Hello dear readers!
Apparently I’m back to alliteration à la the week of words. Instead of the strictly inspirational posts that I’ve been writing for the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d do a little criticism that you can use to better understand what makes some photos work well and how some can be improved.
Today I decided to feed my sweet tooth and yours. Well, with pictures, at least.
WARNING: the following images may result in sweet cravings, grumbling tummies, and/or anger at the photographers and writer for not providing any accompanying snacks.
The good: the variety of colors, shapes and textures makes me want to do two things: figure out what each object is and go eat a bag of candy (as if I needed encouragement for candy during finals week).
The criticism: the subject of the image, the candy, is three dimensional, while the background of the image is a digitized gradient, which is two dimensional. Visually the two have been put together seamlessly. However, as a viewer, I have trouble logically understanding where these real objects are in space.
What you can take away: depending on the look you are going for, even in still life photographs, giving a little context is helpful to your audience. Even if this picture was simply on a blue surface, I’d be able to focus more on the subject than the busy background.
The good: I don’t know, everything? I think this image is just plain fun. The colorful sprinkles and spoons draw the eye all over the photograph. I also enjoy the yellow/kind of sepia undertones of this picture, it really gives it a timeless look.
The criticism: If we were to really nitpick, I could suggest that the ice cream not be in such a soupy state, but at the same time, I like the mess. What do you think?
What you can take away: The eye naturally starts from the upper left and continues around an image in a “Z” formation (this is not always the same for audiences who read languages that do not start from the left and go right). If you want to catch the eye quickly, use vectors that will draw the viewer’s attention to one of the points of intersection on the imaginary grid using the rule of thirds.
The good: firstly, it’s delicious, that’s what’s good. Other than that, I really like how my favorite baker used a cluster of different sized cupcakes and placed them at multiple distances to play with clarity. The largest subjects are perfectly clear but that doesn’t completely distract me from looking at all the little blurry bunnies in the foreground of the image.
The bad: the pink background kind of washes out the pink of the cupcakes; a different color of the same shade would be effective in making the subject pop.
What to take away: play with focus; just because something is blurry, doesn’t mean it can’t be a part of your photograph. You can use the blur to frame your subject, create a more interesting foreground (or background), or simply give a little mystery to a picture.
I know this isn’t candy, but it looks like it could be so let’s just go with it.
The good: I really enjoy the subject, composition and color of this photograph. Because the subject is slightly obscure, it keeps the picture from being an obvious photograph of a set of lips.
The criticism: the subject is very centered and that is not as interesting visually as it would be if it was slightly off centered.
What you can take away: unique photographs can stem from typical subjects; move the camera around and play with saturation. I think you’ll be surprised with the results.
I hope you enjoyed these photos and I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions on each of them, I’d love to hear your feedback!