Expert advice and tips on improving your photography from Damien Demolder. He gives his appraisal of Duck, Bradgate Park by Ian Williams, to see how it may be improved.

Ian Williams-before

Before: The original image is rather too cool in tone.

Photo: Duck, Bradgate Park

Taken by: Ian Williams

Kodak EasyShare M753, 37-111mm, ISO 200

Some of the best pictures are accidents and, while it might seem a bit mean to attribute this image to an unconscious stroke of genius, 
I think that’s what we’re looking at. Ian shot this at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire with a Kodak EasyShare M753 compact camera. While the other images he sent demonstrate clearly that he has an excellent eye for composition, my appraisal is that none are quite as good as this one.

I really like the way Ian has placed the duck so carefully in the frame created by the shadows on the water. The curve of the bank sweeps round from the bottom left to the top left, creating an echo of the shape of the bright patch of water. It’s all very well done. And the duck sits in perfect profile, with its unmistakable duck shape, perched on a rock with a clear outline.

My only comment is that the colours are a bit cool. They look OK cool, but warming the shadows and cooling the highlights forms 
a nice chromatic contrast, and adds richness to the scene. The noise of the compact camera transforms into brush strokes, although we’d all agree it would be improved if it were taken with a more sophisticated camera.

Ian Williams-after

After: By warming up the tones, the overall effect is richer.

If Ian can take pictures like this with a basic camera, imagine what he could do with something more sophisticated. It’s a worthy winner of my Picture of the Week Award.