Back Modifications (9)
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Life in Bhutan

By mmz_khan    
This picture was taken at a Monastery in Bhutan. Grandma is performing daily prayer with her granddaughter.
#Monk, # Bhutan, # Monastery, #Pray

Tags: Monk Prayer Granddaughter Grandma Bhutan Portraits and people

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paulbroad 12 131 1289 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2019 9:16AM
Tried a quick mod. A strong portrait but seems a bit over saturated to me. I would be cropping rather tighter and doing a bit of dodging and burning. Dodging especially on the eyes.

dudler Plus
16 1.2k 1670 England
20 Feb 2019 10:06AM
It would be really useful to have full EXIF data, and to know a bit about how you have your camera set up. For instance, do you use a single AF point, or do you let the caemra choose the focus point(s)?

This is really engaging, though as Paul says, the colours and contrast seem a little unnatural. I suspect you've done some processing - very often, for a reportage picture like this, that's not necessary - the image is strong enough to speak for itself. That's true here, I think.

Paul cropped the monk in the background: I wouldn't do htat, though he doesn't fit tidily into the composition. That means that he adds a dimension of complete reality to the picture. Not posed, but taken while the world was moving on. A 'decisive moment'!

The woman's direct gaze and her grandaughter looking straight at the camera make the shot. I can't tell what she's thinking, though.

I'm going to try a mod, too - it may involve slight cropping on the left and at the bottom.
pamelajean Plus
14 1.3k 2144 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2019 7:29PM
Because your grandma and the child are looking at your camera, this engages the viewer immediately, and I found myself being drawn in by those four eyes, and exploring the image.

I think the walking monk is an important element because he becomes of secondary importance, where is he going? Why is he in so much of a hurry? The viewer wonders. Yes, you could have waited for him to pass, and he seems to be moving fast, so you wouldn't have had to wait very long. But you may have lost that precise moment when the lady and child were patient enough to stop and look at you while you took the picture.

Thankyou for uploading the original. Your lady's face looks very red in your upload. Having the original gave me the ability to do a modification and add a bit more space above the lady's head, and to crop with the lady central, the child and monk either side, creating a balance. Before I cropped, I rotated the image anti-clockwise using the vertical lines in the background, which I think looks better.

I don't usually centralise anything, but I did centralise your lady, and placed her eyes on a thirds line. I left space either side of the child and monk so that everyone had some breathing space, even though they are all three tightly composed together.

I brightened the image, lifted shadows and sharpened. I also selectively sharpened grandma's eyes, and finally gave it a small Levels adjustment.


21 Feb 2019 3:33AM
thanks for the mod.
Love your mod Pamela. Image rotation make it more nice....

Thanks all for your time...
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4141 Canada
21 Feb 2019 3:33AM
Having seen the original, perhaps leave that other person in on the left.
dudler Plus
16 1.2k 1670 England
21 Feb 2019 9:44AM
Thank you for the original - it's helpful, and has a good deal of EXIF attached, though not the exposure mode. It shows that you used spot metering, which is usually dangerous. If you combine it with manual exposure and were anything less than meticulous with where you took the reading and what compensation you applied to it, always expect poor results - some underexposed like this, others badly overexposed.

Matrix/area metering and Aperture priority are far safer, especially if you may want to shoot in a hurry, as you presumably did in this case.

I've done a mod from your original, keeping the softer colour that it has.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2236 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2019 9:46PM
I'm late here but I have been looking at it for a while, I find it fascinating. I do think it has suffered, from overly aggressive processing. It's a gentle image, it doesn't need harshness.

I'm glad that you uploaded the original frame because I think it carries great potential. The anonymous figure disappearing on the left creates a balance, a counter-weight, set against grandma staring out of the frame at us.

I'm not so convinced about the man on the right, because he overlaps with grandma. Taken just a second earlier, this would be much more satisfying to my eye. One figure walking away, one walking in, both fully visible and framing the lady and her little grandchild.

As it is, the real relationship that I see is between that figure on the left and grandma on the right.

I've uploaded a sequence of three modifications. I lightened shadows and then lightened overall. I also did some dodging on the face. I've kept the effect subdued, I didn't want to push it too far.

For the first modification I then rotated to more or less straighten the verticals near the centre of the frame, and cropped a slice off the top. I don't think the top of the frame adds anything, it simply dilutes the interest, which is all at our eye-level.

For the second I cropped and cloned to get rid of the man. Then a third, a b&w conversion. Because it works for me.

Really enjoyed this! It's one of those frozen moments in time, a moment in four people's lives.
22 Feb 2019 4:54AM
Thanks all for the mod.

Thanks Moira for a different point of view. Don't you think the gap between the grandma and the lady at the left hand side is too much... also it would be better if i could get little space in front of her....

mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2236 United Kingdom
22 Feb 2019 7:55AM

Quote:Don't you think the gap between the grandma and the lady at the left hand side is too much... also it would be better if i could get little space in front of her....

That would be more of a classic composition. It would follow the rules. I do think that rules are there to be broken creatively. The gap for me gives a tension, like stretching a piece of elastic between them. And when someone is disappearing out of the side of the frame it raises all sorts of questions. Where are they going, what is it that we cannot see, that is so much more important?
dudler Plus
16 1.2k 1670 England
23 Feb 2019 9:38PM
Normally, the gap would be likely to be a problem. Here, with the background linking them, it's like a very long lever being used to move a large rock...
24 Feb 2019 6:58PM
thanks for the clarification Moira & Dudler...

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