Seattle's Pike's Place Public Market

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by mickeysimpson, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. One of my favorites, but I thought I would venture into the den and see what the good and bad comments might befall me. I can see opportunities to crop a bit of the top and/or bottom to improve the focus on the action.

    I look forward to honest critique.

    20011000 Scan0042b Pikes Place Public Market MWS BW V2.jpg
  2. Hi Mickey,
    I always learn a lot by responding to 'review requests' so thanks for sharing this!

    My 1st impression was actually very similar to ones I have about my own 'straight out the camera' photos. So I went about reviewing your photo in the same way I review mine. As in many of my initial photos, the framing looked a bit messy and awkward. I'm exaggerating (for effect) but there seemed to be a lot of 'empty space' top and bottom with some shoppers in the central part of the photo. I didn't find anything between the two left-most pillars to be of much interest.

    What I like (interest me) in the photo are the sculpted pillars, the ceiling lights and the signs (lower floor) in the background. These seemed to the main things that expressed the "atmosphere" of the market.Things I found a bit messy/awkward in the framing are the woman shopper (right) not being fully in the frame and looking out of the frame, and the triangular 'black thing' in the top-right of the photo.

    What I liked was all in the central part of the frame and what I disliked were all on the edges of the frame. So my approach - to my photos too - would be to crop more tightly around the central area while keeping enough (pillars, lighting) of 'what's interesting' around the shoppers.

    It's entirely up to you whether, where and how tightly you want to crop. My quick try-out top below may be too extreme but is just intended as a visual illustration of my comments above.

    While playing around with the cropping, I also noticed that the mid-tones looked a bit dark/muddy and that there were a lot of white dust spots in the photo. For the crop below, I cleaned up the dust spots, brightened up the mid-tones and added some contrast (to counteract the effect of mid-tone brightening in the shadows). I like a cropped and brightened-up version of the photo a lot more.

    I hope this feedback is useful to you, And I hope you get more from other members.

    Best wishes,


    Market - mike.jpg
  3. I am mostly drawn to the lights and their reflections up top, both because they draw my eye and because they create an interesting design that feels like a good use of photography.

    There are interesting elements here but I don’t think the composition and perspective make the most of them. Nothing much about the people/crowd per se stands out.
    I agree with Mike that these elements don’t add much to the photo as shot but they’re not the kinds of things I’d de-emphasize as necessarily messy or unimportant. In a photo whose composition and narrative worked better, having that slice of side space (and dealing with it well) could provide the photo both with depth and with intrigue or mystery. The woman on the other side, partially cut and looking out of the frame, could provide a nice counterpoint to that side view behind the pillars. What may seem messy can suggest spontaneity. Look carefully for how much cutting off of partial bodies good street photographers do. What may seem untidy in a certain kind of picture, for instance an architectural study or classic portrait, can give a more spontaneous photo personality.

    I think your main problem here is a lack of interest in the crowd itself. The ceiling, columns, and signs show much more potential. So, focusing more on the ceiling columns, and signs and making the crowd more secondary or finding a crowd or a view of the crowd that told more of a story or mingled it better with the surroundings might have helped.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  4. Mickey, I took the liberty of working a bit on the image. The first was based on your thought to crop from the bottom. Secondly, I darkened the image considerably, resulting in highlighting the shoes and shorts worn by the man in the FG. Let me know what you think.

    luis triguez likes this.
  5. Nicely done Mike. Although I stated that I might crop top and bottom, I think that cropping a bit off the right works well too.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  6. I love black and white, but I think this is a bit too dark for me. That said I may work a bit on the tonal balance.
    michaellinder likes this.
  7. I like the comments from you and Mike about cropping off the right side a bit. I think it improves the picture's interest.
    mikemorrell and michaellinder like this.
  8. Mickey, ultimately this is your photograph. You need to satisfy your concept of how you want it to look.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  9. ???

    I didn't say anything about cropping off the right side. My comments were not about improving this photo. They were meant for future photos. I often critique in a general sense for moving forward rather than to improve on what's already been done.
  10. Thanks Sam. Sorry for my flub

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