Yes, it’s the 2nd Sunday of the month, but the 1st was the 1st of January, so it was a bit early to do the review of the month on the theme of the the late 😀
(If you don’t know Dimanche Critique Photo, I invite you to read the article in which I present the operation).
Fire, then, but I had allowed derivative subjects such as Christmas lights. Good surprise, there was still a real effort and I got some nice pictures with real fire. It’s true that between the little Christmas candles and the fires of chimney to warm up, December was actually good enough for photos around that.
For the impatient, the theme for January 2012 will be… the earth ! And yes, I’d done the other three, so I’ll just finish. You obviously have the right to use your imagination, and to divert the theme (with earth colors, planet Earth, or things more down to earth :P).
Pictures of the month
We start with an image that is not at all in the theme, but that literally struck me. An image very strong in its message (even if he’s not the gayest), and to the mastered technique from one end to the other and, above all, at the service of history and message. A exact specification associated with a depth of field just right to highlight the subject while subtly revealing the face in the background. A ground level shooting which gives a truly original point of view, which also makes it possible to decrease the area of sharpness indirectly by increasing the actual depth of the image. A very nice light well highlighted by a controlled contrasts, while retaining low-saturated colours that go very well at this scene.
We continue with an image that corresponds well to the theme, to the simpler subject but also well done. Nice focus, good depth of field. I show it to you especially so that you watch the light in this scene. If you look closely, there’s the the late obviously, which broadcasts a warm lightwhich you can see very well on the dogs’ backs, and there’s also a window most likely, which broadcasts a much cooler lightwhich appears almost bluish in comparison (although it is probably about neutral in reality). These 2 very different sources of light are in my opinion what makes the image interesting. Tip for you: always observe the different light sources 😉
And finally, a very seasonal image that captures the holiday mood. A clever composition and the use of depth-of-field blurring to integrate a foreground (left) and a background contribute to give a lot of depth to the image while keeping the subject very clear. Succeeded!
Coincidence or not, these 3 images were photographed with a 50 mm f/1.8. You don’t change a team that wins 😉
The most :
- A pretty composition It’s classic and more or less meets the rule of thirds, but it works. We can feel here the part of respect for the rules (eye on a vertical line of thirds) and instinct (eye centered vertically). Intuition is good. The candles are well integrated in the foreground. I just regret the cut ear. I really like the choice to frame very tightly, but it is more personal 😉
- A nice black and white Contrasting as it should be, highlighting his face, the light in his neck, and above all the volutes of smoke. Maybe I would have even contrasted a little more, or at least added some clarity.
- Timing These are magic candles (which re-light themselves), and at that very moment one of them is just re-lighting.
The least :
The focus was on the candles, not on the child’s eyes. That in itself is not a bad choice, and it’s even more of a good choice original and well thought out Focus on the situation and not the child himself. Except that here, with the diaphragm closed at f/5.6, the depth of field is large enough that we have first the impression of a focus error. One wonders whether it’s done on purpose or not: indeed, his face is still slightly blurred (it shows up well in large), but blurred as if the focus had been done on the side.
My personal choice would have been wide-open shot…and to take the side of blurring the child’s face. Only considering the focal length, I guess the lens used must be a 55-200mm or probably a 200mm, which doesn’t allow to open more than f/5.6 at full zoom. It’s a good idea to shoot at full zoom to take advantage of the lowest possible depth of field. But like here it wasn’t enough, I would have closed a little more (f/8 would have been more than enough) to get the candles AND the child clean.
But this is not easy, of course, especially in the heat of the moment. This is the kind of detail that can be mastered with practice 😉
I’ll see you next month, for the Sunday Photo Review on the theme of the earth which I will write from India 😉
And don’t forget to share the article! 🙂