Documentry Photography Photo Critique
Son and his horse at work
by David Siebers
Category: Documentry Photography
Olympus SP-590 UZ
Description: To get a record springtime calf branding on a ranch for the family alblum. The people see all >
To get a record springtime calf branding on a ranch for the family alblum. The people working the calves are family and friends. For someone not familiar with it, a branding can seem like mass confusion, but it is very organized. Everybody has a job.
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
This is an above average photo in terms of interest to the casual observer. Most of us don't do work like this much less perform it. It is however just a snapshot for the reasons that follow.....
The composition is the strongest part of the image yet it still has issues. The good parts: the placement of the horse near the edge of the frame creates dynamic movement, we can't help but look back at what the rider is looking at: the two kids working the calf. Try to eliminate the distractions: the boy just standing there in the red pullover. Wait until the action moves away from the distractions: the boy in red and the person in chaps behind the head of the horse. Lower the camera to create a more heroic sense of what's happening in front of your camera.
Wide angle lenses make it very difficult to use limited depth of field to help create direction in a photograph. But at the same time the wide angle lens has helped create the dynamic movement within your photograph. It's a balancing act.
I see no issues here.
Color is good. The quality of light is good for this type of photograph. All the values will reproduce appropriately. The careful use of a speedlight (mixed with the ambient light) in these situations however will elevate most photographs to a level that is truly remarkable.
Per my earlier comment, wide angle lenses make it hard to control DOF.
Overall a snapshot but a nice memento of the moment, especially for family and friends.
How to improve your photo
Think of your camera as a floating and flexible. Always try to place it other than at eye level.
Experiment with longer focal length lenses. This will help in producing photographs with differing levels of interest.
Be patient and wait for the moment to unfold before you. This photo was made a few moments too soon. Henri Cartier-Bresson is the Father of documentary photography. Look him up.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Michael E. Stern