Expert advice and tips on improving your photography from Damien Demolder. He gives his appraisal of Boy on the Beach by David Kessel and offers advice on how it might be improved.

Photo: Boy on the beach

Taken by: David Kessel

Nikon D7100, 12.0-24.0mm, 1/400sec at f/18, ISO 100

Before

Before

Some consider ‘the possession of flare’ a crime against the laws of photography and demand immediate justice for such outrage against common decency. And that’s why I like it.

David has made great use of that glimpse of sun and its dramatic reflections inside his lens, and has created an image that’s full of atmosphere and reality. The combination of happy sun, rolling hills and small child reminds me of Teletubbyland, and it’s all rather jolly.

The back lighting has allowed David to make an effective silhouette from the boy’s body, but with wonderful rim lighting in his hair 
and the sand glowing against his darkness.

After: The contrast has been lifted and the darker tones are less intense

After: The contrast has been lifted and the darker tones are less intense

I think we’ve lost a little more to the shadows than we needed to have done, so I’ve lifted the contrast a touch and reduced the intensity of the darkest tones for a softer feel. There was also some dusting to do – you can’t get away with a dirty sensor in a shot like this! I’ve added some colour, too, to create a selenium-toned effect. It’s only mild but I think it suits the image.

After

After