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Thread: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Los Angeles
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    226

    Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Hello friends,

    I'm considering applying to an MFA photography program this upcoming fall, but am not sure if my works are good or strong enough, so I would like to defer to you experienced experts to see where you think I stand. The great majority of the work was made with my Linhof Technikardan 45S, however, a few were shot with my Pentax 67II and Fuji GW690III. Here's the link to my website:

    kristianwolfe.com

    Any suggestions, comments, and/or critiques would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks for your time and taking a look!

    -Kris

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
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    1,915

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Kris,
    I'm sure you will get more suggestions than you ever expected -- and more than you can digest. You will also probably get suggestions that tell you to do the exact opposite of someone else's suggestion.
    I assume you are putting together a portfolio as a requirement for admission? At UCLA?
    The first thing that comes to mind for me is that I'd like more photos with more foreground. A nice background contrasted with a large/dramatic "something" in the foreground makes both stand out. For example, a large pine tree in the foreground and a canyon in the background. A dilapidated car in front of a large factory. Etc.
    And add people, or body parts, to some pictures -- any way you can -- especially in the foreground.
    Wide angle lenses can help.
    Keep in touch and best of luck

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    154

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Kris -

    I'll offer a few comments based on what I used to tell students. First, you appear to have a stylistic approach that is specific and easy to see which differentiates you from other photographer's work that might also be presented. Exposure, focus and other technical skills are all good. I would suggest that you consider your vision or message. While many of the images are interesting, they are not all very unique. I'm a huge fan of buildings but unless there is something you are saying or showing something artistic, they are just snapshots of buildings. Again, we are all guilty of this. Look at your images and ask if there are strong graphic lines that you like and consider cropping or focussing on these. I'd agree that you should consider additional subject matter and add some close up work. Finally, be aware of "dead skies" which tend to hurt overall image balance. Ask yourself about your message. What do you see an what are you trying to show the viewer? Pick your top 10 and ask others to do the same and see how they compare.

    Best of luck!

    Brian

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    226

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    Kris,
    I'm sure you will get more suggestions than you ever expected -- and more than you can digest. You will also probably get suggestions that tell you to do the exact opposite of someone else's suggestion.
    I assume you are putting together a portfolio as a requirement for admission? At UCLA?
    The first thing that comes to mind for me is that I'd like more photos with more foreground. A nice background contrasted with a large/dramatic "something" in the foreground makes both stand out. For example, a large pine tree in the foreground and a canyon in the background. A dilapidated car in front of a large factory. Etc.
    And add people, or body parts, to some pictures -- any way you can -- especially in the foreground.
    Wide angle lenses can help.
    Keep in touch and best of luck
    Thank you kindly for your advice! Indeed, I'm planning on applying to the photography/art MFA programs at UCLA, Yale, Stanford, RISD, University of Chicago, and CalArts. While I'm aware of it, I haven't considered the importance of the foreground/background divide. I do also think I need to add more people to my work, but I'm painfully shy (hence there are barely any people in my work). I'll certainly heed your advice and keep all that in mind going forward!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    226

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmikiten View Post
    Kris -

    I'll offer a few comments based on what I used to tell students. First, you appear to have a stylistic approach that is specific and easy to see which differentiates you from other photographer's work that might also be presented. Exposure, focus and other technical skills are all good. I would suggest that you consider your vision or message. While many of the images are interesting, they are not all very unique. I'm a huge fan of buildings but unless there is something you are saying or showing something artistic, they are just snapshots of buildings. Again, we are all guilty of this. Look at your images and ask if there are strong graphic lines that you like and consider cropping or focussing on these. I'd agree that you should consider additional subject matter and add some close up work. Finally, be aware of "dead skies" which tend to hurt overall image balance. Ask yourself about your message. What do you see an what are you trying to show the viewer? Pick your top 10 and ask others to do the same and see how they compare.

    Best of luck!

    Brian
    Hi Brian,

    Many thanks for your great input! I appreciate the comment about the stylistic approach, which I really do hope does differentiate my work from other artists' work. I fully agree with your comment regarding photographing with a message or something truly artistic and how, otherwise, they're just snapshots. That's certainly good food for thought and I'll definitely keep that in mind going forward. I've been meaning to dip into portraiture, but as you can probably guess from my work, I'm painfully shy. I have no idea how to even ask people to be in my photographs. I feel like portrature is all the rage, and it's not something I'm against at all, but I suppose I can't find anything interesting in people that hasn't been done by someone else already. Nonetheless, it's something that I definitely need to work on for sure.

    Many thanks again!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    36

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    I disagree with the comments so far. I think you have some very strong images. Go for it!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    SooooCal/LA USA
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    2,674

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Nice stuff (and I recognize many of the locations), but the tough part now is editing and post-conceptionization... (What/why these images are together???) Besides that you did them, what would someone figure why their experience seeing them on a wall or book, what ties them together between experience and viewer's thought...

    School will bring critical thought to sequence and concept, often based on trends in art thinking in art market and theories, and trend in/out, often based on past/present theories in art crit...

    A whole other animal in difference between work, and what can be said about it...

    Good work!!!

    Steve K

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Posts
    525

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Kris,
    Speaking not seriously, and maybe seriously - leave as far as possible from these places and as quickly as possible.
    Don't be offended. Life is short.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    136

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    Great work, reminds me a lot of Todd Hido, Nadav Kander and similar artists. You could benefit from sorting your images in distinct series and then shooting more images that fill up these projects. Check how Todd Hido set up his first series (Homes at Night, Interiors). You can also try and add people in the foreground, as well as portraits, thus coming closer to Alec Soth's seminal work.

    I think you have a great chance of getting into a photography course.

    Just my two bits.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Wassenaar, NL
    Posts
    380

    Re: Can you guys critique my website/portfolio of my large format photography work?

    Just a neutral question so don't get me wrong: do you mean your website or your photography. (I like your photography more than your website.)

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