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Author Topic: Being Precise  (Read 1315 times)
Chris Calohan
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« on: March 13, 2013, 11:09:04 PM »
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What! Me Worry?

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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 07:10:29 PM »
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No anything...eh?
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kikashi
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 03:38:40 AM »
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No anything...eh?

OK, if you insist! It's well exposed and well processed and it shows someone concentrating hard. I don't like the left-hand part (the hanging paper) much, though.

Jeremy
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Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2013, 04:34:31 AM »
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It's just an unpleasant picture, Chris. It does nothing to lift my mood. I get depressed ever time I get up in the morning and have to pass that guy hiding in the mirror. Why would I want to see yet another guy even more depressing?

Rob C
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amolitor
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 08:38:41 AM »
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I've looked at it a bunch of times, but no commentary coheres in my mind. I'm not sure if I like it or dislike it. There's a lot of good stuff in it, it's a fine composition, but I think I find it somehow unsettling for reasons I can't even guess at.
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 08:41:51 AM »
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I'm in the same boat as Andrew. Technically it's a good photograph but I don't like it and I'm not sure why.
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 08:51:42 AM »
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It was an oppotunistic moment..I had to sneak up on him because he was terribly camera shy; there was a pretty strong, late afternoon sun coming in through an open garage door and while not particularly over-bright, strong in color temp. I made it B&W because I didn't think the color worked as well, and I did some vignetting to push the strenght of what he was doing to a smaller section of the frame.

For me, I think it is important for forum members to make a comment even if they don't like a shot. Otherwise, I think some posters wonder why they should bother at all.

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amolitor
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 09:03:38 AM »
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There is something queerly feral about the guy, I think. I know he's just measuring a thing, but he looks sort of fox-like, a little creepy and animalistic. I think maybe the conflict of that aspect of his posture and expression is conflicting with the relatively mundane reality of the carpenter making the measurement is what's throwing me.

I agree that commenting is good! I just haven't been able to construct one that wasn't pretty much self-contradictory gibberish.
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 09:15:59 AM »
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If honest comments become mandatory, Chris, I'm sure what you'll see most of the time is: "Ho hum."
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 11:51:07 AM »
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Perhaps, Russ...perhaps, but I hope not. I am always of want to find something positive to someone else's image and if negativity is necessary, I always hope I can do it with at least some delicacy. I did a comment on a critique in another forum for bashing some poor slog on an image, that while wasn't stellar by any means, at least had possibilities if someone had just shown him some editing possibilities rather than bash him in the head with a baseball bat.

Here is the first comment made and it does have a positive note at the end, but it's kind of a bit left-handed given the prelude:

"Well, the low vantage point makes her legs and feet look enormous, she looks like she is bored to death and rather uncomfortable, the red chair is distracting, the light is very harsh and flat, the shadows under her chin are terrible, the composition is dead center, the only thing in sharp focus is the front of her blouse, and the background is ugly.

Good white balance and exposure though."


I did several edits on the image to show him ways that he could make the shot more interesting and alleviate some of the pitfalls he faced in making the shot.

My response:
"However, there was a great teaching moment here lost on this young man. There are photoshop tools (and I'm still learning most of them) that allow a bit of body sculpting (those enormously fat legs), color correction (the chair), color replacement or matching, color mixing (to ease the chin shadows), and some more directed lighting, clean-up, etc (background, floor). What I've done is take his failure (for lack of knowing how to do better) and learned how to work with a bad image, if for nothing else to learn."

« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 11:53:08 AM by Chris Calohan » Logged

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kikashi
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 02:52:17 PM »
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I made it B&W because I didn't think the color worked as well

I agree.

For me, I think it is important for forum members to make a comment even if they don't like a shot. Otherwise, I think some posters wonder why they should bother at all.

When I don't comment, it's because I feel I have nothing helpful to say. While "I like it" is at least encouraging, "I don't like it" conveys nothing save for my personal preference.

Jeremy
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 03:11:21 PM »
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Perhaps, Russ...perhaps, but I hope not. I am always of want to find something positive to someone else's image and if negativity is necessary, I always hope I can do it with at least some delicacy. I did a comment on a critique in another forum for bashing some poor slog on an image, that while wasn't stellar by any means, at least had possibilities if someone had just shown him some editing possibilities rather than bash him in the head with a baseball bat.

Here is the first comment made and it does have a positive note at the end, but it's kind of a bit left-handed given the prelude:

"Well, the low vantage point makes her legs and feet look enormous, she looks like she is bored to death and rather uncomfortable, the red chair is distracting, the light is very harsh and flat, the shadows under her chin are terrible, the composition is dead center, the only thing in sharp focus is the front of her blouse, and the background is ugly.

Good white balance and exposure though."


I did several edits on the image to show him ways that he could make the shot more interesting and alleviate some of the pitfalls he faced in making the shot.

My response:
"However, there was a great teaching moment here lost on this young man. There are photoshop tools (and I'm still learning most of them) that allow a bit of body sculpting (those enormously fat legs), color correction (the chair), color replacement or matching, color mixing (to ease the chin shadows), and some more directed lighting, clean-up, etc (background, floor). What I've done is take his failure (for lack of knowing how to do better) and learned how to work with a bad image, if for nothing else to learn."

I don't like to make people unhappy or uncomfortable either, Chris, but there comes a time when, if asked, unless you intend to be dishonest, you just have to tell the photographer that what he has is unsalvageable. It's not fair to give him the idea that with enough "editing" the picture can be saved. This is one of those cases. Everything about the picture of this woman is wrong. Saying that white balance and exposure are good simply tells him that his camera is operating as advertised. No amount of work with Photoshop is going to save this disaster. The low angle is wrong. The lighting is wrong. Screwing around with the shadows under her chin doesn't improve things. Her eyes look as if she's been in a fight. What this guy needs to do is get his hands on a good book on portrait lighting, read it from cover to cover, and practice as he reads. Yeah, it's hard work and there's no silver bullet that can teach the guy what he needs to learn without the hard work. Beating yourself to death trying to find something nice to say about this kind of blooper isn't fair to you or to him.
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amolitor
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 03:31:14 PM »
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I think Chris is talking specifically about teaching.

It's only partly about finding positive things to say, it's also partly about telling the student what they did right in contrast to what they did wrong. When I am grading a math problem, it's pretty unambiguous that the answer is wrong. So, we start from there: NO. WRONG. After that, though, I take some time to go through whatever work the student did and try to sort out the good ideas from the bad, and point out each. My remarks usually go something like 'good start, you've set this up backwards though, you should have
started out this those two things the other way around. Then at this step you lost the minus sign. And here you seem to have just gone crazy so everything after this makes no
sense.'

I direct the student toward more of This, and less of That.

It doesn't mean that the picture is salvageable, it may well still be NO. WRONG. But there's almost always something good in a picture that's worth pointing out.
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nemo295
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 03:41:34 PM »
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Your attempt to fix the lighting by dodging out the shadow under her chin doesn't work because it's a visual incongruity. The shadows under her chin are softer, but there are deep shadows in her eyes and elsewhere. Your approach has the effect of making it look like someone else's head has been stuck onto her body. Generally, if the lighting is so off that you need to do something like that to "fix" it, it's beyond fixing. It's a learning experience, but learning experiences are good things.
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 04:28:45 PM »
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I think I have to agree with everyone on this and stand corrected.
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Tonysx
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 07:29:40 PM »
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If I have to comment, then I think the vignetting in the BW image is unnecessary. Spoils the top right of an image I don't really want to comment on. Sorry, Chris.
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‘Be you ever so high, the law is above you.’ Lord Denning.
Chris Calohan
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2013, 07:56:05 PM »
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Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear outruns you and the bear eats you. It's okay.
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David Eckels
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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 05:28:43 PM »
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There is something queerly feral about the guy, I think.
He's hairy Wink
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