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Peoples Palace - Version Preference

By AndrewAlbert
Looking for any thoughts on preference as I wish to consider one of these images for a portfolio. Any advice appreciated such as

- most impact
- most unique or different
- any concerns such as top of fountain cut off on image 2

Tags: Travel Glasgow Architecture

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16 Mar 2019 12:13PM
Hello Andrew! An interesting set of questions so I'll have a go and then shuffle off to the shed out of harms way! I can't really offer anything much in the way of technical help but I'll pitch in with some impressionistic thoughts on the basis that they also serve who only stand and occasionally push a shutter button.

Both images are impressive; the first, to my way of thinking, is striking for its compositional strength, the light and the colours. Depending on any possible theme for your portfolio the lead image simultaneously conveys a thought provoking blend of strength, civic pride expressed in stone and carving and a hint of fading glory. The water has dropped to reveal some red and blue plastic lining around the edge weighed down with sand (?) which hints, perhaps, at neglect, decline and a loss of dignity. I like the inclusion of the solitary figure in the sense that, in this image, the People's Palace, appears to overshadow a solitary person, clutching a phone but seemingly aware of your presence.

Version 1 keeps drawing me back however because it puts the Palace in the context of the wider landscape. Whatever the intention of the People's Place when first built (I'll do some research on this and check to see if I still have a recording of a visit made by Billy Connolly [?]) there is something poignant about the handful of people thinly spread around it and the man in the foreground looking away from it.

I have no concerns about the top of the fountain being 'chopped off'. For me it isn't the main focus of the image. It may be construed as having a symbolic significance in terms of it being truncated, diminished, disappearing but it strikes me that we don't need to see the top of it as it is the wider landscape which is so arresting. I very much like the stark contrast between the imposing red brick Palace, which seems to be juggling the ornate with a measure of restraint, and the brutalism of the tower blocks in the background. Whether intended or not the smoking chimney to the left of the Palace is a touch of brilliance! It mimics and links in nicely with the cigarette in the man's left hand and suggests, perhaps, a sense of glorious ideals going up in smoke. (?) It also seems to subvert and diminish the grandeur of the obelisk to the right of the image.

On balance then, and despite liking both images very much for different reasons, I'm going to give the most emphatic thumbs up to Version 1 for its strength of composition, richness of symbolism and the number of thoughtfully placed elements which draw the eye and provoke thought.

I've never had a crack at this kind of critique before and am much more of a potterer than 'grown up photographer' but this has been an interesting exercise and has fired up the old brain cells! I hope it has been of some use and if not my apologies. I wish you every success with your portfolio.

Thank you for inviting comment and with such specific points of focus.

Best wishes, Graham.

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16 Mar 2019 1:05PM
Thx Graham - I have PM'd you acknowledging how helpful this has been for me.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2019 2:36PM
It's a very good question...

Two separate subjects in the same frame, that's always a challenge compositionally. How to do them both justice, without having them compete for attention?

Both images have pluses. I would say that the strength of the main upload is the relatively low viewpoint, up close to the fountain. This gives the fountain greater height in the frame, and invites us to explore the detail. The centre of the building's facade is visible, that's important, that's where we are going next... But the fountain looks cramped in the frame. I want to see where the central structure rises from the water (the effect here is a bit like a full-length portrait of a person with the feet cut off...); and I want to see the curve at the top in full.

The version has the virtue of showing the full foreground curve, which 'cradles' the subject nicely. But somehow the structure of the composition doesn't work for me. The fountain is off-centre, but it still seems to be blocking our access to the building rather than leading us there. And while the figures in the middle ground work well with the title, the chap in the foreground doesn't look comfortable about appearing in your viewfinder. Plus while the obelisk on the right creates a nice 'full stop' for the background, the chimney on the left really spoils the elegant, stately effect.

I've uploaded a square crop (not a surprise for people who know me... ) It places the vertical element of the fountain on the extreme left, allowing the foreground to invite us towards the building rather than blocking the way. An L-shape composition does that... It includes the full curve to the right, and the obelisk, which I do think is a very important element.

Then for comparison I did some very crude work to magic away the awkward-looking man...

See what you think.
16 Mar 2019 3:12PM
Thx Mrs Woollybill and Iíll PM you - the chapís stance is a little awkward.

banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4036 Canada
16 Mar 2019 3:22PM
Hi Andrew, what is the purpose of the portfolio?
16 Mar 2019 3:44PM
Iíve Pmíd you with some details
banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4036 Canada
16 Mar 2019 3:56PM
Given that your looking for architecture with people, the the V1 meets the criteria better than the original. Its also got more impact for me, as it shows the architectural detail in the context of the city.

The original if you are considering should be sqaure, - not a square crop, - look at lens distortion, both vertical and horizontal, - its a little off. Ive played with it in a mod, the downside if you lose the top of the spire, but it may not matter; and it has the one required person.

V1 does look better without the guy in front, but I would leave is as is otherwise.


16 Mar 2019 4:06PM
Thanks Willie and I can probably add more sky in easily enough to do the same crop as you have in the mod. Very helpful
16 Mar 2019 4:11PM
Thanks for mods on ver 1 too Willie
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2094 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2019 4:53PM
I think your lead image has the most impact, Andrew.
I like the intricacies of the architecture almost filling the frame, so that it's obvious what you want us to be looking at. There is nice separation between the fountain and the building because they are slightly different in hue.

I'd like to have seen your answer to Willie about the purpose of the portfolio. Putting the comment here, in the comments section, would be useful to anyone else reading this, too. So, Willie has said, "you're looking for architecture with people" and that's my only clue. This is puzzling because your lead image has hardly any people in it. But the version does have a prominent person.

I very much like the third version (Willie's), and notice that he has left in the one person on the right. I wonder if you could fulfil the brief by cropping out that person and presenting the statues as representing the people? I suppose it all depends on how serious the brief is, and how wide the interpretation of it can be. Maybe a tall order.
That may be a bit flippant, but that one person is not only walking rapidly outside of the frame, but is also quite small compared with the statues.

I have been thinking about the format, and feel that a vertical frame might have been interesting, so that some more of the water and some more of the curved top of the fountain could be included, as well as the tip of the dome on the building. Leavig the left of the frame as it is, this would cut off some of the right of the building, but I feel it would make a picture that's just a bit different. No person, thoughSad.

16 Mar 2019 5:43PM
Thanks Moira

Thanks for your helpful comments. The stance is a little awkward and I think the panel (RPS) will probably agree with some of your comments and I need to be careful and wary. Iíll try another crop and clone the figure out and see where I get to.

Of the 15 images I need to present no other ones are square and I know from experience RPS look for a common style across the panel.

Youíve given me a few ideas which I can try out and see what I can improve on.

Many many thanks for your critique
16 Mar 2019 5:44PM
Thanks Pamela and Iíve added in my reply to Moira which gives more information
16 Mar 2019 5:47PM
To All

This has been reaally helpful and I didnít expect such useful responses. Not currently being a member of a camera club limits my opportunity for feedback.

Its an image to be used for a potential RPS travel panel on Glasgow. I am short of just a couple of images and this one could fit in place very well but I need to get it as best I can.

Again thatís to all at and on ePhotozine.

dudler Plus
16 945 1520 England
16 Mar 2019 7:54PM
Coming along late - it would have been good to know it's for an RPS panel at the start, I think. Some of us (but not me) may then have been able to make comparisons with past experience, either personally, or panels they have seen.

I suspect that one small figure doesn't fit yrou brief, so the lead image, which plays with the shapes and relationship between the fountain and the building won't make the grade. Probably...

The second shot only needs a burst of flash adding for me to shout 'Martin Parr!' - sideways glance bloke is straight out of a Parr picture. and hte smoking chimney stack on the left is rather surreal, as well.

The original post has more immediate impact: the version is a bit of a slow burn weirdie. And that makes it appeal to me. I might be tempted to crop to more of a letterbox and make the cutoff at the top a bit deliberately offensive...

There are some slightly weird verticality things going on, possibly to do with lens distortion? And there appears to be a bird in the sky on the left of the fountain which might be worth cloning out.
16 Mar 2019 8:14PM
Thanks Dudler

I spotted the bird and cloned it out! I will do the crop and then work in the distortion. I was about 15 ft on a raised platform looking down and the angles are a little strange. I should be able to fix this ok on photoshop.

Re-RPS. I have an advisory day in a few months so have a chance to get a further review but still you really can only bring a few spares. I also have a little flexibility within the statement of intent as either image could work to that.

The main thing is that I have got some very useful feedback and a few changes to make to both images before my final decision.

Now I just need another 2 images I think but they need to show the grittier side of Glasgow.


mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2019 9:37PM

Quote:The second shot only needs a burst of flash adding for me to shout 'Martin Parr!' - sideways glance bloke is straight out of a Parr picture. and hte smoking chimney stack on the left is rather surreal, as well.

As an admirer of Parr's work, I appreciate that. I've added a crop that is more in his style, the natural absurdity of our world. I do actually prefer it, but it isn't about the fountain or the building...
dudler Plus
16 945 1520 England
16 Mar 2019 10:15PM
Now, that's a wonderful crop. It reduces the many elements to four: two big ones, and two quiky ones...
16 Mar 2019 11:57PM
Hey you guys have cracked it for me.
I am so happy and initially didnít feel right to say it was for my RPS panel, but should have and thanks - I can take advice from the advisory board so why not from your great critiques on this forum.

Thanks for the last mod Moira!

mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2019 8:09AM
Do take advice from the Board. I have always avoided the RPS route (partly because some local LRPSs are not a good advertisement for it... Wink ) So I am not in the loop as to the requirements, and not being in a camera club may work against you there. But I would always advise people to look for the personal interpretation of a scene, rather than 'using the well-worn tripod holes'.

If you go for a tighter crop, watch your verticals and also the cut-off at the top of the frame very carefully. I was a bit slap-dash.

What this does demonstrate is that the more information you give us, the better we can tailor our advice - so thanks for the feedback here!

Hope it goes well.
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2019 7:39PM
The tigt crop has very much more impact than te wide version and whilst I a often a supporter of figures in frame, this chap looks awkward.

As Moira, I'm not an RPS fan. Unless it has changed the qualifications are too open to fiddling! In my distant past I was involved with two ARPS holders who I know had not produced all their panels themselves, so I tend to take little notice of RPS 'distinctions' I fear. They can also be gained in strange areas with limited connection to more general photography.

Your reputation rests on the last image you shot.



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