Critiquing Myself

I've come up with yet another way to choose the subject matter for my daily blog. One hundred and nine days so far this year. I have not missed a day.

It can be difficult to find something new to write about. I like the challenge of it. The only posts I know I'm already doing are the birthdays and deathdays of all the musicians I shot who have passed away. That takes care of 96 days plus 2 for each musician that has passed after the book came out.

So, I've come up with yet another fun way to inspire me to post. This time I searched for all my photography files with the frame number 0419. It came up with five different photographs. When I checked them out, I didn't particularly love any of them. That's when I decided to critique my work. This should be fun.


My Critique of Photo 1:

What I like? - My favorite thing in this picture is the way the horse's back hooves are completely planted in the dirt. His stance is perfect - that's hard to do.

What I don't like? - Everything else. If I could do one thing I would have used a more open f-stop so that everything but the horse and rider would not be in focus.


My Critique of Photo 2:

This was shot at a boat party on the Hudson River. The music was crap and too loud. I did manage to get some good shots. Sadly, this wasn't one of them. I had made some crack at him and he made this pose and I grabbed the shot.

What I like? - The guy's shirt and tattoos. 

What I don't like? - My shutter speed was too slow so there is slight motion which softens the focus. I would have preferred everyone in the background to be soft focus, with my subject sharp.


My Critique of Photo 3:

What I like? - This was an awesome moose. She was a real ham. It's cool that I have two jumping animals with the same file number.

What I don't like? - While it's very cool that I caught the moose jumping a fence, There were other photos in this series that are much better. It needs to be more arty.


My Critique of Photo 4:

I took this at the Harmony Festival in Northern California. 

What I like? - I love the relationship between Charlie Musselwhite and his guitar player. It tells a story. I also like the up angle, and how they look as if they are leaning toward each other. I thank the 24mm lens.

What I don't like? - It could have been better.


My Critique of Photo 5:

This is Ryan Coogler. He was in his very early 20's when he wrote and directed Fruitvale Station. He's now 28 and is in post production on another movie he wrote and directed called Creed, starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa where he mentors his nemesis's (Apollo) grandson.

What I like? - Him. He was sweet and smart so I took a pic with my phone. I like the composition and the moment.

What I don't like? - I wish I had taken it with my 35mm camera. This one's a bit too grainy.

Baseball - Photography Tip #9

I used to shoot a lot of baseball. Little league, high school, college, and occasionally the majors. I prided myself in catching the ball in the frame, especially a major league fastball. It's not all that easy to do.

I like this shot because it has a frozen-in-time feeling. And it tells a story. A story that keeps the viewer guessing 'what happens next?'. Without the ball in the photo, it would be a story of anticipating the arrival of the ball. But with the ball in the frame the viewer sees the story of three grown men staring at the ball, engaging the viewer to wonder wonder what happened. Did the batter lay down a perfect bunt or did he whiff? Then there's the photographers in the background. Most of them are focused toward the field. Classic.


My photography tip is, when you are shooting any kind of movement you need to anticipate what is going to move, how it's going to move, and most importantly, when it's going to move. That means you have to anticipate when the ball is going to be released, plus decide where you want the ball to be frozen in your frame. How do you do that? Anticipation and practice.