Foreground ? Critique this...


ed9119

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#1


Its been 4 months since I'd last posted a Critique This thread... here goes ha ha .... Honest constructive opinions sought

Shot was taken indoors this afternoon in a coffee shop in Little India ....

There was not enough light in the situation to bring out the subject so flash (Yong Nuo 460II) dialed down to 1/16th output was used.

Mixed results IMHO as the face looks over exposed and foreground seems dominating to the scene

Opinions please
 

wildcat

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Sep 8, 2004
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#2
This one shot by you and not one of those trick questions again right? :bsmilie: Okay, lemme give it a shot again. Please correct my critique if you disagree, since your experience is a lot more than mine.

I quite like the perspective, taking the subject from outside and framing him especially with the glasses which immediately identifies where/what type of place this is (kopi tiam, and the guy is the kopi maker).

I also like the contrasty dark shadow and sunlight from where uncle is looking from (referring to kopi maker, not you uncle Ed). As the only overexposed/bright portion of the picture, my eyes are naturally drawn to uncle's (kopi maker, not you) face as the first thing I notice in the pic. While I would prefer a lighter sepia colour when portraying these old-school types of picture, in this case, it wouldn't have worked because my eyes won't be drawn to uncle otherwise.

Other than that... no comments liao :sweatsm:
 

ed9119

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#3
thanks for feedback and comments Wildcat !

no worries, i m not made of glass and these submissions are hopefully to get some thinking juices flowing from everyone (me included) :bsmilie:

but if u refer to me as Uncle again..........
 

turtle-san

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#4
I actually like the fact that the uncle is lit in such a contrasty manner. It gave him enough personality and was enough to capture my attention right off the moment I look at the photo.

However with the huge amount of space and elements around him my eyes starts to float around and around. I can't pinpoint whether it's a good or a bad thing. Nevertheless it gave me a feeling that there's something going on in that place. Something that feels unrest or so.

So, what were you trying to bring out actually? That I'm interested to know heh.
 

daredevil123

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#5
Hi Ed. I like the picture. I thought the flash was not too blown and quite acceptable. And it brought my attention to the uncle immediately, which is a good thing. I just thought that the sepia tone did not work that well for me. Maybe it is personal taste. But I think this one will look excellent in traditional B&W.
 

limwhow

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#6
Hi ed, let me just express my views. As always, just some humble opinion.

Good
No problem about the noisy, dirty glass shelves . They are real.
I always like to ask myself where does a photo grabs my attention.
In your photo, my line of sight would first fall onto the glasses, following which it would be drawn to the shop-keeper's somewhat exposed face.
No problem about being over-exposed. It serves it purpose well because it is bright and it is attention grabbing.

Slightly less good
The soya sauce on the right side and the edge of the shelf on the left lower corner are a little distracting.
Perhaps I would burn them a little.

There. What do you think, ed?
 

night86mare

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#7
nice lighting.

this is a nice image, if you ask me. lighting draws the eye nicely to the central subject, while the rest of the image "frames" the subject while giving a context to what is going on here. the only nitpick i can think of is the bottom left corner, with that slashing diagonal that does nothing for the image. i'm sure it might have been avoided while shooting, either with a longer focal length, or by more careful positioning - but in this case possibly cropping to semi-pano or a more squarish format would do the trick.

i remember that coffee shop in little india, just went recently ;)
 

Apr 6, 2010
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#8
As with the others said,

I like the lighting and the composition. The uncle is nicely lighted, no overexposure there.

one thing to nitpick is the the flash in the mirror on the left part of the mirror. Would be nicer if avoided or dodge that spot out.

This kind of picture's got that old school feel...film grain might be nice :think:

Just my opinion, wildcat says u uncle, means higher level than me :bsmilie:
 

ovaltinemilo

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Sep 12, 2009
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#9
while many expressed that the soya sauce bottle is distracting...
I feel "老抽" re-iterates the subject.:D
 

catchlights

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#10
maybe in small image the portrait of old man seem slightly blown, but should be fine when printed.
personally I feel it would be good if the bottom of the frame can burn in more.

:)
 

ed9119

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#11
Thanks all for the feedback......

Denniskee and Peterpan1975 and myself were having a coffee at this coffee shop when we were figuring out how best to capture its character ..... so we focussed on its essence

- the ah pek
- glass cups
- keep the light levels low (inside the coffeeshop IS poorly lit )
- some semblence of order amongst the grottiness (gritty mirror, shelf etc)

thanks for the feeback of sepia vs BW ..... tried that but lost stuff in the shadows, thats why i did not dare kick up the contrast and stick to sepia-ish tone ..... was walking on VERY thin ice ...... too much flash and the background becomes excessively cluttered and I did not want that to compete with the foreground (anchoring element)

soy sauce bottle was delibrately left in the image composition to tell its own little story

the face was over exposed because the flash unit was just too close to the face (even with a diffuser attached and dialed down to 1/16 ) .... my bad, but could not be helped because I was all stretched out with the right arm holding camera and framing the image while my left arm was not rubbery enough to the flash further back
 

Last edited:
Sep 17, 2008
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#12
Thanks all for the feedback......

Denniskee and Peterpan1975 and myself were having a coffee at this coffee shop when we were figuring out how best to capture its character ..... so we focussed on its essence

- the ah pek
- glass cups
- keep the light levels low (inside the coffeeshop IS poorly lit )
- some semblence of order amongst the grottiness (gritty mirror, shelf etc)

thanks for the feeback of sepia vs BW ..... tried that but lost stuff in the shadows, thats why i did not dare kick up the contrast and stick to sepia-ish tone ..... was walking on VERY thin ice ...... too much flash and the background becomes excessively cluttered and I did not want that to compete with the foreground (anchoring element)

soy sauce bottle was delibrately left in the image composition to tell its own little story

the face was over exposed because the flash unit was just too close to the face (even with a diffuser attached and dialed down to 1/16 ) .... my bad, but could not be helped because I was all stretched out with the right arm holding camera and framing the image while my left arm was not rubbery enough to the flash further back
personally i think the soy sauce is fine. the word old in chinese got my attention and i can relate it to the pic:bsmilie:

and i'm qualified to call u unker thats for sure:thumbsup:
 

sonyfan

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Aug 10, 2010
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#13
The pic is superb in terms of contrast. The picture quickly speaks to me about the Setting(Coffee Shop and man at work making whatever he makes Day-in-Day-Out)

But, the face was too small and most concentration were on the glasses. The Bottle was really distracting too. A bit of the shelf and glasses with a bigger face would have been nicer. Noticed the face was placed in a 2:3 corner position to lead your eye to it. Nice.

Comments are from a newbie and as a third party looking at a photograph. I'm sure comments from a non-professional(most of whom that will be admiring your photos) will make sense too, hopefully.

thanks for opportunity to comment.
 

ed9119

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#14
.......... Comments are from a newbie ........
humans (i hope so) look at images , not newbies or oldies........ like or dont like , be true and fair to yourself, dont discount what your eye sees , thats how we grow and learn
 

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hotwork77

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#15
Generally a nice picture. If I got to crtique, it got to be the soya bottle on the right and the edge of shelf at lower left corner does not add value to the overall picture. Perhaps a different positioning would have been better. Shoot more and post more here. We hope to see more of your photos. :cool:
 

Jan 30, 2010
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#16
I really like the lighting and texture of the photo.

The question that came with this photo when I looked at it was:

Were you trying to show off the inverted mugs/glasses, and the old man just happened to suddenly pop up through the mirror, or were you trying to show off the old man through the mirror reflection?

That question plus the lighting and texture made this photo really interesting for me :) Greatly observed :)
 

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