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The Tests of Time

By TommyStr
This lady I met in Bundi only had one expression. But what an expression..

This is the kind of shot I was hoping to get in India. I do have my niggles (the light wasn't great either), but imperfections included, well, it's my personal favourite from the trip.

Don't let that stop you from giving honest feedback/critique.

Thanks for looking (please view this one large)

Tags: India Black and white Old lady Landscape and travel Portraits and people

Voters: POOCHIE, EmmaG_M, imander and 31 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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POOCHIE 14 21 6 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2008 9:41AM
Wow! what a lovely shot , superb capture Tommy and a nice B&W conversion too.

EmmaG_M 12 136 4 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2008 9:45AM
Fantastic! You've really got something here, I love the wrinkles on her face they look really etched in.
imander 13 388 7 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2008 9:53AM
the face of wisdom and experience, really touching image
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
22 Jan 2008 9:57AM
Cheers Pooch, thanks Emma and Ian too.

(btw, did you notice the guy in the bg?)
funkeldink 16 1.6k 1 Australia
22 Jan 2008 10:08AM
NevP 15 853 13 Canada
22 Jan 2008 2:18PM
I like it very much.
clevercloggs 16 244 11 Netherlands
22 Jan 2008 3:16PM
good image, the vignetting is very effective
Not sure about the cropped head but that is a niggle
AnneWorner 12 620 43 United States
22 Jan 2008 3:29PM
That's the face of age, poverty and suffering. It's a really moving piece of work. Excellent dof. What's with the guy in the background?
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
22 Jan 2008 4:09PM
He was just seated there, he might be a family members. I was originally shooting a street blacksmith with a lot of people (family?) seated aroud him and his business. Then this lady became interested and came over. For me he just adds extra interest to the shot. A generation or two later he might be in her shoes..

Thanks everyone
AnneWorner 12 620 43 United States
22 Jan 2008 4:12PM
Thanks Tommy - and undoubtedly he will be in her shoes.
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
22 Jan 2008 4:19PM I can't remember if she had shoes Wink
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
22 Jan 2008 4:25PM

Quote:Not sure about the cropped head but that is a niggle

Thanks Robert. That was one thing I thought would be a niggle for some. I personally don't mind the head though (I continiously shoot portraits cropped like this), I was more worried about the chopped hand. And the highlights (some I tried to burn a little).
22 Jan 2008 4:38PM
How fantastic is this !!! you nearly had my user award with the little schoolgirl, and this is again a (very) strong contender. The cropped hand hardly bothers me, and since the hand is cropped at the bottom, I think the crop on top works very well. Compensation and all that. Basically, I don't have any niggles and love everything about this photo.
I hope pssssewwww...sshhhht... Pete.... ppppssspwwww.... EC..... swwwww (better I just whisper it Smile )
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
22 Jan 2008 4:48PM
Thanks Koen Smile Smile
22 Jan 2008 4:48PM
feels very "silent movie" like btw
User_Removed 14 7 8 Netherlands
22 Jan 2008 5:53PM
In one word superb. Not just because of the presence of the subject and the terrific exposure for the skin but also for the greatest beauty in this: the chlid (is it?) in the right background. This is top Tommy. Faves. Bert
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
22 Jan 2008 5:58PM
Think it's a young man Bert (possibly her grandchild). Didn't even notice him till I reviewed the shot on the lcd screen. Certainly a bonus.
Thank you
22 Jan 2008 6:53PM
This is wonderful, almost perfect but not quite. Yes I would have liked to see the second hand and maybe an inch or so more on top but on the whole, it's just superb. Lots of textures in the skin and patterns in her clothing and, yes, the chap in the background is a bonus. Did you really take jpegs, why not RAW, you could probably have squeezed a bit more out.
Gone into my favourites.
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
22 Jan 2008 7:02PM
To be honest I havn't got around to trying RAW yet..and then there is the memorycard/storage problem when travelling. This is a shot where I really regret shooting JPEG though, and next time around I'll definitely do RAW.
Thanks for your critique and the kind words
22 Jan 2008 7:22PM
You must go into RAW, when I said squeezed a bit more out, you could have got masses out. When I was in India for four months last year I took RAW, got them locally put on to DVDs, easy to carry, memory cards are cheap now (well not in Crete), all sorts of ways for storage. Still a super shot.
The_Collector 14 4 1 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2008 10:27PM
a classic shot Tommy, super detail.
DP_Imagery 15 24 6 Wales
22 Jan 2008 10:40PM
Stunning character portrait - she has really piercing eyes. Bruce
backbeat Plus
14 134 1 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2008 10:55PM
cracking portrait tommy...yeah, i agree RAW is better for getting out of bad exposure problems and such..

mind hasn't done me much
23 Jan 2008 2:24AM
I went back to jpeg to be honest. In quite tricky light conditions I might use RAW, but they take up so terribly much storage room my PC cringed. I suppose fixing exposure problems aren't their only advantage, but I only really used them for that. I'd better learn to get the exposure right in camera. Also suppose for some people on the site it makes a difference quality-wise. They can probably show - in their pictures - how much using RAW improved the end result vs Jpeg, but frankly, that's their pictures. In my own, I didn't see the least difference.
Blown out highlights are very much over-dramatized/underrated in my opinion for this kind of photography. Content, content and content, and take care you don't completely mess up the techical side. You certainly have the 3 C's here and did impressive on the technique-side issue. Still love this photo btw and we're almost 24 hrs later Wink
Diana 13 2.0k 19 Netherlands
23 Jan 2008 10:49AM
not bothered about those niggles..... look at that content....

the stitching in her scarf is sublime, something she has careully sewn together out of rags... the key pinned to her jumper, a key to what?

when I was in India last year many lived in in huts with no doors....such pleasing and perplexing content in this image


TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
23 Jan 2008 1:00PM
Thanks everyone and thanks for the RAW input too. I guess I'll have to try it sometime soon and see, but seems like I shouldn't expect too much difference then.
User_Removed 17 39 6 Scotland
23 Jan 2008 3:49PM
There must be a lifetime of stories and visions these eyes have seen
annefromleo 14 11 1 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2008 6:00PM
Extra ordinary image, harrowing really.
DaveU 14 1.4k 125 England
25 Jan 2008 11:50AM
A powerful shot Tommy. Fine photography.
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
25 Jan 2008 2:31PM
Thanks Koen. And especially because it's my personal fav...much appreciated

thanks all
riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
26 Jan 2008 10:55AM
superlative and haunting image, one for the shortlist Smile
TommyStr 14 9 3 Norway
26 Jan 2008 12:41PM
And thanks so much you too Nicholas.
bliba Plus
14 2 Austria
26 Jan 2008 1:21PM
glad to give you a RC for this wonderful portrait..on of your best IMO abd deserves far more attention...


HarryStan 15 50 Australia
27 Jan 2008 9:11PM
wow, seriously good shot...
Nic_WA 15 179 2 Australia
29 Jan 2008 9:05AM
Not surprised you're happy with this one - it's excellent.
28 Feb 2008 4:42PM
this is amazing!!

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