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Street Worker

By devlin
The Image is of a Sex Worker, as i was walking around the township, her expression and body language caught my eye and i had to be quick to capture it. So...does this work from a composition perspective, do you think it tells a story...does B&W work better than the color (V2). Any other feedback as usual is always welcome

Tags: Photo journalism General Black and white 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


16 Feb 2013 8:54AM
Very expressive face! Looks like a bit angry!!! Stunning colours and light, but works very well in b-w
Effrossini

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devlin 7 653 39 India
16 Feb 2013 8:58AM
thx Effrossini, yes she does appear angry its what caught my attention initially before i took the shot...
franken Plus
15 4.5k 4 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 9:22AM
B&W for me -superb!

Ken
Fogey 4 96 13 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 10:08AM
Firstly, I think this is an excellent 'grab' shot and while I appreciate that speed was of the essence, this has, (kindly meant), led to a failure in composition, in my view.

Having looked at both the colour and monochrome, the image is better served in black and white, as the outline of the navel beneath the dress is more apparent in the latter.

I also like the tactile feel that the B&W gives regarding the stonework, which merely emphasises the tough life this unfortunate woman is undergoing. The story is there in spades.

The biggest improvement for the overall image, in my opinion, would be to have the subject placed more to the right of the frame, so that the facial expression is reinforced by giving the subject room 'to look into', allowing the viewer to wonder at what made this woman so angry; or is it just a reflection of the tough life these women have?

A very evocative image. Well done.
iancrowson Plus
7 211 146 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 10:41AM
Good capture. This picture tells a story which makes it interesting.
I prefer the colour version because the contrast of the bright dress makes her stand out from her poor surroundings - exactly what street workers the world over aims to do - catch the attention of their customers. The lovely coloured dress looks nice against the rusty metal wall.
I personally don't mind where she is in the frame. If you had framed more space to the left it would have been a very bright area creating exposure/contrast problems. This is candid street photography, the emphasis is on the subject and story not composition.
The BW is very good too, her face shows more expression and she looks as though she hates being there.
Take your choice, BW or Colour both very good.
Ian
parob 7 3 74 France
16 Feb 2013 10:53AM
Obviously, you've caught a stunning portrait, expression and body language. B&W works best in this case. Now, to say your composition clearly expresses your title, I am not certain. It is true that the presence of graffiti speaks of the setting, but is it enough? Should you have shown more of the street, would a different angle worked better, perhaps. This is a difficult question because you obviously wanted to tell a story, and you ended up with a portrait. Some aspects need to be sorted out. The left edge of the picture catches most of the light and shows details that might be superfluous, though they pique my curiosity (what is on the left side, does it contribute to the overall setting, is it the cause of the angry look?). A slight crop might help so as to balance out both background sides. This would eliminate eliminate the very harsh highlights. I quite understand the difficulty here, street photography and portrait photography share certain elements, but they do express different things. Regardless, you have a good eye. I must congratulate you and encourage you in your photography quest. Cheers,
Paul
devlin 7 653 39 India
16 Feb 2013 12:15PM
Thx Jeff / Ian / Paul / Ken - Appreciate all the feedback, some food for thought there and i must think upon the various points touched Smile I should have mentioned though that the Lady was leaning against a corner of the building and beyond that was the open street on the right with a very bright sun shining given potential blown highlights issue i opted for the frame as we see it now Smile
iancrowson Plus
7 211 146 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 12:20PM
You'r lucky to have the problems caused by bright sunshine.
Street photography (candid) is one of the most difficult areas of photography, you have to tell a story, interest the viewer and set the scene in an image that is usually captured very quickly.
Ian
Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
16 Feb 2013 12:46PM
Hi Prabh.

It's the colour version for me for the same reasons that Ian has outlined above.
The B/W one, for all its gritty earthiness just doesn't have the same impact. It works in its own right but offers less of a message.
With regard to the composition, my views on the so-called 'rules' are well documented and as long as an image gives the result you were you're looking for when you took it, then it matters not-a-jot whether the subject is on a third, looking into the frame, to the left or right, or otherwise, etc.

Bren.
Fogey 4 96 13 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 1:58PM

Quote:Thx Jeff / Ian / Paul / Ken - Appreciate all the feedback, some food for thought there and i must think upon the various points touched Smile I should have mentioned though that the Lady was leaning against a corner of the building and beyond that was the open street on the right with a very bright sun shining given potential blown highlights issue i opted for the frame as we see it now Smile


Had that been me taking the shot, I would have taken a second shot, exposing for the bright street and merged the two in post processing.

As for the comments on the 'so called rules', I agree rules are there to be broken. However, the rule of thirds does lead to a more aesthetically pleasing image as does following the Golden Ratio.
devlin 7 653 39 India
16 Feb 2013 2:16PM

Quote:Had that been me taking the shot, I would have taken a second shot, exposing for the bright street and merged the two in post processing.

As for the comments on the 'so called rules', I agree rules are there to be broken. However, the rule of thirds does lead to a more aesthetically pleasing image as does following the Golden Ratio.



Ahhhh that's a new one for me ...will keep it in mind for the future....thx again....
Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
16 Feb 2013 3:07PM

Quote:However, the rule of thirds does lead to a more aesthetically pleasing image as does following the Golden Ratio.

Does it though?
This is one of the points with which I frequently disagree.
An image can be technically perfect but it will only be as good aesthetically as the viewer believes it to be. In other words, if applying those 'rules' makes your image more pleasing in your eyes, then it's worked but that same image could be just as pleasing if the 'rules' weren't applied.
It's all completely subjective.
Personally, I never deliberately apply any of the 'rules.' although I am obviously aware of them and I rarely look for them in other people's images.

B.
Fogey 4 96 13 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 4:06PM
The Golden Ratio has been used by artists, musical composers, architects, sculptors and the like since the 1300's, so there must be something in it.
Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
16 Feb 2013 4:18PM
This is going to go around in circles!
I know about the golden ratio, as I do about the other 'rules.'
The fact that it or they are and have been in use for donkeys doesn't mean that we should all adhere to them.
As I've said, if people want to use them, that's fine but it's their choice.
All of these so-called 'rules' are, in reality, merely suggestions and as such, are completely subjective.
iancrowson Plus
7 211 146 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 6:33PM
If I saw this photo (in colour or BW) in a magazine I would stop and take a second look. It jumps out and tells a story. My thoughts are this that is a candid, an of the moment "street photo", the interest is in the subject and the composition is much less important.
It's extremely skill full to capture THAT moment and get a get a perfect composition.
I don't claim to be good at street photography but one bit of advice i can offer is NOT to frame tightly, modern cameras have so many pixels so a recomposed cropped image of good quality is possible.
Ian
paulbroad 10 123 1198 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 8:19PM
Does it look right. Never mind rules! Does it LOOK right. I prefer the figure on the right, looking left into space. To me, that looks right. The red is too much for me and the mono version is very good indeed. For me, keep it mono, but different composition.

Paul
devlin 7 653 39 India
17 Feb 2013 6:50AM
Thx guys...some very interesting points there Smile

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