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At Demonstration

By arhab
This happen at demonstration. Feel free to comment since I am not familiar with this kind of situation.

Tags: Photo journalism

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


pablophotographer 6 936 334
1 May 2012 9:25PM
I would say you did well to be on the opposite side of the smoke and the fire. Safety comes first. Even a first aider assesses the situation for his safety before (s)he helps.

Back to your picture. We have a story, which is good, we have things happening on the background helping is understand why the fire is light. All fine.

If you wanted to give a greater impact on the fire, your location is fine. I would suggested you to kneel and shoot from low, making thus the smoke looking taller and the positioning of the protesters imposing, giving them an attitude.

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pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2016 United Kingdom
1 May 2012 9:36PM
It's not the sort of sitution that I would take pictures of either, Muhamad.
At first glance, and without your description, it isn't too obvious what is going on. The demonstrators on the right are quite dark, and the people on the left aren't doing anything that suggests a demonstration.
To engage your viewer, I think you need to look for obvious signs that give an idea of what is happening.
By moving more to the right, you could have included more of the people on the right who are lined up with large red flags. Red is always a good colour to use in photography, it not only lifts the image, but captures the atterntion. However, it's unfortunate that they are standing in the shade of the building. From this vantage point, you could have positioned the burning tyre in the left of your frame, and the smoke could have been seen rising up through the sky. As the image stands, the predominent element is the fire, and it is obscuring the demonstration.
arhab 6 43 2 Indonesia
2 May 2012 12:21AM
thank you pablo, pam for your both input. i will upload again tomorrow, and i think it will be better from this one, because it included more people around the burning tire.
DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
3 May 2012 11:57PM
I think all the relevant photographic points have been made above.

Be very careful shooting in situations like this. They can easily turn violent and you can get overtaken by events, especially if you're focused on taking photographs and not paying full attention to what's happening around you. You don't want the police to think you're part of the demonstration; you don't want the demonstrators to think you're with the police. Sometimes, the police can get nervous about people with cameras and think you're trying to cause trouble for them by photographing them doing things they maybe shouldn't be doing or photographing them in ways that make them look like they're doing things they shouldn't. Likewise, the demonstrators can get nervous because they might not want to be identified from your photos. The safest thing is just to stay away. Many professional news photographers have been hurt or threatened while doing this kind of work.

arhab 6 43 2 Indonesia
4 May 2012 12:58PM
Thank you Dave for your advice. You are absolutely right, I have seen much demonstration like this here (in Indonesia) become uncontrolled. As you said carefull and always watch the situation are number one.

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