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Relaxing in the Park

This is a discussion on Relaxing in the Park within the Street - Urban Photography forums, part of the Show your photo (Color) - Landscape & Nature (flowers, mountains, storms etc.) category; A few pics from the Luxembourg park in Paris....

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    asnow is offline Senior Member
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    Default Relaxing in the Park

    A few pics from the Luxembourg park in Paris.
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    These are loads of fun -

    Normally people from the back is a pet peeve of mine (shot 1 is not doing it for me) but if the gestures work, like the fab gesture in shot 4 - then it works.

    Shots 2 and 4 in that order are my faves here.
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    Thanks Marko.

    You say "Normally people from the back is a pet peeve of mine". Is this simply a compositional thing or is there something else ... such as the creep factor of somebody sneaking up from behind and taking a picture.

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    Fun set Asnow.

    I like the common theme throughout and my favourites are 4 and 3 in that order.

    Just another couple of thoughts (a bit more detailed and nitpicking than normal as I know you have really been concentrating and working on your photography of late).

    2 and 3 almost look a little underexposed. I just find the people in these a flat or dark. Maybe as a result of the processing to B & W with the high contrast scene???. (it may also be just an illusion due to the white background on this site). Maybe consider a slight dodge of the skin tones?????

    I can see you have thought about the composition a lot with these and they work well. I like the triangular layout of shot 3 and the inclusion of the person between the columns in shot 4.

    You mentioned in another post about cropping, so I am probably paying more attention to this than I normally would. I do find a couple of the aspect ratios a little awkward. Also if it were me, I would consider a cropping out the person on the right of shot 3

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    You say "Normally people from the back is a pet peeve of mine". Is this simply a compositional thing or is there something else ... such as the creep factor of somebody sneaking up from behind and taking a picture.
    No creep factor. It's simply an interest thing. The backs of people are straight up boring - normally they add nothing to a scene or detract from a scene. Faces rule. Faces connect.
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    You say "Faces rule. Faces connect". I understand that. Are there not some (mind you probably not many) cases where not showing the face adds to the interest, mystery. And I am in no way trying to suggest that this is the case in my picture.

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    I like em all. Observing people is a fun thing to do, and sometimes one has to shoot them from the back so not to be too intrusive. Still brings the message around.
    ~~ Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder ~~

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    Number two is definitely a winner here with the attitude displayed all over the place in an entertaining subject.

    But my next preference is #1 and while I understand Marko's interest in faces, which I agree with, I also like a shot from behind the person and I'll tell you why.

    1) By being behind them you are seeing what they see. You are being put in the subject's spot and are viewing the world much in the same way they are and so there is a connection.

    2) Behind a crowd and I'm not interested but there is something for me in a solitary, lone figure as in shot #1. A vulnerability, an "alone-ness" that I identify with for some reason. They are all by themselves and they are taking in the world around them. (this one may actually be checking her phone but you get my meaning)

    3) It also has a slight voyeuristic quality that, let's face it, we as photographers, like to engage in.
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    Thanks Iggy for your perspective on shooting from behind. Proof we all have our own viewpoint and preferences. It's hard to please everyone. So to me, consider everyone's views but the only person you really have to please is yourself.
    Marko and Iguanasan like this.

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    You say "Faces rule. Faces connect". I understand that. Are there not some (mind you probably not many) cases where not showing the face adds to the interest, mystery. And I am in no way trying to suggest that this is the case in my picture.
    Imo, all elements in the photo should contribute. This is the best case scenario. Good painters don't paint extra lines. They also rarely paint people from behind. The great Karsh, I believe made only 1 portrait of the back of someone. (And still made sure to get other angles)

    Street photography is different is some ways, but identical in other ways.
    If you are including a person whose face we can see - that usually helps the comp if, exposure and other features of a good photograph are there. If we can't see a face but we see a strong gesture...that works. If we see no face but a strong silhouette...that can work too. If we see no face and no gesture we need 'more'.

    If there is no gesture, and no face. and they are in the center or on the thirds.... Then imo, you are normally guiding the viewer to a boring place.....my solution is often to wait for the gesture....or move on, or shoot the scene without them in it.

    Backs of people are like extras in a movie....rarely will the movie or image be stronger if they are included in an area normally reserved for a (more exciting) focal point. If they are in the background, and they don't detract...that's cool because they aren't stealing our attention with their backs.

    Just my opinion here...
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