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Archive 2012 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball
  
 
neighbourboy
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


I'm always open to critique.

Thanks for looking
--David

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Jul 31, 2012 at 07:27 PM
gowhow
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


great set again. The only nitpick would be that when I look at #1, top right, I feel like I am about to be poked in the eye


Jul 31, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Steady Hand
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


Howdy,

In the past I have enjoyed seeing your photos of your family at home and several times made comments about how much I enjoyed your photos.

My comments or suggestions below are not a criticism of you, your model, your talent or skill. I offer them in a friendly tone of voice and with the sole intent to help you with a second POV and set of eyes. If you read sincere questions and simple suggestions as "criticism" of you, then you will miss how I am trying to help you.

Of course this may be your own "style" or your own "vision" and I suppose we can assume that the images look just like they do because that is exactly how you like them. That is OK too. It just shows that there are differences of "opinion" on what looks good. IF these are exactly what you want and like, then by all means continue making your images look like that and have fun doing it. As I always say: "Follow your own muse."
_______________________

One of the things I like about SOME photos showing kids playing or at home with family is the AUTHENTICITY of those images. The best show kids playing naturally, or with natural moments and expressions of childhood or family.

You used the title "FPJ" and since that is taken to mean "Family Photo Journalism" I expect the "photojournalism" rules to apply (as much as possible).

For one thing, I expect to see things as IF I were a fly on the wall observing the scene. I expect the camera to be be "invisible" and the photographer to not interfere with the natural scene or natural actions or people or expressions (no "smile for the camera") or light or postures etc. In short, it should NOT be staged.

In this case, while the photos are not bad, I was struck by the impression that this was more a "photo session for dad to make planned photos of a type that can be passed off as photojournalistic" rather than a kid truly observed playing.

So, they appear to lack authenticity to me. Rather, they look forced, staged, and artificial (some more than others, of course).

How can I say that, when I was not there?

I suppose it is because one does not see a child from so many different POV's without some "setup" or direction or planning or multiple cameras etc.

So, they may show a nice (cute/pretty) child, they may show a play ground, and they may show her climbing etc... but they also appear to me to be more about the photographer's need/want of a certain type of photo (or POV) rather than the child.

For example, take a look at image #5 (or COLLAGE #5) that shows the girl with ball from three different POVs doing the same thing (releasing the ball down a slide).

I can imagine the photographer saying: "Hold that ball there while I climb up above you...and then drop it AFTER I have climbed down to get on the ground below the slide...etc.."

Same thing with "Girl on a Tire Swing."

I don't know of any child that is natural while a photographer is BELOW the tire while they are swinging.

Lest you think these comments unfair, because you see others who claim to do FPJ posting similar photo sets (and I have not critiqued them as I have here), I can only tell you that I have the same feeling about many of those too. In this case, the examples are more clear and so I took the time to write for you and others to read my POV.

Of course I don't expect you or the others who promote "FPJ" to see it as I do.
_______________

I hope these comments help you and others who wish to photograph their children in a natural way, while using photojournalistic restraint from staging photos.



Jul 31, 2012 at 08:08 PM
benee
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


Darnit David, you and your combining multiple images (I kid)!

This is one of the strongest and tightest sets I think I've seen from you.

Great, trippy panning in 1C!
Great angle in 2A
Dig the geometry in 3C and 3D.
Love the final shot as well - pure joy.

I love how you are really getting down low and all over the playground for interesting angles. This is a challenge for me, as I tend to be lazy and/or self concious of people around me.

The only nit is that I think you could pull one shot from 4 (4B feels static) and then combine 4 and 5 into one epic climbing/golf ball ski jump sequence.

I really, really enjoyed this one. I also love the connection we get with her. I get the feeling that not only are you observing everything, but you are still involved as a dad playing with her.

Edit to add: Note to Steady I wrote the above prior to reading your comment. It's funny that we're seeing the same things (that he is involved with the subject) and reacting very differently. For you, it seems to be an "either/or" relationship between the photographer as either an observer or participant. I guess I would say that David is pulling off "both/and" in this - he is both an observer and a participant.



Jul 31, 2012 at 08:17 PM
qwyjibo
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


David,
Only have a minute, but here are my quick thoughts: you really worked hard for a lot of different perspectives and foreground elements. Some of them work better than others, but I appreciate the effort and wide variety of different looks.

Steady,
While I can see your point, I can very easily imagine David's daughter rolling the ball another 300 times that he didn't document. Kids love repetition and the OP's efforts to capture the same park in a number of different ways is very appreciated by me.

Best,
Dave



Jul 31, 2012 at 09:14 PM
neighbourboy
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


Thanks Adam, I'll give a warning to wear some safety glasses, next time.

Steady, that is really fantastic feedback and I'd never say you are unfair. In fact, I think you bring up a very valid point. After giving it a little thought, I'd say that you are correct that these probably don't fit photojournalism in a literal sense, and I guess I'm a little loose with that term. Hopefully I haven't irritated real PJ shooters too much ;-).

For being staged, you're sorta right. There are a few things that she'll do over and over and over again, allowing me to get different angles, without giving any direction at all. Like the series in 4, where she was climbing the green bars. She did that several times throughout the afternoon and I was able to capture those different angles. So I think I can reasonably say those were not staged at all, but just taken at different times throughout the day.

However, there are times, I've given some direction. It's rarely direction on *what* to do, but you totally caught me with the golf ball. While she did come up with throwing it down the slide all on her own - there were a couple of times, when I was at the bottom, saying "Hang on, don't throw it, yet" until I could get into position and focus.

I've always appreciated your comments and I think your feedback is vary fair and honest. You've given me something to really think about.

Ben, thanks my friend. I totally feel you about getting on the ground and such. Here, there was nobody else around so I wasn't self conscious about it. But I do struggle with that in more public settings, even though I have gotten a bit better about it over the years.

Dave - thanks buddy, I always enjoy hearing from you!



Jul 31, 2012 at 09:47 PM
 



Steady Hand
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


Good reply.

Glad you found the different POV helpful (or stimulating some thought on the subject of FPJ).



Jul 31, 2012 at 09:52 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


4 verticals?! Impressive, man

What Sir Steady said was quite interesting. How the multiple angles of view seems to mimick, say, a movie, where there are multiple cameras etc. I know there aren't, but it does lose a bit of the pj'ness (not only in the actual meaning but in the feeling one gets when viewing).

I think trying to have a complete set from one angle, one framing, would be a very interesting challenge.

On to the actual photos.

(this is a bit hard on the iPad, having to scroll up and down a bunch of times. See what I do for you?)

1a. Like. Small girl big world. The transition from in focus to oof is a bit harsh, maybe a little less of tilt?
1b. Cool use of lines. I think if the signals would be more diagonal 'two uld make for a more dynamic image. Also the oof top of the pole competes a bit for eye-pull. Mayeb you could have gotten a bit lower and have the top out of the frame...
1c. Hot diggity (yes, iPad, I'd lie to write diggity. Not dignity, nor dog night). Great circular pan. Eye contact and more wild hair would have taken it over the top, but we get what we could.

2A. I don't know. A bit too much blown out sky to be too interesting.
2b. Nice. It's good to get these once in a while.

3. Decent set but very much overshadowed by 4.

4 5. LOVE this set. Only nitpick is that in the first more dof and more of your daughter would have been nice (and if possible a lower angle) or a much higher angle of her picking it up.
4b and c are great for showing her exertion (like she's taking a rest after working so hard) and the pov of c makes it look as high as it probably feels for her.

6. These are great man
A. Glad you stopped down. Great timing, and that little ball is just perfectly visible. Compositionaly I feel it's lacking a bit. Either a straight on centered view or more of an offset. But here it seems to be in the middle.
B. again, great shot, would love to have a bit more space...
C. Awesome ending. You could just feel her energy and joy, and to capture that in a photo is something we're all striving to do (I hope).

Overall. Very strong set. Keep schooling us.



Aug 01, 2012 at 12:00 AM
neighbourboy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


Really great crit Zalmy, typing on that iPad keyboard - such a pain, too. And you can totally take credit for my verticals. When I turned the camera on it's end, I thought "Zalmy will be so proud!"

Lots of stuff I thought as well when editing - like too much white in 2A and more space in 6b. Also some good additional points that I didn't catch before.

I wasn't sure about 6c, because I totally missed the focus, but the expression was so great, I figured the fuzzy focus wasn't as big a deal.

Have a great night.
--David



Aug 01, 2012 at 06:59 AM
eSchwab
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


I really like looking at your images, they're so different and unique and I feel like this set you really pushed yourself to try some very unusual angles. It's always hard to critique a set like this so I'll just skim over my thoughts,
I like 1B and 2A. I wish 1C had more connection with your daughter.
I love 2B, great photo of her.
3, 4, 5, and 6 are great as they are, in that order. Great story telling. Really great. And the last one is fantastic, the blur adds to the emotion perfectly.



Aug 01, 2012 at 01:04 PM
neighbourboy
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


Thanks very much, Eric. Always good to hear from you, my friend.

--David



Aug 02, 2012 at 12:28 AM
KatieInTexas
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · / FPJ / Tire swing and golf ball


These are nice... you got some great critique so far. I want Zalmy to critique me some day. Very informative.


Aug 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM





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