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I was after a photograph that captured an ambiguous emotion. Is the girl crying, sad or just asleep?

Camera:Panasonic LX3
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:Yellow
Username:vaughan80 vaughan80
Uploaded:11 Apr 2010 - 12:07 PM
Tags:Ambiguous, Asleep, Coat, Crying, Girl, Interesting, Person, Photo journalism, Portraits / people, Sad, Specialist / abstract, Unusual, Yellow
VS Mode Rating 100 (50% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Tooth
Tooth  95772 forum posts Ireland227 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2010 - 3:18 PM

I think this is unusual and inventive, and technically very well done with a difficult exposure. Unfortunately I think if you hadn't have included your description I would hardly have been drawn to the girl's (hidden) face or the emotion therein. The reason I think is that the coat and buttons device is just too brash, and I find myself being pulled towards the button instaed of thinking of the girl.

I feel it work better on an abstract level, maybe cropping even tighter and emphasising the bold black shapes against the beautiful yellow of the coat. Either that or if you want to convey thoughts outlined in your description, re-shoot but with a subtler coat so it doesn't overpower the image.

Just my thoughts, hope there's something useful in there

Stephen

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NEWMANP
NEWMANP e2 Member 61583 forum postsNEWMANP vcard United Kingdom574 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2010 - 9:15 PM

hi,
i think it partially achieves the objective you set out for and the exposure is good and the colours and shapes work well.

for me though, im not sure if its a study of the model or just works better an design and is more about shapes and colour.

i dont feel an emotion from the model and there is little trace of the models head. i feel some element of the eyes or mouth may have been somehow included to provide human connection but ambiguous emotion i suppose it is.
Phil

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8748 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1575 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2010 - 10:29 PM

Hello, Lawrence. I've been pondering on this for some time, and tend to agree with the above comments. For your idea to work, the girl's head needs more prominence and I think that part of the problem is that her hair is quite dark against the brightness of the yellow sleeve, and the eye tends not to move into the top left corner. I like the way the colour and sheen of the button is echoed in the fingernails. I have done a modification where I lightened the hair, but there is a lot of noise present in that area, and you may have to remove that first. I brightened the image and did a levels adjustment so that the button and nail varnish are more pronounced. The trouble is, those features are eye-catching and the hair is tending not to be so.
Pamela.

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vaughan80
vaughan80  4
12 Apr 2010 - 11:07 AM

Some very helpful feedback here. Thank you all. I might take this again taking the feedback into consideration.

The photograph was perhaps more about composition and shapes / colour rather than emotion itself. To me at least it is just an ambiguous photograph, i think that the emotion is perhaps tagged on.

I have had some noise trouble on the hair when dodging and struggled to remove it on lightroom, so I left it more or less as it is.

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