Photojournalism Photo Critique
by Martin Alpert
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7
Lens: Zoom: Variable focal
Exposure time: 1/500 ,
Description: This is modern Jerusalem viewed from a stone left by Romans at the foot of the 2nd Te see all >
This is modern Jerusalem viewed from a stone left by Romans at the foot of the 2nd Temple with threatening clouds hovering above. To me it tells a compelling story.
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
I have to politely disagree with your assessment of this photograph. I don't find the clouds threatening and in my opinion the rock is way to dominant to the extent it minimizes the temple in the BG. I am overwhelmed by the size of the rock, it seems HUGE and it probably isn't. What is so compelling to you? The rock is not that interesting and without words we don't know the significance of it. A picture is supposed to tell a story and this does not.
The is on the dramatic side but drama for the sake of drama is not as interesting without leading lines or a dramatic crop. The rock is too important and the temple isn't important enough. I don't think cropping will help this but a completely different camera position is the solution here. Your crop is so tight we have no room to breathe and know the cont3ext of this stone.
Perhaps this is the place to use selective focus. Maybe if the temple was in soft focus the rock would carry more importance. But again I think the real issue is one of composition and context.
As far as the tech aspects of your image, it appear that you are using the camera correctly except that I think less DOF is called for here.
A different light quality would help you convey your message. While it is flat on the rock, the temple is catching the beginnings of some nice light. The dome is being turned by the light but the walls are getting a flat lighting angle. A different time of day would be called for here.
My comments are the same as my focus comments.
I want to see more of the temple and less of the rock. We get that it's a rock but what is its' relevance to the temple? That is the story you want/need to tell. This isn't easy I know. But you have to keep trying, it's worth the effort. I know this is a journalistic type of image but that does not preclude using toning techniques to enhance the emotional impact of the photograph. When I was teaching photojournalism techniques at Brooks Institute in Ventura, CA we told students that if you could tone/enhance an image with darkroom techniques, (dodging and burning) then it is OK to do so with today's tools. This is something to consider when working on telling your photographs story in more compelling ways.
How to improve your photo
Once again the camera should float. This is a perfect example of moving the camera higher (less rock, more temple) to get a shot that might have told your story better.
I like your B&W look but more contrast in the sky/clouds would have made the clouds more threatening. Listen to your words and the emotion they describe and then make that same feeling happen in the photograph. Hard to do the results are competition worthy.
Wait for the light. Sometimes not possible I know. Have you tried burning down the corners? This will focus the viewer into the middle of the image. Perhaps also darken the stone to make it more dramatic. Perhaps even subtly tone the walls of the temple for more interest in the BG.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Michael E. Stern