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The Stubborn Mule

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A grab shot on the beach in Weymouth last year.

I don't know the people and wasn't interested in getting them in the shot. The Donkey was the picture for me especially the way his feet are planted.

Little tone mapping in photomatix to give the pic a little punch.

Your comments please.

Mark

Brand:Sony
Camera:Sony A350
Lens:70-300mm f/4-5.6 G
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:8 Apr 2012 - 2:10 PM
Focal Length:300mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Shutter Speed:1/640sec
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Program AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Auto, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:The Stubborn Mule
Username:mark2uk mark2uk
Uploaded:23 Jan 2013 - 9:11 PM
Tags:Beach, Donkey, General, Sony alpha, Stubborn mule, Tonemapped
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
strokebloke
23 Jan 2013 - 9:52 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

An interesting one Mark.
I can see what you mean about the donkey, but from the picture the thing that really suggest that the donkey's being stubborn is the taught rope and the fact that the handler is walking forward. So, for me, the people have got to be part of the shot. And with the handler decapitated, it misses something. It would have been interesting to have seen the expression on the handlers face, at the donkey's stubbornness, for instance.
Maybe, if you really wanted to concentrate on the donkey, you could have done it in portrait.
But then it would have just been a donkey with splayed legs.

So I think that the people, or at least the handler, including his head, GrinGrin have got to be part of the shot.

Pretty good for a grab shot.

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Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41227 forum posts United Kingdom202 Constructive Critique Points
23 Jan 2013 - 11:09 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I agree...the shot should include the main players, ie the handler and the rider, complete. Without them, you don't get the whole story of the donkey refusenik, just one with odd-looking legs.

The tonemapping, rather than give the shot 'punch', actually robs it of it. All you do with tonemapping like this is to reduce the range of tones, sometimes so they are all the same tonality, and makes it look a very low-contrast image. There are nice vibrant colours here, which are now muted, and I'm not sure what's happened to the out of focus areas, or even if you've done something to them, but it looks like the shot's taken through the bottom of a bottle (If you're familiar with the rendering of a Leica Summar, this is very much like it).

The camera settings look fine, and it isn't camera shake or incorrect focus, but it looks selectively defocussed, in an odd way, sorry.

Nick

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paulbroad
paulbroad  782 forum posts United Kingdom874 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jan 2013 - 7:49 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

You need the people in. The donkey may be your main subject but the part figures do not help at all, particularly the boy rider. Tone mapping does not increase punch, it tends to do the opposite and the tonal range is strange in places.

The tones looked wrong straight off, and things could be a little sharper. Be very careful with tone mapping, it rarely seems to add much to me and needs great care.

Paul

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