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Author Topic: The Reluctant Ringbearer  (Read 8728 times)

Jonathan Wienke

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« on: September 25, 2005, 03:38:33 PM »

This is one of my favorite images from a wedding rehearsal I shot on Friday:



While this has obvious appeal to the parents and family of the subjects, I'm interested in whether this image appeals to a wider audience; whether it transcends the typical "cute kid" snapshot to something greater. And feel free to nitpick the technical stuff and cropping, etc.

boku

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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2005, 03:42:51 PM »

On the lighter side...

I, personally, am glad to see the young man irritated. Great sense of street smarts!
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Tim Gray

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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2005, 04:09:46 PM »

This crop might be a bit extreme, but I'm thinking it more quickly focuses attention on the boy's expression - which is bang on.
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paulbk

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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2005, 06:59:56 PM »

J,
I love the range and smooth tonality of the B&W conversion. Mind telling how you did it?
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2005, 07:06:02 PM »

Convert To B&W Pro, followed by a curve tweak to boost contrast, and then a bit of Shadow/Highlight to bring back the texture of the pillow. The curve and S/H tweak was done after Tim's recrop, which accounts for the difference between his crop and mine.

jule

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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2005, 08:04:04 PM »

What a great image Jonathan. The expression on the boys face is priceless, and I can feel the little girl is on the cusp of reprimanding him or becoming bossy.  

The tonality is beautiful and interesting, - composition uncluttered. I can see Tim's point with his crop making the boys face more striking to grab attention more quickly, but I am still unsure about having the girl's head lopped off the top.

Just a thought...what about trying to lighten the diagonal line which transverses across the little girl's armpit to just above the little boys ear? I don't have the know-how to do that, but I would be interested in seeing how it affects the image. I suspect it may bring the children more in the foreground more and create a little more depth in the image, but just a thought.

Julie

Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2005, 11:39:24 PM »

The diagonal line is the shadow of a tree, and you're right, it is a distraction. And it's not that hard to remove:



I didn't take it out 100%, but lightened it up enough so that it is no longer a distraction. I really don't like chopping the girl's head off like that; I think it's more of a negative than a positive thing to crop the shot like that. The chopped head becomes its own distraction.

jule

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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2005, 11:59:45 PM »

Thanks Jonathan for demonstrating what I imagined. I think that is much less distracting now, and for me - much better.

Yes...after a little more of a ponder, I definately prefer the little girl's head not to be cropped. The little boy's facial expression and his eyes are such a strong feature in the image, they draw me in very quickly anyway, and no other technique needs to be employed to do that more quickly.

Julie

opgr

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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2005, 03:47:36 AM »

Excellent DOF control, a plus. The props hint at the context, also a plus. However, since the props play such an important role, I wouldn't want to see the girl's hand chopped. Needs more room at the bottom, and to preserve the square format it can then also use some room at the left imo. A bit more separation between the two children would be helpful to the eye. The detail and tone in the blouse and the prop is relatively equivalent and tend to look cluttered.

I don't think this image can make it in the real world, because the boys expression doesn't seem to be a result of the context, doesn't look natural. The girl's expression on the other hand is. Very telling.  (The reprimand thing mentioned earlier).
Also the background is too "loud" and distracting, and doesn't contribute at all to the context. Neither helps the composition, nor the narrative. The clothes also make it somewhat chaotic and contradict the context.

btw If the girl would be standing by the ocean at sunset, staring at the waves gently rolling on the beach, it would make a wonderful image...
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2005, 11:35:27 AM »

Quote
btw If the girl would be standing by the ocean at sunset, staring at the waves gently rolling on the beach, it would make a wonderful image...
I disagree. That would turn it into a cliche. A great strength of Jonathan's image is the questions raised by the expressions on both kids' faces.

The other suggested changes (the ones that Jonathan has now incorporated) work for me. I prefer the cropping as is.

-Eric
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opgr

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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2005, 12:26:28 PM »

Quote
Quote
btw If the girl would be standing by the ocean at sunset, staring at the waves gently rolling on the beach, it would make a wonderful image...
I disagree. That would turn it into a cliche. A great strength of Jonathan's image is the questions raised by the expressions on both kids' faces.
That would indeed be a cliché, but it's supposed to show that the girl can easily be taken out of this context into a completely different one...

The strength of the expressions is questionable because the boy's expression seems more a result of the interaction with the Photographer than as a result of the context/environment. Earlier remarks about the boy showing dislike/irritation doesn't seem appropriate, but certainly doesn't seem to be a result of the context.

I don't mean to over-emphasize this issue, but I think it is what makes an image more complete so that it could be considered more generally appealing as per the original question.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2005, 02:27:56 PM »

Opgr,

It sounds to me as if we're getting down to personal preferences. What you find incomplete seems to be what I find interesting in the image. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

-Eric
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jule

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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2005, 03:49:31 PM »

Isn't it fascinating how we all respond differently? I love the different patterning on each of the children's clothes, and find it enriches and supports the individuality of the two children and their different expressions. The stripes on the shirt and curved patterning on the dress, for me, are separated wonderfully by the textured (whatever you call it). I think that if the two were wearing plain, matching clothing, the image would look no where near as spontaneous, interesting and 'child like'.

Julie

Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2005, 07:24:49 PM »

Having been there, I can say with some authority that the boy was tired of being the ringbearer; it was the third run-through at the rehearsal and he was getting bored and fed up with the whole process. The result is wat you see, and why I titled the image as I did.

Mark D Segal

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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2005, 11:36:27 AM »

Jonathan, I think this is an excellent photograph. Technically very well executed - texture, tonality, original cropping - fine. To answer your question, I think it has a universal appeal - transcends the wedding album of the individual family. The two facial studies are perfectly natural, contrasting moods that one could expect of any children anywhere under the circumstances, hence evocative. Good portfolio shot.
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