The making of….. a Photo Critique

Otto von Münchow is a professional Norwegian photographer. On his blog In Flow he occasionally invites photographers to send in work for photo critique. Critique is a  way to receive feedback and a ‘helping hand’ developing skills or style. Being a professional photographer and teacher he gives his honest opinion on the photo at hand.  A few weeks ago I entered a second photo for a critique. The photo ´Giant Soap Bubbles´ was published here. In his critique, among other comments,  Otto mentioned that I cropped the photo too much leaving out room. To show how the photo came into existence, I publish the five photo’s that I took then.  They are not worked and all in the full size. Otto´s feedback is at the end of this post. And he is right in his opinion.

Thank you Otto for your honest opinion! Looking forward to the fourth round of critique!


Shot with Nikon D7000, edited using Snapseed and Marksta Click the picture for a larger version,

Otto’s feed back

  • There is so much joy and excitement in this photo. We can literally feel the kids’ thrill having the huge soap bubbles flying in the air. They chase them; they stand there looking at them in astonishment, some a little more modest and shy – and even the soap bubble-maker is obviously having a great time. You have captured her at the right moment, just after she has let go of another round of bubbles. Her eyes follow the last soap bubble she created and at the same time we know she is aware of the kids’ delight. Even the colours play up to the joyous mood of the photo, with their bright, saturated and strong hues. Every face of the kids shows different emotions and different reactions to the soap bubbles, from the oblivious look of the boy furthest away to the exhilarated boy pursuing the bubbles in front of the bubble-maker. I like the way the kids surround her, that holds the eye within the action of the photo. I also like that we not only see the kids and the soap bubble-maker but also the surroundings. We see a cityscape with a riverbank, the river and a bridge crossing the river and we see other people enjoying the space and the day. Another more graphical element, equally important for the mood, is the bright exposure. You have exposed (or processed) for the shadows which brings out all the details and colours in the photo as the we are facing the shadow side of the subject (the sun light coming from left and behind). At the same time you have avoided burning out the highlights, so we can still make out the details in the brighter parts of the photo. Compositionally I could have wanted some more space around the action, most importantly to the right. The framing feels a little too tight, particularly with the woman to the far right who is cropped in half. More space to the right would also have opened up for the movement of the soap bubbles and the kids. One more detail: Behind the soap bubble make we see two ladies walking by. Unfortunately one of them is visually connected with the bubble-maker. Some space between them would have lifted the composition. This you could have done by either stepping to the left and thus created more space between them, or by stepping to the right and trying to hide the lady we partly see behind the soap bubble-maker.


16 thoughts on “The making of….. a Photo Critique Leave a comment

  1. I read Otto’s critiques on various photos and was amazed at his attention to detail! I learned a lot from reading his comments. So very interesting and informative.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool I should check him out when I have more time. School is done and in a few short days we make our final flight back to Canada to start our new adventures back home.
    It is a lovely photo and the joy is perfect. To capture with out blur too must not have been an easy task.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No moving forever… we are saying good-bye to Shanghai after 5 years. For now we will stay in the area where we grew up, but may move elsewhere in Canada. Will see how my job situation turns out. It doesn’t matter where we settle because of the nature of my husband’s job. We will live near my job, I have an interview when I get back, so it is now undecided.


        1. Thanks Chris. I know its home and it should be fine, but it feels happy and sad. I sometimes worry life back home will be boring and the same. I’ve changed, but home hasn’t. I have heard the reverse culture shock can be sometimes worse than going to a new country. Maybe because we were prepared for the changes abroad and not for the return home. I will have to keep myself busy with bloggin’ 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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