Michael’s Comments for February 2013

More images flowing in from Lijiang and its surroundings, all confirming what a great location it is, with such variety.


Winning Entry: Alex Lim, Girls’ Wishes

My favourite this month is this from Alex Lim…

…and the reason is that the photographer has realised how to make the most impact from this mass of tablets. Masses of things, particularly if they’re unusual, often make very good subjects for photographs, particularly if you do the two things evident here: first, fill the frame with the mass, so that they bleed off at the edges, and second, add action and human interest if possible. Wide-angle lens from below, strongly angled upwards, and the two girls at the bottom of the frame. My only suggestion is in the processing to lower the tone of the marked area at left. It’s currently a little too bright, and distracting.


Shortlisted: Lee Chin Pong, Blue Moon Valley

Here’s another picture, from Lee Chin Pong…

What I like about this is the arrangement of soft hues, which are pleasant, complemented by the slow shutter speed that renders the flowing water smoothly, with an overall gentle result. Now I can only guess what was at right, and how things might have looked with a slightly different viewpoint a little to the right and fractionally higher, but the small triangle of bright sky top right catches my eye a little too much. I think it would have been better, if the viewpoint allowed, to have been larger in the frame (camera to the left), or cut out completely (camera to the right). I’m loathe to suggest cropping at the right, although it’s a possibility.


Shortlisted: Lorraine Chng-Seah and Rasmus Seah, Yulong Snow Mountain

The third picture this month is another into-the-sun mountain scene (we had one last month), from Lorraine Chng-Seah and Rasmus Seah.

On the plus side here is the lovely layered and misty backlit effect of the ridges in the distance, and a good exposure that gives a starburst around the sun with all detail still visible. I also like the slightly desaturated choice in the processing. I’m a little less happy about the foreground, where nothing much of interest is happening. Yes, I know it’s not always possible, and you’re limited by the trail, but in theory at least, to have had something, anything, in the lower left would have helped to balance the sun. As it is, personally I would consider cropping up from the bottom – there’s a choice of cuts.