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Old Nov 2, 2007, 8:46 PM   #1
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I would like your gut reaction/impression of this photo, please don't hold back on your initial feelings.




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Old Nov 2, 2007, 11:16 PM   #2
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My initial feeling is the picture is a collage of cut and pasted elements. There are enough odd things about the picture that disturbs me. The only thing that is very clear is the store name Sheer Pleasure. Personally I dont like it.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 7:46 AM   #3
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It doesn't say anything; it doesn't record anything for posterity. All it seems to do is illustrate the voyeuristic pleasure of an adolescentboy recording an unsuspecting innocent bystander in front of a lingerie shop.

It is properly exposed and the focus on the window frame is sharp. The depth of field is probably about right.

But I don't see any 'Art'.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 12:24 PM   #4
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Thank you for your honesty, I too feel it is a bad image. When I made it I was attempting to do something different, and different it is. The message I was attempting to communicate was a bit more "out of the gutter" than some have perceived it to be (Older woman dreaming of younger days). I feel that if you shoot long enough and try to do something out side of the box you are going to make mistakes, and this image I feel is just that, a mistake. It was not perceived as I was thinking at the time I made it.


With that said, my reason for posting is really for another purpose. As I may have said in the original post this image was part of a class assignment, Photographing Senior Citizens. Our instructor sent us out into the neighborhood to photograph seniors doing their thing. This was just one of many that I made that morning. When we returned to the classroom we all passed our CF cards up for the instructor to play on the TV in order for us to review.

When he came to this image his response was something I'll never forget. He laughingly exclaimed that I looked like a pervert! I didn't expect this kind of juvenile response from an instructor, but that was his gut response. I never saw that in the image until he pointed it out, what a dirty mind he has.

Tcav I would have expected a response more in line with how you conveyed it even though both ways mean the same thing. And I realize that art (or not art) is interpreted from the viewers perspective, and ALL views are welcome. I just don't expect an instructor to be so childish to use words such as "Pervert or Underwear" in a critique of anyones work. I feel those kind of words are used to belittle a person, not educate, but an education is what I got, straight from the gutter.


Again thank you both for your adult and informative response to my post.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 4:19 PM   #5
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"Don't wait for it to happen. Don't even want it to happen. Just see what does happen." - Sean Connery as Jim Malone, "The Untouchables" (1987) Paramount Pictures.

It goes for photography, too.
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Old Nov 4, 2007, 6:32 AM   #6
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Hi Jim,

Interesting response from both your tutor and here.

I actually think the shot has a lot of promise and was very well captured.

My immediate reaction was a visual overload however. There is just too much going on at first sight - and it took me quite a while to see what you were looking at. That's not a good thing, you shouldn't make the viewer work too hard and make them get past too many distracting elements to find the meaning. [Of course that is a rule that could be broken. But in this case I don't see that you decided to ignore the rule, so it comes across as sloppyness, not genius.]

Given that reaction then, can the shot be improved? I think it can in two ways:

Firstly crop out a lot of the visually distracting information at the top and right of the frame, it is simply distracting from the message, that you were trying to convey and instead led to the "pervert" reaction. This crop is important, at first I just removed a bit from the top and right, then I realised even more could go, in particular the whole "sheer pleasure" thing was very distracting and by leaving the heads on the mannequins they looked like people too, and were detracting from the message. For compositional balance I felt it needed to lose some of the empty space on the left too.

The second thing is to ask yourself whether the colour in the image is helping or hurting? My view is that it pulls attention away from where you want it to be towards distracting elements. This is not a picture of lingerie, it is a picture about age, sex and loss. Having the red in the dark background on the mannequins is detracting from the message. So change the colour. BW is one option, but there are a range of other colour possibilities which might also work.

Ideally you will one day be able to do this crop "in-camera" by framing more closely; with more experience you would have seen this when you were standing there.

The most powerful element of this picture to me is that the woman looks very young from behind, and it is only in the reflection that her age is revealed.

I would say on the evidence of this shot that you have a great deal of talent. Keep working at it.


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Old Nov 4, 2007, 8:22 AM   #7
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peripatetic,

If we presume that what you say is true, and if we presume that what you did made a better photograph, the result would reveal something that is sad and private, and therefore, inappropriate and cruel, in my opinion.

I believe that we are morally entitled to take any photograph we want (even if we are not legally entitled to do so), but we are not morally entitled to share any photograph we want.
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Old Nov 4, 2007, 12:49 PM   #8
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We are (certainly in the UK and USA) legally entitled to take shots like this and post them, even sell them as fine art. (Though a model release is required for commercial i.e. advertising/promotional use of such images.)

If you have a moral problem with taking pictures of strangers that speak to some aspect of the human condition and posting them, then I respect your view. I believe however that that is exactly what the best documentary/street photography does and have no moral problem with it at all; I don't think it cruel at all, but even if I did I would still have no problem with posting that sort of shot.

If this sort of thing pushes your buttons, I imagine there is a very large section of modern fine art photography that you don't like.

Edit: Having just been through the whole front page of threads on C&T this is so obviously the best picture here I am amazed no-one else gets it. Anyway, this is a family site not an art site. There are plenty of other places where one can post for critique if the subject matter doesn't suit this forum.

Anyway, each to his own. It's a big world with room for plenty of views.
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Old Nov 4, 2007, 4:14 PM   #9
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peripatetic's edit is a step in the right direction imo... her reflection still looks weird to me though, I think it's some sort of object behind the glass that you can still kind of see. It makes it look kind-of ghosty and I feel it detracts from the message. at least for me anyways, and then peripatetics b/w improves on that + I really like b/w heh.
who decides what we can share morally, the government? the masses of your country? your employer? you? me?
I'm against censorship unless it is something that I find deserves to be censored (which is not a whole lot, and usually falls in line with the law). Photographs portraying some dark or unjoyful part of the human condition, don't nearly come close to the censorship axe imo.
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Old Nov 4, 2007, 5:15 PM   #10
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peripatetic wrote:
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... If you have a moral problem with taking pictures of strangers that speak to some aspect of the human condition and posting them, then I respect your view.
I don't "have a moral problem with taking pictures of strangers that speak to some aspect of the human condition and posting them". I have a problem with taking a picture of a stranger that speaks to his or her own personal, private problem, without his or her knowledge and consent, and posting it.

peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
I believe however that that is exactly what the best documentary/street photography does and have no moral problem with it at all; I don't think it cruel at all, but even if I did I would still have no problem with posting that sort of shot.
Neither do I, but that's not what's happening here. Or rather, that's not what might be happening if we concede that what you've said and done were true and successful. (I would prefer to keep this on an abstract level, rather than insinuate that the OP did something improper or immoral.)

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Anyway, each to his own. It's a big world with room for plenty of views.
Agreed.

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