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Thread: Up the escalator

  1. #1
    Member hersheydesai's Avatar
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    Default Up the escalator



    My first picture in the critique corner...come to think of it...my first picture to be posted on this forum.
    Going on with the formalities :

    1. in what area is critique to be sought?
    I am going to say...in the photograph??? Critique in everything, from framing to exposure to suggestions on how to improve the image.

    2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
    Uhh...a good shot, a nice grade perhaps. I took this picture as part of a street photography assignment. Its one of the 6 pictures I selected for my final submission. First I took an empty escalator while going down. Then I took pics from the ground up, gave a nice effect. Figured I am done, finally took the escalator back up. Saw this guy in front of me and decided to take a snap. It was a 'in the moment' shot. I didn't play with the settings. Just shot it at whatever my previous settings were.
    Picture was taken with the fisheye lens.

    3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
    Physical conditions? welllll..I was on the escalator...it was moving. Thus the zoom blur effect on the left side, which I really like.
    Emotions? I was trying to take a good snap of him before we reach the top. Managed to get 5 shots...3 were blurry, 1 was horribly framed. This one seemed to be the best from the five.

    4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
    I like the concept. And I love the zoom effect that was produced.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up the escalator

    I would first like to compliment you on being able to capture a pretty good shot.
    I agree with you that the motion blur (not zoom blur) effect on the left wall makes the shot more intriguing, like it's leading you in.
    HOWEVER, a few critical points 'spoil' the shot:

    1) The photo is generally too underexposed. Not much detail of the guy on the escalator. Can't even see the escalator steps at all.

    2) Distracting trail of light at the five-thirty position.

    3) Composition is a little out. I would place the guy more towards the bottom-right, and not have him block the 'light at the end of the tunnel'...

    That's all! hope you accept my critique. It's just my personal opinion. I don't have any formal training in photography...
    Exploring! :)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Up the escalator

    The "formalities" were written or cut/paste from some formal critique formats, where it is presumed there was an artistic intent in your shot/composition/work, ie you are trying to say something, make a statement, or achieve an effect, etc with your photo.

    But I suppose these were never in your mind when you shot the picture, and thus not entirely applicable to you, and perhaps to most snappers here on clubsnap.

    I think you posted here for "critique" because you just enjoyed your shot - and maybe seeking to know why it is enjoyable. I think it is enjoyable because it is a unique picture, a perspective not usually seen with eyes, your overcoming the technicalities to achieve it, and the presentation being pleasingly aesthetic and slightly abstract.

    And that in itself is already very commendable - the innocent joys of photography; something that becomes lost after a while, especially when you seek to win competitions, photo marathons, or to sell your pictures and the such.

    And so if the picture was pleasing and pleasant to see - something you could blow up large, hang on the wall, and continue look at it for years without getting sick of it - then you have made a good picture, regardless of what others may say. In that respect i think this picture has that potential too.

    As to whether the picture is under or overexposed and whether it is noisy or blurry etc, that depends on the intent and purpose. If it merely for art - in the aforesaid manner - then it may not matter at all: if it is enjoyable to see - then the blur, noise and low light is the reason it was enjoyable. Period.

    On the other hand if you intend to use this picture as an ad or to say something more specifically, then the specific requirements or shortcomings can be discerned, and thus the formalities.

    But hack the formalities - just go shoot and make pictures that you enjoy to look at, and to share with others too. The rest will fall into its place in due time.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Up the escalator

    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    The "formalities" were written or cut/paste from some formal critique formats, where it is presumed there was an artistic intent in your shot/composition/work, ie you are trying to say something, make a statement, or achieve an effect, etc with your photo.

    But I suppose these were never in your mind when you shot the picture, and thus not entirely applicable to you, and perhaps to most snappers here on clubsnap.

    I think you posted here for "critique" because you just enjoyed your shot - and maybe seeking to know why it is enjoyable. I think it is enjoyable because it is a unique picture, a perspective not usually seen with eyes, your overcoming the technicalities to achieve it, and the presentation being pleasingly aesthetic and slightly abstract.

    And that in itself is already very commendable - the innocent joys of photography; something that becomes lost after a while, especially when you seek to win competitions, photo marathons, or to sell your pictures and the such.

    And so if the picture was pleasing and pleasant to see - something you could blow up large, hang on the wall, and continue look at it for years without getting sick of it - then you have made a good picture, regardless of what others may say. In that respect i think this picture has that potential too.

    As to whether the picture is under or overexposed and whether it is noisy or blurry etc, that depends on the intent and purpose. If it merely for art - in the aforesaid manner - then it may not matter at all: if it is enjoyable to see - then the blur, noise and low light is the reason it was enjoyable. Period.

    On the other hand if you intend to use this picture as an ad or to say something more specifically, then the specific requirements or shortcomings can be discerned, and thus the formalities.

    But hack the formalities - just go shoot and make pictures that you enjoy to look at, and to share with others too. The rest will fall into its place in due time.
    I like his critique.haha.i really like this photo too. really splendid. i think the mood is very nice. the colours are brilliantly eye catching. blur is ok for the mood you get. love it.

    if the dof is shallower, it might be more awesome. I think the exposure on the guy is pretty ok. not much detail you could get from him. might loose a bit of the vibrancy in the colours if overexposed unless pp can bring them out later. I think the blue element on the right is cool. but the sharpness of the ceiling is not very interesting
    Last edited by puraime; 28th October 2008 at 12:10 AM. Reason: adding on
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    Default Re: Up the escalator

    First thing dat came into my mind when i saw your pic: Whoah....has potential as a BnW picture with slight vignetting added.
    Dun blame the camera...blame the one behind the viewfinder :bsmilie:
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  6. #6
    Member hersheydesai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up the escalator

    zerocoolastra,
    thanks for your thoughts. Will keep them in mind the next time I try to take such a shot. I had tried your third point though..had to make the guy block the sunlight at the top coz it was making the picture way too underexposed. Everything would have been silhouetted if I didn't.
    But I get the overall message...no way to salvage this picture :P

    espion,
    I have no problems with the "formalities" except for the fact that most of the time I take a picture simply for the joy of taking one. There are no reasons as to why I took this picture, no statement or purpose except it seemed like a good shot. Even when my professor tells me, "what do you feel from this picture"...sheesh I don't feel anything. Its a photo of a guy going up an escalator. Leave it at that. There are very few pictures from my side that actually have a conceptual message behind them. Will be posting those too.

    Posting this one for critiques isn't coz I enjoyed the shot. I posted this one to figure out how to correct it when I shoot something similar the next time. I know I have made errors on my part. Underexposure being the obvious mistake, but see, like zerocoolastra pointed out, there is a streak of light at the 5.30 position..I didn't catch that. Felt normal to me. But that streak isn't necessary at all...just distracting. Its the little details that I wanted critiques to point out so that I try and avoid making the same mistakes.

    Far as reasons for taking this shot...a message that I am trying to tell..well, you said it perfectly, the reason why I took this photo is " because it is a unique picture, a perspective not usually seen with eyes". Thats it.

    lol.
    I do take part in some photo competitions now and then. And this is, in no means, my best shot taken. however it is one of the 5 best shots of that particular shoot... horrible day.

    Uhhh...actually a Good picture is one that, if you blow up large, hang outside in public, and someone who is say...rushing to work, passes by the picture, moves past it, stops, steps back to look at it...THATS a good picture.
    This is a mere...glance and dismiss type :P

    Being a multimedia design student, everything revolves around art. But photography is supposed to be taken seriously too.
    I know of people who think that just because a photograph is in focus and correctly exposed, it is a good photograph. That is hardly the criteria for a good picture.
    This isn't by any means a "good" picture. Its kept for critique so that people can suggest what I can do to make it "good".
    So if we brush past the formalities and get to the point as to why this thread was started in the first place...any suggestions on how to improve this pic?

    puraime,
    shallower dof, got it. Will try shooting with a macro once too, may look good.

    tkbonz,
    BnW pic? really? never thought about it...will test it out in photoshop, see how it looks...thanks for the tip
    Hershey Desai & Deviantart
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Up the escalator

    The frame is underexposed, and the subject is not dominating enough to take charge of the frame coming out as a strong subject.

    I do still think that 'art' (and I am from an arts school too) is a feeble excuse for bad execution of technicalities. One must know the rules before one can break them. In other words, to break rules of photography that you know, you are creating an organised mess, but to not be aware and break these rules, it's just a mess.

    If you understood how the camera metering works, you would not have achieved underexposure. In this case, the camera metering was fooled by bright elements in the background, and it was led to think that the frame was brighter than it really was, and hence decided to underexpose. You need to understand how to meter the scene, and with what metering mode ( I would use spot metering and lock my exposure on the subject).

    As an aside, when the Critique Corner guidelines ask you to state "what area is critique to be sought", it obviously refers to the photo right? It is asking for specific elements of the photo, for instance composition, treatment, exposure, focus, and so forth.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Up the escalator

    Quote Originally Posted by hersheydesai View Post
    My first picture in the critique corner...come to think of it...my first picture to be posted on this forum.
    Going on with the formalities :

    1. in what area is critique to be sought?
    I am going to say...in the photograph??? Critique in everything, from framing to exposure to suggestions on how to improve the image.

    2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
    Uhh...a good shot, a nice grade perhaps. I took this picture as part of a street photography assignment. Its one of the 6 pictures I selected for my final submission. First I took an empty escalator while going down. Then I took pics from the ground up, gave a nice effect. Figured I am done, finally took the escalator back up. Saw this guy in front of me and decided to take a snap. It was a 'in the moment' shot. I didn't play with the settings. Just shot it at whatever my previous settings were.
    Picture was taken with the fisheye lens.

    3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
    Physical conditions? welllll..I was on the escalator...it was moving. Thus the zoom blur effect on the left side, which I really like.
    Emotions? I was trying to take a good snap of him before we reach the top. Managed to get 5 shots...3 were blurry, 1 was horribly framed. This one seemed to be the best from the five.

    4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
    I like the concept. And I love the zoom effect that was produced.
    i am frequently irritated by comments that tell you to "heck care". once you stop caring, you stop noticing and that is the long road to delusion-land. we should always care about others' opinions about our photographs - from newbie to master, from layman to photographer. my advice is to show the photograph around to people you know you can trust to give genuine critique, be it family (nonphotographers included).

    still, good effort and i like your attitude in response to critique.

    here's my take on the picture:

    1) you used a fisheye. the question is, how does a fisheye effect contribute to the picture? it is easy to overuse fisheyes, because (and i quote) it offers a "unique perspective to the world". but how much of this uniqueness is constructive? picture this frame with an equivalent ultrawideangle, about 10mm. does the lack of fisheye distortion ADD to the picture, or take away?

    2) a merit of this picture is strong lines leading you to the subject. but do you think it is better if the subject is higher? how about a vertical frame? do the glowing panels on the right add to the picture, or take away?

    3) what do you intend to convey with the picture? what is the driving idea behind it?

  9. #9
    Member hersheydesai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up the escalator

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i am frequently irritated by comments that tell you to "heck care". once you stop caring, you stop noticing and that is the long road to delusion-land. we should always care about others' opinions about our photographs - from newbie to master, from layman to photographer. my advice is to show the photograph around to people you know you can trust to give genuine critique, be it family (nonphotographers included).

    still, good effort and i like your attitude in response to critique.

    here's my take on the picture:

    1) you used a fisheye. the question is, how does a fisheye effect contribute to the picture? it is easy to overuse fisheyes, because (and i quote) it offers a "unique perspective to the world". but how much of this uniqueness is constructive? picture this frame with an equivalent ultrawideangle, about 10mm. does the lack of fisheye distortion ADD to the picture, or take away?

    2) a merit of this picture is strong lines leading you to the subject. but do you think it is better if the subject is higher? how about a vertical frame? do the glowing panels on the right add to the picture, or take away?

    3) what do you intend to convey with the picture? what is the driving idea behind it?
    nightmare,
    well some people here do give genuine critics...actually I think you would get an honest response only when you show your work to people whom you don't know. The ones whom you are close to have all that "don't want to hurt your feelings" thing going for them.

    1. I guess, when you think of it..fisheye reallly wasn't necessary here. And, well now that you say it... I do go overboard with that lens sometimes. But its my only wide angle lens. A 10mm wideangle would make this pic look lots better...just wondering how it would have looked if I used the kit lens. Maybe if I had framed the guy on the lower right, fisheye would have worked effectively.

    2. :P About the vertical frame, my prof said the same thing. Often we forget that the camera can be tilted too. Most shots are landscape ones, very few people go for potrait. A common problem. One that I intend to resolve in my next shoot.

    3. There is no specific message here. I just wanted to show a mildly surrealistic view of an everyday habit in singapore : going up the escalator. Just that one thing form a different perspective.
    Hershey Desai & Deviantart
    Freezing moments in time

  10. #10

    Default Re: Up the escalator

    Quote Originally Posted by hersheydesai View Post
    nightmare,
    well some people here do give genuine critics...actually I think you would get an honest response only when you show your work to people whom you don't know. The ones whom you are close to have all that "don't want to hurt your feelings" thing going for them.
    that is not untrue, what you say here. but if you push yourself, and demand brutality (in terms of critique) and get very selective in terms of the sort of comments you are looking for - good balanced stuff, which points out all the flaws that you did not see or think about when taking the picture.. then it can make a difference.

    familiarity can work for you, not just against you, so make it work!

    well, on the bright side, this is not an unreplicable picture.. so why not try again? maybe you can even start something interesting like a series of escalator pictures. i'm sure there's something special when people step onto escalators..

  11. #11
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up the escalator

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    ......a series of escalator pictures..........
    hmmmmmmm, interesting !!
    A point seriously worth considering...
    Exploring! :)

  12. #12
    Member hersheydesai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up the escalator

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    hmmmmmmm, interesting !!
    A point seriously worth considering...
    indeed...various escalators all over singapore:P
    Hershey Desai & Deviantart
    Freezing moments in time

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