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Thread: Old man

  1. #1
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    Default Old man



    1.in what area is critique to be sought?

    I will like feedback on the composition and photography techniques.

    I am wondering more sharpness is desired for the subject in the photo.
    I just took a shot on-the-fly with EF 50mm f1.4 at f1.4.

    2.what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?

    I want to show how the man in the photo has aged.
    What he is doing at that moment, I feel, it's not important. I just want to capture his look when he is focused on doing something (actually cutting finger nails)

    3.under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)

    Nothing special, just to capture natural look...

    4.what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture

    Maybe you can share what you think of this photo. What does it tells you?

    Many thanks!

  2. #2

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    Hi!

    I'm quite new to photography. Do take my comments with a pinch of salt, yeah?

    First off, I love the intention or rather the choice of subject. Would have been cool if you had captured him clipping his nails!

    However, I do think there are many elements that distract the viewer from focus of your image. Especially the chair's wooden armrest and the stroller. These objects don't help to tell the story that you are going after, in my humble opinion. The tv and part of the cabinet could be removed or cropped off or bokeh-ed to better focus attention to your subject, perhaps.

    Technical aspects-wise, I am not knowledgable enough to contribute much. But I think that the old man does look rather sharp! Nice! But is the image a tad underexposed?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Old man

    Hi there =)

    I think that although you just wanted to show his focused face, it would be necessary to actually show what he is doing to complete the picture. Just from the picture alone without any text explanation, he seemed to have dozed off rather than was doing something. In fact, showing what he is doing will add more meaning and feel to the picture. Thus, the armrest is really a hindrance here.

    Also, the television on the left is quite distracting and misleading (I interpreted as the old man dozed off while watching TV which is wrong).

    I think it would have been better if the picture was taken with you position more to your left slightly so that:
    -the armrest don't block what the old man is doing
    -the television is out of the frame

    You could also try shooting or post-processing the picture to black-and-white.

    Cheers and happy shooting =)

    I

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Old man

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the valuable inputs.

    I believe the composition is not so good and yes, probably a move to my left will put things into better perspective.

    I have one question on the exposure. Is it generally better to have brighter shots? My wife commented that some of my photos are too dark and she actually prefer an overexposed shot. I just want to know what is the general consensus?

    I feel this under exposed shot can set a sad tone, giving a heavy feeling or expressing age in this case.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Old man

    Hi Pelangi!

    From my short time reading and understanding exposure, I feel that there is a certain upper and lower limit to exposure. If you are within that band, the picture is generally ok. Just adjust the exposure during post-processing and see which exact level of exposure you feel is perfect for that particular shot. Additionally, if you go beyond those limits, then the photo is considered "over exposed" or "underexposed".

    I personally think that the exposure is fine. Cos I feel it brings out a rather somber mood. Agree with you entirely on the expression of a heavy feeling.

    But if your wife feels that there isn't enuf exposure, I guess she's expecting or interpreting the photo in a different way. No right or wrong. (But from my experience, wives are right all the time. Hahah)

    I guess it is when you go beyond those upper or lower limits of exposure, it'll be hard to find good qualities in the photo and thus end up with more ppl disagreeing with the exposure.

    So yeah, in a nutshell - Explore the various ranges of exposure for this photo (and others) and see which specific setting suits the specific photo!

    Hope I am making sense!

    Regards!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Old man

    Hi Norman,

    Thanks for sharing.

    I like the part on wives' comments.

    I guess I still need some more time to get things right.

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Old man

    This picture needs some work imo in terms of composition.

    Technical-wise, the image is bang on in sharpness, but I would move the composition to the left a bit, seeing stuff like the stool being cut off is quite annoying and obvious as it is in a rather bright color, compared to the left side. Speaking of colors, the most vibrant part of the image is the pram in the foreground. I feel it would be better if the chair is probably out of the way, and have just the pram, it will express how much the man has aged much better. And by moving the chair, or yourself to the left, you will also capture what the man is doing. At the same time, you can also capture the television on the left as well. It seems to be showing quite an interesting show, but the man has grown to the point where such things have no interest to him.

    PP-wise, I would tone down the saturation of the entire image (everything except for maybe the pram and the TV), showing how everything has lost its feel to him.

    All in all, nice pic with a nice intent, but the chair in the foreground is really bugging the hell out of me :P

  8. #8
    Member zebackq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old man

    Hi Pelangi15,
    Just in my humble opinion, this is what i feel looking at your pic.
    An old man in deep thoughts of the past.

    Thanks and Regards.
    Last edited by zebackq; 17th February 2013 at 02:08 AM.
    It's mind over matter if you don't mind it doesn't matter

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Old man

    Hi, this is just my 2 cents worth .

    I actually kinda like the shot, it sparked some sort of emotion in me and i feel that this photo is rather.. somber? In my humble opinion, if you wish to further bring out the somber feeling, you can make it into a black and white picture and also increase the amount of dark tones. If you were to think about it, our psychology associates dark with sadness.. like dark ominous clouds? having a black day?

    I agree with the above comments that the armchair does not add anything to the composition and it's very distracting. I also agree that the TV should be cropped out as it "brightens" the image, making it less somber.

    Otherwise, its actually not too bad as things are being kept simple.

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old man

    on the original version, there is too many distracting elements in it, shooting at f1.4 will not help at all, subject is too far away, we don't really able to see the expression.

    get closer next time.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Old man

    The golden saying: “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”

    you mentioned you wanted to capture his focused looks/cutting nails. In this photo, we can see neither of that. I would think he is just casually looking at 4d tickets instead if not mentioned.

  12. #12
    Moderator nitewalk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old man

    On your idea of showing how the man has aged, I don't see how shooting from so far can help. You don't quite see the signs of aging and that will only probably be clearer when u go closer. Perhaps a frontal portrait done closer up would be more relevant. Especially if you could show the wrinkles and all.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Old man

    Hi guys,

    Sorry to reply so late. I thought there will be no more critique coming...

    But many thanks to all the valuable tips! Especially Zebackq, for making an effort to crop the photo.
    I agree with all your suggestions (B&W, compostion, and moving closer).
    It just goes to show that some thinking is required before making a shot.

    I think I need to consider a few more factors after having an idea and before taking a shot.

    Have a nice day!

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