"DIAGONAL LINES"  Visual Critique
September 2020 by Robert Chaplin

Critique Approach:

Keeping with the critical approach as the previous digital challenge; I am including comments on the fundamentals of photography along with ways I see to improve the image. Keep in mind the idea of improving the image to my aesthetic may be different from what the artist intended. If it misses the mark; disregard the comment.

I have often said; image titles lead the judge to what you are trying to express. With that in mind, I may comment on some of the image titles as part of this critique.

Also, keep in mind that, if provided, the visual critique was performed on a jpeg. It will not be perfect but is intended as a visual aid to express the written critique.

The scores will reflect judgment based on the technical, processing, artistic and emotional impacts, and challenge requirements.

Special Note: Don’t read if you can’t handle tough love…ready??? Here we go…

Judges don’t care what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it, or what it cost to get to the destination. Judges don’t have a relationship with people or pets in a photograph. Judges are reviewing images in a vacuum. This means we are commenting based on the technical quality and emotional response of a photograph. A simple been there done that or look what I saw shot belongs in a book of memories and not in a competition. Substandard photographs will be judged as that and based on the KCC scale it equates to acceptable. Become a student of what makes a good photograph and submit that to the competition. Keep in mind, not all cellphone shots are bad, and not all professional camera shots are good.


Rolando Prol
Score 86

Image is compositionally sound. There is a leading line guiding the viewer to a diagonal line leading the viewer to the end of the visual alley. The diagonal roof line on the left also leads the viewer to the end of the alley. Ideally, a diagonal line would lead the viewer to the subject or point of interest. Compare the side by side visual critique for a processing idea.

Beach Shadows

Jim Farrington
Score 71

The image has diagonal lines so it meets the challenge but it feels like something is missing. The image is a little flat and has lost detail in the shadow areas. A change of perspective could have strengthened the abstract idea. See the visual critique: Keeping with the monochrome idea, processing for contrast and a tighter crop may strengthen this abstract image. Did the crop, change of perspective, and contrast add to the abstract idea?



Chand Baori Step Well Rajasthan

Pilar Geada
Score 72

There are diagonal lines in this average shot of an interesting subject. It is possible to include too much in a subject this interesting. The people in the upper left area of the image don’t do anything to help the image. So much more could have been done to emphasize the steps and diagonal lines. Compare the side-by-side visual critique for perspective adjustments and processing ideas.

Colorful Design

John McKnight
Score 66

Yes, there are diagonal lines in this shot, but this is also a photograph of someone else’s artwork. It seems to me the idea of the challenge was to use diagonal lines to lead the viewer through the image. These diagonal lines create an abstract image and notice the perspective. It was photographed from the left with the focal plane not parallel with the subject. Notice the converging lines? See the visual critique for perspective and symmetry composition ideas. Did the change help the image? Don’t photograph someone else’s art for a competition.



Delhi Train Station

Pilar Geadar
Score 76

Good use of leading lines, both implied and actual. The diagonal lines lead the viewer through the image to the back out of focus area of the frame. The image could have been refined to clearly define the subject. Is the subject the man in the red shirt or the out of focus people near the vanishing point of the converging diagonal lines? Seems like a rhetorical question, but what is the photographer trying to convey. See the visual critique. Did the crop and processing strengthen the image?

Down and Under

Ruth Casal
Score 74

Compositionally sound image. It is always a risk to take an artistic processing approach. The key to this approach is to make the image look like the technique was intentional and not covering up a poor photograph. See the visual critique for some minor adjustments, including adding some color to the sky. Anything goes with creative processing, including adding color to the sky.


Horseshoe Diagonal

Norene Monahan
Score 79

The image meets the challenge with diagonal lines. Abstract images rely on texture, color (tonalities), shapes, and their relationships with each other, among other things. When color approaches monochrome (one tonality), the tone/color is important. Colors have an impact on the way an image “feels”. See the visual critique. Did the change in tonality affect how the image was perceived (felt)?

Lakeslide Slide

Barbara Thompson
Score 85

Interesting composition and use of sunlight to create the diagonal lines from the slide with shadows. It is a simply stated image and the matting adds a nice frame. The color of the sand and water work well together. A darker sky would have strengthened the tonal relationship between the complimentary colors of yellow and blue. See the visual critique for the idea of a darker sky.

Nova Scotia Cheticamp

Daniel Holmes
Score 87

Diagonal lines, C-curves, and S-curves lead the viewer through the image. The panoramic crop strengthens the image. Compare the visual critique image with the original. In the original, the lines lead the viewer through the image without having a point of interest (the entire scene could be considered the point of interest). The visual critique version leads the viewer to the bench on the edge of the cliff. This composition gives the viewer, in this case, me, a place to sit and think. The image could have had more impact if there was a person, or couple sitting on the bench looking out over the ocean. What are your thoughts on the critique composition?

Palm Leaf

Jim Farrington
Score 83

The image meets the challenge of diagonal lines and the use of diagonal shadows adds interest to the pattern created by the texture of the palm frond. The image seems a little flat and with most monochromatic images, contrast is their friend. In case you are wondering, simply stated, monochrome is any image with varying tones of one color. It’s not just black and white. See the visual critique for the idea of added contrast. Of course, this is a personal preference issue, but what do you think?


Pattern Play

Barbara Thompson
Score 79

Nice “play” on words for the title. This abstract image meets the challenge and the choice of monochrome most likely strengthened the image by making it about the lines and patterns. As previously stated; the Image seems a little flat and with most monochromatic images, contrast is their friend. See the visual critique for added contrast. What do you think?



Pointing Up

Rolando Prol
Score 85

Simply stated image with diagonal lines everywhere. It seems to me the use of monochrome helps emphasize the lines and patterns. As previously stated; the Image seems a little flat and with most monochromatic images, contrast is their friend. Notice the sky in the original is a light grey. See the visual critique for added contrast. What do you think?

Ship Shapes

Barbara Thompson
Score 84

Diagonal lines everywhere and the pops of color add interest to an otherwise monochromatic image. I review images on a color-calibrated monitor. The original image seems to have a colorcast. Disregard the rest of this critique if the colorcast was intended. See the visual critique for a color corrected version. Does it make a difference?

Sunset at the Taj Mahal

Pilar Geada
Score 70

There are diagonal lines in this image with the river, the skiff in the foreground, and the building wall. The diagonal line of the river does lead the viewer to the building and sun, but as the title suggests, this image seems to be about the sunset and the Taj Mahal. However, the Taj Mahal is small in the frame, which diminishes it as a subject. This is a monochromatic image with exposing for figure and ground (silhouettes). The image is a little soft (out of focus) and there is a lot of unnecessary space on the right side of the frame. Was this needed for the Sunset at the Taj Mahal statement? Not for me. As for the sun…the sun is problematic and trying to expose a scene and not have a blown-out area for the sun is not possible. But, this can be handled in an image-editing program. See the visual critique for ideas on composition and processing. Did the crop reinforce your image title? Notice how the sun has a hint of yellow instead of pure white? ”.

The Line Up

John McKnight
Score 71

I see the diagonal lines, but other than that the image lacks visual, emotional, or for this judge artistic impact. I see the pattern of the fruit – green apple, red apple, orange. In addition, I see each piece of fruit has the same orientation as its counterpart, but something is missing. This is simply fruit lined up (as in the title) and photographed on a piece of fabric. Without knowing what you were going for besides the diagonal lines, it is hard to comment on this image. If it was intended to be a still life, the choice of fabric and lighting would have changed the feel. I did, however, play with your image, and using a filter effect of rough pastels with a canvas texture and a little motion blur added for effect, gave your image somewhat of an artistic feel. See the visual critique. Did it change the visual impact of the photograph?

UM Bridge

John McKnight
Score 88

Plenty of diagonal lines including the line created by the walkway leading to the door. The image seems well exposed and the composition is acceptable. It may have been a stronger composition with the pedestrian walking in the middle of the walkway instead of against the railing. See the visual critique, where I move the pedestrian and added a little contrast. What do you think?


Window Light

Yevette Shapiro
Score 64

The diagonal line created by the window light was a good idea, but this image falls apart on execution. It is not good enough to enter an image into a contest that only meets the challenge parameters. The image must be well composed, exposed, and processed. It should also make a statement and have an impact. Zoom in on the image and you will notice fringing (chromatic aberration) on the windows and edges of the bar joists in the ceiling. Google “what is color fringing in photography”.  It also looks like there was some cloning and or patching in the upper portion of the corner where the light originates.

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