Today’s Photo Critique photograph is from Pete and Dalene Heck who run the phenomenal travel blog Hecktic Travels (that play-on-words with their name gets me every time ). They are really into house sitting and their blog is full of their fun travels from all over the world. This decent shot of the church is from an outing to Brighton and there’s a lot of positive juju going on already so this critique will focus on a few specific issues.
What I Like
- Well exposed. Both sky and church are right on.
- Great symmetry!
- Overall great drama with the clouds and lone church.
- Increase contrast and texture of church
- Distracting trees and scaffolding
- Make clouds fluffier and sky deeper blue
Dealing with the Scaffolding
Let’s face it, buildings don’t last forever. And when it’s finally time to make repairs will always be when you decide to visit. From experience, I can attest that showing your portfolio to the construction workers generally won’t move the scaffolding. Also, kicking and screaming, holding your breath, and trying to move it yourself will all yield equally limited results. So what do you do if you can’t shoot around it? Not take the picture? That’s lame. I say, take the picture and deal with it in post! (I shiver at those words of death, but in this case there’s naught for it)
- THE LONG EDIT: Mirror the other side of the building over this construction and fake the shadows. Takes awhile, but potentially worth it if this is your $$ shot from the trip.
- THE SHORT EDIT: Leave the construction and downplay it by lowering its contrast and exposure as well as maybe a subtle vignette to boot.
- THE NON-EDIT: Crop the sucker out.
- DENIAL: What scaffolding?
In an ideal world I would take the time to try option 1 and Photoshop out the scaffolding, but since this isn’t going in my portfolio, so I’m going for option 2. In the end, the fact remains that the scaffolding was there.
Horizontal vs. Vertical
This is completely subjective and I struggle with this in my own photography. There’s something to be said for white space, but there’s something completely different to be said for dead space (I’m not talking about the video game… although I have a thing or two to say about that as well). I personally prefer the horizontal crop because it maintains grandeur of the scene. I’m not a huge fan of the trees still, but they aren’t as distracting with the slight vignette. In my opinion the vertical crop is weaker and looks more like an encyclopedia entry rather than a frame worthy photograph.
(Slide the slider to compare the before/after shots. Best viewed in Firefox.)