Frame Exercise: Peer Critique

In this post I will be critiquing the images taken by Matt Delorme which can be seen here

For this assignment we were asked to take photos that utilized the golden ratio, the rule of thirds and balance to take 5 photos each with a different particular requirement. The particular requirements for those photos are listed, then followed by a short critique of each photo.

1. One that shows a Symmetrically balanced composition

The photo which can be seen here almost does a good job of staying balanced but it seems as though the right side of the photo carries a little more weight than the left. This is because of the door on the right-hand side of the photo is closer to the camera than the door on the right which makes it appear larger and draws in the viewers gaze. Had the doors been directly across from each other the photo would have been greatly symmetrically balanced. Something compositionally interesting about this photo is all of the lines pointing towards the middle of the photo. Using lines in such a way would be particularly useful is an artist wanted to direct the audience’s attention to a certain spot where something important needs to be noticed, which in this case would be in the doorway at the end of the hall.

2. One that is asymmetrically balanced

The photo which can be seen here could definitely be more asymmetrically balanced. It seems as though the subject of the photo carries far more weight than anything else in the background. This is partially because of the really dark shirt that the subject is wearing compared to the warm background which seems to be pretty flat. Also, everything in the photo seems to be blurry. This photo would have greatly benefitted from the photographer focusing the camera. A clearer photo would have communicated a clearer message and would be a nicer image to look at. One thing that this photo does well is follow the rule of thirds. The eyes of the subject in the photo line up great with the bottom right corner of the top right square in the grid. This draws the viewers attention to what’s really important and helps make for a better photo.
3. A close up with appropriate headroom

The photo which can be seen here provides a good example of how much of a person should be showing when taking a close-up shot. It displays from just the top of the shoulder to a few inches above the head. This photo is balanced in that the subject of the photo is in the center surrounded by negative, stark white space.  This allows the viewer no choice but to observe what is happening with the subject of the photo. Seeing as though there is no other content to look at, the artist has directed all attention to the person in the photo. This could be particularly useful in film if there was something really important happening that the viewer couldn’t afford to miss.  Similarly to the last photo, the subject’s eye lines up on the grid for the rule of thirds. Also, this photo would have been better had the camera been focused.
4. A long shot with appropriate headroom

The photo which can be seen here follows the “requirements” of a long-shot. The subject’s whole body is displayed and the subject has an appropriate amount of headroom. The subject stands out in the photo because his dark clothing heavily contrasts much of the background. The thing that probably stands out the most in this photo is the green logo on the subject’s shirt. The hyper-saturated green pulls the viewer’s eye because the color of it is so vibrant compared to the rest of the photo.I feel as though this is not what the artist intended. This would only be particularly useful if the artist specifically wanted the audience to specifically notice the subject’s clothing One thing that the photographer should have been weary of was what he wanted, and didn’t want showing in the frame. If you look in the back of the photo, you can see the photographer in the reflection in the glass. As photographers we need to be hyper-aware of everything that appears in the frame. Not abiding to this rule will result in low-quality images which will not allow us to grow as artists.
5. A balanced image that obeys the rule of thirds, balancing the subject with the weight of his/her gaze.

The photo which can be seen here has one really glaring issue. It seems as though the camera is focused on the door to the left rather than the person on the right side of the frame. Perhaps this was intentional, but I believe the intended subject was the person on the right. It’s important to see what is in the frame and what the camera is focusing on. If we neglect things like this it could be hard to communicate particular messages through our images. Despite that major issue, this photo does a good job of following the rule of thirds. The “intended” subject’s eye lines up on the grid of the rule of thirds and it makes for a more visually pleasing image. This also helps to put emphasis on the viewer’s gaze which was one major requirement of the photo. Also, the implied subject’s pale skin has a stark contrast to the rest of the image which helps him to pop off of the background.  Overall, this photo would have more potential had the camera been focused properly.

Overall, this photoset has both of it’s ups and downs and would be much better if the artist payed attention to a few more of the key elements of photography. If he utilized the ability to manually focus each shot, and payed attention to what he wanted and didn’t want in each image he could allow for clearer, easier to read images that can communicate messages more clearly. Despite these negative things, the artist does a good job of following the rule of thirds  and has potential if he can fix those other things.


About JamesWrobel

I'm a junior at Alfred State College majoring in Digital Media and Animation. I specialize in digital art and photography rather than drawing and painting. It's a work in progress and I'm working hard to achieve my dreams.
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