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Author Topic: Untitled (Backlit man in chair)  (Read 3422 times)
michswiss
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« on: September 28, 2010, 02:21:06 AM »
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2010, 11:05:56 AM »
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Jennifer, Good shot! There's a woman on the left with her face turned toward the principal. If there's any detail hidden in that face I guess I'd try to bring out at least some of it.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2010, 01:20:35 PM »
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My immediate thought is to crop out the 2nd person at the left edge. It's distracting from what would otherwise be a simple and strong composition.
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 01:41:50 PM »
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Peter, Download it, bring it into Photoshop and try the crop. I think you'll change your mind. If you look at Jennifer's web you'll see that she knows what she's doing. I think that mass on the left side is necessary.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 02:02:28 PM »
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Hmmmm...while I can see what you were trying to do, I think this pic misses the mark a bit...at least for me. While I like the overall composition, I feel nothing towards the main subject. His positioning tells me nothing about why he is there, who he is, or even what he's doing. Heck, he looks more mannequin than he looks human, which COULD work in a photo, but I doubt that is what you were trying to show. If there were some small indication of any of those questions, then I might feel differently.

As for cropping, I have to....again....take the croppers stance. Like Peter (and with sincere apologies to Russ), I see little benefit in the figure on the left, for two reasons. One, the main subjects slouching position is enhanced with a more vertical composition (cropping on the left) and actually makes me like the photo more. Second, I find the figure on the left so nebulous in shape and devoid of detail that it's actually a bit distracting, especially considering that there are so many wonderful and subtle detail elements in the background (sign, street, other patrons, the stool, stuff on the table, awnings, etc.

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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2010, 02:53:49 PM »
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Chuck, I tend to agree with you about the main subject, and, as I said, I wish the woman on the left had enough detail at least to be able to detect a face. But, again, I'd suggest trying the crop before you decide. You end up with an even more hollow subject when his mass isn't balanced by a mass on the left.
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pegelli
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2010, 02:58:58 PM »
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Obviously the artist is always right, but cropping the left person (believe me, I tried it) makes a better picture for me, it makes the sitting man more desolate and gazing into empty space. With the left person the picture is closed and loses that feeling. Maybe as useful as a discussion about the gender of angels, but it's my feeling with this picture.
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pieter, aka pegelli
Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2010, 05:26:23 PM »
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I couldn't get this downloaded to work a crop...but removing information piece by piece really allows the message to begin appearing...my clipping tool is a course axe but you get the idea...the elements of time spent and being spent in body and soul are delivered by the ongoing theater in the background and the empty bench carrying  the viewer into the tale in almost non recognition of his existence build on the story more...just what caught my eye before I ead the posts...
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2010, 05:35:09 PM »
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I find Patricia's cropping more effective and powerful than the original. I felt that there needed either to be more of the woman on the left or less. Pat's version works better for me.

(But I agree with Russ's basic tenet that it's always best to get the cropping as close to right as you can when you take the picture.)

Eric
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2010, 08:44:20 PM »
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Eric, I agree. I like Pat's crop, especially since the static 1 to 1 aspect ratio fits the result. The original was pretty static because of the principal's body language. Now it's a very static picture and quite good. Only problem is, it's not Jennifer's picture.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2010, 10:49:53 PM »
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Eric, I agree. I like Pat's crop, especially since the static 1 to 1 aspect ratio fits the result. The original was pretty static because of the principal's body language. Now it's a very static picture and quite good. Only problem is, it's not Jennifer's picture.
Right, Russ. I agree that Jennifer has the only vote that matters.

I well remember many years ago showing a print to a group of photographers that I got together with frequently. On that occasion they wanted to do something drastic to my print, and I remember how good it felt to be able to say (to myself): "They're wrong. They just don't get it."

Eric
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michswiss
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2010, 12:59:01 AM »
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I appreciate the well thought out discussion and it does help.  In this case, if I had been 1-2 meters closer I could possibly agree with the 1:1 crop.  I use that A/R a lot.  As it is, I left it FF for a couple of reasons.

This is the start of an experiment for me as it represents a return to film (TX400 in this case).  I've had the negatives scanned at high resolution on a Flextight system and am still figuring out what I can do with the TIFFs in post.  Short answer is I don't know if I can recover any detail in the woman on the left.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 01:00:35 AM by michswiss » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2010, 03:47:14 AM »
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Jenn, I wouldn't try. The shot, as it stands, is perfectly okay.

You can't go second-guessing things that depended on the immediacy of the moment that made you click. I like absent detail in parts of images; it corresponds with the mood of misty landscape - bridges over small park streams, inner-city canals, all those other different, but parallel emotional charms.

Above all, beware the danger of letting other minds worm into your own vision. Close your ears and keep you eyes on what you do so well already. Sieff, as well as, I think, Horvat, at different times walked out of Magnum, not least because of HC-B putting his views somewhat forcefully to them. Do it your way, every time. That's what I always hate about the 'critique' business; it just doesn't matter what others believe - photography is personal or it's nothing.

Rob C
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pegelli
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2010, 03:56:04 AM »
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That's what I always hate about the 'critique' business; it just doesn't matter what others believe - photography is personal or it's nothing.

Rob C

So should we let these all these "user critique" posts here unanswered in your opinion?

At least on my posts I would like to know what other honestly think. I don't have to agree but hearing other and different opinions shapes my vision as a photographer. I think that's the whole purpose of this subforum isn't it?
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pieter, aka pegelli
michswiss
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 04:56:38 AM »
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So should we let these all these "user critique" posts here unanswered in your opinion?

At least on my posts I would like to know what other honestly think. I don't have to agree but hearing other and different opinions shapes my vision as a photographer. I think that's the whole purpose of this subforum isn't it?

Please keep providing critiques, at least for me.  It is invaluable in understanding how others see my images.  It's also a really good drill to be reminded of certain techniques and compositions that I might not have thought of in a while.  Plus, I do take advice.  For example in my "My normal stuff" thread, the critique led me to try a couple of reprocessing techniques that resulted in a much more balanced exposure without the blowout in the background.  I didn't repost the result as I think it's also important to let certain discussions fade to make room for new ones.
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stamper
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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 06:36:53 AM »
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So should we let these all these "user critique" posts here unanswered in your opinion?

At least on my posts I would like to know what other honestly think. I don't have to agree but hearing other and different opinions shapes my vision as a photographer. I think that's the whole purpose of this subforum isn't it?

I think that Rob is exhibiting a kind of closed minded mentality? Rob you have been in photography for a long time so I kind of understand where you are coming from but others are still "on the journey". Listening to others can't be a bad thing. Whether you do anything about it is another matter? None of us know it all and there are still things to be learnt or at least re learnt?  Smiley
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Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2010, 09:02:02 AM »
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Jennifer, I looked at your work last night and realize that I was too quick to jump to a place I was drawn to in your locale...this  I could only have done if you had indeed very assuredly taken me there to drink in the scene, and you did so very well dropping me in a living place free to frame my personal image...so documentarily this becomes very strong, and consistent with what I see now you are doing with this project...

Also in an attempt to point out the area of power for me I posted a crop which I will never do again in that way, because it does not leave in tact the image that is yours...The image below would have been a better way, but had I informed my self first with a knowledge of your work I would not have moved so quickly to crop... and I don't know that moving in would have been representative of the larger body of this project...Thank you for the posting...always learning  due to the work of others, and the commentary above all supports what is often difficult and you have a grip on...knowing and being yourself... a nice discussion...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 09:07:49 AM by Patricia Sheley » Logged

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Rob C
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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2010, 03:13:45 PM »
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"So should we let these all these "user critique" posts here unanswered in your opinion?At least on my posts I would like to know what other honestly think. I don't have to agree but hearing other and different opinions shapes my vision as a photographer. I think that's the whole purpose of this subforum isn't it? "


I think photographers can be split into several camps: those who know what they want; those who know what they want and how to do it; those who want to be told what they want; those who also want to be told how to do it.

"I think that Rob is exhibiting a kind of closed minded mentality? Rob you have been in photography for a long time so I kind of understand where you are coming from but others are still "on the journey". Listening to others can't be a bad thing. Whether you do anything about it is another matter? None of us know it all and there are still things to be learnt or at least re learnt?"   
 

No, I don’t think it is to do with having been in photography a long time; I think it is to do with my definitions above. With film, I can’t remember ever having asked anybody anything other than how to process the stuff and make prints.

With digi it has been much harder for me because I have also had to come to grips with computers, programmes like Photoshop, things that I basically dislike, though not their benefits. There, I have had to beg advice which has, on the whole, been happily given.

As I understand critique, it is a request for someone to tell you where you went wrong or what you should have done instead. This, frankly, is nonsense. How can another person possibly advise how you should think which, basically, is what people here tend to be doing? The request is as futile as the reply fatuous.

If your eye needs educating, then buy quality magazines on your subject; watch documentary films, as in natural history ones. I have been more impressed by some of the BBC material coming out of Bristol than anything from Hollywood. But yes, do watch Hollywood too; those film guys know a thing or two about images: how to create emotion, how to light and how to make it all grab you.

Perhaps the most pointless request is to do with ‘street’ shots and how to do them better. How the hell can you rerun life and happenstance? It is insane to expect somebody else to offer sensible advice after the event. Do you just say: buy a Leica and a 35mm and you’re home? You have to know the shooter’s mentality, even he/she might have serious problems with having that information whilst young, and I really do believe that telling them how they should do things – just your opinion, after all -  is doing them no service whatsoever other than screwing with their own make-up. Heysoos! – did you need anyone to tell you how to make love? It’s the same damn thing!

So, in direct response to the first quotation, yes, I have often remarked in LuLa that the critique concept, per se, is not a great idea. By all means chat and offer advice technical, but leave the mind alone. Why are you prepared to allow others to “shape your vision as a photographer”, as you write? You are you.

Stamper – photography a journey? A sixpenny bus ride. Or a life. You take your choice and if it’s the short ride, so much the better. The other alternative? How many of us that went that route are a bag of laughs 24/24? Or even close. But the thing is, we chose it and wouldn’t be happy doing what we would see as second-best with life; we could never live with having chickened out on ourselves; it’s about doing it our way. So, I repeat what I believe: advice on technical  matters, yes! Advice on aesthetics  - never.

And no, nobody ever knows it all, even with film! But the great thing is, you don’t have to, because much of it is irrelevant to what you might have chosen to do with photography, and the important stuff is pretty easy to retain.

For example: Fred remarked on the Bar Avenidas shot in my website. It’s a horizontal of a rather oblique angle to a window with a couple of women in brilliant sunshine outside. I was inside the Bar A, looking askew at that window; the camera lives in Matrix; with that vast proportion of dark interior, no system could give you the exposure other than via spot, and that’s the rub: you have to fiddle with tiny wheels and change settings. There was no time. From film days, the sunny 16 rule came into my head and no metering was needed, just a setting (always on manual –  now you know why) made on the fly based on old film technique. Half a sec. to set it. Done.

But look, others will think as they will, and quite rightly too; I simply don’t think Jenn needs advice from anybody. She already has all the skills she needs and has proven that shot after shot. What else is there she needs? Self-belief?

Rob C
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2010, 10:18:04 PM »
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Rob,

I know we've been over this many times before, but I think you are taking these critiques far to seriously. Most of these critiques are not about the photographer's overarching vision or voice (for which I would agree with you), but are instead about the effectiveness of a single image (or small group of images). I not only consider such critiques valuable, I consider them invaluable. Necessary.

There are many reasons such image critiques are helpful. One of the most common is over attachment to an image due to the experience or difficulty of the shoot. I dare say we've all had images whose failings were hidden by our memory of the shoot. In a similar vein, we've all been to fantastic and exotic locales at which we've made photographs which simply don't work, but whose failings are hidden by our intimate and romanticized memory.

Critiques are tools that help keep us grounded by forcing us to relook at our images through different perspectives and viewpoints. To allow us to see successes and failings to which we may be blinded. They are not meant to change us, but simply to open our eyes.

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2010, 11:26:04 PM »
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Rob,

I know we've been over this many times before, but I think you are taking these critiques far to seriously. Most of these critiques are not about the photographer's overarching vision or voice (for which I would agree with you), but are instead about the effectiveness of a single image (or small group of images). I not only consider such critiques valuable, I consider them invaluable. Necessary.

There are many reasons such image critiques are helpful. One of the most common is over attachment to an image due to the experience or difficulty of the shoot. I dare say we've all had images whose failings were hidden by our memory of the shoot. In a similar vein, we've all been to fantastic and exotic locales at which we've made photographs which simply don't work, but whose failings are hidden by our intimate and romanticized memory.

Critiques are tools that help keep us grounded by forcing us to relook at our images through different perspectives and viewpoints. To allow us to see successes and failings to which we may be blinded. They are not meant to change us, but simply to open our eyes.


Beautifully expressed, Chuck. I was trying to figure out just how to respond to Rob, and you did it for me. Thanks!

Eric
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