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Back Modifications (11)
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Weather beaten

By Bajob3
Again looking for some invaluable feedback on this image. I have tried entering this in a number of exhibitions but whilst it is getting close to acceptance it isn't quite there. Any pointers on how the image could be improved would be appreciated.

Tags: Usa Portraits and people Exhibitions 2020 June2013



Buffalo_Tom Plus
16 2.3k 29 Wales
9 Jan 2021 1:38PM
Hi Trevor. I think the man's face is to saturated. If you de-saturate a little so that it is not so red. Also if you could burn out the highlights in the back ground. The crop is good so no need to do anything to that. The eyes may need to pop a little more if you de-saturate this may happen naturally. Tom.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2021 1:48PM
It's down to the criteria / rules for the exhibitions you are aiming at, the quality of your competitors and the personal taste of judges / assessors, isn't it. This is well planned and taken, it's strong, characterful and has a good sense of communication. I can imagine it doing well here for votes and awards.

Have you tried b&w? I think it would work, without the distractions of colour.

One point though, the file is 1020 x 1300 pixels, still way smaller than you can upload here. I'll repeat my comment from yesterday:

Quote:You have Plus membership, the site will upload up to 2,000 pixels and will downsize your original file to that for you. So don't try to upload a massively reduced file.

So it occurs to me that if you are submitting photographs online for exhibition purposes you may perhaps be sending similarly small files? The D80 gives 3872 x 2592 pixels, processed jpegs should be sendable by email without any reduction.

My Other Half and I recently judged a local competition where a number of very promising entries were sent in as thumbnail files. I can't imagine that you are doing anything as daft as that, but always send maximum quality unless smaller files are stipulated.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
9 Jan 2021 1:52PM
On the techie side, I upload full-size Alpha 7R III files, nearly 8,000 pixels on the long side. The site resizes for display.

I can see black-and-white working. I wonder if the fill is a trifle strong: I've tried a Levels adjustment. Brightness and colour play against the mood of this amazing character.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2021 2:02PM
I've added a very quick b&w conversion, worked in Nik Silver Efex Pro - added contrast and some brighness, burn edges, darkening on red and yellow channels. It works for me, eliminating the distractions of colour; but I do like my images dark...
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2021 2:31PM
My CG comment yesterday on resizing wasn't on your upload BTW - but it still applies!
sawsengee 16 6 42 Malaysia
9 Jan 2021 2:48PM
Hi Trevor, the portrait is a standout from the point of view of the character, his hat and his long flowing hair. Here are my observations which resulted in my mod upload which you may not agree with, considering your exhibition status:
1. the lighting source is quite mixed, from the main uplight to the front of the face and one from the top downwards to the hat, making the subject difficult to adjust in terms of the prefered major source of light;
2. the saturation of colours is ok, noting his probable origin skin colour but I have used a little white balance to give it a cooler tint to the skin without distracting any attention to his cool blue eyes;
3. the background is not exactly exciting and the depth of field blur is not deep enough (f4.5), so I have darkened the background so as to concentrate on the facial features'
4. a little dark vignetting also allows me to draw the attention of the viewer to his facial details.
Hope you like the simple mod. I think a sepia version could also be helpful to give the character a more nostalgic effect.
Regards, ee. Smile
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
9 Jan 2021 3:20PM
Theres a couple of things that pop out.

First and for me most obvious is the whites of his eye appear to have been brightened, or whitened; you may not have done anything, it just looks that way.

Then you chose a manual white balance that is likely too warm. I dont knw what value you chose of course.

The light on the face is very direct, leaving few shadows that would provide depth. You might have positioned him to take advantage of some shade provided by the hat?

The normal aspect ratio for the camera is 3X2, so this has been cropped and is closer to 45. Cropping to 3X2 can work better?

Overall the face is bright; darkening the background might be a good idea.

Ive uploaded a mod encompassing all these areas.


it's fine the way it is. a winning portrait in my eyes. don't care for it in black and white at all.
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
9 Jan 2021 5:11PM
Do you get any feedback from the exhibitions, shame if you don't.

For me, the face is very saturated and not quite in focus.
Some good advice with ref to lighting above and perhaps not composed quite so full on would help.

It does strike me as being a little over worked on his face and to that end I find the B&W much more pleasing.
The messy bg is a bit of a distraction, and as has been demonstrated could easily be improved.

He looks to be a great character, someone I would love to photograph.
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
9 Jan 2021 5:26PM
I have offered a mod.
Tidied up the bg with the clone tool set to 'darken'
Reduced red and yellow saturation
Lightened up his jacket and darkened down his hat just to put the emphasis on the subject.
Added just a touch of sharpening.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2021 5:30PM
Reducing saturation as in Janet's mod does illustrate how over-saturated the original appears.
clicknimagine Plus
13 1.3k 105 India
9 Jan 2021 6:24PM
I like the way the face is illuminated, is it an work of a you have said that you had submitted this image in several competition and not placed, so my advices to you in this regard only, though I am not an expert but I have a few experience in this regard...

1. The result of any competition depends on the other submissions in general...

2. Mainly judges want to see, what unique you have seen, and it reflects in three different ways, like the image itself, the title of the image or description you attach with the image...

3. Then, they try to read the image through the technical eyes, they sometimes give preference to technicality or to creativity but as a common accepted rule, 50 percent to technicality and 50 percent to creativity...

If you truly understand what I am talking about I think you can do better...
Bajob3 2
9 Jan 2021 8:52PM
Thank you all again for the feedback and modifications. The subject was at one of the western re-creation towns near yosemite and was just walking down the street when I grabbed a shot. Again it is amazing to see the different results from the same starting point.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
10 Jan 2021 6:46PM
I remain curious - what was the source of fill light? What processing did you do? Did you get feedback from the salons?

This gallery is best as a series of conversations - the more you put in, the more we can give...
Bajob3 2
10 Jan 2021 8:26PM
Apologies, I missed the question. There was no source of fill light so I had to brighten the face during processing. I will upload the original. I only really use Lightroom and NIK effects for processing, I haven't used photoshop much although I have it as part of the subscription.

I didn't get any feedback from the salons, the thing i think is funniest is that if I enter a circuit an image can do well with one set of judges and not be accepted at all with another.

Thank you all for your help
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
11 Jan 2021 5:34AM
So much of judging comes down to personal taste, I think - and a dose of current fashion, too.

I think the work that you did on the face may be the key: it's quite heavy, I reckon. A subtler touch might fare better.

I gather that what you can do with Lightroom is pretty similar to Photoshop, though they differ a good bit in how you go about it. I'm the opposite way - I've never 'got' Lightroom!
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
11 Jan 2021 12:42PM
Thanks for your response and uploading the original frame.
I can see from that you have done a lot of work on your image and that has made it look overdone.

Your latest modification is better but for me his face is overdone ad I suspect you have used the Detail Extractor from Nik to get there. It is a nice tool to have at your disposal but can so very easily be over used.
Layers and masks may well be of help to you so that any applied effects can be easily done with a gentler touch.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
11 Jan 2021 2:45PM
And I've just spotted the unprocessed version.

It takes me to a couple of thoughts. I'd suggest never using Program mode: my own choice is Aperture, keeping a careful eye on shutter speed, but others work the other way round. A very few people can keep on top of metering manually all the time - but that's for the fast-witted who really understand exposure.

I think that the large dark areas have caused overexposure, and you're fighting that all the way.

I'm going to play with the original a bit...
Philip_H 11 1.5k United Kingdom
23 May 2021 12:49PM
Uploaded two modifications (10 & 11), processed using Franzis HDR Projects 2 (Old Photo effect) and then desaturated.

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