Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just in! Lesson #2 Alphanumeric Critique from my teacher, Carol Leigh.

1 CRITIQUE: Linda Jeffers

This is a very cool "C," Linda. It's got a sort of
primitive look to it that's enhanced by all the grunge,
goop, drips, drops, splats, and splatters surrounding it.
The "1932" is a nice little touch, too.
I like how you composed your shot, with the vertical
aspect of the "C" enhanced by your choice of a
vertical format. (So many times we mindlessly hold
our camera up, in a horizontal format, click, and don't
consider how simply changing to a vertical format will
make already-vertical subject matter look even taller.
But I digress . . .)
The ONLY thing that could make this picture better
would be if it were in focus . . . You're KILLING me
here! The shot looks really soft to me; if it had been
sharp, you would have nailed it.


Yay! It's in focus! What a cheerful, splashy,
jubilant "J" this is. It's all about boldness and
complementary colors (orange/blue) and the
entire shot just jumps out at us.
What makes your "J" especially interesting is
that it's on a surface that has some shading and
texture to it. If the background had been a
plain, smooth orange color, it wouldn't have
the same impact. It would border on boring.
But the background here is excellent for setting
off the "J."

'Tis a jaunty little "J." It's got personality. You
done good.


I have such a love/hate relationship with
graffiti (I feel like it lowers our overall quality
of life, yet the colors and designs can be
spectacular). In addition to the emotional
aspect of it, I also find it really hard to shoot.
The letters often merge into one another,
preventing me from isolating one particular
letter or number, which is frustrating. But I
think you photographed this "S" fairly well.
You've isolated the letter. You centered it in
the frame, which is fine, and the left-hand
black vertical thingie and the right-hand wood
act as internal frames, setting off the "S"
The only thing I'm wondering about is your
shooting angle. It looks as though you were
standing off to the right, so the horizontal lines
of the cinder blocks are skewed at the bottom
but level at the top. Would the letter look better
if you'd shot straight on?
I brought your photo into Photoshop Elements
5 and, using the Transform/Perspective tool,
tried to tweak the picture so that it looked like
you shot from straight on. But my Photoshop
skills aren't good enough to show you what it
would look like -- it didn't work at all. Sorry.
Good color, good focus, lots of drama. You
should be pleased!
Carol Leigh
P.S. The better the photos, the shorter the

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