Roberts Gallery Night Image Critique With Kevin Raber


One of the images in the video

I was very honored and privileged to be the judge of the 2020 Roberts Camera Gallery Night. The event was hosted virtually on Friday, August 7th, 2020. Literally thousands of images were submitted. There were so many great images and everyone who participated should be proud of the work they submitted.

While we were judging the six different categories I got to be thinking. I was seeing a lot of great photography but many images didn’t make the final cut and most of the time it was because of little things and a lack of some very simple post-processing techniques.

Thus, I thought it would be fun to take a few of these images and share how I would have handled them to take them further. With a little bit of effort and cropping, many of these images would and could reach new heights.

Showing before and after

I have the great opportunity to work with lots of photographers while leading workshops to various locations around the world. I am always amazed by how many photographers invest in their camera gear and take great images, but many times don’t invest in the time learning how to process their images.

One of the simplest ways to improve your images is by cropping. As you will see in the video below cropping is essential. Regarding cropping the other thing that I think photographers need to learn is to take advantage of cropping for the subject. Many photographers insist on cropping to format. In the digital age, there is no reason to crop to format. This simple technique will make a huge difference.

The other thing I ask always look for is triangles in the corners. Crop or content-aware those out. Bright areas are also a photo’s worst enemy. One of the first things I do when looking at an image is to squint and see where my eyes goes. It usually goes to the bright spot in the image thus distracting my eye from the main subject.

This brings me to making sure the viewer knows what the subject of the image is. What is it you want the viewer to see in the image? Make sure the eye goes to the subject. This especially noticeable with skies. For example, you may take a photo of a beautiful log cabin but on your final print leave in too many puffy clouds. Otherwise known as too much sky. While the sky may be beautiful and has beautiful looking clouds, you need to remember it’s not the clouds that are your subject, it’s the log cabin.

In this video that runs a little over an hour, I take a number of images that were part of the Roberts Gallery Night entries and show how I would have handled them with the intent of making them stand out more and maybe even be worthy of being chosen as a finalist or winner. I in no way want to offend anyone whose image I have used for these demos. I do this from my point of view and how I would have handled the image to make it stand out more. It’s a great chance to see what can be done.

The corrections made during this video were done using only JPEG images and using Capture One. Any number of image processors should fo the same things. I use Capture One as I am a firm believer in its capabilities. I must also mention that for 13 years I was a Vice President at Phase One the maker of Capture One. During that time I got quite good using it. If you haven’t used Capture One before it’s a good time to take a look at it.

The Video


I hope you enjoyed this. If you’d like you can join us for the next three Tuesday nights as I edit RAW files live.  I’ll be using Zoom to show how this is done.  Space is limited and it’s FREE.  Check out RAW edits With Kevin, where you will find all the information as well as a link to register for this Zoom event.

Thanks, everyone, and please stay safe out there.

Kevin Raber
August 2020
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: News, Tutorials, Videos, MISC

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