Back Modifications (2)
Views: 73 (29 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Kids at the Kumbh

By WeeGeordieLass    
Yes, I did give them a few Rupees.

I've resisted the temptation to try to alter/remove the background in some way.

At the moment it is beyond my skill level to make a decent stab at this kind of background removal and I'd probably ruin the shot, then I got to thinking..............

This is how the scene looked on that day at the Kumbh - the Sangam was filled with colorful people. Colorful clothing and fabrics made the scene so vibrant.

I'd be grateful to know your opinions. Is the background too distracting?

Thanks for looking.

Elaine Grin

Tags: Landscape and travel 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.


franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
12 May 2013 7:10PM
I tend to find that backgrounds in situations like this add to it and there's no problem leaving it as it is in my opinion.

You've captured an accurate moment in time really well.


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12 May 2013 7:21PM
Hi Ken,

Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts, I'm glad you think the background is ok.


Elaine Grin
Coast 10 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
12 May 2013 7:43PM
The question is always down to what is distracting in a scene and what isn't? Here I think the background is definetly part and parcel of the scene. The bright colours juxtaposed against the street kids is quite appealing.

As the Photographer you have to convey what you felt and saw and as a record of the scene it is another strong image as part of your series of travel photographs.

I would advocate cloning out of odd distractions as long as it is done to add strength to the image and convey the photographers intention. Photojournalism and record/technical photography should always be a true representation of the subject/scene with minimal adjustments that are made only for photographic purpose such as mono or colour processing, sharpness, crop. Travel photography is more photo journalistic although there is more room for creative interpretation.

Using photography as an art media however then the lids are off the pots so to speak!

You have a lovey series Elaine. Looking forward to more.
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
12 May 2013 8:07PM
Not a distraction at all Smile Smile
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
12 May 2013 8:53PM
I gave up on the idea of replacing/altering backgrounds for no real reason or simply because I can, a long time ago.
Nowadays, unless something's really obtrusive; a tree growing from someone's ear, for example, I don't touch it.
If an object was there when I took the shot, there's nothing to be gained by pretending that it wasn't.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
12 May 2013 11:10PM
A distraction is something which takes the viewers attention away from the subject the photographer wants to portray. In street shots like this, its the complete scene thats the subject, and the environment id very important. In fact, its an attraction. This is certainly a great example of this. That background is part of something they are sitting under to get a little shade, and its vibrance is very much INDIA.

Leave what needs to be there, remove, as brean says things you would have changed at the time if you could, or had thought about, like that tree coming out of the womans head in a recent upload.

I have uploaded the usual mod, - this time it seems to me its not quite level, so Ive guessed what is, and then set black point and white point. I did enhance the eye catch lights of the two boys just a little.

Hope this helps,


paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
13 May 2013 7:30AM
There is nothing wrong with the background. What would you replace it with? The kids are obviously in the heavy shadow of the tent or whatever they are in. There is just a touch of sunlight in the foreground. The problem is the apparent flatness of the image due to the shade. Brighten things up a bit and add a bit of contrast.

13 May 2013 2:19PM
Hi All

Paul (Coast) - Thanks for your great advice, it's helped me to think clearer about the nature of my Indian images and how I should be approaching the processing. I'll bear it all in mind

Thanks for your advice Jeff & Bren

Willie - Thanks for the mod. I'm glad I didn't try to change the background. Your explanation is very helpful to me. Thanks a lot

Paul - Your mod shows how the image looks better with a little more brightness and contrast - thanks for your help.

Thanks everyone, all of your advice and support is great Grin

Elaine GrinGrin
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 4:57PM
I've just worked back to this one. Don't worry, nothing is distracting my attention from those faces! What I like is that these are children who are not used to being photographed every day, even by paying tourists. They have not been trained from birth to grim at every camera. So this is a novel experience. They react differently. The lad in the middle is really into it, the lad on the left (his big brother I suspect) is keeping a protective eye on him. The one on the right is coolly indifferent, he's being very superior about the whole thing.
It needs a bit of straightening ideally, as in Willie's Mod, but that's all I would do.
14 May 2013 5:25PM
Thanks for your critique Moira. I got a few shots of this little trio. They really enjoyed the attention and I think it made them feel very important. I played back the shots for them on my camera and they were delighted.


Elaine Grin

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