Back Modifications (4)
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Inside the temple kitchen

By HelenaJ
Any critique about this mono inc the conversion, composition, style etc would be gratefully received.

Tags: Mono Food Travel India Delhi Sikh Portraits and people

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ddolfelin Plus
10 103 3 Wales
3 Feb 2017 7:12PM
Wouldn't dream of criticising this picture - obviously taken under adverse conditions.
Enjoyed seeing it.
banehawi Plus
17 2.6k 4274 Canada
3 Feb 2017 7:28PM
Seems fine but without the original colour the question you ask really cant be answered accurately.

Upload it if you still have it?

Spkr51 5 United States
3 Feb 2017 8:18PM
Great shot *****
banehawi Plus
17 2.6k 4274 Canada
3 Feb 2017 9:40PM
Thanks for the original shot. Its a good shot, good subject. Love the eye contact too.

The flash was on, so some reflections from pots, etc. but theyre not too bad. They did cause the exposure on the subject to be slightly under though.

I love the bright vibrant colours, and mono doesnt come to mind at all at first, but it can work.

When I adjusted the colour for exposure, I loaded it as mod1.

I tried a fairly straight, normal contrast. normal structure conversion (using NIK) and I find that I prefer it to the very high contrast/detail version.

Its a person;a choice at the end of the day, and your version works.


HelenaJ 10 3
3 Feb 2017 9:43PM
Hi Willie,

Thank you for taking the trouble to do the mods, most appreciated. I did wonder whether my use of tone mapping/hdr effect was a bit over the top. Now I have seen your I might take it down a bit. Thank you for the kind comments. Helena
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1884 England
4 Feb 2017 8:00AM
I think I may be very blunt - I think the tone mapping was OTT, by a margin. There's a fashion to use it as more or less a standard sort of mono conversion, and it usually gives a look of low contrast (always risky in monochrome, though it can be highly effective) and unwanted variations in tone in plain areas. I therefore used your colour version as the basis for my mod.

This is a really strong reportage picture, and doesn't need special effects (like HDR/tone maping) to make it striking. A simpler treatment lets the subject shine through.

The second thing was that there's a real tilt to the original - around 2.5. I wondered about correcting perspective (you had your camera tilted downwards, and that gave verticals that diverge towards the top of the frame - it would be barely noticeable if you were using a standard to long zoom setting, but at the wide end, there's a strong effect). I decided that it adds to the feel and atmosphere as it is.

The final thing that caught my eye was that there's relatively little contrast in the cook's face. More subtle editors than I will be able to do something clever with layers, but I stuck to dodging highlights a little to bring some brightness into his eyes. I hope all of this works.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2465 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2017 5:07PM
I'm a bit late here, I can't really add anything to the advice above. But I do second John (dudler)'s comment.

There's a really good shot underlying this, well taken in quite tricky conditions. But to be honest, when I opened it I thought the man was a waxwork model, with this processing he simply doesn't look like a real human being.

You haven't categorised this a Photo journalism, but that's how I would place the original. It's about the real world. So it needs a sense of truth. If the viewer is aware first of all of the processing, and the actual subject and story follow later, something isn't working.

I wonder why you processed like this? When converting to b&w it is better to consider what you can do with standard light enhancement and with the colour channels.
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2017 6:38PM
This could be excellent. In fact, it is quite good as it is presented, but my very first reaction was that it looked a touch HDR with a compressed tonal range, and that is the only problem. Most people will accept it - those with a lot of experience in mono are going to notice some tonal discrepancies


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