Our critics praise and pan your pictures
By Adorama Learning Center Editors
August 16, 2010
"If you can’t reposition yourself to eliminate the distracting, mood-busting building, brown grass, and playground, you should cede this shot to the pro."—Mason Resnick
Photo © Ophelia Miranda, Havilah, California. Gear: Nikon D80, Nikon 18-135mm lens at 75mm and Soft-Focus filter; Nikon SB600 with unnamed flash bracket. Exposure: 1/125 second at f/5.6, ISO 400.
Photographer’s statement: “This was our son's wedding in January 2010. It took place in Bakersfield, California.”
Our critics say…
Mason Resnick: I presume this shot was taken by the proud Mom of the Groom during the pro’s bride-groom portrait shoot. I’m not a big fan of taking pictures of a professional photographer’s portrait session from the side—even if you’re a parent of one of the newlyweds—for both moral and artistic reasons. This image illustrates the latter. First, the background: It’s distracting. If you can’t reposition yourself to eliminate the distracting, mood-busting building, brown grass, and playground, you should cede this shot to the pro. Second, the pose: His eyes are almost closed, he’s leaning forward a bit and his hands are placed awkwardly around the bride. Third, the pose, again: They’re facing away from the camera! Not a keeper.
Mark Lent: This shot illustrates why it’s important to use a professional photographer for important life occasions. I agree with Mason that the shot appears to have been made during a posed moment by another photographer. Note that the background appears to be an elementary school. Had the photographer rotated the camera to a portrait position and moved in closer to the subjects, whether physically or through a longer focal length lens, it would improve the shot greatly. The subjects looking off-camera can be pleasing if done correctly, but often comes down to personal taste. And while the technical aspects of this shot are well-executed, I keep coming back to the composition. Regrettably, the unfortunate composition amplified by the out-of-place background makes this shot miss the mark.
Jack Howard: Where to start? This shot is far too loose, but somehow still manages to cut off the bride's hand and bouquet, which, admittedly, she's holding like she's really not comfortable with it. Shooting vertically would have fixed this issue, as well as minimizing the building growing out of the back of the groom's head. While it is possible that the groom's natural expression isn't wide-eyed, this angle emphasizes that, and there's no catchlights whatsoever to give "soul spark" to the image. I'm not crazy about the soft-focus filter effect, and that one hot sequin drives me crazy. Use a healing or clone brush to tame that.
What do you think? Leave a comment!