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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 01 Jun 2009 (Monday) 23:01
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Guitar traveler

 
single_track
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Jun 01, 2009 23:01 |  #1

looking for feedback on processing and composition (and anything else).


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I always want C&C on my shots.
Gear list: 70d, 5d & 40d | 70-200L/f4 IS | 24-70L | 17-40L | Sigmalux | 17-85 IS | Opteka 6.5mm fisheye | 580exII
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tonydee
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Jun 02, 2009 07:19 |  #2

They have some charm, but don't ring "masterpiece" to me.

The assorted things in #1 are interesting, but it's a bit of an effort: after noting two guitars you find yourself going over details: stickers on the cases, chains, realising the thing at the back is a drum, finding the handle and wondering how much clearance it's got on the move... all ok but ultimately I was wondering if it was worth the effort. The backdrop adds very little. So, I guess it's cluttered compositionally. Perhaps it would have been more interesting to capture a few things on there and a few things set about it or being removed?

#2: Generally ok. Not sure why, but I don't find it so engaging. Maybe eye contact would have made it. The mouth draws so much attention. Strangely, the hair across his nose bothers me. Framing is nice and tight without quite cutting into any of the important parts.

I'm wondering if the post-processing isn't part of the problem... been too many people following the old "turn any pic of a guy `down on his luck' into art by making it monochrome" path, making it dangerous to tread regardless of the merits of your specific work. (Don't know if this guys actually homeless, but there's certainly a suggestion, reinforced by the chip out of the soundboard.) I'd like to see them in colour.

Cheers, Tony


5D and too much glass. Mamiya 645E.
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single_track
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Jun 02, 2009 07:40 as a reply to  @ tonydee's post |  #3

First, thanks for the straight forward remarks. This is what I want, but never get at the local camera club. I stopped going because it was not a learning environment. POTN is a learning environment.

I like showing my native files so you can not only see the color versions, but also my framing/cropping and adjustments. As stated, these are straight OOC with only a bit of color tweak.

The man was homeless or in a pretty bad place. I dropped a few euro in the tray after rattling off a few shots.

I absolutely welcome you comments on the color files and my PP.

Thanks again.


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I always want C&C on my shots.
Gear list: 70d, 5d & 40d | 70-200L/f4 IS | 24-70L | 17-40L | Sigmalux | 17-85 IS | Opteka 6.5mm fisheye | 580exII
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tonydee
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Jun 02, 2009 08:04 |  #4

Wow... so different from the monochrome, and - trust you won't mind me saying (thanks for being accepting of my bluntness :-)) - so much more engaging.

For #1: the picture on the front of the guitar case is so obvious... can't believe I hadn't even noticed it before. Think I did get a bit fatigued and impatient pulling details out of that collection, but it's relatively effortless with the extra information in the colour version, and much more satisfying. Suddenly the guitar cases just look so different you don't find yourself wondering why he bothers to carry two (illogical I know). I do also like the additional height and width in the shot... can see why you cropped it, but for me the original feels much more spacious and free... the eye is able to "look around" at head height rather than feeling forced down to the subject. Somehow the composition is stronger for that, more balanced.

For #2: mixed feelings, and no strong preference re the monochrome vs colour. Still like your crop - wouldn't suggest anything different. I don't find myself examining his teeth as much: as healthy as they look I'm rather pleased by that, think the other areas of colour are strong enough to keep the eye moving around. Now see the "chip" was tape... obvious in hindsight. The guitar now looks newer but cheaper, with the traces of grain in the wood shown in your monochrome version lost amidst the colour. Think I'm edging slightly towards the colour.

Cheers, Tony


5D and too much glass. Mamiya 645E.
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single_track
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Jun 02, 2009 09:33 as a reply to  @ tonydee's post |  #5

Thank you - all very good stuff. After posting and reading your comments, I have concluded that the guitar cases is better in color. The guitar man is doing less for me as I go.

BTW - I loved my 645E. It pushed me to my RB67, which I loved more. Which pushed me to my Sinar F2 4x5, which I love even more.

I dropped film, although I still have my darkroom set up in my house. Sometime I really miss hot bath lith printing (may explain my tendency for B/W, sepia tones and higher contrast), and I really miss the focal plane adjustments and percision of the 4x5. I don't miss the papers and chemicals dropping out of the market and having to keep starting over though. Or having to wait 45 minutes for the developer/stop/fix baths to come up to temperature, and having about an hour to print before the developer goes off. (Sorry, I strolled down memory lane for a touch.)


I always want C&C on my shots.
Gear list: 70d, 5d & 40d | 70-200L/f4 IS | 24-70L | 17-40L | Sigmalux | 17-85 IS | Opteka 6.5mm fisheye | 580exII
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Flo
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Jun 02, 2009 10:21 as a reply to  @ single_track's post |  #6

What a difference color makes! I saw this post yesterday, and like Tony, found the monochrome wasn't working for the photos. BUT, the color is just fabulous.
The colors are strong and super vivid, and I also love the crop on the guitar man.


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tonydee
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Jun 02, 2009 13:27 |  #7

Great to read about your film days. I must get out there with my 645E: had it about 6 months but have only shot one roll so far. Feel like I've got to find somewhere worthy. Mirror was getting stuck - kept it out of service for a bit too. Want to get up to a 4x5 one day, actually made the decision once (a simple Tachihara) and told the saleman, but backed out when the lens I'd selected wasn't available and it was going to be a few hundred pounds extra for the alternative. I gather they're potentially cheap second hand, but I've been to perhaps a dozen shops around Tokyo and never seen one available. One place in the country had one but it had not been looked after. Still, it's one of those things that any photography addict - especially with a perfectionist nature to boot - wants to try. Think I'll stick to using the lab for now though - an extra room is a prohibitively expensive luxury around Tokyo.

Look forward to seeing more of your work soon.

Cheers, Tony


5D and too much glass. Mamiya 645E.
http://www.picasaweb.c​om/anthonypon (external link) recent work

  
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Grimlock
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Jun 02, 2009 22:30 |  #8

I'd like to say that I like the sepia tones much better. The sepia conversions deepen the textures and work well with the cobblestones and the rest of the BG's. The originals are more emotional to me. I also am partial to the tighter crops. Bringing me closer to the musician gives me more of a one on one feeling.

The color versions look over saturated and loosens the focal points for me.
For instance, In the first shot... I didn't pay much attention to the poster with the face in the sepia version. But, in the color I can't stop drawing my eye to it. (and the yellow sign above it) Same thing goes for the tape on the guitar in the second shot. These elements simply became part of the overall texture and feeling in the sepia tones.

So, if you were to ask me ... I'd cast my vote in the monotone versions all the way.

/just my opinion.


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single_track
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Jun 02, 2009 22:39 as a reply to  @ Grimlock's post |  #9

Thank you. I am asking for opinions so your comments are appreciated. Your comments are basically consistent with my thoughts to convert to B/W in the first place.


I always want C&C on my shots.
Gear list: 70d, 5d & 40d | 70-200L/f4 IS | 24-70L | 17-40L | Sigmalux | 17-85 IS | Opteka 6.5mm fisheye | 580exII
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/120400139@N03/ (external link)

  
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Flo
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Jun 02, 2009 23:50 as a reply to  @ single_track's post |  #10

Crop the first;)


you're a great friend, but if Zombies chase us, I am tripping you.

  
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Chris450D
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Jun 03, 2009 08:07 |  #11

For me, the sepia set adds a whole new perspective. in my opinion it compliments the situation perfectly, a sort of pathetic phallacy if you will...

I particularly like the sepia crop of the guitar player. as stated before this gives a more involved depiction. The gritty nature of the sepia blends well with the situation of the photograph and emphasises 'age' & 'suffering' more. I find that the larger colour version of this photograph doesn't give that much impact. Colour somewhat makes this an everyday photo... just as if I walked across this player, gave him a glance and went on my way...
The addition of the player's legs add more distraction from the expression of the man.

As for the first photograph i think both colour and sepia work well, but again the sepia pic has my preference, but just!

really good work :)


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skygod44
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Jun 03, 2009 08:22 as a reply to  @ Chris450D's post |  #12

+1 for sepia.

Regarding the guitar player: for me, the feeling/thought is, "when was this shot taken?" Was it yesterday? Last year? Around the 1960s? 1920s?

With some sensitive editing, that shot could take on a "timeless" appeal, IMO.

Of course, you can't please all the people all the time, but it seems to me, plenty are pleased with either the sepia or the colour, which must mean you're doing something very "right" in the first place.


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