Re: Re: Lesson 6: Basic Photography Composition

Duncan Rawlinson

Hello and thank you for submitting this assignment.

As you know, capturing a shot in movement while attempting to freeze 1 element of the shot is not an easy task. You’ve done a good job of that. However, I do think that although that was your focus for this photograph a few other areas of the composition could use improvement.

The good news is that all of the corrections I’m going to recommend are actually technical recommendations and some are as simple as simply repositioning your camera.

My main concerns are

1. Exposure
2. Amputation
3. Blown out whites.

1. Exposure
The exposure of the image is slightly dark. This is because you’re shooting against a bright sky (even though it’s overcast it’s still substantially brighter than your foreground). This is a common issue with digital cameras because they have a difficult time handing wide ranges in contrast. What your camera did was make a “compromise” which allowed you to have both foreground and background visible. However, neither are exposed to optimal levels. Your background is a little bright and your foreground is a little dark. When you’re shooting digital, it helps to find environments with less dramatic differences in “dynamic range” (I’ll discuss this later).

2. Amputation
You’ve amputated your subject on the right wall of the photograph as well as on the bottom of the photograph. Due to the fact that he’s your primary focus, it seems unusual that you would have cut off parts of the tires. You’ve included most of the bike, so it would have been in your best interest to include the entire bike. The current amputation looks a little haphazard and accidental to me. I know it likely happened because you were putting so much energy into capturing a good “freeze”, but photography is about being master of your ENTIRE composition. So even if one of your design elements will play a primary role, your second design elements can’t be ignored (i.e. framing, exposure etc).

3. Blown out whites.
Lastly, I’ve touched on this in my first comment but I’ll give you a bit more detail about the common problem of “blown out” (also called “burnt out”) whites. In fact, we’ve writing an entire blog post on the topic here:

This will help you better understand why your have small burnt out white spots in your sky.

This all being said, this composition is a very difficult composition to get “right”. It’s a very advanced type of photograph you’re experimenting with and you’re off to a great start. I like seeing your bravery in approaching scenes like this. I just want to ensure you’re always focusing on all of the technical details (no matter how small) that go into making a composition great.

Great work. Thank you for submitting this assignment.