Portrait Project: "Angst" with X:Animo Dancers. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by jambaj0e, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010

    By Joe Gunawan | fotosiamo.com
    with X:Animo Dancers


    Shot with a Panasonic GH2 with Olympus 4/3 Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5mm II lens

    Lit with two barebulb Einsteins camera left and camera right bouncing off the ceiling.

    You can see more from the series on my website under Conceptual | Commercial
    • Like Like x 11
  2. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2009
    This is one of the better shots I have seen on this site in a long, long time.

    A simple, yet striking composition, a superb job of lighting the scene, and of course the perfect body language and expressions of the young ladies, makes for one outstanding photograph.

    Great stuff, Joe.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rnagoda

    rnagoda Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Great shot - really, really nice. Love the GH2.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    good web site

    I paid a visit to your site. For a lot of photographers what you do is what they would have liked to do. I did shoot weddings, and lots of news work. What I really like is that your work, proves without a doubt that you can shoot commercial with M 4/3.
    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
    • Like Like x 1
  5. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    While lovely as usual ... hardly 'Angst' - 'Indifference' or maybe 'Boredom'.

    Not sure but there is something 'off' about the skin tones to my eye - Kind of metallic.
  6. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I can't figure out if I like or not. I think to me is that is that there is an element that tries to make the positions more natural, but obviously they are staged.

    I also agree with Rob, skin tones are slightly off and I feel the dress colors could pop a little more off the dull background. Overall, it is a compelling photo.
  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    You make us proud Joe.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 25, 2011
    Bravin Neff
    Works for me. On several levels.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Dalton

    Dalton Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2010
    Portland, Oregon USA
    Dan Ferrall
    I can be fairly hard on image captures at times...but...

    I like this composition a lot. I don't tend to like much PP but, I am coming around to like some of the work I have seen recently.

    I know the posing is a bit posed. So what? I like it. Well done all the way around.
  10. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I like it, and I like the poses. I also like the lighting and the colour palette.

    I wonder whether the picture would benefit from a different crop or slightly different framing. The left foot of the girl on the right extends to close to the right edge of the frame and something feels just slightly off balance to me. I wouldn't change her pose, I think the long leg to the side is great, but that leg seems really strong to me and something about the framing seems to work against that strength for me.

    I tried playing with "cropping" by reducing the height of my browser window. What I noticed is that if I cut a bit of the bottom expanse of bare floor off so that the leg points directly to the lower right corner, making the leg almost a 45 degree diagonal from the corner, the image seems to gain a bit of strength for me. Part of the reason for that may be that the left leg of the second girl from the left then points pretty much directly towards the lower left corner of the frame, becoming a another diagonal which balances the leg on the right very nicely for me. I think that would then require a change at the top of the frame to balance the reduction in space at the bottom.

    I hate double guessing other people's composition but to me those 2 outstretched legs are incredibly visually strong and I don't think you're making quite as much of that as you could. I recently read an analysis of the use of diagonals in Cartier-Bresson's photos so I find myself looking for diagonals at times when there are strong lines in an image, rather than looking at other compositional rules like the rule of thirds. As I said, I like the poses and the grouping and I like the image as it is, but while it feels very good to me it leaves me feeling just slightly unsatisfied.
  11. I think that David just explained what wasn't working for me. There is a very strong horizontal composition going on and the extra pixels above and below aren't supporting that, and diagonals usually work best when they originate from a corner.
  12. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Right, so, I'm a total dilettante but I read enough to catch some buzzwords ...

    I took the big plain uniformly lit backdrop as a metaphor for the vast bland wasteland of banality that is modernity ... the composition juxtaposes rigidity expressed via the strong horizontals against the chaos in the jangle of the models akimbo posing as commentary on the complexity of life versus the vapid expression of angst found in pop culture and particularly the fashion industry as proxy of all that is refined in that realm. In this sense the piece is a work of satire as the models express boredom instead of angst and the clothing is more akin to paper doll cut-outs compared to haute couture. In a word the piece must be titled 'Whatever' expressed in the best retro valley girl dialect with rapid variance of intonation that gives voice to the growing sense of beleaguered disdain of it all. The poor baby boomers have not an inkling for the hell spawn they have bred and the concomitant fury they will unleash.

    At least that is the spiel I drivel while attempting to pick up super model wannabes. It is in this spirit that I hope Joe takes my commentary ... no, I'm not jealous ... much.
  13. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    Perhaps a better title would be "Waiting." What do you guys think?

    Also, I see what you mean by a wider format crop. In fact, I did a 16:9 crop for my website here:


    As for the skin tone, it's a bit subjective and I prefer the look I have for it now because it matches the overall feel to it. Same goes for the dresses. I didn't want to much color saturation.

    As for the posing, they actually went through a series of poses for each person. Usually, I would have to composite each girl individually, but for this, I didn't really have to do that.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    I think Nic may have been in favour of a wider format crop with his comment about losing pixels top and bottom but I'm not certain about the necessity of losing them at the top.

    My point was simply that I thought the outstretched leg at the right and the crossed left leg 2nd from the left should both point directly to the bottom corners of the image. Even with your crop they're still pointing a little above the corner and that means that I would do one of two things, either crop a little more from the bottom or, if the image had already been cropped a bit at the sides, restore some of the cropped side area so that lines drawn along the legs actually terminate right in the corners.

    My preference would be to achieve that by losing a little more at the bottom rather than restoring the sides if you did crop there. In fact my initial feeling was that there needed to be more space to the right because I thought it felt too tight there. I've come to thing the sides are right if those diagonals actually terminate in each corner.

    I think I'd like a little more space at the top, however, than you've kept with this crop. I don't mind the wide, low grouping of the figures with more space above them, I think a bit more vertical space accentuates the low grouping and I think there may be a bit too little squeezed vertically now which makes things feel a little cramped to me. It seems a very strong image to me, and I think it can both benefit from, and handle, a bit more space at the top. I wouldn't necessarily be wedded to a 16:9 format but I think I'd start by moving the 16:9 frame up a little, losing a bit at the bottom to get those legs pointing directly into
    the corners rather than just above them on the sides and that will add a bit more space above them. Then I'd play with moving the top of the frame up and down a bit until I was happy while keeping the other sides static.

    As for the toning, I like it. I think the skin tones, dresses and wall colour support each other nicely.

    I wondered how you did the posing and I think it works. I think the different figures reinforce each other in a number of ways.
  15. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    Hmm, I kinda see what you mean. Unfortunately, I cropped it in camera a little to tight on both sides.

    I do agree about how the different poses actually worked well together, which is great because each pose was not preplanned.
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