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Thread: Normal environment or studio shot?

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Normal environment or studio shot?

    I would be interested to know if you think this shot is taken in a studio or in a normal environment and whether it would make any difference to what you think about it.

    Latter I will explain why I am curious.

    Normal environment or studio shot?

    Thailand "He ain't heavy he's my brother"

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Impossible to say if it's studio shot or not, but judging by the catchlights and the targeted lighting, I'd be 100% sure that strobe lighting (at least) was used. Whether that's a studio head in a studio, or portable lighting used outdoors, I couldn't say (would be easier to achieve outdoors though).

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    I would say it's ambient light at a relatively high ISO for the camera used.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Thank you Colin and Phil. This is scanned from film so it may be a bit misleading. Any noise in the shadow's indicating high ISO is probably from the scanner.

    Feel free to make any other comments you wish.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Judging by the background and guessing that the catch lights are from a window, I would say in a normal environment but who knows. One way or the other, it is an excellent and well made study.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    The catchlights suggest some sort of artificial lighting to me.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Normal environment, doesn't make a difference where it was shot, it's the expressions that matter.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Thank you John, Greg and John would like to see what a few others think before I explian why I am curious.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    The difference in size/shape of the catchlights in the two boys seem odd.

    I'd say in normal environment.

    But does it matter?

    Afterall, the final say is from the author/photog himself.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    whether it would make any difference to what you think about it.
    Not to me.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    The catchlights don't look like any typical softbox shape. My guess is that this is an available-light, non-studio shot with a highly directional source, wider than it was tall. Maybe a large window or the subject's standing under an awning. That said, I will not be terribly shocked if it turns out to be a studio shot. As a found shot, it has more authenticity, and yes, that would improve it in my eyes. But it's a great shot either way.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    The catchlights don't look like any typical softbox shape. My guess is that this is an available-light, non-studio shot with a highly directional source, wider than it was tall. Maybe a large window or the subject's standing under an awning. .
    As I mentioned, I find the catchlights "odd".

    Sometimes, when I put catchlights in the subject,
    I have to be very careful in adjusting brightness/size/shape/location so they look "natural".
    (errrr..., my apologies to the "purists" )

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    The catchlights don't look like any typical softbox shape. My guess is that this is an available-light, non-studio shot with a highly directional source, wider than it was tall. Maybe a large window or the subject's standing under an awning. That said, I will not be terribly shocked if it turns out to be a studio shot. As a found shot, it has more authenticity, and yes, that would improve it in my eyes. But it's a great shot either way.
    Thank you all for your replies. Lex has absolutely nailed it. It was taken in a tea plantation in northern Thailand near the border with Myanma (Burma ). The brothers were standing just inside an open ended shed watching their mother standing about about 4 feet away in very bright sunlight talking to an American child sponsor on a trip organized by Compassion International.

    I had not really studied the catch lights before but on examining the them enlarged I find the ones in the smaller boy have blown a bit but in the bigger boy I can make out a reflections from what seem to be sunglasses.

    The other interesting point Lex made was that as a found shot it would be authentic and improve in his eyes.

    The photo was runner up in a competition about 10 years ago. First prize was a newly released A3+ pigmented ink printer and second a voucher for $200 of lab printing/processing. The day after the presentation evening there was a judges walk about where one of the judges was outlining the judges thoughts on the photographs. I followed along out of interest. When the group got to the top three someone said they preferred my second place photograph and what was the reasoning. The judge replied that they found it a difficult choice but one of the panel felt as it was a studio shot it did not rate as highly as the other. She was a bit speechless when I piped up and said it was not a studio shot.

    The interesting thing is that the first place was awarded to a photograph made up of several images combined and highly manipulated with photoshop. So at the very least a photoshoped photograph ranks higher than a studio shot. It has not particularly worried me but the printer would have been nice however I have always been more than a little bit bemused by the judges logic.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 12th August 2013 at 10:40 PM.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Google Reine II - most expensive photo ever sold - and it's both "meh" (in my opinion) and heavily photoshopped.

    I often feel results of comps like this reveal more about the judges than they do about the artist.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I often feel results of comps like this reveal more about the judges than they do about the artist.

    Would this also apply to our judges here on CiC.
    Cheers......

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Yep

    In all seriousness, it comes down to different criteria that people want to apply. I tend to vote up images that I feel would sell well if printed on canvas and offered for sale, whereas someone else may vote up an image that's "outside of the box" - and others will vote down an image because they don't like the photographer, regardless of the images merit, or vote up an image for someone who they felt needed the confidence boost or they liked.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Don't knock judges to much. I now do a bit of judging and it is often(always) a difficult task. Ten years ago there were not as many montage/composite creative images around so my competition had an edge in the novelty stakes that I do not think would exist today. However usually a fashionable or novel image will have an additional appeal over a more mainstream image.

    It has been interesting to read the comments and I will tone down the catchlights a bit for any future use of the photograph.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    A beautiful shot; but I hopped onto the thread a bit to late to comment; my initial reaction was along the line of Lex's and would have thought there would have been a bit of a fill light from the right had this been a studio shot.

    I gave up on photo contests years ago when I was a member of a camera club. It bothered me to no end that the main criteria for winning seemed to be having to be a member of the "in crowd"; i.e. being purely artsy was far more important than being good.

    I don't find the prejudices against studio shots at all surprising as I've run into a number of people who think using studio lights and reflectors are "cheating", even when used in outdoor settings. You lost for being too good, which is too bad.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    I have always been more than a little bit bemused by the judges logic.
    Actually, the lack of it.

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    Re: Normal environment or studio shot?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    Don't knock judges to much. I now do a bit of judging and it is often(always) a difficult task. Ten years ago there were not as many montage/composite creative images around so my competition had an edge in the novelty stakes that I do not think would exist today. However usually a fashionable or novel image will have an additional appeal over a more mainstream image.
    What would be helpful to participants is if we knew what the judging criteria were to be. What annoys me is when professional landscape photographers - whose work is commercially successful - who go to the trouble of lighting beautiful piece of work from the inside of a snow cave lose out to a point and shoot shot of a cute kid with "Yep" on his teashirt - and shots of badly lit trees - shot at night - in the rain - through a fence win awards (that particular shot - if I'd taken it - wouldn't have even made it off the camera).

    The link below - where an artist won a $15,000 competition using the discarded packing materials of their competitor is a good case in point. To me, this isn't art - it's just rubbish, and the judges who give awards to this kind of rubbish are - frankly - out of touch, and clueless.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=10596014
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 13th August 2013 at 04:41 AM.

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