Our Photography Courses Blog

A spot of mentoring for Lawrence

Our photography mentoring service gives you a theme every month.  Customers send in three pictures which we review and send back.  Some of our mentoring customers have bravely allowed their pictures and mentoring to be viewed by other people to help their photography.  So here goes – this is a shot Lawrence took for this month’s theme – Aged

Lawrences original shot for mentoring. The theme was aged

Lawrences original shot for mentoring. The theme was aged. Shot at 57mm equivalent at f11 1/30th

Here’s the mentoring advice from Phil – we usually look at technical and compositional elements separately:

Bridge – nice shot, great splash of colour.  Edited to a slightly weird aspect ratio – be careful if you want to put it in a frame!  Technically it looks ok, although you are pushing it slightly with the shutter speed – f9 might have been better. 

The f11 shutter has given a shutter speed that is hard to hand hold (1/30th, probably two times too long).  f9 would have made it much more possible for little change to the depth of field.  

Compositionally, there is a car through the bridge that looks like it is moving.  It’s a big distraction.  The pipes also ruin the curve of the bridge, which is a shame.

The composition is the main problem with this shot, we’re not really sure what we should be looking at.  This makes it hard to decipher the image. I’ve edited the picture tighter for emphasis – see what you think:

Phil's edit

Phil's edit - a bit more emphasis

Obviously this is a very different picture, but Phil’s crop gives us somewhere to go visually and loses a lot of irrelevant parts of the picture.  We tend to go for drama, urgency, interest – why should the viewer want to look?  What have you seen that should strike them?  

Having sent these to Lawrence, here’s what he said:

Thank you for the feedback which as usual is excellent. I see exactly what you mean regarding the Bridge. Despite looking at the image several times I never saw those stupid pipes or car in background!!! Damn!!!!


Thanks to Lawrence for letting us use this example.  Brave man!!






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