Critique My Photo: Ashley

Thank you to Ashley for submitting the following image for you all to critique this month!

If you are new to the blog, each month I post a reader's photo for you to train your eye with.  It's extremely beneficial for you to do this, even when you are just starting out, as you can earn so much by looking at  images, seeing where it could be improved or what you like about it, and reading the other comments to see what you might have missed.

Please look at the photo below and leave a comment that includes both the things you like about the photo, and things that you think could be improved, and if you can, a suggestion on how to do that.  (To any newbies out there - don't think that just because you are new to photography, you have nothing to add - in fact sometimes you can see better than those of us with a more jaded eye, so no getting out of it) 

I have written up some guidelines with suggestions of areas to look when critiquing a photo, so please have a quick read here before coming back and critiquing the photo below......

Settings: 85 1.8 @ F3.2/ ISO1250 / 1/1250

In order to get the most benefit from the exercise I suggest that you do your critique BEFORE reading anyone else's, then check back in a day or so to read the critiques that other people have left - it's another great way to train your eye as you'll see little things you didn't even notice first time around!


Anonymous said...

I like the composition of this photo. I think you captured a beautiful moment and the expressions on their faces are sweet and relaxed. I like how they are in focus and the background is blurred, so nice depth of field. I do think it would look nicer if there was more contrast between the colors in the photo; since it is a black and white photo it comes across as very gray over all. Perhaps this could be done by adjusting the white balance or lighting? Or in photo editing software. I am new to photography so I can't tell you how to achieve this- just that I think greater contrast between light and dark colors would give it that extra "pop." Nice work! :)

Briana said...

Hi Ashley,
This is a lovely photo, the girl in the photo is so beautiful! I like the serenely happy expression on her face. I like that she and the man are in sharp focus, and the background is wonderfully blurred, great depth of field. I like the detail on her hair too.
My only issue at all with the photo is that it seems just a touch washed out. Maybe just add a little contrast to it. And if I'm being extreeeemly picky, I would center them a bit more. Otherwise, I think this is a great shot!

Anonymous said...

I love this! The first word that came to mind was "classic" - that was as I scrolled down and could only yet see their heads. I actually thought for that moment that it might be an old photograph. The girl is as stunning and beautiful as her father's love. That seems like a picture I would be proud to have in a frame (if I were their family). I really notice the texture of the girl's shirt, her solid eye contact with the camera, her dad's cheek muscle, sincere hands and slightly awkward shape. I might try a crop that eliminates the space and light between them, as in just below his hand. This might make their hug look even more connected, as it would eliminate the lean and also make his shape more flattering. The shadow on his face only makes me notice her face more, which seems to be the focus. The background is serene and I love the blur. I wonder if a lighter background would help them stand out even more, but grass is grass and I love it as a backdrop. I am BRAND new to photography. One of my main goals with photography is to capture love in beautiful ways. I hope I can capture moments like this. Nicely done! Thanks for sharing it!

Jan said...

Fantastic capture, Ashley. I love the way the 85 1.8 renders creamy, dreamy bokeh and allows the eye to focus on the subject. Fantastic job getting two people in perfect focus at f/3.2!

My only suggestion has to do with post processing. I'm only familiar with LR so this may or may not be helpful. In the HSL/Color/B&W panel, play with your red and orange sliders to boost the skin tones a bit. Or perhaps play with the contrast slider or whites in your tone curve. I'd like to see a bit more of a difference between the blacks and the whites of the image to make it pop a little more.

The daughter's expression is priceless, and everything about this image says a genuine, tender moment. Excellent job!

Audrey said...

This is such a gorgeous moment - I love the tender way he is holding her and the peaceful expression she has, and the eye contact gives us a great connection and draws us into the photograph. The depth of field works wonderfully to isolate the subjects, and all beautifully sharp and clear. I like the classic black and white processing - its has a bit of a silvery feel to it that I love. Makes me think of classic old black and white movies! I would maybe boost the highlights a bit, or if you are in Lightroom, add some luminance - just gives it a bit of a glow which would look lovely and add that little bit of pop. Although I know he is in shadow, I'd like to perhaps see the dad's face lightened just a touch so that we can see the kiss on her head and his expression a little better. Lastly, I was wondering how an alternative crop would work - the bottom half of their bodies is a little further apart, and perhaps cropping a little tighter would strengthen the photo. All in all, I think it is a wonderful capture - I would definitely hang this on my wall if this were my family!

Ashley/Yellow Brick Road Photography said...

Thank you so much Audrey for this great opportunity :)
Thank you all comment'ers for the great words of encouragement, helpful tips/comments and for allowing me to see my pictures through others eyes.

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