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Solitude.....
  
 
R.H. Johnson
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Solitude.....








Bali, Indonesia 2017. Planting the rice



Sep 09, 2017 at 02:11 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Solitude.....


You capture the experience


Sep 09, 2017 at 03:28 PM
beavens
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Solitude.....


I like the capture!

Personal preference tweaks below.

Jeff







Sep 10, 2017 at 06:55 PM
R.H. Johnson
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Solitude.....


2 techniques for the same effect. cropping vs. negative space to force the eye to the subject. i do not prefer the black and white. the color image uses negative space and the color of the straw hat in combination to force the eye to the subject. you have lost the narrative of the original image with a tight crop. solitude in the planting of rice in the field, a matter of preference imho.....


Sep 11, 2017 at 01:36 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Solitude.....


Imo, the implied line of the rice plants is a powerful / subtle component. It provides a leading line from the negative space to person, but it also provides the basis for the question of how many more / how far does the line of rice plants continue ... hence a contributor to the theme of solitude in the work.

While the crop brings us in to the person, it's double edge sword kinda loses the line of rice plants that have a bit of integration as supporting cast to the message of solitude ... which is somewhat different from the message of the process of planting rice ... if that makes any sense.

I think you might be able to crop just below your watermark, and the elongation of the format may go nicely with the extension of the rice plant implied line. However, then you lose a bit of the reflection ... which could also be supporting the theme of solitude (person & reflection only, time to reflect, etc.). The question then becomes "how much reflection" do you need to still convey "reflection"?

Heres' a crop with a little off the right and bottom to shift the weighting a bit, yet retain the implied line of the rice plants. Many ways to go, but I suspect the OP mostly put it where he wanted it to support the theme of his message.

I find a certain oxymoron between the (need for) hat and the current lighting atmospheric conditions ... which are of course subject to change in the LONG DAY of rice planting. I resisted raising the tonal values in favor of the ambient lighting levels. It just seems to be a part of the presence of being there as the theme of solitude connects to the experience of the task (as simply stated by Ben) ... moreover than just a recording of the task itself.

That said, the crop / mono / contrast version has its own merits and brings an increased degree of focus to the person / task ... with just a wee bit different kind of message, imo. More "portrait"-like than "scene"-like, if that makes any sense. I even question if my crop is still "too tight" to retain the fullness of the OP message. As the saying goes, "sometimes less is more" ... less crop, is more space ... and space is likely an accompanying component to the attribute of solitude.

Finding the balance between the requisite space, and the desire for a "closer look" can be somewhat diametrically challenging. In that regard, re-consideration of the primary / secondary goal(s) for the message can either steer one's decisions ... or sometimes a realization that an opportunity for re-balancing of the goals may exist, as well.

We've seen it many times over ... where a good pic, can afford a multitude of options and still be good. Yet, those options all have an impact on the overall message of the pic. Sometimes, they are a straightforward improvement / strengthening. Other times they have a "quid pro quo" element to the changes. Imo, this one is very much "quid pro quo", as we transition from the OP.

Notice how even a change in saturation can alter the message a bit, if we move from a more "vibrant" color to something a bit more "dirty". Thus, we have to choose between the message of the vibrant color of the grass / rice plants vs. the "muck" of the presence. "Pretty colors" aren't always congruent to the message. Neither is "more contrast" always congruent, especially when the lighting is diffuse.

Sometimes we get a bit conditioned to our own devices without taking the time to step back and really fully assess what our goal(s) for the image are. I tend to think that our innate bent toward "instant gratification" and "pride of authorship" intervenes with taking the time to "cycle through" all aspects of a given image as it pertains to image. I know it does for me at times. Sometimes we have "pretty pics" or "clever pics" ... and we get satisfied with that. Other times, we really have more attributes for consideration than the mere recording of capture. Imo, this image is one that has much more to convey / say than a single attribute can carry the torch by itself. It benefits from all the pieces of the puzzle working in harmony ... incongruent aspects, need not apply.

If our goal(s) for the image message are more about the grass / hat and color, then we may go one way. If our desired message is more about the experiential attributes, a harmoninzing of the "dirty" pp with the dirty work may have some potential merit. I suspect the many hours of exposure to the sun would have the hat be faded, moreover than vibrant. But, here again, as always S&P to taste ... your pic, your message, your call.

Bottom line ... no matter which of your desired message(s) you choose to convey (via your various PP options), this is nicely captured. And along with that, it does afford some latitude in the direction(s) you might take it.














Sep 11, 2017 at 02:15 AM
lighthound
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Solitude.....


If an image must tell a story to work, then this image works! Nicely seen and captured.

Makes my back hurt just viewing it.

I do think Kent's first edit (color) improves it slightly by removing the distraction of the FG plants yet still retains the reflection.

Dave



Sep 11, 2017 at 02:49 PM
 

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R.H. Johnson
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Solitude.....


over the years i've seen many variations of this image by other photographers. witnessed and shot many a picture from the rice fields in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, even Singapore and was never able to capture the essence of the planting of the rice. i was coming down from the rice terraces in the mountain Ubud, Indonesia. my driver stopped at a restaurant for lunch on an overcast rainy day. i sat on the terrace in the restaurant outside frustrated. and behold i was surrounded by rice paddies in the middle of the city. an unlikely area for rice fields. to my dismay there it was the shot i so desperately sought for so many years. way off in the distance over there a speck on the horizon. i grabbed the longest lens at my disposal my trusted 70-200mm f2.8l and quickly mounted it to the 1DX. set the parameters of the camera and away i hobbled rig in hand out into the rice field i went along the raised paths seeking my target. unnoticed as not to inform the target of my presence or disturb his activities i unleashed that 1DX. i chimped with a grin. i got that shot at a restaurant in the heart of the city in the land of Bali, Indonesia.

ooppss, sorry reality check. RustyBug, agreed. i boosted the saturation in said image to give it some pop. the colors are muted in the original because of the overcast. but it is what it is and it hangs in my gallery at 24 x 36. a reminder to expect the unexpected. keep that damned camera at arm's length at all times. be prepared for we never know when the shot will make itself available.

thePhotographer

R. Hiram Johnson II
Master of Light Studios



Edited on Sep 11, 2017 at 05:21 PM · View previous versions



Sep 11, 2017 at 03:22 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Solitude.....


Boosted vs. Muted ... your pic, your message, your call.

Congrats on the long awaited capture.



Sep 11, 2017 at 03:46 PM
eeneryma
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Solitude.....


R.H. Johnson wrote:
over the years i've seen many variations of this image by other photographers. witnessed and shot many a picture from the rice fields in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, even Singapore and was never able to capture the essence of the planting of the rice. i was coming down from the rice terraces in the mountain Ubud, Indonesia. my driver stopped at a restaurant for lunch on an overcast rainy day. i sat on the terrace in the restaurant outside frustrated. and behold i was surrounded by rice paddies in the middle of the city. an unlikely area for rice
...Show more

Great story and photo. Thanks for sharing.

Steve



Sep 12, 2017 at 02:15 AM
Kevin T
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Solitude.....


R.H. Johnson wrote:
over the years i've seen many variations of this image by other photographers. witnessed and shot many a picture from the rice fields in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, even Singapore and was never able to capture the essence of the planting of the rice. i was coming down from the rice terraces in the mountain Ubud, Indonesia. my driver stopped at a restaurant for lunch on an overcast rainy day. i sat on the terrace in the restaurant outside frustrated. and behold i was surrounded by rice paddies in the middle of the city. an unlikely area for rice
...Show more

Thank you so much for the story! You guys are above my pay grade with some of the discussion. I did like the cleverness of the original with the shape of the hat brim and the implied controlled space (with foreground) where the workers focus is, but the image lends itself to a few interpretations so it is great to view and ponder.



Sep 12, 2017 at 04:29 PM
R.H. Johnson
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Solitude.....


thanks guys for your time and comments on my images. lovin' it.....



Sep 12, 2017 at 04:36 PM







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