Back Modifications (2)
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Kick out the jams

By Balance_78
I'm new to photography, any help would be great

Tags: Street photography Street Black and white


dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1884 England
22 Apr 2021 8:47AM
Hi, Gregg, and welcome both to Ephotozine and to the Critique Gallery.

I have several thoughts - though it would be a VERY big help if you could say more about what you were aiming for, and whether you think you got there. You'll have clicked through a screen that asked you for more information - if you could tell us more about (for instance):

What inspired you to take this photo?
What were you hoping to achieve?
Do you feel that you succeeded or failed?
Are there any specific elements of your photo that you want help with?
Do you want advice on camera settings, processing, composition, or something else?
Do you have any particular questions you would like answered?

Thoughts as it stands are that you've made life hard with a manual focus lens. If you're learning, stick to the kit zoom for a short while, because otherwise you have an awful lot to contend with, technically.

Clearing the background is important when taking pictures. A slight change of camera position would have moved your subject's head away from the road signs, and that would make for a simpler picture.

Although it makes no difference with a manual aperture control, moving away from Program mode is a start on learning photography...

Pretty random thoughts... Please come back to us with more info, and make this a conversation!
dark_lord Plus
17 2.9k 786 England
22 Apr 2021 12:17PM
Welcome from me too.

It would be good if you could answer some of the questions above so we can be of specific help.

My first thoughts were that while you've documente a situation the subject merges with the sign in the background. While both elements are important, having them occupy their own area of the frame without crowding each other would be more visually interesting.
A lower viewpoint would place more impoprtance on the subject.

Do you want advice on mono processing?
You can upload the colour original as a Modifiation above.

Why did you choose mono? We'd be interested to hear, not because we prefer colour because some of the Team, myself included, post n fair number of mono images.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2465 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2021 4:07PM
Welcome from me too. When you ticked for critique you will have seen a pop-up message, and after uploading you will have received a personal message from the site - all explaining a bit about how the Critique Gallery works. I won't quote the whole message, but the gist is - the more you tell us, the more questions you ask, the better we can tailor our advice. So I hope that we will hear more from you.

Meanwhile, you have asked for advice in general. Photographing people is a particular passion of mine, so here are a few thoughts. First, don't just put your subject in the middle of the frame and assume that that's the only option. Here there is a lot of space behind the man's back and below him, and that's wasted space; but there's very little space for him to look into. More space on the right would really balance the image much better.

By ticking for critique you allow members to download the image and modify it, I shall try to illustrate how more careful composition could improve this. A modification will appear in due course under the blue Modifications button below your image, click on the number to view.

Next thought - with someone sitting down, well below your standing eye-level, it's a good idea to stoop down to their eye-level. That will give a better sense of communication, and also isolate the subject better against background.

You have a nice little camera, I can see that it gets good reviews. Here you used a Program setting - have you explored the possibilities of aperture priority and shutter priority? Do you know what the important functions - ISO, aperture, shutter speed - are about, what they can do for you? A camera is like any sophisticated machinery - the results depend in part on the instructions that the operator gives it, and that in turn depends on the operator understanding the settings. It has a very good calculating brain but absolutely no intuition or imagination - you need to supply that.

So I hope that you will join in the conversation, let us know what you are trying to achieve, and how much you know already.

Now I'm off to try a modification.

pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2238 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2021 4:14PM
Welcome to EPZ and its Critique Gallery, Gregg.
What does "Kick out the jams" mean? I am old and don't understand modern expressions at all.

I see the potential for quite an interesting image here, but it would be taken from a different area, where the background was less fussy, and lower down because your subject is low and it's a good idea to get down to a subject's eye level, for better impact, just as if it were a child or a dog you were photographing.

Your subject looks like an interesting character, and willing to be photographed, but his surroundings are saying nothing about him, they are about some road works. If you know him well, you can have another go at a better picture.

We are here to help, but you can help us to help you by providing some of the information that has been requested. You have made a good start by coming to this gallery, but we need you to communicate with us by commenting here, in this section, below your picture, where it says "Add Comment".

mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2465 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2021 4:20PM
I've added a very rough modification, just to give the idea of more space to the right, less space below and behind the man. The figure then creates an L-shape filling the corner - but he'd do that much better from a lower view point.
banehawi Plus
17 2.6k 4274 Canada
22 Apr 2021 5:27PM
Its a nice shot, good detail and contrast.

Get down lower for subject like this, and look for an angle to shoot at that minimises background distractions.

Ive uploaded a square crop to focus more on the subject.


Good morning everyone,
Thank you for your kind words. 1st of all, let me address the title. It's the title of a single/ album by the MC5 in 1969 and the gentleman in the image reminded me of one of their roadies.
The reason the image was taken at that height is, it was very much shot from the hip, a very last second decision. It was captured on the 1st warm spell we had in Manchester and everyone had gathered in Stephenson square to enjoy each other company.

I shoot almost exclusively in mono, with a prime MF lens. On the day I was shooting in aperture priority.

I hope I have answered your questions and I can't wait to see your replys.
I can't seem to see where you guys have uploaded the Mods too

mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2465 United Kingdom
23 Apr 2021 7:11AM
Thanks for coming back to us! And thanks for giving background information - for future reference this is the sort of information that we really like to see included in a Critique Gallery upload because it enables us to put ourselves in your shoes, so to speak. I didn't query the title because I'm old enough to remember... Wink

Now an important point for street photography.
Quote: The reason the image was taken at that height is, it was very much shot from the hip, a very last second decision.
You saw the opportunity, you jumped at it... the message is - seize the opportunity but don't rush the shot! He's sitting down happily, he'll still be there in ten seconds time, thirty seconds, maybe more... So have the confidence to allow yourself a few seconds to check settings, move to a better viewpoint, take the shot carefully. It really is about confidence and familiarity with your kit, and with practice that becomes a matter of seconds.

I remember occasions where I have grabbed a street shot, gone on to do other things, come back half an hour later and the subject was still there...

One other point - we generally advise against shooting in mono, because it restricts processing possibilities. Shoot in colour, convert later - then, according to your software, you can use the colour channels to replicate the effect of different film types - and the difference can be very substantial! The art is in seeing the potential b&w image as you shoot colour...

To view modifications, click on the blue Modifications button bottom left of your upload, then click on the numbers.

I hope we shall see you again in the Critique Gallery, remember that the more you tell us, including the circumstances and how you set about taking the shot, the better.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1884 England
23 Apr 2021 10:35AM
Thank you for getting back to us, and for the extra information.

If you're intent on shooting with a manual focus lens (why, I wonder?) you need to practice a lot... Especially at maximum aperture, depth of field will be limited, so you may get a lot of out-of-focus pictures.

If you stop the lens down reasonably well - maybe f/8 or f/11 - zone focussing has long been a friend of street photographers, with good depth of field covering for variable distance. But the EXIF data suggests that you were shooting at quite wide aperture...

There's room for more of a story, I think - and the best street photographers are, somehow, always in the right place to get it just right... Or maybe they just don't use the shots that don't work well.

Keep shooting... It is, after all, really good fun, isn't it?
dark_lord Plus
17 2.9k 786 England
23 Apr 2021 1:09PM
Thanks for your input Gregg, that does help us see where you're coming from.
Looking forward to seeing more from you.
pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2238 United Kingdom
23 Apr 2021 2:16PM
Thanks for the valuable feedback, Gregg.
If you could give us a bit more information in the Description Box the next time you upload to the Critique Gallery, it will help us a lot.
Hi Dudler

I had to manually input the lens type and it should have read f1.2 to f16 as for the lens choice, I couldn't afford a af prime lens so I chose a very good mf lens.... And it also made me feel like a photographer too

Thank you
Hi Moira

Thank you for your support. I struggle with invisibility part of street because I am very big lad (6ft 3in and very broad) and I am easily made. The 2 reason I shoot in bw is: most importantly for me is that's where my heart lies and B: I find when converting to bw, something is lost, in my opinion.

Yours and everyone else input has been invaluable and I hope to speak to all soon

mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2465 United Kingdom
23 Apr 2021 5:10PM
When it comes to invisibility, elderly women definitely have an advantage... Wink

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