Aimed for sad, hit boring.

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by Garbz, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So I saw this girl on the beach sitting on her board just staring into the sea, and click.

    [​IMG]

    I was trying to create a mood of sadness by darkening the image and converting to monochrome. Somehow though it is just plain boring. Maybe it is the crop since the background is pretty busy, but I just can not get this picture to create any kind of emotion.

    Is it savable?
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Scratch that. I had a better idea.
    [​IMG]

    This is much more for what I was aiming. Any other ideas on how to convey the emotion of sadness even more from this image?
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The crop is definitely an improvement!
    Whether I personally like the vignetting as much is something I have yet to debate with myself... don't know as yet.
    But I am not sure the photo of a person sitting on a beach can transport "sadness" to me at all. The fact that she is alone, folding her hands, and looking somewhere alone does not convey that emotion to me. Actually (despite my being female) all my eyes are drawn to are her nicely shaped legs! If this photo transports anything to me, than it is "youth".
     
  4. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    The closer crop makes it more personal, like we're seeing the scene from just outside of the woman's perspective. It also makes it seem more like she is alone, but I think it comes across more as a peaceful solitude than as a sad loneliness. I think if there were people closer to her, there might be a sense of her not taking part in something, and therefore a sense of melancholy. However, the people are too far away, and so it seems like she's a passive observer, not so much that she's missing out on anything. The one word that comes to my mind is "branding," and though I can't quite make out the brands (there are three, but none legible) the image reminds me of an advertisement. My gaze was also drawn to her stems. (They are so shiny in the sunlight...)
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The lonelyness and sadness themes were linked in my mind, but yes I agree the image does display more the theme of solitude. On the one side something I liked about the top one is that she was watching other people have fun in the water, but the photo itself was too impersonal. I tried cropping it close but keeping a few people in the frame and the results looked distracting at best.

    Aquarium Dreams I agree on the branding issue. I will have a go at editing them out tomorrow morning.
     
  6. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    By the way, though this might not be sad, I don't think it's boring. It has a bit of mystery to it, because the woman's face is forever out of sight to the viewer. We can see all the rest of her.. her legs, her hands, the side of her head, everything except her face, which is inscrutable to us. In the cropped version, we are left to wonder not only about her face, but also about what she's gazing at, and what she could possibly be thinking.
     
  7. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I've personally always had trouble with conveying an emotion in a photograph (assuming it's not something blatant like someone crying). So keeping that in mind if I were to take a crack at this I think I'd try to convey the emotion with color by using a blue or purple. Hard to say.

    Another thing to consider it maybe you just can't snap a shot, then wave the magic and say "Sadness!". I personally have always felt photos that try to convey some type of message general fall short because they're just reaching for something that's not easy conveyed with 1 image.
     
  8. NavyJelly

    NavyJelly TPF Noob!

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    I would give it a slightly different edit.
    Keep the b&w, lose the vignetting, I would crop the height by a good 40%, vast majority from the top, wee bit from the bottom, and ever so small off the right. No zoom either.


    I can show what I mean if you like ?
     
  9. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Her head being up is what's keeping the sadness at bay. If she was looking down, even just keeping the sun out of her face, it would look sad.

    I see a girl filled with optimism that someone is about to come meet her.

    Also, how did you do the vignetting? I love it.
     
  10. NavyJelly

    NavyJelly TPF Noob!

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    You thingy says your pics are OK to be edited so I hope you don't mind.
    I will of course remove if you wish.

    This is somewhat what I would have tried. As well as the edits I mentioned I upped the saturation slighty.
    [​IMG]

    But either way, she just ain't sad ! :)
     
  11. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Looking at it I wonder if it'd look better in color. Just because with the crop you'd probably have the sand being tan or whatever color you want to call it, the water being blue (or green depending where you are... your thingy says Australia so probably blue)... and then girl in color would offer the contrast and make her pop. You could also mess with the saturations (over saturating her slightly while turning the background down) or the hues to make sure she contrasts (for example adding red into her board/suit).

    Just some ideas. I think we all agree that this pic has some good potential it just depends on the direction you want to go with it and what works best for the image. :thumbup:
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    rmh no I do not really like the pic in colour. I even thought while taking it that this is one for b&w. In colour it lacks impact.

    What RMThompson said has got me thinking, I probably just miss-read the scene. When taking the photograph I did get something but it couldn't be sadness because nothing she was doing conveyed it. Lonelyness yes.
    Btw the Vignetting in Photoshop: Circular Marquee in the center. Invert selection. On a new layer fill with black. Gaussian Blur (in this case with radius ~300px for the original). And take the opacy of the layer back to create the desired effect.

    NavyJelly ofcourse my pictures are ok to edit (though I think I'm going to change my profile to say they aren't and then individually label them ok). I am taking more to the tighter crop since you can not see what she may be looking at. With the tighter crop it could be professional surfers, cute guys, or maybe she saw me and thought "yuck he should be wearing a shirt even at the beach."

    [​IMG]

    The final image. It looks less like an advert and more like an picture now. The Billabong logo was left on her shirt because it would not be a surfer shirt without billabong written on it :D
     

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