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Congolese Church Anniversary Celebration

By philtaylorphoto  
28 July 2019. Claremont Church, Bolton. Les Rachetes de L'Eternel Congolese Church, who meet within Claremont Church came together to celebrate 13 years as a fellowship. The evening started with over two hours of worship, followed by an address in 3 languages with simultaneous translation, followed by a large buffet of traditional food. Al Jazeera TV sent a crew along too, as they are making a documentary about one of the congregation....

Made a nice full page spread.

Tags: Photo journalism Church Anniversary Congo Congolese

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dudler Plus
16 895 1504 England
7 Aug 2019 10:25AM
Low (and mixed lighting) is always a problem...

But this is reportage, and the main message is about shared joy that transcends everyday difficulties.

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7 Aug 2019 10:45AM
Low lighting indeed, I pulled out of that job early to cover flooding, and in torrential rain it was brighter outside.

The lighting kept changing colour just to add to the misery.
capto Plus
7 5.7k 11 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2019 1:03PM
It's all about the emotion, which is captured well. I have just added a little blur to the background figures to give the main subject maximum impact.
7 Aug 2019 1:08PM
That works.

It's tricky knowing how far to go with retouching in journalism. I'm quite a big fan of the dark vignette in circumstances like this.

Would you blur thr foreground dark figure too?

capto Plus
7 5.7k 11 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2019 1:59PM
All images are subjective, the most important person to please is always yourself. I added the blur to everything except the main figure.
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2085 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2019 6:11PM
The atmosphere of the worship comes across strongly, and you chose a perfect individual to convey that. She is surrounded by equally enthusiastic worshippers and the image works well.

I have done a modification where I cropped three sides, bringing strong attention on the lady in blue, but leaving sufficient other people to keep that atmosphere. I was at first unsure about the crop to the bottom because I was cutting off her arms, but I think it still works. I wanted to eliminate small distractions, people cut in half, and little bits of heads at the back, as well as the red thing in the middle (no idea what it is) which is a big distraction. So a bit of cloning was needed in order to do that.
I brightened the image a little and sharpened.

In particular, I felt that the foreground lady on the right was a bit too prominent, so I cropped most of her out. What I have basically done is remove any part-people and left in the complete ones.

I like Ivor's idea of blurring everything except for the lady in blue. So I tried something a bit different.

banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4020 Canada
7 Aug 2019 7:31PM
Does what it says on the tin!

Mod is a touch warmer, NIK Dfine2 stopped down a little noise.

Im reminded of a very old News of the World ad that said, "All human like if there".

dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 582 England
7 Aug 2019 8:32PM
Mixedand changing lighting, all part of the event so I'd not be concerned about it.
As the image got published then it clearly did it's job.
I'd crop something similar to Pamela's mod as the edge details especially on the right are a distraction, and cropping in highlights the intensith and emotion, the figures in the background supporting that.
But if the paper used it as is, fine, it's their choice. Others may have cropped in a situation like this, at least they could make the choice then.

I can see Ivor's point in making the background softer. As yu were already at full aperture only a prohibitively expensive lens could have achieved a similar effect. But as you mention, how far do you go in 'retouching'? Some agencies have zero tolerance, but usually Levels and Colouir Balance adjustments are allowed.

I don't think the background sotening is an issue here, but from a practical point of view do you have the time for such tweaks when also having to submit the image and working on captioning and sending images off for other stories?
That's a mainly rhetorical question, the point I'm making is that time is a valuable commodity and of the essence. In most cases.

All that said, good shot that does the job.
7 Aug 2019 9:46PM
As you say, time is of the essence.

It was going for a gallery of pictures, and around 100 had to be output ready for the next morning. Whilst I'm shooting it, the rain is hammering down outside, and I'm planning where I have to find high River levels in 5 locations in fading light.

As some have said, much is subjective, and in today's news world things have to fit shapes, and squeeze round adverts.

I'm asking for comments, as I always strive to tell the story better. However for publication, the bar is a lot lower than it used to be. I think a new low today with an exclusive caught on my dashcam, and unbelievably tightly cropped with ridiculous compression artefacts. The story is now out for national syndication!

I still reckon that the old Harold Evans Pictures on a Page, pre digital, and pre internet can teach photojournalists a lot.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2066 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2019 8:27AM
It's capture the moment, right up my street. I really don't like 'fiddling' too much with PJ.

I enjoy your uploads of church congregations, there's a combination of excellent timing and total respect. But here I would want to use a faster shutter speed, probably 1/250. The light was difficult, it would risk under-exposing, that can be adjusted for...
8 Aug 2019 9:12AM
A lot of the job was 2/3 under!!!!

The Al Jazeera crew were tearing their hair out. The colour balance shifted throughout each take. It could be worse, the host church meets in a bigger room upstairs with I reckon 5 different colour temperatures.

Having from up in the film era, and remembering the amazement when Scotch/3M brought out a 640 ASA tungsten slide film, 10,000 ISO messes with my head.

I'm glad I moved to full frame for some jobs, as the low light capability is a lot better
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
13 Aug 2019 1:44PM
Minima retouching in photojournalism and nothing that changes the mood or story. Why I changing light colour a problem? There is no need to get normal daylight colours when they were not there. Just shoot for the colours as they are - I stay on Auto WB.

You can only be sure of the light tone and quality if you have a colour temperature meter which I had some experience in using years ago. NO ONE can do other than an educated guess on true colour of light by eye!

This is a nice shot of it's type. I would crop just a little tighter to increase impact.


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