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Peaceful symmetry
Peaceful symmetry

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Symmetry (Classic Editing)
Camera: Ricoh RDC-7
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Date: Mar 29, 2003
Aperture: f/2.6
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/776
Galleries: Cityscape
Date Uploaded: Mar 29, 2003

House along one of the canals in Amsterdam

Place: 71 out of 226
Avg (all users): 5.6219
Avg (commenters): 5.9000
Avg (participants): 5.5462
Avg (non-participants): 5.7317
Views since voting: 1048
Votes: 201
Comments: 22
Favorites: 0

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04/09/2003 05:17:29 PM
Greetings from the Critique Club!

This is a nice image that is indeed peaceful. You've got a lot of horizontal and round lines from the brick work that add to this feel, and since the vertical lines from the shutters aren't that pronounced, they don't detract from it. Even your diagonal roof lines do not totally break the peaceful nature of the shot, perhaps because they are capped by horizontal additions at the top. The soft colors of the bricks also help.

The image to me is symmetrical, and I don't mind the flag in terms of symmetry; I guess I'm pretty liberal when it comes to symmetry and can accept a softer symmetrical look. I also find the buildings well positioned in the frame, though as many of your commenters noted, it does appear slightly tilted due to the "keystoning" of looking up. If you look at the bricks at the bottom of the frame, they look level, but looking up skews and warps the image. The only way to combat this is to get either closer or farther away and make sure you're exactly in the middle. I would guess that you were slightly to the right of the symmetrical plane in the center: note how the extreme left of your image is also slightly more out of focus than the right. So tilting it in Photoshop would not work as the image is warped and not tilted at all. You could also crop the outside edges more to eliminate the worst of the distortion.

The flag adds a bit of interesting color, but like other voters, I feel it tends to compete for attention rather than augment the photo.

Light: I notice that your aperture was at f 2.6. Setting that higher, perhaps to 8.0 or so, would both increase your depth of field and lower the light entering your camera. I'm not sure you can do that with your camera, but many cameras allow you set the aperture. I find the light in this photo a bit harsh and uninteresting. Coming at a different time of day or increasing the shutter speed to limit the light that enters the camera would both darken and enliven the shot, I feel. The reds of the bricks and shutters could really come to life in the right light.

I like the composition of this photo and enjoy how the sky balances the image at the top. Nicely cropped and well positioned in the frame. I also enjoy the various lines of the windows that you captured here.

The photo seems slightly out of focus, and perhaps running an Unsharp Mask filter would help, if you have Photoshop. You may not want to always trust your camera's autofocus. Increasing the aperture might help with overall focus as well.

In sum, I like the image: you've chosen a good subject and communicate a nice sense of symmetry through it. I find it well composed and cropped. I do feel it needs that last spark of interest that could be added through more interesting light, which would be my main suggestion for improvement.

Thanks for letting me look!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
04/06/2003 05:16:35 PM
The flag destroys the perfect symmetry of this photo!
04/05/2003 08:37:13 PM
meets challenge good color good focus
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/04/2003 12:14:58 PM
Nicely seen. I'd crop off the empty space at the top and rotate the whole thing anti-clockwise slightly.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/03/2003 02:30:34 PM
nice pic. good job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/03/2003 07:48:14 AM
I like the doors. I'd suggest a bit of a rotation to the left to level. The flag is a nice touch, but in this particular challenge it causes the picture to lose balance. Nice shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/03/2003 05:34:53 AM
You'd have had it nailed if you would've cut the flag off I think. Pretty good image despite but the flag wrecks the symmetry part for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/03/2003 12:41:47 AM
04/02/2003 05:40:09 AM
Some odd distortion here? The crop is under the window fronts OK, but the tops of the buildings are way out of line - makes the whole thing appear tilted. Good shot though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/01/2003 10:49:31 PM
good picture
04/01/2003 10:42:25 PM
Amazing how something that would intially seem to ruin the symmetry actually enhances it. I don't think this would be all that great without the banner. Nice touch.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/01/2003 01:49:28 PM
nice clear image, good idea
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/01/2003 11:28:03 AM
04/01/2003 12:59:38 AM
I like this shot. It has great colour and very good symmetry. You have also captured the details of the bricks without over sharpening the result.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/31/2003 09:58:09 PM
Nice subject for the challenge. Colors and contrasts work well; focus seems just a little bit on the soft side, though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/31/2003 05:21:12 PM
To bad the flag is there. Plus the picture is tilted to the right a little.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/31/2003 04:04:33 PM
Excellent colors! The flag is of questionable value for the subject of the challenge though. I would've framed it with a little more sky and cropped it right above the flag.
That pale red / blue contrast is spot on.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/31/2003 01:53:40 PM
Nice image. The colors stand out well and the object has lots of patterns and value in it. Good job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/31/2003 12:07:11 PM
exellent colors!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/31/2003 11:21:21 AM
nice color. the flag is kind of a distraction though.
03/31/2003 08:00:35 AM
Nice representation of symmetry! Can it be that I have seen these buildings live? Amsterdam?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/31/2003 06:46:32 AM
Nice. It's a bit pity the shot looks tilted.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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