Travel Photography Photo Critique
by denis bennett
Category: Travel Photography
Nikon Coolpix S570
Lens: Zoom: Variable focal
Exposure time: 1/200 ,
Description: The stillness and the beauty of the golden rays of the setting sun on the middle boat.
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
A beautiful sunset sky, golden glowing colours and light falling on the boat - a good combination for the subject of a photograph
The composition is quite weak. Placing the sunlit boat in the centre of the image makes it quite static. Also, four objects does not create a dynamic composition - three boats would have been better. Three is always a good number in composition - this works well with people too.
It's hard to say with this shot whether it is well focussed or not. A hand-held shot of 1/200 second should be steady enough to freeze movement but at this resolution it is difficult to say where the focus is.
A speed of 1/200th second is acceptable as there is obviously little movement in the boats. However, the shot is not well exposed as there is little detail in the shadow areas of the boats. Had you used a tripod, you could have chosen a slower shutter speed. This would have created a beautiful, glossy sea. To do this you also need to stop down the aperture.
The colour of the sky is beautiful, it works well, creating a feeling of warmth and peace. However, the area around the boat looks like it has been brightened in a photo editor. Unfortunately this has left an unattractive 'halo' around the boat in the sky area.
F5.6 is too wide an aperture. By stopping down the aperture to, say, f/14, greater depth-of-field would have been obtained. I'm not sure whether or not your camera can do this or if you can only use it on automatic. If you are using it on automatic, it needs to be set to Landscape Mode.
Hi Dennis, I see why you were attracted to taking this shot but the image is a bit flat and really needs a lot of work done in post-processing to turn it into an acceptable image. Try cropping it into square format - in other words, cut out the boat on the extreme right - and see what you think.
How to improve your photo
A tripod is essential for a low-light shot like this and would have given you greater control over your camera. If you are planning to do more landscape photography I would strong recommend investing in one. It can live in the boot of the car so that when you come across something like this, you have it to hand.
If you don't have a tripod, or don't want to buy one, use a wall or the top of the car to balance your camera on. Also, you can also buy small, table-top tripods which would fit in your pocket.
Composition is such an important element in a photography that I really think it would be worth buying a book and studying it. Even with a point-and-shoot you can get compelling shots if you get the composition right.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Anne Darling