Back Modifications (4)
Views 108 Unique 37 Award Shortlist   

Catch It

By ZenTony
A photo of a young girl engaged by a street performer.

Tags: Street photography Street Street performer

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dudler Plus
16 978 1536 England
9 Jan 2019 8:45AM
This is all about the moment (very decisive) and the crop, both of which are perfect.

I don't think you've visited the Critique Gallery before, so this is a great way to arrive! I'd suggest reposting in the main gallery and collecting hte votes this deserves...

The rectilinear geomentry, the hand gesture, the girl's elbows in frame - these are all important, and all right. Ditto the position of the baton.

I wonder a bit about dodging and burning to bring out the essential features, but I can't work out how to do that without compromising the 'real' feel of the shot. Pictures like this depend on being unmessed with for their full effect. Maybe a tweak of contrast or colour, but I'll leave it be.

Technical settings were OK - maybe not what I'd have chosen, but that's fine. You got the shot, which is what matters. Ideally, perhaps, slightly higher ISO, higher shutter speed (just tobe sure of capturing hte action) and a smaller aperture (to cover focus error and give depth of field, as wel las higher quality: lenses aren't at their very best wide open). And beware Program mode - you give control of so much to hte camera, when you may need to make creative decisions.

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9 Jan 2019 8:51AM
Thank you very much for the comments. On reflection I would have loved to have caught the girls face as she threw the batton......but the moment was captured as it was and sometimes that can be enough.
9 Jan 2019 10:21AM
You can sense the little girl's excitement from her posture/body language... we don't need to see her face.

This has everything.... brilliant composition, energy, tension, excitement, meaningful use of colour... I couldn't give a rat's arse about technical perfection ( though as far as I can tell it has that too ) in a shot like this because that isn't what it's about. It's dynamic and emotionally engaging. It's perfect.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2099 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2019 12:09PM
I love it. And welcome back, you've uploaded for critique before but it's been a long time.

The beauty of the shot is in imagining what we can't see - the little girl's face, the rest of the performer. The whole bigger picture... I think the site divides between people who want all the information handed to them, and those who like to be made to use their brains. This definitely caters for the latter. In the main gallery it would probably get my UA.

Minor quibble - in an ideal world I'd like to see more of the arm at the top, to balance the club. But that is minor. However as this looks to be cropped from a wider frame it would be useful to see the original. You can upload it as a modification, just go to the blue Modifications button and follow the instructions.

Camera technique does matter here - the shot depends on timing (and juggling is damn difficult to time photographically!) but also on a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the movement. I would opt for a greater degree of control, and use shutter speed priority. But you got the shot and that's what matters.
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4049 Canada
9 Jan 2019 3:00PM
If only you have zoomed out a little more so we could see more of he juggler. You were zoomed fully in for this.

You also mentioned that the girl threw the baton to the juggler, so further out, and with the powerful camera, 24 fps would have given a boat load of options to chose from.

I do like it, but for me its an opportunity missed.


9 Jan 2019 3:04PM
Note: To clarify, by "technical perfection" I mean being concerned with certain technical parameters that in a different situation might be of some importance, but aren't crucial in an image such as this, where it's really just timing and an appropriate shutter speed, as Moira points out, that matter most ( though I would perhaps have 'accurate focus' following very closely behind ) and that I would value more highly than any number of rodent sphincters ...I'm thinking white balance, shadow detail and highlight control ( i.e. dynamic range ), tonal range, noise levels, - those sorts of aspects of image quality.
9 Jan 2019 3:40PM

Thank you for your comments. Please see the modification ( the actual original photo ).
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2099 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2019 5:19PM
Thanks for adding the original frame, I had a feeling it might be something like this. The crop is creative and adventurous, which is how I prefer photography, but the bigger picture has a beauty of its own. I am off to have a play myself.

Alan, thanks for the clarification, and I do agree. It's about priorities, and the emotional connection with the viewer ought to be the main priority.
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1286 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2019 5:29PM
It is different and I applaud that. For me the crop is just too tight and it actually looks like the club is being thrown at the child. This is going to be totally subjective as I obvious from the comments above. It does make you look twice and makes you think - that in itself is also to be applauded.

Just too tight for me, and I normally go for tight crops, but in the context of 'fill the frame'. Here everything is split into two corners, and two is not an ideal compositional number.

mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2099 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2019 5:35PM
Oh I enjoyed that... I'm seeing two totally different pictures, and both work in their own way. Two for the price of one ain't bad... Wink

So two modifications loaded. Working on the original file I tried a slightly tighter crop, to make more of the eye contact between the two, and I lightened on shadows by 4% to get a bit more detail into the dark suit. (Sorry Alan, I'm a control freak... )

For the crop I used Skew to get the verticals to look 'right' within a much narrower frame (I think you did something similar), and cropped a bit less tightly than you, allowing a few more pixels at the bottom as well as top right.. For me the cropped image benefits from just that bit more of the man's arm. The space between the two is the story, it's about balancing the two ends of it.

dudler Plus
16 978 1536 England
10 Jan 2019 8:38AM
As Moira says, the original is so different, and gives a second story. Both convey a real sense of the little girl's wonder. And, to be brutally honest, a shot of her face would have - unjustifiably - excited the Daily Mail banner wavers. As this is, she's anonymous, you didn't need to consider parental permission, and it's a great picture. ARguably, greater because of hte need to imagine her face: every parent viewing this will have their own child in mind...

And I still really like the original post. I hope (but doubt) I would have seen the possibility. And I wish I'd taken a shot like this.

Please repost in the main gallery. Award material, and it grows on me with each viewing.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2099 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2019 8:52AM
It's just appeared in the main gallery, John.

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