request for a serious critique


TPF Noob!
Apr 19, 2003
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Pasco, WA
As I stated in a post elsewhere, here's my example of how to ask for a critique. A critique versus a "pat-on-the-back, you-guys-really-love-me" type response.

This pic was taken on film by me in 1975 in the local airport while I was on my way to California to fly to Hawaii to report for duty. It was taken at sunrise. I shot it through a set of glass doors, focusing on the windows to the left in the frame. The sun is passing through the far windows and reflecting off the inner windows.

Here's the request (even though this was an example post, feel free to blast away since it's here :D )-

If you were going to print this shot (for publication/to hang on the wall/whatever) what would you do to it?

Specifically, would you crop it? If so, where?
Would you leave the reflections in the foreground (above the people's heads) or would you darken that portion of the pic?
Would you leave it this dark, or would you lighten it up some?

Bear in mind that this is a low-res digital dupe (using a Nikon Coolpix 4500) of a 28 year old slide, so I know there are some dust spots etc. that need to be removed, so you don't need to comment on those.


Thanks for looking.

I think that everything that is lighted is well centered in the picture by the black border. I like it the way it is. I don't know what you could do with a picture that old to make it any better. BTW the mid 70s was when I became interested in photography and bought my first 35mm camera, a Minolta SRT 101. I wish I still had it.
I tend to think in 16:9 which your picture lends itself to. I see no reason to fiddle with anything else.
Does look pretty good but i would look at a crop of the top and bottom, not totally mind you but i think there's just a little too much black compared to the rest of the image.

Travelling on duty??? Hmmm i'm surprised you weren't unconcious in the airport bar! :) Wouldn't be the first person and won't be the last either :)
Perhaps a few things to think about....

I do find that red glare above the guy a little distracting and removing it would i feel only add to the shot.

I like the idea of cropping to a 16:9 type shot and think this would work well

and i would look at the positioning of the shot, i don't know wether it's just my eye or an illusion created by the image itself, but i see it on a slight tilt, perhaps something to look at and fix up a bit.
I've looked at this image over and over unsure how to approach any critique.
So at the risk of sounding all negative I have to say that the image doesn't do a whole lot for me personally. I find that there is too much darkness surrounding the main area of the photo. When I look at it the first thing that my eyes are drawn to is this beautiful coloured sunrise behind the glass then to the people and back again. Kind of a visual ping pong. It would have been nice if the people were sitting in the seats by the sunrise.
I even went as far as saving the photo and viewing it in an editing program, adjusting the gamma as much as possible hoping to reveal more. Unfortunately the only thing was it seemed to show that the people may in fact be back to the sunrise facing the camera.
I am very sorry I could not find more positive feedback to give but it is my personal and honest view of what I see.
I would agree with others, that there is too much black. I looked at it cropped and thought about trying to bring out the glass cabinet on the left in the hope of enhancing the depth of the scene. It would probably give slightly better results here, to work from the slide directly. I probably would’ve posted it in Bloopers saying ….if only I had flash fill in!!

Now, does anyone have any Humble pie I can eat? or should I just close my account at The Photoforum first? :D
Thank you all for your comments. This was totally a "grab the moment shot" as I was walking into the waiting area to board the plane.

dlc- me too. This was somewhere in the first 10 rolls of film I ever shot with a SLR.

bism- thanks.

luckydog- I tend to agree, especially with the reflection in the upper right. Oh btw- bar wasn't open. It were sunrise not sunset. (unfortunately) :cry:

hojamohoho- I think it's the angle of the door frame in the middle that throws your eyeballs off a bit. I wasn't exactly centered left/right and the right edge is closer than the left edge so you get some of that "spatial distortion" thing going. Agree on the red glow. If I ever do print this I'll remove it.

conk- no problem at all. It's so damn dark because when I took it I was struck by the sun & that's what I was focused on (visually & photographically) when I took the shot. And actually, I think they were facing me. Hard to say after 28 years though. I know he was, not sure about her.

Synergy- nope, the balance of the shot is grossly underexposed, but that's what I wanted- the sunrise. At the time, having people & other potentially interesting things in the frame were far from my mind. Be nice to go back, but he terminal has been remodeled 3 or 4 times in the intervening years. And I don't think flash would'a worked through the glass doors. With the 12 acres of glass in this shot I'm totally amazed that there's any image at all... :lol:

doxx- thanks, glad you liked it.

Again, thanks to all for your comments. It provides valuable input for deciding what to do with this shot (if anything).

Jim :D
Hmm.... I love this picture. I am an avid traveler, and I've seen this scene before... People in the airport, sun on the horizon. It makes me feel a little anxious and a little tired all at the same time, as if I were about to embark on another adventure or returning home after a long flight, happy to be home.

I like the reflections right were they are, the line of chairs and the silhouettes on the colorful sun-kissed sky. It's very thought provoking. There's a lot going on, and little surprises in the shadows.

Thanks for posting it!


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