Black & White Photography Photo Critique
by Ana Isabel Martinez
Category: Black & White Photography
Canon EOS 7D
Description: Speed:1/640s,F/5.6 Focal Length:400 mm ISO:640 Date:May 12, 1:07PM I'm not sure if th see all >
Speed:1/640s,F/5.6 Focal Length:400 mm ISO:640 Date:May 12, 1:07PM I'm not sure if the picture is better in color or b&w You can see the same photo in color here: http://www.asturiswmisfotos.com/#My%20images%20in%20color Thank you for your help.
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
Ana, this is a marvelous image. It contains so much information necessary to convey a life's tale to the viewer, and also allow the viewer to create his or her own narrative about the subjects in the image and their particular story for that moment in time. I like it too because it allows us to take a glimpse into a single moment in the day of a 'non-human' life, while reminding us of the absolute human-ness that we share.
Wouldn't change a thing about the way this image is presented. I suppose you could have captured the entire mother, legs and arms, but frankly I think its a matter of taste. The way you have the image cropped I believe adds to the 'personal' nature of the shot.
There are always a number of aperture, shutter and ISO combinations you could use. I have no idea what time of the day or under what conditions this image was captured, but apparently you got it right. The shutter speed is fast enough to capture the action with no blur and the aperture, in my estimation, provides a wonderful depth of field for this image which accentuates the main subjects, mother and baby.
I think the use of black and white here works very well. You mentioned that you also took the image in color and I did look at that one. I'm basically a color oriented guy but in this case I don't see an advantage in showing it in color. Both images are compelling however, regardless of the rendering.
As mentioned above, I like the depth of field here. The foreground and subjects are clear and sharp throughout their focal plane and the background is pleasantly soft and contains a very nice boket effect.
Ana, I like this image on so many levels. Aside from the fact that it has a story to it, it also provides a very nice bridge between two worlds and relates a universal message. I don't know where you took this image, perhaps a zoo, game preserve or in the wild. One can not tell, and that's to be desired. :)
How to improve your photo
I like the image as it is but here are some considerations for you. You can increase the dramatic effect of the image by utilizing a simple curves adjustment in a program like photoshop. There you can bring out some contrast between the subject and the background, and also some mid-tone details like hair and facial features in the mother.
Consider brightening up the highlights in the mother's eyes with a dodge brush and some of the facial features that are currently in shadow. Similarly you can play around with lightening some of the hair highlights on the mother to make her stand out more. (again a subjective call that might help 'pop' the image a bit)
You might look at trying to clone out some of the flowers that appear to be growing out of the mother's backside. Once again, its a cosmetic recommendation, and not at all necessary and doesn't unduly detract from the image. Me, I'd probably put an additional adjustment layer in photoshop and do the cloing and deletion there to see how it affected the image.
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