He Sees Angels
by m_martinhereComment by taterbug:
Greetings from the Critique Club :-)
I see this is your 2nd challenge entry. First off, welcome to DPC! This is a great place to learn about all things photography, if that is your desire. Probably more than you could ever even think possible :-P
Your shot here is technically pretty sound. It is nice and crisp and clear. Focus is good, sharp on the eye like a portrait type shot should be. Lighting is even, no harsh shadows or hot spots. The composition is nice. An interesting point of view, and you've nicely kept it clean and simple, no unwanted clutter or distracting elements. That is a nice expression you've captured, and I can see what you are saying in your photographers comments :-) This was a good choice for a b/w. I think that you've used negative space well, it gives the viewer a chance to follow the gaze of the child, but not drift off the image, and to come back to the subject. The shot seems balanced ok.
I'm wondering if you did much post processing other than your b/w conversion. There seems to be a little bit of 'splotchy', light patches in the background. Maybe a little selective color, or levels adjustments could clean that up a bit. Boosting the darks may at the same time add just a little depth and dimension and 'drama' to the main subject as well. Another tip when photographing people, if you can use some lighting (doesn't have to be fancy studio lights, there are lots of easily obtainable or ready alternatives) and get a catchlight in the eyes, it can make a bit of a difference. That helps to draw attention to the eyes, normally a big strong point in people shots.
Don't be discouraged by your score on this shot. Technically it is not too bad. To me, it comes across as definitely more than just a snapshot, I see some thought and purpose in the image. However, a thing to keep in mind is, with 'baby' shots, a public audience doesn't have any 'emotional' attachments to the child, and to get appreciation you normally have to really have 'wow' factor. Absolute technical brilliance, highly emotive, something to really peak the interest. You see, especially here with the voters, they are somewhat 'tainted' if you will. You get many people here that happen across the website and enter their terrible old snapshots of their kids, or pets and stuff, so you are kind of starting out with an uphill battle with this genre of photos :-) I'm sure this was a factor in your score. The other thing is the challenge topic. I can see where you are coming from in your comments. Perhaps a bit tenuous, but I can see the connection. However, you have to remember, during the voting, the voters can not see your comments, the photo has to basically stand on it's own in getting the idea across. (oh, and on a side note, many voters have a pet peave about shots that use a title to try and make a photo fit, and is normally not well received) A thing to keep in mind, the dpc audience is international and very diverse, in general, for a photo to score well here, not only does it need to be technically very well done, but it normally has to really nail the topic across the board. Something someone told me here when I was relatively new and I try to always remember: To get a high scoring photo here, it is not really about trying to take a shot that will get a lot of high scores, but taking a shot that will NOT get very many low scores :-) From the comments you received, I'm sure that this was a big factor in your score. If the challenge connection were stronger, I'm sure your score would be significantly higher.
Again, welcome aboard. You seem to have a good eye, and a good grasp on the technicals and composition. Keep brainstorming on ideas, keep participating and check out the forums. I'm sure you'll do great here.
If you have any questions, or comments or anything, feel free to pm me.