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Thread: Reflections & Punctuation

  1. #61
    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    A critique by Von Wong & DuChemin

    Quote Originally Posted by jrw View Post
    Would love to see what critique gets offered on that shot!
    Well, I heard back from them both. Predictably, David DuChemin didn't offer much advise about the technical aspects of the photo (was hoping he wouldn't)... He is very much concerned with composition and the feel of a photo. Benjamin Von Wong ripped it apart. VERY appreciated. He noticed things about the color pallet I never would have. I took their comments and made adjustments. First, here's the photo as it was when they critiqued:



    And now the critiques (Copied and pasted from Facebook Messenger):

    Quote Originally Posted by David DuChemin
    David DuChemin:
    Richard - Great photograph. Well done. I love the emotion. Compostion and lighting is great. Lots of energy. Real sense of what you're pointing at. I'm not a lighting guy, so all I can tell you is I think it's strong technically. I'm much more interested in the emotional content of the image, which this has a lot of. My only suggestion, in terms of what I'd love to see, is the dog reacting to, or relating to, the guy with the banjo. Right now there is no relationship between them, other than spatially beside each other. I want that dog to be sharing the moment, maybe being the reason for the laughter. But that's just icing on the cake of an otherwise strong image. Love it.


    Lots of flattery here, a compliment from David DuChemin! But more importantly, his comment about the relationship between the two totally carries weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Von Wong
    Benjamin Von Wong:
    Hey mate the photo itself isn't bad. I think what feels off is that there are two seperate color pallets and lighting happening
    The light and color on the subjects don't match that of the sky so it feels a little bit funny
    we see the presence of the light because of the shadow on the car
    i think if u desaturated the entire image by say -30
    and re-toned your image with whatever color method you prefer (curves, split toning white balance wtvr)
    you could probably even out the image a bit more
    The light comign in from the right just looks like its too harsh and strong too
    theres no reason a light would be there in the natural world
    so if theres some way to tone that done a bit it might help
    Last but not least I think compositionally the fact that the model is looking one way and the dog the other is a little bit funny
    we don't really know where to look or what to focus on because the lines int he image arent pointing to the same place
    hope that helps@
    Good points. The differences in color pallets and confusion with the shadows are two things that didn't occur to me. And of course he's right, the light camera right is too harsh. Too heavy handed. And then there's the same comment about the dog. Point taken.

    Taking both of their comments into consideration I reworked the image and this is what I came up with:



    I did a lot of cloning and frequency separation to eliminate or minimize shadows, put a different head on the dog, and reworked the toning by desaturating -30 as he suggested, and used a spit tone combined with white balance adjustments.

    Overall I think it looks much better! I appreciate the help that all of you have continuously given me, and I love how humble all of these pro photogs are in their responses to me. All things considered, I'm a better photographer because of it.

    Thanks!

    -Rocco
    Last edited by Rocco; 11-04-2014 at 03:42 PM.
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

  2. #62
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    After the comments I totally see the colour issues with the lighting not matching and the lighting not being diffused enough to match the daylight with the cloudy skies. Thank you very much for sharing this. It hopefully will help others of us too!

  3. #63
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. It was interesting to read their comments. I can see what they are saying, but I am not sure I agree. I guess it gets down to what your vision was. They seem to be guiding you to a more natural/cohesive look. But, it seems to me that you were going for something that was maybe on the edge of surreal. A snapshot of a specific moment which are never perfectly cohesive. With that in mind, a lot of the "flaws" they pointed out, worked for me.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 11-04-2014 at 11:15 PM.

  4. #64
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    The original did look over saturated, but not completely out of line if this is your vision.
    The lighting makes it a bit surreal but isn't that the point?

    I do not agree wit the comments about the eye lines in the photo.
    The original draws my eye in to the camper, it has the feel this guy just dropped the tailgate and the dog came forward to take a look out. It is natural but not special.
    I am not sure what pose the dog could have been in that would have improved it, maybe kicked back and laying down. I have never had a dog that would have an interest at all in a banjo.

    i prefer the first over the second, as a dog owner it just feels right.

  5. #65
    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    It's interesting to read everyone's comments. Candid Coyote preferred the first version as well. A part of me wonders if it's simply due to the warmer color temperature. Totally reflects the emotion of the pic.

    I do, however, prefer the second version. I got prints of both and it was illuminating. The color issues are somehow enhanced on paper. (For those interested, I used a downloaded ICC Color profile of the print lab I used, so it wasn't the cause of the issue. It was a fundamental pallet clash that Von Wong pointed to.) I currently have the revised version framed and I'm thrilled with it.

    That being said, it was honestly a toss up between the two for me. I DO like how the reduced/eliminated shadows/highlights look on the second version better. Makes me wonder how the first would look if I used the same process without touching the tones or the dog. And I love both versions of the dog. Two completely different feelings about each. Both are true to the situation because both were captured within a few frames of each other. Personally, I'm in the "prefer them interacting with each other" camp.

    I'm keeping a copy of both saved.

    Thanks for the comments guys! It's fun to really dive into a photo like that.

    -Rocco
    Last edited by Rocco; 11-10-2014 at 06:23 AM.
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

  6. #66
    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Fists of Inferno

    Hey guys!

    Have one I wanted to share, pretty proud of it. I actually had time to do a family photo... for me! Feels great to work on a personal project like that.

    My girlfriend's son absolutely hates having his picture taken (something we both share), and especially hates the classic, pleasant, smiling portrait. He had asked if we could do something like a scene from an action movie instead. I of course enthusiastically agreed. The idea of us casually walking away from an explosion eventually turned into this:



    Loved the idea of a movie poster and there was no turning away once the germ of that idea took hold. In fact, we're ordering a few 24"x40" prints on poster paper to make it as authentic as possible. We came up with the name from a hilarious action movie name generator we found online. We're currently planning our sequel "Fists of Inferno 2: Instant Justice". Kills me.

    The lighting setup was a pretty simple cross-light setup using both of my Einsteins, a 64" PLM and a large softbox. The lights were triggered with the PocketWizard Flex tt5 and an AC3 Zone Controller and the Einsteins had a PW Power MC2 on each. Shot with the Canon 7d and the 100mm 2.8L Macro IS. Here's a simple diagram:


    The umbrella was slightly forward of each of us and angled slightly towards our faces. Worth noting is that the photo of me was flipped horizontally in the interest of symmetry. (the stud with the beard and glasses)

    The actual photo shoot took maybe 45 minutes with setup and tear-down. The hard part on this one was the editing. Took just about 11 hours in all. The ground we're on is a section of concrete from a sidewalk, the clouds come from a file folder I have been slowly adding to anytime I see dramatic or different clouds, for future use. The two city skylines, Panama City and Big Ben, were just found in a Google image search.

    Thoughts and comments are appreciated!

    Thanks for looking,

    -Rocco
    Last edited by Rocco; 01-27-2015 at 03:14 AM.
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

  7. #67
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    I love it. I love the idea, and the execution. The little girl with the big bazooka is an entertaining touch. You just know, if this were an actual family action movie, that she'd be a source of endless trouble (but eventually save the day).
    On Flickr - Namethatnobodyelsetook on Flickr | On the web - http://www.GrassStainedPhoto.com
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  8. #68
    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Reflections & Punctuation

    Here was a fun one. My girlfriend got a new tattoo, a memorial that also incorporated a semicolon (http://mashable.com/2015/07/07/proje.../#r6qlHczwjiq6) and wanted a photo that encapsulates what the tattoo is all about, and how she feels like she's imploding despite her calm demeanor. The mirror was also necessary to show the whole tattoo in one frame.

    Lighting was super simple on this one. Einstein firing through a softbox camera right, and my 430ex11 in a lumiquest soft box camera left, forward of the subject. Canon 7d and ef-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. Flashes triggered with PW TT5 and AC3 zone controller.



    Thanks for looking!

    -Rocco
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

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