Back Modifications (4)
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By Ben200  
I am trying to develop my portraiture skills. I hoped this captured the 'had enough' end of the afternoon feeling of this market trader who had all but sold out of his produce and maybe felt sold out himself too. The faces of the pigs added to the ambiance - he was selling pork products and the colours in the fore ground gave some life to the scene but the sauces were also sold out.

Tags: Markets Market stall Portraits and people

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banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4174 Canada
12 Mar 2017 3:44PM
I would say this is more of an environmental shot, showing the man in his element, than a portrait. Its quite well done, and in this case that direct look at the camera is appropriate. He looks very satisfied with himself!

You didnt shoot this direct on, meaning the camera want paralle with the subjects background, gicing a tilt effect. The right side of the lens being a little closer to the left; not easy to catch unless you look for it.

You sensibly applied a +1, however it looks like it needs a little more.

The mods, - one is a mono, have these corrections applied so you can see what I mean.


mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2289 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2017 4:32PM
The image and the individual are quirky and characterful. Having the pig and cow as sort of backing group adds to what was already a strong face.

The decisions were over framing. I do wish you had included the whole of the lettering at the top. I'm finding myself side-tracked by trying to work out what it says... On the other hand, while the picket fencing at the front provides a neat baseline, for me there's too much foreground.

So I want a tighter crop, more about the face with just enough context, rather than overwhelming him with information. And definitely b&w.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2289 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2017 4:55PM
Interesting to compare this with Tom's CG upload today , by the way.

It's an area of photography that I love. It's real.
pablophotographer 9 1.7k 389
12 Mar 2017 6:15PM

Quote: I'm finding myself side-tracked by trying to work out what it says... Moira

It says Savin Hill Farm

pamelajean Plus
14 1.4k 2164 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2017 7:36PM
I went to my Farmer's Market today, Stephen, so I found this particularly amusing. I love the man's expression and the posters behind him. Maybe I'll take my camera the next time I go.
I like the way the man sits inbetween the pig and cow....just right. All three of them are looking at us!

I like Moira's modification because it contains all the elements necessary, and excludes the part-sign and fence.

pablophotographer 9 1.7k 389
13 Mar 2017 2:31AM

Quote:I would say this is more of an environmental shot, showing the man in his element, than a portrait.

Hello Ben. I think your picture reminds me the work of a great photographer Milton Rogovin, who passed away a couple of years ago. He is considered to be the photographer of the people who would not have been otherwise photographed, having shot workers in mills and factories. I wonder how I come and not mentioned him on my blog. His site is here the page takes you directly to what I would call ''portraits of working people, in their working environments''.

I would also like to share my thoughts on the picture which come from understanding the subject itself rather than the technicalities of the picture. This chap looks quite a character to me, natural poser Smile I think he sits below a sort of orange tent, you are the only one who can confirm this, (please). I noticed his face is far more too orange than the hands, unless, this is a mistake of self tanning lotion applied wrongly.
Use of the word ''apply'' actually reminds me of the issue of ''application'' -not a software programme actually' but more in a legal terminology. Why?
As I am looking at the picture I see two cute farm animals, the pig and the sheep. Their picture looks like having a sepia tone nearing a ''warm'' mud colour. Mud suits the pig nicely. Poor sheep. ''MEAT IS MURDER'' comes to mind. Murder,and stains from blood. Yes, that thick juice with the RED COLOUR,as we say Pork and lamb are RED meat. only a catatonic would not jump when a needle goes intramuscularly into their flesh. Take a breath now. Do you understand what I am talking about? Yes, exactly: COLOUR. Why on earth would you let blood been displayed in black and white? As the vane gets cut that warm fluid splashes the room. COLOUR!
Now let's sit on our desks and discuss if black and white colouring is applicable to such a universe of jars of mustard, brown sauce and ketchup, red metal canisters of butane, blue tableclothes and read meat tarts and an orange faced dandy-looking butcher,
Trust me I am an advocate of black and white, I choose to shoot straight in black and white in my digital camera (not a Leica Monochrome) and my fridge is still stocked with black and white film - because I have not stopped shooting film since the advent of the digital - but I think it is applicable where and when it makes sense. Can you imagine Whoopi Goldberg applying fake tan on herself?
pablophotographer 9 1.7k 389
13 Mar 2017 2:36AM
And keep the fences up, (and in the farem!)this has to look like a farm Smile
Put barbed wires at your will and it will look like the American and Mexican border.
pablophotographer 9 1.7k 389
13 Mar 2017 2:37AM
please read farem as frame. my fingers can act as dyslexic P
Robert51 12 7 108 United Kingdom
13 Mar 2017 8:33AM
I like the image and these type of stalls are a great place to find the people with larger than character.

The image itself has a few things that can be adjusted as stated above. The exposure being the main one, also the fence does not add to the image and will pull the eye down. As I didn't want to crop the sides I went for a 16x9 which works with the background.

Ben200 12
13 Mar 2017 10:00AM
Thanks for the comments. I think they demonstrate a diversity of opinions which add to the interest.
My response:

1. I think Pablo has it right on colour. Whilst black and white makes for a strong image the sepia tones add something which is lost in b&w.
2. I have a tendency to under expose although I do wonder if a lighter tone would have lost some depth.
3. is it or is it not a portrait? I think if it is cropped it definitely is, however, cropping makes it a wholly different picture. The setting is as March a part of the original image as the person. So was it a portrait? Not sure.
4. Framing: I was aware that losing the words was potentially irritating - sorry about that. I am quite self conscious taking this type of picture and want to get it over quickly! I think the fencing does add something but equally I get the over framed point.

dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 707 England
13 Mar 2017 7:58PM
Yes it is a portrait (as it shows an identifiable person), an environmental portrait (that person in their surroundings, at their work).

I like the idea of using the fence as a frame and to give the image a little more depth but in a way it acts as a barrier and prefer to see it cropped out. However, it's the cut off lettering that is a bigger issue for me.

Nevertheless, a well seen and taken image.
paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2017 9:39AM
Of course it's a portrait. It is a recorded likeness of a living thing, thus it is a portrait. An environmental portrait, the subject depicted in natural complimentary surroundings.

I rather like the general image, but it is a touch underexposed and thus a touch dark. easily corrected in software. Loose the fence top across the bottom, a real distraction. Don't assume it holds the image in, it distracts.

Then a smart sharpen. high ISO softens images. A touch of sharpening brings it back and a touch of crisp grain can add to such images.

well done in general, just a bit of finishing. I often under expose by 1/3 to 1/2 stop on purpose. dead easy to correct, much more so than over exposure, and you protect detail in brighter areas.

dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1735 England
14 Mar 2017 7:00PM
I wish you'd aimed higher, so we could read the poster easily!

The fence is, indeed, a distraction - so are half-letters...

Try auto exposure, and always shoot RAW as well as JPG, and review histograms after taking, then adjust the compensation, if necessary - this will sort exposure, I think. Manual is hard work, because you need to interpret the reading hte camera gives, not just set it.

However, if you set your camera to show the effect of settings in the viewfinder, as you can with all CSC bodies, you will get due warning of poor exposure, I suspect.

But that's a matter for further discussion, maybe... Come back to us if you need or want to!

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