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Colin!

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'Colin', my RSPCA rescued American Bulldog / Boxer - Posing in Knaresborough

Camera:Apple iPhone 4
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:Colin!
Username:pete146uk pete146uk
Uploaded:24 Nov 2012 - 9:25 AM
Tags:American bulldog, Boxer, Dog, Knaresborough, Landscape / travel, Mother shipton, Pets / captive animals, Portraits / people, River
VS Mode Rating 99 (42.11% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
parob
parob e2 Member 3parob vcard France67 Constructive Critique Points
24 Nov 2012 - 2:41 PM

I l like this shot for several reasons. The dog at the forefront is beautifully rendered. The second subject is not obtrusive because she is partially lilt (a bit too many highlights on the shoulders and the top of the head). The background, with all the activity it reveals, reminds me very much of Italian Renaissance paintings. I think it might be necessary to crop a bit on the left side of the chair because it shows details that aren't necessary. On the left side there is something in white that also detracts. The skyline is high enough to sharpen the focus towards the rear. Good work, Paul.

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom825 Constructive Critique Points
24 Nov 2012 - 2:42 PM

Quite a good phone image. Would stay with colour, no need for mono with such a shot. Just a touch under exposed. Brighten up a bit and you have a very nice image.

Paul

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8684 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1530 Constructive Critique Points
24 Nov 2012 - 3:21 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

A fine portrait of Colin, Pete, but the image is also about the lady seated on the bench, and I particularly like Colin's reflection in her sun glasses. Whether it was planned or sheer fluke, it's a bonus.
The light is coming from the left, not only causing burn-out to the lady-s shirt, but also rendering her face in shadow. Fortunately, Colin is looking in the direction of the light and therefore has good detail on his face, a catchlight in his eye, and a nice shiny nose.
Although I like the profile shot of your dog, it is always better if you have eye contact with your pet, as this engages the viewer. Here, he is looking out of the frame, and the viewer's eye follows the direction of his gaze. Therefore, the space that you have on the right, a bit of the view of Knaresborough, though a nice inclusion, needs to be on the left. What you HAVE done right is to offset your subjects in your frame, instead of having them central. If you photograph a person or animal that is looking off in one direction, generally you should position them to one side of your shot so their head is pointing in the direction they are looking because this makes the shot more compositionally pleasing and it also helps guide the viewer’s eye through the image, in the direction your subject is looking.
As I have said, it's nice to have Knaresborough in your background, as a record shot, but in order to to give the centre of interest in your pictures the most visual attention, one way is to select an uncomplicated background that will not steal attention from your subject/s. I think you have three pictures in one here....one of Colin, one of the lady on the bench, and the view of Knaresborough. Of course, it all depends on your intention. Imagine Colin, with this background, possibly diffused a bit, without the lovely lady. Imagine a close crop that only has Colin in it, in this pose, with a dark background. Aiming for simplicity can sometimes be the best strategy.
In my modification, I cropped to a square, and wanted to leave the attractive arch bridges in the frame. I toned down the lady's shirt, and lifted the shadows on her face and background trees. Generally brightening and adjusting levels has given the image more of a feel of a bright sunny day. I then simply selectively sharpened Colin's eye.
My second modification simply shows a further crop to the left, enabling the lady's sun glasses reflection to be on a thirds intersection. There seems to be something about the rule of thirds that provides humans with a just-right view of things, and the intersections of the dividing lines are considered points of power. The rule of thirds that most photographers will tend to think of is the viewfinder grid division into nine sections. The central four points of the middle rectangle represent the key points of the composition and it is at one of these four points that you would place an important subject matter. Sometimes breaking the rules can help you create an image that's far more striking, but it helps if you understand why you're doing this first.
Pamela.

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pete146uk
pete146uk  1 United Kingdom
24 Nov 2012 - 4:12 PM

Thanks you all for the comments, and for the modifications (which I agree do significantly improve the image). Some points here that I would have never considered so thank you - will definitely help me to improve Smile

This was one of those days out when I really wish I'd had my camera with me Sad

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 9706 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2668 Constructive Critique Points
24 Nov 2012 - 4:28 PM

A gorgeous shot, and great performance from the iPhone. You dont have a lot of control with it, so cant do much when shooting. Try a square crop also, might work for you.

Loaded mod.


Willie

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pete146uk
pete146uk  1 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2013 - 2:52 PM

What do you think of the modification (the colour one)?

I cropped as suggested, brightened, dodged the reflection in the sunglasses etc and sharpened a touch.

Trying to improve so would love any comments

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 9706 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2668 Constructive Critique Points
8 Feb 2013 - 6:12 PM

Youve done a good job with the colour Pete, looks nice.

The crop works well, and lovely to see the dogs reflection.


Willie

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