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Thread: Chinatown elderly

  1. #1

    Smile Chinatown elderly

    Hi clubsnap viewers! This is my first post. I need ur constructive feedback and critiques on the following portrait that i've shot in chinatown last year in december. I'm not sure abt the idea of what's a good portrait shot. Still in the midst of exploring. I shot this when i was walking along chinatown on a mid afternoon. The elderly has an interesting posture and facial expression on his face that i couldnt resist but to take a shot of it. His facial expressions definitely struck a chord in my heart.

    I know the eyes are not clear because of his reflective glasses. On top of that I was so nervous as it was my first attempt that my camera jerked a bit when i shot this, thus causing the photo a bit of blur. I have the photo enlarged into super 8 size format and it doesnt look that appealing. I have received both positive and negative feedbacks. I hope to hear more feedback from you guys.

    I use a normal Canon SLR EOS 66 camera with its kit lens (28-80mm Hoya lens) provided. The photo was shot on KODAK TMAX 100 film. I dunno how to paste the photo here. so here's the link. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. Looking forward to ur feedback

    Last edited by eikin; 30th May 2007 at 01:10 PM. Reason: attach picture in thread

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Chinatown elderly

    You've got a very interesting subject. A polariser might have helped in cutting out the reflection from the spectacles.

    The main gripe I have is... the framing might be too tight in this case? Because it cuts out the hand... I think it should belong to the old man, but one cannot be entirely sure just based on this photo. Also the left ear of the man is also cut into half...

    Tightly framed portraits can be nice, but in this case, perhaps including more of the old man and his surrounding environment might make a better shot.

    Nice to see people still shooting film. Heh.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chinatown elderly

    The hand looks out of place. It looks like someone placed a hand on his head and the skin tone doesn't match the face due to the difference in exposure. A slightly smaller f stop to ensure a longer DOF may give the face more details to be seen clearer....

  4. #4

    Default Re: Chinatown elderly

    good work. hard to shoot people. u did well to get in so close. BUT the eyes, the eyes, the eyes ... we see bright light or nothing ... and also the focal precision is not there. the eyes and the lips ought to be in focus for this portrait to speak anything ...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Chinatown elderly

    Inyteresting pic. The old man seems troubled and is thinking hard. The bright spot on the spec is disturbing to viewer, would be better is the reflection actually is recognisable to tell extra detail of the story; or else cutting the reflection to see the eye will be better.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Chinatown elderly

    Quote Originally Posted by kooyouliang View Post
    ... His facial expressions definitely struck a chord in my heart.

    I know the eyes are not clear because of his reflective glasses. On top of that I was so nervous as it was my first attempt that my camera jerked a bit when i shot this, thus causing the photo a bit of blur. ...
    You did well, kooyouliang, to recognize a meaningful moment, expression etc! But ... as you have said, you were nervous, and this probably caused you to think about what the old man would think of you intruding into his day, what he would do to you, what the others in the neighbourhood would think, etc., etc.! We've all been down that road. With all this going on, you did a quickie snap with all the flaws as you, and others have described. May I suggest improving composition, distance, etc., by first establishing a rapport with your subject, so that he AND you are calm - two minutes spent chatting him up will give you the chance to shoot maybe 5 or 10 (film, right?! - so 40 is out!!!) ... AND ... if it is in your neighbourhood, make it a personal challenge to do a nice print for him, so that you can shoot some more. The eye (can't see the other one!) would look good open, and the mouth may even look better if he's smiling at your efforts at say, "making him look like Rambo" - ["Ok ... this chap needs all the help he can get, so I'll humour the poor fella", the old man thinks?] ?!!!

    Then, composition, lighting (he'll let you move him around to better light), etc. will be under YOUR control. I've even broken the ice by allowing my subject to take a shot of ME!!! The idea is "Don't lurk!" ... you sound like a sensitive person, so use it to your advantage! Keep it up!

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