Back Modifications (3)
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Stone Village Children

By featuredteacher
A shot from travels. This was taken in an ancient village in Yangshou county, Guangxi China.

Photo taken using Fuji 6500fd, in aperture priority mode, at 1:5.6 , ISO 100 , 1/60 secs , flash overridden . No post editing used.

ALL comments and criticism is deeply appreciated.

Tags: Travel China Landscape and travel Guilin Portraits and people

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.

Comments


devlin 5 652 39 India
23 Jun 2010 2:01PM
Its a really happy shot, i liked the expressions on the kids faces, though i felt the focus to be a bit soft...also the bucket and bike on the sides of the images serve as distractions have done a tight crop and cloned out the bike in the modification uploaded to give the kids more emphasis in the shot.Smile, looking at the pic again i feel the background draws the eye first rather than the kids, maybe a good idea to see if you want to crop out the background and also clone out the kid in the back Smile

Hope this helps

Cheers

Prabh

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NEWMANP 8 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
23 Jun 2010 2:29PM
i like the idea placing the kids in their surroundings grotty though they are interesting too.

there is a little too much modern rubbish right side to be a distraction but the far and mid distance look really interesting. i think that getting lower down, nearer to the same level as the 3 kids would have made a stronger link and id have moved them round to the left to get them away from the right of the image and waste rubbish as it currently stands.

the expressions are great though
Phil
frz67 6 10 32 Italy
23 Jun 2010 3:50PM
I'd like to add some considerations.
I mostly agree with the comments already made regarding composition (different POV, use of a different lens to avoid wall distortion, etc...) with an exception: I would not get rid of the garbage either digitally or by making move the four kids.
In Focus_man mod everything is "perfect" (no garbage on the right, no half old motorcycle on the left) but the original message is completely upset.
It seems that the kids are happy in a decent enviroment, whereas in the original picture the message was even stronger: we are happy, regardless of the enviroment we live.
In fact my eye is distracted by the surrounding, but it comes always back to the beautiful smiles of the kids.
I'd consider this picture as reportage or photojournalism showing different life conditions, in which the message has to be stronger than compositional rules (which, I know, are really important in photography).
In other words, I'd prefer to close a bit my eyes on compositional and aesthetics rules rather than on the social and human messagge of this picture.
best regards
francesco
AnneWorner 8 620 43 United States
23 Jun 2010 3:59PM
I agree with Francesco about leaving the background as is. It's an environmental shot, showing the conditions is part of what it's about. If this were meant as strictly portraiture, then yes, declutter the image.

Possibly, a wider aperture would have thrown the background a bit more out of focus. However, I see that you use a Fuji FinePix, and I believe the sensor is so small that most things are in focus no matter how wide the aperture. I tend to shoot in Aperture mode when I use my Finepix. I always set it at 2.8 and adjust the exposure by using exposure compensation. I think your FinePix also has this capability.

Finally, I do agree on one important thing: when shooting children, get down on their level. It just makes the photo more
engaging.

Make it a great day,

Anne
24 Jun 2010 2:57AM
Thanks for these critiques guys. It's helped me re-assess the picture for a range of different things. I agree that the rubbish is distracting, but I also consider it an integral part of the picture in some respects. The debate is interesting: aesthetics vs accuracy of depiction. Actually, modern rubbish is a huge problem in this part of rural China (as no organised collection system exists in the vast and remote regions), rubbish is everywhere and this has become a major social concern. So, on reflection I think it might be best left in. But I hadn't thought of this before, and the variety of criticsm has really helped.

I initially stood to get that path in the background, but looking at the final result I too wish I had crouched. Thanks for the tip!

wefi - my fuji has apature priority, unfortunately at wide angle (which this was) nothing ever really gets knocked out of focus - which is partly why I've been working on including interesting backgrounds!
AnneWorner 8 620 43 United States
24 Jun 2010 7:26AM
Yeah, this is a problem with these cameras with the smaller sensors. You could blur out backgrounds with PhotoShop or some other photo editing software. But, knowing the limitations of your particular camera will help you chose your subjects. Smile
Anne
woodlark 12 538 1 United Kingdom
29 Dec 2010 5:39PM
You wont have a problem when you get your Nikon and loads of lenses.

Anyway what about a B+W mod which draws your eyes firstly to the children and then their surroundings.

Ps....Love the shot !!!

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