Views 637 Unique 28
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in concert

By johnL
open air recital

Tags: Portraits and people

Voters: Origami_Owl, leead, scotpics and 2 more

Photo Of The Week awards are given to the best photos of the week. Editors' choice awards are given by the team to outstanding images.

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stevenj 19 2.0k England
2 Oct 2003 3:23PM
I can see what was attempted here, but I am sorry to say that a valiant effort like this doesn't float my boat. For me, the lady is just not out of focus enough to stop me thinking she is the main focal point. I think I would prefer her to be in focus and the instrument out. Nevertheless, can't say I've tried this so what would I know! Smile Hope no offence is taken...
digicammad 19 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2003 3:47PM
I think this would work better for me if the instrument in the foreground was more 'together'. For whatever reason the neck seems not to meet a body (unlike the lady in the background). I like the composition but the overall effect doesn't hit me, sorry.

stevenj 19 2.0k England
2 Oct 2003 5:12PM
Pete, would you be able to make your comments on this image and the reasons it merited the award? It might help those of use who are trying 'new' ideas...
rvanr 19 37 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2003 6:02PM
I agree with steven, still a good picture though.
james adams 19 20
2 Oct 2003 6:04PM
Works for me.
vfr400 21 886
2 Oct 2003 9:19PM
Compared to the thumbnail this image disappoints me. I can't make up my mind whether the main subject is the piano player or the musical instrument. The musical instrument seems disjointed and the chunk of shoulder is distracting. I am sure in John's mind there was a great image, unfortunaly for me this isn't it. Sorry.
Carabosse Plus
19 42.9k 270 England
2 Oct 2003 10:02PM
Sorry but this does not impress. Like other who have commented I can see an "effect" has been attempted but it hasn't really come off. It just looks as if the camera has misfocused!!
leead 20 71
3 Oct 2003 4:58AM
I think this shot inspires the imagination. I can see it on the cover of a classical magazine. It works for me too.
johnL 19 115
3 Oct 2003 10:12AM
Thanks, one and all for the feedback. Interestly this image got more negative feedback than some of my poorer shots. I hope people are not put off from experimenting with different viewpoints because they are worried that pictures might not work. Play safe and the pictures look like everyone elses! Am bemused by the 'effect' comments-I just try to find nice texture, and a viewpoint that gives as graphic an image as possible.
leead 20 71
3 Oct 2003 12:27PM
Well said John!
digicammad 19 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2003 12:52PM
I don't think there is any need to be bemused John. I think the concensus is that we can see what you were aiming for, call it viewpoint or effect, but it didn't quite work for us. I was wondering whether the blurring against the neck might be the moving arm of the person playing? It must have something going for it, otherwise Pete wouldn't have chosen it, but it is obviously one of those shots about which people have strong views.

johnL 19 115
3 Oct 2003 2:00PM

I'm really trying hard to see what you are talking about. What blurring? Do you mean the neck of the double bass, because if you do, then the only blurring around it is the background. Am not being sarcastic but is your screen set at a low contrast and/or brightness, because I can't see the hand you mean. Are you getting the detail in the headstock of the double bass?

Pete 21 18.8k 97 England
6 Oct 2003 9:31AM
This image appeals to me because it breaks rules and I believe works in doing so. The pianist is purposely placed out of focus by using a wide aperture, but not so much that you can't see detail. The neck of the double bass indicates that the event is not a solo and frames the picture at the top. The smoke/dry ice stands out against the blue and contrasts against the black of the shoulder and dark tones of the instrument's neck. I really like it.
Ian G W 19 398 3 England
6 Oct 2003 12:03PM

I think you will find that photos that gain the "editors award" tend to attract more comments. People will tend to be more critical of these photos as they are looked at more closely than many of the others. For me, the photo doesn't work, the main reasons being that the pianist is uncomfortably out of focus, and that the headstock of the bass, although sharp, seems clumsily positioned - the elements just don't flow together for me.

cameraman 19 227 1 England
6 Oct 2003 1:58PM
I rather like this picture but one thing seems to nag at me...the base player must be one heck of a size. Was this instrument added afterwards to the picture??? Of the 'original', but maybe not, photo the shoulder in the right hand foreground is the sharpest object with focus falling off all the way through the picture....and then a pin sharp object is unexpectedley found in the middle distance, the other side of an already out of focus piano. Now if it was this side of the piano it might look, to my eyes anyway, more acceptable both in position and size.
johnL 19 115
6 Oct 2003 3:28PM

the picture is straight out the camera, with standard sharpening and curves adjustment after. The bass is out of scale due to the wideangle of the lens used. I was nearly on top of the bass player!! I like this as the pegs create a strong lead into the rest of the image. Thanks Pete, for giving your opinion.
Coppertone 19 29
6 Oct 2003 4:05PM
I think this is a great picture. At first view it is very deceiving, you almost think that the instrument head is growing out of the piano and once your eyes adjust you realise you are getting a very close up and personal peek over the bass players shoulder.
Great shot and well framed.

I agree with earlier comments that it would look great in a classical music magazine.

Gilbin 19 85
6 Oct 2003 9:05PM
I think this could have been a very good picture, however there are a few things I would have done differently. First, I would have taken a picture like this in b&w. Second, I would have made sure to wait until both of the pianists hands were on the piano because it looks like they are switching between songs and that takes away from the mood for me. Finally, I would have a light on the top of the bass so that the brass fitings would have strong highlights reinforcing the sense of it being the focus of the picture. Anyway, thats just my 2 cents!


p.s. To the left of the bassists shoulder there is a little dot of pinkish red I would clone out. Very distracting.
UserDeleted 19 3.6k
6 Oct 2003 9:09PM
I see the pages and the lead in lines sharp as anything. I think I see a black shoulder in the foreground which is sharp. I can also see an out of focus pianist in the middle-ground of the picture.

What I can't resolve in my mind either this morning or tonight is that I agree on the comment that "cameraman" made - the bass head still looks like it is joined to the piano. I can't get my eyes to adjust as Kev says...maybe it's like one of those magic eye posters Smile

And unfortunately because I am having to struggle with this I don't get the enjoyment out of what is an exceptionally well conceived picture.

Can anyone help me sort this out in my brain ?

cameraman 19 227 1 England
6 Oct 2003 10:05PM
If you find somebody, Frenchie, then send them to me. My brain tells me that the shoulder, presumably that of the base player, is this side of the piano whilst the stock is on the far side. If the stock were in front of the out of focus object, maybe the piano lid, and in front of the piano and disappeared behind the foreground shoulder all would fall into place and the stock size would be natural when using a wide angle lens. Other than that, it must be an optical illusion.
digicammad 19 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2003 12:02PM
Hi John. Sorry for the delay in responding to your question. I have a 17" monitor set at 1280x720, so resolution is not a problem. The headstock is sharp, but immediately below that is an indistinct object which appears to be part of the base and yet behind the pianist's sheet music. I think, more than anything, it is this which is spoiling the shot for me.

One thing is for sure though, you certainly caused plenty of discussion with this shot :0)

UserDeleted 19 3.6k
7 Oct 2003 12:16PM

The indistinct object you refer to is the top of the piano which is lifted and supported to expose the keys and strings.

As you have said the headstock is behind this.

johnL 19 115
7 Oct 2003 2:28PM
As they say, the devil is in the detail, eh?!! Am really chuffed to bits that I have a photo of the week!
UserDeleted 19 3.6k
7 Oct 2003 3:11PM
So the image is a composite with the framing of the headstock inserted with software manipulation ?

Can you clarify this John - your first response indicates that the image is "straight out of the camera" your last that "the devil is in the detail". So is it manipulated or not ?

I'm not begrudging your award - as I said before the image is a good one - I'm just trying to get it sorted in my head how it was taken etc and can't resolve it.

digicammad 19 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2003 3:44PM
I've got it now. There is actually no base, just a headstock held by somebody out of the top of the frame and positioned to fit exactly against the open piano lid!

I think this could be photo of the month by the time we have it worked out. :0)

johnL 19 115
7 Oct 2003 5:47PM

to clarify for you, it is unmanipulated, straight out the camera. When I said the devil is in the detail I meant that small details seemed to be spoiling the overall effect for some people. I was standing to the left of the bass player, facing the pianist. Ian has it right.

Might market this like one of those magic eye posters for music lovers!!!
UserDeleted 19 3.6k
7 Oct 2003 6:08PM
Got you. The headstock has a curve on it to rest on the shoulder, but in this case it is held up and away from the bassist and does exactly match the curve of the piano lid.

Hence the bass and shoulder appear to be disconnected but there is a join somewhere Smilein-front of the musician.

Confusing - but I am getting there...
johnL 19 115
7 Oct 2003 9:02PM
Nearly there, Mike. I think I see what's been fooling you. The curve of the headstock is the same shape as the shoulder, but the double bass is designed so that the straight part of the neck (further down from the headstock) lies against the shoulder. There is a join that for the purpose of emphasising the headstock I had to lose. Never really thought about it, but I will if I see a similar situation again!!!
7 Oct 2003 9:25PM
i just think the bass looks unnatural. good effort though, well done on the award.
Bucks 20 238
8 Oct 2003 12:31PM
I love this shot, While I appreciate the comment above that it may work very well in Black and White, I think it is excellent in colour too.
You should take compliment from the fact that the picture holds people's attention, the commentary above suggests everyone has an opinion on it. If a purpose of Art is to hold attention, or better to provoke people then this picture certainly qualifies.
For me I'm left thinking what would I have taken here, and why would I have missed this shot.

All in all a great picture worthy of the award.
7 Nov 2003 7:27PM
It's very nice and unusual. In my point of view, it deserves the award.
Origami_Owl 19 786
10 Jun 2004 10:04PM
Love the atmosphere you've got in this - and the crisp blue colour is perfect. Big fan of this.

johnL 19 115
10 Jun 2004 10:17PM
Thanks a lot Paul, nice to get a comment like this! Very encouraging.
leead 20 71
28 Jun 2004 5:03AM
When I first commented on this, there was no facility to "click if you like this image". There is now, so I clicked.

This image has had the greatest impact on me of all the images on this site. It quite often comes to mind, which is why I am back here commenting again.

This is in a league of its own!
johnL 19 115
28 Jun 2004 7:42AM
My god, Anthony. Thanks- I've left a comment on your pic.
scotpics 18 23
3 Aug 2004 3:35PM
Having spent far too long (at work) reading the comments on this photograph, I'd just like to say congratulations on the EC award. It deserves it. My only criticism is not of you but of the bass player who should really get the Brasso out and polish his pegs!
johnL 19 115
3 Aug 2004 4:07PM
Thanks very much Alan-will remember the brasso in future!
johnL 19 115
3 Aug 2004 4:09PM
Thanks very much Alan-I know what it's like, being bored in work, and reading over the comments on this site. Strangely addictive.
starstriders 18 1.6k United Kingdom
27 Sep 2004 8:48PM

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