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Modifications (5)
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By Savvas511    
Mahaveer is the name of the model in my photo . He is from India and he has this attractiveness i dare to say on his face . The image i wanted to create is to reveal the saddness that this man has. I almost feel his pain when staring at him through my lens at 200mm focal length... Hope you like both versions of the portrait.

Tags: Dramatic Drama Sadness Indian Pain Saudi arabia Dark eyes Portraits and people Scars face scars

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cats_123 Plus
17 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
25 Jan 2017 7:28AM
Good portrait...the lead shot is my fav Smile
Chinga Plus
10 3 2 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2017 9:16AM
Three good shots with great clear details... I think it's a good rendition of an expressive character!
Isabel GrinGrin
mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2462 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2017 12:31PM
Hi Savvas, welcome to the Critique Gallery and ( a few months late) to the site. I guess you know what this bit of the site is about, we try to give advice on both the taking and the processing of images.

I read your About page, you say you are searching. Also you are practising photography in less than ideal circumstances. Both of those give an edge, a sense of uncertainty, anxiety. It's here these portraits. Thanks for telling us what you see, and what you were trying to convey.

Looking at them individually, I find the middle image the most personal, intimate, private. The first is a little bit self-conscious, deliberately avoiding eye contact. In the second your friend is searching too, for memories perhaps. I sense anxiety about the future in that one. When the viewer sees a leftward direction that suggests memories of the past, regrets.

The final portrait is the simplest, the most direct. It's good but I see far more complex issues in the other two.

In all three the light is harsh, and I suspect that's deliberate, this is uncompromising, raw portraiture. But there are distracting highlights on the tip of the nose in the first too, and I find the lighting as a whole in the final portrait rather distracting.

Going in close like this raises questions over where to cut off. Portraits don't necessarily needs tops of heads, and eyes work best when around 1/3 of the distance from the top of the frame because that puts them on the viewer's eye-level - for direct communication. But I think faces need chins as support for the features, and I'm not sure about the cut off ear on the left of the main image. It draws my eyes away from the face.

I'm going to take a close look at the middle image. I want to crop tighter, to get rid of the bits of ear and coller, about half the forehead and some of the space on the right. Then even out the lighting a bit.

And then I reckon this is crying out for b&w.

These are just suggestions. Ways that you could develop your approach if you want to.

Modifications will appear under the blue Modifications button below your upload, click on the number to view.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2462 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2017 12:49PM
I've uploaded two quick efforts, based on the middle image. For the first I cropped tighter, to a square, and toned down highlights particularly on the nose.

The second is a b&w conversion with a bit of dark vignette. The effect may be too 'arty', less truthful.

Thanks for these portraits, serious, thought-provoking work. I should have mentioned though, in the Critique Gallery it's best if you stick to one picture at a time!
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4272 Canada
25 Jan 2017 2:14PM
This is a suberb portrait. The original is my favourite.

I have uploaded a mod of the original, which has exposure increased,


pablophotographer 10 1.9k 411
25 Jan 2017 4:52PM
I like your version where this gentleman is looking to the left of the frame.
Unfortunately all of your pictures, to my opinion, are very harsh as portraits.
It seems that the lens extended to 100mm at 2x magnification is a toooooo much close for proper portraits. Or alternatively you have to walk even more far away from your sitter/model.
I am not happy to see a part of the ear missing, along with his jaw, just because he has a skin condition (which is associated with ageing). You had the chance to include his neck, his hair, his ears and jaw in the picture. Why you did such a close up is a mystery to me. Was he happy with his pictures?
I think you could go as wide as 45mm and with the effective magnification of x2 you would be near 90mm not bad for a portrait shot, you get close to his face but not too close on him.
I would also suggest you practice shooting portraits vertically rather than horizontally. Head, neck, chest.
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2017 5:04PM
Good work with strong sharp images giving significant impact and demanding attention. Others should look and learn what a sharp portrait looks like. Your version 1, the side view is significantly the best - the side view. I wonder if the bottom crop is just a touch too much but you have done really well. I would stay with colour, although I can see the mono works, but such male portraits need to be strong, stark and sharp to give that impact and that is what you have done.

Savvas511 4 158 Cyprus
25 Jan 2017 7:00PM
Good evening all,
I really appreciate your work you have done for my photos here. Its first time that I requested critique and I am amazed with how much attention and professionalism you all showed in your comments and modifications you attached.
Dear Willie and Moira, thanks really for your effort to downsize the tragic figure of the portrait, the version 1. I understand your way of thinking , you are trying to reduce the impact that such a face has on every one. My intention was exactly the opposite, I did not try and I did not want to soften the face, I used the raw image straight from the camera on the original and version 1 and on the version 2 I again did not soften the tones and I DID NOT alter the skin imperfections, scars and wrinkles , I just cropped that to the degree that yes I agree with you Moira that it became too harsh for both reasons you mentions, you was quite right saying that zooming to 100mm ( 200 equivalent ) and getting as close as possible and not stopping there, coming back and cropping tightly on the face it makes things complex.
Yes the light was coming directly on him and not at an angle since it was natural light from outdoors coming inside and the sun was very low at that time in the morning ..
I Uploaded a third version, this is the ORIGINAL photo from which the 2nd version was cropped so tightly. Paul you understood exactly what I was thinking , YES I wanted to capture exactly the present condition of this man, to reflect the sadness in his eyes in the photo and to emphasise it using low angle light directly on his face to lighten even his smallest wrinkle and show his full negative impact on the viewer who in this case its us. Paul thank you very much for understanding me.
Please look at this one, use your experience and go ahead crop it how you would do by following all the rules for correct portrait photography, which as it seems I have overlooked.

Thanks again for your help, its exciting to interact with so many people at once and work on the photo that I created using more of instinct than photographic knowledge. Actually none of the other photos that I uploaded so far have any kind of post production done, they are all raw images straight from the camera. I know I should get down and learn at least the basics for making my photos more presentable, Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Savvas Stavrinos
mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2462 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2017 9:18PM
Thanks for your feedback. But I'm going to disagree on one point in particular.

Quote:Dear Willie and Moira, thanks really for your effort to downsize the tragic figure of the portrait, the version 1. I understand your way of thinking , you are trying to reduce the impact that such a face has on every one.

No. That's not how I see it. I see it as about seeing below the surface rather than lingering on that surface. But we all see differently.

The Critique Gallery is about seeing one's own work through the eyes of others. That's how we learn to communicate what we feel so that others will feel it.

dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1879 England
25 Jan 2017 9:31PM
Hi, Savvas, and welcome from me, too.

This is really wonderful and uncompromising portraiture. You have shown us a little of Mahaveer's soul, and it hurts. You won't let us look away, and neither will he.

The long zoom setting is fine: it's not conventional, but it works, and gives a real distance between us and Mahaveer. We are not close to him - but we can empathise, a bit.

The direct look, your last version, is good - but the original post and the almost furtive look of V1 (and hte effect's heightened by cropping the ear and chin) are superlative. If you repost either i nthe main gallery, you're in contention for an award or two, I think.
nonur 12 18 13 Turkey
26 Jan 2017 1:00PM
The eyes have it all, I like Moira's mono mod best.
pablophotographer 10 1.9k 411
26 Jan 2017 11:53PM
I have aligned parallel to your inner thought Savvas. I know it is not nice to be living with marks like that. I know too now that you would like to cause some stir with it so I thought of a frame that does not contain one eye, adding more mystery I suppose, or fear.
Savvas511 4 158 Cyprus
27 Jan 2017 6:43AM
Thanks Pablo photographer for your modification . It's inspiring and educating your attempt to escape from the ordinary specially when the subject itself is already out of the ordinary.
It has come to my understanding that with this unique approach only fascinating results can be achieved.
Thanks again
Savvas Stavrinos
29 Jan 2017 6:43AM
Excellent work.

Prem Jeet
8 Feb 2017 3:28PM
A really fine portrait.


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