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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:59 am 
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Location: Sydney Australia
Hi guys,

I just printed my first little coffee table street photography book and its just for myself and not really something Im planning on sharing but people have been telling me to get it out there and Im still not sure. Part of me still thinks I need a lot of work.

Anyway - was printing with blurb and here's the preview of my finished book. http://au.blurb.com/b/4407884-transitions

Anyone have a suggestion on how to get started getting my images out there? Should I get a small gallery etc? I don't know... Im not completely confident in my images.

Leo

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1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:14 pm 
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A couple thoughts and suggestions for you Leo:

- Why are there identical images on either side of the spread? I like Robert Frank's "The Americans" layout where there's just one image per spread, on the right, but to repeat each picture in a lighter (blown-out) version on the left doesn't seem to serve any purpose.

- Many might consider the fact that you live in a sunny area a blessing, but for pictures, it's not always ideal. A lot of your photos have very harsh contrasts because they were shot in harsh light. Try going out on cloudy days or on early mornings/late afternoons/evenings.

- Street photography is a tough genre, I know that from personal experience. One of the main challenges I encounter in my photography is capturing moments that carry meaning, however small. For example, I like your image of the elderly couple with suitcases (title: Journey). Tells me that they're still going places despite their age. The next image (Urgency) is also nice, it makes the viewer wonder what's going on. A couple of pages before it, though, there's an image of a woman texting. To me, that doesn't convey much. Taking a picture of it is just fine, and it might have meaning to you personally, but when you're sharing work with others, filter out the images that don't tell a story, especially if their visual appeal isn't particularly striking.

- Though it reminds me of Martin Parr's work, I really like the image of the trash can (Leftovers). Again, it tells a story, perhaps about modern consumerism and the waste we generate, or something else, depending on the viewer.

- Some of your images (e.g. Dinner) are very dark. That could just be the terrible compression of Blurb, but it makes me wonder what the actual book looks like.

- I often come across quite talented street photographers on Google+, add them to my circles, only to remove them later because they are posting pictures of flowers. Now this is just a personal belief, mind you, but I think that if you found the genre of photography you like, you need to stick with it, especially in a book like this. Your image titled "Lake George" might be appealing to others, it just doesn't fit in the context of this book.

- "News" is a picture that is almost excellent. I really like the moment you captured, but I feel it could be better. First off, his feet are missing, yet there's space above his head. Second, the door (?) on the right is obstructing my view. Last, the bokeh's a little harsh, so if you can, try opening up the aperture a little wider.

Hope that helps. Keep shooting and feel confident in sharing your images. If you don't post them anywhere, nobody is going to tell you what you might improve upon.

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:34 am 
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I agree with Bjorn. I'm not sure the repeated image on the left side of the spreads work. You want the reader to dwell on an image, not flit between your main image and a translucent and cropped version of it on the adjacent page. Alternatives could be:

-leave the left page blank
-put only the title on the left page
-add another image on the left page. This could be something completely different, or another image on the same theme, or at the same location, or of the same subject.

In general, I'm not feeling much engagement with your subjects. Many of your images are taken from safe perspectives. This could be from behind, from the side, or from a distance. As a general rule in street photography, closer is better. Shots taken from a distance can work if they are pleasantly composed. I think Henri Cartier-Bresson was a master at composition, whereas William Klein and Bruce Gilden's photographic impact comes partially from being in among their subjects.

One of the issues with photography is the memory of a photographer. Some of my favourite shots are those that spark a memory. It could be where I was, who I was with, or something about the person or situation. Very rarely is this emotional connection available to a viewer of that photograph unless they were there when it was taken. Capturing that feeling in an untitled, uncaptioned stand-alone image is what street photographers aspire towards.

The best way to improve your photography is by inviting critique as you have done here (family & friends don't count). I'm a member of some groups on Flickr which critique each other's images. 90% of what I post gets shot down in flames, but it was 100% when I started. I started a thread http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=32337 for this purpose a few months ago, but only one other person has posted. Most image threads on friendly forums such as Cameralabs just tell you what you want to hear. It could be an idea to post and invite critique on some of the more cut-throat fora :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Location: Sydney Australia
Thanks for the honest opinions. I really need it - I just don't like the advice I get from friends and family - I prefer to see what photographers have to say. I want to be able to know when I have a shot that works or a shot that doesn't, because by the time I put my 5 digit number of money down, I dont want to waste shutter actuations on badly composed and exposed shots with a Leica.

Please keep the comments coming - I really don't care how brutal you guys go - theres no way Im gonna learn if its only positive critique, I can get that from my friends :D

Leo

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1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

http://www.poetproductions.net


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:04 am 
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I actually like the mirroring of the shots but think that it would have worked better as a backdrop to a small amount of text. Possible the title and the location/date. I am not a fan of explaining an image (it shouldn't need it) so I would limit the text to just title/location.

I also agree with the above comments that some of the images are weak. Street photography is about capturing interesting people, people interacting with each other, people interacting with their environment or interesting/unique events. A person sitting on a bench or walking in the street using their smart phone doesn't make for an unusual or interesting subject - we see it too often in everyday life.

This is especially true of shots with people looking/walking away from the camera. Except in very specific circumstances these are particularly uninteresting as they tell us nothing about the individual, what they are doing or what they are thinking. A back shot only really works if the person is displaying very strong body language that tells us something about their state of mind. Alternatively a person facing away may be moving towards something of interest or someone/something is coming towards them. Lastly you have the shadow/environment shot. A wide shot of the surrounding with the person casting an interesting shadow or in some other way interacting with the environment.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:11 pm 
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Location: Sydney Australia
Thanks again guys

So I took all your suggestions into consideration - I got rid of the mirroring of the images, as when I got the book printed (as a test) the opacity and detail was fantastic but it was annoying. So that's gone now. I kinda had the "art student" in me and thought it would have more meaning but it just got annoying.

I agree, that most of the "on the phone" images are pretty weak and decided against them. Although I decided to keep some of the one of people sitting even if they aren't doing anything interesting, I wanted to capture how monotonous life in the big city is similar to life in a small city/country. I also thought that some of the things the ppl were wearing was interesting. So I will defy you photogs on that point (BUT I did get rid of a few that didn't meet that criteria.) I do however find the image of the girl with the glasses and hat on the side of the road interesting.

I brightened up Dinner, and thanks for catching that Bjorn (I brightened it up before I got Blurb to print it and you're right, because its still too dark.)

Im also going to just focus on separating my images - I realised that I put a landscape like and macro like image of my drive to Lake George and thought, hmm, maybe not - I might keep the Telegraph pole image (civilisation) as I like the clash between country and city (as its part of my transition when I moved.)

Guys, Thankyou, I hope to impress you all later when I start shooting Leica and compile a purely street focused series and then later a purely landscape focused series.

This is the best photography forum ever, Im so glad I came here when I bought my first digital SLR, and I don't see myself ever leaving.

Leo

_________________
1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

http://www.poetproductions.net


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