EPUK Editorial Photographers United Kingdom and Ireland. The private mailing list and public resource for editorial photographers

Stupid Flickrs

The self-appointed critics in the DeleteMe group at picture-sharing community Flickr are never backward in coming forward. So presented with a photograph of a cyclist and a stairwell, and asked for opinions whether it should stay or be deleted, the comments came thick and fast.

“Why is the staircase so ‘soft’?” asked one. “So small…so blurry…to better show a sense of movement SOMETHING has to be in sharp focus” commented Caroline of Oregon (wasn’t she one of Henry VIII’s wives?).

“Grey, blurry, small, odd” (sounds like a description of half of the EPUK moderators) And – in what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity – another poster admitted “I have no clue about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ photography”.

Indeed. Because as the original poster already knew, and other members of the group were painfully slow to realise, the ‘soft’ ‘grey’ and ‘blurry’ image was by none other than Henri Cartier-Bresson. So while they lick their wounds (or, in some cases, continue to argue the photograph could have been better if HCB happened to have a Coolpix instead of a Leica in his hand), we’re happy to help out a few other photographers on their behalf.

Don – once you get the practice in, you’ll find that a bit of fill in flash can brighten up those under the helmet shadow woes. A bright scarf would really help to bring a bit of colour, too.

Davey, Davey, Davey – you’re clipping your histograms and destroying both highlight and shadow detail. Not a very good effort, I’m afraid. Have you tried photographing sunsets ? They’re very popular on Flickr.

Bobby – I think you’ll know in future to get your film developed at a reputable high street lab ! That way if they screw up the processing, you’ll at least get the price of the roll of film back. A combination of Unsharp Mask and “Reduce Noise” might help rescue their mistake. And remember – if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not spending enough time retouching in Photoshop.

Martin, Robbie – I don’t know what the two of you think you’re playing at, but if you’d have just moved slightly, you could have got their faces in the shot – or better still, you could have left out the flags altogether. Stop wasting our time with wind-on frames, and start taking proper pictures. How about cats or sunsets ?

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