In House Critique of Graveyard Shift Photos

Most of the time, my wife lovingly tunes out when I talk about photography. Every once in a while, though, she shares her thoughts. I always value her comments highly because they do not come from a photographer or artist, but just a simple, everyday viewer. And, when it comes to my photography, she is more than willing to be a hard reviewer, so none of that, “oh, that’s great honey” jazz. Here were her thoughts, as best I can recall, for the photos in the recent Graveyard Shift gallery.

Feel free to leave your own comments below. And please, leave some negative comments. Positive comments are only good for buffering the hard stuff.

Looking for the Time Card

This was her favorite. Good thing, because I like to start strong. She liked the action, watching this guy hunt for his time card. She also likes (foreshadowing her dislikes) that he does not know I am there, primarily because she does not want think about a photographer in the scene, but to just be a part of the scene.

She also liked the framing. When she mentioned it, I realized the door looked very distorted. My mind started thinking through if it was barrel distortion because of the lens or just a strange angle that caused it, and then how to fix it. She liked it precisely because it was curved. It was not interesting if straight. Ok. I will leave it.

Punching In

I was personally waiting to see if the hand was too hard to notice, if a glace would pass right over it, but she did not have any problem there. She did not want to be this close in, though. She wanted to see the person checking in, not the hand only. She felt the focus was the clock and not the people. It made her feel like this person knows the photographer is right there, and it took her out of the story.

Talking Before the Shift

This was my personal favorite, but not my wife’s. Actually…the more I look, the less I like this one…do not know why. Again, she felt these two were almost posing. They know the photographer is there and are not natural. Interesting comment. It is totally natural. They knew I was there, yes, but were just talking. I do not know what other think, but I still find the comment interesting, because often the truth does not matter, the perception of what is going on is truth to the viewer.

Heading into the Factory

Her only complaint here was she wanted to see more people. Just one person did not cut it. I liked the lonliness of it…it is the midnight shift, after all, but I could not convince her.

Midnight Means Going Home for Many

Again, she wanted more people. I did too, for this one, but they left one by one, so there was little I could do. She did not dig the foreground parked motorcycle.

Standing Guard Till Morning Comes

Again, she felt like these two guys were almost posing. Again, they knew I was there, but I am pretty sure they did not know I was taking a photo. She (nor I) was very fond of the lack of action or their stance or whatever you want to call it instead of pose. They walked out and walked in. I thought I was going to get something else, but it just did not happen.

Overall, this story could be much stronger if I hit the shift change a few nights in a row. All these reflect about 20 minutes outside, with a good 15 minutes sitting around waiting for the shift change bell and some movement to happen. It was a helpful experiment for me, though, and is one more step in developing those story telling muscles.

Cooper Strange Written by: