Photo critique by Katrina Guevara
Ben Makuch for Vice Magazine (link)
The photo accompanies an article about the dearth supply of water in Uzbekistan and Tajikista. The content of the photo is strikingly raw and emotional. However, the overall composition could have been edited. The photo could be straightened. Also, the hand and face of the soldier in the foreground can be moved more to the middle or right side in order to follow the rule of thirds. The man and round black figure can be cropped out, too.
This photo does not have a figure in the foreground as focus. In fact, the eyes aren't directed to a single figure. Overall, it's as busy as the content.
Neil Leifer, 1965
The photo has recognizable boxing icon Muhammad Ali knocking out Sonny Liston in a match. The hazy lighting, which looks like tungsten lighting, enhances the foreground and center of the subject. Even though the photo is taken at an angle at level with the boxers in the ring, the content really portrays Ali’s dominance, as well as the crowd's focus and awe. A photographer is shot between Ali's legs to show another photographer's point-of-view intensity of the scene.
William Albert for National Geographic, 1997 (link)
The photo of Native American pageant winner has an epic composition. The photo follows the rule of thirds, which greatly defines the foreground and background. The woman in the foreground is taken at an angle that defines the horizon. Even the white tents and dark gray clouds contrast dramatically.