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Call for Critics: "Expecting"

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by quatchi, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    It's been a while since I uploaded one of my pictures in order to get your honest opinion and critic. So, please feel free to comment (like, dislike and anything in between).

    I post it as part of the "Call for Critics" series - thus trying to revive the series. Here is the text from the series kickoff:

    Ok, but now to the picture. I am currently experimenting with portraiture as well as black and white. So, what do you think?


    18cfa81bd805519b880721795cdfd106.

    Expecting by quatchi on 500 px


    Technical details:
    Camera: E-M5
    Lens: LUMIX G 20/F1.7
    Focal Length: 20mm
    Shutter Speed: 1/30 s
    Aperture: f/1.7
    ISO/Film: 200
     
  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I don't like the inclusion of the lower parts, makes me go a bit "ewww", so I'd go for a crop including the bump which is photographed very nicely. The top arm is quite good too but the chin looks a bit iffy so a crop there too.

    Just my opinion, I know nowt.
     
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  3. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Is it taken through glass? I ask because of the odd flare/reflection on shoulder and the leg. That distracts me.
     
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  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I like the "through glass" flare thingy.
     
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  5. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I think the lighting and BW conversion is fine. My main distraction is the legs apart pose... it just doesn't feel right. Maybe crop it out, or try again with a different pose?
     
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  6. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Thanks guys for your feedback!

    To address your comments:
    I didn't shoot through any kind of glas or anything. The light leak effect was brought in by post processing after the b/w conversion. In my opinion it suits the overall look of the picture.
    The cropping/pose comments are very interesting. It never occurred to me that the pose or frame selection would render the pictures less nice/favorable. I took a piece of paper and simulated a crop of the picture (masking the lower part - give it a try yourself). The resulting image, however, doesn't work for me. A complete crop of the legs would although slice the hand which makes it look strange.

    But here is more general remark: Thanks to your comments I looked at the picture more intensely (i.e., for a longer time and maybe also with a changed perspective). After a while it dawned to me that the legs indeed are very prominent in the image. The dark/shadowy part cast by the right leg even supports this visual effect as the dark spot is in contrast to the white underwear and bright window in the back. Unfortunately I do not know how to avoid this at the moment. Cropping doesn't seem to be the right method. Maybe a different pose with the model standing up?

    Any further thoughts on the picture?
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    My initial emotional reaction to the image was that it was too intimate -- sorta like I felt like an intruder or voyeur. This was not a comfortable feeling, but not all art needs to feel comfortable. When I dug deeper to determine why the image provoked those reactions, the way the subject is positioned/posed with the open legs and the way the face is cropped were the elements that contributed to my reaction. I don't consider myself particularly prudish and I generally feel that the pregnant female form is beautiful.

    I really like the way the image is backlit with the light from the window. I don't know if you used any other light sources, but if you did I commend you for maintaining a very naturalistic look. I also like the way the soft window coverings match the overall dreamlike tone of the image, although the wool blanket/rug has a bit of the opposite effect, since it has a "scratchy" look/feel. I think I would try to eliminate/minimize the light on the blanket in the extreme lower left as it tends to draw the eye away from the subject. In that same vein, I found my eye drawn to some follicles/freckles/imperfections on the subject's legs. I would see if I could minimize these as well. Cropping just below the subject's right knee would accomplish much of the same goal and would also minimize the appearance of the open legs. I like the positioning/posing of the both of the subject's hands.

    I'm not sure I like the flare in the right 1/3 of the image. While it does fit with the overall diaphanous feel of the image, I can't help but think that the "looking through glass" aspect of it may have enhanced my initial voyeuristic reaction.

    Overall, it's a lovely image that captures a very sentimental moment.
     
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  8. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Yeah but if you crop just below the little finger it still looks better.
    So I would go for that, and crop down under the chin.

    Also : if the image was mine I wouldn't need a piece of paper to imagine the crops ... that'd be for us visitors who won't be messing with your photo without permission.
     
  9. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    To be fair, nothing on this picture makes me think "expecting". If you would include something that's ready for newborn, like a crib or toys, then it would make more sense.
     
  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I agree. I like the idea of cropping just below the little finger even better than my previous suggestion of cropping below the right knee.

    Regarding the crop on the chin. I don't love the current crop there, but I presume it was framed that way so as to preserve some measure of anonymity for the subject. There's a rule of thumb that says to never crop on a neck and I think the idea behind that applies here, so I wouldn't suggest cropping under the chin. For me, the option would be either to leave the chin as is or (if the original was cropped) to bring back more of the face.
     
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  11. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    If you are able to... I feel retake the photo with the model standing up would be preferable. I feel legs apart and showing the crotch area is an unflattering pose for a lady. This is just my opinion though...
     
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  12. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    I finally had some time to edit/crop the picture. Here is the result:

    [​IMG]

    What do you guys think?
     
  13. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    This crop feels much more "comfortable" to me. I still don't love the light-leak effect that was added in PP...I would like to see a version without that or with it toned down considerably.

    If you were thinking of re-shooting it, I would like to see a version with the subject standing.