Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Photo Critiques (
-   -   My first photo to be critiqued here. Lady on porch grayscale (

fairy_basslet Oct 4, 2005 12:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I was out shooting this weekend looking for decay, lonliness.

I don't have the original with me at work. This is copied from another website where I posted it. So forgive me if the res is kind of crummy.

digcamfan Oct 4, 2005 1:36 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hello fairy_basslet,

Welcome to the forum :)

Your photo truly resonates with me. My late grandparents had hardscrabble roots just as this noble woman does.

The sagging lines of the home suggest not neglect which is an easy answer but rather are reflective of the hard choicesshe must make as she leads the life that she does.

I did a minor tweak of it...I am not sure it is any better than yours. My intent was to bring a lil more attention to the woman and to emphasize the gentle, sagging lines of decay of her home, perhaps a visual metaphor on her life.

Frank Doorhof Oct 4, 2005 1:42 PM

Wonderful shot, but I would love to see you put the levels a bit more in the black.

fairy_basslet Oct 4, 2005 1:48 PM

Thanks for the tweak. I like it. And to tell you the truth, I just used Photoshop last night for the first time and have no idea what I'm doing. :? I don't even really know what levels are, though I did try to fool around with them, I didn't save anything that I did with them. I need a class in photoshop for sure.

So how did you get the effect that you did? I'm working on a slide show with this kind of theme and I really like the stark contrast that you created. Thanks.

digcamfan Oct 4, 2005 3:20 PM

Hi Ellen,

Thanks for your kind words :-)

Hmmmm...I am not a Photoshop user right now. Currently, I am using Paint Shop Pro 8.

My overall goal was to bump up the contrast, sharpen it a bit, reduce the brightness a bit. I did not use levels but rather adjusted the photo with the above tools (contrast, brightness and sharpen).

Esthetically, I was trying to achieve the "grainier" look of old time photos.

I commend you for seeking themes (decay and loneliness) rather than simply "photo ops".

Btw, in an issue of Fortune Magazine for September, 2005, there is a retrospective look at the Depression era work of Walker and Evans, whose work inspired the book, Let us now Praise Famous Men. I highly recommend you take a look at it.

Your work reminds of the photos of these hardscrabble folks.

The most interesting thing about that article was that though they were poor, they never considered themselves "backward" and resented how they and their lifestyles were portrayed in the book. Actually, they knew the land, wildlife, livestock, nature and the seasons better than most book-learned biologists of the day.

Sorry for the long post, Ellen.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:05 AM.