Expert advice and tips on improving your photography from Damien Demolder. Damien looks at Girl in the Window by Jorge Gonçalves Silva.

Before- JGS

Photo: Girl in the window

Taken by: Jorge Gonçalves Silva

Nikon D90, 18-200mm, 1/250sec at f/8, ISO 400

This picture’s clever composition relies on there being a pattern and that pattern being broken by the element of the picture we’re supposed to look at first. In a frame full of squares and hard angles, the roundness of the girl’s head stands out – helped by the dark background behind her naturally lit face.

There are a couple of things that Jorge could have done differently, though. Everything isn’t quite straight – he wasn’t 100% square on to the window, and his zoom lens has introduced enough pincushion distortion to take away some of the power from the hard square angles. I’ve fixed that using the Transform tool. I’d also have tried to shoot it a little bit wide to give room to polish the straightening process in software, and made more use of helpful in-camera levels.

The second thing is the colour. The blues of the stone and the girl’s clothes work well together, but they’re quite strong and my eye goes to them before it goes to the girl’s face. They need to be desaturated or removed. I’ve gone for the removal option, but then added some warmth via a duotone. This simplifies the image, and helps us get to the real subject a little more quickly.

After-JGS

After: By removing distracting colour tones, we can enjoy the real subject more quickly.

For all that, this is a great shot, Jorge, and you’re a worthy winner of picture of the week.

  • Searcher

    The original is much better. It needs that splash of colour to draw the viewer’s eye.

  • Elizabeth Hitchens

    I liked the original better.
    Without color, it just looks depressing, like she’s in a jail.