Photo Review - Paris in Red by Frederic Mckinney



"This wonderful woman in red may have fourth priority in this cultural arrangement, but to me, she is the standout." Frederic Mckinney

Initial Thoughts & Plus Points

Before we get on to the things that are done well for this photo, the photographer's description is important and a key guideline for reviewing this photo - Without it we wouldn't know what the focus was meant to be on.

Dutch Angle - The dutch angle is a way of angling our shot at certain degrees, clockwise or counterclockwise. Simplified, it's just a way of shooting without following any horizontal or vertical anchor guidelines in the scene. Since the Dutch angle method can be a risk a lot of times, I think it's a right choice for this photo. I approve it for this shot for two reasons:

  1. Because of the Ferris wheel in the background. The fact that the wheel is in constant motion, I think implementing an angled shot is a good way to emphasise that motion even though the wheel is not the main object in the scene. It subliminally gives us a feel that the wheel is indeed rotating.

  2. Using the dutch angle for this shot enabled the photographer to include more objects in the frame in a way that it intrigues the viewers.

Exposure and dynamic ranges - The next thing I like about this photo is how well balanced the relation between the exposure and the dynamic ranges are. To be specific, the dynamic range is well within the limit for a nice and detailed photo.

What does that mean? Well, to describe it in a simple way, it means that none of our shadowed or highlighted areas lost any details. For example, when shooting on sunny and bright days, sometimes (and depending on a lot of factors) you're going to end up in a position where you're going to have to choose either a nice detailed glorious blue sky with underexposed midtones and shadow areas (in this case, everything besides the sky) or an overexposed, discoloured, white sky (it's actually blue in the sky) with normally exposed midtones and shadow areas (the main subjects for this shot).

Sometimes this problem requires some other techniques to get all of the dynamic ranges within the limits, but for this shot, that's not the case.


In this photo example, we can see what is described in the paragraph above. The highlighted area in the first photo marks the good exposure of the highlight areas while the second photo highlights the good exposure of the midtones and shadows. As said earlier, this is something that is sometimes a little complicated to achieve, but it is definitely something we should always strive for.

Saturation - The third thing I like about this photo is the saturation levels of the colours. Something that is always splendid to see is a photo with colours that picture a true feel of the photo, and for this sunny and bright day, well saturated colours are just what we're looking for.

Some things that can be improved:

Composition - One notable flaw in this photo is it's composition. This is where the photographer's description of the photo comes as a guideline; as the photographer stated – the woman in red is a standout or a main subject to be precise. If that's our main subject in this photo, then the whole composition of the photo should have been adjusted and customised to actually make her an obvious focal point of the photo.

There are a few ways that this could have been achieved:

  1. One obvious way is to zoom in on the subject but also squatting down and taking a photo from a low angle or also known as the 'worm's-eyes view'. Taking a photo this way would ensure both critical things. First one is making the woman a primary subject of the photo and second one is still keeping all of the other objects in the background. Zooming in means narrowing our scene, so taking a photo from a low angle helps us to get some of the scene back in our frame.

  2. The second way is to choose a better spot for taking a shot in the first place, from where we can implement our main subject as the focal point of the photo while at the same time keeping a really interesting background.

The indecisiveness - This point is closely related to the problems above. By indecisiveness, I mean as the main subjects in this photo are really unclear. It's unclear whether the ferris wheel and the tower are the main objects in the scene or if the woman in red is the main subject. This is all because of a composition that isn't certain in leading the viewer to an obvious main focal point in the scene.

The way that this photo looks now, it can have two main focal points :

1. For the first case, the main focal points are the wheel and the tower. For this case, a wise move would be to wait for the scene to be clear of any distractions (the people, for this particular situation). Example of how that would look:


2. For the second case, the main focal point would be the woman in red, as photographer stated. To make the woman a clear focal point, we'd have to adjust our composition to implement her as our main subject as described earlier.

#photoreview #photocritique #travelphotography

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