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 Post subject: Street critique thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:36 pm 
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Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Street photography is the most difficult forms of photography, so let's learn this fascinating field of photography from each other!

MOTIVATION:

I think giving constructive critique is a vital method for improving one's own photography - perhaps more so than receiving feedback. I've been a member of a few groups on Flickr hoping to get and give useful critique on mine and others' images. Most groups just encourage the copy/pasting of glitzy flashing animations which is utterly pointless and does nothing to improve each others' work. Additionally, endless threads containing mediocre images followed by "nice shot" teach the photographer and the poster nothing. There are a few groups which demand members post useful feedback, and everybody agrees their images improve as a result.


RULES!

1. You cannot post your shot until you have critiqued the previous poster's shot.

2. Your critique must be reasonably detailed. Critiquing art is an art in itself and needs to be learned. Your critique must contain positive and negative reactions to the image.

3. Do not post your image in the same post containing the critique.

4. Post an image which you consider "street photography". Your interpretation of whether your image constitutes street photography can also be critiqued.

5. You cannot post another image until two new images by other members have been posted. (this forum is quite quiet so this rule may need modifying).

6. Anybody can critique images. You don't have to post an image in order to post a critique.


OK, I think that's enough rules! Remember that you learn from your failures, so learn to embrace negative criticism!

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Last edited by kimchi on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:47 pm 
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OK, I'll start the ball rolling

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Phnom Penh B&W -1070275 by Creative Vacuum, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:17 am 
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Hi Kimchi,

With the forum being unusually quiet at the moment I think it’s difficult to get responses. My thoughts are, even with a lousy technical photo a photo can be a winner with it’s content. At times some so called expert photographers cannot agree on a photo be it technical or content.

As for your photo I’m not an expert at critique but I think you captured a magical moment with the child’s expression and it appears to be the focal point of the shot. Although the girl is quite large in the front I think with your f 1.7 diffusion of the lens we would expect that but she is clear enough to be part of the scene. It looks like a low light place and you did not use flash so I assume what I think is noise on the girls face is due to the low light.

I would not make any comment on how to improve this because I don’t have any and one has to take into account the moment where you decide to shoot or not, as I said a magical moment.


Cheers

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Interesting topic, I think this will be great for some feedback for street photographers. Just before I critique anything, I'd just like to point out that I'm not in any way a street photographer, so my critique is just the way I feel about the image.

Now, as 4xxxx said, I think that you did capture a magical moment in the girl's expression. While the woman in the foreground to the right does seem out of place, somehow I feel the child's look would seem different if the woman wasn't there, it would look a little lost into infinity somehow. Maybe getting the woman in the foreground in focus would've given the photo a bit different feel. I don't think there's much to improve, it's a candid anyways, and the shot itself is great. Good job :)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:13 am 
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Thanks for taking the time to comment 4xxxx & pierovera. Your critiques are useful & I agree with your comments. It was a low-light shot and the girl on the right moved out of focus as I opened the shutter - f1.7 didn't allow for much movement within the area of acceptable focus.

Anyway, I hope somebody else in the forum is interested in posting a photo in this thread.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Well I think the woman on the right is required to anchor the shot - without her, you wouldn't know what/who the little girl was looking at. In low light you can't have it all, so focusing on the little girl was spot on the right thing to do.

I can't think of many negatives to this shot, and I don't think it's right to have to come up with a negative necessarily.

I'll try to dig out some street shots which I haven't posted on here....


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:29 pm 
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Here's one I don't think I've posted before, and I think I know what the negatives will be...!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Well, you may be sure of the negatives, but I' sure of at lest one positive. I love how he's smiling at the camera, that's awesome.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:33 am 
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This is a good one to capture Phil, I don’t see it as a negative but I think the lighting diverts the eye away from the subjects, maybe this is SOOC and a slight crop would focus on the subjects, I would like to know your thoughts on this shot.


Cheers

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:32 am 
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Thanks Trevor and 4xxxx

This was taken during a walkabout in a traditional part of 'old' Dubai, where there are many small bakeries, restaurants (which are literally holes in the wall), tea shops and barbershops. It's an area with a large number of Indian people living in it, and they've brought their way of life into this section of the city.

So there's usually lots of great texture on old beaten up walls, random adverts everywhere and general chaos. I tried cropping this shot a few times but stuck with this crop as it gets the subject on a vertical third line and avoids the reflection of the photographer in the mirrors (which were everywhere), while still keeping the full reflection of the subjects in view.

I had to get right up close to the window of the shop and tried to shield the lens hood further with my hand after focusing but still got some reflections from outside across the bottom of the image, but it's not too noticable. There was a captive audience, so it was a quick click or two and I was gone.

With a lot of street photography you see clever use of window reflections, mirrors, puddles to create an interesting view of what could otherwise be an ordinary scene. I wasn't trying that here, but where there is a reflection of (more frequently in my part of the world) harsh shadow from the subject, I'm trying to capture that in full as well to anchor the scene.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:46 pm 
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I was wondering what those numbers were on the back of the nearest chair were - I take it it's the reflection from the window. I would never have guessed this was a shot through a window. I assumed you were in there.

I like the B&W conversion, which is becoming almost like your signature. There are a full range of tones here. The use of the sideboard to split the actual and reflected scene works well, and it also leads the eye through the image and towards your main subject. The reflection of the men offer an alternative point of view on your subjects, which is coupled with all the interesting details of the scene which are also repeated across the sideboard. The brick style mirrors and strip lighting also produce some interesting graphic-like effects.

When I first saw this I thought the subjects were somewhat lost in the composition though. There is so much detail in their environment competing for attention. This all adds context and forces the eye to dart around the frame searching for details, but I wonder if the subjects could have been better placed within the composition? It appears that they are situated among less clutter in their reflection, and it's a shame the clock obstructs a third reflection and POV of your subjects. I personally prefer the subjects to not be reacting quite so much with the photographer as it sometimes can break the spell of a candid. Eye contact works for only the instant the subject recognises the fotog, but an instant later and the spell is broken. This shot is a split second too late in this respect.

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