Photo Critique 4/30/2021

Unfortunately, I missed last Friday due to many busy activities going on in my life right now. My fiancé and I are currently in the process of trying to purchase a home and that has filled a lot of our free time as of late. But I sat down today with new photo of mine to do a short critique of. So, without further ado let us take a look at this week’s photo shown below.

1/100 sec at F/8.0, ISO 100, 24mm (NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S)

This photo was taken early in the morning along the Columbia river in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately for the photo however, it was less than beautiful. The area that this was taken from was a short mile hike along the river side but unknown to me prior to arriving in the morning, the embankment was littered with debris from down trees due to a semi recent storm that we had in the area. The goal was to find a foreground to throw in with the sunrise over the river this morning but that was proving exceedingly difficult. The photo captured being the least cluttered area of the mile stretch of embankment. As you can see, it is still cluttered with down trees, however.


With this, the attempt then was to see if the trees could be used to frame a shot over the river in the direction of the sunrise. The framing almost worked out, if there was less clutter with the horizontal tree on the lower part of the frame so that the emphasis could be left on the geometric line and the colors of the moss. Then there is the issue with the upper horizontal tree not stretching further into the frame. Unfortunately for this spot, in order to readjust the composition to grab the remainder of that branch with a wider-angle focal length you'd have to include much more of the debris along the embankment.


On top of that, there was a bit more cloud cover than I would have liked for the morning which ultimately made it difficult to bring out the colors in the sky. The photo was only quickly edited as I did not like the composition much and did not see a benefit to further editing time being spent on the photo. But for reference, I had to darken the sky more than I would have liked to get the colors to come through which in turn makes the remainder of the photo look over dark (I could have alleviated some of this with more work, but I do not think the overall composition was worth it in this case).


Now I do think there was a way to improve this composition, even in the setting of this morning after review and thought of the situation and environment of the morning. This is a case where I believe the telephoto lens would have improved the shot. Continuing with the idea of using the debris to frame the borders of the composition I should have zoomed in and composed between the middle tree and the tree at the top of the photo. This would have greatly reduced the amount of clutter in the shot and would have focused in more on the better parts of the sunrise and cloud cover. It might have also been of benefit to set this up as a longer exposure to smooth out the waves from the river boats.


I am still not certain these changes would have produced a portfolio worthy photo, but they would have greatly improved upon the scene overall. As it stands, this photo will not be shown anywhere but here for the purposes of this photo critique.

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