I read A LOT of books on photography. I love them all.
But nothing replaces live training with a professional photog.
So, I have signed up for a class titled “The Art of the Photograph” with Linda Rutenberg, a Montreal based freelance photographer.
What caught my attention about this workshop is the time allocated to critique your work in relation to subject matter, composition and light.
The first class was a little slow as it reviewed concepts of aperture, speed, ISO, depth of field and others geeky things of which I am an expert.
But being an expert of geek does not make me an expert of the art of the photograph.
Last night was the first critique. And it did not turned out like I expected it.
Out of ten pictures, the other class mates had to choose which ones they liked and which didn’t work for them.
Two came out as clear “winners”, two others as “not so much”. And they were not the ones that I had expected.
For example, I thought that this one of the shadow of a tree on a wall would have worked well.
Although it was not rejected by my colleagues, it did not get selected neither. Probably too much of the sidewalk. Maybe this crop would have been better.
One that I thought would have worked was this pic of a close up of the insides of the train central station. the station is donned with a bas-relief all around its inner wall. I personally liked how this detail was “telling the story” of transportation with the word “Nord” (“North” in French) clearly visible. Then again, maybe it was too visible, like taking a picture of someone dead center in your frame. Again, some crop work to do.
Another one that thought would have worked was this one of church candles. I originally wanted to take a close up but I was too close for my Nikon 50mm f/1.8D lens to focus properly. So, I took the shot manually, purposely out of focus. It gave this. I thought it a nice patch of colors, but it turned out, according to my colleagues, more like a blob than anything else. Not telling any story. Too bad as my daughter also like it.
Another one that I liked was this one of a close up of a fence in the cathedral Marie-Reine-du-Monde in Montréal. The bishop is well placed in the picture, respecting the rule of third, although the head was somewhat cropped on the print version. What I had not noticed was that at f/1.8 most of the picture is out of focus. “Zut alors!” (“Darn!”).
One that worked well with most everyone, including my wife and daughter, was this picture of student residence near my house. Is is a typical case of the picture taking me, instead of me taking the picture. I was walking home and I saw the patches of complementary colors.
The other one that most people liked is this one of downtown buildings. Lines, contrast, reflection. I guess that it works, after all, I did select it to be part of the selection of ten.
I also liked the pic of the hinge, so did my daughter. Not sure what went “wrong” with this one :-).
Here are the rest of the pics, maybe you want to vote on them too.