Crit My Pic – The Trumpet Player

Crit My Pic – The Trumpet Player

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Initial thoughts

Hi Don,

I think there is a lot of energy in the pose of the musician, and definitely one for black an white as the contrast between shirt and cap and shoes I think really works. I’m not a fan of vignetting as I think it breaks the audience’s ‘suspension of belief’ – in that I mean if the vignetting is spotted then the viewer feels post production has been applied and somehow a lie has been told through the image.

Here is the Crit

First and foremost I would always start with composition, that being RULE of thirds to see what’s on those points of interest and in fairness in this shot nothing of interest lands on one of those key image making points. To counter this I would ask myself ‘what is the key point of interest’ In this image definitely the musician but what part of the musician. Here it is the trumpet. Which part of the trumpet? The mouth end or the music playing end? Seeing as he is playing I reckon what’s coming out of his trumpet is most important and whether that is fixed to a third point in composition or cropped to that in post , I don’t mind either but it will give the image a point of focus.

Trumpet Player

As for the total composition, and although sometimes nerve racking, we control only where we stand and when we shoot (Quote David Hurn) and with this being a street corner musician I feel there was ample opportunity to move around the subject and see if a better composition could be picked up. Musicians like having their photos taken 🙂

The musician himself could have been isolated from the background a little ( although this does depend on the background available) I feel the view from below the musician is a good idea although could have been pushed more to make him and his trumpet were the main focus of the image.Currently because of the background and the line on the floor the musician is part of a closed box which because of the angles closes him down and I would have thought playing the trumpet was an exuberant sport although I do like the leaning of the lamppost and the musician ( it would have been astounding to add a third element doing the same – but thats often impossible).

 I am a fan of harsh tones but am aware some photographers aren’t so I think this shot has a lovely tonal range.

To sum it up:

As I said in the beginning I like the idea of the image and moments of storytelling can override much of what I’ve suggested so in short my thoughts would be:

  • Rule of Thirds – never take a shot without it in your mind.
  • Be careful of visible post processing.
  • Where you can, press the shutter twice or even more times as you look for the shot.
  • Keeping your eye out for great moments is a skill and you did well here.

If you want me to go over my thoughts with you please don’t hesitate to contact me via the site!

Stay sharp and keep shooting




  1. Thank you for your critique. I will keep your ideas in mind whenever I go out in search of new photos.


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