A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Discussions
deuler
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A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
Mar 18, 2013

Yesterday was blustery and the sky was overcast. We decided to brave the elements for the sake of my photography habit (yes, she was being super patient in joining me on the expedition). I packed a flash (flr50) and a small soft box (the only one i have), my OMD + the Lumix 35-100 and a tripod + remote. We didn't stay out long, but did manage to take quite a few pics. The images below are my faves from the day. She isn't crazy about the setting while i thought it looked interesting in a dystopian way. I've lost my objectivity at this point am interested to hear what the Micro4/3 dp community thinks about the photographs: good ones, bad ones, crop, IQ, composition, lightroom use or abuse? input appreciated. thanks!

ThePalindrome
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

Number 2 and Number 6. And use the clouds from Number 1 in Number 2.

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rrr_hhh
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

This is the best one by far IMO.

http://forums.dpreview.com/files/t/3962b331c78640aba715d558fe22216e



The people standing nearer of the camera frame the picture and the couple is looking at you, instead of turning their backs to the camera. Since they are far enough, they don't block the view of the buildings in the background, nor that of the rail.

The whole could need a little more contrast. Open the shadows if hat makes the foreground and buildings too dark. Add a little clarity too, to get more local contrat (thinking to it, it may be the only added contrast ths picture needs)

Interesting place by the way. I wish I could see it in person.

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deuler
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to ThePalindrome, Mar 18, 2013

ThePalindrome wrote:

Number 2 and Number 6. And use the clouds from Number 1 in Number 2.

Thanks!

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Ulric
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

deuler wrote:


This is my favourite. It was fun to play with in PP.

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deuler
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to rrr_hhh, Mar 18, 2013

rrr_hhh wrote:

This is the best one by far IMO.

http://forums.dpreview.com/files/t/3962b331c78640aba715d558fe22216e



The people standing nearer of the camera frame the picture and the couple is looking at you, instead of turning their backs to the camera. Since they are far enough, they don't block the view of the buildings in the background, nor that of the rail.

The whole could need a little more contrast. Open the shadows if hat makes the foreground and buildings too dark. Add a little clarity too, to get more local contrat (thinking to it, it may be the only added contrast ths picture needs)

Interesting place by the way. I wish I could see it in person.

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rrr_hhh

Thanks for your feedback. I was also partial to this one as the 'subject' is clearly the couple. The other images in the series don't have clear 'subjects' as the background and foreground fight for attention, although the image where the couple is looking at the buildings does resolve the issue a bit.

I have upped the contrast and clarity a bit and opened the shadows a touch too. Let me know if the image below is in the direction you were thinking.

thanks!

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

Nice series, the best is the the 4 picture.


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rrr_hhh
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

deuler wrote:

rrr_hhh wrote:

This is the best one by far IMO.

http://forums.dpreview.com/files/t/3962b331c78640aba715d558fe22216e



The people standing nearer of the camera frame the picture and the couple is looking at you, instead of turning their backs to the camera. Since they are far enough, they don't block the view of the buildings in the background, nor that of the rail.

The whole could need a little more contrast. Open the shadows if hat makes the foreground and buildings too dark. Add a little clarity too, to get more local contrat (thinking to it, it may be the only added contrast ths picture needs)

Interesting place by the way. I wish I could see it in person.

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rrr_hhh

Thanks for your feedback. I was also partial to this one as the 'subject' is clearly the couple. The other images in the series don't have clear 'subjects' as the background and foreground fight for attention, although the image where the couple is looking at the buildings does resolve the issue a bit.

I have upped the contrast and clarity a bit and opened the shadows a touch too. Let me know if the image below is in the direction you were thinking.

Yes that s in the direction I was thinking, may a little too much so for the couple's faces. To make hens pop out more, you could try to use the brush to lighten them a little more, may be just pushing th shadow slider a little to the right.. Or perhaps also a little tiny push t the expsure slider. You ave to try. Use a brush with very  soft edge. Then use the brush to tanke the highlights again in the sky between the two buildings on the left (you have lost details ther by adding contrast.

Well ths is jst guessing, because I'm on the iPad and don't ave any mean to try it in LR. Too bad that the guy on the left dn't showing a little bit of his face.

thanks!

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Pic Man
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

It's a new age, the age of ugly high rise blocks to fit growing populations. I like six best, the father could be saying, son/daughter this is what you've got to look forward to and then the baby cries (that's what I think when I see it anyway). Six also has the best composition IMO.

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Ulric
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to Pic Man, Mar 18, 2013

Pic Man wrote:

I like six best, the father could be saying, son/daughter this is what you've got to look forward to and then the baby cries (that's what I think when I see it anyway).

And then the father tosses the baby over the concrete fence.

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zkz5
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

I absolutely love this setting but I don't think it fits the family theme very well.

The setting and color conveys loneliness to me and the more people that are in the frame the more they seem out of place, so I think #1 and #2 are the best of these.

If I could re-do these I would:

* frame the shot as in #1

* use the mother and child only as subjects

* have them wear colors that contrast the scene more (i.e. not that grey coat)

* mother facing away from the camera as in #2, child leaning over mother's shoulder facing towards the camera, mother tightly embracing the child as if worried.

But that's probably not the sort of photo your subjects want...

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deuler
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to zkz5, Mar 18, 2013

zkz5 wrote:

I absolutely love this setting but I don't think it fits the family theme very well.

The setting and color conveys loneliness to me and the more people that are in the frame the more they seem out of place, so I think #1 and #2 are the best of these.

If I could re-do these I would:

* frame the shot as in #1

* use the mother and child only as subjects

* have them wear colors that contrast the scene more (i.e. not that grey coat)

* mother facing away from the camera as in #2, child leaning over mother's shoulder facing towards the camera, mother tightly embracing the child as if worried.

But that's probably not the sort of photo your subjects want...

Nice suggestions, but I'm concerned the image would be only halfway 'stylised' and therefore feel forced – might be even better if the provocative nature was dialled WAY up, Helmut Newton style: wait for a spotted blue sky, sun low enough for long shadows, a polarising filter in front of lens – have the woman and child closer to the camera, the camera lower and angled slightly upward giving the subjects a 'heroic' appearance, dress the woman in skin tight metallic white tights, topless facing the buildings (muscular back to camera), baby in left arm casually glancing toward the lens over woman's shoulder. The dystopian buildings looming in the background reiterating a state controlled society.

i wish.

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Ulric
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

deuler wrote:

The dystopian buildings looming in the background reiterating a state controlled society.

i wish.

In Soviet Russia, contrast increases you!

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RoelHendrickx
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I'll just offer you my motivated thoughts on all, OK? (And then a conclusion)
In reply to deuler, Mar 18, 2013

deuler wrote:

Yesterday was blustery and the sky was overcast. We decided to brave the elements for the sake of my photography habit (yes, she was being super patient in joining me on the expedition). I packed a flash (flr50) and a small soft box (the only one i have), my OMD + the Lumix 35-100 and a tripod + remote. We didn't stay out long, but did manage to take quite a few pics. The images below are my faves from the day. She isn't crazy about the setting while i thought it looked interesting in a dystopian way. I've lost my objectivity at this point am interested to hear what the Micro4/3 dp community thinks about the photographs: good ones, bad ones, crop, IQ, composition, lightroom use or abuse? input appreciated. thanks!

I wanted to write comments between the images but that did not work: I kept deleting the images.

So I"ll write my brief comments here, in order of the images below.

(1) good composition on the background, though the right building is dangerously close to the frame edge. People are clear, though it would have been a good idea to wear either darker or brighter clothes that do not blend in so much with the background. The green is a blessing.

(2) Same on the background, though not quite as close to the edge. That's better. Turning away from the camera creates more story : what are they looking at that is out there.

(3) OK, you joined them, and the group of kids walking between you and the camera is a fun factor, but they get in the way just too much.

(4) Same idea, but better : the passers-by add life without getting in the way (at least not of the three main people : the kid on the left side is a bit overpowering the leftside building). Three main subjects echo the three buildings. This is the best one so far.

(5) Another relationship of equal numbers : two persons and two buildings. Works well too. Getting down from the ledge has a benefit : there is no more cutting in half of the persons by the top of the railing.  However, getting down from the ledge is not a real solution, because now the cutting-off happens at the knees.  So: good try but no go.

(6) and (7) are variations of (2) and are better because of the three-three ratio. Of these two last ones, the first is the best because of the position of the heads of baby and wife : more separation.

I would go with (6) and (4) : threesome looking away and lonely and then looking at us and surrounded by life.



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ThePalindrome
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to rrr_hhh, Mar 18, 2013

Interesting, I really disliked the pictures with the people in the foreground. The geometry of the background and the minimalism is what I like about the scene because it focuses the attention on the main subjects. The people in the foreground just seem random and unconnected to the rest. Especially the out-of-focus half of a boy in a black jacket doesn't make any sense to me.

These are just my personal feelings about the pictures and I'm not starting a discussion which one is the objectively better (because that is not possible). I find it interesting that different people have so different reactions to these pictures.

Ultimately it depends on what the vision, the intention of the photographer was when he created these images which one is best, as in which one fits this original vision best.

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deuler
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Re: I'll just offer you my motivated thoughts on all, OK? (And then a conclusion)
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Mar 19, 2013

RoelHendrickx wrote:

deuler wrote:

Yesterday was blustery and the sky was overcast. We decided to brave the elements for the sake of my photography habit (yes, she was being super patient in joining me on the expedition). I packed a flash (flr50) and a small soft box (the only one i have), my OMD + the Lumix 35-100 and a tripod + remote. We didn't stay out long, but did manage to take quite a few pics. The images below are my faves from the day. She isn't crazy about the setting while i thought it looked interesting in a dystopian way. I've lost my objectivity at this point am interested to hear what the Micro4/3 dp community thinks about the photographs: good ones, bad ones, crop, IQ, composition, lightroom use or abuse? input appreciated. thanks!

I wanted to write comments between the images but that did not work: I kept deleting the images.

So I"ll write my brief comments here, in order of the images below.

(1) good composition on the background, though the right building is dangerously close to the frame edge. People are clear, though it would have been a good idea to wear either darker or brighter clothes that do not blend in so much with the background. The green is a blessing.

(2) Same on the background, though not quite as close to the edge. That's better. Turning away from the camera creates more story : what are they looking at that is out there.

(3) OK, you joined them, and the group of kids walking between you and the camera is a fun factor, but they get in the way just too much.

(4) Same idea, but better : the passers-by add life without getting in the way (at least not of the three main people : the kid on the left side is a bit overpowering the leftside building). Three main subjects echo the three buildings. This is the best one so far.

(5) Another relationship of equal numbers : two persons and two buildings. Works well too. Getting down from the ledge has a benefit : there is no more cutting in half of the persons by the top of the railing. However, getting down from the ledge is not a real solution, because now the cutting-off happens at the knees. So: good try but no go.

(6) and (7) are variations of (2) and are better because of the three-three ratio. Of these two last ones, the first is the best because of the position of the heads of baby and wife : more separation.

I would go with (6) and (4) : threesome looking away and lonely and then looking at us and surrounded by life.



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Hi Roel,

Thank you for your astute and well articulated feedback. Your observations regarding composition and with regards to frame edges and building to subject ratios are clearly rational and appeal to a sense of logic which is difficult to refute. Narrative, on the other hand, is subjective - although i do agree with many of your points; 'green being a blessing', 'looking away from the camera', but most of all i appreciate the fact that you took the time to review the images and came to a final conclusion regarding which two images work the best and how they create a sense of story telling when paired. Your final statement was: "I would go with (6) and (4) : threesome looking away and lonely and then looking at us and surrounded by life."

Thanks again for taking the time to respond with such insightful commentary. I'd be happy to return the favour, keep me posted and do share your work. You can find me on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidbuddenhagen/

Cheers, 
David

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deuler
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Re: A Strange Barcelona setting (7 similar pics, looking for best 2)
In reply to ThePalindrome, Mar 19, 2013

ThePalindrome wrote:

Interesting, I really disliked the pictures with the people in the foreground. The geometry of the background and the minimalism is what I like about the scene because it focuses the attention on the main subjects. The people in the foreground just seem random and unconnected to the rest. Especially the out-of-focus half of a boy in a black jacket doesn't make any sense to me.

These are just my personal feelings about the pictures and I'm not starting a discussion which one is the objectively better (because that is not possible). I find it interesting that different people have so different reactions to these pictures.

Ultimately it depends on what the vision, the intention of the photographer was when he created these images which one is best, as in which one fits this original vision best.

Hi rr,

You bring up the important dichotomy of photography as 'contemporary art' (see Michael Fired's essay on Thomas Demand from 2005) or as a 'social tool' in capitalist societies (see Susan Songtag's  collection of essays 'On Photography'. To quote an essay by Christopher Bedford with regards to the former: "Thomas Demand is just one example of an artist/photographer – other obvious examples include Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall –who has achieved [here is the interesting part] prominence adn whose work generates interest because process and concept can be located in the work that precedes the moment a photograph is taken. The photograph is simply the incidental conclusion, the polished index of a more complex back-story to be researched and unpacked by the viewer/critic. in this sense, the photograph is not independently productive of meaning, but is rather the document that records and implies the extended process behind the image."

I appreciate your thought regarding the subjective nature of photography. It reminded me to take a few minutes to reflect. I enjoyed the break, now back to work...

David

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RoelHendrickx
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In reply to deuler, Mar 19, 2013

deuler wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I wanted to write comments between the images but that did not work: I kept deleting the images.

So I"ll write my brief comments here, in order of the images below.

(1) good composition on the background, though the right building is dangerously close to the frame edge. People are clear, though it would have been a good idea to wear either darker or brighter clothes that do not blend in so much with the background. The green is a blessing.

(2) Same on the background, though not quite as close to the edge. That's better. Turning away from the camera creates more story : what are they looking at that is out there.

(3) OK, you joined them, and the group of kids walking between you and the camera is a fun factor, but they get in the way just too much.

(4) Same idea, but better : the passers-by add life without getting in the way (at least not of the three main people : the kid on the left side is a bit overpowering the leftside building). Three main subjects echo the three buildings. This is the best one so far.

(5) Another relationship of equal numbers : two persons and two buildings. Works well too. Getting down from the ledge has a benefit : there is no more cutting in half of the persons by the top of the railing. However, getting down from the ledge is not a real solution, because now the cutting-off happens at the knees. So: good try but no go.

(6) and (7) are variations of (2) and are better because of the three-three ratio. Of these two last ones, the first is the best because of the position of the heads of baby and wife : more separation.

I would go with (6) and (4) : threesome looking away and lonely and then looking at us and surrounded by life.



Hi Roel,

Thank you for your astute and well articulated feedback. Your observations regarding composition and with regards to frame edges and building to subject ratios are clearly rational and appeal to a sense of logic which is difficult to refute.

Thanks.

Narrative, on the other hand, is subjective

I agree

- although i do agree with many of your points; 'green being a blessing', 'looking away from the camera',

I tried to be as concise as possible: not always easy for me...

but most of all i appreciate the fact that you took the time to review the images and came to a final conclusion regarding which two images work the best and how they create a sense of story telling when paired. Your final statement was: "I would go with (6) and (4) : threesome looking away and lonely and then looking at us and surrounded by life."

Well, that really is my opinion and it unites two images and makes them stand out from the pack;



Thanks again for taking the time to respond with such insightful commentary. I'd be happy to return the favour, keep me posted and do share your work. You can find me on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidbuddenhagen/

I'll take a look.

My webpages are here : www.roelh.zenfolio.com

You will find a very broad variety of shots (I daresay: something for everybody there).  Take your pick on what you want to look at.

I also post images and stuff for C&C on several DPR Forums.

This is a most recent effort and if you really have the time, all feedback is welcome:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/51094659

But don't feel obliged : it was my pleasure to try and figure out what appealed in your shots and then to try and express that.  Doing that is always helpful for myself too.  It forces me to be conscious about images.

Cheers to you David,

from Roel.

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