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which image has the most impact and why and how could I improve them
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I don't think you can improve this photograph, except perhaps a bit more of the little boy in the picture. It is a very good capture.
Love V1 in mono. You captured so many great expressions. The little boy is priceless. In V2, I personally prefer either total mono, or total colour. Exceptions on one little special part of an image when in mono.
Liked mono one, live and very detailed, congrats...
V1 has a unity. The faces, expressions, characters all work together, despite/ because of being so different. The little boy is a delight.
V2 I would class as almost but not quite successful. I remember your use of selective colour to put a spotlight onto the bit-players in a scene, I've appreciated it for years, it can create a fresh, unexpected dynamic within an image. But for this one to work the performer needs to be sharp, because ultimately she's the star of the picture. And she's too soft...
Plus, having that character in the middle with b&w face but colour body is weird - it splits him in half.
thanks for crits and comments
I think there's one little thing to add to this.
My first thought was to agree with Moira that the performer in V2 should be sharp... And then I looked at the young man on the left. You need to study V1 a bit first, then look at V2.
I think he's besotted...
However, V1 has more unity of style and purpose, and as a single picture, it works far better, with a whole selection of wonderful expressions. V2 will never approach this, but it tells a new and interesting story viewed after V1. I think that Moira's right about the colour on (part of) the man who has moved forward btween the two principal characters. Actually, I'd go further: colour only the lad, and that will emphasise that he is the focus of the picture, and that the performer is most important as the focus of his attention...
This is a lot better. In close concentrating on a small number of faces. Fill the frame is, for me, a very good rule. Even your very flat processing technique suites this one well and, because there are no huge variations in initial tone, the effect does not show patchiness.
V1 it is for me.
I see the team talking about unity without telling you why. I will cal it gravity because V1 has a point where the attention of the crowd is gravitated and that is the girl clapping her hands and laughing. Actually this is so strong so as in a first reading one may not notice that some faces like the first girl from the left and the woman behind her do not look at the woman clapping. Does that show how much we are drawn to a big smile? I'd better call an anthropologist about it. My initial understanding of the picture was that I was looking at a crowd and one of the spectators was laughing their heart out. The flatness of the mono didn't make me realise that the woman clapping her hands is a performer, which is obvious in V2 but then all this gravity she pulled in V1 is getting dispersed due to the size of the frame, which nicely follows the opening of her arms. A stellar explosion in a dense universe of many stars. This time most communicate with something out of the frame and that is the weakness of it. V2 colourwise... could have another manipulation keeping crowd in black and white and performer in colour.. try it and see how it works.
Definitely V1 for me. It's the expression of the little boy and his position in the bottom left hand corner of the frame that makes this a winner.
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