These are some pictures entered for the PhotoActive Forum June Photo Challenge. They may not have gone forward to the Members’ Poll to choose the top favourite, but I certainly like them enough to think them worthy of a mention here.
I like them all for different reasons – to me they illustrate several aspects of the human state.
In most cases I have offered my suggestions for improving these photographs – either by better crops or post process adjustments. It is important to understand that these adjustments are a bit rough and ready and with more time, much better results could be achieved.
Brian’s picture of the woman burying her head in her hands sums up a dreadful feeling of despair. In fact it is quite a depressing picture in many ways. It would seem, then, to have achieved its goal. The graphic qualities of black and white have added to the sense of emotion and it is one of those occasions when monochrome has added to the overall power of the image.
But… black and white needs care. Don’t just expect to turn a colour picture into a black and white picture for instant success. And with this picture, the composition and tonal range needed a bit of adjustment.
Firstly I cropped the picture slightly to concentrate the viewer’s eye into the part of the composition that mattered most – the woman’s hands. I then used Levels to ensure that blacks were indeed black and whites white – a full tonal range.
Without this the picture seemed a little dull, and lacking in contrast. That contrast has added to the drama and atmosphere. I then used the dodge tool to lighten the woman’s hands just a little. Again this helps focus attention.
The distracting object in the background behind the woman’s head has been cloned out completely.
An unpleasant subject, but sadly all too typical of today’s society.
I suspect Phil has deliberately posed this shot and he’s made a pretty good fist of it. However, I do feel it looses some of its impact with that plain white background. It needs to be darker, seedier and more in keeping with the youth’s revolting gesture.
I have (very roughly) darkened the background, cropped in and tilted the image to try and bring out more drama. I have darkened the shadows in the bottle and the thug’s hand to introduce a more ‘gritty’ tonal quality.
I have cropped off the youth’s tee-shirt completely and gone for a wide format. The idea is to concentrate all the atention into the lout’s gesture – that’s what the picture is about.
A remarkable close up of a sleeping newly born baby.
Just look at those hands – but hang on a minute. I actually only want to look at ONE hand. The one with extraordinary detail. The other is out of focus and just distracting. So which matters most? Where is the main interest? – in that one hand.
So I’ve cropped right into it to emphasis it. The texture and detail in that tiny, wrinkled hand is just beautiful.
I think this picture is full of loving tenderness.
The fact that the woman’s fingers are embracing just one of the man’s fingers is an excellent idea.
I’m not convinced by the lighting, which seems to be
straight flash, but the idea and the feel of the picture is excellent.