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Beach Fishing

By clevercloggs
I uploaded a series of photos which show the sequence of beach fishing.
Do the photos show the process to you?
Would you agree that as such the series falls in the category of photo journalism?

My questions are not so much of a technical nature as more related to the series as such..
Does the B&W work or does it get boring?
Did I show too many photos?
Does it bother you that hardly anyone is looking into the camera?
The fishing starts predawn, you can see the sun's intensity increasing with each shot. This resulted in trying to keep the sun out of the lens, but also lead to the shooting angle being repetitive. Would you think that i should compensate the increasing light with exposure adjustments so that all photos have the same 'look and feel' or does that not bother you?

Would you consider all photos of the same photographic quality or does the one posted stand out more?

Tags: Photo journalism Black and white People at work Beach fishing

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clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 9:53AM
apologies, photos 8 and 9 are the same.
all photos have been edited in LR recently.

Buffalo_Tom Plus
14 2.3k 18 Wales
12 Jan 2021 9:57AM
Yes they tell the story. I watched a team of men beach fishing near Galle / Sri Lanka last time we were there. Very much the same process. They had a fish spotter out at sea looking for shoals of fish and when they were seen out went the boat to drop the net past the shoal. They had two teams of men pulling the net in. It took about two hours to complete the process. Hundreds of small fish were caught but they didn't seem to think it was enough to share amongst them all. Very hard work and they had two lads in the sea keeping the net straight. A well documented series of images. No it doesn't bother me that they are not looking at the camera, they have an important job to do. Mono images are fine.Tom.
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 10:08AM
Hi Tom,

Thanks for your feedback. Wasn't sure if the individual images would tell the story. Happy to hear the B&W is fine although the images did not become too arty because of that.

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2423 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2021 10:10AM
Well those have kept me happily engaged for quite a while!
A few random thoughts -
Definitely photo journalism. Which after all is about the creation of a journal, a record of daily observations and experiences, using photos rather than words. It's reality, with all its built-in imperfections and inconveniences. The set works together, stronger than just a sum of its individual parts.
Some of my favourites here do include visible faces, though not necessarily looking towards the camera, but I don't think they are essential. For example I find number 2, looking towards the horizon and the sun, much more involving than 3, which looks posed. Generally I reckon that body language says more here than faces though.
Favourites - 4 and 6. They are strong! Number 6 in particular - I love the tension between the man leaning to the right, the others drifting towards the horizon. It's the star turn here.
In the main upload and 7, I want the focus nearer to the camera, the figures close to us are where we need to feel that we could reach out and touch...
B&W is never boring. But looking into the light like this, I would want a plus exposure compensation. A small adjustment now, say +0.3, and a bit of gentle dodging on highlights, would let us see the faces where they are visible.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2423 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2021 10:37AM
PS Welcome to the Critique Gallery, I've known your work for a very long time but I think this is the first time you have ticked the critique box? I hope you'll enjoy our little corner of the site.
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 10:50AM
Hi Moira,

Happy to keep you busy for a bit...Grin
Thanks for your detailed reply. Yes, some photos are more engaging than others (and these are the one I chose from about 200).
Although i am right amongst the men, only the upload photo gives the feeling of really being involved in their work; 'right in there' if you know what i mean..
The light was getting stronger so quickly, which did bother me as i worried about burn out pixels. Hence the sometimes near silhouettes of the men. I did try to up their faces a bit in LR, but that proves to be difficult due to their skintone. Even despite the relatively low ISO, i find that very quickly noise becomes an issue.

On page 5 of my portfolio you will find a coloured version of the 'upload' photo which should give you an impression of the light conditions too
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2423 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2021 11:08AM
Thanks for entering into the conversation, Robert. I've added my modification of number 6, with notes. I didn't want to push it too far. Yes, it increases noise on the face but I think it's worth it (and noise doesn't bother me as much as it does some people). We had a D70S, for a while, it was just a bit before improvements in higher ISO performance really started to take off.

The main upload is growing on me, I may return to it...
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2423 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2021 11:16AM
BTW I've removed the rogue duplicate image. So your set runs 1 to 10 now.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1861 England
12 Jan 2021 11:25AM
Welcome from me, too, Robert!

Following Moira, I'll simply address the questions you asked, as I think Moira mopped up everything I might have said! Thank you, by the way, for asking such focussed questions - they entirely justify a line of images!

1 B/W works. It doesn't get boring, though colour might also work - but I suspect it's stronger like this. More Sunday Times, less National Geographic.
2 Possibly - I think the art is to edit ruthlessly, and make sure every single image adds to the story.
3 Not in the least. They're engaged in their work.
4 The increasing light is part of the story. I'd go with the images as they are, at least initially. However, though the low sun in the early frames tells that part of the story, it may matter to get the sequence right, so that the sun rises from frame to frame, instead of dodging up and down!
5 Versions 3 and 8 seem to me to be as strong.

I'd also suggest that a slight wideangle (28mm on a D70 is a slight wideangle) is sensible, a pretty classic reportage lens. I'm not sure I'd have worried about flare - it could add to the pictorial appeal of some images. The date is quite a way back, and the D70 is even older, which may have put a crimp on your technical options.

One final thought on the pictures - they definitely tell me the story, but possibly not as clearly as they tell it to Tom, who has seen something similar. Words matter in this context, and even a short caption adds immensely to the tale. The late Harold Evans wrote a book about editing, captioning and headlining images for the press, and it's still worth reading 40+ years after publication. Used copies of Pictures on a Page are affordable, and I'm ever so glad I took Phil Taylor's advice and bought a copy!

Like Moira, I'm delighted that you've responded so rapidly to her comments - a conversation is always fun here, especially with someone who knows what they want to talk about!
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 12:12PM
Hi John,
thank you for taking time to look at the images.
i did not mention this but i messed up the sequence in images 1 and 2...well spotted. All others should be in the right order.
The sun does rise fast in that part of the world.
I agree with you that if you are not aware of this beach fishing technique the images may not tell the whole story. if i would put them in a photobook, i most likely would add a caption with each photo.
i would also agree with you that i would try to reduce the number of images to the bare minimum as at the moment i think that i have too many and some actually would be surplus to requirements as you are looking at (almost) the same activity but from a different perspective or let's say a few minutes later.. after all they are pulling a fishing net in..

Until you mentioned it i did not realize i took these images with a D70...that would explain the noise despite the low ISO and explains also why the faces very quickly become blurred/noisy.
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 12:13PM
Hi Moira,

thanks for removing that double photo. already one gone that was not needed to tell the story...Grin
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 12:15PM
Hi Moira,

your number 6 is an improvement on mine.. no additional noise in his face...kudos for that.
the extra exposure did work well. i should revisit the other images too, to make them brighter as well.

i assume you did these adjustments in Photoshop?
chase Plus
15 2.2k 566 England
12 Jan 2021 12:41PM
Welcome to the Critique Gallery Robert.
Los to see here and I do like the story telling the set conveys.
To answer your specific's always nice when someone tells us what they want to hear about their images.

1. B&W works for me here, much easier to keep the general tones of the images consistent.
Saying that, there could be a very different story with images taken at very different times of the day in different light...sun up...sun down etc.
2. Possibly a couple too many but that depends how you would show this set...would make a really good print exhibition.
3. Far too much other interest to see, no eye contact don't bother me, they are all doing something and I am much more interested in that than them looking at me.
4. I agree with Johns number 4 statement.

The ones that stands out for me are V6 and I do like Moiras mod there and V10, love the chap looking out to sea through his binoculars.
I think you could arrange the timeline a little better perhaps, the first 3 show the position of the sun is it going up or coming down, I suspect the latter.

Really, really helpful to have your input here, very much appreciated.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1861 England
12 Jan 2021 12:41PM
A photobook makes a lot of sense for these. Again, thank you for the speed of response!

A good conversation: I suspect Moira is as pleased as i am!
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 12:51PM
Hi Janet,

Thanks for your remarks.
The photos were all taken at sunrise. It is just that the sun rises quickly close to the equator, hence that you see the sun in the first images, but already say half hour later, that sun is so bright it starts to inflict on the exposure of your camera.
Also at sunrise, the light is very orange, but soon that tinge disappears too. This is one reason to go for mono..the orange glare is overwhelming in most photos..
I am happy that Moira, you and John, don't mind that no one is facing the camera given that there is enough to see in the image. That would work in the advantage of a series of images.
I like that every one seems to find a different favourite.. That implies that viewers would continue from one image to the next instead of zapping away halfway through.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2423 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2021 12:53PM

Quote:Hi Moira,

your number 6 is an improvement on mine.. no additional noise in his face...kudos for that.
the extra exposure did work well. i should revisit the other images too, to make them brighter as well.

i assume you did these adjustments in Photoshop?

I started in Photoshop Camera Raw filter for exposure adjustments, then moved to Elements to tweak the horizon, simply because I'm lazy and I get on with it more easily. Blush
chase Plus
15 2.2k 566 England
12 Jan 2021 12:54PM

Quote:That implies that viewers would continue from one image to the next instead of zapping away halfway through.

Different compositions will appeal to different people, hence viewers will engage better with the set wanting to see what came next.
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 12:54PM
I'll check that sequence..i bulk processed them into jpeg not expecting that the computer may throw them around.
So far, apart from 1 and 2, I thought they were in the correct order..
pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2225 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2021 1:17PM
Yes, the photos show the sequence to me, but that is also helped by having Tom's comment.
Yes, it's photo journalism, and black and white works fine.

We normally discourage multiple uploads in the CG, but in this instance, it being a series, it is ok. I think the number of images that you show will depend on what you intend doing with them. If there is the option to use more, then I would do so.

Most comments so far are saying that eye contact is not needed, and I agree. It's good that the people didn't pose for you in any way, but just got on with their fishing. This is what makes the images and what engages me with them.

I think the silhouetting works in these shots, but if you can help make some of the faces more visible without introducing too much noise, then that will be fine, as Moira has demonstrated.

Your lead image is quite dynamic, and I really feel involved in that one, but versions 6, 7, 8 and 9 are my favourites. I like seeing them all working together in 8 and 9. I realise these favourites of mine ignore the wider views and those with fewer people in them, and you obviously need to use those others to show how this fishing is done, but if you wanted to use single frames at any time, the "involved" ones have far more impact.

Thank you for being so specific with your questions, and I hope we have been of some help.

clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
12 Jan 2021 2:18PM
HI Pamela,

Thank you for your comments they do confirm the views before you, that every one has its own favorite photo(s) in the series.
I agree with you that the lead in photo is the most dynamic one and possibly the star of the show. It is by far the most close up of them all, i am standing in their line of pulling the net in. I remember that the guy asked me if I could move out of the way...
I could consider that one in a larger format print (if I were to do that) than the others, just to have some variation in sizes, gives a bit of rhythm to it all.

I looked at the position of the rising sun in the various images.....due to me changing positions the sun is all over the place, sometimes to the right , then left etc..

I think the next step is to reduce the number of photos whilst maintaining the story line..

Thank you all for your inputs. It does help to discuss photos every so often, just to obtain alternative views which allows you to check if you are still on the right track or not..

i used to know Elements like my back pocket but everybody was curves, curves, curves and so I moved to PS.. it took me much longer to get to grips with that piece of software and now I am trying to understand LR... which, it must be said is quite marvelous technology.


dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1861 England
12 Jan 2021 9:05PM
Editing down will, I think, strengthen the sequence.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 776 England
12 Jan 2021 10:40PM
I'm late to this but I'll add my contribution nonetheless.
Certainly photojpouirnalism.
While I've not seen this myself I have seen documentaries so I can follow what's going on.
Black and white is fine and is classic documentary. If submitting for publication, unless it's niche, specifically requested or you had a big reputation, then it would have to be colour.

It's the activity that you're dosumenting so not having people looking at the camera makes the images stronger, they are concentrating on the job in hand.

As for the number of images, I can see you put a lot of work into all of them, and it depends on how they are to be presented. If you wanted a set of ten then that's fine, but you could remove a few to make a stronger set.
V2 and V3 say more about the boats than V1 so I wouldn't use that.
V4 the composition is one sided and the diagonal takes the viewer straight out of the image and is the least engaging image here.
V8 i ok bitthere's wasted space on the left, as the men are walking out of the right hand side. V7 and V9 are closer to the action and show a nicer grouping, respectively.

I know twe light is harsh, but most images here would benefit from at least some shadow detail. Heavy blocked shadows aren't generally attractive and they'd benefit fom opening up. A little noise isn't going to hurt.
The Shadows slider in LR is very useful. A lot depends on your mono conversion and how you adjust the sliders, particularly the red, yellow and blue. Followed by tweaks to Brightness and Contrast if necessary. In the old days printers could extract a lot of detail from a negative in the darkroom and it's the same with a digital file so it may take more eddort than simply converting.
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
13 Jan 2021 9:35AM
Hi Keith,

Thank you for your remarks.
Less is more, also with photos trying to tell a story. So I'll definitely will reduce the number of images to tell this story.
I forgot that I took these with a D70. That one had 3,67 megapixels at the time. Which back then (2004 ish) was considered enough.. however the lens is good, so I have to see how much (hidden) definition I can squeeze out of these images before the noise becomes overbearing.

Thank you all for your contributions, it was a pleasant and educational exchange.

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1861 England
13 Jan 2021 2:46PM
That made me check, Robert - the D70 was 6mp, like the Minolta Dynax 7D that I owned around then... It seemed OK at the time, though i never got sharpness that overimpressed me. Cropping was a lot less feasible than it is now.
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
13 Jan 2021 11:55PM
Alright, 6 mp's. That's more than I thought the camera had.
I agree cropping back then certainly was harder than nowadays.

Must admit that these 'old's images are easy to process with the most recent software.
There is still a bit more detail in them then you thought it had 10 years ago.
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
15 Jan 2021 11:26AM
I checked the timing on when i started to make the photos of this activity.
i started taking images the moment i arrived. which was around 6 AM...and continued to around 7.30 ish.
I took about 200+ images of this activity.
The guy with the binoculars was one of the last images...

During the preparation of this complication i realized that it cannot be a good sequence of photo journalism as i do not have the start of it on photo. Which must be something like the men carrying their long net into at least one boat and then taking off into the sea, with the net slowly falling out into the sea and the boat coming back full circle a bit further down the beach having encircled a shoal of sardines or similar. the guy with the binoculars would have to be at the beginning of the photo sequence as he is the 'fish-spotter'..
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1861 England
15 Jan 2021 6:05PM
Not having the entire sequence of operations means that it's not perfect photojournalism, but it doesn't stop it being good!

It's important that people do things well, without feeling under constant threat because they're not the very best. And I hate 'top ten' lists. Real life is more subtle and varied than Top Trumps. This is a good and interesting sequence!
clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
15 Jan 2021 8:21PM
Understood and thanks.
I agree, It is no use to worry about photos I did not take.
Make the best with what is there, and find a way forward with these.
SOUL7 7 1 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2021 5:52AM

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