Outdoor Photography Photo Critique
Evening in the Park
by lilan marshall
Category: Outdoor Photography
LUMIX DMC-TZ6 compact
Lens: Zoom: Variable focal
Description: I loved the way you could see the sun through the bridge and this side was out of the see all >
I loved the way you could see the sun through the bridge and this side was out of the sun but you could still see the reflections of the trees in the water .
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
I can see why you were drawn to take this photo, the wonderful sunlight and the beautiful water. I think though there are two subjects here worthy of two separate photos!
The bridge is awkwardly placed - it is too near the edge of the photo. The lovely shapes of the bridge and its reflection in the water below are a great frame for the bright sunlight and would have been better placed further into the centre of the picture. This in itself would have made a lovely photo but the contrast between the bridge area and the dark water in the lower right of the picture is too great. Both areas are suffering from a loss of detail.
The whole scene is in focus which works ok as you wanted to get the water as well as the light
This is a difficult shot to get the exposure right because of the strong sunlight under the bridge and the darker area of the water. With such high contrast between the two areas, it's not surprising to find that most of the detail of the stonework in the bridge is lost as your camera has taken an average reading over most of the picture area which was darker. It's possible sometimes to 'bring back' some of the detail in blown out highlights like this if you post-process your image with Photoshop or similar software especially if you shoot in raw mode. Shutter speed is good as the motion of the water has been stopped just enough.
The lighting in the background (to the left of the bridge) is also very attractive and would have been better brought out in a shot of just that area with the water reflections and trees. Zooming in to that part of the scene might have reaped rewards.
Depth-of-field is good, with most everything in focus.
A really lovely scene, but difficult to determine where the main subject is as it lacks any clearly defined central interest.
How to improve your photo
Try using the rule of thirds to place your subject. Some cameras have a setting for overlaying a grid on the viewer to help you with this. Simplify your compositions by asking yourself what the main subject is and then build up the scene around that by choosing the appropriate angle, place to stand etc
If you can go back to this spot, try making two shots out of it, if the light is good enough - one of the water reflections and the trees, the other the bridge and the sunlight. Maybe even wait for a boat to glide underneath the bridge...
Finding the right place to stand to take your shot is all important. This can be difficult when standing near water! However, taking the time to move around the scene until you get exactly what you want is well worth it.
When a scene has high contrast like this one, it's worth experimenting with centre-weighted metering (see the camera manual).
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Anne Darling