Expert advice and tips on improving your photography from Damien Demolder. He offers his advice on George Taylor's image, Greetings, to see how it might be improved.

Photo: Greetings

Taken by: George Taylor

Olympus OM-D E-M5,1/80sec at f/1.8, ISO 800

George tells a good story with his picture of these chaps greeting each other. It ‘s an everyday scene and nothing out of the ordinary. 
By capturing the moment and sharing it with us, George helps us to celebrate those small but special moments of life.

George Taylor-before

Before.

I like the atmosphere of the place and the time of day, and I think I would enjoy sitting at one of those tables, looking out over the city. The friendliness of the men and their pleasure at seeing each other adds to the pleasant feeling we get from the picture.

I like the light on the man’s face, too. It helps pick him out from the background and tells us that he is the subject. There is a lovely view behind him, but the light and the fact that the background is slightly soft, means that we know George wants us to see him first. And that is well done.

This is one of those unfortunate moments, though, when half the frame is behaving itself while the other half is playing up. The lady by the door is distracting and I keep wondering what she is doing. Her pose and position create a tension. And then there is the third man – his head is bursting out of the foreground man’s shoulder and their bodies blend. The left side of the picture works wonderfully, but the right-hand side is a jumble.

George Taylor-after

After.

A warm exchange between two old friends has been uncluttered by removing unnecessary people.

There was nothing George could have done about this, of course, because these moments pass and we have no control of the players. It’s just unlucky. George’s timing was great though.

I’ve quickly obliterated some of the distractions, straightened the frame and cropped it to a proper square and then added a colour tone that might reflect the warmth of the light that evening.