Back Modifications (3)
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Lachlan Fixing Pops Racing Car

By portholepaul
GrinThe Stig at workPlease describe your photo here.

Do you want critique? Tell us what you are trying to achieve or what sort of advice you are looking for. It's also useful to provide as much EXIF data for the photo (see below).

Tags: Humour and fun


mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2112 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2014 12:01PM
Hi Paul, welcome to the Critique Gallery, I think it's your first upload here! You've been on the site a good few years though, so I guess you know what we are about here. I hope you'll find it a useful place.

This is fun and also very well taken. Full marks for getting right down low, this was a sore elbows shot! (It's the getting up again afterwards that I find hard... ) Full marks also for using flash to get maximum detail under the car.

You've composed this very nicely to make sense of what is basically a fairly cluttered scene. The foreground spanner is a nice touch, and also gives interest to a boring bit of concrete. Having the face in profile and mainly silhouetted against the dark sleeve adds a lot, there's a real sense of hand/eye coordination and concentration.

I wonder if you have done any work on this to lighten shadows? I would prefer a little more contrast, to give a more 3-dimensional feel; if you look at the histogram for this, there's a distinct lack of blacks/darker tones and the result is a slightly flat look. A simple Levels adjustment, moving the left hand and middle sliders a bit to the right, should address that.

Plus I think there's scope for a tighter crop, as an alternative not necessarily an improvement, to focus attention on that hand/eye story.

I'll upload a Modification or two in a little while, you know where to find them - under the Modifications button below your upload. Click on the thumbnail to view.

As an aside, at the age of 18 months my husband was given an Alvis carburettor and a screwdriver to play with, 'to keep the baby out of mischief'. He dismantled the thing. Beware of letting the Stig do this too often!


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mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2112 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2014 12:24PM
I've uploaded two modifications - the changes in the first are quite small but I think it has a bit more 'body'. I forgot to mention that in the second I cheated and moved the spanner further into the middle of the frame.

Photographing into shadow, with bright light in the background, is never easy. Well done for this one.

Your program setting gave you a shutter speed of 1/100 second - it has worked out well here but would not freeze more energetic movement.
pamelajean Plus
13 1.3k 2097 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2014 7:26PM
Hello, Paul, and I'd like to welcome you to the Critique Gallery, too.

This is quite a unique image, well thought out and well executed.
I have to admit to being a little worried about the child being underneath the car, but I am sure you knew it was safe.

The child's look of concentration is perfect, as is the spanner in the foreground, just in case the viewer didn't quite understand what was happeningSmile. I even think that an extra tool on that ground at the bottom would look good.

The image tilts to the right, and the child looks to be sliding down that slope a bit.
In my modification I straightened it using the edge of the cardboard as a guide.

The child looks to be very low-contrast and quite light, compared to the rest of the image, and I am wondering, like Moira, if you lifted the shadows in that area, beneath the car.

In my modification I used the Burn Tool to darken that area, then did a slight Levels adjustment to bring in some extra contrast. I also removed the writing on the cardboard, for a cleaner and less distracting finish, and did a little crop to the left side.

This is a fun image, and you had a co-operative model.

paulbroad Plus
12 131 1287 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2014 8:07AM
Nicely done, and well planned. The only problem is the bright background. Possibly a slight change of angle looking more from the left? You could try manual, if your camera allows it and use a little less exposure but let the flash light the foreground.

dudler Plus
16 994 1552 England
17 Jun 2014 1:42PM
Welcome to the Critique Gallery from me, too.

A fine idea! There's soemthign about the great sharpness of soem of the lines in the car which disturbs me, especially as Lachlan and his clothing are less defined.

On a technical level, I note that the car is only jsut at the top of the ramps, and could roll back very easily: I keep trying to calculate where that very solid-looking spoiler wil lbe in relation to Lachlan's nose if that happens. A distraction, I'm afraid.

When (like my son) Lachlan is grown up, and (as it might be) sells his Rover 25 and buys an RX-8 (or whatever the equivalent is, in 28 years or so), you may want to present a copy of this shot to him. Or his other half...

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