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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Score 4.5-5.99 and need a critique?
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03/28/2007 11:35:02 AM · #1
I'll take 10 images posted here for critique.

Be advised, though, my latest submission is scoring 4.8 both because it is poorly post processed AND fails to meet the challenge in the expected way. So you will have to ask yourself this question, "Do I really want a critique from someone who can't even score 5?"

Mine, of course, is just an opinion. The wise photographer will be able to separate the useful information from the garbage. LOL!!
03/28/2007 11:54:45 AM · #2
Steve

LOL....guess who is first in the queue this time.

Weirdly this gave me a PB of 5.5x but in several ways I dont think it is as good technically as some of my previous efforts...However, tried to incorporate/address some of the composition issues that you kindly raised on previous critiques

As ever many thanks for your time

485936.jpg
03/28/2007 12:16:14 PM · #3
486558.jpg

What the hell I 'll take one even though I think the poor score is cuz' it's a SP :-P.
03/28/2007 12:18:01 PM · #4
485843.jpg

i am not sure why this did not score decent, although i am suspecting the colors are off
03/28/2007 12:51:07 PM · #5
Originally posted by jonfrommk:

Weirdly this gave me a PB of 5.5x but in several ways I dont think it is as good technically as some of my previous efforts...However, tried to incorporate/address some of the composition issues that you kindly raised on previous critiques

485936.jpg

Though not necessarily true in this case, it should not surprise you that your best photographs are not your highest scoring ones. Viewer interpretation of the challenge topic skews voting. They are not just voting a photograph, they are voting a challenge topic as well. Though this has no meaning after the challenge week ends, the vote remains.

Positives:
Composition works well and a fun interpretation of the challenge topic. Very cleverly done. The BW interpretation and perspective are likable.

Technicals:
Focus, exposure and lighting generally good. There are two technical defects that held back this image in scoring. One, the background - it adds nothing to the composition and the harsh shadows are noticable and distracting. Two, the wire between the two phones is out of focus and acts as a viewer distraction.

The challenge:
Though it is a creative interpretation of the topic some viewers might have thought the image a cliche. Outside this particular challenge it would have been considered very original.

There is image noise in this frame and it can be interpreted as necessary by some to support the challenge theme, but it is unlikely many DPCers would make that connection. Though it does not hurt the image it does help it much either. Smooth, noiseless images perform better than noisy ones MOST of the time at DPC.

Suggestions:
The BG is the biggest technical defect in this image and caused by a common DPC mistake - You positioned your models to close to the wall. Your background has lighting shadows that, in this case but not all cases, distracts from the image. You can remove the BG shadows in post processing and make the BG solid white. But, unless you want to highlight shadows in an image then ALWAYS position your models a few feet from BG walls and you can either soften or eliminate the shadows.

In a reshoot you'd correct the out of focus wire by waiting until it is not moving before taking the picture and/or taking it at a faster shutter speed.

I might add, though you can apparently submit challenge entries without the ISO, f/stop and shutter speed information I recommend you include it. Makes a differnce when suggesting things you might have done differently with the image to address certain types of issues.
03/28/2007 01:26:59 PM · #6
Steve

Only time for a very quick reply at the moment, but just wanted to say thank you (again). Much to muse over and correct in the future. i will (as ever) drop you a longer message to your email when I have been able to fully digest your critique

All the best, many thanks

Jon
03/28/2007 01:28:34 PM · #7
Originally posted by thegrandwazoo:

486558.jpg

What the hell I 'll take one even though I think the poor score is cuz' it's a SP :-P.

Ya know... I'm still POed at myself that we did not hook up at the Flutag event at Tempe Town Lake last year! We could have drank beer in the heat and had a great time looking at scantily clad women and watching poorly constructed but creative flying vehicles crash. You'd think that since you are really tall I'd have been able to find you, but... NOOOOOO.

Positives:
Color, lighting and capture are generally good. Is a fun interpretation of the challenge topic. Perspective is the best feature of this image. Overall capture is OK.

Technicals:
Sharpness and general exposure are good. The use of flash gives the sky background a subdued look that works well for the exposure, but not necessarily for the image overall.

If you look on a discriminating monitor (I'm on an LCD monitor) you can see some digital jaggies on the cell phones.

Flash distance made your head darker than the foreground body and that hurt the image.

The challenge:
Meets the challenge. No question. Center focusing is necessary in this particular image but not generally a 'good' perspective for many high scoring DPC images. Though this image is creative in concept DPC viewers might not have thought it photographically creative enough to rate a higher score.

DPC voters generally rate images taken with camera mounted flash lower. If you can avoid it, for DPC, don't use on-board camera flash whenever possible or use it as MINOR filler flash only, never anything more. If it is noticable it will probably be voted lower.

Suggestions:
Lengthen the exposure to reduce "flash" noticebility. You can and should still use on-board flash, just make it less noticable to the viewer.

Rework sharpness to remove digital "jaggies" on LCD monitors.

Use burn to brighten your head against the background.
03/28/2007 01:35:33 PM · #8
It is too bad we didn't hook up at Flutag. Next time you are in town lets definitely hook up and I will buy you a beer!

The jaggies are something I really need to watch for. Sometimes I get too caught up in the big picture to cop to the details. I will look out for that.

And had this not been a basic challenge I would have burned my head. LOL

Thanks Steve!

03/28/2007 02:01:13 PM · #9
Originally posted by zaflabout:

485843.jpg

i am not sure why this did not score decent, although i am suspecting the colors are off

It scored below DPC image average. I don't think the colors are off.

Positives:
Use of a solid white BG and the rule of thirds works well. Model pose is all right.

Technicals:
Exposure generally OK but not outstanding. Composition is fine. Color looks OK to me on this monitor.

Lighting is weak and looks to be 'flat' overall.

Sharpness, or the appearance of sharpness, is curious in this particular image and, unfortunately, probably hurts it. There are some high contrast small overexposed 'spots' on the lips that appear oversharp, yet most of the rest of the image looks 'soft' focused. Some facial blemishes should probably be removed. That confuses the visual viewer.

It looks like you applied noise reduction and it showed up in some areas more than others. That gives the image an unbalanced sharpness quality that many viewers will notice and not like. It seems smooth and unfocused in some areas yet oversharpened in others.

The image looks a little 'flat' contrast-wise.

The Challenge:
Obviously it meets the challenge. But in a challenge like this viewers expect perfect technicals and/or a unique interpretation... they get neither in this image.

Suggestions:
Focus on the technicals. Work on the issue of sharpness. If you used noise reduction then increase or decrease width of sharpening to either allow the image to be sharper or softer overall. If softer, avoid making your model look 'plastic'. If sharper, don't oversharpen.

Increase contrast and/or brightness to give the image more viewer interest and impact. Add vignetting and or dodge and burn to highlight the model and or add more viwewer interest to the overall composition.
03/28/2007 02:07:11 PM · #10
thanks steve actually i think that wsa very helpfull, looking back at the image i thin ky ou are absolutely right:)
03/28/2007 02:09:57 PM · #11
Originally posted by thegrandwazoo:

It is too bad we didn't hook up at Flutag. Next time you are in town lets definitely hook up and I will buy you a beer!

...

And had this not been a basic challenge I would have burned my head. LOL

Sorry, forgot about it being basic... I tend to think more about the image overall then challenge rules.

Btw... I will buy the second round and maybe the third! :)

There is a GTG in Phoenix with AT LEAST DrAchoo, kirbic, samigurl, OOwonderbreadOO and others being planned very soon. Should be good. Hope you can make it.
03/28/2007 02:13:02 PM · #12
If you have time for one more...

483169.jpg

Challenge: Image Grain II (Basic Editing)
Place: 237 out of 391
Avg (all users): 5.1379

Thank you!

Message edited by author 2007-03-28 14:14:04.
03/28/2007 03:49:07 PM · #13
Originally posted by flavioalima:

If you have time for one more...

483169.jpg

Challenge: Image Grain II (Basic Editing)
Place: 237 out of 391
Avg (all users): 5.1379

Positives:
In terms of being technically well done within the confines of the challenge topic, this works OK.

Technicals:
Lighting and general exposure and lighting seem good. Composition with offset and use of negative space is OK. Overall grain in this image is much better than in most others in the grain challenge.

The challenge:
Though the grain is well done it is not really necessary for this particular image within the confines of this challenge and that is a critical element.

I suspect the below average DPC score for this image results from two things... One, grain does not contribute significantly to the overall impact of the image and; two, it has little to attract viewer interest on a DPC level. It is just a building with attractive window lighting. DPCers want more "wow" factor in their images.

For the challenge perhaps there is to much grain or it is closer to the "digital noise" variety.

In the end perhaps subject matter played a greater role in this challenge in the acceptance of this image than anything else. Maybe you should have chosen a different subject for a higher impact and therefore a higher score.

Suggestions:
Technically speaking there is little to suggest. Changing subjects to add viewer interest might be in order. Grain generally works well for 'old' style photography and/or hard core inner city imagery. BW is more common than not for grain.
03/28/2007 04:19:10 PM · #14
Thanks, Steve. Very helpful.
03/29/2007 06:16:18 AM · #15
Please critique my pic.
485529.jpg
Challenge: Langdon's Birthday (Advanced Editing*)
Place: 74 out of 106
Avg (all users): 5.3149

Thanks
03/29/2007 07:14:43 AM · #16
I would Really Appreciate it on my colour portrait entry. I thought it could to do a bit better

485344.jpg

Place: 178 out of 266
Avg (all users): 5.2606

Message edited by author 2007-03-29 07:15:27.
03/30/2007 12:59:32 PM · #17
Originally posted by pla2:

Please critique my pic.
485529.jpg
Challenge: Langdon's Birthday (Advanced Editing*)
Place: 74 out of 106
Avg (all users): 5.3149

-------------------------------
Note:
As an aside, since you included it in your request, it is always a good idea review the other challenge entries that placed close to yours. That gives you a reality check of your own image compared to the others, especially if you voted the challenge.

If you find that most of the other images surrounding yours are ones that you voted mostly one point lower or near the same as yours got (This logic is unique to you personally based on the fact you normally score about .7 points lower than the DPC average) then you can figure your image was rated 'correctly' by others.
End Note
-------------------------------

Positives:
Pink color cast works well. Overall general image quality is good. Directing the viewer to the cat's eyes using shallow DOF is nice.

Technicals:
Lacks under/over exposed areas (You'd be how surprised how often high scoring images at DPC have them). Lighting, though not defective, does not add much viewer interest. Composition is OK. Image is a little soft perhaps by design but does not necessary add much to the composition.

The challenge:
As far as meeting the challenge is concerned, this meets it. This one is a little ununsual as challenges go but an unique and rare animal fits the bill.

There are a couple other things about it, though that would affect it in scoring. Domesticated animals typically don't do well in challenges. Post processing to add a color cast as appears in this case is sometimes voted lower.

Possibly... just possibly some voters thought that you adjusted the color of the cat's eyes to be different colors. Whether you did or did not does not matter, the image might appear to be doctored for effect by some voters and they will vote it lower as a result.

Suggestions:
You might consider backing off on the pink color casting to make it slightly more subtle. Post process this image for more dramatic highlighting of your main subject for greater impact. OR add lighting your main subject in ways to engage the viewer. Either would make a huge difference in score. Perhaps posing the animal in other perspectives would also add more viewer interest.

I suspect that you were counting on the unusual nature of your subject for it's impact. But if viewers think that the image is unusual because of post processing the truth does not matter... they will vote it lower anyway. Photography is a purely visual medium.
03/30/2007 01:10:13 PM · #18
Please do mine.

479733.jpg

This was my most complicated setup and I took loads of outakes and although I wasn't entirely happy with it I did hope for a better score.

Thanks,

Joe
03/30/2007 01:27:52 PM · #19
Originally posted by Shadowi6:

I would Really Appreciate it on my colour portrait entry. I thought it could to do a bit better

485344.jpg

Place: 178 out of 266
Avg (all users): 5.2606

My note to the previous image I critiqued applies here as well. :)

Positives:
Beautiful blue eyes. Nice the way you covered part of the face with a book for added viewer interest. Selection of a Harry Potter book is cute.

Technicals:
Lighting generally OK but not exceptional. Color and overall exposure looks good. I suspect there are several technical features that negatively affected voters. Though the eyes themselves are very beautiful and immediately draw attention, the undereye area is harsh and viewers will vote you lower because of it. And that is partly because the eyes attract so much attention already.

Ironically, it also appears that noise reduction may have been overused to make the areas above the eye browse and on the nose and bridge of the nose oversmoothed because of it.

The challenge:
Obviously, this meets the challenge.

Suggestions:
This image is quite similar to another friend's entry in the same challenge that scored much higher. For that reason I suspect that technical quality figured prominently in your score.

Use the blur tool to soften and or eliminate the harsh undereye areas, even to the point of being unrealistic to your model, but realistic to viewers. That will make more difference than anything else.

Review post processing to insure that there is not the appearance of oversmoothing on your model's face.

Sharpening may be very slightly overdone so you may want to back off on it a bit. That is a lesson I've never quite learned myself. :)

Lastly, you have a basically blank background. Nothing wrong with that, but you might consider adding vignetting around the subject for added viewer interest.

Message edited by author 2007-03-30 13:29:13.
03/30/2007 01:44:30 PM · #20
I would Appreciate critique on my entry.

485040.jpg

Color Portrait II

Avg score 5.67
03/30/2007 01:54:00 PM · #21
Originally posted by joekent:

479733.jpg

This was my most complicated setup and I took loads of outakes and although I wasn't entirely happy with it I did hope for a better score.

Positives:
Abstracts are always difficult to interpret but the bubble at the top is this image's most attractive and distinctive feature.

Technicals:
Image appears excessively red. Depth of field and/or shutter speed contributed to the poor focus of the bottom bubbles.

The Challenge:
Your image scored below the DPC average. To be honest, setup played little role in that which is what bothered you most. Mostly it is likely that voters felt that the red in this image added little impact to the composition and/or or was added in post... either would be a killer in voting.

Most likely voters felt you added red in post processing to meet the challenge and voted you low because of that and its technicals.

Suggestions:
Shot at 1/250th sec af f/8. Think it might be more effective if the bottom were all totally focused and that would better support the overall effect of this image. You can only do that by either increasing shutter speed or depth of field. Either will require more light or higher ISO. You should ALWAYS favor more light over ISO to reduce noise effects.
03/30/2007 02:54:22 PM · #22
Originally posted by edmeng:

I would Appreciate critique on my entry.

485040.jpg

Color Portrait II

Avg score 5.67

You don't need me to tell you this is a fine color portrait, you already know that. You are someone who knows what they are doing and does not need me to tell you what is good or what is not. I'd be torqued if this were my image and it scored so low.

Positives:
Strong technicals... focus, lighting, perspective and the use of the offset framing are all well applied. Sharpness is very good. You have applied good current photographic environmental portraiture technique that flatters your subject. I'm certain if you were doing this as a sitting for a client this would be well accepted, even by an artist and they are sensitive.

Technicals:
Decent overall technicals. Some might say the face is harsh and focus slightly oversharpened, etc. Personally, I think they would be wrong. There is little about your presentation that is unflattering to your subject. You've likely captured him well.

If anything the brightness is slightly below normal, but not much. Even with that it probably fits the image.

The challenge:
I'm sure there would be no end of voters who would suggest, "You got over 5.6, what more do you want?", as if 5.6 is a good score. It isn't. I don't care, I would not be satisfied by that score with this image if it were mine nor do I think you should be either.

Suggestions:
You could increase brightness and add vignetting to highlight the subject against the existing background but that is about all. This is a good image as it is.
03/30/2007 03:27:27 PM · #23
Steve,

I didn’t expect much from this image and my “gesstimate” was somewhere between 5.9 and 6.1, so I thought 5.6 is a little low, just wanted to hear other opinion on that.

You made excellent observations and I completely agree with them.
I greatly appreciate all the comments you made.

Valeriy.
03/31/2007 07:36:14 PM · #24
Thankyou for your observations I'll look up thet other entry that you mentioned. I actually didnt use noise reduction much just my model is only 4 so that helps :)
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