Musing


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Stoned

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May 7, 2004
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#1
I've been trying to practice candid portraiture recently to try and achieve some sense of truth in my portrait work and I snapped this of my friend while she was doing her homework. The image appeals to me quite readily despite the cluttered background and foreground. I was wondering if this image would work for others, so I put it up here.

For Critique
 

sk.images

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#3
Shame about the foreground, otherwise quite nice. Maybe a tighter crop might help a little.
 

The_Cheat

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#4
I'm puzzled. Is the background intentionally blurred, or did your lens created such blurness?

Anyway, the whole shot doesn't look candid to me. As what Zaknafein correctly pointed up, the subject is looking into the camera, and not actually "musing". The foreground is also too distracting as what you'd apparently concur as well. However, the aspect which I'm most against in your picture, is how you have intentionally isolated the subject by blurring everything in the background. By isolating the subject without the surrounding, the whole theme doesn't actually reflect "reality" or the truth you wanted to achieve. Frankly, to me, it's just another portrait shot, with the blurred background more like a backdrop in the studio.
 

Stoned

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#5
I was observing some of the people studying through the viewfinder. I focused on her, attracted by her expression, and recomposed. Just at that point she happened to look my way so I released the shutter.

I was using a 70-200 at 200mm and f2.8, so the BG blur is caused by the lens. I wanted to isolate the subject. I'm not actually reflecting the scene as the eye would see it, but rather it is meant to be "another portrait", with the only difference being that I did not set it up, nor take the time to clean out elements in the foreground or background that I would normally have had it been a posed shot. Notice I mentioned "in my portrait work". I hadn't considered that people looking at the camera cannot be a candid.

So then does a true candid mean the subject looks away from the camera? I hadn't realised that this was a criteria for a candid shot.
 

The_Cheat

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#6
Stoned said:
I was observing some of the people studying through the viewfinder. I focused on her, attracted by her expression, and recomposed. Just at that point she happened to look my way so I released the shutter.

I was using a 70-200 at 200mm and f2.8, so the BG blur is caused by the lens. I wanted to isolate the subject. I'm not actually reflecting the scene as the eye would see it, but rather it is meant to be "another portrait", with the only difference being that I did not set it up, nor take the time to clean out elements in the foreground or background that I would normally have had it been a posed shot. Notice I mentioned "in my portrait work". I hadn't considered that people looking at the camera cannot be a candid.

So then does a true candid mean the subject looks away from the camera? I hadn't realised that this was a criteria for a candid shot.
Try not to be too textbook about what a genre ought to be, ought not to be. A candid in the barest form is literally catching on the moment unprepared. Hence, different people would see candid differently. So, while one may break down a candid picture to little parts like: (1) subject should be concentrating on what they are doing, instead of being aware of the photographer; (2) frame should include surroundings instead of pure isolation, one also have to realise that the summation of parts won't result in the whole.

Don't think about rules and whatnot, for you may just ignore all those and just take what you feel, and try to make the image represent what you wanna portray. Simple as that.

And no, it still doesn't look or feel candid to me.
 

Zaknafein

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#8
for composition wise, maybe u could include a bit of the books at the bottom to show that shes doing her work.
i feel that the way she tilts her head does make it looks like shes pondering, but with her eyes looking elsewhere,that would make the picture more "candid". hope u get what i mean :)
 

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