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David Russell's picture

Hit Me with your Critiquing Stick

Well folks I've not been posting much lately as I feel I've been struggling to break my duck this year and produce anything I really like. I grabbed this on Saturday though.

Was a tricky day again. The forecast was for a day of low cloud and thick driving snow. I was well up for this - I love such conditions. Disappointingly the weather was not quite as 'bad' as forecast so there was only a smattering of snow and weak, flaccid light.

However, this semi ruined cottage offered a glimmer of hope by providing a decent subject if I could just capture it evocatively. Did I succeed? Hit me with your critiques.

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Jeff Walsh's picture

I cant tell if the house is leaning weird or the horizon isn't level, but it was the first thing I noticed. Also, the bottom right of the roof is just too damn white. Hurts my eyes to look. It's an extremely interesting shot, tons of character, love the black and white, bit the contrast is too heavy for my tastes. Also, if possible I'd try and bring back some mid tones in the snow on the bottom right. and shadows to the left. Not much, because it sets the mood, but a little, in my opinion.

I might even, if you have PS, use the clone stamp with a 0% softness and copy over some of the left side snow over the very bright patches on the right.

David Russell's picture

Thanks Jeff. The squint horizon is done in post to deliberately unsettle the eye. I quite like the effect.

Toning down some of the brighter bits is a good shout, cheers.

Jeff Walsh's picture

If it's deliberate, awesome. It does accomplish your goal.

joseph cole's picture

i feel like this should be a brown hue with dirt and dust on it to make it look like a turn of the century shot. as is i think you need a subject person/animal in the frame. might be a good sunrise or sunset location with some fog keep this location in mind when you get some

John Vander Ploeg's picture

I’d like to see it in color, I think the snow kinda gets lost in the black and white, at first glance it looks overexposed.

Radisa Zivkovic's picture

Nice moody image David with some good weather condition. I would try with a different composition. I would raise the frame up to the edge of the fence and grab more of the sky, which would look even better if it had fallen more snow.

David Russell's picture

Yes definitely agree on that one - especially had it been more snowy :)

Alan Brown's picture

What an interesting building David - I love old structures like this myself. To possibly repeat others I find the image overly contrasty, losing detail both in the highlights and in the shadows, perhaps that can be improved unless that was your intent.
The sloping verticals do produce discord, but I think this actually works in telling the story and is offset somewhat by vertical fence posts.
On the composition side I think I would have liked to see more of the left, less of the right. That would place the building off center and create more of a lead in from those wonderful posts. I would also like to see 10% more sky, 10% less foreground as I don't think that is helping the image.
Wonderful subject though with lots of potential - if you have the chance to revisit it would be worth taking from multiple angles as there could be many 'winners'.

Ivan Lantsov's picture

TV antenna makes shot perfect!