Thanks to everyone who submitted photographs for this critique. 26 people uploaded images to Flickr, and there are some outstanding images in the collection. I had to pass over a lot of interesting choices, but I’m keeping several in mind for future critiques.
I chose this image mostly for aesthetic and instructive reasons, but also because the international flavor appealed to me. The photographer, Tim Parkin, lives in Leeds, UK, and the photograph was made at Lochan Na h’Achlaise (which Tim says roughly translates as ‘Loch of the armpit’) in Rannoch Moor, Scotland. Also, I like the title Tim used on Flickr—“That Damed Loch”—although his official title isPinks, Lochan Na h’Achlaise, Rannoch Moor.
I love the soft, subtle, color palette of this photograph, with pinks, golds, and hints of green. Many photographers would be tempted to pump up the saturation, but I think that would make this image look garish and fake, and lose some of its attractive, quiet feeling.
The composition is well seen and thought out. The main focal point is the shrub on the island just right of center, and my eye moves from that down to the smaller shrub, grasses, and rocks in the foreground. Tim was careful to keep separation between everything in the foreground and the reflections in the water, with the exception of the unavoidable merger between the three tall grasses just left of center and the reeds behind them.
The small foreground shrub echoes the shape of the larger one in the background, adding some repetition and tying the foreground and background together. I often see random foregrounds that seem stuck on, included only because the photographer felt that a foreground was obligatory. If you’re going to include a foreground it has add something to the image and tie in with the background somehow, either with similar lines and shapes, or by leading the viewer’s eye into the distance. Here the foreground definitely adds interest, and echoes shapes in the background. (more…)