples.  Also over my right shoulder were two guys with view cameras and we were all jockying for postion on our bellies to get the a lowest perspective and yet stay out of each others' frame! Post scan adjustments in Photoshop included increasing saturation by 10% and unsharp mask not used in the original scan, and that's about it.   

Michael's Critique

Cowan's photograph almost works. It is well seen and well executed, but lacks a center. Here is a case where almost everything is working for the photographer; great subject, great light, great equipment. But there's nothing to draw me in. 

My eye follows the ripples upward but then finds the jumbled and confusing cliff face at the top of the frame. The sweep of the distant dune is classic, but it's too far away to form a meaningful part of the composition.

I've shot at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park a couple of times as well and not had great success. One of the problems is that there is not much opportunity for elevation, and therefore perspective on the dunes.

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

Raphaël Zeiher 

Huningue, France,

Place:        Ireland, Lake District
Camera:    EOS 1N RS
      EF 14 f/2,8L
Film:         Fuji Velvia
Tripod:     Gitzo
Scanner:    Nikon LS 2000

I was only there with my 14mm. I couldn't resist !

Michael's Critique

Raphaël's submission is an evocative image with strong appeal. The stillness of the water and the reflections are what make it work so well. It's probably just me, but I'd be tempted to crop it more as a wide-format image, taking off just a bit of sky and cropping the bottom somewhat beneath the foreground rock.

Since the photograph was taken with an extreme wide-angle 14mm lens it's evident that Raphaël used proper technique in keeping his horizon centered to avoid linear distortion. A very nicely realized photograph.

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

Rene Tielenburg

The Netherlands

I shot this picture during a trekking in Nepal. In the early morning light I made use of the branch of a tree which blocked the sunlight from my zoomlens. Looking for the perfect composition, I spend about 15 minutes before I made this photo. Because I made so many pictures especially with backlight conditions, my friends nicknamed me "Mr. Backlight"!
I used a Canon T90 in combination with a Canon FD 80-200 zoomlens and Kodachrome 64.
The 80-200 zoomlens is my workhorse in combination with a 35 mm "Tilt&Shift"lens

Michael's Critique

Rene's photograph is exceptional. My first reaction to the cyan colour of the mist in the village was that this print must be seriously out of colour balance. But looking more closely, especially to the foliage in the lower right, I believe that this colour is real.

I like the way the image is framed by the large tree on the left and the smaller ones on the right. I wouldn't change a thing. Lovely image.

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

Lou Cohen

Long Island, NY USA

            (Original photograph)


Mt. Norquay, outside Banff, Alberta
Nikon 8008, Ektachrome Elite Extra Color (EBX), 1/60 @ f8, handheld 50mm f1.8
AF Nikkor 

The original image was taken in daylight, during a clearing storm. I enjoy 'working' an image in Photoshop this way, much as a sculptor 'works' a mound of clay. I have been widely criticized for the techniques shown here, as some feel the result is not photography in its truest form. However, I see little difference between the techniques used in Photoshop, and those used by good printers in a traditional wet darkroom. Is this 'cheating'? Hmmmm... At least I resisted the temptation to insert a full moon in the upper left!

Michael's Critique

Lou has created a very appealing image here. It's as dramatic and mysterious as a Turner painting.

His stated concerns about the legitimacy of using available tools to bend an image to his liking are groundless. Many of Ansel Adams best photographs were only realized on paper after days of toil in the darkroom, altering contrast, brightness ‹ burning and dodging. (My position on this subject is best summarized in my essay What Photography Isn't.)

One suggestion would be to not have darkened the sky so much in the area behind the tree. I want to see it a bit more clearly separated from the black sky. (This would also make the picture less unnatural looking, and thus less open to criticism from unreconstructed traditionalists.)

You can add your own comments on

Roman Gill

Name:      Roman Gill
City:        Vancouver, BC
Country:  Canada

Tech Data:   Nikon F3/T , 20-35 f/2.8 set at ~f11 1/125th ss, handheld, Provia 100F
Location:     Sand dunes outside of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. My first time photographing sand dunes.

This is about my 3rd year since taking up photography as a hobby. More of my photos can be viewed at:

Michael's Critique

Sand dunes can be a real pleasure to photograph. Roman's photograph was taken at the right time of day ‹ late afternoon by the look of it. The cross light provides both texture and saturated colour.

The top of the frame is cropped too closely. A bit more blue sky is needed to balance the large expanse of orange sand. Speaking of which, there simply is too much foreground. While it's interesting, it dominates the composition too much. Even simply cropping a quarter off the bottom of the frame would help.

The distant dunes are sensuous, but too small. I think I can see a bit of sand blowing off the tops of the ridges. Shot with a slightly longer lens these would have become more prominent and the distant dunes would have been turned into an intrinsic part of the composition rather than a minor player. For the above reasons this is a good shot, but not a great one. 

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

Pete Dickson


Pete Dickson, Cincinnati, OH USA

Camera: Nikon F4
Lens: AF Nikkor 80-200/2.8 f/11 or f/16 I reckon.
Tripod: Gitzo 320 with Arca-Swiss B1
Film: Probably Elitechrome 100

Just in case there's someone in the world who doesn't know it, this is in Monument Valley Tribal Park. This is quite a bit after the sun rose over the horizon. I always maintain that composition is a matter of finding the right point in space to put your camera. It's usually a ceases to amaze me how fast the sun really moves (ok, how fast we really move). I had to walk into the shadow of the Butte to create a new sunrise.

Michael's Critique

Monument Valley is one of my favourite locations. I've shot there several times and just conducted a Workshop there this past Spring. While possible one of the most photographed geological formations in the American Southwest, thus making it difficult to come up with an original perspective, Pete has done a great job in capturing this view of The Mittens particularly considering that there were no clouds to aid his composition. 

I find almost nothing critical to say about this image. Well seen and well realized. 

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

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Concepts: Camera, Photography, Photograph, RZ67, Image, Mamiya, Po, Veneto

Entities: Mamiya, Kodak, Gerola, Po River, Michael Reichmann, Enrico Pocopagni, Enrico, Michael Reichmann, Michael

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