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Drum Major, London Scottish Pipe Band, Lord Mayor's show, 2012

By mgoldman
Every year, when I go to the lord mayor's show in London, there is the London Scottish Pipe military band, and this guy has been in front for several years. I was looking at some well known photographers, and one thing I never did before was single him out.
It wanted to miss out the fact that it was a dull day, so went for b and w.
I clipped his legs, but we know they are there,

Tags: Black and white Portraits and people

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
26 Dec 2012 10:18PM
Was this cropped off a bigger picture? I can't think of much to comment about except that I'm not yet convinced that the aspect ratio that this was presented in is the best option for the image you have here. I think I would have cropped off from slightly below his left hand, and try to position the eyes on a third, preferably the upper left third intersection. If this is a crop off a bigger picture, try fitting all the hat (i.e. feather part) in the image to add some spacing above the head (will also help with placing eyes on third).

Finally, the background is a bit busy but that's a bit inevitable when there's a parade. In such circumstances, I'd always try and pick the image with the least busy background - so if you have other pictures of this fellow, see if you find some without such a busy background. That said, the expression on his face is interesting and it still has impact, so don't trade that off just to get a picture with a less busy background but with a less interesting expression on the face.

Will try uploading a mod later.

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Tibetan 5 3 England
26 Dec 2012 11:07PM
I see a drum Major, marching at the front of a Parade of his musicians, a proud Scotsman and well he should be! I see a determined and strong willed person striding forth saying we are the best! and why not, I see a man with strong principles that he will adhere to until the end of his days, I see him port raid in mono which highlights the tones the strength and character of him, I see him! he is the central figure! dominating stern, clear cut! a leader! well done fabulous, I applaud your efforts in this grand photo, regards Leon.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
paulbroad 10 123 1170 United Kingdom
26 Dec 2012 11:17PM
A fine image, well seen and executed. The mono conversion is good, but I bet he looked good in colour.

banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3706 Canada
26 Dec 2012 11:33PM
Its a good shot, youve certainly captured the personality here. I would like to see the colour version also so I can get a sense of how good the conversion is.

There are lots of very bright areas with little detail that can be improved by toning down highlights (I used the highlight tool in CS6, you can also use the burn tool); nice if the background is just a little more out of focus.

I have uploaded a mod with highlights recovered; a little blur in the background, and a conversion to a duo tone which I think suits the shot.


Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 12:50PM
Well isolated from the background, and it doesn't intrude as much as maybe colour would, though its a shame to lose the colour of all that regalia.
His face is not quite as sharp as his chest and left hand on my screen, so maybe you focused in slightly the wrong place, otherwise, pretty good.

Focus_Man 7 481 631 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2012 9:04AM
This for me really has to be in colour, the colours on display with military marches and bands is not to be missed.

I feel also that I would have liked to have seen a few more of the bandsmen being led by this guy rather than he in splendid isolation.


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