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Thread: Beijing

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Beijing

    Hi Everybody,

    So today is my last day in Beijing and I'd like to start posting some of the 2000 pictures I've taken during this incredible trip. I'd appreciate if the thread didn't get diverted to technical stuff like how good the DP1 is or whereas you should buy it or not, since what I'm looking for is some honest and constructive criticism. I'm having trouble posting the larger version of my photos but you are welcome to see them at my blog http://pict-u-resk.blogspot.com/ . Anyway, thanks in advance for helping out a beginner and i hope you enjoy the photos.




















  2. #2
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing




  3. #3
    Super Duper
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    Re: Beijing

    This series gives the lie the idea that the 'speicalty cameras' like the GRD and DP-1 do not make goodtravel cameras.,
    So many concentrate on sweeping vistas that, honestly, are sometimes difficult to tell just where they were taken. By working within the 'limitations' pf the 28mm-e lens, you've included both the scenery and the people that are just as much a part of China.
    And that makes these much more powerful as a visual diary of your journey.
    Bravo!

  4. #4
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Well you asked......some are right on but there are a few that would work as horizontals instead of verticals. It's interesting that you do more Verts....most people do the majority of their work in Horz and at times struggle to do verts.......I'mm gonna check out your site...
    don

  5. #5
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Beijing

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetshooter View Post
    ...some are right on but there are a few that would work as horizontals instead of verticals.

    I struggle with that, too; which images work better horz, which are better vert. And I shoot square so it is hyper-frustrating for me.

    Those are wonderful images Rafa! I am more reserve in critiquing the orientations. They look fine to me. The crop seems a little tight on the two images of guys walking up the steps, more so for the fuzzy hat dude.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Thanks for the honest criticism and kind words everyone. It is funny you guys should mention the horizontal vs vertical issue, because most of my photos are verticals and most of my wife's photos are horizontals, and sometimes we end up shooting the same thing both ways.
    As for the crops I've struggled a bit with doing them or not because I REALLY liked those photos but the fixed 28mm didn't allow me to isolate the subject or capture it fast enough.
    I'm back in Barcelona and now the hard part comes, which is organizing more than 2000 photos with the most awful jet lag I've ever had. I will try to post more photos as soon as possible though.

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    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    I like the the vertical shots ... using these small cameras with a wide angle lens it becomes a way of isolating the subject you are shooting .... these small cameras are so comfortable to hold in the vertical position opening up more possibilities ...I would rather do this than use a zoom or crop an image... just seem natural ... I shoot my GR1s this way more often than not ..... Really nothing to criticize .... it is like you are sharing pages from your dairy ... ... just happy you are willing to share these images with us ..... to post images check out this thread ... pretty much gives the run down on how to do it ....
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54

    Jet lag lol ... know how you feel... I just got back from a month long trip in Japan ... took me 2 weeks to get back on track ......

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Once more, thanks for the kind words. I'm copying all the photos to my desktop as we speak and hopefully I'll post some more today.
    I will look into posting larger version, since I know the small photos I've been posting do not do justice at all to the larger versions. In the meanwhile I really think it's worth while to check these on my blog.

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    Re: Beijing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Hi Everybody,

    So today is my last day in Beijing and I'd like to start posting some of the 2000 pictures I've taken during this incredible trip. I'd appreciate if the thread didn't get diverted to technical stuff like how good the DP1 is or whereas you should buy it or not, since what I'm looking for is some honest and constructive criticism. ......
    It is always difficult to bring criticism without being qualified "hostile". Please don't understand me wrongly.

    2000 pictures during one trip which lasted a week or two I believe. This will always blow me off ! It is something like 55 rolls of 36 exposures ! Behind each picture how much of thought have you given ? Would you have taken them if you were with film ?
    I understand your point I guess you wanted to record as much as possible of the trip. This is then "souvenir" attitude, nothing wrong with it of course, but even so, you were probably so busy snapping I wonder how much of the trip you could really appreciate.
    You used the "medium" of photography but didn't act as a photographer, again nothing wrong with that, but you'll find meaningless pictures afterwards.
    A picture should tell a story or a serie of let say twenty or thirty. Think of a book, how many pictures for how many subjects/aspects are in?
    Years back when video was "the thing", people were showing hours of boring souvenir's movies. It was the same approach, they didn't "built" their subject, didn't think of it before/during/nor after.

    Personnally, on such a trip of two weeks, I would be very happy to get 20 pictures over three rolls of film if I even manage to snap three rolls.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Quote Originally Posted by sinwen View Post
    It is always difficult to bring criticism without being qualified "hostile". Please don't understand me wrongly.

    2000 pictures during one trip which lasted a week or two I believe. This will always blow me off ! It is something like 55 rolls of 36 exposures ! Behind each picture how much of thought have you given ? Would you have taken them if you were with film ?
    I understand your point I guess you wanted to record as much as possible of the trip. This is then "souvenir" attitude, nothing wrong with it of course, but even so, you were probably so busy snapping I wonder how much of the trip you could really appreciate.
    You used the "medium" of photography but didn't act as a photographer, again nothing wrong with that, but you'll find meaningless pictures afterwards.
    A picture should tell a story or a serie of let say twenty or thirty. Think of a book, how many pictures for how many subjects/aspects are in?
    Years back when video was "the thing", people were showing hours of boring souvenir's movies. It was the same approach, they didn't "built" their subject, didn't think of it before/during/nor after.

    Personnally, on such a trip of two weeks, I would be very happy to get 20 pictures over three rolls of film if I even manage to snap three rolls.
    Don't worry, there's nothing hostile about your criticism and I understand where you are coming from (even though you're not criticizing the photos them selves) . But you have to understand that it's not everyday you go to China So, among those 2000 pictures there are pictures and there are "pictures"...meaning that some of them were just "wow, I'm in China and I really want to remember all of this" and some were "This image/sight is just breath taking, so I'm going to stop here for a while and just contemplate this until I get THE picture"...and there's also that "would you look at that! I really wasn't expecting this to happen" kind of picture.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Here's some more








  12. #12
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing










  13. #13
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing











    Last edited by Rawfa; 4th January 2009 at 13:15.

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    Re: Beijing

    rawfa, I think there is nothing wrong taking more photos than less, after all it is the digital age. And like you said, one does not go to China every day, so I guess one can get excited and snap lots. The idea of only shooting mabe 20 shots overs a 2 week holiday, I think is a purist approach to photography, which would also include not cropping or post processing any images as what used to be done in the days before digital.

    For me I would tend to shoot more aggressively when trying to capture multiple subjects expressions, other than that, Sinwin idea can be used for landscapes, and single subject emotion captures where the minimalist style of capturing images can be applied.

    MAzor

  15. #15
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing






  16. #16
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing


  17. #17
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing






  18. #18
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Darn, I really wish I had thought about posting the pictures side by side before. Is there anyway the mods can activate the "edit" button since the beginning of the thread so I may re-edit the thread to be smaller?

    Also, for people who want to view larger versions fast there's a slideshow here: http://picasaweb.google.es/rafascl/P...86990646879810
    Last edited by Rawfa; 4th January 2009 at 20:56.

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    Member A.Sattler's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Hello Rawfa,

    You have some really great images here! I've always had an appreciation for/ fascination with Chinese culture. Your work really makes me want to go myself!


    Thank You.

    -Adam

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing








  21. #21
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Thank you, Adam. The trip was amazing and I was able to see some of the most incredible places I've ever seen on all my trips, but at the same time I felt an incredibly overwhelming sensation of isolation. You go to any occidental country and even though you will see some amazing stuff you know more or less what to expect in many different levels. With oriental countries it's a whole different ball game.

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    Member A.Sattler's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Hi Rawfa,

    Your Welcome! And yes, cultural differences can be rather dramatic! I've met a few people who have come to the US from other countries, both European and Asian. The two things that seem to be most striking to them are how different our cultures can be, and how different it can be from what they expected. Although, you can have a similar experience and not even leave your own country. My wife and I have visited places in the US and could swear that we were on a completely different plane of existence!



    -Adam

  23. #23
    VladimirV
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    Re: Beijing

    I like your landscape pictures, the last set you posted is very good. Not sure about your people pictures, the verticals don't work for me and the faces are too red so this throws me a bit off. There needs to be more interaction I think with the surroundings or other people. Maybe converting some of them to b&w will work better, the first picture could work just fine in b&w.

    Your later sets work better but I find the saturation is too high in most of your pictures and while it works for landscapes it does not work for people.

    The pictures against the sun don't work for me at all since the flare and red pattern are way too distracting and take away from the picture, especially the pagoda picture suffers from this.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Thanks for your honesty, Vladimir. I've wondered about the saturation my self regarding the faces. I might just try experimenting with some BW.

  25. #25
    VladimirV
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    Re: Beijing

    Maybe try to use a lower saturation level.
    Aside from that I really enjoyed looking at your pictures. Reminded me of my trip to Beijing and like you I only had one camera, the GRD I, with me and got some fantastic shots with it. Being limited to one camera and lens is not at all a bad thing.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing






  27. #27
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing




  28. #28
    VladimirV
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    Re: Beijing

    I really like this picture, it works great.


    That wall is pretty cool, this is one in the same spot I took during my visit there.


  29. #29
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Great minds think alike

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing










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    Re: Beijing

    So thats what the summer palace in Beijing looks like in winter.

    I was there several summers ago, and the place was full of tourists. Quite a bit less crowded in winter. Nice shot of the famous "marble boat" (which is not really a boat).

    Martin

  32. #32
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    The Summer Palace was probably my favorite place to visit. That place is simply breath taking (specially by sun set). I have about 10 more pictures to finish this series and they are all Summer Palace

    P.S - The day we visited was the coldest day we've spend in Beijing...-9

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    Re: Beijing

    Honestly, I always recommend people put their pics in dry storage for at least a month or two when back from a trip (longer is even better) and then come back to do an edit. You will be fresh and not so hung up on this or that memory that skews which pics are actually the best. Has always worked for me.

    Anyway, looks like a fun trip, and no matter what you got out of it photographically that is most important part (unless delivering to a client of course).

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    Re: Beijing

    Brrr Summer was cold was I went there rawfa, guess they call it teh summer palace for a reason. to be used in Summer only, hehe, Obviously I went there at a similar period to you, Winter.

    Mazor

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Regarding 2000 images in a week. I think that is very reasonable and a big advantage to digital. You have to make some assumptions though on how the images will be used. Lets assume (and this is important to the argument)....that you would like three potential uses:

    (1) a book say 10 x 10 like those made by apple ...so you would need maybe 50-80 images to create a 40 page book.

    (2) 15-24 photographs that you are proud of and might consider printing or creating a web based collection. the best of these overtime becomes your portfolio.

    (3) maybe another 50 record shots maybe providing better context on specific subjects (like family pictures).

    So if we were editing these down ...we might end up with 300 selects (15%) worthy of some processing and evaluation. Then down to 100 by eliminating hopelessly flawed images or picking the best of a set. Finally down to the best 15-24 for a collection. You use the 100 to select for the book.

    I use this method to find out what works and what doesn t .

    One important distinction might be how well you stay with a "winning situation". When you see a "wow" opportunity...how many do you take. I almost always take 2-3 immediately checking the focus,watching the corners. If the lighting is tricky..I check the histogram . If the subject permits ...I then move and try different angles (low,high) and positions (side,back etc). Since you are using a single fixed focal length....keep moving closer and try to get the camera lower.

    The pros I know use this method of editing and waste no time in deleting or processing anything but the selects. If you can edit daily you will have the selects before you arrive back from the trip.

    Roger

  36. #36
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    And the last ones:








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    Re: Beijing

    rawfa, the last pic you posted looks really good! nice shadow tones, and yet while keeping the sky exposed beautifully. You should print that one and hang it on your wall!

    Mazor

  38. #38
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing

    Thanks, Mazo. I am particularly found of that one

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