Where USF faculty, students and graduates are invited to talk about journalism and its problems and opportunities. This blog is not affiliated with the University of San Francisco, nor is the university responsible for any of the opinions expressed herein -- though it is certainly responsible for the people who entertain those opinions, having educated them. They make us proud.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Critiquing the Photojournalism Class

A friend of USF critiqued the fruits of our very first photojournalism class. Interesting.


Critique time:

I think "Wedding" tells pretty much the whole story. Great color and composition. Love those bright blue eyes.

"Crosswalk," the little guy looks like he's imitating Superman's pre-flight pose. Nice island of curbside joy. But is his brother(?) looking at us, and us at him? Crop the brother out and it's an even stronger picture, I think.

"Congi-ouch" is interesting because of its sense of both motion and ouch. Needs a better, more precise caption - which should have the word "ouch" in it

"Clown" and "Shoreleave" are the kind of ambiguous images that are always fun to look at while making up my own story. Nice mood pieces. I wanted to be able to see the sailor's insignia more clearly. Which Navy? Off which ship? Needs a stronger caption.

"Ski-jump" stands well on it's own, though it's almost too perfect for documentary. Looks more like an advertising image. Hmm. Or maybe a Sports Illustrated cover.

The Chris Daly photo is a terrific political portrait. Subtle distortion through the glass and the champaign bottle in his hand (an "elite" beverage, after all) resonates with our unease with politicians in general. Whoever runs for the seat next time should use this photo against him. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it.

"Taps," where's the story, the horn, the mourners or the boots? Photo needs a focal point of interest. Choose one.

"Andre," if it's about the feet, show me the feet.

"Palace of Fine Arts," an art photo cliche, not documentary. Cropping might help.

I wanted to like "Sabado-Ikea," nice color/composition, but the beads - especially at a larger photo size - are way out of focus and the girl isn't really looking at them anyway. Her eyes are downcast and, as a result, I'm having trouble believing the caption that says she "finds a colorful display to her liking." The photo and caption - and this may or may not have been part of the class - are in dissonance.

In "Reflection," is this a ghost coming back to claim her dying dog?
What we really like in pets are their faces, especially their eyes. Here we get paws, tail and butt. And what're all those confusingly odd shapes? Photo is chaotic and, as a result, not engaging.

Tech problem:"Cageman" is back lit, and while the hair highlights on the crowd are nice, the cage is in shadow. Could/should be punched-up in Photoshop since it's meant to be the central image. It's also a somewhat disturbing picture. That church makes me think of heretics imprisoned in so-called "parrot cages" during the Spanish Inquisition. But that's just my weird association.

There it is, my two cents...

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