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Critique Submissions

This page contains selected May 2001 submissions from photographers who wish to have their photographs reviewed by the publisher of this site, Michael Reichmann, as well as by other readers on our Discussion Forum

Jeff Alu

Jeff Alu
Irvine, CA
animalu@animalu.com

This was taken near Niland, Salton Sea, Southern CA, using a Kodak DC280 Digital camera.  I burned out the sky in Photoshop.  This is a mud pot, and you can find many of these in this area of the Salton Sea.  The very small strip of land on the horizon near the center is Mullet Island, just off the coast of the Sea.  I attempted to line up the mud pot and the island, for a positive/negative effect.  I would like to go back and get the same shot standing on a ladder, so that the mud pot would be rounder. 

Michael's Critique

Jeff has a fresh way of seeing. This monochrome treatment is visually powerful. Though the mud pot dominates he has wisely allowed the sky to occupy slightly more of the frame than the bottom, creating a wonderful dynamic balance of forms and tonalities. The clouds are the perfect final element needed to balance the image. Very strong.

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

Andrzej Poniatowski

Andrzej Poniatowski, Ornskoldsvik, Sweden.
audiomix@city.ornskoldsvik.com
. Digital camera - Olympus E-10 (exposure data unrecorded).
. The image was corrected in Photoshop very slightly.
. Location - La Palma (Canary Islands) - the island of Teneriffe can be seen on the horizon.

 

What can be said here? - just a plain "being there" shot (taken in April this year).

Michael's Critique

It may be just a "being there" shot, but there's a subtle beauty that I enjoy. The colour contrasts are appealing and the composition is simple yet effective.

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

Kevin Ward

Kevin Ward
Boston MA
kevinun2ward@yahoo.com

Taken at Velddrif near Piketberg, South Africa. This is a simple study of late afternoon light illuminating an otherwise unremarkable set of rocks. What caught my eye first was the difference in appearance between those plants in direct light and those in the shade. Photographed using a Canon D30 with 28-70mm f2.8L  zoom lens and 81A warmup filter.

Michael's Critique

This image has balance. Masses, shapes and colours all work well together to create an appealing image.

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

Sanjay Jhawar

Sanjay Jhawar
Milan, Italy
sanjay@cirlab.com


Canon D30, ISO 100, Canon 28-135IS lens at 135mm. 15 April 2001 17:12. Tv 1/160 Av f6.3 Auto White Balance. Levels, Unsharp Mask and resizing in Photoshop 6.0. 

I had been driving for a while in the undulating hills in Tuscany, Italy, looking for the right composition of hills and fields and hoping for better light, when the yellow field caught my eye.  The late afternoon cloudy light was quite flat, but the colours jumped out with nothing more than a simple levels adjustment in Photoshop.  Although without tripod, at 1/160th and with Image Stabilization enabled, there is plenty of sharpness in the full size version.

Michael's Critique

It's hard to find fault with this lovely image. The "S" curve leads the eye to the yellow field and the trees act as punctuation points along the way. Since I'll be in Tuscany myself in mid-May I am particularly attracted to this photograph. How can one not love a country with a landscape like this, not to mention great food and wine? 

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

Jeffrey Goggin

Jeffrey Goggin
Scottsdale, AZ USA
audidudi@mindspring.com

Shot on Fuji Astia (by mistake; I thought I'd loaded Provia) using a Minolta Autocord LMX. No filters were used; the image was scanned with a Minolta Scan Multi using Vuescan 7.0 software and only minimal adjustments were made using Photoshop 5.5. Some minor retouching was done to eliminate four caterpillars that crawled into the photo.

This photo was taken at Lower Antelope Canyon, just east of Page, Arizona, on April 2, 2001 during a one-day, up-and-back photo trip. The place was literally crawling with caterpillars (apparently a freak occurence, as nobody I've mentioned this to has ever heard of this happening before) and while I tried not to squish them at first, it wasn't too long before I gave up. This was my second visit to the canyon and despite the plague of caterpillars, the results from the 8 rolls of film I shot are encouraging. A larger (700x700, 154kb) version of this image was posted at http://www.mindspring.com/~audidudi/PHOTOs/Misc/LAC001V(final%20-%20700x700) .jpg and will remain posted there until July 15, 2001 or thereabout.

Michael's Critique

Jeff has created an arresting composition. Shooting in Lower Antelope is very exciting and it's easy to imagine that every frame one shoots is going to be great art, only to be disappointed on the light table. Light and form are in abundance, but blending the two into an image that holds together and which can stand repeated viewing is tough. Jeff has done this very well.

You can add your own comments on Jeffrey's 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 f/16, Canon EOS 50. Digital processing: Levels adjustments, unsharp masking.

I took this shot at Conspicuous Cliffs, West Australia, which sounded a very promising location. The cliffs proved conspicuous mostly by their insignificance, although they did cast some useful shade during this sunset.

Michael's Critique

Leigh's submission this month shows the importance of light in the making of a strong image. The subject matter is fairly common, yet the quality of the light and clouds creates a powerful photograph. Well seen. 

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

Dennis McKenzie

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

Taken with Nikon N80 and Tokina 28-80 mm 2.8 zoom lens,tripod, Provia f 100 pushed to 200 , Quad tone done in Photoshop .                                                                                                

The Temple of Athena in Pestum Italy, the temple has been around hundreds of years before Christ.  A very magical place, the sunset was fantastic with all kinds of light and clouds in a great interplay. I am not sure if Michael will consider this landscape or not. I do I guess because of the small size of the Temple and the large landscape in which it sits. The quad tone I like better than the color version , which is quite nice also, but the quad gives it a feel of mystery that the color lacks. I have brightened up the color a bit from my original because many time photos on this site appear to dark at least mine do     

Michael's Critique

This photograph shows the danger of memory over recorded image. I've never seen this temple in the flesh and so I have no memory or post-conception of what it looks like. Dennis does. Consequently he likely can mentally interpolate areas that are in obscure shadow, that other viewers of this image can not.

It's a strong photograph but so much is obscure in the dark foreground that it fails to hold my interest.

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

Jeff Grant

Jeff Grant
Sydney, Australia
Jeff.grant@pobox.com

Hasselblad Xpan with 45mm lens on Provia 100F

The location is Dorrigo in the north of New South Wales. This is farming land on the edge of coastal rainforest, very lush and green.

Michael's Critique

Very often when one sees wide-format photographs they fail to utilize the panoramic aspect ration appropriately. Here, Jeff has utilized the flow of the fence to create a dynamic image that invites the eye to walk through the frame. Nicely done.

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

Alan Davey 

Alan Davey 
London UK alan@bdcreative.com 
Gandolphi 10 X 8 450mm Nikkor lens Velvia
 
Taken in North Norfolk England prior to a major thunderstorm, I only had time for two sheets of film before the heavens opened. Using 10 x 8 cameras you have to anticipate the light and be sure your exposure is correct, its a little expensive to bracket!! However the quality obtained can only be appreciated when viewing the original transparency. To view a larger version go to www.bdcreative.com/a.image%20pages/a_landpg/corn.html

Michael's Critique

Very few photographers have the gumption to work in 8X10" format colour. Often they are more concerned with technical craft than esthetic content. Here Alan has combined the two into a masterful landscape photograph of impeccable quality.

I would be tempted to crop the foreground a bit, but other than that I love this image.

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

Pascal Jappy

Pascal Jappy
Aubagne, France
Pascal.Jappy@Hummingbird.com

The picture was taken with a Mamiya 7, 65mm lens on Provia 100F, and scanned on a flatbed Epson 1640 Photo scanner. It was shot from the back of a taxi whose driver stubbornly refused to stop in the middle of cold nowhere :) This was very frustrating at the time, but the taxi's motion blurred the details in the snow and made for an almost abstract picture (at least, I think so :) The location is Kaunispa fell in Northern Lapland.

Michael's Critique

An arresting image given the circumstances under which it was taken. I feel that the horizon line cutting through the middle of the frame is a bit predictable, but the subject and colours are so interesting that it hardly matters. This is a "fun" image that while not fitting cleanly into any genre still is worth exploring. 

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

Scott Rosenfeld

Scott Rosenfeld
Lansing, MI, USA
slrosenfeld@home.com
 
Canon Powershot G1, ISO 50, 1/400, F 4.0
 
This  was the first tree to bloom this spring on the campus of Michigan State University. I was attracted to the contrast of the blossoms against the bare, stark neighboring trees.  I decided to desaturate the background give a hand painted black and white effect.

Michael's Critique

The colour and shape of the blossoms and tree are very beautiful. Unfortunately the silhouetted trees in the background are simply too jumbled to provide a pleasing background to the image.  This is a case of only one of the elements being right, and the photograph misses being cohesive because of it.

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

Elizabeth Carmel

Elizabeth Carmel
Truckee, Ca
liz@personalbestnutrition.com

Taken on the west shore of Lake Tahoe (Sand Harbor State Park) in March 2001. Canon D30 w/Tamron 20-28 zoom lens.

Michael's Critique

There's a lot to like in this photograph. The contrasts of shapes, colours and textures along with the extended depth of field (though it does look a bit soft in the background) contribute to a well-constructed image. If the sky were more interesting it would have been even stronger.

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

Tony Lewis

Tony Lewis
Matcham NSW Australia

I actually assembled this image because I doubt it possible to find the huge range of colours available in a small space at any one time. I live in an area not renowned for its autumn show so there is only about a week or so to catch the leaves like this.

Taken with a Canon D30 with 28-135mm zoom. Processed in Photoshop 6 applying levels (increased contrast & deepening mid tones) and unsharp mask.

Michael's Critique

On another day I might not have selected this submission. It's a "created" rather than a found image (something that some critics and photographers might find fault with, myself included). It also is such a common subject that we've all seen variations on this theme many times. But, when it first came on my screen I was taken with the richness of the colours and appeal of the composition — so here it is. Nicely done Tony.

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

Stephan Larsson

Stephan Larsson
Vancouver's Island
Canada

I took this at about 6.15 on May 3rd just after sunrise, from the Malahat, on Vancouver Island. The view is east, over the Saanich Peninsula and the San Juans, with Mt Baker in the background. I guess it's just another sunrise, but the colours remind me of a Japanese watercolour, with the blues and greys receding into the distance. Taken with a Fuji 4900zoom, a little cropping done in Photoshop, but the colours are straight out of the camera.

Michael's Critique

This image is of a type that I find appealing and shoot myself when the location and opportunity permit. Unfortunately Stephan's submission falls somewhat short. The composition isn't abstract enough nor the colour scheme rich enough to really capture my interest. It's sometimes tough to nail down exactly why some images work and others don't. This one is close, but no cigar.

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

Jed Z. Buchwald

Jed Z. Buchwald
Cambridge, MA
buchwald@dibinst.mit.edu

I took this about a year and half ago with an Olympus C-2000Z. We were driving in the canyons behind Malibu at sunset. Processed in Photoshop 6.

Michael's Critique

I'm fascinated by this photograph. It breaks all the "rules" of composition and has no obvious center of interest. Yet, I find it compelling and my eye keeps coming back and exploring the frame. I like it a great deal but have a hard time putting into words why I do. That's OK. Sometimes the pleasure that an image gives is all that's needed.

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

Ralph Gyoery

Ralph Gyoery
Clapham Junction, England
ralph_teflon_gyoery@hotmail.com

I took this image on my EOS3 on Provia 100F on a recent trip to Spain. In the late afternoon I drove past a hillock and was struck by the balanced composition just waiting to be taken. Scanned into Photoshop and sharpened.

Michael's Critique

A familiar type of subject, handled well. I find that the white cloud works well to balance the in-shadow area on the lower left and the trees and rocks similarly create a dynamic balance.

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

Phil Goble

Phil Goble
Champaign, Illinois, United States
Nikon F100, Nikon 24mm 2.8D lens, Fuji Velvia, exposure unrecorded
 
This photograph of Silver Falls in Mt. Rainier National Park was taken about two hours after sunrise in August 1999.  Sunlight is falling directly on the top of the falls, cutting through the dense morning fog.  I returned about two hours later and it was completely clear.  I had a difficult time attempting to match the scan to the slide, and believe someone more proficient with Photoshop could improve the scan.

Michael's Critique

Phil's photograph comes very close to excellence, but misses mainly because of the distracting branches in the center and upper left. They could easily be removed in Photoshop. The plants on the bottom left that jut into the water bother me a bit less, but the image would still have benefited from their being out of frame. Maybe if the camera position had been a bit closer and higher.

Otherwise there's the making of a great photograph here. Go back Phil and make it right :-)

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

Vincent Soden

Vincent Soden
London, UK
vince_soden@hotmail.com

An approaching afternoon storm one during a hike in Devon. Camera was Nikon F4 with 28-85 AF Nikkor, on tripod. Film was Velvia. The colours in the original image were even richer. I used Photoshop to reduce the saturation by about 20%.

Michael's Critique

There's a lot to like in this image. Wonderful shapes and textures as well as dramatic lighting and clouds. The composition has depth and dimensionality. Very appealing.

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

Jim Haefner

Jim Haefner
 Troy,
Michigan
 Jim@Haefnerphoto.com

This is a shot made while location scouting in Oregon. I carry a Hasselblad X-pan just for instances like this, actually, some of these shots make it into a catalog or two. The lens was the 45mm and the film, Velvia, scanned on the Umax 3000, it looks quite nice printed 14" across. If you are interested in seeing a larger version have a look at Haefnerphoto.com in the landscape area. 

Michael's Critique

I always look at a submissions image before reading the accompanying text to try and have as few preconceptions as possible. In this case my first impression was that I was looking at the wool of a Yak :-)  As I started to see the fences, and understood what I was seeing, my appreciation really increased. I'm captivated by the flow of the grass and the line of the fence. The warm monochromatic light and contrasts also have strong appeal.

I wonder if it really was the side of a Yak if I would feel the same way about it?

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

David Hancock

David Hancock
New South Wales 
AUSTRALIA
hancock@bigpond.net.au
Photo Portfolio


This is a photograph that I created by "stitching" 4 images together in photoshop. The location is Ned's Beach on the World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island off the coast of Eastern Australia and I feel by working the image I have better conveyed the feeling one gets at this beautiful and ecologically important location.

Michael's Critique

Sometimes a photograph, though apparently simple in concept and execution, manages to capture the eye and the imagination. There's a dimensionality here that borders on 3D. I also find that the layered colour variations keep drawing my eye up and down the height of the image, over and over again.

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

Colin Kimball

Colin Kimball
Sugar Land, Texas

Tripod mounted Fuji S1 Pro camera
ISO mistakenly set at 400
1.5 second exposure at f27
Nikkor 24-120 mm set at 53 mm.
(I love the exposure information the software provides)

I just returned from a weekend at Antelope Canyon and a week at Monument Valley.  I shot about 100 images in Antelope, and the submission I am sending was the first one I printed.  This one is from Lower Antelope which I found to be more colourful and suitable for close-ups.  I think this is a different rendition of the same spot as one of your other submittals.  I used my new Fuji S1 Pro and find it to be a superb camera!   The colours and exposure were spot on!   Here are the exposure details. No colour enhancement.

Michael's Critique

Antelope Canyon, and western red-rock slot canyons in general are fascinating places to do photography. The earth seems to offer itself up with a palette, textures and shapes found nowhere else on the planet. Unfortunately they have become something of a clichÈ over the past decade. It now takes something special to capture our jaded attention.

Colin's image misses for one small reason. I find that the center outcropping's overlap of the curve of the edge behind it distracting. It's a small thing, to be sure, but it strikes a dissonant note. The devil is in the details.

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

Steve Bromley

Steve Bromley
Austin, TX USA
Sbrom@austin.rr.com

Canon Elan II, 100-400L lens at 100mm, f8. Kodak E100VS film. Scanned with HP Photosmart, then adjusted via layers & curves in Photoshop 5.5 to match the original, as best I could given the limitations of the Photosmart. (hoping for a Nikon LS4000 for my birthday!)

Yosemite Valley - November, 2000. Morning after the first snow of the season. Rolling clouds and fog made it appear that the light was "flowing" across these cliffs on the southern wall of the valley.

Michael's Critique

This image is as delicious as an ice cream sundae on a hot August afternoon. Steve has taken all of the elements need for a strong landscape image and tied them into an impressive package. Though Yosemite too has long become a clichÈ this photograph shows that it's still possible to create fresh images there.

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

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Concepts: Digital single-lens reflex camera, Photography, Color

Entities: Piketberg, Ornskoldsvik, Tuscany, Scottsdale, Lansing, Truckee, Canon, Kodak, Nikon, HP, Vincent, Italy, USA, South Africa, Sweden, Spain, Antelope Canyon, Salton Sea, Mullet Island, Salton Sea., Lake Tahoe, plague, Canary Islands, Michigan State University, Michael Reichmann, Michael, Jeff, Andrzej Poniatowski, Andrzej, Dennis, Stephan, Jeffrey Goggin, La Palma, Alan, Velvia, Dennis McKenzie, Stephan Larsson, Fuji Astia, Scott, Leigh, Scott Rosenfeld, Sanjay, Jeffrey, Kevin, Jed, Elizabeth Carmel, Colin, F4, West Australia, Oregon, Photoshop

Tags: Critique section, Discussion Forum, photograph, images, Michael, photoshop, colours, mud pot, late afternoon, Canon D30, camera, Lower Antelope, Antelope Canyon, Jeff, Andrzej Poniatowski, Salton Sea, zoom lens, Jeffrey Goggin, dynamic balance, Stephan Larsson, small, larger version, Elizabeth Carmel, yellow field, masterful landscape photograph, shows, late afternoon light, afternoon cloudy light, Dennis, perfect final element, This one, powerful photograph, strong landscape image, Lower Antelope Canyon, Minolta Autocord LMX, wonderful dynamic balance, strong photograph, Vuescan 7.0 software, mention great food, warm monochromatic light