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Author Topic: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer  (Read 5884 times)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« on: February 26, 2013, 01:39:46 PM »

Just to demonstrate I can stand a negative critique. Always interesting (and good) to see how others see your work.

My intention was to avoid the standard approach, with reeds as silhouettes, or no foreground at all, but to try a different one, which juxtaposes background and foreground, warm and cool colors. I guess I just ended up confusing viewers. I might try reprocessing it, to downplay the visual weight of the reeds and see how that works.

This is the original:


November Sky by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr

And the critique is attached:

William Walker

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 01:45:58 PM »

re: The critique: +1  ;)

nemo295

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 01:49:49 PM »

I would have demanded pistols at ten paces.  ;)
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B-Ark

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 01:58:40 PM »

Definitely a bold attempt. But like all bold attempts, there will be critics. I find that my eyes (and brain) are taxed - perhaps the image will grow on me with the passage of time.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 02:02:44 PM »

... I find that my eyes (and brain) are taxed - perhaps the image will grow on me with the passage of time.

When it starts to fade? ;)

tom b

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 02:09:42 PM »

Great picture, the critic is an idiot.

Cheers,

B-Ark

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 02:50:23 PM »

When it starts to fade? ;)

Hopefully not.
The images that I enjoy the most, are those that leave me perplexed, and yet that I cannot forget. The brain is a curious thing - the more that you try to understand it, the less you do.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 03:02:01 PM »

Great picture, the critic is an idiot.

Cheers,

Thanks, though I wouldn't say so. He is the editor of the Amateur Photographer (UK) magazine and, as such, has been involved in seeing, selecting, judging, critiquing tens of thousands of pictures. I think it makes sense to take into account what he says. As a minimum, it provides a certain angle, and indicates how others might see it as well (e.g., +1s above).

I still like the image, one of the few I printed and put on my wall. It was taken in November 2005, at a bike run with my daughter, through our neighborhood, thus might hold more personal meaning than to other viewers. 

Johnny_Johnson

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 03:05:01 PM »

Great picture, the critic is an idiot.

Cheers,

Actually I thought the critic was being kind.  :-)

Later,
Johnny
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 03:06:41 PM »

Actually I thought the critic was being kind.  :-)

Hey, do not hold back, let us now how you really feel, I can take it. :)

tom b

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2013, 03:15:07 PM »

The critique is probably OK if you are looking at an image once. However if you are putting an image on a wall, the last thing you want is an over resolved image. An image that looks the same every time you look at it gets boring very quickly. His critique is lousy advice and I hope the rest of opinion is better than I just read. I've seen a lot of safe photography in photography magazines.

Cheers,

Kirk Gittings

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2013, 03:31:36 PM »

No, it doesn't.

absolutely. IMO the best images entice you into a longer look revealing themselves as they go.
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Tony Jay

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2013, 03:51:22 PM »

At the risk of having bricks thrown at me:

It has been suggested that at least part of what makes art so interesting and pleasing to view by human beings is precisely that some thought and interpretation is required on what that piece of art represents and means.
In this context Slobodan's image is a huge winner - a point eloquently expressed in the critique.
Ultimately whether the critic liked the image is besides the point.

For me, after an enjoyable few minutes viewing and pondering the image my interpretation of the image is that the sky is the ultimate subject here.
The fact is that this was not immediately apparent but ultimately that point is neither here nor there.
This image is interesting enough that valid alternative opinions could be forwarded as to what it really represents and what it is trying to communicate.

My $0.02 worth.

Tony Jay
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Petrus

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2013, 03:58:44 PM »

I like the picture, better than 99.9% of modern paintings... I could have it on my wall, if I had a wall big enough.

As a photograph, well, not bad at all. Oversaturated maybe.
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RSL

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2013, 04:39:17 PM »

Shame, shame, Slobodan. You should have given it more thought at the shooting stage and overcome the problem. Who is this critic? It's what I've always said, the judges are always insane.

l_d_allan

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2013, 05:28:54 PM »

I really like this, although it is quite "busy".

Of special interest ... at least to me ... is that some of the white'ish cloud formations suggest birds flying, especially on the right side.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2013, 05:53:10 PM »

It was indeed an incredible sky, especially for November. You can see it in the OOC version. Below that is a re-processed version, with reeds less bright and colorful:
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 10:28:20 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 05:58:49 PM »

When the critic says "Any picture needs a subject that is easily and quickly identifiable," I think he left out a word. What he means to say is "Any trivial picture needs a subject that is easily and quickly identifiable."

I agree with Isaac, Kirk, and Tony.

Good shot, SB. If you want to make a bad photo, maybe you should try putting a boring old car behind a chain-link fence.
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David Eckels

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 06:56:43 PM »

I really like this, although it is quite "busy".
I see the artist...

Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 08:15:16 PM »

What a fantastic sky!

I really like some of the things you have done here Slobodan, or should I say attempted to do but didn't quite carry off. You must have thought while out on you bike with your camera and daughter, even though photography was not the main reason you were there, ah what an amazing sky, but that isn't enough, I need something in the foreground to give me good foreground interest, so what can I quickly find to create that infamous ‘juxtaposition’ that we all apparently seek in photography (I have grown to really dislike that word juxtaposition, photographers, very esteemed photographers not a million miles from here for that matter, have completely beaten the living daylights out of that word IMO) and that is where you have lost your focus/point of interest within the image. Do not get me wrong, it is a fine image as well as a happy memory of the event and one I am sure you will enjoy for many years to come. I would say though that it is a near miss, but a good solid stab at reaching for something excellent.

So what do I think is wrong with the image? I think that the tiny little bush or whatever it is at the bottom left corner is for its size within the image, very distracting, and also that the left vertical third of the image is quite a bit darker than the right third. I also agree that you have slightly over brightened and saturated the greens of the foliage in the centre of the image. I also suspect that you have added an extra and feathered circle of luminosity to the centre of the image, in an attempt to give the image a more foreground oriented yet centralised focus point. Or you may well have used fill flash to create this effect, but either way it doesn't fully work, because the sky is just so dominant in the background, no matter what you did with the foreground, the image is being controlled by that amazing sunset taking place in the background. This tussle between foreground and background has caused an uneasy conflict within the image, as to what it is exactly that you wish the viewer to rest their gaze upon, instead of creating the hoped for and aforementioned juxtapo... oh heck you know the word.

What do I think is right about the image? There is a lot to like about this image, the wonderful rich colours, the best use of what you had to hand, the amazing sky and the fact that you have tried to do something different and I assume on the fly and also at the same time looking after your daughter. This image is certainly not a failure by any stretch of the imagination, but for me the conflict of the dominant foreground against an even more dominant background, is what I believe stops this image rising from the really good to the really great.

I dream of getting a sky like that, but I also have nightmares of getting a sky like that when I am not expecting it and then running around panicking as I try to put something in front of it. It happens to us all. But when you are there with a great view and ready and waiting with the camera ready to go - you get nothing! Yet when your out fetching the groceries from the local superstore and walking back through the car park, to where you parked your car next to the recycling bins, BANG! It happens, the best sunset you have ever seen starts to take place behind the grey concrete walls of supermarket and all you can do is stare at it and swear under your breath, as you continue to pack your 'buy one get one free' cans of beans and dog chews into the boot of the damn car - ho hum!!!!

Dave
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 08:26:38 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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