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Critique Submissions

This page contains selected February 2001 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

Rita Woolley

Rita Woolley
Derbyshire
, England

Equipment used was a Canon A1 and print then scanned into pc.

The photograph was taken just after dawn looking across the hills at the mist rising over the tea plantations in Kerela, South India in February 1997.

Michael's Critique

Rita, a self-professed "beginner", has produced a superb photograph. There are many "experienced" landscape photographers, myself included, that will gnash their teeth in envy over this one. Beautifully done, though some digital work could improve it technically the composition is excellent.

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

Chuong Doan

Chuong Doan
Kansas City
USA
munchydoan@hotmail.com

Canon A2, 50mm EFII lense
Kodak 100vs

The slide was scanned into Photoshop with a cheap HP Photosmart scanner. The sharpness and color was hard to correct after I scanned it so I decided to desaturate and gave it a kind of strangely toned BW look. Only standard dodge and burn tools were used otherwise.  This photograph was taken during my first visit to Yosemite in the summer of 1999. As expected, I was in total awe of the beauty and spaciousness surrounding the miles of paved road lined with motorhomes. The lighting wasn't great- midday w/harsh shadows, but I managed to capture enough clouds to make the sky interesting.

Michael's Critique

Yosemite can be a challenge to photograph. By combining a variety of somewhat off-beat techniques Chuong has created an eye catching image. Ansel Adams might not approve, but I enjoy seeing it. 

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

Timo Ripatti

 

 

 

 

 

Timo Ripatti
Finland
timo.ripatti@helsinkimedia.fi

Camera: Widelux 24x56 mm
Film: Fujichrome Velvia


I had been practising with a panorama camera which has a revolving lens. In spite of the shortcomings of the design, I managed to expose this image when I was hiking in Kevojoki, the Northest territory in Finnish Lapland. This model of the camera had no really long exposure times which is a pity because the panoramic effect compliments low-light scenes.  Since that trip I switched to a 6x12 film back and a 4x5 field camera...

Michael's Critique

Timo's submission is an interesting wide-format image. What struck me the most though was that my eye kept uncomfortably bouncing around the image. As an experiment I horizontally reversed the shot and it now is much more enjoyable to view.

Why? Because Western languages read left-to-right and that's the way we typically scan an image. Looking at my reversed image you'll notice that the first thing you see is the red branches. Then your eye moves to the next red tree and then to the vanishing point at the far right of frame.

Now look back at the original frame. Notice how your eye moves. Which is more comfortable?

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

Cliff LeSergent

Cliff LeSergent
Calgary, Alberta   
cliff_l@telusplanet.net

Hasselblad XPan, 45mm lens
Fuji Velvia at ISO 50
Kananaskis Country, Alberta

This photo is one of the first images on the first roll of film I shot with my new XPan, last October.  This early morning scene really made me wish I had purchased the 90mm lens with the camera.

The slide was scanned on a Canon FS2710 scanner in two scans, and stitched together using PanaVue Image Assembler software.  It was then cropped slightly in Photoshop (to smooth out the uneven borders I get with the FS2710 scans), and Unsharp Mask was applied.

Michael's Critique

Timing, light, weather, location. All the ingredients as well as the right equipment and, of course, an artist's eye. Cliff's photograph is one that I'd be proud to call mine. 

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

David A. Graham 

David A. Graham 
Pawleys SC
graham@sccoast.net

Canon EOS D30, Canon 28.0 - 135.0 mm lens

Michael's Critique

David included all the technical specs produced by his digital camera with his submission, but neglected to tell us anything about the locale. I'd much rather know the feelings and thoughts behind why a photograph was taken, and something about the location that how all the custom functions on the camera were set. (Submitters — please read the rules!

Nevertheless, I like the image and that's why it's included. Of course the bird is what completes the composition. I just wish I could see the profile of its head a bit more clearly.

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

Dennis McKenzie

Dennis McKenzie
Wasilla, Alaska, USA, 
djmckenzie@webtv.net
Nikon FE, 35-70mm Nikkor lens, Velvia film, Tripod. Photograph worked in Photoshop 5.0 for contrast, color and sky.

This shot was taken 1999 while at anchor in my favorite cove in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The place is just drop dead fantastic. The Sound has the most interesting interplay between the land and water that has to be seen to be believed.

Michael's Critique

Dennis is right. This location is quite spectacular and he has done an excellent job of capturing the water, land and sky in a coherent frame. The sailboat gives context and a wonderful sense of "being there". (Please note that the sky in this photograph is a composite).

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

Ryan Sawby

Ryan Sawby
Phoenix, AZ
ryansawby@worldnet.att.net
 
Olympus 3030Z f/11 1/800  -1.3 exposure comp. SHQ (jpeg mode)
 
Late morning hike in the Sierra Estrella mountains south of Phoenix with my 8 month old daughter on my back.  We had one of our uncommon rains the day before so there was a lot of moisture in the air.  I was intent on the ground looking at spring's first flush of desert wildflowers (looks like it's going to be an absolutely spectacular year) when I looked over my shoulder and noticed the mountains.  It wasn't the best time of day as the sun was kind of high.  The little one doesn't like to stop, so one quick click and I was on my way, man I love digital cameras.
 
I must say as a novice, the critiques page is invaluable.  I used tips from the critiques to crop the image, flipped it horizontally (seemed like the dip should be on the right), and adjusted the levels in Photoshop.

Michael's Critique  

This is an example of what I called the "layered landscape", where the combination of haze and a long focal length combine to make the mountains look like cardboard cutouts — a look that I find very appealing. Ryan's photograph carries it off very well, though I find the slightly cyan tint in the sky slightly unnatural.

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

Lucas Condliffe

Lucas Condliffe
Vernon N.J.
Lucass1001@hotmail.com

This picture was taken in Vernon N.J. on a rainy day I used a Canon A2E with a 28-70L lens, Provia 100F and a tripod

Michael's Critique 

A classic waterfall, but the burned-out water ruins it. My guess is that it's caused by a bad scan, but in any event it takes away 90% of the charm of the scene.

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

Bill Page

Bill Page
Anahilt Northern Ireland
william@4glebe.freeserve.co.uk
 location :river lagan tow path at drumbeg (BELFAST)
DUE TO THE FLAT WINTER LIGHT LANDSCAPES WORTH PHOTOGRAPHING IN ULSTER ARE RARE HOWEVER WE HAD SNOW FOR THREE DAYS AFTER CHTISTMAS ,THE SUN SHONE THROUGH AND THE MUNDANE TRANSFORMED INTO A WINTER WONDERLAND . OLYMPUS OM1 ,ZUKIO 28MM. F 3.5 KODAK 400 ASA (FREE ON THE FRONT OF A PHOTO MAG.) METER READING + 2 STOPS (OR SO)  

Michael's Critique 

Technically Bill's photograph is nicely done. The composition almost works but I find the branch in the foreground distracting because it interferes with the tree's reflection in the pond.

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

Paulo Bizarro

Paulo Bizarro
Portugal
pbizarro@cggp.pt

Eos 1n, 24 TS lens, Elitechrome Extracolour, f/16, 1/30 sec., tripod.

I took this shot in the SW coast of Portugal this January, an area I like a lot. I had spent the afternoon working this particular location, a beach where one can only get to by walking, as there are no roads. The weather had been unpredictable to say the least, and I already had my share of showers. I particularly like the cloud formations, that are rendered more menacing by the vertical composition (I have a similar shot, horizontal, that I find less "powerful"). Needless to say, the rain pounded on me on the way back.

Michael's Critique

I love the mystery of this shot. The clouds menace and the clear sky offers hope. Beautifully composed and executed. As has been said before, landscape photography is mostly about shooting weather, with the actual landscape merely acting as a frame.

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

Editorial Note:

Regular readers will have noticed that some photographs, especially those that have large dark areas, do not display well. These can be confusing against the black background of this site. My own work is always outlined and therefore I am starting a new practice of doing so to submissions when needed. Hope this helps.

‰ke Vinberg

‰ke Vinberg
Stockholm, Sweden
ake@vinberg.nu

Nikon F5, Tokina 20-35/2.8 @ approx. 22mm, A2 warming + polarizer, handheld.

Exposure unrecorded on Elitechrome 100. Scanned on LS-2000. Location: Roadside near Tongariro, North Island, New Zealand, March 1999.

Michael's Critique

The cloud formations in this photographs are remarkable. The foreground plant offsets the darkening sky and creates a lovely composition. Excellent.

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

Michael Barnett

Michael Barnett
Melbourne, Australia
mikebear@netspace.net.au

Nikon F100, Nikkor 80-200 mm 1:2.8 zoom, Kodak Gold 400 ASA

I was holidaying in Bali last August. Late one afternoon as the sun was setting I took this photograph of a rice paddy in Ubud. The light was amazing.

Michael's Critique

Ahh, Bali! What an incredible place. 

Michael's photograph is lovely and well seen. But, I'm a bit disconcerted by the large dark area of grass to the right. Might the composition not be a bit cleaner and more symmetrical without it?

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Jed Buchwald

Jed Buchwald

Canon EOS D30 at ISO 400, 28-135mm IS lens at 117mm, f5.6 at 1/60, aperture priority; external flash, +1 exposure compensation. Processed in Photoshop 6.0

This flower grows in our garden in the hills above Pasadena on Jan. 4. The contrast between the intense pinks and yellows and the green of the sharp leaves was arresting.

Michael's Critique

While at first this is an eye-catching image, it has a number of fatal flaws. The branch at bottom is distracting and the dead leaf-tip at left is ugly.

Effective flower photograph has to be clean and simple and you must sweat the details. Back in the '70s as a freelancer I spent 2 years shooting flowers with a horticulturist for a book and TV series. Doing it well is very hard work.

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

Don Weston

Don Weston
Farmington, CT. USA
Bladnut@aol.com

Taken late December, 2000 at Tumacacori Mission near Tubac, AZ . 

It was taken with a Canon D30 with 28-135mm IS lens on a tripod. The image is a composite of two images exactly the same except for exposure. One for the sky and dome, the second for the mission wall etc. They were combined in Photoshop. The dome/sky image was downloaded converted from a RAW image to Photoshop. It was desaturated. The same was done for the lower segment, the images were merged and tweeked for contrast, brightness and toned. I had taken a similar image 2-3 years ago with my Hasselblad but it had too great a contrast range to print easily. I have also shot at the San Xavier mission a little north but I find lot more images here the last trip. 

Michael's Critique

Don's composition is superb, as is the complex technical execution. The sepia tonality perfectly suits the subject matter as well.

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

Anders Wahlstr–m

Anders Wahlstr–m
Stockholm
Sweden
anders.wahlstrom@telia.com

Canon Eos 1, EF 35-135/4-5.6, Fuji Velvia, Manfrotto 055 Tripod, Scanned with Minolta Dimage Scan Dual II, Some level adjustment and color adjustment in PS 6.0

Location: Early winter morning sunrise at the island of Sing– in the northern Stockholm archipelago.

Michael's Critique

Sometimes wonderful things happen on overcast days just before sunset. It's almost as if the clouds know to open up just a bit to allow the sun to shine through. Anders has done an excellent job of capturing such a moment. Once again — timing and location.

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

Frank Forward

Frank Forward
Framingham, MA
jodiseansa@aol.com

Canon d30; 100 mm; 1/180; 9.5; - 1/2 flash exp comp; 1600 is0; mr-14ex macro ring flash

Only digital changes were a little cropping and auto levels; i didn't sharpen as that would have increased the graininess + was in a location where i could not use a tripod and there was little light. i needed the aperture high enough for the dof, so i boasted the film speed to 1600 to get adequate speed to get a clear image while hand holding the camera. while grainy, thought the image was nice. the flexibility of the d30 worked well.

Michael's Critique

This is macro flower photography done right. A simple composition, lovely subject matter and clean uncluttered background. Totally charming and technically well executed.

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

Paul Stenquist

Paul Stenquist
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA
pnstenquist@earthlink.net

Pentax Spotmatic F on monopod, Pentax SMC Takumar 200/4 lens, polarizer, exposure was f11 at 1/250 second. Kodak Portra 400 VC color negative film. Scanned from the negative on Agfa Duoscan 2500T.  

I was on Mona Loa at about 10,000 feet elevation late in the day, looking across the valley toward the 13,500 foot peak of Mona Kia. As is common on the big island of Hawaii, clouds moved into the valley between Mona Kia and Mona Loa late in the day. When the sun dropped down below the edge of the cloud cover, the sky turned golden, the brown dust of Mona Kia took on a rosy hue, and the clouds filled with color. I exposed to put the clouds at about zone 6. The black lava rock of Mona Loa in the foreground dropped out of the film's range. Legend has it that Pele, the goddess of fire, lives here. If you look close, you can see the telescopes on the summit of Mona Kia.

Michael's Critique

This is a strong image let down only by the out-of-focus foreground. Since it was shot at f/11 it's likely that there was no way to get it in focus with this focal length at this distance, but I feel that it's a major detractor from an otherwise fine image.

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

Kevin Ferris

Kevin Ferris
NYC
KFerris575@aol.com

This is a picture on an anhinga photographed at the Venice Rookery in Venice Florida. It was taken at about 2:00 in the afternoon on a sunny day. The anhinga was in a tree above me. Since I couldn't project my flash far enough to light him properly, I decided to stop down and make him a silhouette. Canon F-1, 500mm F4.5.

Michael's Critique

I don't think this has worked out as well as Kevin would have liked. The concept is good but I find that the sky is too dark and the branch area too messy. Silhouettes work best when they are simple and graphic and have the highest possible contrast. This one has neither.

You can add your own comments on Kevin'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, Canon EOS 50. Exposed (about) 1/30 second at f/16.
Digital processing: Levels adjustments (sky darkened about 1.5 stops), unsharp masking.
I submit this shot, not as my 'best image', but as the one I most want criticized. It was taken at sunset at Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia. Paternal feelings aside, I can't decide whether or not it is a photograph of merit. I'm aware that it is very busy, but have not been able to simplify it, either by repositioning during the shoot or by cropping afterwards. For example, I regard the 'V' trench formation in the centre as the primary compositional device, so instinct dictates cropping the extraneous rocks at the left. However, rather than improving the image as expected, this seems to dilute the image... the image loses its other-worldly appearance. Any suggestions?

Michael's Critique

Leigh has submitted another masterful image. I find almost nothing to fault and much to admire. The tiny burst of rays from the setting sun is a startling contrast with somber foreground rocks and subdued sky. The composition is almost perfect. Leigh has wisely resisted the temptation to "gussy up" the image. In fact it's the reserve shown that I admire the most. 

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

Danny Burk

Danny Burk
South Bend, IN (USA)
foto28@aol.com

Data: Contax 645, 120 Apo-Makro-Planar on bellows (slightly over 1:1); Fuji
Velvia; scanned with Epson 1640SU Photo.

Phalaenopsis orchid. Orchids are unquestionably my favorite flowers, and I never tire of finding new ways to photograph them.


Michael's Critique

Many years ago I spent the good part of a summer photographing flowers for a TV science documentary series. I know how hard it can be. Danny obviously specializes in this and has produced a lovely image. My only concern is that in the copy he's sent the colour appear over-saturated.

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

Robert Nugeny

Robert Nugeny
Fresno
nugeny@mediaone.net
Nikon F100    lens 100-300/4-5.6
velvia
Scanner Canoscan 2710
Photoshop for minor adjustment.
 
For many years I have been living in Central Valley, California. My feeling for the foggy weather, typical for Fresno fall and winter, has been changing from love to hate and now thanks to my love for Photography, I start to appreciate it again. At first I loved the foggy weather, that the people here describe as "soupy". It is really so thick that one has the feeling of being in a soup. But I felt certain romance and coziness in winter specially sitting by the fireplace in cold foggy December. Then it got to my nerves with the time, when specially i had difficulty looking through my windshield driving at night.
 
About more than a year back, I started to take photography as serious hobby. I began to see beauty in so many different places, at various times and impossible situations that I never imagined before. At first , fog was a challenge to photography. But soon enough my love for it came back with same the vigor but different feeling and insight.  Last  fall I started out to capture the spirit of the Central Valleys' white fog of Autumn. With this picture, I hope to convey my state of mind walking in the park last fall.  

Michael's Critique

As I've commented before, when we we do landscape photography we are photographing weather as much as the subject itself. When it's foggy is a great time for doing photography. Robert's image is quite nice, but I'd have liked to see a tighter cropping on the right side of the frame. The barren branches at the left don't contribute much. A bit more of the fog-diffused background leaves on the right would have been effective as well.

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

Jeffrey Goggin

Jeffrey Goggin
Scottsdale, AZ, 
audidudi@mindspring.com

Minolta Autocord LMX, f/22 @ 1/10 on Provia 100F, no filters were used or post-processing done (save for a bit (5 pts) of DEsaturation in Photoshop to make the colors more believable and a small amount of sharpening.

I shot this at sunset on January 27, 2001 at an abandoned mine on Danby Road, which is located south of Route 66 and somewhere between Amboy and Chambless, CA. I shot this image in two formats: 6x6 and 4x4. The nice thing about the 4x4 (aka "SuperSlide") format is that I can scan them in my 35mm film scanner; as such, I often shoot two shots of a scene -- film is cheap! -- and then scan the 4x4 version to see whether it's worth sending the 6x6 version out for a high-res drumscan. To make this process easy for me, Minolta thoughtfully scribed 4x4 cropping marks in the viewfinder so all I usually have to do is move the camera back a few feet and recompose the image using the 4x4 marks. In some instances, there might be a slight perspective change as well but most of the time, the 6x6 and 4x4 images look nearly identical.

Michael's Critique

If we're not photographing weather (as in the previous submission), we're photographing light. Here, a beautifully composed frame, great light and a fascinating subject are brought together in a very powerful photograph. I'm very enamoured of shooting square and find that when I'm working with a 6X6cm system many of my compositions fill the square frame as I compose in the viewfinder.

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

G¸nter Haika

G¸nter Haika
Vienna, Austria
haikagk@wfu.edu
http://haika.de.vu/

Hasselblad 503CX, Distagon 3.5/60. Exposure not recorded. Canyonlands sunrise, Dec 2000.

Michael's Critique

Timing and location worked well for this photograph. Though the rising or setting sun shining under an arch is now a veritable clichÈ of the American Southwest such images are always pleasurable to view.

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

Jason Larson

Jason Larson
Gainesville, Florida, US
jlarson@shadowplayphoto.com
 
Canon D30
Sigma 28-70 F2.8 EX @ 28mm
f19 for 1/3 sec
JPEG Large/Fine Mode
Bogen Tripod
Color Adjust and Unsharp Mask in Photoshop
 
This is a shot from my first trip with my new D30. It is at Helton Creek Falls in Northern Georgia. The two major falls in this location were wonderful. This is the in front of the upper falls, the more spectacular of the two. I was told that a couple of years ago there was some storm damage and, as you can see in the shot, several tree trunks littered the pool at the base of the upper falls. The area is fairly secluded, and when we were there my wife and I were the only two people there. It is amazing how such a thundering noise can be so soothing.

Michael's Critique

The problem with long exposures, appropriate for waterfalls, is that the highlights turn out much brighter than they appear to the eye or the camera's metering system. This is a very nicely done composition, with my only concern being the blown out highlights. Either Jason should have bracketed or used the camera's LCD screen to check for overexposure.

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

Ralf Berzinski

Ralf Berzinski
Los Angeles, USA

ralfs_berzinskis@exigengroup.com

The picture was photographed using Pentax ZX-5N, Fuji Provia 100F film, scanned using Nikon Coolscan III

I was walking in the mountains of Lassen Volcano. The fog and shapes of trees created a feeling as if I have come to a fairy land.

Michael's Critique

There's a wonderful feel to this composition. My only advise would be to crop a bit tighter so that the wonderful tree fills the frame. As it is the white sky is a bit to prominent.

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

Markus Grosche

Markus Grosche
Bad Wildungen, Germany (Hessen) 
Grosche.Markus@t-online.de

Minolta X700 slr, Soligor 60-300mm Zoom at 5,6/300mm, Agfa 200 ASA slide film, 1/250 sek, without tripod. I shoot this portrait during a trip to the german island "Helgoland" in the north sea. I was amazed of how close i could approach to this beautiful birds (in german they are called "Basst–lpel"). I added a little color saturation in photoshop (it was a cloudy day). It was scanned with a Minolta Dual Scan II slide scanner.

Michael's Critique

The color contrasts are excellent as is the contrast between the very crisply focused bird and the nicely out-of-focus foreground and background. Very well seen, composed and technically well executed.

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

Gerald Oar

Gerald Oar
Seattle, WA
, USA
gerryoar@hotmail.com

Nikon F100, 80-200 2.8 lens, Provia 100f film, Gitzo 1228 tripod.

Lone Pine at Sunrise. I took this photograph on Mt. Huangshan, Anhui Province, China in October of 2000. The sunrise was spectacular and i took quite a few photos of the sun rising between the peaks. After a few minutes I started becoming aware of this area approximately 90 degrees to the left. As i watched it the sky became this wonderful gradient of pink to purple. I zoomed in to isolate the cliff, pine and sky in what is a tight and simple image.

Michael's Critique

Gerald has nailed this one. An excellent composition of a superbly seen opportunity. The silhouette combined with the colour gradient makes for a compelling image. Have an 16X20"" LightJet print made and hang it over the mantelpiece. It's a winner.

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

Jeff Grant

Jeff Grant

EOS 3 with 28-135,Fuji Velvia

This shot was taken just after sunset in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. We had been driving around looking for a good spot to capture what looked like a fairly ordinary sunset. We found this river and had very little time for contemplation as the light was fading fast.

Michael's Critique

I have mixed feeling about this submission. Part of the composition works — the S curve leading the eye to the background row of trees, but unfortunately they lack the simplicity of form needed, primarily because of the central group. The soft mauve light is appealing though. Close, but a miss.

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

 

Tim Gray

Tim Gray 
Toronto, Ontario

Canon D30 1/80 F10 ISO 200 Canon 75-300 IS @ 195,  tripod.  

A beacon on Ward's Island, Toronto Harbour. Taken about 20 minutes before sunset in early February.  It was too cold and windy to appreciate the pastel shades in the sky when I was taking the shot.  Levels adjusted and sharpened in Photoshop.  

Michael's Critique

I like the dominance of the sky in this image. Though the lighthouse is the focal point it's the sky that really sets the stage. Cropping the water to just a sliver is a bold move. Well composed and seen.

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

Jeffrey W. Johnson

Jeffrey W. Johnson
Provo, UT, USA
jeffwjohnson@qwest.net

Echo Canyon, Zion's National Park

Canon EOS Elan IIe, Sigma 28-200 zoom unrecorded focal length and exposure on Fuji Velvia.

The day was overcast which prevented the usual harsh lighting in the middle of the day in Southern Utah. It is quite a climb up a series of switch backs from the valley floor to reach this canyon. Slide scanned with SprintScan 4000 and colors desaturated somewhat in photoshop.

Michael's Critique

Zion NP in the Fall is a especially lovely. Jeff's photograph nicely captures some of the colour, texture and contrasts of this unique location.

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

Ken Newcombe

Ken Newcombe
Dundas, Ontario, Canada
kennewcombe@geocities.com

Canon Elan II, Canon 300mm f4 L on Tripod, Elitechrome @ISO 100

Shot at Sun Fish Pond, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in Fall of 2000. This image was scanned with a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual and was cropped 50%, background was softened with Paint Shop Pro to reduce grain. Colors were balanced and contrast increased. The day was overcast day, the sun peeked out dimly for one brief moment and formed the shadow in the water.

Michael's Critique

How can one not find this appealing.? The dragonfly's iridescent orange wings provide a wonderful colour contrast with the blues and greens. I'd have liked to see a less cluttered composition, but this works well nevertheless. 

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

Barry Lobdell

Barry Lobdell
Saranac Lake, NY USA
barry1@adelphia.net
 
Photographed with a Nikon FA, 28mm lens most likely set at f-8, on Fuji Velvia
 
Located between the villages of Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, this section of the Saranac River serves as a popular boat launch when the ice is out, and a regular stop for photography just about anytime.  This particular scene occurred during February of 2000, late one afternoon.

Michael's Critique

The feeling of a partially frozen northern river is well captured in this shot. The composition doesn't work that well for me though as I find my eyes wandering around the frame without finding a center of interest.

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

Scott Rosenfeld 

Scott Rosenfeld 
Lansing, MI, USA
slrosenfeld@home.com
Both images photographed with a Canon Powershot G1, Program AE mode, IS0 50.  Tree: 1/80 at f4.0.  Sky, 1/500 at f6.3.
 
Both photographs were taken on the same afternoon, on the campus of Michigan State University at about 5pm.  I was attracted to the orange glow of the tree trunks, but a dense covering of small branches and pine needles made the final composition too busy. I photographed the cloudy sky with the intention of using it as a background for something, though I didn't have the trees  specifically in mind.
 
Inspired by John Paul Caponigro's book :), I decided to try merging the two images in Photoshop.  First I made level adjustments to each image separately.  Next I made a rough selection of the tree trunk using the lasoo tool.  Then I refined my selection in quick mask mode by painting with a black brush.  I saved the selection with a small (3 pixel) feather, copied it, and pasted into the cloud image.

Michael's Critique

I'm very impressed with Scott's photograph. Doing effective composites as fine-art photographs is very tough, both technically and esthetically. 99% of the time people fall down one rabbit hole or the other. Scott has quite effectively walked that fine line.

The hardest part is matching lighting direction. The clouds here are being lit from below. The tree, on the other hand is lit from the lower right. Close, but not exact. Scott might have tried adding a small gradient to the lower right of the cloud image to "move" the light source in that direction. Still close enough so that it doesn't really bother me.

I recommended Caponigro's book, Adobe Photoshop Master Class last month. If you're interested in how to accomplish such work, or even if you're not and simply want the best advanced book on Photoshop technique for photographers, this is a must.

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

Leroy Beal

Leroy Beal
Mountain View, CA, USA
leroybeal@earthlink.net
 
camera:  Pentax 6x7
lens:  105mm
film:  Fuji Velvia
tripod:  Gitzo 410 w/ Bogen 3047 head
 
Pasture near San Juan Bastista, California, spring 1998.
 
I had noticed this scene while driving to a job the day before.  It isn't often that you get a second chance at a promising photographic opportunity, but I thought that I would take my medium format gear along the next day.  It had been a very wet spring in central California and many pastures were flooded.  I hopped the barbed wire fence and made a half dozen images. This was the best composition. Rotate the image 180 degrees to see a very interesting illusion.

Michael's Critique

A sunny day, a green hill, a blue sky with puffy clouds. All the ingredients for a mundane photograph. Wrong! This is a striking composition — well perceived and perfectly executed. We can all learn something about "seeing" from studying this image.

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

Jim Warthman

Jim Warthman
Phoenix, AZ, USA
jim.warthman@affinity-systems-inc.com

Canon EOS D30, Canon 17-35L lens, zoomed to 25mm, tripod, ISO 100, 1/8 sec. exposure at f/22, auto white balance, Captued in RAW mode, acquired in Photoshop at 16-bits per channel, Cropped a bit, adjusted levels and contrast, sharpened with Nik Sharpener Pro

This was taken in early February, 2001 during a trip to the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. This area of the Sonoran Desert generally shows a mixture of brown shades, with little vegetation to add color. But this year, as a result of much rain early in the winter rainy season, the mountains had an early bloom of various wildflowers. I found the colors that were brought out by the mid-afternoon sun to be quite compelling, and wanted a wide aperture to keep both the flowers in the foreground, and the mountain in the background, in crisp focus.

Michael's Critique

Jim's composition is excellent and the subject matter appealing. (I'm surprised to see wildflowers this early in the year). But, the harsh mid-day light does little to enhance the image. Based on the angle of the shadows my guess is that this might have made a great early morning shot. It also would have benefited from some clouds or colour in the sky.

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

David R. Gurtcheff

David R. Gurtcheff
103 Ardmore Ave.
Westmont, NJ 08108
gurtch@aol.com

Location is Long Beach Island, NJ, taken several weeks ago.


Contax SLR, 28mm Zeiss lens, Kodacolor Gold 200 negative film., hand held. Scanned with Polaroid Sprintscan into Photoshop 5.0. Adjustment Layer used for Levels. Sky put onto separate layer, and levels/color balance applied to that layer. Saturation tool and burn and dodge tools used extensively. Edges and corners burned to simulate the effect I get in my wet darkroom (using burn tool and gradient tool). I have resed this up in Photoshop, and it makes very nice 13"x19" prints on my Epson 1270. 

Michael's Critique

A lovely image produced with impeccable technique. Of course without the bird, it wouldn't work. My only suggestion would be to crop the foreground slightly since the bottom 20% of the frame doesn't contribute anything.

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

Linda Taylor

Linda Taylor
Nevada City, Cal
USA
 
lltaylor@gotnet.net
 
I shot this image  with a Canon EOS and 100ASA film on a very misty day near Woodstock, Vermont.  I had to shoot it handheld which resulted in a somewhat soft result.  So, in Photoshop, after enhancing the fall color a bit, I applied smart blur and was pleased with the result.  The soft feeling seems to work in  this particular case.  This image is one of my personal favorites.

Michael's Critique

It's hard not to appreciate the warmth and saturated colours in this image. Linda has done a nice job of salvaging an apparently difficult situation. 

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

Andrzej Poniatowski

Andrzej Poniatowski
÷rnsk–ldsvik
Sweden
audiomix@city.ornskoldsvik.com
The picture is taken on a very cold March midday and shows the frozen Bothnia Bay that "connects" our town (500 miles north of Stockholm, at the Baltic Seaside) with the west coast of Finland. People have been reported taking a walk over to the other side - it takes MANY hours though! The equipment used: Noblex 135S Panorama Camera (f/11 - exposure time controlled by Panolux Lightmeter); film used: Velvia (40 ISO), tripod. The image was scanned with a PhotoSmart S20  and "enhanced" a little in PhotoShop (saturation and levels).

Michael's Critique

This panoramic nicely captures the feeling of cold and isolation that I'm sure the locale possessed. I like the fact that Andrezej has allowed the sky to dominate, as one can almost see the ice crystals in the thin stratus clouds.

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

Horst R–dding

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

Kimberley¥s, Western Australia. Camera: Hasselblad 903 / Biogon 4,5/ 38 mm Film: Kodak Portra 160 NC 220 Scan: Imacon Flextight Photo Software: Photoshop 5,5

Michael's Critique

Timing and atmospherics contribute to a lovely image. My only concern is with the colour which I find to be an unpleasant shade of green. I don't know if this is what it looked like to the eye, but I'd guess not. My suggestion would be to alter the colour to a warmer and more natural tone.

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

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Concepts: Photography, Canon EOS D30, Image editing, Canon EOS D60, Adobe Photoshop, Sky, Raw image format, Camera

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