January 2012 Flickr Group Critique

Selections from the January 2012 Discerning Photographer Flickr group pool. Discussion below.

Selections from the January 2012 Discerning Photographer Flickr group pool. Discussion below.

One of my favorite things to do when I log onto the site is to check out the new images that have been uploaded to our Discerning Photographer Flickr group pool. The interests and talents of our members are so diverse—it’s a truly eclectic group of shooters, isn’t it? So while it’s a bit of work to assemble (and some months I’m late, like now!), I really do enjoy our online discussion around the images.

This month is no exception. I’ve picked images I like, plain and simple. I’ll explain what I like and why. I may ask a question or two and hopefully we’ll get some answers from the artists.  Finally, please add your own two cents in the Comments below and let everyone know what you think. Let’s get started:

‘Lacey 2,’ by Julian Schroeder.

'Lacey 2,' by Julien Schroeder. http://www.flickr.com/photos/julianschroeder/6686485649/in/pool-1182517@N23/

'Lacey 2,' by Julien Schroeder. http://www.flickr.com/photos/julianschroeder/6686485649/in/pool-1182517@N23/

Julian submits some of the very best animal photos. Frequently they’re of what appear to be house cats.  You can tell from looking at these that he’s a very patient photographer! ‘Lacey 2’ is another nice example.  I do find the red object in the background is competing for my attention in a negative way, though. It might be worth trying to desaturate that area and see if it brings the focus back on that yellow eye. Also, what would happen if you took the crop a bit tighter and split the cat’s face right at the nose? Not sure, but worth considering. What about it, Julian?

‘For the Women I Love,’ by Jar.

'For the Women I Love,' by Jar. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jariceiii/6693426477/in/pool-1182517@N23/

'For the Women I Love,' by Jar. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jariceiii/6693426477/in/pool-1182517@N23/

This is a beautiful flower macro. Nicely composed and very importantly, the depth of focusis right for this image. Jar, tell us about shooting this photo: how did you decide upon the focus point? What sort of aperture did you use for this one? These are the kinds of things you must consider in the macro world…

‘Stereo 1,’ by Vitor JK.

'Stereo 1,' by Vitor JK. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vitorjk/6670294317/in/pool-1182517@N23/

'Stereo 1,' by Vitor JK. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vitorjk/6670294317/in/pool-1182517@N23/

This past month or so, Vitor has been shooting some really nice abstractions. This one falls into that category. (I’m reminded a bit of the work of Sean Garrett, who we don’t have represented this month.) I’m not sure what we’re actually looking at here, and it doesn’t matter, does it?  But since we can ask, Vitor, tell us about shooting this image…

‘Missouri Sky,’ by Gabriel Hasser.

'Missouri Sky,' by Gabriel Hasser. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mamemimo/6739147971/in/pool-1182517@N23/

'Missouri Sky,' by Gabriel Hasser. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mamemimo/6739147971/in/pool-1182517@N23/

Here’s a classic, put–your-camera-on-a-tripod-and-point-it-up-at-the-night-sky-and-see-the resulting-magic photo. I’ve always loved that swirl and the not-knowing part of shooting these. So much of digital photography now is instant gratification: chimping to see what you came up with right away. Not with this photo. Gabriel, how many shots did you attempt on this night? And how long was the exposure?

‘Focus on Beauty,’ by Kevin Thornhill.

'Focus on Beauty,' by Kevin Thornhill. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukphotoart/6668764637/in/pool-1182517@N23/

'Focus on Beauty,' by Kevin Thornhill. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukphotoart/6668764637/in/pool-1182517@N23/

I’ve really enjoyed getting Kevin’s submissions from London, frequently filled with beautiful young models. Most of this has been street photography but now we’re going into the studio for the first time. Kevin, have you acquired studio space, or made some other arrangement? I like the simplicity and the framing here.

‘Forest Impressions II,’ by Justin G.

'Forest Impressions II,' by Justin G. http://www.flickr.com/photos/justingarofoli/6791302665/in/pool-1182517@N23/

'Forest Impressions II,' by Justin G. http://www.flickr.com/photos/justingarofoli/6791302665/in/pool-1182517@N23/

This is an appropriate title for this bit of Impressionism. The color palette is wonderful here with the browns offset by the yellows and greens. So Justin, was this intentional or a happy accident? If intentional, what shutter speed did you use to create the effect? Of is this possibly done in post? (I’m thinking now of a way to do this in PS with a directional blur filter.)

‘London Thames,’ by Sandy Biring.

'London Thames,' by Sandy Biring. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandy6767/6720036257/in/pool-1182517@N23/

'London Thames,' by Sandy Biring. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandy6767/6720036257/in/pool-1182517@N23/

We finish out this set with a beautiful river shot from Sandy Biring. I really like this composition and the gold-green working down from the top right towards the vignette, all of it in counterpoint to the boats in the upper left. This photo, with the visible movement of the water, almost seems to dance! Sandy, what are you standing on to shoot this? Is the vignette natural or something you created? Any other thoughts you’d like to share would be most welcome here as well…

OK, that wraps it up for this month’s Flickr Critique. Now please add your thoughts in the Comments below! I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about my selections.

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Gallery

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

15 Comments on "January 2012 Flickr Group Critique"

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  1. Hi Andrew,

    I decided to enter the world of beauty, fashion and portraiture in August last year. The above shot was from a portraiture course I attended.

  2. So no studio space yet. OK. Thanks!

  3. Gabriel Hasser says:

    Andrew,

    Thanks for choosing my photo! This actually was only the third (and last) attempt of the night. It was a 23 minute exposure. I really wanted get a “full circle” of trails, so I cheated by using a fisheye lens to get as much of the sky as I could.

  4. Nothing wrong with your lens choice, Gabriel. Looks like it was the right tool for this situation.

  5. JulianS says:

    Thanks alot for the feedback, I’m always looking for advice on improving my photography.

    Here is one with the red removed, and the eye slightly brightened:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/julianschroeder/6888186439/in/photostream

    and also with a crop:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/julianschroeder/6888189515/in/photostream

  6. John Rice says:

    Thanks — I am flattered that you chose to comment on my photo! It was taken with a 100mm macro lens at f27. Overall the photo has a very soft quality, but I wanted sharper focus on the lower left and center while still retaining the rhythm of the shapes of the petals on the upper right. Using a much wider aperture would have blurred the upper right too much.

  7. Enivea says:

    A lovely varied selection this month Andrew. Forest Impressions is the one I find most interesting, as I’ve been recently delving into this sort of in-camera effect. I’d love to know the settings Justin used.

  8. OK, so f27—interesting! I figured you had a small aperture to keep so much of this image in focus. Thanks!

  9. Thanks for the new versions, Julian. I think the desaturation helps immensely; not sure the crop makes much difference. I know you’ve done other versions of Lacey with wonderful tight crops elsewhere; it was just a thought. But eliminating the red in the background is a definite plus, I think.

  10. I agree. Hopefully we’ll hear from Justin and learn more on this image. Cheers Enivea!–DiscerningPhotog

  11. JulianS says:

    I agree, wasn’t so comfortable with the crop but taking the red out definitely makes sense – especially in this case, less is more.

  12. Thanks for choosing my image!

    This was done all in camera, I was panning vertically with about 1/10 second exposure. I made a few attempts, and I think I ended up with three compositions that I like quite a bit. It also looks pretty good in black and white, really smooth tones. I’m so happy with how this turned out that I plan on trying it fairly often in other scene situations. I plan on printing this shot for an 11×16 to see how it looks.

    In post, I did fix a lot of dust spots, they were really obvious against the smooth background. After that I tried cleaning them of my sensor with a Giottos rocket blaster, mostly successfully.

  13. Julian got the eyes very right and yes, the red does disturb a bit, but not too much for my opinion.
    Vitors image is fantastic, it’s so simple. Not exactly what I like to shoot.
    Gabriels Missouri Sky is a classic. I simple like images like them.
    Forrest Impression II is very nicely done, too. I had not even tried to think about how to do an image like that. Thanks for the hint!

  14. Thanks for the information, Justin. This is another situation in which the correct shutter speed is critical. Nicely done!

  15. SANDY BIRING says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m really pleased with the way this shot ended up. I took it a couple of years ago, and only recently edited it with some post-production tweaks.
    The green/gold ones you’re liking and the vignette were added in post, but it took what was a average shot into something more dramatic.

    I absolutely love Gabriel Hasser’s Missouri Sky, the motion created makes my head spin!

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