Discussion in 'People Photography' started by The_Traveler, Feb 12, 2010.
Early morning, Rangoon (Yangon) station in Burma (Myanmar)
C/C always, editing never
I think this needs a crop.
Get closer to the boy ... keep the top right section (background person / train)
Thanks for the comment but no, I don't think so.
Cutting off the bottom and the left leaves him and the top of the basket pretty much floating in air without much context.
I think a very slight crop, or some cloning work, to remove that silver mylar purse and other person's head on the left hand side of the frame would help this shot. I held my hand up to the screen and looked, and to me, the "pull" of the silver purse, and what is obviously an adult person's head-back at the edges of the frame are exerting a tremendous amount of visual distraction, pulling the eye away from the boy's somewhat troubled expression.
Similarly, the small bit of white whatever it is in the absolute lower right corner is also creating a bit of visual distraction; the plaid-like patterned bags, the boy's plaid pants, all that is good, but you also need to keep the concrete flooring at the bottom of the frame, for a visual "base", so cropping is not much of an option--cloning would be the easiest option. And the same for eliminating the head and the silver mylar purse on the left hand side of the shot---simply cropping those elements off would cut into the white beam, which is both a literal and a metaphorical "support" for the left hand side of the frame, so eliminating the purse, and head, and the purse's shadow becomes an exercise in cloning out distracting elements. Which leads us to creating a false reality; how true does one want to be to to the real,actual scene? Either "something's gotta give" OR just leave it entirely alone are the options I guess. Absolute truth, or post-capture tidying? It's a slippery slope.
What I think works the most is the way the boy is overlapping the woman seated behind him,and also the nervous-looking woman who is standing,arms folded, and looking toward the train that holds up the right hand side of the photo. The overlapping of the bodies creates a good sense of depth and realism. I really like the way the out of focus lights along the train windows, which are dark, convey to use that this is a low-light shot. The boy looks like he's bit blurred, as if the shutter speed is pushing the envelope a bit, but his expression and the woman standing in the background area sort of convey this type of tense, nervousness, about a journey that is about to begin in some dimly-lit train station. It's got a gritty, captured slice of time kind off thing going on in it. The situation looks very "real",and the slight blur makes me think you just brought the camera up to your eye, framed, and fired,maybe moving the camera a tiny bit sideways as the shutter tripped. It's a very personal-feeling photo, and I can "feel" the eye contact between the boy and your camera.
While I am absolutely not against 'post-capture tidying up' in most situations, in this set of pictures, for some reason, I really want to stay with the real - warts and all.
Your description of the shooting situation is right on. Shot with an 85 mm at 1.4 ISO 4000 at 1/100th in a very murky situation, I was happy to get this moment and I want to keep it as it was.
Believe me when I say that the station was much darker than it looks here. Hot and oppressively humid.
This kind of shot is what I like; quiet and still composition, layered content with implied context and color that reflects the context.
In the next instant, it looked like this and all was lost.
Separate names with a comma.