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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 07 Aug 2017 (Monday) 01:02
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What's good and bad about this urban fragment?

 
OhLook
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Aug 07, 2017 01:02 |  #1

I posted this one evening in the Urban Fragments thread. By the next morning, it had four Likes. That's unusual for me, and I didn't think the image was that good. For one thing, the exposure was flawed. The subject had a greater degree of dynamic range than I know how to work with. Would evaluative be better than center-weighted average in this situation?


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What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses here? I have some ideas about the plus side but will hold them back for the moment.

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Qbx
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Aug 07, 2017 02:43 |  #2

I see nothing wrong with the exposure. I don't see how you'd improve the d-range unless you popped a flash. In post you could brighten the interior some. The subject is the food so, I'd crop off most of the bottom (up to and including the white area) that shows the side of the (your?) car. Finally, I don't see this as representative of urban per se. It could equally be a rural fragment. Why would someone buy so much bread at once? There's no context.


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rrblint
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Aug 07, 2017 03:40 |  #3

A car chocked full to the ceiling with bakery items is hilarious. Great photo of it too, Oh. The exposure is fine though a bit of flash-fill toward the top would have been nice.


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 07, 2017 07:11 |  #4

Is this part of a project? It could be an interesting piece of a larger pie (sorry ha ha).

As far as metering i wold have spot metered the shadows and the highlights figured out my range and gone for an exposure to keep everything I thought was important. I would probably do a quick mask in the darker areas and bring them up a little. Like I said could be part of an interesting larger whole.




  
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OhLook
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Aug 07, 2017 14:00 |  #5

Qbx wrote in post #18421019 (external link)
I see nothing wrong with the exposure. I don't see how you'd improve the d-range unless you popped a flash. In post you could brighten the interior some. The subject is the food so, I'd crop off most of the bottom (up to and including the white area) that shows the side of the (your?) car. Finally, I don't see this as representative of urban per se. It could equally be a rural fragment. Why would someone buy so much bread at once? There's no context.

Thanks. The subject is the food in the car, not just the food itself. Most likely, the baked goods were not bought, but salvaged from a supermarket that had discarded or donated them as too old to sell but still usable. This car was parked in front of a house in a working-class neighborhood, a few blocks from a huge homeless people's tent camp. The window was down, suggesting that the owner didn't mind if items were taken. So my best guess is that the owner is connected with a church or a nonprofit, performing social services, or perhaps is a solitary volunteer. Either that, or the person is a hoarder and not very rational. No one was around to ask.

rrblint wrote in post #18421024 (external link)
A car chocked full to the ceiling with bakery items is hilarious. Great photo of it too, Oh. The exposure is fine though a bit of flash-fill toward the top would have been nice.

Sorry, I don't think of it as hilarious (see above). This is not a joyful scene. It's associated with a growing problem here: too many people with nowhere to live and not enough to eat.

I think the diminishing light toward the back of the interior suits the subject. It enhances the depth, and we don't need to see detail all the way back. However, the white band near the bottom is a chrome strip, mostly blown out.

airfrogusmc wrote in post #18421078 (external link)
Is this part of a project? It could be an interesting piece of a larger pie (sorry ha ha).

As far as metering i wold have spot metered the shadows and the highlights figured out my range and gone for an exposure to keep everything I thought was important. I would probably do a quick mask in the darker areas and bring them up a little. Like I said could be part of an interesting larger whole.

There's no project as such, but the theme is urban poverty and relief.

The simple PP programs I use don't allow masks. I may have lightened all the shadows a little.

Now my opinion: This image isn't very good technically. What appeal it has probably exists because the subject is surprising and leaves room for the viewer to build a story around it.


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 07, 2017 14:42 |  #6

OhLook wrote in post #18421443 (external link)
Thanks. The subject is the food in the car, not just the food itself. Most likely, the baked goods were not bought, but salvaged from a supermarket that had discarded or donated them as too old to sell but still usable. This car was parked in front of a house in a working-class neighborhood, a few blocks from a huge homeless people's tent camp. The window was down, suggesting that the owner didn't mind if items were taken. So my best guess is that the owner is connected with a church or a nonprofit, performing social services, or perhaps is a solitary volunteer. Either that, or the person is a hoarder and not very rational. No one was around to ask.

Sorry, I don't think of it as hilarious (see above). This is not a joyful scene. It's associated with a growing problem here: too many people with nowhere to live and not enough to eat.

I think the diminishing light toward the back of the interior suits the subject. It enhances the depth, and we don't need to see detail all the way back. However, the white band near the bottom is a chrome strip, mostly blown out.

There's no project as such, but the theme is urban poverty and relief.

The simple PP programs I use don't allow masks. I may have lightened all the shadows a little.

Now my opinion: This image isn't very good technically. What appeal it has probably exists because the subject is surprising and leaves room for the viewer to build a story around it.

Maybe you should think about a series with this being the first image towards a body of work.




  
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joeseph
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Aug 08, 2017 03:46 |  #7

OhLook wrote in post #18421443 (external link)
Sorry, I don't think of it as hilarious (see above). This is not a joyful scene.

you're probably right, but we as viewers don't have the benefit of context when viewing the photo on it's own.
Me, I just see a chocolate cake...


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Aug 08, 2017 11:34 |  #8

airfrogusmc wrote in post #18421485 (external link)
Maybe you should think about a series with this being the first image towards a body of work.

I'm not sure a series shot by an amateur with a $500 camera would be taken seriously. I appreciate your suggestion, though.

joeseph wrote in post #18422065 (external link)
you're probably right, but we as viewers don't have the benefit of context when viewing the photo on it's own.
Me, I just see a chocolate cake...

Cooperation by businesses and gleaners to divert food from the waste stream is so standard here that it's part of the background. The replies show that it was a mistake to assume people living elsewhere would interpret a car full of bread the same way. Maybe suburbs don't even have soup kitchens . . .


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OhLook
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Aug 08, 2017 13:07 |  #9

It just now occurred to me: ordinary grocery purchases are bagged, but it seems that the lack of bags didn't work as a clue that something different was going on.


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Aug 08, 2017 13:14 |  #10

OhLook wrote in post #18422327 (external link)
I'm not sure a series shot by an amateur with a $500 camera would be taken seriously. I appreciate your suggestion, though.

Cooperation by businesses and gleaners to divert food from the waste stream is so standard here that it's part of the background. The replies show that it was a mistake to assume people living elsewhere would interpret a car full of bread the same way. Maybe suburbs don't even have soup kitchens . . .

How about a compelling urban series showing the people involved in the diversion of the typical waste stream to support soup kitchens? A professional shooter, needing to support herself or himself, might not have the time to do this well, but an amateur could have great fun and maybe just educate a few of us. Having a $500 camera might even signal that shooter isn't just a poser.


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 08, 2017 15:33 |  #11

I have a very good friend that shot an amazing body of work with a Holga. Had a large exhibition very successful show in New York. It was a very cohesive body of work.

Vision is the key not the cost of equipment.




  
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Martin ­ Dixon
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Aug 09, 2017 11:07 |  #12

I thought you were shooting "why has someone bought so much bread?" As said before some contect required.


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OhLook
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Aug 09, 2017 14:03 |  #13

AZGeorge wrote in post #18422409 (external link)
How about a compelling urban series showing the people involved in the diversion of the typical waste stream to support soup kitchens? A professional shooter, needing to support herself or himself, might not have the time to do this well, but an amateur could have great fun and maybe just educate a few of us. Having a $500 camera might even signal that shooter isn't just a poser.

I take your points, but professional photographers aren't the only people with demands on their time. Such a project would require research to find out where the subjects are and their schedules, getting their cooperation, making appointments, going to many places (I don't drive), trying to get good shots of people in action (not my strong point by far). Then what? Post it all on POTN? Thanks for your suggestion. This sounds like a good idea for someone more extraverted, better at travel, and better, both technically and socially, at shooting human subjects. I've missed shots that could have been wonderful because I hesitated to annoy people.

airfrogusmc wrote in post #18422523 (external link)
I have a very good friend that shot an amazing body of work with a Holga. Had a large exhibition very successful show in New York. It was a very cohesive body of work.

Vision is the key not the cost of equipment.

Yes. I agree about vision.

Martin Dixon wrote in post #18423136 (external link)
I thought you were shooting "why has someone bought so much bread?" As said before some contect required.

Some of the replies make that clear. When I came upon the car, I said "Well, that's unusual," and it is. Another reason to shoot it was the way the light fell on the baked goods near and farther from the window. Only a little later did I figure that this was likely a charity effort. It's not certain that it was. That's only the most probable explanation.

Really, didn't anyone deduce from the haphazard piling and the absence of bags that the items weren't just the result of a shopping trip?


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What's good and bad about this urban fragment?
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