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Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by the_traveler, May 14, 2013.
One of my first shots with the Oly EP 3
I really like this photo! I might have been tempted to crop out the lower 1/4 though, just showing the top of the kid's chair rail. (It's funny, that's the way the photo appeared on my screen until I scrolled down and saw the whole thing . . . and I think I liked the cropped version better--it focused attention better on the phone.)
It does look pretty good like that but it puts me in a quandary.
I always crop to standard aspect ratios - always - for a couple of reasons.
So if I cropped from the bottom I'd have to find some space on the sides to chop off. Let me look at that in the AM when I'm smarter.
Thanks for looking and taking the time to comment.
I really like it. It's such a common sight these days. I would crop it to a square, but that's my preference. I think it helps to focus on teh main action.
I'm (genuinely) curious as to what these reasons are. I understand sticking to particular aspect ratios for printing, but if you're sharing the image electronically, what is the point? Also, which aspect ratios are considered "standard"?
As for the cropping, I quite like it the way it is. I wouldn't want to lose any "room" on the sides, so if you were to crop the bottom, then I would go with a square crop (sticking to standard aspect ratios) as previously suggested. However, I think that cropping the bottom risks losing the instant recognition that the child is in a high chair, which reinforces the dichotomy between the subjects ages.
This is a very nicely captured moment. I love how the older man (grandfather?) is touching his forehead which suggests confusion, while the child's body language, specifically the way he is pointing at the phone, is much more direct -- it almost appears as if the child is teaching the grandfather about the phone. The fact that both of them are looking at the phone does the work of directing the viewer's eye there.
From a technical standpoint there is some "halo-ing" (not sure if that's the correct term) around both subject's heads which is a bit distracting. I would also suggest you try to darken (burn) the brighter areas (particularly the chairs) in the foreground and background so that they don't distract from the central image.
Thanks for the technical comments; I'll go back and look at the original.
I adhere strongly to (my own) theory that the format of a picture and even its size has an impact on perception.
I believe that it is very easy to be impressed by a large picture perhaps because of the implications of it being large. And... I think that viewers are affected or sense, even unconsciously, by an aspect ratio that is much different from what they are used to.
If we are 'used to' 4:5, 2:3 or even 1:1 then aspect ratios that differ markedly from those draw attention to the shape and away from the image.
My intent is that the viewer look at what I want them to look at and not to be distracted even minimally by an awareness of something else. Even when I see a picture cropped 1:1, I immediately become aware of the aspect ratio and try to understand whether it is appropriate for the content.
I don't want that distraction.
I really like the subject and the moment that was captured, the expressions and interaction between them works really well.
As far as improvements, there are 2 things that jump out at me:
1) I'd crop this way tighter, so the two of them almost fill the frame. The rest of it is distracting and the space around them doesn't really add to the feeling of a shared moment. I didn't try this with an actual crop tool, but this is one of a small number of photos I'd look strongly at a 1:1 format for, because it looks like it would fill the frame with just the essential elements very well.
2) The motion blur - not much you can do about this in post but I find it distracting. Primarily I think the downside is both faces are soft and that's where my eyes naturally want to go. There's also a halo on the man's head which I think is also from the motion blur?
Last thing I'll say is I'm not a huge fan of sepia tone - I do like this in monochrome but I can't help feeling a silver/gray toning would be an improvement. However, you may wish to chalk that up to my personal bias against sepia For me brown toning makes it look more like someone is going for an "old fashioned" photo look which doesn't match with the cell phone in the pic and the other modern elements. YMMV.
Thanks all for well reasoned and insightful comments on this picture.
I will look at re-editing this and try to incorporate some of these ideas.
It is a meaningful photo and I like it. Well done.
The first thing I noticed is that it is a bit soft but seems to work with the soft subject matter. Or at least the softness in the focus doesn't detract from this generally benign image. I like the suggestion of cropping at about the table top level too. Not because below that necessarily detracts but because it seems to add nothing to the image. I like how the man, by his posture (leaning in and hand to head) conveys genuine interest in what the child is pointing out. Gives the image a presciousness that speaks to a lot of viewers. The head in the upper right keeps grabbing my attention though. Might be cloned out but I'm afraid that could leave a huge hole that is equally distracting. Maybe not.
I think I would attack this either with some localized burning or with a vignette (which would also help to minimize the distraction of the chair in the lower right) or both. Of course, that decision might be due in part to my own lack of skill/experience with the clone tool.
Agree on the crop idea. If you did pull up from the bottom, you could also drop from the top, and explore a tight crop of the two of them. Of course, I'm saying this and not exploring the crop -- talk is cheap, lol.