Secrets - Your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by JDP, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Let me know what you think about this pic. Now that I converted it to B&W, it doesn't look as nice as the color version, not enough contrast.
    I have several other pics of this - depending on your thoughts I may pic a different pic to use.

    Interesting story - this was outside in the hallway of the company I work at. It wasn't ours, but it looked real interesting, so I took a half dozen shots or so when leaving that day. As I was putting the lens cap back on, the elevator doors open and a gentlemen gets out and gives me the oddest look.
    The 2 large bins belong to another company in the building.... an accounting firm.. hehe.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I like the idea. Yes, it needs more contrast, but I like it in B&W. The thing that I would like is a little more depth of field or a sharp area closer to the front edge.
     
  3. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Ok, how about this one. Different picture, I adjusted the curves & color before B&W conversion, then adjusted the contrast afterwords. I actually think this looks a lot better - thoughts?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. modbohemian

    modbohemian TPF Noob!

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    I'll admit my prejudice. B&W digital really doesn't begin to compare with film for me. Shooting with color is entirely different than shooting with B&W. I don't know how familiar you are with "the masters" but look at some of Weston's nudes or even Ansel Adams.

     
  5. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I think the second one works better because of the inclusion of more text, lending weight to there actually being a secret there, rather than just hamster bedding!!

    As for technical implementation, if you are going for a more accurate representation, use a greater depth of field to get more in focus. FWIW, I think the second shot works fine.

    As a stand-alone piece it's fine, but I think this would make a really good series - it's a clever idea and the photo works, but can the message behind it go any further than... "companies have secrets"? I think it probably can.

    I think the frame counterpoints the torn edges quite well.

    I don't think there's any relevant point to make as to whether medium (digital/film/B&W) or style (traditional nude photography by old masters) have to this piece? Perhaps the technique could do with some tweaking, but I don't believe it's worth mentioning alternative technique as I don't think significant advantage could be had by using film.

    Rob
     
  6. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Hey Rob, thanks for the critique! I was actually thinking of a series - I have several more shots, but I have to adjust them some. I felt a tad rushed, wanting to grab some pics before A. My new coworkers wonder how odd I am and B. The people who shredded the documents don't think I'm a corporate terrorist out to destroy them hehe.
    But it's been setup out side my office a few times again, so I think I might be able to grab even more. :)
     
  7. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Shred some newspaper or harmless documents and take that away (tell them it's hamster bedding!) and hopefully you can shoot in the comfort of your own home without looking like a terry. You could also make your own small bits of paper with "confidential" or whatever on and strategically bury them in the pile! ;)

    Or maybe you're after the raw artistic live-environment complete with risks?

    It would make an excellent series, "secrecy and paranoia" or something...

    Rob
     
  8. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I do like #2 better. It gives it more subject.:thumbup:

    The B&W conversion subject itself is quit huge. I have just started learning CS2 and already know like 8 different ways to do it. So it just takes time till you find the one that works for your style.
     
  9. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Sadly, I have no scene-setting abilities. I've tried it before, by moving things in a scene I found to get a better flow and it always ends up looking staged hehe.
    So, I'll take my chances in the wild as it were. Which reminds me, around here there's a document shredding company, and they drive these large trucks with shredders builtin to them. There's a window on the side so they can see how full they are. A shot of that would be cool too.

    As for the B&W conversion stuff. Indeed, there's a lot of ways to convert. Right now I'm using a technique developed by Rob Carr supposedly for Greg Gorman. I agree that digital B&W conversion looks different, but mainly because it's usually 'cleaner' then it's film counterpart. But I really really like my current technique when I get it printed out on film - it looks really nice, more like you'd 'expect' to see from a B&W shot.
     
  10. Tweek Sound

    Tweek Sound TPF Noob!

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    I can totaly relate to that. I get looks of all sorts when I'm out taking pictures at the most random things.
    The funniest thing is when you're taking a picture of the clouds and somone comes over and starts stairing up at the sky trying to see the UFO or comet or something :0)

    I went ahead and tried some contrast things.
    I used a gradient map layer with soft light blending and did 2 verying levels of contrast adjustments on the 2.

    It's a great shot and a great idea. I wanna go find a pile of paper shreds now! ;0)

    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzerav0w/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/edited.jpg

    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzerav0w/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/edited2.jpg
     
  11. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Ah, I like that second one - nice work. I might actually take it all to a whole new level: blur the entire photo, then unblur just the text and a few other areas - going to try to make a whole 'Security & Insecurity' theme. hehe.
     

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