Photo Review - "The Message" by Paul Smith

"I love travelling through Arabian countries and as I don't speak anything except English, all the writing looks like hidden mysterious messages to me which I think makes this photo look like an ancient temple from the pages of "'1001 nights'!" - Paul Smith

Initial Thoughts

First of all this photo has the perfect composition in my eyes, something that happens rarely with photos I review so good job! The other good things about this photo include the good exposure, it could be a little bit brighter but overall it's solid, and the focus is razor sharp - even when zoomed in at 100% I can see every single detail in the image, and there are a lot of details for sure!

How This Photo Could Be Improved


As soon as I saw the photo I thought that something looked slightly off about it. It’s the distance between the two sides of the picture, it gives the photo a sense that it’s crooked even though it isn’t (I checked in Photoshop). The optical weight of the left side of the photo is much bigger than the one of the right side which makes the photo look a bit unfinished.

Look at the amount of information on the left side compared to the right, it ruins the symmetry of the photo.

This is symmetry achieved by cropping. It results in a taller photo.

The symmetry in the above photo was achieved by duplicating the left side of the photo and then flipping it to match the right side. After that I blended it into the photo and did some touching up to make it as perfect as I can.


The photo looks good overall but could be made even better by making a few minor adjustments.

The exposure should be boosted a little bit, adding some more colour to make the image pop. Some added contrast would also be good, this would help to separate the stone floor from the wall and give the image more dimension.

Here is the photo with added contrast and vibrancy. A little of exposure fixing as well.

An Alternative Edit

Turning this photo into black and white whilst keeping the gold writing makes for an interesting alternative in my opinion. Don't be scared to play around in your editing software to see what you come out with!


An outstanding photo that's simple, solid, and strong with only a few mistakes. Keep up the awesome work!

#arabian #travel #architecture #photography #review #critique

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