Trying to capture loneliness/desperation

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

  1. billybob

    billybob TPF Noob!

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    This is what I was able to come up with:

    [​IMG]


    I think the cropping is perfect but I'm not sure that I'm happy with what I did with the colors and, obviously, the fact his jeans now look like they have blue ink stains is not all that appealing to me, although I don't mind it too much.


    Here is the before picture for comparison (and in case anyone wants to mess around with it and show me what they would do with it).
    [​IMG]

    I welcome all kinds of criticism though I am mostly concerned with the colors in the image. Two people mentioned that the green was too bright and distracted from the subject (the young boy), so I was attempting to tone that down and bring the boy to the forefront. Please keep in mind that I am an absolute beginner.

    This picture was taken in an orphanage in Tijuana and I intend to use it as part of my presentation to recruit volunteers for an upcoming trip to said orphanage.
     
  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Very, very nice.
    IMO, the desat of the green really works.
    If this were mine, I would try to add to the idea by showing this with a muted border.
    I took the original, added a desat adjustment layer and then tried the different layer blending styles - every one looked great for your purpose, I just picked this one at random.

    Great picture.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. harrisoncj

    harrisoncj TPF Noob!

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    The composition of both of these shots really bugs me. There's strange shadows near the top right, and the comp is really weird in the original.
     
  4. billybob

    billybob TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback. I like my crop of the image better because it hides the bench completely, making it possible to infer that this was taken on the street (though it wasn't). But, I love what you did with the colors. Can you post the full sized version? I'd like to use it. Also, if you could explain a little more about what you did with it, that would be great for learning purposes. I am still a complete beginner.
     
  5. billybob

    billybob TPF Noob!

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    The composition of the original shot is indeed very weird because there were actually many children running around all over the place. I was trying to take the shot without the boy noticing so that his posture would remain natural rather than staged. With all the children running around and my trying to avoid his noticing I was attempting to take a picture, I had very little time to frame the shot. Had I moved a bit to the left, I would've had to crop the bunch of kids on the left, too much to the right and I'd have to crop out the kid on the bench. Either way, I would've had to crop stuff out later. I didn't have a lot of time to think before another gaggle of kids would run by and get in the way of the shot, so I made my decision to crop the bench to the right out later and took the shot.

    The shadows at the top are simply my lack of experience. Like I said, I am still a complete beginner. My knowledge of composition is limited to the rule of thirds and my own judgement. As I learn more, I expect my images will improve. But for now, that's what I have to work with. I think the shadows on the top should be easy to clone out and I'll probably do that. I hadn't seen them as a problem before.
     
  6. harrisoncj

    harrisoncj TPF Noob!

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    I think the best piece of advice one of my photo teachers gave me was "to watch the edges". Before you release the shutter, look around the edge of the frame for anything unintended in your composition.
     
  7. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I'd be happy to post a full-size original, just tell me how you intend to use it and I will resize it appropriately (print 8 x 10, project, print in middle of 8.5 x 11).

    If you have access to Photoshop, I can send the PSD file so you can play with the various settings yourself and will post a step by step so you can redo it yourself to make it better than what I posted.
     
  8. billybob

    billybob TPF Noob!

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    I do not have access to Photoshop, for now I've been using the free alternative, Gimp. However, Gimp is capable of manipulating PSD files, so go ahead and post that if possible. I will resize it for my needs and mess around with it some more before exporting it to jpg.
     
  9. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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  10. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    Here's my take on it.....

    Cropped, levels, shadow & brightness, contrast......plus borders.


    [​IMG]
     
  11. harrisoncj

    harrisoncj TPF Noob!

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    PNA has it the best so far... I would also like to thank him for removing the shadow in the lower left hand corner - it was bugging me.
     
  12. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    He was going for loneliness and desperation, and I think he got that. For what he was going for, I don't think a teacher could have taught him how to do it. There are certain photos that can't be achieved with "knowledge". This wasn't a landscape or something, this was a photo meant to tell a story. And that's what it does. I'm not saying knowledge and experience don't matter, because they do, but when you're trying to get across an emotion like that, it's something you have inside you, not something you get out of a book.
     

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