|From the Critique Club:
I'm not sure how to go about critiqueing this one, if I should go from a photographic point of view or strictly from a challenge point of view. Either way, there isn't a lot that I can point out for improving the shot as is...
The lighting on this is harsh. I know in this type of photography we do not have a whole lot of control over the lighting. The lighting on his face and hands at this viewing size are not terribly appealing. Not sure your exposure is spot on either as the whites of the platform/float are not truly white but more of a muddied grey.
Compositionally, the platform that he is standing behind, quite bluntly, looks like crap. The boards going across it take away from the neatness (for lack of a better term) of the shot. In effect, they make it look cluttered. The house in the background is quite distracting too.
Technically, besides the exposure that I mentioned above, the shot seems quite soft. I don't know if it is motion blur (was he in the parade or mc'ing it?) or camera shake (what lens did you use for the shot?) or just not focused in the right place... I'm leaning toward the latter as his hand and the boards on the platform seem to be in focus but his face seems soft.
How can you improve this? I don't see anything that you could really do in PP except perhaps playing with levels to make your whites whiter and maybe mask out or darken the background house. The only real improvements I could suggest would have occured during the shooting. If he was actually in the parade, you could have followed the parade route till you had a better background and perhaps more even lighting. I have seen huge differences in parade lighting between two blocks. One with houses and trees like this and another with business that have nicely reflective fronts to help even out the light or fill the shadows... The only other suggestion I could make would be to zoom in more on the model and in effect crop out that funky platform. However, this may have removed the connection with the event which is important for this type of shot.
Hope you find something useful here. Photojournalism and candids are not exactly my forte...