This week our evaluation volunteer is Warwick Davis, an avid street (and former professional) photographer from Sydney Australia. Warwick recently retired (early) from a career as a real estate appraiser to pursue his passion for street photography and travel. He’s also a big fan of major league baseball and the Boston Redsox.
Warwick asked us to give him feedback on three photos from his portfolio, so here’s the highlights of our comments below each photo:
There are two things I really like about this image:
- The men in this image fascinate me because they are together, but each one is focused on something different. Each one is in his own little world. From left to right it looks like they are thinking about a runny nose, making it down the stairs and the woman. They add a quite a story to this image.
- My favorite part is the flow of this image. The people are positioned in such a way that they mirror the lines of the archway, which gives this image a beautiful, easy flow. It makes the eyes sweep across very naturally.
The color scheme. While the people’s clothes create an interesting pattern in blues and greys, the colors are rather lifeless. I feel like this detracts from the interesting lines in this image and keeps it from being one of those images that grabs your attention and makes you stop scrolling. Perhaps B&W would make it a little stronger? Still, I think only a side by side comparison would reveal whether color or black and white make for a stronger image.
Initially I was really taken by how sharp the photo is. The reason I like it is because the gives the joints between the blocks sharp definition should make them appears very strong lines in the image.
Although the photo was in color it looks black and white, except for the color of the subjects’ clothing which makes them really stand out in the frame.
I also really like the three guys who are all wrapped up in their own thoughts., Except for the man on the right who was looking outside the frame of the arch at the woman walking by. Had he been disengaged like the other two the photo would not be nearly as interesting. Excellent timing on your part.
The only suggestion I have is to crop the photo tighter eliminating the wall on the left and even the Argyle Stairs text at the top eliminating some unneeded elements and making the subjects, framed by the archway, more prominent.
There is a lot going on in this photo, and at first glance I thought it was a little too busy. But then I looked deeper and saw something very interesting.
On closer inspection I noticed that the main subject in the photo is you, the photographer… Not the guy at the table or even the ladies in the background. This is very different and I like it.
I think you are the subject of the photo because your are attracting the attention of the guy in the window as well as the ladies framed by the outline of your body and your reflection. Had you not been there their attention would’ve been focused inward.
As I look at the photo I can feel my eyes moving counter clockwise from the man in the foreground to the women in the background and back around again to the man. And this is caused by the presence of your reflection in the frame.
Not gonna lie – at first glance, I thought this was just another coffee shop window shot. These are not that original and there are a million of them. Sometimes I feel like they are just over-glorified street photographer selfies. HOWEVER, when you take a second look, you find that this is actually a pretty interesting shot.
I love the golden spiral effect – there are a lot of layers here and they swoop around in size. The window frame and umbrella reflections lead the eye around to the man closest to the window and then over to your reflection – where you caught the two women as well. That makes for a nice composition though with all the elements in this image you do have to look for it a bit.
The people make the shot though. Your reflection tells me you are just taking a photograph totally normally, but the people inside make me wonder – what did you do to make half of the coffee shop customers turn around and look a little unsettled by your actions? It’s funny, it’s human, your timing was great to get them all framed in there like that and that’s why I can confidently say this is not just another over-glorified coffee shop selfie.
The colors, composition, story – this image has it all. First the colors. Pastels all around from the brick wall to the photographer to the main subjects. Really like it.
Excellent composition – really good example of golden spiral. It draws your gaze around very naturally.
The story leaves me with more questions than answers – something I think all great street shots should do. I wonder – why are they taking that shot? What is the occasion? Are they a couple? Is the girl just a prop? Does she like that guy kissing her or not? Lots of mysteries here and despite the other positive things I mentioned – it’s that story (or lack of) that keeps me looking.
This photo has it all. It’s got a beautiful woman with a funny expression that’s genuine, not posed.
I really like the way she’s leaning to the viewer’s right and the posture of her partner as he leans into the kiss. You caught a really genuine moment here in a situation that could have easily been posed and unnatural. And to top it off, it also includes a photographer.
This photo reminds me of something I might have seen in life magazine when I was a kid. It’s a very interesting slice of life taken at just the right moment.
However I, do find the pastel triangles in the background to be somewhat distracting. For that reason I’d love to see what this one looks like in black-and-white. My suggestion is to try a few different black-and-white versions to see how you feel.
I encourage you to visit Warwick’s website at https://warwickdavis.net.au. He’s done an excellent job selection only a few of his best images to give you a sense of his vision. I applaud him for resisting the temptation of uploading more photos than most people can digest.
Also, be sure to visit his Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/visitor82/ to see even more of his work.