Documentry Photography Photo Critique
Heaven or Hell
by Edward Teran
Category: Documentry Photography
Leica V-Lux 1
Lens: Zoom: Variable focal
Exposure time: 1/200 ,
Description: This is one of the reflecting pools at the new World Trade Center. The pit with the w see all >
This is one of the reflecting pools at the new World Trade Center. The pit with the water cascading in the deep ibis and the rainbow sides that reach up create a separate world. The pools bring out all of our deepest emotions of both good and evil.
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
This is a beautiful shot and an excellent choice of subject. Subject is clear and captures the viewer's attention. Good title, short but descriptive.
I like the way you have eliminated all extraneous elements from this shot, just the water and the central void, pure and simple. However this also means a loss of scale and although I know the pool is huge, in this shot it actually looks quite small to me. I have never visited the pool so I am looking at this photo without the aid of memory or preconceptions. You, as photographer, bring personal experience to this shot so you may have an overlay of scale in your mind when looking at it. In spite of that it has a wonderful abstract quality to it due to the absence of anything other than itself. Printed large scale I think this would look stunning.
The rim of the central pit is sharp and that is exactly where the viewer needs to see it.
Camera settings are ok but I think you can get more out of them if you come out of automatic and start using manual, if possible. Exposure is actually very good, there is detail in the shadows of the central void area but there is a loss of detail on the left side of the picture - another job for Photoshop as it's tricky to get everything totally balanced in a shot like this.
The reddish-brown and sea-green colors help to convey the emotional response you are looking for. I have looked at many more photos of this pool and this shot is the best for color. The rainbow bouncing off the water is a lovely touch and reminds us of God's promise to Noah in the Bible.
F8 is ok but there is a softness in the middle and far side of the pool. Again, if you are using a tripod you can choose a slow shutter speed and thus get a small aperture of f/16 or more.
General impression is captivating - this is an excellent shot.
How to improve your photo
I would like to see all the water sharply focussed and a depth-of-field that stretches from front to back. I'm being picky here Edward simply because I really like the shot :) but it might be worth doing more shots of the pool, perhaps over a fairly long space of time. It's the kind of place where you will find a different emotional response in yourself each time you visit it, and therefore a different photo will be created each time.
Another interesting idea would be to try a very slow shutter speed so that the water becomes soft and misty. You would need your camera set to manual for this and a shutter speed of several seconds. Dusk is a good time to do this as the light is low so shutter speeds need to be correspondingly longer. If you don't have automatic on your camera you could try setting it to Night Mode.
Try cropping out the left side a little - it is underexposed plus by cropping you will place the central void area about one third into the picture, thus using the Rule of Thirds.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Anne Darling