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Holy Men of the Kumbh

By WeeGeordieLass    
The atmosphere at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad was one of celebration and happiness and I feel that this shot of friendly Holy Men, who were quite happy to pose for me, conveys the feeling on that day.

As we visited in the middle of the day the light was bright and harsh but I hope that hasn't detracted from the image.

I'd appreciate any constructive critique.

Thanks for looking

Elaine Grin

Tags: Landscape and travel Portraits and people

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


Alda 5 70 30 United Kingdom
5 May 2013 1:31PM
I really like this Grin. The only thing that's a distraction for me is the way they are positioned against the bg. The end of the hut/tent is behind the central man, making it look like the bg was 'altered' in some way, as the horizon drops off suddenly behind him. IMHO it would have looked better if they had been a bit more to their left, so we could see the edge of the hut behind them. Grin

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5 May 2013 3:23PM
Hi Alda,

Thanks for taking the time to offer your critique.

You're right about the background........I've tried to clone out a lot of distractions - but not very successfully as you spotted it.

I'm trying to develop my cloning skills - I liked this trio and their expressions but not the messy background - I've uploaded the original as a variant and if anyone has any ideas on how I could change the background with a more effective method I'd be grateful for any advice.

The software I have is Elements 10.

Thanks Alda,

Elaine Grin
Alda 5 70 30 United Kingdom
5 May 2013 3:35PM
You did a really good job cloning out the 'mess' Grin. I see there is a little bit of the roof sticking out on the other side of the centre man in the original. If you left that in it would mostly solved the problem I mentioned. I'll have a play with a mod a bit later when I have a moment - about to go out and enjoy this glorious sunshine with camera and without children WinkGrinGrin
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
6 May 2013 1:20AM
Hi Elaine,
You haven't done badly at all here.
There are some obvious flaws but nothing that couldn't easily be put right with a bit more tweaking.
Do you use a stylus and tablet to clone these or are they done using the mouse?
Although I struggle with mine a lot of the time, a lot of people suggest that a tablet's the way ro go for fairly serious cloning.
An alternative would have been to remove the men and/or the background, depending on the method you use and replace the background entirely.

You could use one of the dozens of 'spare' ones that you shot on your travels for just that purpose.

You did shoot dozens of spares . . . ?

. . . didn't you?

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3879 Canada
6 May 2013 3:00PM
This is good work Elaine. The colour and tone of the faces are very much improved, and it looks cleaner.

You have to look hard to see evidence of work being done - a good sig, and there are a couple that can be improved by zooming in very close when cloning etc. Thats the trick, zoom in!

The small area above the mans head on the left where the cable was; the area above that to the left edge; along ther shoulder of the same man, - just needs to be crisper, - when you get close to an edge, and zoom in, if using the clone tool, increase it hardness; a few similar areas around the other two, - and its really all down to the same thing, getting in very close, and using edge hardness to help.

Well done overall,


7 May 2013 6:31PM
Hi Bren,

The cloning was done with the mouse. I thought about trying to replace the background entirely, but I'm not that good with Elements just yet.

Quote:You could use one of the dozens of 'spare' ones that you shot on your travels for just that purpose.

You did shoot dozens of spares . . . ?

. . . didn't you?

Absolutely..............I shot anything and everything on my travels Smile

Thanks for your advice Bren, it's been very helpful.


Elaine Grin
7 May 2013 6:40PM
Hi Willie,

Ah..............yes! Increase the hardness at the edges.

That's a great tip Willie - thanks very much.

I've got some more shots that need a bit of cloning.........I'm off now to have a go.

Thanks for your great advice.


Elaine Grin
Alda 5 70 30 United Kingdom
7 May 2013 7:40PM
I uploaded two mods. Hope you like them Grin. Please bear in mind that I've just upgraded from Elements 7 to CS5, and I don't really have a clue what's going on there - it's a bit daunting lol, so the mods aren't perfect by a long shot, but you're welcome to play around with them GrinGrin
8 May 2013 9:54AM
Hi Alda,

Those mods look really good, and you've helped me decide that completely replacing the background would be the way to go to make the most of this shot.

I like the unobtrusive backgrounds you've used and I think a blue sky with maybe some clouds would look good too so I'll have a go with my Elements 10.

Thanks very much for your time and help, and I hope you enjoy creating with CS5.


Elaine Grin
paulbroad 10 123 1243 United Kingdom
8 May 2013 10:29AM
You have done an extremely good job here, but with the tonal range too. A very big improvement on the original and generally fine multi person portrait. My only negative is that they are in a simple line, side by side. Probably not possible to rearrange them into a better 'shape' though.

8 May 2013 2:22PM
Hi Paul,

Thanks for your great critique.

I see your point about the composition with them standing side by side.

They were very good natured and I think that if I had asked them to stand in a different position they wouldn't have minded one little bit.

I didn't think about it at the time, but one of the great advantages of asking for help in the CG is that good advice tends to stick in the mind until the next time I'm in a similar thanks for your advice Paul Grin

Elaine Grin

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