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People CritiqueKids and a Canon

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Karen
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Kids and a Canon

Post by Karen » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:19 pm

When I crop to include more of the canon, the focus seems to move off the kids. And when I crop tighter on the kids, the canon seems to loose distinction. All comments welcome.

FYI, this was a street scene. I obtained parents’ permissions, verbal, before shooting.
0A10E73C-76A0-4E1E-886B-808BA46E9A72.jpeg

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Post by minniev » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:48 am

Karen wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:19 pm
When I crop to include more of the canon, the focus seems to move off the kids. And when I crop tighter on the kids, the canon seems to loose distinction. All comments welcome.

FYI, this was a street scene. I obtained parents’ permissions, verbal, before shooting.0A10E73C-76A0-4E1E-886B-808BA46E9A72.jpeg
Good to see your first photo post Karen, hope it'll be one of many!

I may not be the best to answer because people photography isn't my forte, and I'm known to include too much in a scene anyway. I think the cannon is recognizable as such. In the end it is your choice as to the main subject, but I suspect it's the kids, so your crop here seems a reasonable choice. You've got good detail in the clothing, hair and the faces we can see. You've chosen to render it in right saturated colors, almost like an HDR image. HDR-type treatment has its risks and drawbacks but it has its rewards too, so it's a bargain we make when we choose it. You've managed this well, as it doesn't look too unrealistic. I would be tempted to make the green shrubbery a little less "hot" to keep it from overwhelming the kids.

Hoping some of the "people" photographers will chime in as I'm sure they'll have more to offer! Looking forward to seeing more of your images.
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Post by Duck » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:56 am

Hi Karen, I also welcome you to the forum and look forward to seeing many more of your images.

I'll keep my firs critique simple and easy. You'll soon discover I can get pretty wordy with my critiques :) But before that, I want to acknowledge and applaud you for starting the critique process the proper way by asking direct and pointed questions regarding your image rather than a blanket, "any comments appreciated".

Personally I don't find anything troubling with this particular crop. As Minnie mentioned, this particular composition puts focus on the kids quite nicely. While I can offer any critique to your wider composition I have found that size of image and viewing distance both play an integral role in how well a crop works. The smaller the image (for screen as an example) a tighter composition to the subject tends to work best. Larger images that can afford the extra real estate can handle a looser composition. Of course this is a general guideline as each image has its own set of circumstances that will affect the decision to either crop in close or let it breathe.

As Minie also mentioned, your choice of rendering resembles that of a tone mapped HDR image. I think this is due more to the harsher lighting conditions under which you found yourself in with the subjects. Harsh light isn't necessarily the best light but you've managed to wrestle that in fairly nicely considering. One suggestion I could offer is to artificially create separation between the subjects and the background by creating some background blur. I am not currently familiar with your photoshop skill level but you might want to give that a try. Additionally, adding some selective burning to deepen strategically placed shadows may also help create some definition lost with this type of rendering.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Again, welcome and glad to see you actively participating. :thumbup:
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Post by PietFrancke » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:25 pm

Hi Karen, I don't do many people shots, so this is outside of my norm. I love the way the boy and the surrounding angels are each in their own world climbing the cannon. And for me, they are the subject, so I would have a version that is a much, much tighter crop of the five of them. And then apply artistic post processing for a painterly feel. Reduce saturation and control tones with dodging and burning where needed (brighten the boys face a little perhaps and darken perhaps the hair of the top girls). I think it perfectly acceptable that the cannon become unidentifiable, nothing wrong with some mystery in the image.

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Post by Karen » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:10 pm

OMG, your review and subsequent idea to push back on the green shrubbery are fantastic, Minnie! I am excited—really excited—to make those changes this afternoon!

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Post by Karen » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:58 pm

Duck wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:56 am
Hi Karen, I also welcome you to the forum and look forward to seeing many more of your images.

I'll keep my firs critique simple and easy. You'll soon discover I can get pretty wordy with my critiques :) But before that, I want to acknowledge and applaud you for starting the critique process the proper way by asking direct and pointed questions regarding your image rather than a blanket, "any comments appreciated".

Personally I don't find anything troubling with this particular crop. As Minnie mentioned, this particular composition puts focus on the kids quite nicely. While I can offer any critique to your wider composition I have found that size of image and viewing distance both play an integral role in how well a crop works. The smaller the image (for screen as an example) a tighter composition to the subject tends to work best. Larger images that can afford the extra real estate can handle a looser composition. Of course this is a general guideline as each image has its own set of circumstances that will affect the decision to either crop in close or let it breathe.

As Minie also mentioned, your choice of rendering resembles that of a tone mapped HDR image. I think this is due more to the harsher lighting conditions under which you found yourself in with the subjects. Harsh light isn't necessarily the best light but you've managed to wrestle that in fairly nicely considering. One suggestion I could offer is to artificially create separation between the subjects and the background by creating some background blur. I am not currently familiar with your photoshop skill level but you might want to give that a try. Additionally, adding some selective burning to deepen strategically placed shadows may also help create some definition lost with this type of rendering.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Again, welcome and glad to see you actively participating. :thumbup:
Thanks, Duck! Viewing distance, separating subject from background (via blurring), selective/strategic burning—they all rang clear as a bell for me! I’ll be working on them today.
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:04 pm

Long have I looked... This is my third trip back. I like it. The more I look at it the better I like it. I think the crop is fine. I love that each kid is doing something, and each something is totally different from each of the others. The five form a perfect X in the composition, while the gun takes a diagonal. There is terrific dynamism, motion, interest, engagement, yet the kids are being kids and having a clearly swell time exploring an ancient, now harmless weapon. I bet that even if they know what is they don't care; it's a fun thing to climb on.

Like pretty much everyone else, I personally find it oversaturated, but never forget that we approach art subjectively; it is impossible to be objective about art. Oversaturation can be a style.

So my approach is, If I Had Made It... I would do what the Duck-man suggested---take it into Photoshop, separate the foreground out and blur the background, plus desaturate the background, not totally (I don't care for that duo-tone look), but also walk back some of the foreground saturation. Not too much, judgment call, but again, as a personal thing, I dislike the obvious HDR look. You won't see it in my work, but that's me. My principal objective would be to emphasize the kids, and presently I find the entire frame to be "busy," and because everything in the frame is equally wire-sharp, the background distracts.

But I don't know what camera or lens you used (but based on everything being equally sharp I'd bet a compact with a short lens, maybe even your phone), and I have no idea what post-processing app or skills you have. If you can't do the frankly-difficult Photoshop thing, depending on what you do have it still may be possible to locally blur and desaturate the presently busy, distracting background.

it's a darned good shot! :thumbup:
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Post by Karen » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:11 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:25 pm
Hi Karen, I don't do many people shots, so this is outside of my norm. I love the way the boy and the surrounding angels are each in their own world climbing the cannon. And for me, they are the subject, so I would have a version that is a much, much tighter crop of the five of them. And then apply artistic post processing for a painterly feel. Reduce saturation and control tones with dodging and burning where needed (brighten the boys face a little perhaps and darken perhaps the hair of the top girls). I think it perfectly acceptable that the cannon become unidentifiable, nothing wrong with some mystery in the image.
Thanks for your amazing insight, PietFranke. I’ll make the crop, go painterly, ease up on saturation, draw attention to the faces with a bit of dodging/burning, and let go of the darn cannon!!!

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Post by minniev » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:17 pm

We are glad to have you in the family Karen! If you wanta post your new versions and get feedback for them, go for it. And if you want any of us to demonstrate something we've described in words, say so. We are not formal here, just a group of photo nuts who enjoy sharing pictures and knowledge and ideas.
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