Back Modifications (4)
Views: 103 (28 Unique) 
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By bias  
WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.” ― W.B. Yeats, The Collected Poems

Tags: Black and white Portraits and people

Voters: MattB1987, fandangofandingo, woolybill1 and 11 more

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woolybill1 Plus
11 23 72 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2013 9:01AM
'Quand vous serez bien vieille, au soir, à la chandelle,
Assise aupres du feu, devidant et filant,
Direz, chantant mes vers, en vous esmerveillant :
Ronsard me celebroit du temps que j'estois belle.'

Ronsard got there first!

Technically an excellent monochrome character study, the background well out of focus to avoid too much distraction. The deep black line could do with fading, though.
I feel that a less central placement of the subject would work even better.

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bias 5 Belgium
25 Feb 2013 9:10AM
thank you Bill!Sonnets pour Hélène that was the be honest I have never read Ronsard till today, but I will...
and thank you for your suggestion. normally I place my subject following the rules Wink...but this time I wanted to break the rules.sometimes it works,sometimes not. Smile
in anyway, I really appreciate your comments...
Richsr 11 91 223 England
25 Feb 2013 9:55AM
Like the good details in this portrait study, good one
Regards Richard
bias 5 Belgium
25 Feb 2013 10:05AM
thank you Richard!! cheers!
richmowil Plus
9 352 2 England
25 Feb 2013 10:33AM
Light and details are super - Nice Image!! I like it a lot!!
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
25 Feb 2013 11:18AM
I second Bill's comments, cropping the LHS would probably give you a better result. Crop slightly beyond the vertical black line and you'll end up with a vertically oriented portrait without the existing technical problems. Would have uploaded a mod for you if I could, but mods are disabled. Let me know if you enable them and I'll upload a mod.

Regardless, nice shot and well done.
bias 5 Belgium
25 Feb 2013 11:39AM
hi Alistair! thank you for your kind comments and for your personal touch.I am looking forward to see your version.I will set the moods...right away! Smile
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
25 Feb 2013 11:42AM
Thanks, will upload it once modifications are switched to on. I changed the image to duo-tone, to give it a more nostalgic, sepia-like feel, cropped off heavily from the left and added a bit of canvas at the bottom part of the picture to line her closest eye on the top left-third intersection. The aspect ratio is now 8x10.

Hope you like.
bias 5 Belgium
25 Feb 2013 11:50AM
very nice done! thank you! I love it! be honest I knew I miss something but I did not figure out what!
nice work!thanks again!
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
25 Feb 2013 12:02PM
Glad you like. If you're new to photography, or never read some theory on the subject, you may wish to read up on some guidelines to effective compositions, like the "rule of thirds" or the concept of "negative space", and see how you can apply this to portraits. In my modification, I addressed the "missing something" you referred to by using the lessons learned from the "rule of thirds" and the idea of having negative space in the area where the person was looking (right hand side of the image).

Google's your friend for more detail, but in brief, a wiki-search yields this result for the RULE OF THIRDS: "The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections". Negative space, in turn, "is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image." In your case, the negative space is the background that's visible on the RHS of my mod, and on both LHS and RHS on your original.

(I'll upload a mod showing clearly the rule of thirds and how I used it, and marking the negative space.)
bias 5 Belgium
25 Feb 2013 12:30PM
I know the theory and generally I try to respect the rule of thirds or golden ratio...but this time I have tried to break those rules...Smile and it did not work anyway, I appreciate your comment and especially that your help Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2013 12:45PM
To crop or not to crop, that is the question. (Well Bill got in ahead of me with quoting ...)
I'm not so sure. The space on the left is somewhat distracting, unsettling, but in a way I prefer that to the 'classic' look. Alistair's Mods create a deeply satisfying portrait that make me feel that I know the lady, but don't necessarily make me want to ask more. She's sitting back, looking out at the world with wise eyes.
In the original there's a sense of unrest, tension, she's trying to move out of the frame, she has other things on her mind. From your use of Yeats I suspect that that's not what you intended though, and it's communicating your intention that matters.
Placement and the use of space can work so subtly on the mind. If you are interested in composition can I recommend a wonderful book which may still be available on Amazon, The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman. It explores these mysteries, shows how different crops, different proportions can create totally different effects. I have to say that he doesn't mention the Rule of Thirds once. It's something that you need to know about - in order to decide when to use it and when not to.
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
25 Feb 2013 1:06PM
Moira's right about the different mood in the original and my mod, have to agree there.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
25 Feb 2013 2:05PM
Its a nice shot. Stick with the original suggestion to remove the dark crack in the wall, and a crop to landscape A4 to add a little space on the right does the trick for me. What a closer crops misses is that slight angle to her stance that gives her "attitude"!

Mod uploaded.

mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2013 2:46PM
Bill and I have been discussing this, I've uploaded a Mod which is simply an alternative way of seeing her. It avoids the central placement but gives her a sense of moving forward into the frame, and also allows her space to move into.
bias 5 Belgium
25 Feb 2013 2:48PM
guys you're amazing! I appreciate you're comments!Moira, great tip, I will look for that book.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
25 Feb 2013 3:14PM
A lively discussion! I think "attitude" is removed when you crop any part from the left, and the dynamic changes completely IMO. And for me, shes not looking out of the frame completely at all, her gaze is somewhat forward rather than straight out. Picky maybe? Discuss!

alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
25 Feb 2013 7:42PM
Hehe, this photo really stirred some discussion. This is ePHOTOzine at its best I guess! I like Moira's mod too - it does retain the character and place her in a less central position. I'd give it my star! Wink
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
25 Feb 2013 7:46PM

Quote:A lively discussion! I think "attitude" is removed when you crop any part from the left, and the dynamic changes completely IMO. And for me, shes not looking out of the frame completely at all, her gaze is somewhat forward rather than straight out. Picky maybe? Discuss!


By "forward", you mean she's looking at the photographer? I still can't see a "forward" glance in there, to me the lady's looking towards the right hand side, not entirely to the right, but more to the right than to the left, which brings me to argue, in the traditional sense, that some space on the right would help.

However, the original placement with the eyes on top, right hand third, gives attitude, and I agree with you there, by showing the lady in a position where it's as if she couldn't be bothered with the picture as her mind is elsewhere. It looks less of a posed portrait this way and introduces more mystery. Is this the same thing you saw when you said attitude, Willie?
bias 5 Belgium
25 Feb 2013 7:56PM
ephotozine is really great! I am happy I have discovered it !!
I was just notified that this picture won at the supporters section for the best shoot from 23rd on photoplusextract (it is not publicity for another magazine, just the link to take a look on the cropped version)...I have posted ion G+ couple of days ago when I was playing with it in Lightroom...afterwards I have changed it to nearly original size. here is the link,if you wish to see it:

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