Photo Review - The Knight by Klarissa Leug

Knights tournament re-enactment in Moscow, Russia by Klarissa Leug

Great things about this photo:

Correct shutter speed settings. This is something essential when we're talking about this type of photography. Since this is a scene which involves some fast moving objects, selecting a higher shutter speed is always needed in order to achieve a crisp and a non-blurry photo. It's also worth pointing out that this photo has just the right exposure (not over or under exposed).

Scene set up. The next thing I like about this photo is the scene itself and everything that this scene has to offer. I think the photographer did a great job of capturing the horseman in a perfect position. It almost seems like the horseman and his steed were modelling for the photographer.

Composition. Another thing I like about this photo is the placing of the main subject in this photo. Since we're talking here about sports/event/people (portrait) photography, we can distance ourselves from the rule of the thirds. In this type of photography, where living beings represent the main subjects, more often than not, the most appropriate positioning of our main subject would be right in the centre of the shot. This reason for this is to emphasise our main subject. In this shot, the horseman is right in the centre of the photo right where he needs to be, as he is in the centre of the attention in the event too.

Things that can be improved:

  • Distracting objects. One of the things that always tends to give any photo a less sophisticated look are the distractions that shouldn't have been there. For this particular photo, the distraction is marked in the image below:

Since the photographer was most likely a part of the crowd, this could be either someone's head or part of the fence or whatsoever. The takeaway here is that this affects this photo as it looks much less refined.

There are two main ways this could have been avoided:

  1. The main way to solve this problem is to actually check our scene for these kind of unwanted captures in the corners of our scene, but there's a reasoning why this isn't always possible. That's because most of the times, photographers are too focused on the main subject in the scene (especially if the subject(s) are moving fast) so they don't actually have time to check any other aspects of the scene in order to capture the subject in a perfect moment.

  2. The second way to solve this problem would be in post production, by deleting the unwanted object. This is done when we're simply not in a situation to capture the subject the way we want to without any distracting elements in the scene.

Here's how the photo would look without the unwanted object:

As we can see, the photo above looks far more refined and professional.

One Further Note on Composition

As there was one specific point I liked about the composition of this photo, there's also one point that would need to be improved. To be precise, there's not much free space below the horse's legs. Take a look at the image below to have an idea what I'm talking about:

There's a rule in photography that we should never cut off any parts of the limbs, but there's also an unwritten rule in photography that when we have the whole subject in our frame, we should also give it some decent space above its highest point and below its lowest point. For this particular shot, that simply means that there should've been more ground included in the frame, below the horse's legs. This is done to give the main subject a nice and stable position in the scene. Having the subject's highest or lowest point being to close to the end of the frame gives an uncomfortable and claustrophobic feel to the shot.

For this particular shot, we're talking about just a little bit of more breathing room in the lower area of the frame. This could've been done by simply zooming out a bit (if a zoom lens was used) or taking a step back if possible (if a prime lens was used).

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