The quality of work Otto von Münchow shares on his site, In Flow,is astounding. He posts images of his own and those of students from his workshops. Occasionally he invites readers to submit images to his critique page, where he offers generous and thoughtful feedback. I learn a great deal simply from reading his comments about images that look perfect to my humble eyes.
Recently I submitted one of my own images. First I will show the original, unedited image:As you can see, I have a trouble holding my camera level with the horizon. I have to adjust and crop more images than I like to admit. I also thought that street light looked sort of nasty and thought the upper portion of the sky had little to offer so I cropped a bit more from the top. I also felt that this image lacked the crispness and contrast that I wanted, so I adjusted the shadows and highlights and upped the contrast and brightness just a smidge. The following image is what I submitted to Otto’s critique page:You can read the details of Otto’s critique here. He nailed it when he surmised that I shot the image in the afternoon. I might have had to wait for two hours for any human activity in this sleepy little village on the southern coast of Iceland and, since I was with a friend, that was out of the question. (I find myself snapping most of my photos on the run, which probably explains a lot.) I went back to the original image and tried to incorporate his suggestions as I re-framed it:By golly, I think I like it, except for the fact that the focal point seems awfully centered now, which is a failing I’ve been trying to overcome. Funny, I thought the fence added something, but I don’t miss it at all, nor does the street light bother me now. What do you think?