The waiting (please critique)

A shot from this summer, taken while waiting for my plane at the Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris.

The perspective correction probably still needs some improvement (I’m still learning how to use Darktable’s keystone tool)… apart from that, I’ve tried to balance the volumes in the best possible way with a 3:4 crop.
What do you think? Any thoughts/suggestions about the composition and/or the B&W conversion?


I like the conversion. The tones are very pleasant.

The composition needs to be toward the left a bit. There’s something intruding on the right hand window second from the top (an airplane wing?), and the shadows on the floor are forming a line leading my eye straight out of the frame.

Another option could be to crop just a tad off the right to remove that fleck, and crop off the bottom until just above the 3rd horizontal shadow from the bottom (counting the one that’s currently on the bottom as the first).

Unfortunately, that loses you the 4:3 aspect ratio, but oh well.

I like it. Especially the BW conversion.
Just to be picky, I would have used the window bars as a rule of third guide, with the man as a breaking element (is this correct? My english is a little rusty, sometimes)

@CarVac @Dario_M
Thanks for the comments! Later today I will try few different cropping options, to see if I can come up with something better. I definitely wanted to use the human figure as the breaking element of the geometrical composition…

My eye is drawn to where all the bars intersect which makes my eye dart around the image with no real focus. I played around with cropping and came up with this.

So I took Iain suggestion, reduced the amount of sky on top, and brought the horizon approximately in the middle of the frame:

Try to use the vertical bars to frame him

Here we go, with a sort-of vertical rule of thirds:

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Again, this time with a 2:3 aspect ratio

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The lateral framing is better, bt this misses the sense of height given in the original. Might be worth changing to 3:2 format, or have less ground and drag in another step of horizontal bars…

Is this what you mean? I’ve also added a bit of mid-tones contrast to put better in evidence the field behind the window:

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I personally like the 2:3 crop that keeps the full height (bascially go 2:3 and keep it left aligned, full height - chop off the right side a bit). I think it still keeps the full sense of height that @Ofnuts mentioned, while still having a lot of nice hard lines for the person to break. (I personally like the slight asymmetry that results)

@patdavid: do you mean something like this?

Yes, and it appears you had more vertical space than your initial post. :slight_smile:

All subjective, of course, but I like that it gives more room to ‘breathe’, or shrink the person down a bit compared to the nice hard geometric lines.

I agree, and that was the spirit of my initial version. However I’m still training my eyes in properly composing the geometrical volumes, and it has been really instructive to see how different people came out with very different crop suggestions!

As you said, it’s all subjective…

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The same initial shot, about 5-6 different interpretations :smile:


The mono conversion is very strong. I might have cropped along the top horizontal taking the three top rectangles windows out of the shot and using the horizontal black window frame as a natural frame / border on the top.

Similarly I would have done a little crop off the bottom horizontal, making sure the diagonal window frame shadow leads in from the bottom right hand corner (therefore acting as a natural lead in line taking our eye into the shot and onto the man).

The mans jacket / backpack is very silhouetted / black. I don’t know if you could bring out some detail there (dodge /burn tool), but I think it works fine as deep blacks, but some people might want to see some detail :smile:

I would have quite liked to see an aeroplane in the shot too, maybe on the far runway or even in the sky as this then “tells the story” and puts some context on the image. If not an aeroplane then maybe there was one of those orange wind direction thingies to the left or right. At the moment it is a man looking out of a big window, we have nothing in the frame to tell us why he is there.

It is a strong shot though and I am only suggesting minor changes as you wanted a critique :smile:

Have a nice day


The original is much stronger than the crop - very strong indeed. The only problem I see is that enough detail shows on the figure to make you look for more and that distracts from the composition, because it’s difficult. I don’t think reducing the figure to a silhouette as is would work because of the bulge of the backpack - again it would provoke attention and curiosity towards extraneous detail. So I’d either selectively lighten the figure or silhouette him and clone the bulge away.