Photojournalistic shot

Discussion in 'General Critical Analysis' started by The_Traveler, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    NO EDITING and REPOSTING Of THIS IMAGE PLEASE. Markup is fine, of course.

    Details of circumstances given below the picture. Since this is a PJ type of shot, I would like to hear what, if any, ideas the picture itself evokes in you before you read the details in addition to anything you might want to say in the course of normal critique.

    I would also like to read what you might change in this shot as it is posted.


    [​IMG]


    This is a group of indigent beggars who live in the back alleys of Rangoon, Burma (or Yangon, Myanmar, if you prefer). They have no papers and are essentially stateless, having sneaked across the border from northern India or Pakistan. They clearly didn't want me taking their picture and turned their backs in the next instance. A couple of their older children followed me for blocks asking for money in several languages and I only shook them when I bought them some ice cream from a sidewalk vendor and left while they were eating.


     
  2. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    This is very well done, and has impact as a journalist photo. The woman's expression in the forefront is mesmerizing. It makes me want to know what's going on with her.
    There is other mystery here as well. What is the woman in the rear holding? What is going on with the face by the baby? It draws you in and makes you want answers to the questions. That is exactly what photojournalism should do.....make you think and wonder.
    Well done.
     
  3. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    well, if they didn't look to be in such despire i would let out a laugh at the butt.

    as far as using this image as a way of showing people the poverty that exists in se asia i think you could have found something better. i hear you about the kids, i gave some kids a pack of gum last week.

    i think that to really get a GREAT shot dealing with these kind of situations that you need to get to know the people and better understand them, and to gain their trust in order to photograph them without the fearful looks.
    i also believe that its hard to photograph these kind of things without it become poverty porn.

    back to the photo though, its pretty busy, i think it would be better if the two people in the back weren't there, and it was just the woman, child, and wheel.

    by the way whats that white junk they always have on their faces?
    i will also admit that i have exceptionally high standards for any photoj shot, and have a hard time photographing poverty myself. i would probobly be at about the same level as you at this . . . if i could bring myself to photograph them in the first place
     
  4. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Here is the cunundrum. In photojournalism the general rule is to NOT be involved with the individuals, as it can effect your objectivism.
    Also, there is no story not worth telling. Sure, he might have found poorer folks, but there is a story right here, right now.
    A great place to learn about what sells is a visit to http://www.zpicturegroup.com/index.html?cktst=1?cktst=1. It has a zillion examples that even small things are worthy. But IMO, poverty is never a light matter.

    Edited to say, opps, I forgot that only buyers and contributing photogs can see zuma. Anyway it has awesome cool stuff.
     
  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    It wasn't an attempt to demonstrate poverty; I was just capturing what was there and seemed interesting and arresting.

    The white powder is Thanakha http://www.roadtomandalay.com/myanmarmiscellany/thanakha_tree.htm
     
  6. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    yeah, and i didn't mean to make it out like go find people who are more poor, its just that i think better photos of whatever story may be obtained by getting closer to your subject, and yes it will ruin your objectivity, but then again i often view photography as a tool by which i show people what i want them to see.

    also earlier i didn't say this, but it kind of reminds me of the migrant mother shot.

    (not sure if this post is "substantive" but i tried)
     
  7. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    The exposure is a little on the dark side which unfortunately hides the eyes which are the important part of any people shot. Overexposing by about 1/2 to 1 stop and selectively postprocessing and brightening the eyes would have been a good approach. I would clone out the woman in pink and consider blurring out the man in white and the background in that area. Cropping from the top and/or right is also worth checking out to see if that improves your image.

    skieur
     
  8. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    Under the circumstances it is a good shot...possibly not the "decisive moment" but nevertheless it has potential.

    As suggested...tighter would be better. ("if it doesn´t work you are not close enough")
    But I don´t think you need to do too much...crop out the man in the background and most of the woman in pink...and burn in the edges. This will bring the attention in to what is actually happening. The expression on the woman´s face is the key element.

    Getting involved has advantages and disadvantages...and may lead to a whole other story...perhaps a very powerful one. But is hard work.
    Objectivity...hmmm.

    Verdict: Good, but doesn´t grab me in its present form.
     
  9. New England Moments

    New England Moments TPF Noob!

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    Well I was surprised to hear beggars, I guess because of the dress or clothing of the subjects.... just didn't come off for me as beggars..

    the techs of the pic all seem ok , although I would like a stronger DOF with the present shot... I think a crop as suggested is a good idea on this.. as someone stated the look on the ladys face seems shocked, and even protective...and not real happy with you shooting...

    as a journalistic photo, what would the title be?? I mean, ( this is just me here ) but Beggars, I just can't make a connection??

    but do think the shot is good as strictly a street scene ...
     
  10. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Once I have classified this in my mind as a PJ shot, I am loathe to do much manipulation.

    (They are truly beggars, living on the street, and the women's clothing is distinctly different from most Burmese women)
     
  11. nomade

    nomade TPF Noob!

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    Without reading it's clear the woman is completely annoyed, grandpa in the back looks like "oh no whatcha doing" but he's not too concerned you know...The others look serene, playin with the baby or just drifted away by their thoughts, so it's obvious you interrupted, and it's obvious that wasn't what they wanted.

    Their status is obvious, where they sit, the nakedness of the baby, they are poor, most poor living on the street do beg, all their expressions makes a good street shot, I wouldn't be able to shoot people like those. I would shy and walk away...

    The feel, beyond technicals, is a feel of torment, frustration, how could this be a normal life, this scared life without a cover??

    What can we do about this?? Poverty here and there, walking on the streets and imagine if you were unfortunate to be in their shoes, what would you want people to offer you??

    Technically I like having grandpa(or so i'll call him) a bit oof, also grandma whose face is not shown, it gives me a sense of being distant and it fits my imagination, the main characters are in focus that's what matters, they make this photograph.

    I donno about photojournalism, but this would make a good street photograph. Something also to be used in photo language sessions.
    It speaks...

    I am not gonna think about how this could be better, or more dramatic, or more, or whether there is better and more striking photographs and there is. But it doesn't matter, what matters that this one delivers a thought and a feel...
     

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