Digging In


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Jan 22, 2005
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#1
This is from my recent trip to Vietnam.

I hope to improve my skills. Appreciate if you can give me some pointers:



Thanks! :)
 

Jan 22, 2005
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#2
Sorry there.

Here's a smaller pic for easy viewing.




Cheers!
 

Waffle

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Sep 10, 2003
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#3
there isn't really a point of focus, and even if there is, i only see the bowl of green vege as it, and it doesn't make much sense eh.

now if only i could've seen the look, no, had just a little peek at the person's (the one eating) eyes. ah now that'd have meant much more.
 

Rev

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Aug 15, 2004
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#4
damn. that's a feast. I like the photo.
Unfortunately, looking at the bigger photo, it's kinda soft overall cept for the salted eggs, so the point of focus is weak... but the idea works for me.
 

cy_j

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Sep 3, 2004
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cyril-jeane.smugmug.com
#5
It works for me too. If I would have to reshoot it, I'd move in a bit more to eliminate foreground, and move the man a wee bit to the right. Give his back some space, you ken? :)
 

Deadpoet

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Oct 18, 2004
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#6
triggerhappie said:
Sorry there.

Here's a smaller pic for easy viewing.




Cheers!
Maybe a slightly tighter crop will be better. The man's arm with the spoon on the right is just neigher here nor there, and that plate of dark thing, looks like vegetable matter in the foreground, should go also.

Overall, the exposure is a bit dark, but I can live with it. Focusing seems way off. You apparently focused on the salted eggs to the right foreground. I am assuming that you intended to have everything in focus, then you must make sure everything is in focus.

Oh, can't stop myself from some OTing ... here goes ...

cy_j said:
It works for me too. If I would have to reshoot it, I'd move in a bit more to eliminate foreground, and move the man a wee bit to the right. Give his back some space, you ken? :)
How are you going to reshoot it? Tell everyine to sit and stand closer and start eating again? Enquiring minds want to know.

Waffle said:
...
now if only i could've seen the look, no, had just a little peek at the person's (the one eating) eyes. ah now that'd have meant much more.
What, tell the eater to stop and look up? Or should the OP find someone to go lift the straw hat???? HOW????

After all the criticism, I still like this picture. It tells a story. It is a damn good travel snap shot. Please do not underappreciate snap shots, but a snap shot works only when it is telling a story.

Btw, this is a snap shot, you cannot pose snap shot, and the word "snap" means a moment in time, once gone, gone forever, so, shoot first, ask question later.

Good job.
 

boen

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Jan 19, 2006
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#7
Deadpoet said:
After all the criticism, I still like this picture. It tells a story. It is a damn good travel snap shot. Please do not underappreciate snap shots, but a snap shot works only when it is telling a story.

Btw, this is a snap shot, you cannot pose snap shot, and the word "snap" means a moment in time, once gone, gone forever, so, shoot first, ask question later.

Good job.
i think if the pic can tell a story, its a great pic rather than a super correct exposure and sharp pic which tells nothing than a flower, vase or plate...
i thinks this pic is good.. the "darkness" fits a pic well...just my humble opinion:bsmilie: :thumbsup:
 

Jan 22, 2005
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#8
Thanks very much for you comments, everyone!

I totally agree with the out-of-focus problem. It is because I was using Nikon FM2... I had a lot of problems getting my focus right before the subject moves or turns away. For a newbie to be proficient with a fully-manual camera with no auto-focus takes some practise, I guess. :)

And its underexposed because its really dark and dingy in the market, but I didn't really mind that as much as the focus thingie.

Noted on the cropping.

If there are more pointers, pls bring them on!
 

Deadpoet

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2004
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#9
actually, I would think using a manual focus camera here is easier. you focus on the eater, then recompose the picture. you can also bracket shooting with diff apeture to play with various dof.
 

Rev

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Aug 15, 2004
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#10
Deadpoet...

Good point on the 'reshoot' & 'pose', which seems all too common in CS...
 

Guillaume

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Feb 27, 2006
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Singapore
#11
The shot is nice but a bit underexposed and the focusing is not perfect.
But it's a nice shot
 

Jan 22, 2005
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#12
Thanks for your comments. :)

When you say 'nice', can you elaborate please? So I know how to judge a good shot...despite it being out of focus and underexposed. ;p :D
 

Rev

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Aug 15, 2004
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#13
I'm surprised U ask this... given the quality of the photo

my personal opinion of nice equates to framing, composition of subject(s). The more popular formulae are rule of thirds & Phil D'Frame. Here, the frame's Phil'd up nicely with subjects food & eater, somewhere along the intersection of rule of thirds.

Sometimes underexposed (silouhettes) or soft-focus effects work well too, so it's left to experimentation with yr personal preference & unique style.
 

Waffle

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Sep 10, 2003
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#14
Deadpoet said:
What, tell the eater to stop and look up? Or should the OP find someone to go lift the straw hat???? HOW????
what's your beef? all i meant was it would've have been nice to me if i had a little peek, that's all.

sheesh.:rolleyes:
 

Pynch

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Feb 25, 2006
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www.flickr.com
#15
This is a nice shot. Also gave rise to the question of why the man is so skinny despite the feast before him. Good contrast and a possible story.
 

Deadpoet

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2004
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#16
Waffle said:
what's your beef? all i meant was it would've have been nice to me if i had a little peek, that's all.

sheesh.:rolleyes:
As I said, this is a travel snap shot, everything is instantaneous and candid. That is the beauty of snap shots.

I actually agree with you, that the straw hat is covering/casting too much shadow on the eater's face, but there is very little the OP could have done.

So we agreed.

But what can be done? Nothing. And I just stated that fact.

Don't see any beef anywhere, nor is beef intended.
 

The_Cheat

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2004
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#17
I like this shot a lot. Shan't bothered with all the technical details, for there are way more qualified photographers here to give more concrete advice. To me, I love all the imperfections that the rest have pointed out... the dark shadow cast on the face of the eater, the underexposed foreground, and the overall soft look. Indeed, to one who seek perfection in photography, these are critical points that will affect one's satisfactory level to the final product. However, if we could all abandon the technicalities away for a moment, can we still put into words why this picture is nice?

I can't be certain, but I think a lot of people feel that this is a special picture, regardless of the technical inefficiency that the picture posted. This picture may be special because of the subject, because of the scene or because of the composition and wonderful play of lines. However, to most, it's difficult to express one's feeling in words (just like one can't really express how lovely a song or a poem really is) and rather than resorting to the "nice" comment, most try hard to make technical comments, that are on the safe and the more tangible side.

I shall give some vague attempt in my thoughts of the pictures. This may be vague, for I find it hard to express my feeling in words too. Nonetheless I shall try...
Firstly, the line and the overall composition makes the immediate subject clear: the person who is eating (notice how the line cut the frame cleanly, leading from the background to the subject or vice versa). Hence, the shot is lovely in that the simple subject is clearly presented without too much difficulty to the viewer. Simple subject are the loveliest! :heart:

But then, what about the shadow blocking the face? Is the person eating happy? sad? mad? angry? What is he thinking anyway? These would be questions that would run through most mind... and it's wonderful in itself, for it substain interest in the frame. To me, it added mystique to the person. By not revealing the person's face, what one is seeing is no longer a particular individual. Instead, without the facial feature, we would associate a more general things to define the person, or to see the person to define a certain social role (e.g. a policeman without a face will represent the whole safeguard of the country, and not an individual policeman). In this case, the guy who is eating isn't one particular individual, but anyone who dresses like him in the country, possibly someone who is what? lower-middle class individual? Again, this is wonderful, for it gives a broad commentary to what kind of circumstances a person of that class status dine at. That's depth.

Wait! It doesn't end here. A hand stretching across the right side of the frame forms a subtle interaction with the main subject. What is the hand doing? Is it serving food to the subject? Is it ignoring the subject, and getting food for oneself? Would one assume that the hand originate from someone similar to that of the subject? And if the hand is to serve oneself, what kind of dining atmosphere would this be? Again, this is a wonderful addition to enhance a lovely scene.

There's so much more I can go on about this frame, like the interaction between the dark foreground and the bright background, the overall softness of the frame, yada yada. But I shan't. For the more I say, the less interesting a frame would become. One ought to enjoy a picture in anyway one ought to, and not dictated by commentary or whatnot.

But what I wanted to stress is this. The picture is lovely for it manage to substain interest with simple theme, in spite of the technical inefficiency. So, do try and throw away technicalities sometime and enjoy picture as how they were meant to be. There's no perfection at the end of the day anyway, for even the most "perfect" picture is flawed one way or another...
 

Jan 22, 2005
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#18
Wow, thanks... You have made me see my picture in ways I would otherwise have not.
:)
 

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