Photo Critique with Scott Robert Lim
So I'm gonna go ahead and switch over to the light room that I have set up. We're getting a little out of my You're not gonna find these images, most likely in my book. So my first thought is Okay, obviously, that's a pretty impressive place to go get a photo. So somebody had to be ready and somebody was thinking ahead, or this is a ramp on the back side of the rock. He has a ladder on the other side. Who does? Yeah, but I love it. I mean, that rock is kind of like, uh when you get on top of something, it's kind of like putting them on a pedestal, right? They look like they're on wedding cake. Yeah. And so I love that. And I love how they created that, you know, sky there. And they found that space there and put them right in the middle of that. Um and ah. And then they, you know, put him up there. And I think that's great. Um, when I'm looking at it Ah, you know, I would kind of like this, and I see that's very typical where you just get up there and kiss and whatever, cause that's a ...
very natural thing to do. But me in particular, I'm not. When you kiss, you kind of like, distort the faces, right? And so this is one type of picture. But if let's say I was doing that, that wouldn't be my first choice to do that. I would do something a little bit more posed and when you're taking it, Ah, wider angle shot. Um, sometimes, ah, I like to create a little bit of separation so I can see both their profiles. And so that's one thing that I think would go good and it would create more of a silhouette to you could see them both of their profiles a little bit so you could do the same thing, but maybe just open up a little bit. You don't you know, you they have to be kissing to know that they're together, right? And then another thing is, whenever I do this post, I have the bride Archer, back, back. What does that do? You? And so what it does is that, um, you have kind of the solid strength straight up and down of the guy, and then you have a little bit of a bend for the female, and it just doesn't look like two parallel lines. Okay. And so you want to break that up a bit, And it just has more of a flow to the opposing just those little time, Simple things like that. And so I kind of understand that another thing is, I don't think they brought any lighting there. And so if you squint your eyes there, you know, you don't really see their faces. It's kind of bright over here, So maybe you could tone down the, um, highlights a bit. Um, and there's a little bit I would crop. It may be a little bit different, cause there was a little bit more space on the left hand side of the rock. Right. And I'm not sure of pulling it down a bit more. Would kind of focus on them a bit more, but I could see how you're trying to get the sky in there. Yeah, but you know, in this case, this guy is not super van tastic. So maybe just focusing on them a little bit more might work. Or maybe they got caught in between. If they just did a pure silhouette of it. Maybe that would be powerful to ah, but there it's kind of a tweener. So you're seeing them. But it's also kind of a silhouette to eso. It's a little bit caught in the middle right there. One thing I'm noticing is it looks like they've lightened the rock up. And there's this kind of glow around the edge of the rock where they've like, Oh, yeah, and I think that could be tidied up a little bit. Right? Little better technique on that? Definitely. You see that halo? Darryl? Yeah. Little halo hard. And so this comes from John Lamb. It is Excellent boat. Excellent picture. Has amazing potential. I want to go there. Where is that job? So John did mention in his little comment on his own photograph Did bring a ladder that was part of the plan there. So? So thank you, John, for that photograph. Our next one here is from L J. Denham. And we're going on location. I don't know if you know this. Look Oh, I know exactly where that's just That's in Los Angeles. Another iconic shot to take pictures. Um, okay. Um, did you want to say anything about what you want me? Well, um okay, since you probably have a lot more Teoh. My first observation is I think I would like to see a little bit more of the reflection in the left hand side, and his face kind of got cut off with exactly where they positioned. And it might also see both of their faces rather than having him in the crease. That's it. Okay, Um, I think this has some good potential to it. And I think what draws your eye away also from that couple, is that the ground is kind of a brighter then them and because there wasn't any lighting on on them, so you could reduce the ambient light to make the background darker. Then I think in Photoshopped you had a kind of tone that down, um or does maybe looked like there's some off camera lighting, but because it looks like it's directly at them and not mawr higher. You don't see any shadows on their on their body. And it's so I think that takes away from the drama when you just have straight light shooting at them. It looks like maybe on camera flash or something. There's no shadows to contour their body. And so that takes away from the story to, um, not only, uh, because that light doesn't look natural. So I always like to say is like if you're gonna do lighting, make it look like if there was a lap post there up high and that light was just coming down on top of them and you just happened to catch them making out. So I think with a few things, you know, I like the composition in the reflection and everything, but with, you know, mawr dramatic lighting and more dramatic post processing, I think it could really sing. Yeah, because you got Remember your eyes drawn to the brightest elements and it pulls away from other, more important elements. Yeah, and so let's first give credit on this one. So this is a 2nd 1 by LJ Denim on here. Usually I don't let people get killing it. Let it let him come in here. Eso This reminds me because I do a bit more in the landscape world. And so I'm thinking new split neutral density filters here. They're darkening the sky. They might have done it in posts. They might have done it with an actual filter out there. But I think they've you think is done in post. It could be done opposed. I think they left that there's a middle strip of sky that's still too bright. That will see. That's what happens when you do impose when they don't know how to blend. That in. Is that you dragged a Grady int filter there? Yeah. And so that's why you don't you see it faded out there because they don't want to deal with blending it there. Yeah, because normally I think what probably would have happened if I did it in Post is I would drag it down and then say, I don't want to go on top of their heads because I don't want to darken their heads. So I stop it up there. It darkens the top part of the sky, but not the direct horizon. Yeah, so I kind of feel like that. So I love the idea of adding that sky. I think it's just it needs to be a little bit more believable, and a lot of times when you're not sure about that if you probably reduced the a pass ity of that by 50% um, then you get a little bit of in there, but it's blended a little bit more without a lot of work, right? But yeah, I've It's a great idea, though, to enhance that. And so, you know, let's just let's just play for a moment, okay? So I'm gonna go into a dangerous Hey, what do you think? I'm just gonna dark in this kind of middle area. I'm going over darken it first, so don't freak out everybody. So you gotta pretending like how you just brought it in. And so this is where it waas, and I think having it down here, uh, let's see. That's too far. Somewhere down here would be good. Now, I think you may need to go in and do another. Let's see, with close Alexi faster way days and you could go back in and then lighten up a little bit on them themselves. That might be not perfect. I mean, this is quick and dirty, and it's so I talked about this in in one of my classes in post processing the fundamentals one. How you When you're adding a sky, you have to blend them to make it look believable on what I do is I create a yell. Ah, yellow layer and photo shop. Um, and I used the multiply mode so it creates all the highlights that color. And then I take another blue and I select screen, and it makes all the shadows that color. So it blends the highlights in the shadows the same. And then you can adjust the capacity of each layer, and then it really blends it together. So everything looks like it's the same tone because this sky will produce this light on on the ground. And so if that light is not matching this light down lower and it's not gonna work together, gives you a lot more control. Yeah, So if you were shooting in this location, what sort of posing would you think about? Um, yeah, that's not bad. I mean, this is like the most typical thing. Like, just go over there and kiss each other. It's like the most natural thing there. I don't you know it it's rather romantic. Ah, and I like it. But again, if you're going to do this post If you just arched her back a little bit more and you separated so you could see each of their profile individually, I think that would just make up, you know, when Just a little bit of space. Just a little bit of space. Yeah. Okay. Well, good. Very good. Thank you for that image. Next up, this one is from Chris Bergstrom. And so now we're dealing with some Ah, some off camera lighting. And I mean, this looks pretty good to me. Yeah, I think, uh, they post processed it well, and, um, actually, the post is pretty sexy. It's just Ah, the location and the post to me or no, really, that matching, because there's nothing to put her legs up. There s Oh, I like the post. Um, but I'm just not sure if that polls works in that particular location that she's OK. But, you know, I love the diagonal, and I love the dark background. Ah, that and I'm thinking darkened it. It looks like he dark and it and it pops off and she looks nice. And I love the post and everything, but I just you know, I'm not totally buying into the post with that particular background. All right, let's see how good you are. Can you reverse engineer the lighting on this? What did they do to like this? Well, it looks like there's a little back light coming from there. I see a little hot spot behind them. Rights? Yeah, there's I would have to see there. Some cash lights. There's you can see the shadow. Right? Right. So, you know, So there's some light coming from the back, and her right foot has a big highlight on them. Right? Right. Right. Right over there. Right. And so it looks like there's maybe two light sources going on because there's not a lot of shadow Ah, on her body. So I think there's just basically some front line and back life coming coming in. All right, Well, thank you for that image. Our next image comes from my shell Jones and very shallow depth of field. Yeah, and so we're Do you like, Okay? I love it. Yeah, I do. And so this kind of looks like a senior portrait. Okay. Yeah, That's my dad. That sounds right. And so I guess my first thought is the window, right? What? We're all thinking that straight down, Out. So, do you like the angle? Um, to this. How would you How would you? Okay, shoot this. Right? Um, yeah. I think that windows a bit distracting. So I'm glad that they shot at shallow depth of field because that takes that element away from that, Um and yeah, it's straightening out the window for sure, because that, like, bothers the heck out of me. But are you talking about leveling the leveling that her eyes in a bit? How do you feel about exactly level versus a little bit off versus Very okay. Yeah. I feel like you got to get it right on or way off. They know, You know, it's intentional, right? Right. And it's it's close enough here where you're Maybe they meant Teoh survives. Will straighten it out. Um you know, uh, I just feel like if there was more like it's kind of got a little bit of raccoon eyes where the light was not into. Those lightened up the catch light in the eyes says so much about a portrait, Especially if you're shooting waste up to me. Those eyes have got to be there Band that's like essential to get a great portrait. And so you kind of see that shadow on her eyes there. That kind of means that there was not enough light put in there to bring those eyes out. And so I think if that was added, I think that would make a big deal. And if they had a cleaner background, I think that would really hop. Now this seems like it's a really tough place to get a catch later. And rice, because there looks like there on the top of a garage or balcony. And so you're going to need a new assistant with, like, a boom pull with a light pointing back Anders. So are opposed them differently. Okay, so if you can't oppose them where she's looking off to her left right, or to the right side of the frame, then you can have lighting over there, right? And just to Yeah, that's a good idea. That's what You don't have to work together. You know, the pose in the lighting, and that's hard. All right, so, uh, it's raining, so they don't have many people out there. Um, okay. I think we're getting back to that level horizon issue. Yeah. Yeah, Well, that river, right, um is yeah, it is a little bit crooked on there. I mean, I like the concept. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I just kind of feeling maybe the photo shop was a bit overdone or not executed because I can see how they made them brighter. Yeah, but then the trees behind them are brighter too. And that wasn't like either. A very powerful flash. 400 feet across the way. Or like, I just feel like it was, um, just not photo show. I love the idea and the concept and everything. Plus, that horizon is going right through their heads, and so that's a bit distracting. So they're not in a clean spot too, right? And then the post processing is feels like it could be refined a bit more. Uh, but I love the idea, the backlight through the rain and things like that. I have a feeling that this somehow through the steps may have got cropped more than they intended, cause we're missing just that top little nubbin of the umbrella. And her dress is just getting cut off yet awkward spot right there. And I have a feeling that there's more on the raw file. I don't know. Maybe they were trying to straight it out, and then that's all the room. They had something. What about shooting type versus loose? Do you vary that up a little bit? So the young for crop. So when I go on location and shoot, I have 85 millimeter one of my holsters in a 16 to 35 on the other. So I can quickly I don't have to worry about changing lenses or just go and shoot. And I try to shoot everything both tight and would to give me a variety of things nice so you can have lots of options to work with. And this was from MG photo vision. Thank you for submitting that image. Our next one is from Dale and Calvin. That offer there, and so looks like we're at a wedding. And the processing looks kind of interest me on this. We got a black and white image. Do you do Black Black? Yeah, Yeah, yeah. Well, especially when you're trying to show some emotion with it or you have a great like silhouette. Um, and so I think it tends to work in this case. I really like this image a lot. However, I don't know if it could be more powerful. Just cropped. I know they're trying to get the dresses in there, but it's like when I look at it, I am merely to go. I want to see the expression on their face. Do you want a crop off the top? Let's because let's just do it right now like maybe Z chives go right below the hips maybe and maybe do it a little bit more square. Did you see So below the hips and you can kind of keep it wide and square and then just let me let's get along. Maybe that, Yeah, You know how to work White Room. I'll let you dio doing work here. Great. Thanks for making me work here, So let's Well, yeah, I kind of like the way you did it. Um, but in my initially, um, you want the top of that? OK, there, But see how you can get to get the emotion a little bit more despite how ya on this. Yeah, but let's go back to what you did where you kind of had it like this. Right? Well, I was just bringing it in real quick, but oh, uh, what do you think? Something? Well, I think I'm gonna have a different version than you. Let's see your version. So I don't know. I think, Yeah. So I think it's less distracting, and I kind of like it where I can see what they're doing. A little is either facial. Yeah, because that's what's drawing me to the image. And I think that's the thing. When you look at an image, I know it's photographers over trying to catch everything. The dress in this, but sometimes less is more right. Create that impact, right? So personally, I mean, I like where they shot in and everything, but I just think a different cropping situation. Why did you give it a whack going? I mean, I like their dresses down here, but I don't know that we need the whole window up. Yeah, yeah. So maybe we can just bring a hint to that window in right here. Yeah. The one other thing is oftentimes on black and whites. You need a really good black and I don't know if they have enough black, and so I might have just a little bit more black ops that a little bit. And so get that in the one thing about though, when you're adding that in there too is thes highlights. That kind of distracting to me. Yeah, that is true. If you do bring it up, you just have this nice, clean, dark, edgy. I'm down there. But then, yeah, So there's some given takes on the right. Right? Right. So I don't know. Excellent. Well, to my two stands, who'd Dale and Calvin? Thank you very much. That's very good image there. Next up, Anna Gabrielle Delgado. And I'm thinking we're we've got another budding portrait photographer here. Right? Um, first thing for me is that big old post in the background, right? Definitely. That needs to be taken off their I think what's happening is it's right away. When you look at it, you go. Okay. That's artificial light there. It's because what they're trying to do his they're creating some highlight that, you know, to off camera lights, but then look at the sky. It has absolutely no contrast in it. Right. And so, uh, it's not believable at that time. So part of creating your life, it has to be believable to the situation. And in this case, it just looks, Ah, very artificial there, um, and, you know, refined a bit. Or if you do that, then you're gonna drop in a different sky to match the lighting on the on. The and I talked about that in my fundamentals class as I do that a lot. And I'm giving a flat situation pops and flash on my subject and then add a similar sky that has some highlight and shadow. And then it all matches. And it's about being believable, right? Yeah. Certain realm that you have to be in. Right, Actually. Good. Good tip on that. And this one looks. This is This is a very impressive image here, So they've got a great location. Prescott model in there. Where the heck is that? I'm not sure. It looks too nice to be here in the security guards, like everywhere. We can't even take pictures of it. It's It's it's dark. I'm not sure how much we want to play with the lightness on it. The sky, maybe little overdone for my taste. It's It's it's impact. Yeah, I'll give it very impactful. Right. But that's my first thought on it. Yeah. You know, I think they're trying to go for, ah, you know, uh, surreal type of field, Teoh. And yeah, I think it's a tad dark there, and it looks it doesn't look natural. You know what I mean when it's like that. So I think just blending that element in there, Uh, and, um, you know, it depends on its use on what it's intended for us to, you know, is that sky to dramatic? You know, if you're just trying to make a statement, it's fine. If yeah, this is for a particular I could see where it be too much for a lot of things. But for other things, let me talk about some of the things that I really know. Do you think that is that in the the posing? Yeah, And so you can see how she has her arm on one side so that poses waited there, and I talked about this in the fundamentals classes where you have to have Yang and Yang. So it looks like there's a lot of young with that arm, and there's nothing to balance it off on the other side. So if he would have just had her bring her arm up on the other side. So her right hand around her front? Yeah. So she like, Yeah. So her right hand come around and just kind of like right here. Okay. Then it would feel more balanced there in that poses right now. She has one arm. She has one arm, right? And it just feels which is okay if it's balanced and some people have one arm, and then they had the hair on the other side to balance it. But you need an element over there. And then she didn't place her in a space where it was clean. See that? That that post coming right above her hair here? Yeah, right. He could have pit placed there in a little area where maybe this dark spot right over here just a little bit right there. Yeah. Excellent. OK, that's that's some great tips. Straight. It's great shot. Yeah. Yeah, and Paco Van Llewellyn Gators job. Very go. And this is our final emerged or Miklos Tasci? Yeah, and so this very reminiscent of I don't like this could be 100 years ago. Always, Except for you can tell the image quality is very good. Yeah. Um, I Okay, I think maybe one is maybe cropped a little bit more center, and you usually use split lighting on guys, which is nice, and so has a very moody feel to it. But what? One thing that bothers me about the ying and the yang is the young. That's kind of sticking out is that year. You know, when you look at it, you go bam. Your eye goes to that year. So I would maybe take that down and to balance that out, maybe open up the right side a little bit mawr to have a little bit more balanced there, especially if that here so hot and then also on the color on the shirt. Um, that's a little bit of a hot spot that I would reduce on that side. Also s o I. I love the concept. It's a great shot. It just feels like a little unbalanced with the lighting. And then with that year so hot, it just feels, you know, a little bit pulling that way. But if maybe you put some mawr exposure on the right here and open that side up, then it would feel slightly balanced a bit more. That makes sense. It makes us all right. Well, I'd like to thank everybody who submitted images to have any final thoughts on the much and I know what these were a great collection of images to go through, And I think there's a lot of potential there for those photographers, and I want to just encourage them to Hey, keep moving for it. Looks great. Um, you know, uh, and keep learning and developing your craft, and, you know, you'll be surprised how good you'll get If you just concentrate and say maybe you want to work on one thing that year like, say, you know what? I want to work on my couples posing, and you're just focused on that. And that's what I say to people. Just take one thing where you feel uncomfortable with and just work on that and don't try toe like, do everything at once. And then once you start putting all the pieces together, you're gonna find that you're gonna go very, very far by just focusing and concentrating on just one skill at a time. Excellent. Good advice. Well, I want to thank all the students for submitting their work. Continue to submit your work, so I want to take a look at it and we want to help you out. That's why we're here, a creative live. We want to help make you better photographers. So keep keep those images coming in. For those of you who are interested, if you're interested in some of my classes, I just put out a free class called the Camera Buyer's Guide. And this is where I take you through all the modern cameras and tell you what's what and what to look for. And some of my best picks for different types of photographers out there, of course, have the fast start classes on different cameras. If you have a camera with interchangeable lens, I probably have a class on it. And then my fundamentals of photography is an in depth course on learning shutter speeds, apertures, composition, lighting and everything every photographer needs to know. If you want to connect with me, you can check out my website, which is john gringo dot com. I'm on Facebook. I'd love to connect up with you there and on Instagram on posting on both of these sites on a regular basis and would love to be in the conversation there with you.