Animal Photography Photo Critique
I'm the power
by Ana Isabel Martinez
Category: Animal Photography
Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Zoom: Variable focal
Description: I made this photo in a dark room with a window to the sunny outside.I used a polarizi see all >
I made this photo in a dark room with a window to the sunny outside.I used a polarizing filter to minimize reflections from the glass.Speed 1/80 ExposureF10 subjectdistance 8,3m.Another problem was the distance to the subject,because I haven't a tele
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
Gorillas are a compelling subject because of the similarities to ourselves and the striking differences. You have captured a great action and emotional moment; be it a genuine angry spell or just a yawn, it speaks to the power of these usually gentle animals.
Your composition fills the frame and creates an interesting "negative space" for the viewer which obeys the rules of thirds. I would have liked to see a perspective from a lower position. This would have allowed you to show the eyeballs and given an even more impressive sense of the size of the animal. The other people in the observation area might have thought you were strange, but animal portraits from a lower angle looking up provide a fresh view that is different to our usual experience at "man height".
It looks like the glass and zooming in this image has hurt the sharpness a bit. The background seems to have pixelated a bit and the details such as hair and teeth need more pop. Some manual sharpening using dodge and burn techniques can help this - concentrate on the face first and in the mouth first. The Highpass filter in Photoshop can help by enhancing the edges of important areas. A sharpen filter with a mask to prevent sharpening the background can help
The exposure is good here. I see a true black area and would not want too much more darkening on shadows - this would swallow some of the detail, but I do not see a place that shows a true white. The obvious area to target as true white would be the teeth. In a curves adjustment, push the lighter tones and highlights up without editing the darks and darker midtones. The mouth detail will pop.
Black and white is a good decision here. The color of the grass would have been a distraction to the mostly neutral composition especially if the lighting on the fur was harsh in the afternoon sun. Fur and also have a shiny effect when in direct sunlight. All of these issues are hidden or could be turned into advantages (contrast) when you convert to black and white. Try some brightening just on the eyes to see if there is some detail to bring out there.
The Depth of field is appropriate throughout this composition. If you prefer, you could lighten the background area to lessen the texture and contrast created by the grass. A touch more blurring there would also be nice.
This is a nice emotional capture which can be enhanced with some sharpening and curves adjustment. You have a good eye for how to present interesting things about your subject, so now take it to the next level by experimenting with perspective. Your artistic eye is demonstrated in how you have cropped the image and used black and white.
How to improve your photo
Try some manual sharpening , a sharpen filter, or highpass filter to put contrast between the facial features and the background. Try then to add some detail to the head and back where they meet the background.
Always have a spot that is true white and true black in order to have the greatest tonal range in your image. In this image use a curves adjustment to brighten highlights to a maximum white and brighten the brighter midtones to taste.
Experiment which shooting from perspectives other than at human eye level with the subject. Us your position in regards to the animal to emphasize features such as their height.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Gregory Sweeney