A Banjo Player Exercise for All

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Savageduck, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Savageduck

    tony cooper Guest

    I use Firefox and gmail. It wants me to open with
    ZPS140.document.dng(default). That won't work.

    I don't have ACR on the desktop. I have it on my laptop, but rarely
    have to use it.

    Forget it. I'll use my work-around method. It gets me there.
     
    tony cooper, Sep 13, 2012
    #21
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  2. Savageduck

    NM5K Guest

    From just a cropping point of view, I'd probably lean towards
    something like this.. Cut some clutter, particularly the boxes
    on the right. I like a semi close view, but still like to see
    the big picture, with his money bucket, etc. And you can see
    the girl walking by in the background. I didn't do anything
    with the color, etc.. Just reduced the final to web size, and
    did add a little sharpening to the jpg. My method for that is
    to save as the highest quality jpg of the image size I want, then
    I sharpen that result, and save that to whatever file size I want.
    I was trying to stick around 300k, so there you have it. :|
    Nothing earthshaking.. Just an example of what I'd be likely
    to do if I shot it and wanted to use it. Would likely end up
    something about like this.
    http://home.comcast.net/~disk100/git.jpg
     
    NM5K, Sep 13, 2012
    #22
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  3. Savageduck

    Savageduck Guest

    That seems to be a workable crop. It isolates the player and maintains
    the context of his surroundings. My feelings were that the crop was
    going to be the critical issue and I think you did as well as any of us
    might.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2012
    #23
  4. Savageduck

    NM5K Guest

    I considered going for a tighter crop, with the bottom
    above his ankles, and the top, just above the girl walking.
    And it's ok too.. But I like the farther view because you can
    see his shoes. :|
    You can tell quite a bit by shoes, and the rest of the clothes..
    Fer instance, he doesn't strike me as someone living on the street.
    His shirt is semi pressed, shoes are not wore out, etc..
    He likely lives in the area, and plays banjo at the park or
    whatever, pretty much for entertainment value.. The pocket change in
    the bucket is probably just a bonus which pays for the gas used to haul
    that banjo, bucket, and chair. Maybe even lunch too. :)
    That's pure speculation though.. :/
     
    NM5K, Sep 13, 2012
    #24
  5. Here it is. It shouldn't take much comparison to realize
    why this was not worth doing in terms of the resulting image
    it produces. It makes a pretty good demonstration though.

    Whether one likes this version or not, and regardless of liking
    or not some other version, it is very instructional to look
    at the differences between this version and others and then
    analyzing what the effect of the differences are and why the
    effect works as it does.

    Look at the man in the context of his surroundings.
    Look at the detail retained and the detail that was
    removed. What is added when any given detail is there
    and what is changed when it is removed. Consider, for
    example, what would be the effect of simply removing all
    of those stacked boxes on the grass? Good or bad? How
    about the detail that was removed from them. The poles,
    ropes, and parts of furniture.

    And look at the placement of the man in the entire image
    too! Virtually everyone else has put the guy dead
    center in the middle of the image, and it is just
    destructive of the message seen by a viewer! It
    separates him too much from the context, while putting
    him to one side looking into the context makes it talk
    as a single voice.

    NM5K is, if I remember right, the only one concerned
    with identifying visually with the image just exactly
    what this character is! He's not living on the street,
    he features himself as entertaining, but not an
    entertainer. These are important things that have
    to be visible in the image, and anything that does not
    assist making it readable that way should be removed to
    the degree necessary to prevent interference.
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Sep 13, 2012
    #25
  6. Floyd L. Davidson, Sep 13, 2012
    #26
  7. Savageduck

    Savageduck Guest

    Not bad Floyd, not bad at all. I see you also found the woman
    distracting and irrelevant to the image.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2012
    #27
  8. Savageduck

    Savageduck Guest

    That is the idea.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2012
    #28
  9. Savageduck

    NM5K Guest

    Not me. It's obvious she was looking and listening to him
    as she walked by. The only obvious spectator in the image.
    I can not see trading her for a pile of cardboard boxes
    that to me, add nothing at all to the image. They are not
    even interesting looking boxes, and whatever is on top of
    them is not in sharp enough focus to really identify.
    To me, it's just clutter that does not add to the image.
    It was not really intentional to place him in the center.
    That's just how it worked out after cutting the clutter.
    But, being he is the center of attention, it doesn't bother
    me much to do so. I think it tends to balance the image
    a bit.
    I would have preferred that she was not sprouting from his head,
    and would have walked a few more feet when the image was shot,
    but I still prefer to keep her in the picture.
    The boxes were the first thing I wanted gone.. :|
    But that's just me.. Everyone is going to have a different
    vision, which is all good..
     
    NM5K, Sep 13, 2012
    #29
  10. Savageduck

    tony cooper Guest

    Here's mine, but I have to admit that I pretty much lost interest in
    working on this one when I was doing it:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kona8stac7vz67j/cooperversion.jpg

    I made a few changes, but minor ones. I like the figure to the left
    of the image with some space in front of him. I prefer this with any
    side-facing human.

    The boxes and tent structure are the killers to any crop except a very
    tight one that takes out the CD rack and coffee cup. I went with a
    conventional 2:3 ratio since a square crop taking off the top leaves
    too much in unresolved bits and pieces or massive amounts of cloning.

    Taking out the boxes and tent is possible, but the image would have to
    awfully good to rate this. Grass is cloneable or patchable, but
    matching those shadows in the grass would be tough.

    The girl in the distance doesn't bother me, but the dark red structure
    does. I took out the lettering, but it's still an eye magnet. I
    could take out the structure, but it didn't seem worth it.

    Odd perspective here, but I did straighten based on that tree at the
    middle top.

    A few points about composing in camera:

    1. After you shoot vertical, shoot horizontal.

    2. After you shoot horizontal, shoot vertical.

    3. Shoot tight, then shoot wide.

    4. If you have the chance, shoot from 6 o'clock, then 5 o'clock, then
    4 o'clock, then 3 o'clock (positions).

    5. You are not responsible for all of the above if it's a grab shot.
     
    tony cooper, Sep 13, 2012
    #30
  11. Savageduck

    Savageduck Guest

    Actually I don't see her as a spectator. She was probably 2-300 ft away
    walking with purpose. The truth of the matter the only individual in
    the park, paying any attention to him was me.
    That was my problem with her.
    I found her to be one of the problems.
    Yup!

    I am going to reveal a few other context issues in my response to Tony.

    I hope that you got something out of this exercise. Thanks for playing.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2012
    #31
  12. Savageduck

    Savageduck Guest


    Thanks for playing.

    All along I have thought the key to making something of this capture
    was going to be the crop, and I think you have made a workable crop
    here.
    My only misgiving with your version, is the way you brightened it. That
    seems to give it an overall overexposed look.

    This was my first shot of him, and taken from his left, his face was
    hidden, and the setting not spelt out. As I said this was not a good,
    or even well thought out capture, but I was hoping to realize some
    potential from it.

    When shot from his right, a different story is revealed. This is the
    uncroped capture from the right.
    < http://db.tt/HmJEtyM1 >

    ....and here is my crop of that shot.
    < http://db.tt/GoHUHyfk >
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2012
    #32
  13. Savageduck

    Savageduck Guest


    I don't seem to be able to tell my left from my right.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2012
    #33
  14. Savageduck

    sid Guest

    fwiw seeing as this now looks more like an exersise in choosing a crop, this
    is how I would do it.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/92601884/DNC_1450-sid.jpg

    pretty much the same as Tony as it turns out.

    Again, fwiw, I think the image needs more potential if it is to drag more
    enthusiasm out of any participants
     
    sid, Sep 13, 2012
    #34
  15. Savageduck

    Savageduck Guest

    Yup! a decent crop seems to do the most for this capture.
    Very similar to Tony's crop, just without the removal of the
    "Prudential Realty" lettering, but the same slightly washed out over
    lightened look.
    With further consideration, I think you are correct. It would be nice
    to have appealing images for the exercise. However, I think that the
    rejected shot should not always be omitted from any future exercise.
    The problem is making a calculated guess at the potential of a shot,
    which under normal circumstances would be a reject. The exercise seems
    almost pointless if making a rescue is a simple matter.

    I did not think this was going to be an exercise in making a good shot
    better, but as a variation on a theme I guess there would be no major
    objection to doing that.

    So I think it would be best for any who submit images for this type of
    exercise, to spell out their intention for their particular exercise
    when submitting the RAW file. Fix a problem image, or optimize an image
    with obvious potential.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2012
    #35
  16. Savageduck

    tony cooper Guest

    Actually, I didn't brighten it. I did increase clarity and vibrance
    in the RAW, and that does brighten things. In PS, I added contrast
    but no brightness.

    I did change the red bricks to a more prominent saturated red.
    That's a much better view, and puts him in context. I'd like to see
    the rest of his foot in there, though.

    Color is strange. I see the grass being the same bright green in your
    image and mine. The banjo player's face is a bit too orange in yours.

    Grass is often difficult. Here in Florida, most grass is a duller
    green than I see in photos taken in other places in the US. When
    working on someone else's image, I'm never sure what color the grass
    should be. There's so much grass in the first shot that whatever
    color is used there dominates the scene.
     
    tony cooper, Sep 13, 2012
    #36
  17. Savageduck

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alan Browne, Sep 14, 2012
    #37
  18. Savageduck

    otter Guest

    otter, Sep 14, 2012
    #38
  19. Savageduck

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alan Browne, Sep 14, 2012
    #39
  20. Savageduck

    Savageduck Guest


    OK! Where is a scan of Steve McCurry's original?
    You give us a lousy 60 KB 550x800 Google image lift.
    At least you could have given us a crop from the NatGeo "wallpaper"
    download, to give us a 699KB 633 x 938 file to work from.

    ....so, if you insist.
    < http://db.tt/R3cRl58R >

    ....or put a banjo (in this case a 4-string Baby Banjo) in her hands and
    we might have something going here. ;-)
    < http://db.tt/7JDJjQq9 >
     
    Savageduck, Sep 14, 2012
    #40
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