Re: [SI] Street - The Duck Comments - The Newman Edition

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Robert Coe, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    On Tue, 8 Jan 2013 05:27:48 -0800, Savageduck <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}>
    : SI Mandate:
    : ‘Duck comments:
    : It would have been nice to have a few more contributors for “Street
    : Photography” considering the extra time permitted. I must confess to
    : having left things to the last minute myself.
    : Bowser:
    : First I am going to address each of your shots and then a general
    : observation regarding your particular process.
    : Street-01:
    : Nice capture of a clean up on the plaza, with the sweeper dealing with
    : what must be a New England chill with his turned-up collar.
    : Street-02:
    : Loading up at the market. All involved seem to be oblivious of your
    : camera, as it should be for good street photography.
    : Street-03:
    : Good street shot, but I can’t help but suspect your subject’s reaction
    : or vocalization was due to the camera in your hands aimed at him.
    : Now, regarding my feelings regarding your post processing. Your attempt
    : to demonstrate, or create a B&W film grain effect was just terrible.
    : What you succeeded in doing was introducing color noise, which to my
    : eye is not a B&W film emulation. The color noise becomes a distraction
    : to what would otherwise be good and thoughtful street photographs.
    : I know that you are using software which might attack the effect
    : differently to the way others here, myself included might go about
    : adding grain. I just feel that this time your technique failed.

    My recollection of the film days is that we didn't see grain as a good thing.
    You had to tolerate some level of it in low-light shots; but if you had a
    choice between grain and blur, you might well opt for the latter. Indeed, I
    thought we used faster film not because it was grainier, but because it
    wasn't, the alternative being to overdevelop a slower film, which could make
    the picture even more grainy. In any case, I can't conceive of a situation in
    which I'd deliberately make a picture grainier.

    : Rob:
    : Street-01:
    : Nice capture of a street artisan at work. He is engaged in his task
    : oblivious to all around him. Well done.
    : Street-02:
    : Not quite what I think of as typical street photography, but a
    : fascinating pattern of parked bikes none the less.
    : Street-03:
    : This I like. Great shot even though his improvised “no photography”
    : sign might indicate your subject wouldn’t be too happy to find you
    : behind him. Your toning work in post has also produced an interesting
    : effect appropriate to this image.
    : Savageduck (yours truly):
    : I almost didn’t get fresh shots for this mandate, so I dragged myself
    : out on Saturday morning to see who else was out and about.
    : Street-01:
    : A Western gent at a Paso Robles farmers market oozing an elegance and
    : aloofness I just had to capture.
    : Street-02:
    : In San Luis Obispo we find the other side of the coin. This unfortunate
    : hardly had the energy to lift his begging cup to passers-by. One can
    : only wish him well for the New Year.
    : Street-03:
    : I came across this seated juggler as I walked back to where I had
    : parked my car. He was sitting alone on that bench with no apparent
    : audience, just lost in his juggling.
    : Tony Cooper:
    : Street-01:
    : Nice one! Watching the artist work. Subtle and understated observation.
    : Street-02:
    : A break in the Sun. Nice, with a good B&W conversion.
    : Street-03:
    : Great shot! Apathetic resignation personified.

    I think it's a mistake to read too much into the third subject's feelings; we
    don't see enough of his face to make that call. But I certainly agree that
    Tony's pictures are very nicely done. I don't think we have anyone else who
    understands street photography as well as he does.

    : DanP:
    : Street-01:
    : Young ladies out on some sort of spree. Nice work
    : Bob Coe:
    : Street-01:
    : A touch of the exotic in New England. Indian street food as the subject
    : of street photography. Nice!

    Thanks! I took that picture (in Central Square, Cambridge) during the ad hoc
    photo walk that Bowser and I took in October.

    : Street-02:
    : OK! Confess. You just pulled this from a project at work.

    Yeah, guilty as charged. But I thought it fit the mandate.

    : Certainly a shot of what one day might be a street, but not what I
    : would expect as typical “street” photography.

    Well, there are streets there. The site occupies the eastern quadrant of the
    intersection of North Point Boulevard and Education Street (q.v.) in

    On the broader question of whether the photograph meets one's expectations of
    street photography: Like it or not, buskers, panhandlers, and other people
    down on their luck have been a reliable street photography cliché for quite a
    while, and I deliberately tried to avoid that pigeonhole. My thought was that
    construction workers were sufficiently different from the norm to allow me to
    make my point. Somebody observed that the scene is messy. Well, construction
    sites, especially in their early stages, often are. But if I had it to do over
    again, I'd try to find a more interesting picture. I had intended to use one
    of the pictures I took at Thanksgiving of some famously garish Christmas
    decorations near my daughter's house in Pennsylvania. But I didn't have time
    to set up a tripod, and I concluded that they all came out too blurry.

    : Street-03:
    : I’ll give you this one. Good use of available light. I have one
    : question. Who was he saving the parking space for?


    Actually, he's an example of a weird Massachusetts law that requires police
    officers to be on scene in situations where almost any other jurisdiction in
    the world would be satisfied to have a lackey with a flag. But he helped
    contribute to the mood of the photo, and I believe the electric company, not
    the taxpayers, had to pay for him to be there.

    : Peter Newman:
    : …and here is my addendum:
    : Street-01:
    : OK! I guess you had to use a “street” to get to the beach. I would call
    : this more “eye-candy candid” than street. That is not to say I don’t
    : enjoy the anticipation to the hormone level changes I might experience
    : due to the promise of this capture. .
    : Street-02:
    : Nice capture! Now while your introduction of grain is better executed
    : than Bowser’s attempt, it seems a little less than subtle to me. I
    : would have preferred a lighter hand in that area. Though I suspect the
    : problem might have been the ISO 25,600 you used. Somehow I think that
    : was you pushing your new D800 to an extreme uncalled for at that
    : particular location.
    : Street-03:
    : Much better, but still a little noisy in the face. I like this shot.
    : I know you have this thing for high ISO, but just because your camera
    : is capable of capturing images at those high ISO levels doesn’t mean
    : you should push it all the time. The two B&W images you submitted would
    : have, in my opinion, been far better at a lower ISO.
    : Thanks to all who found the time to play.
    : Let’s just hope the new mandate will bring in many more contributors
    : next time around.

    Martha regrets her failure to contribute this time. She had intended to, but
    points out that the streets are usually pretty boring out here in the 'burbs.

    Robert Coe, Jan 9, 2013
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