I’m putting up an image today for you to critique. It’s an image shot instinctively yesterday in Islington, London.
It was a cold, but sunny day, and as I walked southwards the sun suddenly appeared from behind a tall building and the shadows stretched towards me. The Canon G10 hadn’t been re-set from its previous shot in a dark corner (the wrong settings again)! The ISO was still at 800, and the other data was 1/1600 at F4. The G10 is hopeless for noise at anything over ISO 400 I find. I glanced at the shot on the back screen and thought – that’s interesting, I’ll wait for another shot. But despite loitering ‘with intent’ a similar image didn’t appear and I was in a hurry to see some pumpkins (sculptures) by Yayoi Kusama at a gallery nearby.
Back home when viewed on the big screen my reaction was – so nearly good. The bottom half of the image is fine (IMHO). I love the inclusion of the word ‘Look’ and the shadows make an attractive composition with the addition of the dotted white line (once I had cloned out some ugly flare patterning). The top half is not so good. F4 didn’t help – the figures are not sharply in focus. There is flare highlighting a woman in the centre – perhaps a bonus(?) – and there is rim lighting, and a London bus. I tried converting to B&W but I don’t think that works – the colour, such as it is, in the top third is important. I’ve cropped the image to the important section and processed it very thoroughly including noise reduction (in other words I’ve tried to extract the max from it).
So…what is it now? Is it one of those ‘nearly’ images from which one learns, and kicks one’s self, saying – think Settings after every shot. Remember to re-set them to something that is likely to be the best guess for an instinctive next shot. (I do wish I could remember to do that). I find objectiveness about my work still one of the hardest traits to learn. Are their merits in this image that I can’t see? And would it be worth just being really bold and chopping the top two-thirds off?
It’s over to you. What are your thoughts? Say it’s rubbish if you think it is! Or, better still, say something constructive. I look forward to your comments.
And it will enlarge for a clearer view – just click on the image.
PS – as a result of all the helpful suggestions I have received, I have cropped and re-worked this image. See the result here.