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Queuing for the Temple

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One of my people shots from my recent trip to India. This was taken in Varanasi where a queue miles long had formed of devotees waiting to visit their Temple. There were thousands of people in the queue but as we walked past, these four just looked like they belonged together.

During my trip I soon realised that India really is a "point-and-shoot" country. Most of my photographic endeavours involved seeing a scene, grabbing my camera, maybe having the time to change a few settings (but not all the time), and just clicking away and hoping that I'd get some decent shots.

When I got home and was reviewing my images, first I was a bit disappointed as my shots aren't that good really.....but I was surprised at the number of people shots I'd taken as I don't like taking photos of people at home. The Indian people were so willing though to have their photos taken, and there were fascinating faces everywhere

I considered cropping out the writing - what do you think? I left it in, as it was there, and the shot is an authentic record of the scene on that day.

I like the way they're all looking in the same direction out of the frame.........does anyone think that the shot would be better if they were looking into the camera? I'd like your opinions please.
Cheers Guys
Elaine

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D3100 Check out Nikon Nation!
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:12 Feb 2013 - 3:22 AM
Focal Length:34mm
Aperture:f/7.1
Shutter Speed:1/60sec
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:On, Return detected
White Balance:Auto
Title:Queuing for the Temple
Username:WeeGeordieLass WeeGeordieLass
Uploaded:23 Feb 2013 - 3:55 PM
Tags:Landscape / travel, Portraits / people
VS Mode Rating 102 (80% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10781 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2803 Constructive Critique Points
23 Feb 2013 - 4:08 PM

Leave the sign, its a record shot. I love how they are all looking the same direction too.

What I would recommend though is to decrease saturation, - its very much over-saturated, and looks better if the colours, especially reds, are not "glowing".

Theres a small piece at the top, of the wall perhaps, I cropped it down a little in the mod. And coming home and finding that all your shots arent quite what you thought is not unique to you!. Ill bet if you go back to them in 2 months, you will see them very differently.



Hop[e this helps,


regards



Willie

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2338 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
23 Feb 2013 - 4:15 PM

Thanks Willie. I didn't realise just how "glowing" the reds were until I saw your mod, yes it does look easier on the eye with the saturation decreased.

Thanks for this tip which I'll take on board for the final image.

Your help is always appreciated.

Cheers

Elaine

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pablophotographer
23 Feb 2013 - 4:17 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hello. I find your picture pleasing and neat. Well framed and timed.

The matter of looking at the photographer and the lens of the camera depends on the type of photography, mostly, and the ability to communicate with the subject, or the ability to evade the subject's attention. Portraiture photography most of the times requires optical contact. Street photography doesn't require it all the time. This picture shows to me that you have not distracted them (that is excellent in street photography). The picture focuses on their attention to their Temple, if they had noticed you their expressions would have been different and possibly not the same. You would have been an invisible part of the picture, affecting its momentum; I bet you that is not what you wanted to be.

So I think your picture is a gem, with vibrant colours, therefore I would have voted for it, if i could.

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devlin
devlin  4651 forum posts India39 Constructive Critique Points
23 Feb 2013 - 4:18 PM

Yes we Indians are typically not too fussed about camera's pointing at us...Wink...I can imagine though that a place like Varanasi can be quite chaotic and at the same time be very colorful Smile

I quite like this shot, i think it works pretty well just the way it is, these are 4 very interesting personalities but the way they are lined up gives the shot the impact and from my perspective it really doesnt matter if they are not all looking into the camera, on the other hand their expressions create curiosity for me in terms of what they are all looking at...on the image itself i think with a few minor tweaks this is definitely a keeper. The background doesnt bother me too i think the words LG in the backdrop of what are tribal natives creates quite a contrast

1) I would clone out the guy in the background
2) I would tone down the saturation a bit
3) I think this would make for a very interesting mono as well Smile

Have done two mods illustrating the above....hope this helps

Cheers

Last Modified By devlin at 23 Feb 2013 - 4:20 PM

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Jestertheclown
23 Feb 2013 - 4:19 PM

Hi Elaine,

I didn't realise that you were back.
Your blog's made for some interesting reading!
It would appear that you've had the time of your life.
Not much to say about this; as soon as I opened it, the redness hit me but Wilie's beaten me to it!

Cheers,

Bren.

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2338 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
23 Feb 2013 - 4:27 PM

Hi Pablo,

Thanks for your great critique.

You've hit the nail on the head with this shot I think. You're spot on............. I wanted to be an observer of these men and definitely didn't want to interfere in their thoughts whilst they waited to enter their temple.

Thanks for taking the time to comment Pablo.

Cheers

Elaine

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2338 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
23 Feb 2013 - 4:32 PM

Hi Bren,

Just got back on Monday............feeling like I've packed a lifetimes worth of adventures into 16 days. "Incredible India" is definitely the way to describe that fantastic country.

Thanks for checking in to my blogs......I've still got a few more to put on - the last few days........Delhi Belly again on an overnight sleeper train journey, Calcutta and Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. Hope you check it out.

Yeah..........I can see now how red the shot is - will bear that in mind when processing the rest of my Indian people shots.

Cheers Bren - thanks for your help.

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7396 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom971 Constructive Critique Points
23 Feb 2013 - 4:32 PM

First of all, leave the lettering! As Willie says, this is a record, it's about the place as a whole as well as the people. But I'd like to clone out the bits of two people visible between the foreground characters - I'll have a go at a Mod. I regard that as legitimate - another few seconds and they probably wouldn't have been there anyway.
I'm a Nikon user and with every Nikon DSLR that I have used I have had difficulty with bright reds and pinks in strong sunlight - they always come out over-saturated. I'm sure there is a technical explanation - I just do a bit of selective desaturation as part of my processing routine for such shots. At the moment I'd love to have the opportunity of coping with the problem...
Moira

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2338 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
23 Feb 2013 - 4:42 PM

Namaste Prabh,

Ooohh I do like your mods, and think the mono version looks great.....I hadn't considered that but I agree it does look good.

I like the tones in your colour version too - half way between Willie's mod and my very red version.

I had an amazing time in your country and fell in love with the people. My blog is

www.ageordieuptheganges.com

My favourite place was Varanasi, but every day was special with something exciting or amazing happening.

I must go back to India............soon.

Cheers

Elaine

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2338 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
23 Feb 2013 - 4:47 PM

Hi Moira,

Thanks very much for the advice. Yes I think for the final version I'll clone out the stray people in the background.

Also, your tip about selective desaturation will help me a great deal when I'm processing the rest of my shots.

I have noticed the reds & pinks seem a bit bright in my images - at least now I know to tone them down a bit.

Cheers

Elaine

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7396 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom971 Constructive Critique Points
23 Feb 2013 - 4:54 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

OK - Mod now uploaded. What I've done:
Reduced Saturation on Red and Magenta by 20% each.
Darkened Highlights by 12%.
Got rid of the two background figures with a mix of cloning and paintbrush. I've taken out a fair bit more than Devlin and improvised the lettering where it was obscured.
Used the Burn tool, set to Shadows and 4% exposure, at a large brush size, to sweep over the foreground hands, wood and fabric. It just brings foreground forward.
I think it's worth the attention - you have captured four very strong, characterful faces, that balance each other. It's a very engaging, natural image.

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devlin
devlin  4651 forum posts India39 Constructive Critique Points
23 Feb 2013 - 6:53 PM

Thanks Elaine, glad you liked the mods and had a good time in India, it must have been quite an experience, the next time you are here you should visit the southern and Eastern parts of India they are a complete contrast to the north. You'll actually have trouble believing you are in the same country Tongue...

Cheers

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom843 Constructive Critique Points
23 Feb 2013 - 8:51 PM

Nice well composed image. I wouldn't bother about the background figures, they are very subservient and part of the image. Willie covers the only major fault, the heavy over saturation. Red is a difficult colour for all digital sensors and needs careful handling if in large amounts.

Paul

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iancrowson
iancrowson e2 Member 4209 forum postsiancrowson vcard United Kingdom128 Constructive Critique Points
23 Feb 2013 - 11:52 PM

Good capture. I find this interesting.
I'm with Paul here, this is a candid street photo, they should not be looking at you. The background and the man behind should be left as is. If anything they add to the overall image. As Willie says reds are a bit strong. Maybe the flash brought out the colours so strongly.
Looking forward to seeing so more of your India shots.
Ian

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NDODS
NDODS e2 Member 32930 forum postsNDODS vcard United Kingdom99 Constructive Critique Points
24 Feb 2013 - 8:17 AM

So much to take in...

Regards Nathan Grin

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pablophotographer


Quote: Hi Pablo,

Thanks for your great critique.

You've hit the nail on the head with this shot I think. You're spot on............. I wanted to be an observer of these men and definitely didn't want to interfere in their thoughts whilst they waited to enter their temple.

Thanks for taking the time to comment Pablo.

Cheers

Elaine

My pleasure Elaine, it's nice seeing your traveling pictures.

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2338 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
24 Feb 2013 - 7:28 PM

Hi Moira: Thanks for the detailed description of your improvements, it will be very helpful to me. I'm glad you like the image...thanks very much.

Hi Paul: Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll bear in mind what you mentioned about reds and digital sensors.

Hi Ian: Yes, I think you may be right about the flash. I know now though to process images with a lot of red/pink in more carefully. Thanks for commenting.

Hi Nathan: Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Thanks everyone I've learned a lot from uploading this image and your advice.

Cheers

Elaine

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