View Full Version : My Over-Explained 1st Show Your Photo Post

03-26-2009, 11:33 AM
You're about to see from the pile of disclaimers, pre-apologies, and explanations to follow why I will rarely, if ever, post a photo to the critique forum.

I always hope my photo "speaks" to the observer in some positive way, but I can't expect others to always see what I was going for and what might be behind the image. That, and I don't always take criticism very well.

So here comes the pile of 'splainin':

I know the grunge look is becoming kinda overdone, like HDR, but then what isn't these days? Everyone and their dog has a digital imaging device and at least a couple pieces of software to play with.

I shot this in landscape on a tripod, didn't worry about orientation because it was only one of a series of test shots, playing around with off camera flash and reflectors.

Once I grunged it up though, I liked the way my son's body language and facial expression played into the large dark empty space. Even the centered composition, although generally a photography no-no, seemed to work. To me, it was like he was on stage, the spotlight was turned on him, and all that was there was kind of the antithesis of showmanship. Kinda like the wrong act showed up... just sort of a disinterested and mopey subject.

I was also stuck between cloning out the toy lightsaber on his hip or leaving it and calling the photo Luke Shywalker, hahaha.

I couldn't bring myself to show it in landscape since it would be one too many by-the-book technical violations. yet when I cropped to portrait I didn't like the loss of the empty space around him that made him seem smaller. So I went 1x1.

So even though I'm a wuss, I would like to hear about the brightness of the image: if it's too dark.

03-26-2009, 12:11 PM
Some might say they find it a little dark. Myself, Iím open to the results the photog had in mind. Show me what you like. If I like it, fine. If I donít find it appealing, well thatís ok, too.

While I sit and view, I wonder what the image might have looked like if your son had been dressed in black.

Talk about a dark image. :laugh:

03-26-2009, 02:02 PM
yeah, lol, black clothes and maybe also a (faked) black eye...that would have been really poignant.

The classic grunge portrait is usually of some weathered old man or woman, whose eyes speak novels of wisdom and strife. And admittedly doing grunge on a smooth-skinned child is a bit strange. Believe me, if he had even the slightest smile I may still have experimented with it, but would never have posted the result.

I remember seeing a photo magazine article on a Dallas area photographer that did a lot of different portraits and shots of children, whose style was likened by the writer to a modern day Norman Rockwell, and some of his images (sorry, forget his name) stuck in my mind when I was reviewing these test photos.

Thanks for the response- it looks dark on my monitor, but only "moody" dark, not "you've really pooched the exposure" dark.

03-26-2009, 02:07 PM
I'm not to familiar with the process you are talking about but I really do think with a change of wardrobe this could of realllllly looked "The Omen" kind of horroryish.

03-26-2009, 02:12 PM
I quite like the lighting here and on my monitor it is not too dark.
Cute shot - I'm not critiquing further because this is the show forum.

03-26-2009, 02:46 PM
It's kind of a "so what?" image. But after seeing what won that Nat Geo contest in another thread (with the two boys by the whirlpool) I figured what the heck... :p

03-26-2009, 05:07 PM
I like it. I tend to have a lot of photos of my kids, so it is good to do something different with some of them. I think it needs to be in landscape.

Mad Aussie
03-27-2009, 12:24 AM
I like it as is. Not too dark. Could maybe use a slight mid range lighten up but that wouldn't make it better, only change it.

I agree his clothing could perhaps have been more in keeping with the 'scene' (lightsaber) but as you said ... it was a test shot really.

03-27-2009, 12:24 AM
I like it too. It's different than what you'd expect in a portrait, especially of kids.