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PhotoZAP: We Critique Your Photos
PhotoZAP 48: Oh, yeah?

Our critics praise and pan your pictures


"The subject strikes me as not yet ready for the photographer."—Joe Gioia


© Chris Vickroy, New Braunfels, TX. Gear: Nikon D90, Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR, Nikon SB-800 speedlight with 24-inch shoot-through umbrella. Exposure: f/3.5 at 1/500 sec, ISO 100. Speedlight placed approx. 3’ from subject, metered in Spot mode, manual exposure. Adjusted exposure and white balance in Lightroom.

Photographer’s statement: I chose this shot for both the lighting, exposure and composition. I feel this is a good example of a portrait and captures her personality quite well.


Our critics say...


Mason Resnick: This is a well-conceived and executed photo. I love the extreme perspective and receding lines, and the lighting, which is soft enough to flatter the model but directed enough to provide a spot-lit look. The model’s playful expression, however, seems a bit out of place against the dark, foreboding background, and that bothers me just a little bit. One could just as strongly argue that her expression is a welcome contrast and injects a bit of humor into the shot. Either way on exposure/technical grounds I’d say the photographer nailed this shot.

Jack Howard: There's something to really like about this image. It feels like a well-executed stock photo for something–I'm not sure what that might be, though. My only nitpick is that the eye is challenged for first focus: her eyes make the shot, but the front shoulder and torso area is the biggest, brightest section of the frame. Some light burning in here would help to lead the viewer's initial focus away from here and to the subject's quizzical expression.

Joe Gioia: I once heard a famous portrait and fashion photographer comment on some pictures of Marilyn Monroe he was looking at. "She was never not-ready to have her picture taken," he said. Here, the subject strikes me as not yet ready for the photographer. It's a beautiful picture space, but the subject doesn't appear comfortable in it. Her mouth is a little tense, and the glasses seem like a prop used for a bit of distracting comic relief. Possibly complicating matters is how near she is to the lens and strobe. You get a sense of her personality, but not what she's like as a person. Maybe the hardest task in photography is cultivating a relaxed and willing portrait subject for a shot as deliberately setup, and close-up, as this example.


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