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Thread: Critique(s) Welcome

  1. #1

    Critique(s) Welcome

    Made this photo on Pinhole Day, but for various good reasons didn't submit it to the WPPD gallery. I would be interested in your critique of this image.


    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    I've been hovering for sometime watching the submissions on the forum with I must admit, some frustration. Although the standard of photography is probably higher than it ever has been, I feel most of it could be done better with a lensed camera and the pictures on the forum are really just emulating that form of picture taking.
    For me pinhole photography is at it's best when it brings something new & unique to the party, some distortion maybe, or blended exposures, or something else.
    I saw your submission Tom & thought 'wow, this one is exciting'. It is too, with the distorted straight lines, the incredible wide angle view, divisions within the frame, the inclusion of a human element & the fabulous composition - that perfectly straight line across the frame lead me to believe initially that this was a montage of two pictures.
    The best picture I have seen for a long time. Thanks for motivating me to comment.
    See my cameras and photographs here

  3. #3
    Hi Tom,

    I agree fully with Tony; pinhole is special in the way both 'time' can be captured and curved film/ ultra wide angle images recorded. You have a really cracking image here.

    I have kept looking at your picture today. I had a quick play with bits of paper on the screen and the only 'critique' I could suggest would be to crop a little off the right of the image so that the middle bar of the railings is in the centre of the image, and that will also make the image proportions longer and thinner and accentuate the lines snaking into the distance. But actually, I decided in the end, I like it as it is.

    Best regards,

    More mad ramblings at

  4. #4
    500+ Posts Isis's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Its a great combination of swirls lines and tones. I think a move to the right to include the cut off curve could of improved an otherwise powerful image.
    Regards Shane
    - Suggestions on how to improve image always welcome

  5. #5
    Wonderful image, Tom. I like the composition as-is, being a bit off-center on the railing makes it look more natural, and I like the curve on the right, which would be cropped off if you tried to center the railing.

    For my taste, a bit more contrast would help, especially darker shadows. Let the upper left corner go completely black and get more dramatic tones. But that's just my taste. It's still a great image. Well done.

    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
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  6. #6
    Senior Member rydolan's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Connecticut, USA
    I was thinking the same thing as Joe, a little more contrast would suit my aesthetic as well. Very cool composition. Lots going on. My feelings toward it have evolved in the three times I have gone back to look at. Initially, I thought the composition was too busy for my taste. But as with anything, ones eyes familiarize themselves with an image and then the details start to show themselves, and the finer points of the composition begin to come together. The distorted curve of the railing bars really heave you into the rest of the photo. The legs also contribute to the feeling of being right there in the composition.

    Thanks for posting and letting us talk about your photo!

  7. #7
    Senior Member dwerg85's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Curacao, Caribbean
    Not sure why you didn't submit it, but these are the kind of images that made me fall in love with pinhole photography in the first place. They are also the kind of images i encourage my students to experiment with every year while teaching pinhole photography. Being able to distort reality in camera with a certain degree of (initial) unknown is one of the great possibilities that i treasure in pinhole photography.

    This is a great example of how one can use pinhole photography in ways that aren't possible with conventional lensed photography. I hope we'll see more of them around here.

  8. #8
    This is what I would do Tom, with apologizes for taking liberties.

    I would try and match the ambiguity in the upper left but bringing the upper right down. Then, increase the contrast around the legs creating a spot light on them. Finally boost the contrast in the middle.

    But before I did any of that, though, I would need to create the amazing photgraph that you have here. The compositon is fantastic and the abstract nature is dead on. Thanks for sharing and I hope you don't mind my playing with your image.

    "Most people know the names of only two photographers. One is Ansel Adams and the other one isn't." Bill Jay
    See Tales from the Dark Slide in the Gallery section.

  9. #9
    Senior Member spiffytumbleweed's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Austin, TX
    I'd be really happy posting this to WPPD had I made it, I would be quite happy to have made it on any day. I agree with the general consensus that its "pinholiness" is superb.

  10. #10
    Thank you all for your thoughts and insights. A couple of you alluded to the biggest reason I didn't put this into the WPPD gallery. The negative is embarrassingly thin. The exposure was around eight minutes, with me hand-holding the camera tight against the top railing of the fence that is in the bottom of the photo. It was in the early evening, and the already dimming light was made substantially worse by a thunderstorm moving in between camera and the sun. The light dropped at least three stops during the exposure and I didn't compensate enough.

    A second reason is that I prefer to exhibit the negatives as finished images, and this one was too thin. A third reason is that the image I did submit was made in the same park where I taught a workshop earlier in the day. By an odd coincidence, the image is a right parenthesis on the set of images from Minnesota and the workshop (NationalCamera:Minneapolis).

    Still, the composition of the photo was striking enough that I hope to go back to the same spot with more cameras - when the light promises to be steadier.

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