Back Modifications (2)
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By dusfim
Another light sculpting practice to improve the technic.

Tags: Still life General Light painting

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chase Plus
16 2.2k 578 England
17 Oct 2020 5:10PM
Hi Mario.
This one, for me just isn't working quite right.
The first thing that struck me was the very bright line on the horizon, I darkened it in my mod.
The Music score seems to be the odd piece out here, I can't seem to connect it with the other things. A pipe, hat, matches, glasses and camera ( nice one too) yes I can all relate to and they do tell a story of the owner.
Signature over the music ...don't think that is a great idea, sorry.
It seems all a bit too bright, especially on the top of the hat and to some extent on the bg.

I did do a mod..
Lightened up the darkest side of the camera
Darkened the bg
Converted to sRGB, that's quite important for displaying on the web.
Added a little sharpening as I'm not sure that this is all in focus, particularly on the glasses and the music.

This one is not floating my boat Mario, I'm really sorry.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
17 Oct 2020 5:11PM
Hi, Mario, and welcome back again.

To my eyes, this doesn't come across as particularly sculpted: it's nicely, evenly lit, and that's perfectly appropriate. There's an atmosphere of the Nineteen Fifties - a gentler time, I think, than ours is.

The camera is a very different variant from the one that I've handled, and none the worse for that. The matches and the pipe suggest an affable, middle-aged man.

I think that there's scope for a tiny bit of change in the composition, including all of the music - or, perhaps, excluding it entirely. I can see that excluding both it and the glasses would leave a simpler, more compact image, and one with greater unity of theme and intent.

A modification would be complicated, because of the pattern on the tablecloth (which isn't a bad thing: again, it strongly suggests a past era).
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2020 5:22PM
Hi Mario, I haven't commented on your recent uploads because the technique is outside my experience. But I find this one fascinating. You are creating a character, I am trying to imagine the man. A pipe-smoking, Brownie-using musician; the panama hat says cricket. So a man of private, quiet, leisurely pursuits.

Now... Your 3x2 landscape format is classic Still Life but it doesn't have the intimacy that I see in this set-up. It's too broad, detached, objective. I have added a tighter crop, it omits the spectacles (I can assume that he would need them, I guess I don't need to see them...) but for me it conveys the intimacy that is lacking in the full frame. It becomes a private, secluded world rather than a display.

The light on the hat works, the lighter background on the right doesn't work for me so I darkened what was left of that bit of background. I slightly burned in the musical notation bottom right. I lifted shadows overall very slightly. And one other change. I got rid of a little white blob in the background between the camera and the hat, and also the bit of table top and hat brim showing through. Logically they are there, but I found that area distracting. You have placed the camera and hat so that there is a tiny gap between them, I think I would prefer overlapping or else a larger gap.

Just random thoughts, I do find this one intriguing!

EDIT - I type much more slowly than Janet and John...
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
17 Oct 2020 5:38PM
No, Moira. You did the edit first...
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
17 Oct 2020 9:40PM
The white hat is very prominent and my eye goes straight to it. While the hat is part of the story as it stands it's overwhelming.

The 'character' you're portraying may well have won the hat but it's the camera, pipe etc, that have the interest, so I'd go for lrss light on the hat and more on the camera etc.

The pipe merges into the hat somewhat so I think there needs to be some reaarangemewnt of the items, the hat more in the background and the pipe and camera more centre stage.
Of course, we all have our own ideas on juxtapositions (and I don't claim to be good at findng arrangemets!) but like Janet this, as it stands, doesn't work for me.
dusfim 11 Malta
21 Oct 2020 10:28AM
Hi all,
Thanks to all for your Mods and comments.

Memories consists of memories of my grandfather that he used to have. I admit that the hat is to bright and catch the eyes as it is the main subject.

Regarding the lighting also when going true your comments,I can see exactly the mistakes that the photo consist. Sometimes I become confused If I should keep doing light sculpting or not. If i surrender it be a shame on me. I decided to stop for a while and start all over again in the coming days.

Thanks to all for your constructive critique which helps to improve.
Stay safe and take care.


dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
21 Oct 2020 3:28PM
Hi again, Mario -

Thank you for the extra information... That makes a big difference: most people assemble props to create a mood, while you have brought things together that - for you - are associated by belonging to one person. So this is what might be called an 'absent portrait'. It's a tribute to a relative.

That justifies the diversity of the props, and makes the question for us 'how can I get the visual cohesion to match the idea in my mind. I shall think about this a bit more now!
chase Plus
16 2.2k 578 England
21 Oct 2020 5:07PM
Thanks for your response Mario, memories are always good to capture.

As far as your light sculpting is concerned, sometimes it's good to take a break from some things, re-engage your mind and revisit at a later time.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
22 Oct 2020 4:56PM
I've been thinking about this, and here's a suggestion. It probably won't work, but I'll make it anyway.

A simpler background - maybe let the red cloth fade to black behind.

Start with the score. Put it in the centre of the frame, at the same angle as it's at now.

Then add the hat and camera on either side. Propping the camera on the matchbox is a rather good idea, linking them, and displaying the front.

Have the matches, though, on the cloth, not the score.

Finally, add the pipe and glasses. The angles they are at in this shot are fine, but I'd like to keep a bit of separation. And while I don't know what your Grandfather did, I put my glasses on a flat surface lenses up, to avoid scratching. That might give interesting effects with the score seen through them.

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