Wait! Aren't We On the Same Team?! -- Saturday Morning Games
by dallasduxComment by Dr.Confuser:
Greetings from the Critique Club: I have been assigned your photo to critique and here are my thoughts:
Personal Reaction: My first reaction to your photo was, ďNice snap!Ē My kids all played soccer and I loved the fall morning games Ö crisp, clear, bright. These were great times with my young family. So I can resonate with the photo. Good job catching that spirit and feeling.
Composition: I like some elements of the composition. The placement of the 2 boys is good. You have a nice dynamic triangle going on with the ball and their two heads. The stopped motion of their legs points to the center of the action which leads you eye into the photo. All good stuff. The fence and the car in the background distract me. They are unnecessary for the image. When shooting sports, one crucial element is managing the background and this could have been done better. Perhaps a better background would have been the rest of the team, or the opposing teamís members behind the action. Still the action happens where ever it will and itís not always easy to anticipate where to stand to manage the background. Thatís something to work on next time. Watch the flow of the game. Observe where things seem to happen. And position yourself so they will happen between you and a desirable background.
Technicals: The technical execution is actually pretty good. Using a long lens, hand-held, and capturing fast action with good focus, good lighting, and good stopped motion isnít so easy. You did a good job here, although it feels slightly over exposed. One thing you might try next time is to use the shallowest possible DoF by choosing you widest available aperture. If you are close enough to the action, you will get some DoF blurring which will help isolate your subject and focus attention on the subject players. If you look at Sports Illustrated photos, this is a technique that the pros use to great effect.
Conclusions: When we take snapshots, we are usually recording something about someone we know, or something we have a personal affinity for. In this case, it was your nephew. You or a family member will look at the photo and it will bring back the memory of the game. Which is great, and on that level, this is a great photo. But a disinterested party wonít have the personal affinity with the subject. If (s)he is a DPC voter, the photo will need to impress them without relying on the personal affinity. In this case, the subject wasnít strong enough, and the tie in to the challenge theme wasnít strong enough to carry the photo.
You havenít been a member very long and havenít entered that many challenges yet. Donít be disappointed. Give yourself some time to find your personal style. Work on your subject choices and point of view with each. Try to tell a story a disinterested observer will resonate with.
As always, this is my personal opinion. Feel free to PM me if youíd like further dialog.