Jason -Too much contrast for my taste in the first image/portrait. Harsh, almost blown out light on the subject's right plus the backdrop having wrinkles showing both distract. Work harder with light. As I might have said before here, you must be brutal with yourself, working is critically important. Talent will take you only so far.The second image, "Kix" needs help in finding its climax. Should my eye go to the cereal box? Milk? Bowl of Kix? Once I've gone on the journey I'm not sure it was worth taking. Work with object placement first then create the light that gives it drama to tell the story. Same goes with the poker shot.
I am okay seeing the detail of her face if you emphasize it even more. Her expression doesn't fit the shadow.The cereal shot is too literal. Maybe have the milk pouring in the bowl so the Kix fly out.The poker shot has the same literal quality. What can you do to make it more dynamic. Spin a chip? Turn it into a flag? Make them into a tower?
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