Monday, June 7, 2010

Critiquing Chuck

Thought it would be fun to pick two of Chuck's images that I really love and talk about WHY I like 'em. It helps to be able to analyze a shot (that you like or are inspired by) and know what you like about it. If you're able to break a shot down, it will help you to use the same techniques in your own work. I would encourage you all to think critically about the photography you love and use those images to grow your own photography.

Back to Chuck. Here are two of my favorites and my critique of them.

First up: "Five"-chuck has composed the image beautifully
1. the children are nicely spaced, good separation between layers (children, houses, etc)
2. i love how carefully he included aspects that tell us something about the neighborhood such as the stop sign and street signs, houses, cars, etc-he didn't try to hide some of these elements and it adds character and back story to the image
3. the timing is perfect-the bat is cocked back, ready to swing-his little brother is waiting behind him, eager to see candy fall out-chuck snapped at the height of anticipation and it's palpable here
4. the composition is simple and very effective-it places the pinata on the right third, the birthday boy close to center but just to the right and the other children on the right third-there's great spacing around everyone in the frame
5. the wide angle exaggerates the distance between the birthday boy and the other children, an isolating effect, though the shot contains a lot of warmth

next up: "peepee"-the composition uses the urinals to frame the scene very effectively and doesn't cut into any of them
1. the tiptoes are part of what makes this shot so perfect-it highlights the smallness of his son compared to this adult sized bathroom
2. shots from behind can take on a conceptual quality such as "slices of childhood" that a shot from the front can't do since it becomes a shot about a specific child rather than the idea of childhood things (if that makes sense)
3. he uses the 35L so well here (which is really the best PJ lens every manufactured-so versatile)
4. this shot is wonderfully humorous as well-you can't help but smile at the situation because it's very true to life-that's the beauty of capturing these kinds of unique family images, they're universal and personal at the same time

try this type of analysis/critique on another photographer's work some time-try to figure out what you like about it-is it the composition, the lighting, the timing/moment, or is it just the person who was photographed? or all of the above, of course? have a good one, guys-hope you enjoyed this



  1. Hi there,
    I have just discover your blogs from, absolutely loving this site (the kind of photography that i've been after), and learning a lot from it.
    I am a father with 1 year old son, i've been shooting with Nikon system ..
    D300 + 18-200 for a bit, sell them and decide to buy
    D700 + 50/1.4G (love it, i feel that i learn more with fixed lens compare to huge zoom that i own before...)
    I've been shooting with this set up for 2 years, and i want to go wider...
    Nikon just came out with 24/1.4G, i've been thinking to buy this lens...
    but the main concern would be...
    would 24mm be too wide? how about 35mm? but 35mm is just too close to my currently own 50mm...
    Mainly i'm shooting my family, mostly my son :P
    It could be in the restaurant, hotels, cafe, or any other places that we go... basically things that you do on this blog could best describe my passion in photography.
    May I have your tips my next lens?

  2. hi, danny-would you send your email to us at i'd be happy to talk with you about this