Faces of the LIRR Critique

The featured image used for this post works well because it is a wide, establishing shot. The train can even be seen in action, seemingly heading towards the viewer. Though the picture would have been more balanced compositionally if the train was more to the right (rule of thirds), it works placed in the middle (focal point) because viewers can assume it will follow the tracks that lead out of the photo on the right.

The photos should be larger. All it takes is to change the settings for the way photos appear on the blog. It’s harder to see the details of each person’s face if the photos are small. Yes, one can click the photo to see an enlarged version, but we can’t depend on viewers to do that.

The warm colors of the photos are an inviting common theme, but the story is about how harshly cold the winter has been (as well as the fare increasing).

Overall, some, if not all, photos should have been shot during the daytime when there is plenty of natural light to illuminate the faces of subjects. Using abundant natural light would help prevent blur and would make peoples’ faces clearer, as long as the necessary camera settings are used.

There is a lot of blur in some of the photos, which could have easily been avoided. Using a higher shutter speed and then changing the aperture and ISO appropriately would have prevented motion blur. Though it might increase noise in the photos, editing on Photoshop or Camera Raw using noise reduction would fix the issue. It is better to have as much information in the pixels as possible.

The photo of Amaira has a lot of dead space. It should have been cropped. Composition is something that needs to consciously be kept in mind when shooting, especially portraits.

The photo of Vaeni is good because it shows her as an active LIRR user standing in the doorway of the train. It is an environmental portrait. Rule of thirds is nice here.

At least three photos had subjects centered when they shouldn’t have been. Focus was also an issue. In the last photo, the ticket machine falls in the plane of focus on the left, instead of the subject standing on the right. It might appear fine at first glance, but he is out of focus. Other than these few issues, the portraits show human emotion, which is an ideal feature for this photo story. It was a good job telling the stories of the people of the LIRR!

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