Expert advice and tips on improving your photography from Damien Demolder. He gives his appraisal of Taxi by Tomy Nurseta Widyadi and offers advice on how it might be improved.

Photo: Taxi

Taken by: Tomy Nurseta Widyadi

Canon EOS 7D, 50mm, 1/250sec at f/5, ISO 500

Before: The background is too bright, so the subject is rather lost

Before: The background is too bright, so the subject is rather lost

This is a nice shot by Tomy. It depicts a scene that tells us a little story with a good dose of humour. It is the kind of picture that makes us smile when we imagine what it would be like to see this bike pass us, or even to peep into the passenger section on such a rainy day. It’s fun.

The problem is that the subject doesn’t stand out enough because Tomy’s exposure has rendered the people too bright against a bright background. For the viewer to see the bike and its passengers, first we need more tonal contrast between the subject and background to make the subject stand out more clearly.

After: Darkening the overall image means we now know where to look

After: Darkening the overall image means we now know where to look

To do this I’ve darkened the whole exposure and used the Burn tool to add density to the shadows behind the bike. The building 
in the background is interesting, but not as interesting as the cyclist. As the creators of photographs we have to establish some sort 
of hierarchy in the image so the viewer knows where to look first.