Travel Photography Photo Critique
Couple at John Rock
by Traci Mathews
Category: Travel Photography
Kodak EasyShare C180
Lens: Standard: 30-50mm
Exposure time: 1/1200 ,
Description: After a day of hiking, I came out onto this bald- I was struck by how tiny the people see all >
After a day of hiking, I came out onto this bald- I was struck by how tiny the people looked in comparison to the great mountain facing them.
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
Let me say first that the image is striking and accomplishes what I think you suggest you are trying to accomplish, namely to explore the comparison between the two individuals in the lower left and the mountain facing them. The haze of fog, though, I think serves to diminish the power of the subject by smoothing out the mountain's variation. It is a very interesting subject that would form a nice starting point for a series of shots exploring the comparison of great and small.
The composition is pretty strong, but I would suggest to accomplish the full measure of your aim here, some perspective changes might help. First of all, moving the image so that the people in the left corner are more in the left corner, maybe even symmetric to both the x- and y-axes. This would serve also to lift the horizon so that there is a larger band of sky at the top. WHile this might seem counterintuitive by making the mountain less massive relative to the sky, the thing is that it would sharpen the contrast by further dwarfing the people, who, because of their relative proximity to the camera are considerably greater in absolute 2-dimensional value to the facing mountain. I think the angle of the shot is nearly perfect, and the angles of the facing mountain down toward the angle of the bald patch and the line created by the people are quite strong, and wouldn't be compromised by inclusion of more sky (in fact, the perspective might actually serve to heighten the contrast that you are after here).
The image is a bit blurred, though this is more a function of the haze in the image created by fog and time of day. Sharpening the contrast could help this. Also, a choice needs to be made - which is more in focus, the mountain or the people? I would suggest perhaps focusing on the mountain as it would serve to blurr the people a touch and heighten the contrast between mountain and people.
Given the camera, this is pretty much precisely the right technical aspect of the shot.
The camera isn't a bad one for this particular shot, and was used effectively. I think rather than the somewhat sepia coloration, a sharper black and white would have gone a long way to making the comparison/contrast that you were after. It would also have mitigated the haze of the fog a bit.
Nicely composed here, although my suggestion in Composition and Perspective above should be reiterated here.
A very nice shot, but one that could be crisper, cleaner, and closer to accomplishing the purpose you set out for it. Sharpening contrast would give a sort of Ansel Adams feel that would make the shot crisper.
How to improve your photo
Alter perspective somewhat, as suggested in the Perspective and Composition section above.
Go with a stronger black and white, with heightened contrast.
Focus more on the mountain and less on the people, since the aim to to demonstrate the comparison of big to little; had the comparison gone the other direction, the focus on the individuals would have been the way I'd suggest.
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