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Ready Now

Melissa Kirkham Melissa Kirkham 604 posts

Ok old one but I like it, cant for the life of me work out what distracts me though.

This is from my Victorian whore series done at Aradale (nothing to do with the asylum itself)

ok let me find you some details (bare with me this may take a while)

Camera – Canon 350D
Fstop – f/3.5
Exp Time – 1/30sec
ISO – 100

oddoutlet oddoutlet 537 posts

the piece of wood on the floor?

Carisma Carisma 291 posts

I think is the door hinges – they are very stark…..

MKWhite MKWhite 336 posts

For me, it’s the lack of lighting on her face. My eye is drawn there.

Melissa Kirkham Melissa Kirkham 604 posts

MKW I think that may be it after looking it at and seeing your comment I will see if I can do anything about her face :)

Ersu Yuceturk Ersu Yuceturk 189 posts

It’s the boots they should more pronounced :)

With the leg hanging out and the dressed puled back she wants to show off her boots, but we can’t really see them.

Mark German Mark German 5225 posts

Great to see others participating here. It becomes difficult to address everyone’s submission :)

I won’t do a whole critique unless you need one Mel – but the issue with this photo is a combination of the above comments – and more.

Visually, there are too many distracting elements, competing with the subject and not aiding the story. The woman’s costume is at odds with the door -and there is no apparent reason for this. The door frame and door is bright enough to draw the eye away from the subject – yet is not, in itself, interesting. The plank of wood feels out of place. Light is coming from the left – where there is apparently a window – open. The woman gives her back to the window – but why? She is wearing boots that again feel at odds to the costume – but we can’t really see them, even though she is doing her best to expose them by the pose and lifting her skirts.

The story is confusing. It feels contrived (which, of course, it was). This turns me away almost instantly.

Technically, I feel you did not maximise the use of available light, nor use your own to enhance the scene. I can’t help feeling this may have looked better – with the woman perhaps sitting on a chair, forgetting about her boots for a minute, maybe with her head in her hands, looking towards the light (‘window’). And without that door…

BYRON BYRON 12080 posts

OK, my dissection…

Composition: The elements in this image aren’t working together to tell me anything.

-Why is the wooden plank on the floor?
-Why did you keep it in the image?
-How does it enhance your intent?

My first rule of composition is this: If its in the shot then put it in the shot, or take it out alltogether. Less is often more. Be clear about what you are trying to say to the viewer.

Use all the elements of the image to tell your story.

The door…the door… the distortion on the door is very distracting. What does the door mean? I don’t understand why she is leaning against it…

Try to create some kind of relationship or story between your subject and their environment. Or juxtapose them completely… a pretty girl in a harsh confronting environment or the other way around.

As a general rule: the back of people’s heads are rather boring… unless there is a reason. I don’t see a reason why I am looking at the back of her head.

Look at this image by Jessica Tremp:

See how 2 of the subject’s faces are visible? I am curious now… why wont Jessica show me the 3rd girl’s face? Aaaah a bit mof mystery here… I like that!

See how they interact with the environment in such a way as to create some interest? I am curious now… I want to know more… is she floating, hanging or have we caught her in mid-jump?

The 3 girls seem rather playfull, especially the girl on the floor.

I think they are in a laundromat playing while waiting for their clothes to dry.

I can create my own interpretation, my own story, because there are clear messages and the elements are not confusing that message. Everything that needs to be in this image is there. everything else has been removed.

Lighting: You have some nice sideways lighting here, and you didn’t use it to your best advantage.

You have lit the back of the woman, but the interesting parts – her face and torso are in shadow. All I can see is her right arm and her back… not very interesting. Its just not keeping my attention.

The door is way too bright and keeps calling the viewer’s eye back to it. And I am guessing the door was not meant to be the subject of the photo.

Try squinting your eyes when you look at your work. What can you see? What draws your eye? Its not the woman – its the door, and the dress where she is holding it.

You should have turned her to face the light. Let us see her.

The subject might have looked better against the wall, there are some nice tones and textures there.

Also, getting a good exposure when you have a bright white door in an otherwise dark room is going to hard.

I too feel that the image feels contrived. Why is she holding her dress like that? She looks pretentious to me, and that is ok, but you have not given me a reason why she should look or make the viewer feel that way.

When taking a photo, especially of this style, you need to be clear about what you want to say to the viewer. As you can tell I have too many questions about your intent, so your message is lost.

May I suggest looking at the work of the following RedBubble artists, they are both extraordinary exponents of this style:

Jo Obrien


Jessica Tremp

Mary Campbell Mary Campbell 948 posts

The crooked door distracts me.. Get out the guide lines and straighten it up. Her position right in the center doesn’t work for me either, I’d crop it differently so she’s to the left side with he leg in some negative space. That would take care of the door hinges too. As well as the floor boards, which could be offset to lead you into her. Lighting could be better to highlight some of the things you feel are important for the viewer. Otherwise its ok.