Russ and the Miner's Lamp Food Bank

By mrswoolybill
Now folks, I am looking for your preferences between the two versions, for a particular purpose; please read the explanation first.
Local Councillor Russ runs the Miner's Lamp Community Cafe and its Food Bank.
Of course the cafe is closed at the moment. But Russ is still there three days a week setting up food boxes - he sends out the usual groceries, plus fresh vegetables donated by supermarkets, supporting over fifty local families every week. He is also now sending out 150 home cooked meals a week, to elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents.
This was my return to community photography. I have Russ lined up for next year's town calendar. We normally feature the big community events, that's all cancelled but I want to show that the town's volunteering spirit is alive and kicking.
The version was the planned shot, that I took time over. Then Russ showed me what he had inside the 'shop premises' and I said 'I'll grab a shot of you in here'. That's the main upload, because we prefer it.
Your thoughts?
All photography conducted at the required distance.
Thanks for looking,
Moira

Tags: Photo journalism Portraits and people Community photography lockdown Coronavirus diary

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Comments


kaybee 16 7.2k 26 Scotland
1 Jun 2020 7:49AM
It has to be the lead shot - it tells much more of the story ...... even at a quick glance you know exactly what it is about without any narrative.

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1 Jun 2020 7:49AM
V1 for me, Moira, because the lead feels a bit too busy, and in V1 you have a very jovial chap carrying his goods and a sign to show all and sundry what it is about. I feel V1 better suited for a calendar.

Just food for thoughtSmileSmile

All the best with this one.
Mike
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2231 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 7:52AM
My thanks to Mike and Roy - your comments sum up the dilemma! The interior shot tells the story, the version is more 'calendar', a picture for people to have on their wall for a month...
KarenFB Plus
14 5.4k 176 England
1 Jun 2020 7:53AM
I prefer version 1 too. As you've stated, for a calender the version is perfect - it has the name of the cafe, it's lovely and uncluttered, plus he has a lovely smile! Smile
Jasper87 Plus
10 2.5k 158 England
1 Jun 2020 8:07AM
If the majority of people are aware of what he and the cafe do for the community then the version is a classic calendar image. If not then it comes across as an advertisement.
cats_123 Plus
16 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
1 Jun 2020 8:23AM
Lead for me...but as a calendar shot the version wins...Miss June never looked like that in the Pirelli calendar 😁😁
viscostatic 13 47 7 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 8:25AM
I prefer the version as a good composition for the sake of the photograph but I think for your calendar the lead image would tell the story better.

Phil.
1 Jun 2020 8:28AM
just echoing others: both are fine shots in best colours and detail with v.1 clearly being the right choice for the calendar
bluesandtwos 10 428 1 England
1 Jun 2020 8:36AM
Both good but the version for me looks like a tomato producer.
The original image, whilst not so appealing as a stand alone image, shows what he's all about.
If your calendar is about showing the hero that he is, and depicting the volunteering/community spirit of where you live then this would be my choice.

Dave
1 Jun 2020 8:36AM
The lead provides the full story but the version is an excellent shot for calendar or otherwise IMO , Moira Smile
Ian
Alfie_P Plus
13 364 2 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 9:14AM
I would go with the lead for the calendar as it's for the local community, I would also send it to the local/regional newspapers with an editorial, great work you're doing, Moira. Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2231 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 9:17AM
Thanks folks. More to think about...

Quote:I would also send it to the local/regional newspapers with an editorial,

Alfie, the local paper gave very good coverage to the project quite recently, see here.
Alfie_P Plus
13 364 2 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 9:30AM
Good article Moira , I would have used your lead had it been available at the time. SmileSmile
Nikonuser1 Plus
7 164 16 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 9:35AM
I like both Moira, but I would go for the main image for the projectSmileSmileSmile

Cliff
saltireblue Plus
10 10.7k 62 Norway
1 Jun 2020 9:39AM
It depends somewhat on how much space there is on the calendar for explanations - you'd need more of an explanation for the version than for the lead, which, incidentally, would be my choice for the calendar. The lead shows more of the extent of his efforts, too...
1 Jun 2020 10:12AM
The lead image says more about the man while, V1 says more about the shop.

JohnSmile
AlfieK Plus
3 1 1 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 10:44AM
A true hero - This pandemic has brought the best out in most of us and the worst in a small minority. I'm torn between the two, the lead showing his work and achievements and the version highlighting the individual character. I think I'd go for the latter (v1).
Really well photographed Moira and keep up the good work Russ.
Alfie
1 Jun 2020 11:34AM
Love them both for different reasons, I can't decide, is it possible to use both in some way?
Sylvia
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2231 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 11:51AM
Thanks everyone, opinion still divided...

Quote:It depends somewhat on how much space there is on the calendar for explanations - you'd need more of an explanation for the version than for the lead, which, incidentally, would be my choice for the calendar.

Most people in the town know about Russ's work, but the calendar gets sent to friends outside the area. Pictures always carry a short title / caption, but there's not the space for a detailed narrative. This is why I planned the exterior shot with the cafe name.
Three months to go before I need to make a final decision...
1 Jun 2020 11:59AM
I prefer the version. Simple, colourful, more striking.
1 Jun 2020 12:07PM
The lead. Because the Version's mostly just about tomatoes.
bliba Plus
14 2 Austria
1 Jun 2020 12:13PM
a fine duo
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2231 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 12:16PM
I'll just add a bit more about the Miner's Lamp. It's in an old sports pavilion, that was renovated by volunteers a couple of years ago. It's in an area with some of the worst social deprivation in the county.
The café, in normal times, is staffed by volunteers. It features the standard northern menu - tray bakes, bacon and sausage sarnies, all-day breakfast, baked potatoes. But there is also always a 'pay if you feel like it' hot dish, usually home-made soup and a bread roll. You can have it for free, or pay what you want. So the café functions very discreetly as a soup kitchen...
TrevBatWCC Plus
12 13 16 England
1 Jun 2020 12:38PM
Think both images tell the story, but perhaps the version would suit being on a calendar better 👍
Trev 😀
SlowSong Plus
11 9.0k 30 England
1 Jun 2020 12:47PM
I think, for a calendar, the lead is the winner if it's about the community. If people know the story, then they'll appreciate the version, but not everyone will know. I think he'd like the lead for the calendar too as it shows all the hard work he's doing.
1 Jun 2020 1:02PM
The lead... the scene where Michael McIntyre has the audience in stitches about his abnormally huge calves keeps interfering with my objective assessment of the photo's serious nature Grin
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4138 Canada
1 Jun 2020 1:45PM
V1 for me. It identifies the place, the man, and has a "pop" the other lacks.


W
dark_lord Plus
16 2.6k 675 England
1 Jun 2020 2:01PM
The lead for me, it's more informative whereas the Version is so focussed on tomatoes and is saying you'll get some nice tomatoes when you come to the cafe.
I get that the Version is simpler, compositionally and content wise. A ggod image in any case but not really the whole story.
I would also add that a lot depends on the rest of the images in the calendar. Are they all going to be environmental portraits of a person with their project (as in the lead) or a snippet (as in the Version).
If te idea is to tell a smuch about a volunteer's activity it's the lead that does this. Sometimes the unplanned shot is the one that makes it.
mac Plus
18 6 Scotland
1 Jun 2020 2:03PM
The lead for me as it personifies the man and his environment. He looks quite a jolly character well portrayed.
Ian
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2231 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 2:09PM

Quote:I would also add that a lot depends on the rest of the images in the calendar. Are they all going to be environmental portraits of a person with their project (as in the lead) or a snippet (as in the Version).

It's a mix of a few pretty views (because some people ask for them... ) plus events, rather than individuals. There'll be Remembrance Sunday and the Christmas lights switch-on from the end of last year, plus a couple of events from the beginning of this year before the virus. I do occasionally include environmental portraiture of individuals, but mainly it's the 'bigger picture'.
Fefe Plus
8 50 32 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 2:47PM
The version for me I think Moira....he looks so happy with those tomatoes GrinGrinGrin
Just makes me smile too.
The lead is great but I do not think I would want to look at it for a month.
Diane
1 Jun 2020 4:13PM
V1 for me - love Russ's expression and beaming smile - it says 'come in'. There are too many distractions in the lead so it doesn't have the 'punch'. Both good shots though GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
SUE118 Plus
12 8 1 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 4:25PM
It has to be the lead shot, a super story and well done to him.
Chinga Plus
9 3 2 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 4:35PM
Bless him... He is doing a priceless job...
Here in North London, there are a lot of people relying on food banks since they lost their jobs...
Isabel
mistere Plus
7 6 3 England
1 Jun 2020 6:04PM
The lead image Moira. It fits the brief for the calendars theme much better.
The version looks more like an advert for the Miners lamp.
As an alternative idea, how about a shot of him delivering a food package to one of the families..
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2231 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 6:09PM

Quote:As an alternative idea, how about a shot of him delivering a food package to one of the families..

That's a nice idea, but one of the food bank basic principles is confidentiality. So it could be tricky. I wouldn't want to compromise Russ's relations with his customers.
Thanks everyone, I'm still undecided but I don't have to send to the printers until September.
pamelajean Plus
14 1.3k 2141 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2020 6:19PM
My immediate choice was the lead image and, having read the comments, I nearly changed my mind, but will stick with the lead. It strongly reminds me of a lot of pictures that I get from Lend With Care, CARE International's microfinance lending initiative — where we can make loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Their small ventures as retailers look just like this, no fancy displays, just stacks of goods on display.
Daisymaye Plus
11 23 16 Canada
1 Jun 2020 9:01PM
I think the lead too. It shows all the work he does and does it with a smile. I do like the simplicity of the version. But the lead seems more appropriate for what you need to show.
Lead capture.

David
taggart Plus
15 47 14 United States
1 Jun 2020 9:54PM
What a viewer brings to a picture will determine what the picture means to (him)----

What has come to me is this--- I am so very impressed at the care and concern for your neighbors--- Tho I do not see any recipients
in either image, I know about them from your text--- celebrating this with my award--

Neighbors caring for each other---a beautiful tradition
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2231 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2020 7:46AM
Thanks Jennnn, that means a lot.
chase Plus
14 1.6k 382 England
2 Jun 2020 3:15PM
The version, for me, tells much more of the story of the current times Moira. There is much more to see bearing in mind this will be on show for a whole month and folk will see different things each time they look.
The recipients of the Calendar will remember him for what he did and how he did it.

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