Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by the_traveler, May 18, 2013.
Laurel Street Fair
Keeping an eye on daughter? Checking out a cute girl? Or just looking at the photographer? The ambiguity is good. Makes the viewer stay with the photo, look around, try to figure out the story. Good crop of extraneous material while keeping just enough in to show "street fair". Classic positioning of the focus points in the picture makes they eye go back and forth between them and balances the image perfectly. Nice image.
Lew -This has a wonderful wide value range between light and darks, especially on the light end of the range in table cloth and sidewalks which really holds the composition together. I especially appreciate it since I have a tendency to be heavy handed on the darker values. Hopefully I'll remember next time I try.
Gary -Thank for pointing them out. I completely missed the pair to the right of the straddled, booted one upper right. You sure sure have an eye for sifting through the minutia.
The couple up the curb are asking themselves "Why is that guy taking a picture of her? Is he some kind of perv?"
My idea of what is going through their respective heads - from left to right.
Girl with sandwich: This sandwich looks good (almost as good as my legs)
Guy with sunglasses: What great legs, I wonder if that guy with the camera will give me a copy of the picture he's taking? (I hope my wife doesn't notice me looking.)
Woman with sunglasses: My miserable husband is looking at that slut with the shorts. He never looks at me that way. I bet he'll come home all horny. Not a chance.
Me (with camera): what could I possibly say that would induce this young woman to drop the sandwich, take my hand and lead me to her apartment where we would make mad passionate love? Maybe that's expecting too much? Perhaps we could just have cheap meaningless sex. Yes, that would be OK.
Thanks for taking the time to look and comment.
While this is certainly not a momentous picture, I like it because the composition is so natural, leading the viewer from left to right and making the story as it goes. I think the background 'stuff' sets the scene for any Westerner who is familiar with neighborhood fairs, etc.
An older man, like you and me, having thoughts about a delightful young woman is not perverted, it's the natural way of things.
What other's have failed to mention is that it seems Ms. Legs may have a partner. The second'empty plate on the ground and the camera bag looking bag, which I don't think belongs to Ms. Legs by it's position ... a bit back where is is still guarded but not easy access ... all point to a partner who is out and about probably taking some snaps, (and for Lew a potential ménage à trois).
PS- Or she's severely hungry or she just likes sitting by trash and has awful tastes in handbags.
Technical End- I'd like to see a little more punch on Ms. Legs, a smidgen more contrast. You have decent tones/zones but they are unevenly weighted towards the darker end of the scale. (that is how it appears on my monitor)
Compositional Side- I would have liked to see the primary subject centered just a bit more (via camera position not cropping). By moving her up and a slight bit to the right would have made the finished paper plate more prominent in the image. For me, (after the legs), the second plate really adds to the story ... why is the plate there, who is the eater, why is the eater not there, et cetera? For my tastes less DOF would have really added to the image. To my eye the two bystanders are as easily looking at the photographer as Ms. Legs, so less detail may have helped redirect my mind to interpret the them looking at Ms. Legs. I think a tighter crop to just above the looking bystander's cap would minimize the messy/detailed (DOF again) background and all those butts and still leave enough background to locate Ms. Legs in an open-air street market/faire.
You raise a very important point Gary, that being that all monitors and laptop screens aren't created equal.
And Lew I didn't say the fotog was a pervert. I said that is what that other couple was thinking! My thoughts would not have spelled "pervert" as "perv." :smile:
Is it therefore the consensus that the camera bag and plate are Lew's, ergo...?
In my dreams
Nice shot. Makes for an interesting story.
If I were to change anything, I think I would go with a slightly tighter crop. I think one could lose the box in the top right corner and some of the backsides of the cutoff bystanders without losing anything and would help keep the subjects bigger and clutter free.
I somehow like the chaos inherent to street photography and don't believe too much in cropping/cleaning the original shot. This one is very clear to read and to imagine a story as already told.
You like the bag that much??
Lot's of interesting lines and shapes in this image, Lew. I love the diagonal line of the curb running nearly corner to corner. It really serves to draw the viewer's eye from the fetching young lady (the first thing I noticed) to the secondary subject of the sunglassed couple. The secondary near-perpendicular diagonal of the parking stripe serves to bisect these two co-subjects. I also like the rounded shapes of the shadow lines in the lower right (for some reason that I can't quite elucidate).
The choice of black and white works well with the "Street" oeuvre and the processing is terrific. While the bulk of the image tends toward the darker tones, the shadow line you've included tells the viewer that is because the scene is shaded and so therefore it looks natural (to me).
The things that I feel distract a bit from the image are the folding table and artworks immediately behind "Ms. Legs" as I believe we are calling her and the trash can immediately behind the couple. I don't know of a way that you could have eliminated (or even really minimized) these flaws by way of framing or changing your angle of view or DOF, so I guess we chalk these up to "that's life."
Great capture. Keep them coming.
Thanks for the comments and the intense look.
I must admit that I don't have much investment in this site. There seems to be an overwhelming urge to participate in these huge sharing threads where there is little or no critical view. Sort of like the mommy sites where people posts pictures of their children.
I do appreciate the technical information and, even more, the people who have looked at my pictures and taken the time to comment. But I do like the chance to see pictures that interest me and encourage me to stretch myself and I also like the chance to help others who are earlier in their path in photography. There is really just too little of that.
I agree that there is a lot of "gear talk" on this forum (and I'm often as "guilty" as the next guy in participating in that) and that much of it doesn't really serve the interest of creating better images. But I do feel like there has been a nice little (but growing?) group of folks that have been really receptive to these more critical discussions of images that have popped up in the last month or so. That informal group includes most of the folks who've taken the time to comment in this thread as well as a few others.
I know that participating in these types of critical discussions (dissections?) of images is something that has no doubt improved my skills. I'd love to figure out a way to nurture this little "c/c revolution" into something more. I'd also love to find a way that we can help each other learn about how to go about offering worthwhile critique, since that's a skill on its own that I am just starting to practice.
I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling disheartened with the participation in the forum as I've really appreciated reading your critiques. If you have any ideas on how we can nudge this place in the direction you'd like to see it go, I'm more than happy to listen.
Now I'm off to read some guy's blog post about "what is street photography" that he posted in another thread.
Ditto to DJK's comment about the critical discussions improving skills. Whether you read something new or something you have heard before but not considered lately, it is all valuable to honing photographic skills.
BUT, there is room for gear talk and kid pictures too. The forums here are a good mix of all of those things to me. When I want to see muscle cars, there they are, side by side with pictures that pique my imagination and challenge my photographic skills. I would like to help foster the c/c revolution that is spawning but don't want to lose the other great aspects of the website either.
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