student photographer... which photo to use?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by acprkit, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. acprkit

    UC Guest

    Very little of modern photography excites me.
     
    UC, Sep 29, 2007
    #81
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  2. acprkit

    Robert Coe Guest

    : > UC wrote:
    : > > How about this one?
    : >
    : > >http://www.toddyarrington.com/portraitwebgallery/images/0582.jpg
    : >
    : > > Your opinion, please.
    : >
    : > It's not awful but could certainly be improved.
    : >
    : > 1. cropped too close on left
    : >
    : > 2. kicker too hot & spill on nose
    : >
    : > 3. lower 1/3 too hot relative to face
    : >
    : > 4. background sun burst too hot (pulls attention from subject)
    : >
    : > 5. shirt collar gaps at back

    The shirt is just too big: at least an inch (25 mm) in neck size. If the
    photographer bought him the shirt (possible, since it's obviously new), then
    it's his fault. Otherwise not.

    : > 6. head & eyes turned too far to subject right
    : >
    : > 7. lens focal length too short (foreshortening elbow>hand>hand)
    : >
    : > 8. camera angle too low
    : >
    : > Implementing #7, 8, 6 would fix most of my other complaints too.
    : >
    : > --
    : >
    : > dadiOH
    : > ____________________________
    :
    : This photograph breaks almost every 'rule' there is.
    :
    : 1) Gaze is directed out of the short side of the image, and away from
    : the guitar. Gaze should be directed toward light and guitar or viewer,
    : not away. His eyes are basically invisible.
    :
    : 2) Face is dark on the left side, which is backwards for the
    : composition
    :
    : 3) Short focal length lens was used, causing inappropriate
    : foreshortening .

    Both you and dadiOH made that point, but I'm confused. Isn't it a long lens
    that causes foreshortening? The conventional wisdom is that portrait lenses
    are longer than "normal" to keep the subject's nose from sticking out too
    much. In any case, less foreshortening would make the subject's arm dominate
    the picture even more than it already does.

    : 4) Some kind of star-burst effect on background, which is completely
    : out of place
    :
    : 5) Background color hideous
    :
    : This photograph is basically a disaster.

    My take is that it was intended for a CD album cover or some similar use. The
    close cropping, peculiar lighting, starburst decoration, and low color
    temperature may be intended to evoke a nightclub. We're supposed to conclude
    that something has distracted the subject and he's turned away from the
    spotlight. Viewed in that light (so to speak), I don't think it's quite as
    bad.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 29, 2007
    #82
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  3. acprkit

    UC Guest

    Huh? You cannot be serious...
     
    UC, Sep 29, 2007
    #83
  4. acprkit

    Robert Coe Guest

    : >
    : >
    : > : > > How about this one?
    : > : >
    : > : > >http://www.toddyarrington.com/portraitwebgallery/images/0582.jpg
    : > : >
    : > : > > Your opinion, please.
    : > : >
    : > : > It's not awful but could certainly be improved.
    : > : >
    : > : > 1. cropped too close on left
    : > : >
    : > : > 2. kicker too hot & spill on nose
    : > : >
    : > : > 3. lower 1/3 too hot relative to face
    : > : >
    : > : > 4. background sun burst too hot (pulls attention from subject)
    : > : >
    : > : > 5. shirt collar gaps at back
    : >
    : > The shirt is just too big: at least an inch (25 mm) in neck size. If the
    : > photographer bought him the shirt (possible, since it's obviously new), then
    : > it's his fault. Otherwise not.
    : >
    : > : > 6. head & eyes turned too far to subject right
    : > : >
    : > : > 7. lens focal length too short (foreshortening elbow>hand>hand)
    : > : >
    : > : > 8. camera angle too low
    : > : >
    : > : > Implementing #7, 8, 6 would fix most of my other complaints too.
    : > : >
    : > : > --
    : > : >
    : > : > dadiOH
    : > : > ____________________________
    : > :
    : > : This photograph breaks almost every 'rule' there is.
    : > :
    : > : 1) Gaze is directed out of the short side of the image, and away from
    : > : the guitar. Gaze should be directed toward light and guitar or viewer,
    : > : not away. His eyes are basically invisible.
    : > :
    : > : 2) Face is dark on the left side, which is backwards for the
    : > : composition
    : > :
    : > : 3) Short focal length lens was used, causing inappropriate
    : > : foreshortening .
    : >
    : > Both you and dadiOH made that point, but I'm confused. Isn't it a long lens
    : > that causes foreshortening? The conventional wisdom is that portrait lenses
    : > are longer than "normal" to keep the subject's nose from sticking out too
    : > much. In any case, less foreshortening would make the subject's arm dominate
    : > the picture even more than it already does.
    : >
    : > : 4) Some kind of star-burst effect on background, which is completely
    : > : out of place
    : > :
    : > : 5) Background color hideous
    : > :
    : > : This photograph is basically a disaster.
    : >
    : > My take is that it was intended for a CD album cover or some similar use. The
    : > close cropping, peculiar lighting, starburst decoration, and low color
    : > temperature may be intended to evoke a nightclub. We're supposed to conclude
    : > that something has distracted the subject and he's turned away from the
    : > spotlight. Viewed in that light (so to speak), I don't think it's quite as
    : > bad.
    : >
    : > Bob
    :
    : Huh? You cannot be serious...

    Yes, I am. Did you, by any chance, actually read what I wrote? If so, would
    you care to address my hypothesis and/or propose a more plausible explanation
    of that picture?

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 29, 2007
    #84
  5. acprkit

    dadiOH Guest

    Too big or not it is easy to fix the gapping.
    ______________
    A longer lens means that the camera would be further from the subject;
    consequently, the closer portions of the subject would not be
    exaggerated in size as they were.

    foreshortening -
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define:foreshortening


    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Sep 30, 2007
    #85
  6. acprkit

    Robert Coe Guest

    : Robert Coe wrote:
    : > On Fri, 28 Sep 2007 13:27:28 -0000, UC <>
    : > wrote:
    :
    :
    : >>> 5. shirt collar gaps at back
    : >
    : > The shirt is just too big: at least an inch (25 mm) in neck size.
    : > If the photographer bought him the shirt (possible, since it's
    : > obviously new), then it's his fault. Otherwise not.
    :
    : Too big or not it is easy to fix the gapping.
    : ______________
    :
    : >> 3) Short focal length lens was used, causing inappropriate
    : >> foreshortening .
    : >
    : > Both you and dadiOH made that point, but I'm confused. Isn't it a
    : > long lens that causes foreshortening? The conventional wisdom is
    : > that portrait lenses are longer than "normal" to keep the subject's
    : > nose from sticking out too much. In any case, less foreshortening
    : > would make the subject's arm dominate the picture even more than it
    : > already does.
    :
    : A longer lens means that the camera would be further from the subject;
    : consequently, the closer portions of the subject would not be
    : exaggerated in size as they were.
    :
    : foreshortening -
    : http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define:foreshortening

    I stand corrected, I guess. Since I first began to get my head around the
    effect of a telephoto lens, I've understood foreshortening to refer to the
    perspective effect that makes a picture taken by a telephoto have less
    apparent depth than one would expect at a given viewing distance. That seems
    to be the exact opposite of what's implied by your statement above and by one
    or two of the definitions pointed to by that link. The rest of the definitions
    on the linked page seem to be all over the place. I guess the definition of
    "foreshortening" is in the eye of the beholder. (No pun intended, but if the
    shoe fits, wear it, I always say.) ;^)

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 30, 2007
    #86
  7. acprkit

    UC Guest

    Sure. Incompetence. Trying to 'creative'.
     
    UC, Sep 30, 2007
    #87
  8. acprkit

    dadiOH Guest

    OK. First of all, I happen to be a fan of the 30s-50s movie studio
    publicity shots. It is nice to see hard light once in a while.
    Nothing against umbrellas and soft boxes - they are easy and
    pleasant - just that hard lighting is different. And harder. Some of
    the studio publicity photographers were very adept at using it, others
    less so.

    Secondly, many of the examples you linked to are quite contrasty.
    Might just be my video settings (gamma of 1.0), might not but lots of
    highlights are washed out.

    http://www.vividinfinity.com/xlj/ohthree/joan_crawford-trois.jpg
    Being very picky, I would have preferred the fill to be moved to the
    side opposite the main so the shadow descending downward from right
    thumb would have been more open. Hard to tell from the reproduction
    but it looks as if the negative retouching was not so great.

    http://www.vividinfinity.com/xlj/ohthree/joan_crawford-trois.jpg
    Same thing with the fill. The shadow pocket in the inner side of
    subject's right eye is just plain unpleasant.

    http://www.divasthesite.com/images/Joan_Crawford/Joan_Crawford_79.jpg
    Looks like it was made from a copy of a wallet size photo that someone
    had
    carried in their wallet for a decade or two. Sure a huge, square chin
    too. IOW, ugh.

    http://www.divasthesite.com/images/Joan_Crawford/Joan_Crawford_30.jpg
    I like it well enough except for the contrast. Some detail in dark
    areas, little in highlight area of skin. Fingers on right are barely
    delineated.

    http://www.vividinfinity.com/xlj/ohthree/joan_crawford-trois.jpg
    Extrapolating to what was probably there before being digitized, I
    like this one. By far the best thus far.

    http://www.leninimports.com/joan_crawford_gallery_1.jpg
    Yeah, it is nice. It would be nicer IMO without the hairlight
    spilling onto cheek, nose and fintertips.

    http://www.leninimports.com/joan_crawford_gallery_2.jpg
    Gee, another white hand. No, wait...there is a face there too. Right
    next to the hand and above the featureless mass of black below. But
    what in the world is that whtie thing at the bottem center? Negative
    retouching on this one is good.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Sep 30, 2007
    #88
  9. acprkit

    Robert Coe Guest

    : UC wrote:
    :
    : >> As much as you picked apart your "horrible example" I'm surprised
    : >> you didn't do the same to your "good examples". They could be.
    : >
    : > I'm not so critical of them, because the strengths far outweigh the
    : > weaknesses. Give me some examples of what you think are weaknesses.
    :
    : OK. First of all, I happen to be a fan of the 30s-50s movie studio
    : publicity shots. It is nice to see hard light once in a while.
    : Nothing against umbrellas and soft boxes - they are easy and
    : pleasant - just that hard lighting is different. And harder. Some of
    : the studio publicity photographers were very adept at using it, others
    : less so.
    :
    : Secondly, many of the examples you linked to are quite contrasty.
    : Might just be my video settings (gamma of 1.0), might not but lots of
    : highlights are washed out.
    :
    : http://www.vividinfinity.com/xlj/ohthree/joan_crawford-trois.jpg
    : Being very picky, I would have preferred the fill to be moved to the
    : side opposite the main so the shadow descending downward from right
    : thumb would have been more open. Hard to tell from the reproduction
    : but it looks as if the negative retouching was not so great.
    :
    : http://www.vividinfinity.com/xlj/ohthree/joan_crawford-trois.jpg
    : Same thing with the fill. The shadow pocket in the inner side of
    : subject's right eye is just plain unpleasant.
    :
    : http://www.divasthesite.com/images/Joan_Crawford/Joan_Crawford_79.jpg
    : Looks like it was made from a copy of a wallet size photo that someone
    : had
    : carried in their wallet for a decade or two. Sure a huge, square chin
    : too. IOW, ugh.
    :
    : http://www.divasthesite.com/images/Joan_Crawford/Joan_Crawford_30.jpg
    : I like it well enough except for the contrast. Some detail in dark
    : areas, little in highlight area of skin. Fingers on right are barely
    : delineated.
    :
    : http://www.vividinfinity.com/xlj/ohthree/joan_crawford-trois.jpg
    : Extrapolating to what was probably there before being digitized, I
    : like this one. By far the best thus far.
    :
    : http://www.leninimports.com/joan_crawford_gallery_1.jpg
    : Yeah, it is nice. It would be nicer IMO without the hairlight
    : spilling onto cheek, nose and fintertips.
    :
    : http://www.leninimports.com/joan_crawford_gallery_2.jpg
    : Gee, another white hand. No, wait...there is a face there too. Right
    : next to the hand and above the featureless mass of black below. But
    : what in the world is that whtie thing at the bottem center? Negative
    : retouching on this one is good.

    Yeah, those are pretty awful. But three of your links refer to the same
    picture. That's not what you intended, is it?

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 30, 2007
    #89
  10. acprkit

    UC Guest

    There is fill on the viewer's right side. I don't understand what you
    are driving at.
    This print is not that good.
    Could be a better scan is needed.
    Left hand placement is poor.

    But you have to agree that these photos are pretty impressive overall.
     
    UC, Sep 30, 2007
    #90
  11. acprkit

    dadiOH Guest

    No, not at all. I must have forgotten to copy again before pasting
    :(

    If you are interested, they are commented on in the same order UC
    linked them in his post above mine.


    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Oct 1, 2007
    #91
  12. acprkit

    dadiOH Guest

    Yes, it is at viewer's right and somewhat high...what is sometimes
    called "dynamic fill". One could also think of it as a secondary
    main.

    One can place the fill (or fills) in various places relative to the
    camera axis. Where they are placed markedly changes their effect. In
    this case, the fill is creating the smaller nose shadow, the shadows
    around the subject's right eye and on her right cheek.

    There is also another fill (the main one actually) about on the camera
    axis. You can tell it is there because the shadows created by the
    dynamic fill are partially filled. You can also see its reflection in
    the pupil of the subject's left eye...it is a largish reflector with a
    cap covering the bulb so no direct light hits subject.

    Now, what I was saying was that had the dynamic fill been moved to
    camera left, it would have diminished what I find to be a distracting
    shadow on the subjects right cheek. If it had also been lowered, it
    would have also opened up subjects right eye. Finally, the nose
    shadow would have disappeared. IOW, the photo would have been very
    different.

    Upon reflection, I don't think I'd change the fill. I *would* change
    the kicker position so it became just an accent light...now, it is
    like another main but just for subject's right hand. The spill from
    that light onto her lower right jaw is what is really creating the
    light/dark juxtaposition I am complaining about.
    ____________________
    I think they are entirely suitable for the purpose intended. I don't
    think I would call them "impressive".

    The whole purpose of my last couple of posts has been to demonstrate
    to you that most photographs have flaws...most can be improved. It
    all depends upon the viewer's personal criteria and - IMO - the
    purpose of the photograph.

    You tend to be cruelly pedantic in your assessment of photographs
    unless they meet your rather narrow set of criteria. It is my hope
    that some of the vitriol be replaced with constructive criticism.

    BTW, in another post you were criticising some other photographer's
    photos. I didn't look at them but apparently there was one or more of
    flowing water photographed with a slow shutter speed. You found it
    trite and asked - rhetorically, I am sure - how often that has been
    done. Allow me to answer that by saying that flowing water pix have
    about the same frequency as pix of shiny bricks with manhole covers
    :)

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Oct 1, 2007
    #92
  13. acprkit

    UC Guest

    I have not seen any such 'manhole' photos before, that I can recall.
    Most people would overlook such a subject matter.
     
    UC, Oct 1, 2007
    #93
  14. acprkit

    dadiOH Guest

    Next time I see one I'll point it out to you. May be a while, I've
    seen so many that my mind tends to tune them out. :)

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Oct 1, 2007
    #94
  15. acprkit

    UC Guest

    I haven't that I can recall. At least not any done the way I did that
    one...
     
    UC, Oct 1, 2007
    #95
  16. acprkit

    ggomezphoto Guest

    ggomezphoto, Oct 1, 2007
    #96
  17. acprkit

    UC Guest

    But it's a different kind of photo altogether. In mine, the tones are
    vital to the image. The bricks are essentially underexposed so that
    the metal grate can be exposed without burning up. Mine is a low-key
    sort of image, more about the tones and surfaces than the nature of
    the subject matter.
     
    UC, Oct 1, 2007
    #97
  18. acprkit

    ggomezphoto Guest

    Agreed..........

    Gerry
     
    ggomezphoto, Oct 1, 2007
    #98
  19. acprkit

    dadiOH Guest

    Trust me, it's been done before. Low key too.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Oct 1, 2007
    #99
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