Back Versions (1)
Modifications (3)
Views: 69 (31 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By Philo  
I am looking to enter this into a camera club competition so any suggestions would be most welcome before I submit. I will upload the colour version for comparison but I think mono works best.
Shot was taken on a McFade training workshop featuring Blues Brother "Elwood" in the foreground and sax player Sam in the background.


Tags: Leeds Black and white Town hall Portraits and people McFade Training Chicago blues brothers

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


Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
29 Jun 2013 11:36PM
Excellent subject and tones, good mono conversion. I really like the image, but I'm not sure about the guy in the background, did you sharpen the whole image? Looks like it, or there's too much global structure if you've used Silver EFEX ( which knowing Ade is how he would adviseWink) The reason I ask is the bokeh on the background buy just jars slightly. His left shoulder (right as you look) has quite a harsh halo.

Mask our the structure / sharpening and you have a superb image.

Edit: just checked the colour image, the bokeh there's fine, if must be structure sharpening in the mono conversion. If using silver efec pro put a control point over the back guy and set structure to a negative value (including fine structure).

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banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
30 Jun 2013 12:48AM
Whats the title, if any of the competition?

I like the mono, but as I looked at it for a while I wondered if f/2.8 would provide a softer bokeh. Having read Nicks comments, I know know why it hadnt looked as soft as I would have expected. I expect re doing the comversion as Nick suggest would improve it. I dont use Silver Effex, so I will try a mod, "look ma, no hands!" using Photoshop.

So really like the mono if modified, - would like to know the theme for the club comp if there is one.


Philo 8 99 83 England
30 Jun 2013 8:13AM
Thanks, Nick, it sticks out like a sore thumb now that you have pointed it out. I have only just started using Silver Efex so I just applied a preset. I will go back and follow your advice.

Willie, the title for the competition is portraiture. I am sure it will be full of glamorous girls in the studio but I want something very different.

Thanks guys,

Philo 8 99 83 England
30 Jun 2013 8:15AM
Love the mods, Willie, Elwood stands out much better from the background.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2013 8:49AM
After reading Nick's comment I opened up a shallow dof picture of my own in Silver Efex and pushed the Structure slider up high, producing an identical effect. I'd advise that you use the presets as general indicators, suggestions as to different effects that can be achieved - but check out the finer tuning, the sliders. I rarely push Structure above 10%. I'll have a play with V2 in a bit.
I reckon this is worth a second attempt, I like the balance between the two figures. There's a sense of energy. The breeze catching the foreground jacket edge adds a lot, as does the way both fit within the vertical lines of the background architecture.
paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2013 10:06AM
A lot of discussion on sharpness and depth. I can't see a problem for me. Am on my tablet. I like the composition.

For this, I prefer mono, but would go a touch darker with more contrast due to content. I think you are actually pretty well correct in terms of technique in what you have done, just think there is room for more moodiness and impact.

Philo 8 99 83 England
30 Jun 2013 12:32PM
Thanks, Moira, I will do as suggested with Silver Efex. Looking forward to your mod.

Paul, when I revisit the shot in Silver Efex I will try out your suggestions and see what happens.


banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
30 Jun 2013 10:20PM
I think PS beats Nik hands down!

ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
1 Jul 2013 4:37PM
seems everyone's jumped on the "structure" bandwagon Wink

Just do it in light room and use a negative clarity brush where ever you get those halos - and I'd include the doors behind Sam in that.

Good bit of attitude from both of the guys there - sam does look a bit like The Terminator - so did what I asked Wink Looked menacing

like the balance between the 2 - sam looks pretty big even though his a long way off, go to love the effect of long lenses when wide open.

notice how the angle of the sax matches the angle of gareth's shoulder... nice touch... sure you planned that Wink
Philo 8 99 83 England
1 Jul 2013 6:18PM
Will give the negative clarity a try, Ade. Yes the guys did really well for this shot giving us great poses with attitude. Of course I planned the sax, I'm sure I asked Sam to change positionWink


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