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Photography ConCrit Interested amateur photographers can post photos and receive constructive critiques from others. Please read the guidelines thread before posting any photos.

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Old Oct 26 2008, 09:31 AM   #1
Farclas
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Default Candids photoset

Here are five candids I shot recently on the concourse at Edinburgh's Waverly Station. I find stations and airports are good places to capture honest emotion, one way or another!

I love the discipline imposed - you have to choose your moment because you can't very well ask the subject to re-create it! All were shot at the long end of a 70-200 zoom, which means the subject is pretty much unaware of your presence.

Comment/criticism is welcome.
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Old Oct 26 2008, 09:42 AM   #2
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Candid 2 - It's Delayed!

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Old Oct 26 2008, 09:44 AM   #3
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Candid 3 - I'm Going To Miss It!
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Old Oct 26 2008, 09:45 AM   #4
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Candid 4 - Business Text
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Old Oct 26 2008, 09:46 AM   #5
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Candid 5 - Text Smilie
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Old Oct 26 2008, 12:08 PM   #6
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Nice pictures and a nice place and interesting 'subject matter'

Hmm, wouldn't this be criticising a professional, Farclas?

Right, photo #1 I like least. It doesn't bring across anything and comes across as a snapshot.Now if we could have seen something more (even if nly the backside) of the person the girl on the right is lookig so dreaily at... But no, the arm in the forground irritates and the other girl seems to have nothing to do with anything in the pic.

Now the others are far beter and much more "intrigueing"
Photo #2 is the best, imho, but I would have cropped the lady on the left out of the scene. I very much like it for the looks of the two men. It would have been marvelous if you could also have the picture speak its meaning without the (necessary) caption but I like this pic nonetheless

Photo #3 is good on its own, does not convey the station and missing a train but it does seem to wnt to tell a story to me. More than one story actually this scene could go all kinds of ways!

Photo #4 is good but definitely needs cropping. here again it would have been nice if there had been more indication of where the picture was taking but you cant have it all, especially not with candids. It does bring across the businessman texting

Photo #5 might even be better than numebr 2. I like it very much because of what it brings across; something we all experience almost everything nowadays (or not?). The fact that it's a reasonably good looking girl adds to the photo, as is her smile and (how do you say that in English?), the way she looks/her eyelids are almost closed in merriment and/or concentration.

As candids go these are nice, except for teh first one. Even knowing Waverly Station and having been there relatively recently (WHY didn't I arrange to meet YOU, I now ask myself...) the qualty of the lighting still amazes me! But maybe that's your skill and quality coming through.

All in all I do like this kind of photography very much but don't have the time to indulge myself.
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Old Oct 26 2008, 01:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Candids photoset

Professional? Nah. Slightly less than semi-pro (weddings and funeral parties at reasonable rates. Hah!). The equipment is beginning to pay for itself, but probably two years from break-even. But, goodness, I enjoy doing it. I carry a camera everywhere, all day, every day. And have since 1977. Somebody said - "Best camera? It's the one you have with you".

As for Waverly:
It's the white crushed marble floors that are the delight. It reflects light well and therefore removes shadow. And on a sunny day, through the glass canopy above, you can get a real radiance.

Picture 1 was an experiment in 'bokeh' - getting a nice pastel-blurred background. I seriously thought of cropping it just for the girl - she really was quite pretty. And the light was great. The Meeting Point had attracted a delegation of many nationalities. I grabbed the shot; it shows!
Picture 2 and I was undecided, too. My instinct was to crop tight on the two men - but I also wanted to give context. I think it'd go either way.
Picture 3 was a lady clearly in fear that she'd already missed her train. There was a vexed, worried look about her walk that first attracted my attention. It would have been better in portrait (upright), and got her feet, but again a grabbed shot.
Picture 4 was clearly a banker (you know, back in the days when they were Masters of the Universe! ). He was so self-assured (I think that's how you'd phrase it). It's the silly sprig of hair on his head that deflates it. Again, shot wide open as an experiment in bokeh. He's in the waiting hall which is not so kindly lit.
Picture 5 was an example of grabbing the moment. I was leaning against a wall and swinging the lens across the concourse. She just snapped into view and - Pop! The rim lighting effect is a bonus, though the background spoils her lower lip and chin. Maybe I'll Photoshop some blur in there.
PS - It helps that she's also my daughter, so thank you for the kind words!

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Old Oct 26 2008, 04:52 PM   #8
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I thought I recognised her from a pictre I saw quite some time ago on another board. It also explains while this is more of a real clos up shot than the others.

Farclas, tell me, despite the zoomlens, do you really look around through the lens, so to speak. Or do you snap around and pick later?
I do like the snapshot feel of the pictures and the good depth of field balance. Surprisingly enough it is not always easy to get that, not even with these shots and especially not when there's more tha enough light. You have all caera function on manual I suppose?
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Old Oct 26 2008, 06:35 PM   #9
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Hi Hans - When I go for candids in good light, I first set to ISO 100 for good quality. It's useful to know that low ISO speeds give crisper and less 'noisy' images than high settings which make the image more grainy. High ISO like 400 and 800 makes your sensor more sensitive in low light, but can seriously degrade the quality. It's a trade-off.

I set the camera to aperture priority at the widest setting (in this instance, ƒ2.8). This throws the background into a nice non-distracting blur. And I leave the camera to decide the shutter speed if the light is strong enough to ensure high shutter speeds and thus a sharp subject.

If the light level is lower, I'll use a monopod to steady the camera at lower shutter speeds. Or just lean or brace against a wall - that'll steady you up no end!

Some stuff, life is slow-moving and predictable so you can plan ahead and work to get the shot you want. Othertimes, you see something and shoot quickly, instantly, hoping the camera will 'keep up'.

The more you practice, the more 'keepers' you get.

But be assured I have produced some real garbage in my time - and still do, even with reasonable gear. On an average outing, I'll reckon -
30 per cent technical failure (blurred, under-exposed, hopelessly framed, bad technique);
50 per cent technically competent but subject failure (eyes shut, scowling, hand suddenly covers face);
10 per cent good stuff;
10 per cent really good stuff

And, unlike film, digital just consumes battery power. It's SO cheap. So I shoot lots and play the odds. Somewhere along the way, you've got to get lucky
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Old Oct 26 2008, 07:08 PM   #10
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I think you're right about both crop suggestions:

In this one, I've left a fair bit of space above their heads to carry the idea they're looking up at the Arrivals board

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Old Oct 26 2008, 07:10 PM   #11
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and again:

For symmetry, this one really should be cropped tighter on the right - but I like the colours.

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Old Oct 27 2008, 03:43 AM   #12
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Not because I said so of course but both pictures look so much better to me when cropped this way. Thanks for the further explanation on taking the pictures, that's what we can learn from
With the cropping of the girl pic even the background suddenly looks nicer/better distributed colour swatches So I agree with you on the current crop The fact that the background is less blurry in the men's pic is good for this photo which could be used for almost any article that needs amazed men
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Old Oct 27 2008, 11:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Candids photoset

I love the photos,the faces are all so wonderful. They truly seem to be so real...so full of life and real emotion and that is something woefully missing in most photos. I enjoy really good honest photos of faces, as that is what I am constantly looking at while I am out and about....just for reference in a different kind of medium.

All I can say in complaint...I would love to see more of them!!!

Your work... is as amazing as your daughter is lovely.

P.S. the cropped ones are better...they focus and intensify the emotions.
The clairity of your photos is beautiful
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Old Nov 8 2008, 05:12 PM   #14
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These pictures are great. I don't take good pictures of people (I prefer landscapes and things that don't move, and wait for the people to get out of the way , so these are refreshingly different). Picture 5 is the clear winner to me. You've captured a special moment. And I agree with Hans and prefer the cropped version of picture 2.

I'll remember to look over my shoulder next time I'm in Waverley station...
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