SI Facescape comments by Calvin Sambrook

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Calvin Sambrook, May 20, 2010.

  1. Hi everyone, here are my thoughts on this month's shoot in.

    FACE_Bret_Douglas.jpg: Hmm, I thought the mandate was specifically for human
    faces. I don't really connect with this as a photo and I can't understand
    why. I find the nose shape quite disturbing, maybe that's it. Technically
    good of course, the pinpoint focus works well and the lighting is good.

    FScape-DudleyHanks1.jpg: I wondered if we'd see lots of tight-cropped
    partial faces this month. This doesn't really work too well as the centre
    of attention is confused between the stubble (because it's in focus), the
    nose (because it's there) and the mouthpiece or whatever it is in the bottom
    left. The hint of an eye socket at the top is distracting as is the large
    amount of out of focus cheek on the right.

    FScape-DudleyHanks2.jpg: This has real power, a low taking angle always does
    that and the eye apparently straining upwards and out of shot emphasises it.
    The cropping is almost perfect although I think it could have done with the
    RH edge being a little tighter maybe.

    Faces-Biker1-Cooper.jpg: Great photo although I'm not sure the female
    subject will be too happy. The background is out of focus enough to not
    compete with the subject and there is real character in the faces as well as
    all the other aspects of the subjects.

    Faces-Biker2-Cooper.jpg: I don't like the composition of this at all, half
    the frame is devoted to an arm and a post while the subject is looking down
    and out of shot. The obvious lines on the case don't make up for the
    shortcomings I'm afraid.

    Faces-Princess-Cooper.jpg: This is quite a powerful shot, somehow it makes
    me feel a little uneasy. The technicals are all good but the subject has a
    pained, almost unhappy look while wearing a costume which says exactly the
    opposite. Very good although I can't say I like it.

    Facescape Wilba.jpg: A technically great shot with a classic pose, this is
    well executed with the background thrown out of focus and the subject kept
    really sharp, especially the eyes and the hair - all just as it should be.
    The innocent expression works well.

    LN1.jpg: The technical problems with this distract too much to be ignored,
    particularly the burned out hair blending into the sky which in turn changes
    the shape of the head and alters the whole composition. You would have
    probably have got away with the undersaturated washed background and the
    highlights on the clothes but the burn kills it I'm afraid. Would the
    expression have worked if the technical aspects had been good, I think it
    would.

    Mugs Bob_Coe 1.JPG: There's something about faces with lines that makes us
    think they'll make an interesting photo in their own right. I think the
    photo needs something else as well and this doesn't really have it I'm
    afraid (although the backstory is interesting). There's certainly some
    cropping called for, especially of the partial hands which serve only to
    distract.

    Mugs Bob_Coe 2.JPG: Normally I'd slate any photo where the subject is centre
    frame and facing out of shot. For some reason though this one works really
    well. I think it's to do with the eyes which pull the viewer back into the
    frame "Mona Lisa" style. The separation of subject and background is nicely
    helped along by the lighting which seems to be just naturals from a window
    maybe and is perhaps a little harsh. I like this.

    Mugs Bob_Coe 3.JPG: I'd like to think that including a camera strap and a
    flashgun but not the actual camera is a deliberate tease intended to wind up
    the photographers here. Sadly the inclusion of two halves of hands makes me
    think not. Centre frame, square on to camera and looking a little nervous
    was only ever going to be a mug shot but it is nice to see one of our
    regulars in the flesh.

    Mugs Martha_Coe 1.JPG: I was waiting for this pose to turn up although I
    thought it would be a mirror self portrait rather than a cooperative effort.
    Given the audience here I think this shot works well. Everything is square
    on (it would fail if only some of it was) and there's a hint of not quite
    symmetry which adds a little tension. I think this is a good example of
    where following the normal rules of composition would have weakened the
    shot.

    SI Faces by Calvin Sambrook.jpg: Mine of course. The background is way too
    sharp, sorry. But I liked the pose, I'm not too sure whether she's drawing
    breath or looking on in horror. I will of course be in big trouble when my
    subject sees this shot!

    SI-Facescape-Savageduck-01.jpg: Did I just say a wrinkled face isn't enough
    to make a shot interesting? Well this photo proves me wrong. The B&W
    treatment enhances the features and was a good choice I think. The
    composition is of course great and the detail fantastic.

    SI-Facescape-Savageduck-02.jpg: I'm not so sure about this. I could list
    lots of things I don't like, including the eyes and face trying to pull my
    attention out of shot, but somehow I find it fascinating, I just don't
    understand why.

    SI-Facescape-Savageduck-03.jpg: An example of a centre frame, square on,
    head and shoulders shot which needs something else to perk it up. The
    outfit tries to do that and I feel there's a big story here but this shot
    isn't going to tell me it.

    SI_Alan_Browne_FaceScape1.jpg: As a studio portrait this probably goes down
    very well with the sitter and if it were me I'd be very happy to hang it on
    my wall but once again I'm looking for something else in it to give it real
    interest. I always defer to Alan when it comes to lighting a shot but to me
    this looks like it could do with a little LH fill, I guess that's deliberate
    though. An afterthought, is this perhaps a self portrait?

    SI_facescape_frankess01_old.jpg: How to break the rules and make it work.
    There's a guy on the right who's out of focus and partially cropped.
    There's a woman directly behind the subject who's about as badly placed as
    it's possible to be. So why does it work? Well the subject it the *only*
    thing in focus so the viewer's eye is forced back to him. All three people
    in shot are looking directly into the camera which tells the viewer's brain
    that something interesting is going on, they all look slightly worried. And
    all of that without even mentioning the subject, who is interesting in his
    own right (but made even more interesting by what's going on around him).

    [SI]-facescape-sid.jpg: I quite like this although it's rather spoiled for
    me by the burn on the left. The angle of view and the B&W work well
    although I think the fall off in focus takes more than it gives.

    bearded peter newman_old.jpg: I love that bread. Clearly he does too. The
    grain or jpeg or whatever is just visible enough to distract me (although
    I'm easily distracted) and the reflection in the RH glass is frustratingly
    too clear but at the same time not quite clear enough ( I guess the
    reflection is of the person he's looking at). All of that said this shot
    works well because the subject has enough intrinsic interest and the
    photographer has applied techniques to enhance that interest.

    face_TimConway.jpg: It's out of focus, is it meant to be?

    face_bowser-2.JPG: This is another shot where the subject has enough
    intrinsic interest to carry to photo. The lighting works well and I like
    the background blend to pbase black which seems to give a sense of infinity
    behind him.

    facescape_Paul-Furman_0035576.jpg: I like the idea here and I think done
    with a little more precision it would work well but it's out of focus and
    there's lots of grain which seem to overpower the shot.

    lost peter newman.jpg: This guy certainly has an interesting face but I'm
    not sure the shot works too well. Why? I don't know. I do get an
    impression that the photographer has taken a good deal of care over the
    lighting and I have to say that does work well.

    si_facescape_frankess.jpg: Love it. Excellent composition and real interest
    in the face. The super tight crop adds so much impact.

    si_facescape_frankess_x800_old.jpg: This is another example of breaking the
    rules for effect and it works well. The composition adds a sense of
    unreality, of surrealism which is supported by the paint and the facial
    expression. Great shot.

    cold peter newman.jpg: Sorry but this doesn't do it for me. The reflections
    are simply too distracting.


    Well done everyone.
     
    Calvin Sambrook, May 20, 2010
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Calvin Sambrook

    Robert Coe Guest

    : Hi everyone, here are my thoughts on this month's shoot in.
    : ...
    :
    : Mugs Bob_Coe 2.JPG: Normally I'd slate any photo where the subject is centre
    : frame and facing out of shot. For some reason though this one works really
    : well. I think it's to do with the eyes which pull the viewer back into the
    : frame "Mona Lisa" style. The separation of subject and background is nicely
    : helped along by the lighting which seems to be just naturals from a window
    : maybe and is perhaps a little harsh. I like this.

    Thanks. It was dark outside; all the lighting came from incandescent wall and
    ceiling fixtures. I had to crank the white balance down to 2500 degrees K, the
    minimum that Canon's DPP editor allows.

    : Mugs Bob_Coe 3.JPG: I'd like to think that including a camera strap and a
    : flashgun but not the actual camera is a deliberate tease intended to wind up
    : the photographers here.

    If the photographers were teased, they could check the Exif data of Martha's
    shot of me. They'd see that her camera is the brand new Canon T2i. I think we
    bought it (from Adorama) before it was ever in stock at B&H.

    : Sadly the inclusion of two halves of hands makes me
    : think not.

    Yeah, I should ahve been more careful. We did consider having her hold the
    camera up a bit (but not enough to block her face), but I thought it looked
    too artificial.

    : Centre frame, square on to camera and looking a little nervous was only
    : ever going to be a mug shot but it is nice to see one of our regulars in
    : the flesh.

    One reason I suggested that we submit pictures of each other was to call
    attention to the enjoyment we get from both of us participating in the
    Shoot-In. I'm not aware of any other couples who participate (we've not
    managed to reel in John and Deborah Sisker), but maybe there are others in the
    group who have SOs who are also interested in photography. (As I write this, I
    realize that there may be another, at least indirectly. I believe Dudley Hanks
    has mentioned that his wife helps him line up his shots, choose camera
    locations, etc.)

    : Mugs Martha_Coe 1.JPG: I was waiting for this pose to turn up although I
    : thought it would be a mirror self portrait rather than a cooperative effort.
    : Given the audience here I think this shot works well. Everything is square
    : on (it would fail if only some of it was) and there's a hint of not quite
    : symmetry which adds a little tension. I think this is a good example of
    : where following the normal rules of composition would have weakened the
    : shot.

    I'm not sure I even know many of the normal rules of composition (or that I'd
    follow tham if I did). Martha knows them better than I do; she also paints,
    which is impossible without a sound understanding of composition.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, May 21, 2010
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Calvin Sambrook

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    One reason I suggested that we submit pictures of each other was to call

    Yes, we do a lot of shoots together, but I'd be extremely lucky to catch her
    in a frame. She's a lovely blonde who'd be a great model, but she much
    prefers to be behind the lens than in front of it, so I've all but given up
    taking pics of her.

    I don't even have much luck getting candids, since I take so long lining up
    images she easily evades my attempts.

    But, who knows, I might be in the right spot at the right time and catch her
    some day. It's all part of the game ...

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, May 21, 2010
    #3
  4. Calvin Sambrook

    Robert Coe Guest

    : > One reason I suggested that we submit pictures of each other was to call
    : > attention to the enjoyment we get from both of us participating in the
    : > Shoot-In. I'm not aware of any other couples who participate (we've not
    : > managed to reel in John and Deborah Sisker), but maybe there are others
    : > in the group who have SOs who are also interested in photography. (As I
    : > write this, I realize that there may be another, at least indirectly. I
    : > believe Dudley Hanks has mentioned that his wife helps him line up his
    : > shots, choose camera locations, etc.)
    :
    : Yes, we do a lot of shoots together, but I'd be extremely lucky to catch
    : her in a frame. She's a lovely blonde who'd be a great model, but she much
    : prefers to be behind the lens than in front of it, so I've all but given up
    : taking pics of her.
    :
    : I don't even have much luck getting candids, since I take so long lining up
    : images she easily evades my attempts.
    :
    : But, who knows, I might be in the right spot at the right time and catch
    : her some day. It's all part of the game ...

    Well, my point wasn't that SI contributors should submit pictures of their
    SOs, but rather that their SOs might enjoy submmitting their own work. Which
    is why I thought of your case as an example, since your wife apparently works
    with you as a photographer's assistant, not as a model.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, May 21, 2010
    #4
  5. Calvin Sambrook

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    I've mentioned it to her, but she isn't really into Usenet, probably because
    she can't be bothered to sort out the trolls. Also, she is involved with a
    photo group on facebook, and periodically participates in a local photo
    club. Last year, one of her pics was included in an exhibit hosted by the
    Edmonton Archive, and was subsequently published a couple of months back in
    our local daily, The Edmonton Journal.

    I'll run it by her again and try to convince her to post a few pics. She is
    definitely not what I consider a die-hard shutter bug, but she likes doing
    landscapes and has produced some nice images over the years.

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, May 21, 2010
    #5
  6. Calvin Sambrook

    Robert Coe Guest

    :
    : : > Well, my point wasn't that SI contributors should submit pictures of
    : > their SOs, but rather that their SOs might enjoy submmitting their own
    : > work. Which is why I thought of your case as an example, since your wife
    : > apparently works with you as a photographer's assistant, not as a model.
    :
    : I've mentioned it to her, but she isn't really into Usenet, probably
    : because she can't be bothered to sort out the trolls. Also, she is
    : involved with a photo group on facebook, and periodically participates in
    : a local photo club. Last year, one of her pics was included in an exhibit
    : hosted by the Edmonton Archive, and was subsequently published a couple of
    : months back in our local daily, The Edmonton Journal.
    :
    : I'll run it by her again and try to convince her to post a few pics. She
    : is definitely not what I consider a die-hard shutter bug, but she likes
    : doing landscapes and has produced some nice images over the years.

    Maybe she'd submit something to the Wallpaper mandate.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, May 22, 2010
    #6
  7. Calvin Sambrook

    Tim Conway Guest

    ed techniques to enhance that interest.
    Accidentally on purpose. I'd focused on a spot unknown to humankind. ;-)
    What a mistake. It really was a grabshot of my old friend and I just didn't
    focus well enough. Thanks for commenting.
     
    Tim Conway, May 22, 2010
    #7
  8. Calvin Sambrook

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    I've passed on the info to her and suggested she submit something.Her
    wallpaper usually consists of a collage of family snaps, but I'm hoping
    she'll shoot something and submit.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed, and nag her a bit (but not too much ... ).

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, May 22, 2010
    #8
  9. Calvin Sambrook

    tony cooper Guest

    This was shot at Bike Week in Leesburg, Florida (as was the couple on
    the bike). Attendance was in the hundreds. When I left the site my
    ears were buzzing for hours because of all the Harley roaring and I
    inhaled more noxious fumes in a few hours than I have in a lifetime of
    smoking.

    To shoot this guy I had to frame him through the crowd. He was
    sitting down and watching some entertainers. The uncropped original
    has a lot of distracting background, so this is the best I could do.
    I used it because I liked the man's expression of lost introspection.
    What you don't like about this is exactly what I do like about it.
    What I see is a rather dignified matron somewhat embarrassed about
    wearing a costume in her role as Princess of the town's pet day
    parade. She's a city official in a small town, and she was obviously
    roped into going along with something because of civic duty. It's
    that combination of festivity and embarrassment that appealed to me.
     
    tony cooper, May 28, 2010
    #9
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.