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both of these shots accomplish exactly what we wanted you to accomplish from a technical standpoint for this assignment.
Let’s start by looking at your photograph with a shallow depth of field. For starters, you’ve done a great job of isolating your object away from the background. You’ve blurred the background enough that it still provides some context without allowing any of the objects in the background to interfere with your audience’s attention on your central figure.
That being said, there are two things I want to point out with this image. Firstly, the composition uses formal balance. This means you’ve put your subject in the center of the frame. I think a more informal balanced photograph would have worked well with this composition. Formal balance isn’t wrong, but it’s very symmetrical and can lack a sense of drama. Informal balance helps your photograph abide by the rule of thirds by placing your object off to one side of the frame. This helps unbalance the photograph and generally makes it look more dramatic.
My second comment with this photograph has to do with eye placement. Again, it’s not a rule set in stone, but eyes in portraits should generally be placed in the top 2/3rds of the composition. You’re subject’s eyes are fairly centered.
Here is an example of a portrait that breaks the rule of thirds by using formal balance and symmetry but the eyes are located in the top 2/3rds of the composition and there is no dead space above the subject’s head.
Here is another example of a portrait which uses unbalanced composition by placing the subject off to one side. The photographer also ensured the subject’s eyes were in the top 2/3rds of the composition.
Your second photograph also accomplishes what we wanted to you to accomplish by showing the illusion of motion in the drummers arms and the dancer’s fabric. Great work.
My only concern with this image is that it has a lot going on and could possibly use more focus. You’ve included a lot of information (many colors, many people, many objects, many shapes etc). it’s hard to organize a chaotic scene in a well composed manner, but the trick is to think about the part that each element plays in your visual story.
It’s a good shot, but I would experiment with simplifying the background by changing your position. Also using a shallow depth of field may help with removing the importance of some of the background elements which would allow you to focus on the more essential parts of your story.
Other than that, these are great photographs! Well done.