Photo Critique - Showcase

Recently, I put together a handful of photographs to use as a portfolio.  Let's discuss each of my chosen images. ¦    ¦¦

A recent photograph of mine, recently seen in a recent street diary.  I really enjoyed how this photograph turned out, especially the grey tones.  The faceless silhouettes are a great touch as well.  I like to interpret this photo from starting at the top left, the light, and following the escalators down to darkness.  It can be argued that the merging of the escalators is counter-intuitive to the downward direction the dark figures are facing.  Personally, I find the opposite directs add a natural movement of light to dark, similar to day and night.


I recently took another stab at this photograph and posted on my tumblr page.  When I first glanced at the LCD of my Canon T1i, I was ridiculing myself for leaving the ISO too low - 100 - resulting in motion blur.  The now-fiveyear-old digital camera was capable of doing ISOs of 400 or even 800 without too much image degradation.  After arriving on American soil, I appreciated the motion blur which conveyed a sense of urgency and unevenness.  The black and white conversion and crop I initially made in post was very poor in taste.  Pictured above is my final go-around on this piece -- I cropped most of the negative space to the right of the subject, changed my black-and-white mix a little, and dodge and burned areas.  The result turns out to be one of my personal favorite photographs.


I initially dismissed this photograph when I was reviewing photos from my July 4th outing.  The photo gained a second wind when I set aside my clinical view of the image -- oh, I held the shutter speed too long, the image is blurry when at a 100% crop.  Somehow, the lack of sharpness adds a realistic grain to the scene.  I like the sense of motion in this composition.  The train feels as if it is just grazing me; the strong diagonal lines help with the feeling, too.  I find the facial expressions of the subjects interesting.  The girl in the hat gazes at the moving rail car in awe; the shorter girl is not as easily amused; the father maintains a comforting and watchful expression.


Another of my photographs from New York.  I am not much of a landscape photographer, but this particular frame really caught my eye.  Initially I tried a more typical landscape orientation, but I found the portrait point of view more appealing.  The frame has a subtle sense of motion.  My eye starts at the closest, leftmost boat, hops around the  other boats diagonally, and ends at the New York skyline in the background.  I feel this photo has the cliché theme of "calmness in a city of chaos," being a composition of a tranquil lake scene juxtaposed in front of a busy city.


Ah, Frederick (also known as "Fredneck" by the locals).  This beautiful small town is where I started street photography.  I would try to capture some frames before and after my shifts at my old part-time job in town.  This is a photograph of a couple in the middle of a wedding/engagement shoot.  The husband/boyfriend (I think) sports an expression of  subtle hostility -- "what do you think you are looking at?"  His partner is unaware of my presence, still in .  The photographer possibly is smiling at the sight of another photographer.

with both eyes

A large portion of this showcase comes from the Peru trip I went on this previous January.  Even though I label myself as a street photographer, I (still) have a very hard time capturing faces looking down my camera lens.  The natural framing on this photograph creates an interesting composition.  The angled mirror creates a pseudo-dutch angle within the entire photograph.

peruvian incline

I had recently covered my Canon T1i in a plastic ziplock bag a few moments before taking this photo.  On my trek to Machu Pichu, the weather initially was fantastic -- blue sky, majestic clouds.  The rainy season was upon Peru, it the blue sky faded to gray, and the rain poured.

A Great Big World

By chance, I had my camera on my when I was listening to this band perform.  My OM-D E-M5 had the 12-50 kit zoom attached.  At 50mm, the max aperture is f/6.3.  I stopped down one stop to f/8 and cranked up the ISO to 6400.  A quick VSCO filter in post made this grainy photo fairly usable!  Concert photography can be quite interesting.  The lightning conditions are always changing, and the additional fog adds an ambiance to the scene as well.

slow.. please

I will be honest, I have a much easier time shooting and editing in black and white.  My color work is not on the same level.  It was a hard decision to add some color examples to this set, or just leave it all monotone.  I decided on the former, and included three color photos.  I particularly like this frame because the subject is looking at me.  He has a welcoming and sincere gaze -- an uncommon sight nowadays, especially in the city.

Cabin Trip Summer 2014

Lastly, I added a photo of my friends to add a more-or-so lifestyle photo to the set.  A nitpick I have about my work is that due to the nature of my photography (street and travel), I don't end up taking photographs as personal memories.  I brought my Leica into the river for this shot, and I am so thankful that I did.