New Picture Critique by Otto von Münchow


Otto von Münchow has generously created his own program called New Picture Critique and he has run it twice.

The photo below was the photo that I submitted for the second New Picture Critique and you can read Otto’s comment as follow:

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This is a photograph with a poignant ambiance. It radiates calmness, peace and tranquility. Compositional it’s quite simple with few elements. The sun has just set behind the horizon with a lone duck smoothly moving across a darkening pond. Its passage creates subtle waves which breaks the stillness of the water. The world is about to go to sleep. The colours in this image are intense and beautiful, and I really like the limited colour palette with only tones of various oranges and reddish. The duck is nicely placed in the golden triangle – or one third in from the left and bottom edges – which is a traditional compositional technique to create a more dynamic arrangement in a picture. In the background – the shoreline on the other side of the pond – we see a lush landscape of a deciduous forest which increases the rural and tranquil atmosphere. I would have loved to see the trees more clearly against the sky, as a sharp silhouette against a more intense and burning sky. As it is now the trees blend in a little with the sky. One way to achieve more separation is by locally increase the contrast and brighten the sky quite a bit. That will also bring out even more saturated colours in the sky. You have chosen to place the horizon high up in the image. I like that; it creates a vibrant and forceful baseline for the composition. Maybe you should have considered the opposite, though, placing the horizon equally low in the image instead. I don’t know how the sky looked like, but I think it might have been more interesting than the monotonous pond in the foreground. The colours in the pond are great, but it’s a big empty space. By moving the camera up, and maybe even lowering yourself and the camera’s position at the same time, you would also have the duck visually getting closer to the viewer by getting closer to the edge of the frame. Still it’s a beautiful picture, I really like.

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My lesson learned:

I think the photo above is lack of dimension. Maybe that’s why Otto suggested me to move the camera up and lowering myself and the camera at the same time. But as far as I could remember I already lowered myself by laid my back on the rock nearby and instead of moving the camera up I did the opposite way. This is why now I’m practicing about moving the camera up or down when shooting landscape. I noted also about the contrast and composition.

Thank you very much for your constructive criticism, Otto. I really do appreciate it and hopefully I could improve myself.

Have A Blessed Sunday!