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Thread: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    The biggest challenge I have after attending a workshop or just shooting for a few days is editing. While it should be obvious that having an "end in mind" is important ..just admiring a few decent images is often the last step. To gain some focus I try to produce a small collection of images (say 12-24) that I post to my website and also print as 8x10 s . This was my goal when attending the Old San Juan Getdpi workshop. To keep the collection as interesting as possible.....I try to not repeat the same subject ..so I have to edit. Following is an example of two images of an older man obviously dressed for his position in the community. I like them both ..which one would you pick ? I also included them in B+W for comparison.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Well Roger I think you hit the nail on the head when you said a man of his position in the community . Following that one line than the bus for sure otherwise it is just a old man walking in the park with the other image and it has no real setting about him. The bus image however gives him a place to be. Okay that was the social issue , visually I love the bus with the women in the background it just has depth and a statement of a place to go. I actually like the color much better in this one also
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    They are all excellent and IMO there isn't a bad choice. That said, my preference is for the color bus shot. One, you can see the expression on the man's face better and this forms a better connection to the image for me; two, the signage on the bus anchors the location for me; three, I prefer the color because of the prominence it gives his tie.

    My .02 only!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Thanks This is very helpful to understand how others see the pictures. The argument for the 2nd image was based on "the quality of the light" ..you can see this better in the B+W version. It is also a cleaner composition with better separation . Guy made the argument for the bus shot as it provides a sense of place . When I was working with a well regarded photojournalist on editing , we made a list of criteria..sort of a test for selecting a image (1) quality of light (2)composition (3)moment and (4) "it just works" . Would be interested in any insights.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Here is another set

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Second one in the set above, no question.

    Re perspective on the first set... In my humble opinion the light isn't all that spectacular where he's walking with across the square, however it is clearly better in that shot than in the first, and a more classic composition which might carry it a bit better as a stand-alone image. But the deciding factor for me is the bus version is a much stronger "moment" and tells more of a story, and that trait has a larger delta for me than the light and composition differences; it just works better for me
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    On the first set I like both color versions better than the B&W's. I also like the fact that you get more of his facial expression in the first.

    On the second set, the second shot. How close were you on that shot?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Second one in the set above, no question.

    Re perspective on the first set... In my humble opinion the light isn't all that spectacular where he's walking with across the square, however it is clearly better in that shot than in the first, and a more classic composition which might carry it a bit better as a stand-alone image. But the deciding factor for me is the bus version is a much stronger "moment" and tells more of a story, and that trait has a larger delta for me than the light and composition differences; it just works better for me
    Jack Thanks this is exactly the type of input I have been seeking....its not really about one set ..its about getting better at seeing this in a group of images. Terry These were both shot with the 90 summicron on an M8 ...They are I believe just modestly cropped you are seeing about 90% of the original.

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    I agree with the color photo with the bus in number one for the reasons that everyone expressed.
    In the second set, #2 is way more interesting to me. I am wondering what has captured the attention of the girl on the left, and what is the woman off to the right looking at?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Roger I like the second one in group two . I like the girl with the lollipop much better but something no one noticed these are school children of a catholic school the photos show the statue on the roof which ties into who they are. It tells the story better. I know it was intentional. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Roger I like the second one in group two . I like the girl with the lollipop much better but something no one noticed these are school children of a catholic school the photos show the statue on the roof which ties into who they are. It tells the story better. I know it was intentional. LOL
    Of course thats my story. Those were both shot by holding the camera below my waste level and guessing on the distance and field of view. The input has been helpful . I don t think its all that hard to pick images that are clean and perfectly rendered..its finding the ones that have more information (typically wide,close and low) that are challenging.

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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Good post Roger... benefits all of us who've wondered about this but haven't actually asked the question.

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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    First set bus shot though I'm not a real big fan of either (the telephoto thing) but that's me.

    Second set would the first shot for me, for the reason that none of the girls are looking into the camera and it allows me to think about it some more without distraction. Composition is cleaner as well. But an argument could be made for either.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    I'm with Charles on the second set. Once I noticed the girls looking at the camera, I couldn't see anything else. The lady shielding her eyes is also distracting.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    In the past year I had the opportunity to work with Jay Maisel and both of the Turnley brothers. Their preferences have as much to say about "style" as anything else. Jay s focus is "light,color and gesture" . He spent his career in advertising and magazine photography. He is generally appreciated for his colorful,clean and high impact images. Think Kodachrome . He ...to quote..hates rangefinder cameras and wide angle lenses. Rangefinders don t have the ability to view directly and wide angles distort and often include detail that detracts from the subject. He uses a D3 with short tele zooms . The Turnley s both couldn t be more different . The are primarily photojournalists .They almost always shoot with a 28mm FOV ..wider risks distortion of faces and longer "dumbs down " the image by eliminating context. They much prefer black and white. IMHO this comes down to style preferences and this doesn t keep me from appreciating both . I thinking the learning comes from understanding the why some viewers appreciate or don t an image. I appreciate any input i can get. Regarding the observation on telephotos ......my preference is the 21/2.8 on my M8 ..its about 50% of my images . I do enjoy the other focal lengths up to the 90 and try to provide enough context in the image to support the story line...as Jack said sometimes the moment out weighs perfect FOV.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    On the first set I like both color versions better than the B&W's. I also like the fact that you get more of his facial expression in the first.

    On the second set, the second shot. How close were you on that shot?
    My guess is 4 ft . When I see a possible series developing , I preset the distance to 6 ft and use f5.6. I line up the background, position the camera below my waist and pointed slightly up . This group didn t want to get off the sidewalk ...so I moved into a doorway . I was able to get 5-6 captures as they walked by. The focus point should have been 1-2 ft closer.

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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    In the past year I had the opportunity to work with Jay Maisel and both of the Turnley brothers. Their preferences have as much to say about "style" as anything else. Jay s focus is "light,color and gesture" . He spent his career in advertising and magazine photography. He is generally appreciated for his colorful,clean and high impact images. Think Kodachrome . He ...to quote..hates rangefinder cameras and wide angle lenses. Rangefinders don t have the ability to view directly and wide angles distort and often include detail that detracts from the subject. He uses a D3 with short tele zooms . The Turnley s both couldn t be more different . The are primarily photojournalists .They almost always shoot with a 28mm FOV ..wider risks distortion of faces and longer "dumbs down " the image by eliminating context. They much prefer black and white. IMHO this comes down to style preferences and this doesn t keep me from appreciating both . I thinking the learning comes from understanding the why some viewers appreciate or don t an image. I appreciate any input i can get. Regarding the observation on telephotos ......my preference is the 21/2.8 on my M8 ..its about 50% of my images . I do enjoy the other focal lengths up to the 90 and try to provide enough context in the image to support the story line...as Jack said sometimes the moment out weighs perfect FOV.
    I agree both are right. There's many schools of thought. I too prefer nothing wider than 24mm (I generally shoot with a 24/25 and a 35). Speaking full frame 35.

    I think when it comes to tele work I prefer it's use for really dramatic compositions or compression, not just I couldn't be bothered to make it to the other side of the street (not saying that's what you did, really!).

    Which means using a much longer lens or getting in closer with a shorter tele lens. I also find that using a tele on the M that the subject too often ends up in the center because we concentrate so much on focusing (esp a moving subject) that one forgets to compose more dramatically/artistically.

    BTW, the first pic of the girls is great because it's so hard to get a group of people with none looking into the camera (esp girls!). I like their bored cooler than cool expressions/postures.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    The use of different focal lengths could be a long discussion. I like sean reid s perspective. He draws an analogy to painting with different brushes. The FOV ,the way a lens renders color, contrast etc and the impact of the rangefinder on your composition all seem to be factors. If you are doing one offs ...it matters less ..but if you want a collection/portfolio/presentation it seems important. If the 90 is used to cover distance (say near the water where you may have no way to get closer) as opposed to narrow the FOV ....I am OK with working with anything from the 16(WATE) to the 90. Having used the D3 with everything from 24-400...I have found it very difficult to create a portfolio on Baseball s Spring Training that includes both M8 and D3 images. Your observation on the bus picture..IMHO ..is right on . Using the 90 compresses the subject into the bus...this could have been much better with say a 35. The second shot with the man on the square...I think is about right ..the subject is separated form the background by the limited depth of field.

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Roger:

    I would go for the B&W of the man in the square and either of the kid shots work.

    With the first series, the bus scene would have worked better without the lady in white drawing your attention away from the man .

    In the picture of girls, the first picture is better. The girl second from the right, with her hand in her pocket is looking right at you.

    Robert

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    She's still looking right at him in the second photo too, only the one with lollipop is now too out of the corner of her eye...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Re the first set: for me the last image is by far the strongest composition. You made good use of negative space to focus the attention on the man walking. This also gives movement. Moderate DOF gives depth, leads the eye progressively in, along the pidgeons, to find the person on the bench to the right and then along the benches to the person to the left. There is also a good balance of diagonals, with the obvious one leading along the row of pidgeons right and up. The down and right diagonal formed by the pattern in the street stones. Finally B/W reomves some distracting colors to focus attention to tonality, contrast and form.

    The bus photo OTOH gives me nothing. It's a static center-heavy composition with no depth and no movement. It's flat. No contest.

    The girls: First frame, for reasons already mentioned. I particularly like the way the far right girl is cropped off, communicates presence much stronger than the second frame.

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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    I tend to agree with Lars on the Bus image and feel there is a lack of depth and movement.

    However, the bus image with the women on the left cropped out - right up to the mirror on the bus - and cropped down some on the top and bottom works very nicely for me. There is then a nice relationship among the man, the woman in the ad and the viewer and the image picks up some movement. The man is still a little flat against the rest of the field but I think it works better. Try and see if you like it.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    First this has been great for me .. especially as comments were supported with specifics. I am really trying to get better at this because (1) it improves the photographs I take and (2) it speeds and improves the editing process. I think I can see something new in every comment. My perspective is that of the two with the older man ....the open plaza shot in B+W has the most potential as a single image. Better composition and maybe with a master printer ..better light. But the Bus shot with its flaws has better content and shows better in color...I know its too centered and the separation of the man from the bus "sucks" . Its fits the story line of what I saw in a day in Old San Juan and reminds me of europe. Thats the one I picked . The two shots of the girls ...I could go with either one but I picked the first. I like how the girls in the foreground lead you to the one girl that looked. I also thing the white sleeve in the front gets your attention right away. The 2nd shot is cleaner and a safer shot. I read something recently where the author indicated that you should not be afraid to leave the frame a little messy. LOL If you want to see what I did with the collection go to rogerdunham.com and look at the Old San Juan Collection. No password required. Again thanks for the input ..priceless.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    Thought you might get a laugh at me taking the pictures of the school girls. I am never safe with Carolyn armed with her Vlux. I just moved into the doorway as they passed.

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    Workshop Member tollie's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Edit my San Juan Images

    You know Roger, I think I'm going to have to get a V-Lux for my wife as well
    Its a great camera.

    Todd

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