Thursday, October 4, 2012

Good vs. Bad Photo Critique

    Good Photography Example 1:

 This photo from the Los Angeles Times is an example of good photography based on a few elements. One element that works for this photo is the angle. The photographer captured the soldiers in a unique way by taking the picture from a low vantage point which presents the viewer with a unique perspective. 

Another successful element this photo has is its use of space. There is no empty space or wasted space in this photo. Also, the photo is not solely focusing on one soldier; rather the photo encompasses a group of soldiers with no one soldier being centered on. 

A final element that aids to this photo is the moment being captured. Rather than take a photo of a soldier saluting or standing in a row, this photographer captured a moment in time and did a good job grabbing the viewer into the heart of this action shot.

    Good Photography Example 2:

   This photo from the Los Angeles Times is another example of good photography. One element of this photo that works is the age contrast. The young child standing next to Syrian rebel fighters depicts contrast. The close proximity of the guns in the hands of the fighters that are near the child also help to evokes realism and emotion. 

The frame of the photo is another element which helps the photo. The scene is tight and there is no extra or wasted space. No single object is focused on. Rather, the photo helps give the viewer a good sense of space and scenery with the rubble in the foreground and house in the background. 

 The three subjects in the photo also adhere to the rule of thirds by not being the center focus of the photo. Rather, the photographer positioned them off to the left which helps balance out the photo.

Bad Photography Example 1:

This picture of a highway in the middle of a town is an example of bad photography. The photo is blurry so the photographer could have done a better job focusing the picture. The photo is also off center. The photographer could correct this by centering the yellow highway lines to make the photo look more visually appealing and symmetric. Another element that the picture is lacking is color. The autumn trees and the white snow look dull. The photographer could enhance this photo by brightening up the color contrast and make the colors appear more vivid.

Bad Photography Example 2:

This photo is an example of bad photography for a few reasons. First, the photo is not cropped tightly. The photographer could eliminate the distracting background by cutting out the audience members standing in the right corner of the room. The focus should be on the stage and on the performers. The photographer could also cut the chair out on the left side of the photo as it is not really significant.

Another aspect of the photo that should be fixed is the focus of the photo. There are three girls on stage, but only two are worth focusing on. The girl on the far right has a strange look on her face so the photographer would probably want to crop her out and focus on the two remaining girls.
Another thing the photographer could change is the harsh, bright lighting of the photo created by the flash. By toning down the flash, color contrast and altering the lighting, the photo would be easier on the eyes.


  1. Perfect examples and a very detailed critique. I really like your observations about the soldier photo and the Syrian rebels. Good job!

  2. I think the photographer should also have gotten a different angle--hopefully by standing on a chair or something. That angle is great on soldiers, but it's terribly unflattering on women. We want to minimize the thighs and butts, not make them the biggest thing in the picture!