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Great InasiaJones 2015-04-30 17:03

Oh my God... You've been in India Craig, so by now, you must be hooked, as there is no destination as exotic and exciting as India, to truly loose all your references.

Colors, smells, nice people, striking discoveries, awesome food, delhi belly, everything is there to create the most memorable moments..

Barbers represent a nice theme that I enjoy myself in various situations, and this one is interesting for the expression of the client and the arms of the barber that suggests command and control, while remaining anonymous.

But Craig, this scene is begging for more light, as you haven't post-processed it in order to bring attention on the face, or at least to illuminate it. The most important part of that frame is actually in the dark, while the shirt is grabbing all the attention!??

Because the expression is intriguing and defines the emotional link with the subject- a sense of abandon, I would have been instinctively guided to get a closer capture, so the face and the arms would have become the ultimate elements of the image.

When you think about it, being shaved by another person, surrendering your face to someone else is quite an act of intimacy, so by framing the scene tighter, you would have emphasized this moment, you would have highlighted the scene in an extraordinary way.

Making photography is to know what is essential to keep in the frame, and ignoring what is not necessary. In this case, the magic, the centre of interest is all between these two hands and the face; the shirt, as well as the garbage in the background are far from being desirable in this frame and they completely distract from what this photo is all about.

You would have focused on the upper half of this photo, framed horizontally, and you were having a stunning shot in your hand, as I really don't see what the lower half can possibly bring to the image, what kind of contribution it makes.

The moment was perfect, the face framed by the hand was exceptional, the expression is delightful (almost like a ritualistic moment), but by including this shirt that overtakes the rest of the scene, the focal point is diffused and lost through unnecessary details.

But I salute your guts and initiative to try other subjects than buildings; and you are right, India is a great place to shoot people, as they are as interesting as they are interested. I will keep following your Indian trip through your photo, as I am both jealous of you, but also happy that you have discovered this fabulous country.



Old 05-01-2015, 03:01 AM
macjake macjake is offline
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Hi Andre
great to hear from you, its not too often that you're on TE anymore!

Tosca and I have been to poverty stricken countries before, so that wasn't at all a surprise or a shock - but I guess you could argue India takes it up a notch!

the people were very friendly, the food was fantastic, and the photo ops were endless.

thanks a million for your honest critique on this shot.

I understand your dislike for the lack of attention given to the barber. In fact, when I was composing the scene I still remember thinking i'd like to try something different - meaning leaving the barber OUT except for his hands and arms.

There are several photos that I took that include BOTH parties, not just the barber or the man getting shaved. I was just trying something different.

if you're wanting a more connection between the two, take a look at my other photo with the barbers hands on top of the mans head. Its a tighter crop, but taken from behind - perhaps that one is more to your liking?

thanks again for the honest critique, its always welcome.

And as for illuminating the face, i'm not exactly sure how to do that in post processing without illuminating all other areas of the frame. I tried brightening the scene, but then the man's shirt was WAY too overexposed.

but again, thanks a million for your ideas and thoughts!
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:50 AM
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InasiaJones InasiaJones is offline
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Hey Craig!

I agree with your perception of India, but however poor is this country, it is not what defines it. This country is rich in so many ways, mostly spiritually, culturally, culinary and in terms of being able to get in contact with people easily, therefore enriching the entire experience of visiting this incomparable country.

It's difficult to beat this subcontinent that have so much to offer. You can't get bored in India, and I can't wait for Wanda to finish her study to go back there (if not in Bangladesh and Shri Lanka). That's why I envy you, and at the same time, that I rejoice for you, as a fellow Canucks but mostly as an avid photographer.

India have opened my eyes and my mind, and I have never been has thrilled and excited anywhere else than when walking in the streets of Kolkata, visiting a temple in Amritsar or assisting to a Theyyam performance in the middle of the night. This is also where I have met my girlfriend for the first time...

Concerning my comments on your photo, of course I need to be sincere, it's a simple question of respect. There is so many people here who find comfort in trading points, with meaningless comments, only fishing for reciprocity. My main source of inspiration since I arrived here were the members who had more experience than myself, who were putting substance in their work, and although I eventually took my own road, I could never have learned as much and find motivation to improve myself than through the sincere critiques that I have received here over the years.

And about your photo itself, Craig, I wouldn't spend a second commenting if I wouldn't see your potential and desire to improve your work. All I meant about your subject is that the face is dark, all the area lacks some light, simply because by contrast, the shirt of the sleeve captures all the impact because of its bright colour. But if you would have got closer to your subject and focused on the real elements of interest, you could have achieved a better result in terms of lighting (not having to deal with a pale shirt, fearing to overexpose it).

Keep your mind opened to critiques, it's the only way to improve yourself - you have the right attitude. I was myself reluctant and overly sensitive to some comments that I was judging too harsh when I began here, only to realize later on that these critiques were the most instructive ones, and they undoubtedly helped me to learn much more than every nicer comments that were comforting me in my naive beginner beliefs.

Photography is an endless learning curve, and just like everything else, it's only when you begin to know a thing or two about something that you realize you know nothing. I just wish I would have found interest in photography when I was 20, rather than 40 something...


Last edited by InasiaJones; 05-01-2015 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:59 AM
macjake macjake is offline
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Hey Andre
part of the problem with online commenting is losing some of the meaning...don't you think?

its sometimes hard to read between the lines!

I never once thought your critique was harsh, infact I agree that the mans face is too dark - I only wish I could brighten it up a bit without overexposing other areas.

I was using my tele lens, so I couldn't really get closer - unless you want to see some nosehairs

and most importantly, its fun to hear your ideas to improve the shot, because you had some ideas that I didn't have at the time. Its always good to have a second opinion, and clearly you know your stuff, that's for sure.

I appreciate the long critique Andre, you took a lot of time and effort to do so.
Keep them coming!!!!

We also went to Norway after India...havn't posted any photos yet, but if you have never been to Lofoten, Northern HAVE to go.

but it's completely opposite to India...very rare to see people, but the landscapes are to die for!

Keep in touch!
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