Back Modifications (4)
Views 138 Unique 51 Award Shortlist   

Deep in Thought

By Allistairg1964
This image was taken one evening at a trout fishery as a demonstration of my camera and lenses capabilities
It has done rather well for me in Salons won 1 gold, silver and bronze medals plus numerous acceptances can it be improved on?

Tags: Black and white Monochrome portrait

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pablophotographer 9 1.8k 396
8 Jan 2021 5:50AM
Hi Allistair.

It is a sharp image. Personally I would have framed it in such way to include all of his cap and more of his chest area in the frame in typical vertical portrait orientation.

Could you please provide the original photo before the black and white conversion and all the metadata of the image? Your camera takes pictures in one only format, (3:2) the standard 35mm SLR. This would allow any of the members to work on it, making adjustments with more freedom upon format orientation or zoom in our out.

Thank you.
hobbo Plus
9 1.7k 4 England
8 Jan 2021 6:23AM
I tried to give it my Award...but then I read your request for a constructive critique ....

Just two things occur to me.... a real fan of black and white portraiture....

1: I agree that all of his cap might have been included.

2: I feel there are still more tones you could tease out of the whole face...a tad more highlight on his right cheek and tgat side of his nose..

Take a look at the black and white portraiture of Jane Bown.... who used only natural light to produce the most incredible work.... her book......EXPOSURES... is a must have...

Top marks from me...

sawsengee Plus
14 6 39 Malaysia
8 Jan 2021 6:46AM
Hello Allistair,
a fine monochrome portrait you have presented here. Modifications will depend on one's own taste and preferences, I have made some simple mods based on the following observations:
1. the original image is too small to work on with much success;
2. the background is rather noisy with digital speckles in the dark shadows;
3. the overall image is ok for exposure but lacks contrast and bringing out the shadows on the right could improve the foreground details;
4. true the cap is "cut off" but zooming in and framing will ultimately result in that, though not a crucial negative point;
5. bringing some details out of the dark shadows of the face could give the eyes region more "life";
6. a sepia version is included using the Filter SIM #81E Kodak Wratten to give a nostalgic effect.
Hope you like these simple observations and mods.
Regards, ee Smile
I am very new to this site some have said they have modified them image where do I see this?

sorry if I am being dim

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.5k 2346 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2021 8:14AM
Allistair, it's a really good portrait, there's a genuine sense of warm rapport, communication in those eyes and the square crop suits perfectly, it contains him in a private, intimate world. As regards crop / placement: I don't see any need to include the top of his cap, the arc would risk being more of a distraction than a framing device. Hats are only of use in a portrait if they frame the face, and the peak of the cap gives a rather nice wayward frame here.

More importantly, we don't need more space at the bottom of the frame, and including more space at the top would move the eyes lower overall. Here they are on the viewer's eye-level, which is good!

BUT as mentioned above the file is very small, just 768 x 768 pixels, 16KM! You have Plus membership, the site will upload up to 2,000 pixels and will downsize your original file to that for you. So don't try to upload a massively reduced file.

You ask about viewing modifications - you have uploaded several times already to the Critique Gallery, have you not found modifications on those earlier uploads? Look under your picture, you will see a blue Modifications button. Click on it and then on the numbers that appear.

You can use this area yourself. You could add the full size processed b&w, and also the original file for reference. Click on that blue button again, and then on Upload Modification.

We also need to see the Exif data, you presumably used Save for web, which strips the data from the file and we do ask to see it. There is advice for critique uploaders on the Critique Gallery home page , with a link to FAQs - have you read this?

You could add that information as a note here in the comments section.

I'll come back later.
dudler Plus
17 1.5k 1778 England
8 Jan 2021 8:19AM
Last question first.

Just below your picture on the left is a blue box. Click on that, then on each of the numbers that appear to the right of that box to see the mods.

I can see why this has gone well, because it's great. I'd be very proud of it.

On a technical level, we've got very little EXIF - we don't need it for analysis, but other photographers who are learning will benefit from knowing the sort of settings you used.

As far as uploads her are concerned, you can upload full-size files, and the site will resize them to work on the web. This is very small as a file, and almost certainly doesn't show off the full technical quality.

Work this good has no need to be in the Critique Gallery - award-worthy in the main gallery! I'd frame like this, I hope. Cutting off a little bit of the cap places the face precisely where it needs to be. No problem!

And... When it's this good, my job is to say why I think it works.

A fascinating, photogenic character, surrounded by darkness. Partly, I'd imagine, choosing the right angle to avoid hotspots, and a bit of burning in around the edges.

Filling the frame: cutting out everything that isn't contributing to the image, stripping away the non-essential. That's an underrated virtue in both shooting and editing, the exact opposite of getting everything in.

Differential focus: the eyes and beard are sharp, with their involving detail: other things fade away.

I suppose I should ask - is there anything that dissatisfies you about the image? Anything you wish you'd done differently? Or, even, anything about your own picture that you don't understand? (Though I realise this offers a promise that I, or others, can work it out. We can only try...)
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.5k 2346 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2021 8:26AM
John (dudler) and I were typing at the same time!

I hope this has helped to explain how the Critique Gallery works.

I will just add to my comment above that it looks as though you have done a fair amount of work darkening the background, it has left a light halo.
dudler Plus
17 1.5k 1778 England
8 Jan 2021 8:32AM
And while Moira was typing, I realised that I ought to analyse what I think helps the shot work...
Robert51 12 7 110 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2021 8:51AM
What a great image and we can see why your so proud of it.

The mod is a process I use from time to time that works really well with most portraits.
It has two paper textures and four different cross patterns to give it the effect. The rest is working with various shadings.

I hope you like it...
Thank you everyone found the mods
first of all the top of his cap I wish i hadn't cut it off oops
I only took up photography June/July 2020 so still very new at it and have a lot to learn
No matter how good an image is it can always be improved on

Thank you again
chase Plus
15 2.0k 517 England
8 Jan 2021 1:39PM
I don't think the top of his cap particularly needs to be there, my interest is in his eye contact and the wonderful textures in his facial hair.
The mods you have been offered have just tweaked things generally, mod 1 brings out much more detail for me to see.

However, as has been mentioned, working on such a small file is really difficult as the quality has already been compromised somewhat, I would have worked on the lighter halos just to bring them down a touch.
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4202 Canada
8 Jan 2021 7:34PM
The objective of a good portrait is to capture the essence of the person, the soul, personality.

Youve done it very well here. It need no adjustments, and the top of the cap make not one whit of a difference.

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