Print Critique #5 by Amanda Fisher
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Hi and welcome to another print critique, this months image is by Amanda Fisher.
Thanks Amanda for sharing your image with us !!
If you have read a few of my critiques you will have noticed that I always start with the technical and then move onto composition and light !! Why is this so ?? Well its because it is how I approach image making and it is one of the things that I will be teaching on my workshops this year.
So, when you start to make an image, get the technicality's out of the way first, I feel this then frees up the mind to get the composition right. So first off look at the scene and determine what settings you will use, if its a waterfall then you may want a long shutter speed, do I want everything in focus, what ISO should I use to achieve the aperture and shutter settings I want etc etc, how many times have you taken a few shots and not even looked at your settings ?? yes we have all done it !!
With this image I would have chosen a smaller f stop, more like f11-f16 to give me more depth of field (amount of the image that is in focus) shutter speed is fine as long as it is on a tripod, generally where there is fog, it is calm so slow speeds are OK. Auto white balance is fine, if you are shooting Raw try a specific setting, ie cloudy for this scene.
I love the mood and the feel of this image, the bush really is transformed when there is a bit of fog around. I do a lot of camping and hiking in the high country and it is normally around winter time so this image conjures up lots of memories for me. And thats what an image should do, it should connect and communicate to the viewer.... sorry now getting back to composition, these scenes can be very busy and the trick is to have a strong focal point, if you can’t see a strong focal point then you need to create some balance in the image.
Naturally we are led to the skinny tree in the centre of the image, but the larger tree on the right is more dominating so there we have some conflict. I love the trees in the fog at the rear of the image but I am not led there, we need leading lines or the placement of elements to lead us to a focal point.
I feel there are two images in here, have a look at the crops and see what you think.
With this crop our eye is now directed to a focal point, by taking out the big tree there is less distraction, also remember I mentioned placement of elements, the smaller stumps are now directing us to our focal point, see below.
I like this crop as well, it now shows the repetition of the tree forks, remember to always look for any form of repetition in an image, something as subtle as this can transform an image. What I find bizarre is that this can really strengthen an image without us knowing, shield the forks out with your hand and you will see what I mean
And a tighter crop of the whole image shows that it can work, but notice how our focal point has shifted back to the center tree !!
So Amanda thank you so much for sharing this image with us! I think the main thing we can learn from this image is how important the placement is of each element within an image and the effects that they have. The key with these scenes is to look at each element and evaluate how it will effect the composition, sometimes it is a matter of moving a few feet or removing an element to strengthen the image.
Please feel free to make a comment below !!