Lessons learnt

This week, as part of her ongoing Compose Yourself Challenge, Cee Neuner has offered up five of her own photographs for participants to offer a critique and, if they choose, edit themselves. I like to think that I can take it as well as dish it out, so although it seems a little churlish to ‘have a go’ at the work of someone who does so much for the photoblogging community, I’m going to take up the offer. It’s at times like this it’s important to remember that there’s all the difference between critique and criticism.

As Cee points out, all five of these images are straight out of the camera, with no post-processing whatsoever. In my view, there’s something that can be done with three of them, although with ‘Coloured Chairs’ and ‘Taxi Cab’ I’d just be inclined to press ‘delete’ and move on. Perhaps they illustrate Cee’s dictum that you should never take just one photo.

As for the others, I’ve done my own editing on them and present the before and after side by side, with a few notes on what I did and why.


  • Photography 101: Horizons should be horizontal
  • The setting sun is blown out, and the rest of the image is underexposed. I cropped out the left hand side to eliminate the glare and also  whatever it is at top left (it surely isn’t the subject).
  • Moving around the sliders lightened the remaining image, bringing out more detail in the foreground as well as enhancing the colour of the sky.

Red Umbrella

Anything red is pretty much guaranteed to make a good subject (as well as the classic foreground object), but in the original the umbrella is a bit lost somewhere in the middle, so I cropped it to put the umbrellas in the left third of the image, and also bring out the diagonals of the wall and pavement (sorry, ‘sidewalk’). A bit of punch from boosting Clarity and Vibrance and I think you have an interesting image.


  • This is a fascinating door, although I think the image would work better if it was taken from directly in front (a problem I always have) as it’s impossible (at least within my limited abilities) to get all the verticals in the image properly vertical. I’ve straightened it as far as I could.
  • I also cropped to remove the distractions on the left side.
  • The picture was obviously taken in bright sunlight so looks a little washed out. I adjusted exposure by -1 stop and played around with the tone curve to increase contrast and detail, and also enhance the colour of the door.






12 Comments on “Lessons learnt

  1. You brought out some good points in all three photos. I would never have thought of cropping the umbrella like you did. I love it. It’s better than what I did with it. I really appreciate your critique. The chairs with the car reflection I like, but not for anything serious because there is way to much in it. I do like the chairs and almost got them for my table. 😀

  2. It is interesting to read what others had to say about these photos. I think it does take a brave soul to accept critique, but there is so much to be learned from doing that.

  3. Pingback: CCY Features: Week #12 Critique my Work | Cee's Photography

  4. Pingback: Cee’s Weekly Wrap Up – January 9, 2016 and WPC: Weight(less) | Cee's Photography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: