with Courtney Slazinik
Critique Me-Tiffany at A Country Heart

Read How to Critique a Photo
Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.

Thank you to Tiffany at A Country Heart for submitting the following image.
Settings: SS 1/00, f/1.8, ISO 100

  • Mama Monkey
    April 23, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    I really like the composition of this shot!! Also, it looks SOOC? I would bump up the exposure on the man’s skin & most likely on the entire photo. It seems a bit dark. You picked a really great location :) overall a great job!


  • Lesley
    April 23, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    I like the pose and the curve of the trail in the back ground. I don’t like that his hands are cut off and the color needs a little oompf. I love that he looks so relaxed.

  • David Parish
    April 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    I agree with both the above. Looks SOOC, so maybe some post processing. The hands cut out of the frame seem odd. I would consider using a reflector to bounce more light on to his face and add catchlights to the eyes (which he needs to open more). The pose itself is nice and I think the location has all sorts of potential. I also love the shallow DOF, post processing could make this pop even more. Perhaps edit the blemishes off his face as well. Love, love, love the choice of the bend in the road. This looks like a senior photo and I can’t help but to think of the metaphors the road brings to mind.

  • Reva
    April 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Great picture! I am a complete newbie so take my opinion how you like. I love the winding road behind the boy. I think you should either crop his head more or have left more space on top (I’d personally leave more space, but that’s just me.) Great composition!

  • April 23, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Lots to like here! Curve of road is am awesome lead for the eye to this young man. His hands might be cropped too close. Maybe add flash at low power to highlight they eyes? You’ve done a fantastic job relaxing him as he appears very much at ease and ‘in his element.’ Very nice shot!!!

  • April 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    I”m new at this but here is my take. I love the composition and the shallow depth of field. I think the colors need to be bumped up and I also think that the blemishes on his face could be removed.

  • Kira
    April 23, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    You did a great job shooting wide open and having him be sharp. I would lighten the image a bit and increase contrast and color–especially in the background. Also, his fingers are chopped, I’d try to back up a little more to avoid limb chopping. He looks very comfortable and natural –good job posing.

  • April 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Love the natural relaxed pose, and the surrounding environment really suits the subject. For me, the subject is just a little tight up against the right of the photo (behind his back), so I’d consider shifting the angle slightly, so the subject is a little more in the centre (not right in the centre). Nice depth of field with some very minor tweeking, is a really lovely shot :)

  • April 23, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    I like the the way he is positioned to the right with the winding road behind him, his pose is very relaxed and confident, and he stands out against the shallow depth of field. I would have backed up a little (I’m guessing the the lens wasn’t a zoom lens because of the 1.8 aperture) to include more space at the top, the right side and at the bottom so that his hand isn’t cut off. I agree with David about using a reflector to bring catchlights to his eyes.

    I think this photo would also benefit from lightnening the exposure and either a slight curves adjustment or a levels bump to give it a little more contrast. I would also try a white balance adjustment to warm it up a bit.

    Nice portrait and a great pose, thanks for sharing!

  • Rachel
    April 24, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    This is my first critique, so bear with me!

    I love the composition of this photo. The placement of your model in front of the winding road is very nice! I think I would do some processing to draw more attention to his eyes, and I would clone out the hair on the left side (his right) of his face because it is distracting to me. I think you did a great job capturing his relaxed pose and natural smile!

  • April 24, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    I just love how relaxed he looks! I would lighten this photo a bit and step back to avoid a hand chop (guility of those myself :-)) I love the composition. The winding road in the background is nicely blurred, but leads right to his face! Great job!!

  • April 24, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    just discovered your blog! can’t wait to learn, and so i can get to clickin’!

  • April 24, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    I like the composition and where the boy is positioned in the photo. I would raise my ISO to maybe 200 just so it’s a bit brighter. I also like the pose his in and the expression on his face, he looks so comfortable and at ease :)

  • Laura
    April 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Courtney, I just have to say AGAIN how much I love these critiques…I’m learning so much! I’ve started to put a few thoughts together in my head myself, then look at the comments to see what I learn. Here goes….

    My own: Tiffany, I love this pose. I also love the subject matter in the background as well as how well the colors in his clothes complement the road/wheat,etc. in the bg. I would up the contrast a bit in photoshop, and consider a just a teensy bit of vignette or something to really bring your eyes toward the center. You could also brighten in photoshop to make this pop. I love how you got the focus on his eyes…I’m terrible at that and I’m trying to train myself to notice it more in other people’s photos to help me get better at it myself.

    After reading the comments: I agree with the limb chop. I love tight, close photos so I am always guilty of getting in too close. I keep reminding myself that when I use my prime lens the pics are high quality enough that I could always crop in, but I can never zoom out once the picture is taken. I’m grateful to other commenters for noticing that in this picture, because of course, I didn’t.

    Overall a great shot. Thanks for submitting this! I learned a lot from it :)

  • April 26, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    I love the colors in this shot. I would like to see it a little more pulled back though. So your subject isn’t quite filling the whole frame. I got the feeling that I was trying to see more of his surroundings when looking at the picture and I doubt that was the feeling you were aiming for. I love the relaxed pose you have him sitting in. Very laid back and not too pose-y. (I totally just made up that word!) Good job!

  • Lauren
    April 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Thanks for being brave to submit your picture Tiffany! Overall I really do think it’s a pretty good shot. Personally, I like pictures that are just slightly overexposed, so this one seems a bit dark to me. I would bump up the ISO a bit, or increase the exposure in PP. I also would have backed up just a hair when you took the picture so that you could include both of his hands and give his head a bit more space in the frame. While I don’t think this is a bad pose by any means, a tip for another shot would be to change your angle on him about 45 degrees so that you were facing him more head on. Of course that would mean not having much of the road in the shot, and while I really do like the composition of the road as a leading line to your subject, I find myself wanting to see a slightly different angle. Of course these are just my opinions! But overall, great shot!

  • Adam Douglas
    April 28, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Composition is great with the pose and curving road. I agree with the other critiquers about not having his whole body in the frame and i would give a little more headroom. I think this photo would look good in black and white.

  • Juanita
    April 29, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    I love the natural tones and crop and overall composition. It looks a little dark to me. And I would have backed up a bit to show all of his hands, maybe even all of him! I like his natural pose and how the road leads your eye to him! Great job! It appears to be SOOC?!?! Absolutely great job!

  • April 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Thank you all!!! I am possibly way too excited that my photo got critiqued by ya’ll!!! And yes, SOOC! I only had Picasa at that time, which was last fall (2011) and this was my very first photo shoot ever, so that is why I asked ya’ll to take a look at it! Since then I have purchased Lightroom 3.2 and continue to keep learning. Biggest obstacle is learning to back up for me, especially when it is time for me to order prints and I end up losing some of my frame due to the ratio factor when printing ( 8 x10, 5 x7). Yes, I can always crop it, but cannot do the reverse. So breaks my heart when I lose a picture because of that! I do agree with everything ya’ll said and since then I have taken a couple sessions and I think they are turning out great and if you would like to take a look you can peak at this album on my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.363184383724463.85521.100000987142704&type=3. Again, thank you all and thank you Courtney for helping us all become better photographers!!

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