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Thread: Watching!

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Watching!

    On the basis of posting one of my recent holiday pics per day (I've now edited it down to 19, what I think are, reasonable images) I can bore you for about another two weeks!

    As well as observing the people on the street watching the cycle race in Tramayes, I turned my lens upwards to the people looking out on to the street from their windows. The lady had caught my attention ... and then her husband ( I assume it was her husband) appeared in the background.

    This is new territory for me, so I'd particularly welcome your comments.

    Watching!
    40D, 70-200mm f/4L IS USM @ 200mm. ISO100. 1/250@f5.6
    Last edited by Donald; 5th July 2011 at 06:23 PM.

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    Re: Watching!

    I love the pose and the composition but wonder toward the grain being a little softer as these people don't seem particularly harsh or hard edged folks. Good shot, either or.

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    Re: Watching!

    Donald,

    Honestly, I find the second figure distracting and kind of creepy... Given that it is against a black background, I'd actually consider cloning them out. From what I can see, it looks like he is actually focused on you, while his wife is clearly focused on some other action. I think the disparity between the subjects of their attention makes the second figure much less important.

    Next - I don't know if it is my monitor here at work or what, but the image seems either grainy or noisy. In particular, I notice it in the face and arms of the woman and in the white window sill below the woman. Not sure if that is the look you were going for, but I find it particularly distracting in her skin.

    Finally - and this is the biggest one for me and I'm really surprised you missed it, so if there's reasoning here, please share - but the image seems crooked. I feel the window needs a slight rotation to get it perfectly straight. And then a slight crop to get the image centered and balanced (remove the shutter handle on the left and the dark spot on the right) to even things and provide a symmetrical setting with the woman being the only asymmetrical aspect of the shot.

    All in all, I think it is a very interesting shot. I debate my initial statements about the second figure, and wonder if it couldn't be made to work with them in the shot. But either way, I think the capture of the woman intently watching another scene is interesting.

    The B&W conversion looks nice, and though I generally am not a fan of vignetting, I think it works well here.

    - Bill

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Watching!

    Thanks Chris

    Yes, I'll be interested to read the views of others about the use fo grain. It just didn't look right when there was no grain on it. So I selected the Ilford HP5 folm type effect option from within Silver Efex Pro.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Watching!

    Thanks Bill.

    As you can see from my response to Chris above, the grain has been put in.

    In terms of alignment, if you look at the bottom beam, you see it's absolutely level, but the top lintel is way off. Now we are talking abotu a building that was probably several hundred years old. So I don't know if it was me or the building.

    Thanks for your constructive comments. They are being taken on board.

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    Re: Watching!

    Donald,

    Yeah - I keep looking at it and I'm trying to find a plumb corner in the whole thing! Haha. I think (for me at least) that the vertical lines of the shutters are what are throwing me off. I feel they are the dominant lines in the shot, and I think my brain is trying to make them perfectly vertical. However, I do wonder what would happen if you made the shot aligned on them, if then my brain would pick up on the non-horizontal nature of the top and bottom lintels. Certainly a challenge! I wonder how difficult it would be to fix several hundred years of architectural drift with some clicking in PP... Probably rather difficult...

    As to the grain, are you able to remove just the grain from her face and arms? I think it works on the rest of the image.

    - Bill

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    Re: Watching!

    nice shot at the right time with an excellent treatment

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    Re: Watching!

    his picture just.... made me smile when I saw it.

    Forget the square building....

    its the people that are the subject and... they made me smile at them in a friendly and familiar way. Now that what I like about this shoot...

    Good Job with the people

    paul

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    Re: Watching!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Thanks Bill. As you can see from my response to Chris above, the grain has been put in.
    In terms of alignment, if you look at the bottom beam, you see it's absolutely level, but the top lintel is way off. Now we are talking about a building that was probably several hundred years old. So I don't know if it was me or the building.
    In my comments please realise my relative inexperience and the limitations of my PC (I have only a 19 inch screen). I have discovered (by right clicking on the forum image) that I can view this photo in a larger size, which covers about 3/4 of my monitor's width. Until it was mentioned here, I had not noticed the "grain". In my perception it must give the "textures" (if that is the right word) that make the image what it is. Is this what you intended, Donald, because it seems to work like that for me? When viewed at a sensible distance it looks fine. For me the grainy effect only intrudes if the image is much more magnified, in which case I can't see the whole photo, or when viewed very close up, which is unnatural.

    As for the alignment not being quite right, I would think this is more likely caused when the shot was taken, rather than by the building's structure. It does not look as though this photo was staged - but the camera would have had to be in exactly the right position for all horizontal and vertical lines to be "correct". This seems improbable for this type of shot. Again this is not important for me as, in agreement with Paul, it is the people that matter here - particularly the different focus of their attention.

    Philip

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Watching!

    Thierry, Paul, Philip.

    Thank you for commenting.

    Philip - You may consider yourself relatively inexperienced, but you have inderstood exactly what I was trying to do. Without the addition of grain, the picture, in my opinion, looked 'too pretty'. I think it needed more 'grittiness'. I think the point made above about it being good if that good be held back a bit on the woman's face and arms is reasonable, but I can't see how I can do that using either DXO Optics PRO (my Raw Processor where film grain is available), or Silver Efex Pro (my B & W converter where film grain is also available). The GIMP, where I finish off, does of course allow me to out on masks and make selective adjustments, but whilt you can add noise, you don't have the option of specific film grain. I need to experiment.

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