Professional Photographers Critique Student Images

 

Professional Photographers Critique Student Images

 

Lesson Info

Advertising Critique Part 1

We're doing photo critiques with our amazing judges bambi can trail and john cornyn cello so excited to just jump right back in we're going to show you a slide show of all of the submissions for this category and then these two will critique the twenty selected images so why don't we go ahead and get started? So roll the slide show guys okay, you guys welcome back and again thank you so much for submitting all those beautiful images. All right, bambi john let's do this. Okay? Advertising wow. You know, this morning we saw some amazing landscape images and now we're on advertising commercial on advertising. John, would you like to jump right in there? And they're okay on this one it's it's for me it's about the colors um the suppose it's great that it could be used in a number of situations where there's nothing really showing here uh, the closed eyes in the model there's a lot of things here that make it an advertising or commercial image that wouldn't be a portrait and I think that's ...

come working in a number of situations I could see perfume it or just some slices of life thing where you know it's just sort of an abstract feeling to it that that confuse the number of situations exposure has done well, it's lit well, working with water is always tough the fools of the fabric and the colors and the fabric work really nicely for me. So, john, you were saying, you know that that there are some elements to this photograph that wouldn't work in a portrait? What do you mean by that? Well, I think that the head back of most upside down and the eyes closed, I for my own portrait work curves for me, it's so many things are about the eyes. I want to connect with the eyes, so this just takes the person it abstracts them a little bit, it takes the connection a way that you would have in a portrait and let's be almost anyone in the person in the ed. I see there are a number things I love about this photograph. I really like the fact that they're showcasing whether it be the scar for the dress that she's wearing or couldn't be makeup could be in after and make up one of the great things about working in the advertising realm and that of the commercial that avenue is that sometimes what they're advertising is very subtle in a picture, it could be very well, just be the makeup, but the real question is this does the photograph grab your attention? The normal, traditional rules of photography don't apply, you know, the rules of perfection. Don't apply like they would in the normal photographic world and I remember when I first started in photography this was one of the things that just used to drive me crazy because I collect magazines of every kind have been collecting brides magazine since nineteen, eighty two and all kinds of fashion magazines and one of the things that I noticed I kept thinking well, the's photographs and these magazines are terrible they're not necessarily they're also from eighth traditional, you know, rule structured photographic kind of environment but you know what I learned from those those advertising I learned that beauty cells and that those that they got people noticed so what I would like you all out there to get from that point is the fact that even if you're a portrait photographer out there or a wedding photographer listen to this segment and pay attention to it because because what gets you noticed is not necessarily an image that will win you awards and competition that's kind of more about conception concepts rather is conceptual images when we don't really know what she's doing there and it doesn't really matter what she's doing there but it's on our attention the colors, the vibrancy that oppose way notice everything in here just well remember this image yeah, yes using lighting around water and reducing hot spots my tip about lighting around waters to try not to do it I've known people do getting killed in swimming pools with lights falling into it when I do underwater stuff usually do it in date daylight when stretch large fabric silk over the over the pool and that's how we get rid of the highlights I really don't like to mix electricity with water it's I think very safe advice that's for sure but looking at this particular photograph there were a couple of areas that I would like tio address I think her poses is beautiful I think she looks absolutely lovely but they're this area right here bothers me and the reason this area by the five bothers me is I feel that it looks like there's almost a little bump here so I think when you're stretching out fabric on your subject or you're in this case see there's a little bit of a shadow here and then there's a highlight right there so what happens? It creates a bit of an optical illusion and in my opinion it makes this part of her thigh look a little bumping and a little bigger here so I'd like to see either I mean that's so simple in post production pull it down just a little bit using liquefy tool if you needed teo teo not make that appear or just darken it down just a little bit I think would be a nice way teo you have to pull that down just a little bit one of the things that you can take from this particular image is that if there's a joint amended that applies to whether you're a portrait photographer or you're a wedding photographer or you're doing commercial or whatever on dh sometimes those ben's there's just subtle I mean, we don't you want everything at a ninety degree angle, you know, here's a picture, but just so you don't wantto lock the elbows into a hyper extended situation just just that little bit just helps you know, one of the thing about this photograph because the lighting is coming from this direction the lighting is coming from here guess what it's flattening out her chest see how she doesn't really have it doesn't give her shape here that's what's bugging me about this picture and I know again this isn't the normal rules don't necessarily apply, but I try toe whenever I look at images, I try to look at them across the board because I don't today I'm ah wedding portrait photographer and I do fashion and I do have a variety of different kind of corporate events and so I have to wear different hats and I think that it's important for us to be able to switch off those hats and still have have the concept applied to something else in the future and if you can do that, then guess what you're going to be a widely sought after photographer and you'll be able to do a variety of different kinds of things and not be locked into on ly one genre and in the last couple of years like the wedding industry has really hit gotten hit very badly and can you imagine the person who was a wedding photographer maybe five years ago and that's it I'd only want to shoot weddings I don't want to do anything else and then they've had a very difficult time you know booking weddings because everybody there brother shooting weddings and giving a disc well if they never opened their mind to another avenue and applied the concepts of wedding photography to portrait or two commercial or wherever then they're stuck they want to go get a day job right now and people always tell me they say bambi you should you should become a specialist you should specialize in being either a wedding photographer or a portrait photographer and I say to them I am a specialist I'm a specialist in photographing people and sometimes that means it is a commercial endeavor photographing for metropolitan bride maybe it is sometimes photographing lots of little children and brides and babies are almost identical in the way that they did so in this case I think that the one area I would still want to see as a woman and you know as somebody looking at addis I would want to flatter my subject and to to make the guard the light came from behind shooting into the light instead of shooting with the light I think clay blackmore covered that quite a bit in his class when he was on creative lego shooting in towards the light instead of having the light behind the camera flattened everything else gives some dimension. John, do you want to demonstrate that technique? We haven't heard a light right here let's demonstrate that technique don't knock over that ball ok e I don't want to upset your pictures always a good idea to get john cornyn cello am so we have three camera down there I could light bambi from from here and flatten out all her features here if I bring it around here out of the frame though now it's late in the short side of her face, giving some dimension there and it's going to do the same thing for the rest of the body and she's wearing all black here seems to be a little tougher to demonstrate, but you want to shoot into the light instead of I mean a classic beauty lighting would be from the front, but I don't think that's what we're going for in this image here so just come around the side with the light or skim the light across the person or move your camera position to the other side yeah if you're doing working in natural light you can't move the sun, so we have to move the camera around, okay? Let's, look at this image, ok? There are number of things I like about this. I love the fact that they're showing the name of the jewelry on that last piece. I think that shows paying attention to details. You know, when I first looked at it, I didn't realize that they had the jewelry name it was they couldn't may have been an inscription of the of the bride and groom there, but now now I see it's a brand name of the jewelry, but the diamond pops out at us and everything falls off nice and softly behind it thie only thing that's jumping out at me is on the very left edge of comes back into focus because it's on the same plane probably as the diamond, so maybe it was just cropped in a little bit it's, like a highlight brings or I sharpness also brings the eye, so we've got a short diamond and I got a short pattern in the cloth on the side that I want to watch out for. So is there a particular lens choice that you would recommend? I know they have certain kinds of lenses that that are on the market that are great for this kind of product, so what would you like a macro lens? Um or a tilt shift lens like the cannon and night kind of believe. Both have around in ninety millimeter till shift lens, and you could put an extension to the work as a mackerel and then, with the tilt shift you khun, change your plane to focus quite a bit on are for other people. I believe on the cannon. At least you could even use their two x converter on their ninety millimeter till shift lens, even though it's wasn't designed that way. So basically that if they had a tilt ship lands, wouldn't that solve the problem of having that area on the left hand side sharp? Yes, it can can help there, but I mean it's it's. They're difficult to work for the first. You know you really have to learn, go back to your view camera days and shine, flown pretty principal, where you have the camera, back, the subject and the lens and they will make lines meet at some place. If you want full depth the field, then you can pull the lens back. And so the depth of field goes another direction and you could just have one spot sharpen their they're also works reports if you just want the eye sharp we still need to stop down because of the lighting situation all you can do that with the with the till shift lens does it bother you that the bottom of the ring that bring on the bottom is hazy is hazy I see I don't think that's a good thing that the bottom of the ring is hazing I feel like that should be should be a bit sharper yeah and I don't know if that's something in between the lens and the ring if that's from the focus on it I don't know I don't know why it went that way but yeah if that could be a little more conscious may just be the focus of it um I feel it could be a little stronger down there but still very very nice yeah I mean the other lines through the top of a very nice it gives us sort of a triangle shape if it continued down and finished ok excellent love love love, love, love, love love this picture I love this can you tell me like this I think this is just such a very clever image that just tells a great story I love images that are not just about a literal product but that find a way to tell a visual story about something and I think the maker has done a really nice job of doing that. There are a few areas of that I would like to see them take down and there are some things I think they've done so beautifully I love the expression on this guy's face it is so on point with with with this gentleman is doing in making shoes and thanks just fantastic I love the fact that you can see his body are which is beautiful but boy oh boy as much detail as the maker did with all of this and my eye goes right there you see that how your eye goes right to the bright spot right there and it gets a little bit messy over here I think they just got so enamored that they just forgot to pay attention a few those details very, very simple for the maker to go back in and knock that down just a little bit in post production I'd also like to see them take that window down appear just take down that that highlight just a whisper and then toned down this this little bright light just a little bit I mean obviously it's a light fixture in the room so it's supposed to be bright but again it kind of pulls my eye away a little bit I think overall the whole photograph could come down a little bit intern ality yeah, and I don't know if we need that much depth of field. I mean, we know those air tools in a fire extinguisher and a crowbar and a an drill on the back wall, but do they need to be that detailed and bringing the let's step? The field may also soften like that window back there, which I feel like you is a little bright and the highlight on what is it the right side of his head? I'm not sure where that's coming from, so yeah, it does on his face that does look a little bit too bright, but still very nicely composed image I like this the specific location that they put him in the picture because there's breathing room you can it does tell a very nice editorial story, I would say pull back a bit on the hd are on that, whatever you're using, tio interest it's just a little bit too gritty, and I don't think that it's helping the picture yes on would you have thought about putting a shade in that window, or would that have made it too dark from behind? Um, I think that that I don't the window doesn't bother me the way it is because it I think that it actually kind of frames him nicely. Between the sewing machine and then that window in the background I don't know that I would want to take it out right I may be putting a scrim behind it on the other side just knock it down a half stopper stop you know piece of ripstop nylon or the front of a soft bucks whatever just outside there it would help but that's yeah just talk first we have one here and erica with his work as a black and white it almost is now it's almost a c p a tone I think I think it would probably again change that a little less contrast on it on dh soften up the back background background a bit but boy oh boy the maker did I just think that the expression is so on point with this and I think that there that is one of the most important things to me when you're creating an image for editorial for advertising it is very much does it keep you in the picture? Does it make you want to explore? An advertiser has about three seconds if the most to grab your attention and so as your you know when they pay for advertising in a magazine the magazine answer not inexpensive can you imagine how expensive that real estate is? So the marketing people are I mean they're looking for ways to get you to stop on that page you know, what is it? Does it tell a great story? Is that something that is a bit controversial? One year I am a sort of been collecting magazines since like nineteen, eighty two, and I get every marketing idea I've ever had I get from magazines because they really those people spend billions of dollars trying to attract the same client I am, which are women between the ages of like twenty one and maybe thirty five years older, a little older than that these days. And so if I just pay attention to what they're doing, I know I could be successful because they spend billions of dollars trying to get the same client. And so there was an ad in a bride's magazine one year that had a wedding gown designed by reme akra and the model in the picture had bright, sparkly red eye shadow one I'll never forget it because I'm looking through the magazine at all the different pictures and I could not help but stop on that because have I ever seen a bride wearing bright red eye shadow and no, and we probably never will it's not like that would that would be reality based like you don't necessarily like to have toe like what you see has just stop you yeah, and I could not I kept coming back to that ad on my what that is brilliant marketing well, what does that mean for you and I? Well, it means for you and I that in our advertising whether it be in a magazine whether it be something that we're going to post on our website dad gum in it better be something that grabs the attention and you should not put things on your website that they can see anywhere else if they can see it on john doe's and website then guess what they're going to look call you up and ask you how much you charge and then they're going to say ok, well john q down the block has that same picture on his website and he's only two hundred fifty bucks they're going to hire him and that's why it's so important to really embrace and think what can I do that gets me noticed? It doesn't have to be it doesn't necessarily have to be absolutely perfect, but dog on it'd better be really interesting we have one more question how do you how would you use that for marketing if you shot that image, what would you do too? I haven't worked for you, I don't know in what way I guess I'm would you would you make it a postcard one off to someone or we'll email it or it wasn't thinking of this as a self promo I was thinking this is it and an advertisement in a magazine. You know, that may be like for a life insurance company or something like that, where this would run at the top of the page and then there'd be text text below it. So, you know, I see it completely differently. I do see this as a postcard, see if I were let's. Say that I I handmade, you know, shoes. This could be somebody who who makes handmade shoes to me, it's all about the designer quality and something I think that, yes, I agree using for him. I know you're saying as a self promotion as a photographer, how would well, you know, I think that if you were if you were for a storyteller yeah, if I were a photographer who is trying tio, who wants to make a name for themselves, then I would want I would send a picture like this to advertisers so that they could see that I can tell a story that it's not just that I could take a pretty picture, you know, of whatever that peace is. But I understand how to get people tio to have a story told and that to me would get me in front of an advertiser you know somebody who's going to spend the millions of dollars to hire me to tell somebody story whether it be an insurance you know selling insurance or or selling handmade products of some sort you know could be just selling photography good thing about this picture is that this could actually be a poster for you know if you can find our linds glenn's manufacturers have a question first I just want to say so many people love this photo and chat jam photo layla jenny cajun alison tammy ph photo they always said I really love this shot so it was an absolute winner online and then we had a question that came up another great question from canon girl thank you for your questions today could you please explain the difference between advertising versus editorial photography? Well sometimes they're the same thing sometimes they're the same but not always fashion magazines will do editorial spreads that are designed to excite and make people stop and look at their somebody's garments and may not be something that a specific product that's sold yet but it gets people to start thinking in a particular vein advertising if it's a specific advertising advertisement it could be just something that advertises a particular story like in this case this could be you know, some gentlemen who you know he maybe he makes hand me choose or something but editorial and advertising are synonymous. They are very, very they can be the very same thing from the business side. I think of it. Editorial pays very little advertising, pays a lot on advertising. You're probably given a layout. Someone's already story boarded this. You know, this guy, this position or where the tools are placed on everything, is probably already done through market research. They know just what they want. Where an editorial job, they may sing you when your system out and say, come back with with photos of this guy at work. So you could probably get more photographer control over the editorial. And you may be able to work with the art director and to work on a lot of things were advertising. You're probably pretty structured. This is what you're going to come back with. Yeah. That's. A very good way of communicating and john. Excellent. I love her. Softness is really beautiful. The hand is nice with the flower, the exposure is great, the pink skin tones or nice I I may want to see the tree a little softer there. It's it's. I mean, it is a nice contrast and the hardness words of the softness there, but you feel like the trace of it it's a bit tio folk in focus I don't really like the way she looks and from just an advertising standpoint and this could be an advertisement for you know, the jacket for that little hat she's wearing it could be a make up out I personally I the tree to me is such a distraction. I just feel that it was if it would have been on something that was a lighter tone that was more harmonious, he would make me want to stay on the page. It would make me just go, uh, it would to me be in keeping with it, it's not just the color tone of the tree that bothers me, but it's the hardness of it it's got those strong lines that kind of make it feel a bit gritty and and just just downright hard compared to how soft and pensive sheila is. The other factor that goes into it for me that pulls it down just a little bit is the fact that it's a vertical image that's a portrait image I feel as though she's looking out of the picture, but for me as a cz an editorial piece it that's not a strong the guy's going out because, again, as I mentioned on another one, it's sort of makes it more general, you don't need to know this person it's, not it's, not a portrait, and the eyes make it make it so that this person isn't the subject anymore. It's it is the jacket or the or the flower, the hat or whatever that they're selling here and that's another way. Advertising may change different from portraiture that contact, you know, it's, not a specific person. That's. What would you put her in front of instead if I was doing it to be a light gray, seamless background. But I mean it's, uh, might my background I irving penn, richard avedon, richard avedon on the solid waiter in pen, on the dark gray I mean that's that's who influenced me and that that's way, I tend to think, but bambi's does little more environmental work than I do. And what would you like to see that there? I think I would want to see something a bit more urban. You know, I feel that the way she's dressed is almost is very is young and kind of hip downtown. Yeah, I kind of want to see her not stuffy downtown, but just a bit more funky urban downtown, pioneer square of seattle or portland or something like that. So, you know, that kind of pulls it away. I want to see her in something that is a bit quiet, because I feel that the look on her face is very calm and quiet. So, you know, I don't know that I'd want to see I could actually see her even out in a beachy area because of the tones, I think all those that high key well, look, she has would be very beautiful, you know, in a soft beach environment or even a day, maybe a desert kind of environment, but born beachy. I think for me love this. Yeah. I mean, this is this is a perfume, and this is a jewellery. Edits it gets a little slice of life could give used in so many ways the triangles that the blue, the stairs, that stark white of the clothing. I mean, it's something I feel I've seen before, but still well done. Yeah, I think this is just absolutely just what it's all about, I think it's just absolutely gorgeous. I mean, the composition is just stunning. I even like the clouds that are in that picture there. I think that really to me says a great deal, and then there's also room for the tag line. And I think that's an important thing sometimes as in the portrait realm we tend to crop things of it too close and I know what in shooting for met bride that's one of the things I've had to really learn to do is to photograph a bit looser than I typically would because I have to around allow room for that yeah see my background it's advertising so when I started doing portrait and the like and I would be critiqued on stuff so it's all that empty space there let negative space well that's where the text goes to copy goes you know yet if you're shooting for stock I mean that's think tio to keep in mind a cz do two versions of the image one that may be tighter on one that's looser so that someone wants to buy the an image from you they have a place to put their copy over that you know so the image doesn't have to be put into a block on the page and then you know with the the frame around it and then the text out so I make it so that they can put some text over an integrated into the page and making a more modern looking designed hey john, would you like to address the lighting in this photograph let's talk about the way it was lit china's it feels like it's coming from above the exposure the exposure works I mean its wagon and everything is still has detailed throughout even in the pants and her face I mean there's great highlights on her cheeks and her on her forehead so we can see that the light is overhead and maybe slightly behind her because the cheek facing us is a little darker but there's so much ambient light the light bouncing off the steps is filling in the side of her her pants and jacket exposure is has done well I mean whoever did this knew to open up to get that wall white I mean so many many times you do a picture like this you may end up with a great wall but it helps that there's the deep blue sky there in in two not trick the meter I mean it probably all averages out to a good exposure level that the camera can do and a faster shutter speed to really pull that make that that's guy go nice and dark two very nice on and this is again goes back to the efficient portrait and editorial because you know it's the eye sockets or dark because it's not about way don't really care about that now I will tell you the cool thing that is that if you learn to do both you can actually do editorial for your portrait workers well you can incorporate that in a normal portrait session offer weddings absolutely do some ad some of this kind of concept to your wedding work it's not traditional wedding photography traditional wedding work but boy oh boy do clients love it they have brides are nuts about it and that's actually was that's where a lot of that we've seen in the last ten years you know, the bridegroom's sit in the cafe walking down the street jumping in there kind of stuff not that I'm recommending that but that's where a lot of that that ben came from was that in bride's magazines we saw brides and grooms actually having fun and laughing and giggling and and that kind of thing and it big so there's been a real cross over in the wedding market specifically to that editorial debt but here comes down to scouting to and getting out there ahead of time and finding the place to do this and figure out where the sun is going to be at the time you can shoot it. I mean, this looks like it looked like it was probably kind of midday and it works there where we usually tell people you can't shoot mid day because of those dark eye sockets and the like but you can you sure can and then if you need to bring in other studio lighting a shot when I shot from that bride in march, I do it twice a year we shot in the desert in las vegas and what we did was we used a portable lighting system, the pro photos seventy or something. Yeah, I want to say that the one d I think it is. I can't remember the moderates. Yeah, it's, a model like, but it also has a portable back, has a battery pack that goes right on location and it's very, very powerful. So I was able to overpower the sun and use my own my own studio stroke outdoors and then use the sunlight as a back light or as a an accent light on those dresses. And was that there was very, very effective, so you can even by the way, you could also use a reflector outside using bright sun, user reflected a pop the light back in a bit, so don't feel like you absolutely can't shoot during the middle of the day. You can, but you have to, in my opinion, it's best if you do it kind of an editorial way like this so that the normal rules don't apply.

Class Description

Have you ever wanted your best work evaluated by a top professional? Well, here’s your chance! Creative Live is shining the spotlight on you during this photography critique covering three categories: Wedding and Family, Commercial / Fine Art, and Portrait. World-renowned photographers Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, John Cornicello, and Bambi Cantrell will critique images entered by you, and provide invaluable insight and recommendations for improvement.


 

Wedding and Family Winning photos in this category will tell a vivid, emotional story of a major life moment.

Commercial / Fine Art Commercial photos will be critiqued on composition, style, and powerful portrayal of a brand or product. Fine Art photos will be critiqued for their unique creative vision.

Portraits This category is all capturing a person’s essence, mood, and expression.