Monday, February 18, 2008

Critique #3 Neons is posted.

CRITIQUE: Linda Jeffers (Neon)

Shots like this are tough to compose for because basically
you've got a skinny sign in a vertical format and a lot of
"dead space" on either side, especially on the right. What
can we do about a situation like this? Not much. You
filled your frame as well as you could, but there's still a
fair amount of empty space on the right, which isn't
helping your composition.
I do like your colors -- the yellows and reddish-orange
tones. Your zooming technique is impressive -- very
smooth, no jiggles. The one negative about the sign is
how we can't really read the words. The zooming has
distorted the individual letters so it's not obvious what the
sign is saying. But that's okay -- this is all experimental
stuff, and some of it's going to work and some of it isn't.
The point is: we're out there giving it a good shot.


Now see how we can more easily read this sign? The
letters are a bit more defined, especially the
"GENTLEMEN'S CLUB" at the bottom of the frame.
What I really like is the swirling element that the blue
lights make in your shot. The swirl/zoom combo creates a wonderful feeling of left-right
What causes some letters to show up well and other letters to become more blurry? I think it
depends on the style of the font
(the fancier the font, the more
difficult it is to read when zoomed)
and how quickly we zoom. If we
hesitate just a bit right after we
click the shutter, spend a little bit
of extra time not zooming, then the
letters will look more in focus. I
probably didn’t say that very well.
If your exposure is two seconds
long, and you spend all two

seconds zooming, the letters won’t be very clear. But if your exposure is two seconds and you
spend the first second not zooming, then the letters have more time to “burn” into the shot, and
will look clearer.
I like how you've placed the sign in the frame -- you opted for symmetry, you filled the frame,
you created drama. And you didn't crop in so tightly that we feel claustrophobic. Good one!


Ah, I remember this elephant -- it's at a
car wash, right? Palm Desert? This is a
Your focus is sharp. Your exposure is
right on. I like how you placed the
elephant's eye in the upper right-hand
sector pursuant to the Rule of Thirds. Our
eye focuses on the elephant's eye, then
runs down the trunk, then down to the
word "Rancho." Lots of movement in
your photo.
I think what might make your photo even
better -- and this is something that's easy
to do in Photoshop -- is if you were to fill
in all the little dots in the "shower" with
light. Why, because there's a lot of
contrast there, a definite demarcation
between light and dark, and so we really
notice that there are bulbs "missing." It
becomes a distraction. (I realize that the
bulbs look burned out probably because
the neon hadn't rotated into that area yet,
but it's the APPEARANCE that matters.)
Here's what I mean (below). (I actually attempted to duplicate the example of filling in the lights on this shot. Carol's example was much better but I can't upload her changes here.)
Good shots, Linda. Kudos to you.
Carol Leigh


Anonymous said...

I love your teacher, she is so good at giving critique!!! her comments are so precise and constructive it makes me miss teaching...I think I am going to start doing it more...I am sure you are enjoying this so much!!! thanks for sharing.....

Unknown said...

I love the way Carol covers each and every detail of how to improve your photo shot and still lets you know you did a great job. Carol surprized me with no mention of top of elephants hat. Good job on all the photos. Did Carol mention anything about the photo of beauty shop window?
Love Sandi