Community Critique – Jenni

Today we have an image critique from Jenni who describes herself as an amateur enthusiast.  She snagged this image of her son sneaking a peek at the TV while he should have been getting ready for bed with her iPhone.  Critique today comes from Heather, Lacey and Natasha.

I love that instead of missing the moment that you grabbed the camera that you had on hand. This has a great balance to it. It feels evenly weighted. The lighting is really good. You have a light coming from the left to light your hubby and the light coming from behind your son. I would love to see what they are both looking at included in the frame. I know stepping back or to the side is not always an option inside our homes. It would be fun if you could plan to wait for this moment to happen again and have your big camera ready. I would love to see it with a narrow aperture to have them both in focus. It is such a fun moment. Great photo!

This is such a great moment of your son peeking in on your husband. You can really feel that it is happening at night when he should definitely already be in bed. It’s a moment so many of us as parents can relate to! For your composition you did a great job framing your son in the stairwell, so that he is all in meaning that his arm isn’t cut off by the edge of the frame and you shot from high enough of an angle that the posts are not coming out of the top of his head. I also like that you did not cut off the posters and that they are fully included in the frame. However, I think if you changed your angle and gotten a bit higher you could have included all of your husband’s legs in the shot, as well as, gotten a better angle on the arm of the couch that is in the bottom right of the image (or been able to cut it out completely).

The lighting works well to help balance the image. Your husband has light falling on him from the left which helps illuminate him as he sits in the middle of the dark couch. Your son has the opposite effect, where he is wearing dark clothing and in relative shadow and the background behind him is very bright. The color palette is also very restrained with only the primary colors in play. Dark blue is the predominate color represented in the couch and throw pillows, the pajamas, and the poster. Red is also repeated throughout in the posters, your husband’s shirt, and son’s top. Then there are just hints of yellow with your son’s hair and pajama bottoms.

My favorite iphone app to edit on is the Filmborn app by Mastin Labs. Its camera makes it easy to adjust exposure and color temp in the moment and then its editing tools after the fact can really help push an image to the next level. I recommend downloading the app and playing around with this image to see if you can use color theory to really bring out the underlying strengths of the image.

You have captured a good moment here! I like the story it tells – I’m imagining your son having been tucked up in to bed, only to then sneak down those stairs behind him & peek in on his Dad. I think that you did a good job on the framing. From the look of the chair arm in the bottom right corner, I’m going to assume that this restricted you from getting slightly further back so as not to crop your husbands feet. Sometimes decisions have to be made about what is more important to keep in the frame, & I think you made the right decision ensuring that your son was all in the frame, as opposed to slicing part of him out of the frame to ensure your husbands feet are in the frame. for your restrictions, you have composed this well, keeping the tops of the framed pictures in, your son’s head framed by the base of the stairwell(not slicing through his head), having your husbands legs coming out of the bottom left corner of the frame & the arm of the couch out of the right hand corner. It’s well balanced. I think that it is great that you chose to take the photo with your iphone rather than miss the moment because you didn’t have your DSLR – I am a firm believer that it doesn’t matter what you use to capture photos, if you are using the same principles of composition & story that you would while using a a DSLR. This is not a scene that would have benefited from a shallow depth of field, so the iphone was perfect for this. Using the editing tools on your phone, in an app or exporting your iphone photo into LR can really help to enhance the colours in your photo & to give it that final polish to take it from being just an iphone photo to making what you used to take the photo irrelevant.

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