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health & safety would have something to say about this...

By lillypix  
Splitting bamboo to make baskets with. It's a mighty big machete for such a wee little thing!

My feeling is that the light is nice enough although I would have loved some catch lights in her eyes. I like the dulled tones because the whole world over there is a gentle calming brown and this is nicely reflected.

What I don't like is the messy composition. It was such a spur of the moment capture anyhow, but in that short moment there was nowhere I could move to that would have allowed a cleaner image. In the end I just tried my best to use the most approprate DOF and crossed my fingers that it would work...

Please view large

I'd love some feedback on this, and how you togs deal with that sort of problem when you're travelling. Do you move things around (I always think this would be too intrusive but would like to hear your views) or are there little compositional tricks that could help? Maybe there's something I could do with the post-processing (LR 3 but no PS)

Many thanks for any little hints and tips you can give!


Tags: Landscape and travel

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


3 Sep 2010 11:11AM
well caught-sweet girl!

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devlin 8 653 39 India
3 Sep 2010 11:54AM
Very nicely captured. I like this image the way it is, i think the bits and pieces add to the atmosphere of the image i do a lot of street work almost 2-3 times a week and i try and capture the scene as it is without being intrusive. One of the things i try and do (not always successfully though) is to just sit / stand and observe the scene for some time before i take the shot i find that it invariably produces good images, for example like in this shot the child would have continued to split the bambo for some time and in that time you may have captured a variety of expressions or emotions as she struggled with the huge machete, i guess in a nut shell what iam trying to say is that patience when you are out can yield good dividends of course its easier said than done as my PF will justify Wink

Cheers and hope this helps

Philo 8 99 83 England
3 Sep 2010 1:39PM
Hi Lianna,

This works very well for me. She is in the right part of the frame, good expression and eye contact, well exposed and nice dof. All the bits that "clutter" the image are part of her environment so I don't really have a problem with them. I can't decide whether to digitally wipe her nose though! I would increase contrast, but then I always do, so just a personal thing.
I panic when my daughter uses a steak knife never mind a machete.
Great capture.
Philo 8 99 83 England
3 Sep 2010 10:20PM
Well Lianna I decided to have a go at a mod. I cloned out all the bright pieces of rubbish in the background as when I looked again I thought they were a bit distracting. I then increased contrast and applied unsharp mask. Hope you approve.
I thought this moving image would have attracted more comments but this does happen sometimes and I'm sure it is not a reflection on the quality of the image.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
4 Sep 2010 6:00PM
You did quite right, - never move things around, dont be intrusive, and catch the moment. The only thing you can do to eliminate clutter is to get in close, - otherwise clutter is very much a part of the scene, an essential part of candid, street or journalistic photography.

Catch lights can be added if you use a little fill flash, or is you have one of the large Canon flashes, they have a reflective card that pops out vertically thats just ideal for catch lights, - but heavy to lug around. Can be done easily enough in a mod, and I will load one shortly with it done, - just use a 1 or 2 pixel soft brush, and dab white into the eyes on a layer, and adjust opacity.

Its a wonderful shot


banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
4 Sep 2010 6:08PM
I loaded the mod, - and I have to say I had an overwhelming urge to take a tissue and wipe her nose, - thats what makes a photo a great image for me.

lillypix 7 60 4 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2010 7:28PM
Hi all,

Some great advice above. I really like both the mods and may have a crack at combining the best of both. I'm just beginning to learn the art of using flash and I think a speedlite is the next toy on my wishlist. I'll remember the card trick and try it out...

I agree wth all the nose comments. Disgustingly grubby and needs a wipe but to do it digitally would remove an vital element of the story.

It's great to hear all the perspectives on the 'clutter' vs 'essential compositional element' so thank you.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
4 Sep 2010 11:29PM
No, - leave the nose, - its a part of the shot. The fact that it made me want to wipe it is meant to mean the shot engages the viewer, a mark of better shots!

lillypix 7 60 4 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2010 8:37AM
I have a rather large collection of images of snotty nosed, peeling and scabby children in far flung parts of the world... maybe I should upload a special 'TB' gallery!

30 Sep 2010 12:45PM
I think this is a brilliant shot.well done.

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