by Veronika Avitia
I am 16 Years old and this is a picture that I took of my younger sister at sunset.
This is a great photo with instant impact. It looks like it could have come from a magazine!
The most immediate aspect that makes this such a good photo is the closeness – the model (Veronika's sister) fills the frame. This is one way to instantly improve portrait photos – fill the frame with the subject!
Clearly Veronika's sister knows how to pose, as she has adopted a nice wistful gaze into the distance. If you ever find yourself with a willing model, try some poses. Be specific about how you want them to stand, what you want them to do with their hands, where to focus their eyes . . . and so on – lots of direction!
Now, much as I like this photo (and as I said before, it could easily grace the pages of many a magazine), there are a just a couple of areas that I would like to change (picky, aren't I!)
First of all, my eye is drawn to the road and lamp post on the right of the photo. For me, it detracts a little from what could have been one of those 'lost in the woods' photos. If Veronika had moved around just a little to her right, this could have been removed from view.
Being really, really picky (sorry!) I'm also distracted just a little by the twigs hanging across the model's arm. Could these have been removed?
Onto the dark shadows. I can barely see Veronika's sister's face it is so dark. Though I accept that this might have been the look Veronika was going for – bright light illuminating one side of her sister's face, with the other side of her face in silhouette?
My final thoughts relate to the choice of black and white. Don't get me wrong, I like this photo in black and white, but Veronika says this is a sunset photo. This leads me to think of warm orange tones. I'm just wondering if a rich colour version of the photo would equal (or better?) the black and white version here? If Veronika has such a photo, we'd love to see it.
All in all though, this really is a photo to be proud of. Well done Veronika!
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Return to Digital photography tutorials - submissions, May 2008.