Here’s one for your critique & commentary

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by Ricochetrider, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. This shot, a digital photo from a trip around Northern Europe a few years back, popped up in my f b feed as a “memory” today. I’ve always really loved this photo, but thought I’d post it here to see how it flies with this crew.
    As always, thanks for your time and energy.

    EDIT: originally shot in 4:3, I cropped it today to square format.

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    jc1305us likes this.
  2. Hi @Ricochetrider, the resolution of this 700x700 image is on the low side. Downloaded from FB? If you have a higher resolution copy in the original format, I'd be interested to see it.

    The photo has a lot going for it: great color contrasts, a wonderful sky and a tower that really stands out against the beach and the sky. The yellow (flag) against the contrasting blue sky is the cherry on the top! I also like the long bridge in the background. Then I noticed the intriguing open door analso that the bridge is visible from inside. Then I noticed the window on the left where the bridge is also visible. Putting the details together, it's almost certainly a lifeguard station where the lifeguard can watch the sea from inside.

    So one of the strongest points of the photo for me is that there are (at least) 3 levels of detail that I didn't see all at once. It's a process of discovery: the first level is the 'big picture' (tower, flag, sky, truck, person, red fold-out sign, bridge). All good. The second level was the open door - what's in there?, what's the person next to the tower doing?, what's written on the truck? why does it have a boat trailer? The third level (visibility of the bridge inside the tower) reveals the tower's true purpose.

    Unfortunately, not all the details are sharp in this low-res photo. It would be great to see the 'big picture' and then zoom in on the details. I also feel that a lifeguard station should perhaps not be so centrally placed in a photo but in the context of 'beachwatch'. So I'd prefer a landscape photo with more beach/sea on the left.

    Still, it's a great photo with wonderful color contrasts and interesting "layered" content. Any photo that invites (and leads) the viewer to discover more in the photo is IMHO ar great photo. There are so many photos that don't reveal anything more, however long you look at them.

    My compliments,

    Mike
     
    dcstep likes this.
  3. Mike, thanks for the thoughtful reply. Yes, absolutely a lifeguard station on a Danish beach, at Fyns Badestrand. Here's a 4.9 mb jpg version. I zoomed it in to 400% or whatever my Mac desktop is capable of, and the first thing I saw was an arm hanging over the side of the top of the tower, along with part of a lifeguard's head! This I'd never noticed until just now.

    According to the data on the shot, this was originally taken on a Panasonic Lumix ZS15 (pocket) camera on 30 July, 2013. Camera settings (on auto) were
    iso 100, 4.3mm, 0 ev, f4 @1/1600
    This was a good long time before I really "got into" photography in earnest.

    I was with a buddy from Hamburg and we'd just driven across that bridge. We were en route to Norway, ultimately- but leap frogged our way across Denmark and then sort of zig zagged through southern Sweden visiting friends, before heading to a massive vintage car camp-out weekend for a few days. Eventually we continued north to our final & primary destination of a week-long vintage motorcycle rally, a few hours north of Oslo.

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  4. I like the balance of colors among the different elements in the scene, for example, the match between the yellow of the flag and that of the truck, or the red of the tower and the sign on the left, or the white of the tower and the clouds above. However, one of the interesting aspects of the scene (besides what mike morrell pointed out) is the hand and part of the head peeking out from the top of the tower. A close shot of that part of the tower with the hand along with the flag, as well as moving a bit closer and pointing the camera upwards to accentuate the height, I thought, would have provided an interesting picture as well. This is of course not to whine about some woulda shoulda scenarios, just to point out what we can learn by studying our own pictures and find additional opportunities in the scenes that we shoot. Also, I don’t think that the picture I envisioned is terribly original either and could be kind of a cliche, but that said, I do enjoy cliches now and then, as long as the whole body of work by a photographer is not a collection of liftoffs from others and has a character of its own.
     
    dcstep, Ricochetrider and samstevens like this.
  5. I had very similar thoughts to Supriyo’s. What I like about a severe crop—to the partial figure, some red and white of the tower, the yellow flag, and blue sky—is that it reduces and simplifies the elements yet, in my opinion, creates a stronger story. And by simplifying the elements and composition, the primary colors work very much in harmony with that simplicity, adding as well to the feel of the new narrative.
     
    dcstep and Ricochetrider like this.

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