by cathurynnComment by Mick:
As with most photos that I have been asked to comment on, this one has some aspects that I like, a few that I don’t like, and others that are in between. On balance, this adds up to a photo that is somewhere in the middle of “I like it” and “I don’t like it.” In other words, the photo doesn’t really move me one way or the other. The voting breakdown shows a similar reaction from the majority of voters, with the preponderance of votes being either a 5, or close to a 5. Does that mean that this is a bad photo? Of course not. DPChallenge has a large population of very experienced and talented photographers, many of whom are professionals that make their living taking photos. With this bunch, to score a 5, or even close to it as you have with this photo, is not bad at all.
1. The focus is a little soft. This was probably caused by the large aperture used, but the slow shutter speed may have been a contributing factor as well. Large apertures give a shallow depth of field, and slow shutter speeds can allow camera or subject movement to blur the image. The solution for either of these would be more light, perhaps from a reflector or a flash.
2. The composition doesn’t sit well with me. The diagonal lines of the frame and wheel lead the eye up to the right, but there’s not much there to bring them back into the image. I keep wondering what the rest of the object looks like.
3. The image size is too small. DPChallenge allows a maximum image size of 640 pixels on a side. Using the maximum size is almost always a good idea as it allows more detail to be seen.
4. The grass in the background competes with the subject for attention. It also screams “Lawn Ornament.” A better choice would have been sand or dirt--something that makes the viewer think of an old abandoned mine or something along those lines. A smooth sand background would make the rusty, textured surfaces of the wheelbarrow stand out more.
1. The colors and texture in the wheelbarrow are very nice. I think this is where most of the photo’s appeal is for me. The colors and texture of the grass are nice too, but as I said, they compete with the wheelbarrow rather than complement it.
2. The diagonal oval of the wheel with the radiating spokes is a good compositional element.
3. The shadows on the right side are nice. Accentuating these by lowering the brightness and bumping up the contrast a little might be an improvement.
Overall, it’s not a bad image. There just isn’t enough ‘wow factor’ to make it a really great photo. A different setting for the wheelbarrow could have told a much more interesting story.
I hope this helps. Just keep in mind that I’m not a professional photographer. This is just the opinions of a somewhat experienced amateur. Don’t get discouraged, and keep working at it and you will soon be winning ribbons.
Good luck in your next challenge!