Trying to interpret and discuss others work is a tricky thing.
All you have to rely on is your own eye and your own experience. To use those to try and say that one piece is better than the next is merely opinion, and the weight of that opinion is purely down to it’s exposure or stature.
This is particularly relevant to photography.
The vast range of style, interpretation and creative manipulations that are available, particularly now digital is so popular and readily altered, make it nigh on impossible to judge what’s good and what’s bad.
You could argue that there are certain ‘guidelines’ that if followed can present a more aesthetically pleasing scene, but even so, what one person likes, may not be the preference of the next, and so it goes on.
With that in mind, all I can attempt to offer in critiquing an image is opinion based on my own preference; I try to take images that appease my own taste and creativity.
For example; this Stingray image presented by Barry for critique is one that I would never think of taking, but it appeases several criteria that I look for in an image or even taking or processing my own.
As a whole, I find the image has subtle impact. It’s not a Friday night out, slapping you in the face with colour and dynamic, but it does offer Sunday afternoon classic car poise; it’s lack of movement and acute presentation give you time to contemplate and observe.
The catch to this image is how Barry has taken the usual three-quarter shot and artistically altered it for the better.
I find taking the usual three quarter image difficult, mainly due to that type of presentation not appealing – but the sense of depth and intrigue I get from this shot is very attractive.
Now to some of you, his placement of the subject may not be to your taste – the image is close to being a fine study of an American classic, yet Barry has intentionally cut a portion of the car and been rather specific with his application of depth.
But I like that. That placement and manner way the eye is drawn down to the flare off the chrome is uncanny, and really works. The lack of car front only serves to accentuate the renown sculpture of the wheel arch as your eye wanders the car. The clarity of the tyre and tread provides suitable menace – a trait of this machine that fans admire.
Purists may have wanted to see the car is all it’s glory; sleek dipping nose and aggressive stance – yet this offers more than a straight up car shot – it makes you think, it makes you study and I think that’s a trait of a decent image.
This may be a more difficult image to pull of it weren’t square in crop; those perfect proportions of the square lend themselves to very pleasing compositions, and so the scene may not feel as complete or effective if say there were more space to the left or right… if you could see too much of the nose of the car, the impact of the depth would be lost for example.
But the argument against the square presentation is really irrelevant as the presentation is obviously a conscious decision, and fair play to that because it’s presented an attractive image.
It’s all about balance, and how that balance either accentuates or draws attention. It’s been used to good effect here; the surroundings are irrelevant due to the focal point and draw of the subject, and that I feel is why it works so well.
Thank you to Barry for being involved in my attempts at photo critique – if you’d like to follow him and see more of his work, please do on instagram – @bar__none