This photo sucks because…

I’ve been meaning to post this image for a couple of weeks, but I was not entirely happy with the processing. I suppose I am my own harshest critic, but I’d love to have you all join in as well? Seriosly, I crave serious, honest criticism, and I ask all of you out there to let me have it. The harsher the better, really, because it is through this kind of feedback that I am forced to grow, artistically. So, who will be the first to take me to the woodshed on my work? C’mon! Hit me! Yeah, that’s it! That one’s gonna leave a mark, but it’s all for the best!

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This may not be the best shot that i’ve seen you do but I actually like it a lot. The composition and processing is great. Maybe it’s the lack of gritty grunge that you don’t like?

This photo is spectacular. It also happens that sometimes I’m not happy with the results of the photo, then you share it, I realize that I was right hahaha, this is not the case, the photo and the effect is simply great

regards My friend

Compared to my photos this is fantastic!

Criticism: Why this photo looks odd to me? The front blurred railing can be a bit gives me the feeling that my eye sight is going bad but this is also the strength of the picture..The first glance makes you want to adjust your focus. It feels like I have the wrong prescriptions glasses on(I don’t wear glasses). As your eyes follows the railing to the in focus side railing, you realize it’s the image…and that’s when you think wow..interesting photo..

Certainly wouldn’t use the word sucks 🙂

For me, the most interesting part of the photo is undone by out-of-focus banister so I would go with a greater depth of field and/or decrease the prominence of that part of the photo. The fact that it is so strong and also leads the eye away from the focal area doesn’t help.

Very nice textures and mood.

This photo sucks because it’s so awesome 🙂

I like what you were trying to do with the composition and I think that’s the only thing that leaves something to be desired. For me I’m distracted by the very prominent FG being OOF. And I’m lead down the stairs and I leave at the window. The handrail is the subject for me and I want to see that shown off better.

That said, i think the processing is great and overall it’s just a matter of taste. I personally don’t care for super blurry foregrounds.

This photo sucks because: I didn’t take it 🙁

BTW, my work is always fare game for honest criticism. I know sometimes it’s uncomfortable when you don’t know them well, but I always appreciate people’s perspectives. Platitudes do help the ego, but I don’t want me work to suck 🙂

There is quite a bit to like about this photo, but the blurry foreground is distracting and doesn’t add anything to the image. As a previous poster said, the railing is a major part of the image and the geometry of the shot. For me it should be in focus to occupy such a major part of the composition.

Okay – my comments – processing is cool as always, however the composition is slightly off for me. the bottom of the handrail is slightly obscured by the foreground rail which I think is too large in the picture.
If the shot was 3 or 4 inches to the right then it would be spot on.

This image is far from sucking. What is missing is the story behind it. Most of your images are inspired by something or someone. They have a grit and a feel and are not just pictures. As good as this image is, without Jacques behind it, it’s not as good! IMHO.

I don’t mind the OOF foreground. It leads me down the stairs. And you know how much I like stairs. I love the geometry in the composition.

If I have to criticize something, fine. You are ugly.

If you want nitpicking (as I love tones, colors, composition and geometry of it):
Very slight viewpoint change, maybe another lens/zoom value too (I don’t know how much more of the image you have or have not). In order to do three things: a) Include the whole sculpted panels on the wall (opposite of stair rail) so that we see its top end all the way to the left end (now cut-off about mid-image b) Nitpickingly match gray/white stepping edge of the stairs angle with ballister edge on diagonal part. With zig-zag breaking points not touching but just above ballister edge. Image almost does that already. Almost. c) Avoid a bit odd merging of the nearest section of ballister and edge of top stairs by allowing a bit more of gray/blue flooring to show at the first ballister bend (from the top).

Another issue is one of taste. I love the out of focus top level of ballister. It is something that I like to do in my photos. But many people (as Eric Leslie here) are bothered by it. So, that I’d keep but I might be an exception.

Everything best, love your work and this is really total nitpicking, but it appears you wanted it.

I think the only thing that sucks about this is it’s not in my portfolio. I love it but, as an earlier comment mentioned, I miss the story behind the picture.

Seeing as just about everyone else mentioned the fact that this photo doesn’t suck, I dont have to. But I will anyway, this photo is really far from sucking. As far as processing goes I think this is spot on. I love the textures and contrast in all of your photos and this one is far from lacking.

The depth of field is the most interesting thing about this photo. It really guides the viewer down the rail and around the staircase. It’s sweet. As Damon pointed out, a lot of the photo is the bokeh’d railing which is a little unpleasing. I would like to see a version of this with a greater depth of field, or a composition that doesn’t include so much of the top rail of the staircase for comparison. That being said, you would probably lose the effect of being guided down the staircase so it’s hard to say.

If I was an HDR hater, I’d say it sucks because it is an HDR image.

If I was a Tilt Shift hater, I’d say it sucks because it is a tilted image with a skewed plane of focus.

If I was an UrbEx hater, I’d say it sucks because it is a shot of a decrepit scene.

If I was a Bob Lussier hater, I’d say it sucks because it is a shot of yet another staircase.

And if I was a Freq hater, I wouldn’t even take the time to let you know that it sucks.

However, I am very thankful to say that I love everything and everyone mentioned above (including the shot).

I certainly appreciate what you’re attempting at here, it takes stones to solicit feedback focusing on the negatives of the shot.

However, if there is a nickel’s worth of free advice that I try to share with any willing ear, it is to always process to your own taste. Never, ever compromise a shot that you like because someone else thinks it can be better by ‘doing this’ or ‘changing that’.

In that vein, if you aren’t happy with a particular aspect of a shot, then the debate should end there. The best way to grow is to be able to internally audit what it is about your shot that you don’t like. If it’s a technical issue, go reshoot it. If it’s a stylization issue, start with a fresh tone-map and see what comes of it.

There are plenty of times when I’ll share an image with my trusted counterparts (you being one of them) and soak in the feedback. However, I also know that I am totally fine with disregarding any-and-all-of-it if it involves some aspect of the image that I know I like.

In the end, I shoot, process, and post for myself. The fact that I am able to share these images and people actually seem to respond positively (for the most part) to them is a blessing that I’m immensely grateful for. You have the same effect with your images and I think whatever you are doing should be continued with zeal and vigor.

Don’t change a thing unless you are the one who wants them to change.

I don’t think its an issue with the processing the the out of focus banister is too imposing. I think it’s too distracting and ultimately detracts from the photo.

Go rent an old motorcycle, strip off the chain and flog your back but don’t beat your work. Nothing wrong with this. I like it. Let it age. Everything looks a whole lot better as soon as you forget what you DIDN’T like in the first look. Nobody sees faults as well as the “daddy” of the image.

Wow! I’m really overwhelmed by the number of responses from all of you! I’ve read them all, and it seems every one of them has something that could be incorporated Into a reshoot. At the same time, I also see and resonate with My friend Brian’s thoughts that some of us (like me) shoot for ourselves and must therefore be audit ourselves! Re this shot, like some have noted here, I think I should have raised the camera higher, somehow managed to include a bit more (see, nikon needs a 17mm PC-E), and perhaps allowed the foreground banister to be a bit more in focus. Next time I’m thee, I’m gonna give it another shot! Thanks everyone for all the great constructive criticism! Love it!

I don’t think the photographer wanted everyone to say how great his work was…the contrast between intense detail around the bannister/floor compared to the out of focus areas is just too great. I think you tried to put too much in this photo, tried to line up the black and white steps too perfectly, and I’m pretty sure the whole thing would look better in black and white. Still…I’m blind and my seeing cat described the photo so it’s hard to say. Also my cat says, that’s one mucky carpet, and he wouldn’t be happy going up and down it. I told him that wasn’t the point.

I like the out of focus part, it reminds me of the total irrationality of German mentality.

I’ve been quietly admiring your work for months now and I suppose it’s not typical for a first comment to be critical but you asked for it. 😉 I will preface my comments with this though;
** I am by no means an expert or anything remotely close to it. I’m actually relatively new to photography, HDR and the like, but I’ve been admiring photos for most of my life. I actually think your work is amazing and I would kill to have a shot as good as this one!

One thing I noticed about it though, that differs from many of your other shots that I like is that there isn’t an element that really pops out and grabs the eye. The railing obviously stands out, but not as dramatically as elements in some of your other shots. Sometimes it’s just some color or an item in a room, but something always grabs me immediately. As mentioned above, perhaps the lack of ‘grunge’ is what’s different.

So I guess I don’t really have any real criticism, this shot is just ‘different’ than many of your others from my perspective. Regardless, it’s an incredible shot and I can only hope to someday create the quality work that you do. Your work is truly inspiring!

Hope that made sense! Keep up the amazing work!