# Posted: 20 Sep 09 21:24
IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART IN THE WORKSHOP PLEASE READ CAREFULLY THE RULES BELOW:
1. Join the workgroup in this link The of members list will be open all the time (to get in and to get out).
2. Each member of the workgroup agrees in being a critic for other members (not necessarily all them) and being criticized by the rest of members (not necessarily all them).
3. The main idea is to make a critic of a whole work from a photographer and not only of a picture. It’s aviced to browse to the whole collection of the photographer under critics (but it’s not obligatory, specially considering that there are some very large portafolios).
4. Nevertheless, a sample around 20 pictures selected by the photographer will be posted in the appropriate forum thread in order to highlight which pictures the photographer considers as the best examples of his/her photographic work. The critics will take specially these pictures into account, but all the collection can be browsed and used for the critic’s work.
5. All opinions must be accepted by all members, like it or not. The only limits for the critics is to be sincere, to be polite and to be constructive. This is supposed to be a workshop to learn... if you want flattery just have a look at the normal comments in your pictures.
6. All aspects of photography would be under critics: quality, quantity, originality, subject, composition, light, colour, white balance, edition, etc... But this doesn't mean that you must criticize all these things. Concerning the critics, you will find a very good summary in Miguel's blog here: ".Elements of Analysis
7. This workgroup doesn't intend to be an "exclusive club for experienced photographers". All members are wellcome, with all photographic levels... (If you don't know about white balance, depth of field, ISO, etc... just tell us "I like your collection or I don't like it at all and try to explain why with your own words...)
8. The strategy "you scratch my back and I scratch yours" is not accepted in such a workgroup... Let's be serious...
Now some ideas about the way to carry this out:
1st. Join the group in the forum linked before.
2nd. You will be in a queue and you will have to wait to your turn to post your own gallery in a new forum topic. There will be 4 members showing their collections at the same time for one week.
3rd. When it's your turn post a forum topic with the title: "CRITICS WORKSHOP: Member’s nickname gallery". In this topic you will cut and paste these rules and those written above and post around 20 pictures selected from your own collection. It would be nice also if you could write few words about your photographic work: what are you interested in, what do you want to transmit with your pictures, for how long you are a photographer... and whatever you think it’s important to consider for a critic.
# Posted: 20 Sep 09 21:27 - Edited by: TBM
Here are the 20 pictures of my selected gallery:
NOTE: All the pictures in this gallery were taken in the latest two years, since I joined Woophy. All were taken with compact Canon cameras - first an A70 with very few megapixels, then with a G9. As you can easily see, I'm interested in landscapes - both urban and natural. Most of my pictures are edited - I usually adjust istogram and saturation and correct the crop. Very often, layers are added in order to darken the sky, highlight reflections and burn edges. Some pictures are panoramas, made by stithcing togeter 2 or more photos.
# Posted: 20 Sep 09 21:55
To be honest, this is my piece of cake ! Simple pictures full of colours, emotions and atmosphere ! That's the editing, cropping, saturing,... -level I want to reach. And I'm sure I'm going to reacht it.
Ruden has a master-idea with this kind of topic ! I think that's the way we can learn from each other.
# Posted: 20 Sep 09 22:11
::inserts another doors-album into the cd-player::
right. i appologize right here to you and all the other photographers for being less detailed as in ruden's case. else, i'd never see the light of day, if i kept up the practise of commenting about every single picture. let's say, ruden got a good start because he started it.
now, to your images. i *love* them!!! where ruden succeeds with his colours, i find your preferance for subdued colours just as good. this is like your personal touch. in my opinion (don't listen to me!!!), i would say, do away with all the colourful images and concentrated on the monochromatic style and b&w-photography. this is where i see your strongest work. in particular, i like the picture of the wooden bench, the one with the big number and the harbour scene with the sea gulls (although i still find that blue dot/poster) does not belong there.
i find the composition with the big stone lion and the girl petting his marble fur coat so endearing. it's just what little girls do. pet a big kitty. again the subdued colous work wonder. it would have been easy to leave the original colours, but then it would have easily become a shmalzy and kitschy picture. extra sweet and such. but your choice of colour is all about focusing the viewer's attention on the two main pritagonists and their 'relationship'.
to end with a critical note: the kissing couple and the last picture just don't do it for me. your personal touch is somehow missing here. and these two appear just flat where the other images are succeeding so well. maybe you should give them the same treatment of less colour but more depth.
# Posted: 20 Sep 09 22:32
Lots of colours where you need it, and less colour where you don't need it.
That's the way to do it.
Landscapes, cityscapes, some candid, it's all there.
No critics? Perhaps there's not to much surprising pictures: that picture you pick out of a page containing 100 pics: that picture that get's the eye immediately.
They are all good: but I miss the very special one.
I can see developement: the first pic is an example: it's a bit different.
The candid of the kissing couple, the child with the lion and the man walking alone (the pillars!) are very good.
# Posted: 21 Sep 09 00:46 - Edited by: Martin de Rijk
TBM, you can tell landscapes are your first choice. What I like the most in your pictures is the time you spend on getting them right. It shows. You have a good eye for light and composition. Like Ruden your b&w pictures are very well balanced with good clear contrasts.
I like it when the composition brings som extra's. #5 is a fine example for me. Still a picture with a small story like # 10, and 17 are my favorites too. The dimensions the pilars get thanks to this man is great, the tenderness of the girl with the lion is beautiful.
And talking about emotions, sorry but #1 is kind of boring to me, certainly not the quality of all others.
I hope to see a lot more of your pictures, they are very inspirational.
# Posted: 21 Sep 09 08:19
Having viewed Ruden's first I feel there were things I would liked to have seen in place to assist us to critique on what is being presented before us. One was perhaps a little explanation of the work itself and maybe about the character of the person.
You have explained well at the beginning about your choice of subjects and that helps me build a picture.
I will be honest I some how miss your work when it comes onto line so I thought I know little of this person and am trying to build a mental picture of you through your work,so lets give it my best shot.
well I think your a man after my own heart in as much as you like buildings, countryside and an eye for detail. I suspect you're aged between 40 and 50 and come from Europe not sure could be Portugal.
Generally I find viewing your work for the first time I like some of your building work very much.
Your first composition seems in completely different contrast to all else you have done and I don't feel it fits in with the image I have of you.
Your work with reflections looks well detailed and you certainly have captured some good detailed work with your b/w.
If I was to be honest I do not like the last shot of your portfolio, for some strange reason mountains to me should look picturesque but this one catches my eye for the wrong reasons.
Overall I have found that you have drawn me in to look at your work in future, also there is one shot I like very much and that is the tower with the birds flying close around it and it just has that hint of blue.
Your work is diverse and gives out plenty of new ideas for me, Thank you TBM
# Posted: 21 Sep 09 09:29
TBM, hi! I'll be completely honest about your photos.
You have an eye for the interesting spots out there, and your compositions hits in all of these photos except one. I'd crop away the small part of the blue sky in your second photo to create a tighter and more "to the case" kind of photo. You have an excellent variation of photos. Keep them coming.
Sorry, not to be any more strict, but there is no reason for it!
# Posted: 21 Sep 09 14:18
Your portfolio Mr. TBM. has something to offer for everyone! I like your landscape and cityviews very much, they belong to the very best on Woophy.
Asked for any critical remarks then I would mention that I am less touched in my deeper emotions in your pictures, I would advise you to focus on that part of photography but I know from my own experience that it is easily said than done in our present well to do societies.
My favourites are the nrs. 9 to 11 above . Looking at the quality of your comments I realise that my analysis is rather poor but it is the best I can do!
# Posted: 21 Sep 09 21:48
well, we are here to criticize : let's go !
first, I must admit that, even looking in large at all pics that interest me ( and yours are in this case ), I sometimes miss some details; some examples :
in your pic from Rapallo, i was under the influence of the atmospher and didn't notice the blue poster ; today, i see it and it disturbs me
in your pic from Pienza, the polar grey ,the green almost mineral , made it but today, i see a little tree on the left corner that shouldn't escape your vigilance !
i'm happy you didn't select your "tampered" Portofino shot but i miss your that is, for me, an author photo ;
your work is always "well licked" ( can we say that in english to talk about a work with perfect finishes?) and your emotions are subtly reflected in it ( I had a smile while reading your advice to Ruden )
in your selection, the pic i like less is the one from Gerona, where I find the colours too bright ( but i know a lot of _ good _ photographers like them a lot );
except your Populonia shot, i prefer your colour pics than your B&W (maybe because i'm waiting for colours from an Italian ?
you manage them so well that sometimes, i wonder if you have an embedded spectrophotometer in your brain
in this selection, my favourite is, as many of us, "caressing the lion"
# Posted: 22 Sep 09 09:05
Anyone has other taste.
For me ; I’m a maniac for sharpness, no noise and no overexposed pictures, unless it is what it wanted to be shown.
I would never dare to say that my pictures are always sharp, without noise and never overexposed.. i still work on it to develop myself in that behalf. It’s just what i see the first about technique in a picture.
of course it is also important that the picture has a attraction to the eye, if it’s a form, a scene or even color. The compo is as much important as the technique. And i prefer contrast in the picture.
But : No rules without exceptions !
Technically they all good, the quality is outstanding (specially for woophy, sorry had to say that )
The landscapes are your speciality I would say. They all are perfect, the compos are real eye catcher.
My favorites are
-the man walking through the arcade
-the little girl caressing the big stone lion (strange, no landscapes )
there are also a few they attract my eye not at all. But I guess this is a matter of taste. the first 2, those with the snow, the lat with the façade...
The house standing lonely at the seashore, I don’t like that much because of the birds. Without them it would be better. At least for me
# Posted: 22 Sep 09 22:36
The photo’s you’ve selected and the others you’ve uploaded generally are of a high quality. Beautiful colours and light, well composed, cropped, edited and framed. Professional! (As your comments and advices for other Woophians are too. Thanks.)
I have a slight preference for your full colour work. Though I’m very charmed by ‘The wood in a winter day’ (excellent, and my favourite of your 20 selected) and ‘Avinguda diagonal’ (surprising and a bit different from most of your other photo’s).
‘Frosty morning in Val D’Orcia’ is one of my favourites too. A great variety of shades of black, grey, blue etc., beautiful lines and curves, well composed and cropped.
‘Monte Bianco Massif’ has got wonderful colours and light; and it’s a beautiful landscape; but I’m missing something; the scenery is perfect, but some other element (a walker for instance) would have lifted this photo to a higher level.
And then: the things you see, your eye, the most important ‘weapon’ of a photographer: your first selected photo, the abstract and artistic cityscape; the Venice-window-photo (houses looking as human beings); and (already mentioned by others): the child caressing the stone lion… Very good.
Your selection is very inviting. So I will have a renewed look at your portfolio later.
# Posted: 23 Sep 09 20:38
What a diverse selection of photographs; everything from wide panaramic vistas showing wonderful landscapes to semi street photography.
Your careful selection ensures that the most common criticisms such as sharpness, white balance or composition have little relevence. Any criticism, as the panel's comments have rightly shown, are limited to personal likes or dislikes, or aesthetic prejudices. As such, I must echo the common sentiments of the the panel and say that I would be proud to be the author of such a portfolio.
As it appears a requirement to make a criticism, mine in this - almost every photograph has a different, and unique, aspect ratio, which suggest heavy post-shoot processing. It would be intersting to see the original files if only to see the raw materials that produced this master-work.
# Posted: 24 Sep 09 17:01
There is no doubt you really think about the photos before you take them, maybe that's why I miss a bit more of a passsion in them...I suppose that's why my favorites among yours are Piazza Sant Pietro, girl and the lion, and the "Hitchcock movie scene" as I would call your 694823 ...all these pics have something in common; you did not have a lot of time to think about them and you had to shot before the magic was gone, and I belive becouse you had to react quite quick the emotions could not "run away" out of capture....
I supose if someone else is also reading this it won't make him a lot of sense, but you know how I look at the photos, it's more about fillings than anything else, and I 'm shure you'll (somehowe) understand.
It's hard for me to talk about landscapes and cityscapes cos I do not fill atracted by them...of course it is obvious that they are very well composed, beautiful sights taken with a lot of care and consideration but they are just not the pics I would look at them more than twice...If you would put them together in a book or in a blog post they would work perfect... together in one place acompanied with a few words they would became much more stronger and atractive, and I really think every publisher of hiking books would be very very pleased with them, not to meantion the readers of such books....
There is someting else too; I know you are a man with great sense of humor, and I would be really happy to find that charming quality of yours also in your pics, cos now if I would judge you just by the pics I would say you are way to serious and to eager to get it perfect
# Posted: 25 Sep 09 13:06 - Edited by: PBX
- I must say I did not know your portfolio and I was surprised at the quality and diversity of its collection
- I like the color and light in your photos
- I do not like the pictures in black and white
- The pictures # 550303 and # 610581 are very strong
# Posted: 25 Sep 09 21:11 - Edited by: Abílio Silveira
Mario: when analysing your portfolio, we conclude that your main interests are landscape pictures (nature and villages). You have fine examples in this selection. You present us well framed pictures, with interesting colors (but you also manage very well in black and white) and the compositions you accomplish are very appealing to the eyes. Technically, there is no problem to point (here and there, perhaps you have some too bright or too sharp pictures).
I would like to point that pictures 735918 and 700098 (that you didn't select) are my favourites among your landscapes.
Your sense of humour is well demonstrated in pictures 823321, 710481 and 399786.
Besides, I also like your pictures 616660 and 608307, both revealing unusual points of view and a smart eye.
I left to the end my favourites among your pictures:
The overwhelming power of time, isn't it? Like a Big Brother caressing our minds.
Three rectangles, three lamps, three silhouettes of people and composed in a way that all the rectangles have different dimensions, all the lamps are not symmetrical and every person has a different pose. All this was possible in that particularly moment (this is probably the best definition of photography I know). And a horse has a bonus.
They are both clever interpretations of reality and with a signature. And, although I like your portfolio as a whole (I didn't see one bad picture), I wish you had much more of these.
# Posted: 25 Sep 09 23:52
It was a great pleasure looking at your portfolio (managed about a half of it so far). You seem to have a special eye for colors and light which I personally value very high in photography.
Imo, you do much better with photos with certain subjects in them -- be it people or some object. There is some catch lacking in your landscapes and, to me, the composition or crop is sometimes questionable, too. They are just a bit plain, even though the colors and the light are consistently beautiful.
What I liked best in your photos is -- I'll repeat again -- the play of colors, like here:
...and conceptual, story-telling images like this:
To me, such images 'speak'
I'm not sure whether it's my place to give advice (I'm no professional) but I would suggest to experiment with different crops and compositions/point of views in your landscapes. And keep up the great work with color!
Thank you, and I'll be looking forward to more of your work.
# Posted: 26 Sep 09 14:43 - Edited by: Ruden Fretsbo
You are among my favorites photographers in woophy. Your collection is always pleasant to visit, because of different things:
1st. The quality of your pictures is out of discussion: always sharp, well balanced, very well edited, etc...
2nd. Your collection is short enough (164 pictures today). It probably means that you are often making a selection of pictures and erasing those that you thing dont' deserve so much attention. This is a very good habit
3rd. Your pictures are really sensitive and suggestive. You have also a particular style. This is very important. Your images suggests emotions, and that's for me essential...
4th. Among your pictures there are real pearls. Moreover, you try to be original and experimenting with photography, and this I like very much. I love your PS compositions!
One of my most favourite pictures in all woophy belongs to you:
And I think these are too among the best in woophy:
... as you will notice, I like very much your b&w pictures, I think you have a very good eye for b&w!
Now let's go for the "weaker points", just in my modest opinion, of course:
- I think your weaker point is the composition. I think you tend to place some important elements of the scene too much at the corners or the higher/lower parts of the image. Also sometimes you crop out some parts of elements that are not essential but are also important to the overall scene. I think you could be more aware of this little things. For instance:
I think it's an interesting picture, but the problem is that the "doodles" are just placed too high. Maybe above this figures there was something disturbing and you cropped it out because of this, but it makes the compo unbalanced imo.
In this one I think you cropped too much and the scene looks "compressed"... for me it needs some empty space to relax the eye.
Again one of the elements (the house) is placed completely at the top and looks "squashed" at the top.
In this pictures the birds should be rather in the top right... Of course you can not ask the seaguls to stay there... hahahah, but you can wait for a better shot and it would make a better composition. Another minor problem is that you cropped out one seagul's foot... poor animal
This is really a wonderful picture of a ladscape. The only problem for me (minor problem anyway) is that the tree in the bottom right is really important for the picture and it's a little bit too much in the corner... Maybe I'm too obsessive with this kind of things...
This one is for me the "exception to the rule" of what I said. In this case the door and the silhouette are also in the extreme corner, but in this case it suits very much with the diagonal line and the composition benefits from it.
This one is not in your sample, but I like it also a lot... The problem is that the hand is essential in this wonderful abstract picture, and this hand has only four and a half fingers instead of five...
About your edition work:
I find it really very good. You almost never go too far away... maybe with the exception of some too darkened skies and maybe an slight tendence to underexpose some pictures (this I share with you I'm afraid)
Also this picture: has some edition problems that I already told you in my comment on the picture. But the rest of editions look really great, with a particular mention to your wonderful "experiments":
(btw, this one has also this problem of "squashed" element in the top of the image)
I think that you can really enhance even more your pictures taking into account the composition (don't place elements too far away) and being aware of your cropping.
A big big hug to you Mario!
P.S. Next time you come to Barcelona I'll kidnap you at least for a couple of beers!!
# Posted: 26 Sep 09 19:55
I love landscapes that drag me in and it happened to me several times that after opening and enlarging one of yours I still could be found staring at it after ten minutes or more...
Something that has been mentioned in several posts before mine is very true I think, there is a high constant level of quality in your whole collection of pictures as there is in your comments I think. I know this workshop has not been created to start another flattering round about each others pictures but for this one...
...I think it should be allowed.
Another one that will always stay on my mind is the 'timetrim', giving proof of your editing skills.
And now the critical part...
like I mentioned in Ruden's topic, I'm not a good critic, my technical knowledge is too poor to be one but I'm hoping to learn to look in a more critical way at pictures by what I will be reading here and by joining this workshop I hope to finally find some people here who have a proper look at my pictures too and dare to tell me what I'm doing wrong if they know.
One remark I think I could make, I noticed you sometimes make very tight crops that you still post in a rather large size, this results in a loss of detail and less crispier looking pictures, posting these in a smaller size might be a good idea...
# Posted: 27 Sep 09 21:22
just a few lines to thank you all for your kind interest to my portfolio.
It was a great pleasure to hear that most of you liked my pictures. It was even a greater pleasure to receive so many interesting and useful critics.
I want to be completely sincere: I am convinced that you critics are just, there are really many things I have to improve in order to reach the picture that, as Joopvandjik said "you pick out of a page containing 100 pics". Many of you pointed out that my pictures lack passion and emotion: this is a shortcoming I will seriously try to mend.
A special thank to Ruden, for launching this exciting forum topic and for his sharp analysis of my gallery. In the next weeks, I will try to answer privately to all.
But last and above all: if some of my pictures have given a sort of emotion to some of you - and this seems to have happened, according to some comments - this is simply one of the greatest joys of my life. It means that those little unimportant instants of my life (when I noticed that priest walking in the colonnade of Piazza San Pietro, or the mist flowing on the frosty hills of Val d'Orcia) have become something that can be shared across time and space, something that can reach distant people who, now, have received the same visual experience as me. It means that those insatnts have been rescued from the ocean of the millions of trivial and meaningless happenings of our life.
This is the power of photography.