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Archive 2012 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a s...
  
 
Mast3rshake
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p.1 #1 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a statue)


I'm having a little trouble with this shot. I like it for the most part, but I can't decide whether it should be in B&W, and if so, does the way I edited it make the background too distracting?


Unknown Title, Seoul Museum of Contemporary Art by Ebola Cereal, on Flickr


Untitled by Ebola Cereal, on Flickr



Feb 29, 2012 at 01:40 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #2 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a statue)


The pigeons seem to like the statues also...

The lighting on them from above at about 45 to the faces is ideal for modeling the 3D shape and the overcast day allowed the camera to record the full tonal range. The problem here, apart from the awkward crop that is chopping off the kid's heat and Dad's pecker is the distracting detail in the background.

The B&W conversion doesn't improve the situation because it in you loose the color contrast which is what is creating the separation in the original. The problem is a lack of strong contrast between the foreground and distracting background. The solutions lie in the direction of making the background less distracting and the foreground contrast more.

Consider for a moment if you tool the same statues indoors and photographed them with the lights at the same angle on a seamless background. Would the background distract from the foreground? No. Why? Because when there isn't anything interesting in the background the brain tunes it out and ignores it after grasping that fact. The viewer would assume that the statues were in a museum somewhere, which is pretty normal context for statues.

But here when looking at the foreground the viewer's brain is nagged by all that detail in the background to go look at to try to figure out what in the heck those naked metal people are doing out walking in the woods.

Thus the problem is one of providing the context that they are outdoors but in a way that isn't distracting. The solution? Shallower DOF. Blurring an outdoor background allows you to convey to the viewer the context of the outdoor setting but in a way that doesn't create a lot of distracting detail which will pull the eye off the foreground to go check it out as this quick edit illustrates...







A tighter crop will also help in that regard. The less background you give the viewer to explore, the less tempted they will be to leave the foreground to go explore it, no?








Feb 29, 2012 at 02:44 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a statue)


Since editing can significantly determine how an image comes across, I like to visit a couple of questions that help steer/guide the direction for taking an image:

"What's they point?" and "What are you trying to convey to your viewer?" Even if it just for yourself, this can be helpful to assess how you want to go with it.



Feb 29, 2012 at 02:52 PM
quicksilver33
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p.1 #4 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a statue)


If it were me I'd crop out the woman and child completely leaving as much background as possible, and then crop the guy from just a little below the bellybutton. I really like the color of the statues but that bird crap stands out bad


Feb 29, 2012 at 03:06 PM
 

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Mast3rshake
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p.1 #5 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a statue)


That actually wasn't a crop that cut the arm and body off, but the closest I could get to the statue so I had to make do, unfortunately. Is this a step in the right direction then?







Feb 29, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Mast3rshake
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p.1 #6 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a statue)


RustyBug wrote:
Since editing can significantly determine how an image comes across, I like to visit a couple of questions that help steer/guide the direction for taking an image:

"What's they point?" and "What are you trying to convey to your viewer?" Even if it just for yourself, this can be helpful to assess how you want to go with it.


I'd say the point I'm trying to convey has to do with the perseverance of the Korean people, who in 60 years rebuilt their country from rubble. Who went from fortresses to skyscrapers in only a generation or two. To me, the statues are naked, showing that they have nothing to their name, but are shown standing in a very proud and elegant pose, saying that they don't need anything but what they already have in order to move forward.

Likely I didn't capture that, but I'm certainly no professional.



Feb 29, 2012 at 03:29 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a statue)


Gotcha ... Kinda where I was trying to go (sorta) in this edit. I tried to make it look like a family emerging from the woods.

I tried to make the road look more like a stream by getting rid of the stripes, and give some background separation through blur. Also, worked on removing the upper left treelimb distraction.

It seems a bit awkward of a composition to work with, but I think you're BW is preferable to the color.







Feb 29, 2012 at 03:46 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #8 · How would you change this picture? (potential NSFW of a statue)


The failure to deliver in the message you are wanting to imply is there is nothing in the context of the background or their appearance to tell the viewer they are Korean.

Sometime you need to step back from a mental concept for a shot and but yourself inside the brain of the viewer looking at without any context as to who, what, where, when or why. Those are the basics for developing any story taught in journalism 101. It is said a photo is worth 1,000 words, but you need to realize that each viewer will create their own story based on the content, action and context they see based on their personal experiences or exposure to similar situations.

Who/what is in the photo? A naked family group. That in itself is quite odd. Where's the only place you'd typically see that in real life? A clothing optional beach or a nudist camp. It's not the beach if I had to guess I'd say nudist camp in the woods. What are they doing there? Taking a stroll. Where and why? They look tired and hungry so they probably heading for dinner.... Are they Korean? Difficult to tell what does a Korean look like exactly? A flag pole with a Korean Flag for context in the background or something recognizable as Korean would help in establish that context.

So despite your good intentions the intended message just isn't coming across here.





Feb 29, 2012 at 04:42 PM





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