Stranger Street Portraits


QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 01/04/2014 - 21:46








Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

gartmore

Link Posted 01/04/2014 - 22:01
What are you planning on doing with this project in the long term?
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

davidstorm

Link Posted 01/04/2014 - 22:02
Very good Alistair, the guy with the hair is my favourite, it seems to sit more comfortably within the frame than the other ones do and is quite a soulful image.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

Smeggypants

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 02:01
Anyone remember those Doctor Who episodes where whole populations have been hypnotised by the tractor beam from the Aliens attempting to take over the earth and enslave the populace? Only the doctor and his sonic screwdriver can save the human race.

These portraits remind me of those transfixed victims in the Dr Who episode.

They are a great exercise in capturing the human form but there's no soul/personality apparent in any of the images. They look like zombies caught in the headlights of the lens.

It's understandable. These people have found themselves in an unexpected and unnatural situation so expecting them to act relaxed and comfortable is a tall order.

They don't look at ease. To me a successful portrait is one where you can see the human, all I can see in these is the physical body. They leave me cold. The eyes should always be a window to the soul. Every pair of those eyes has the curtains closed.

I'm genuinely sad about giving so harsh criticism becuase I think it's a great project, the technical aspects of capture are cool, the editing is really good and not everyone has the front to do this cold approach scenario.

However maybe "cold approach" is the core problem. Even though these people are agreeing to being snapped, there's still an obvious element to your approach, which shows in the images, that is stifling their personality.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 06:55
All the people i ask are happy and enthusiastic. I ask them Not to smile. Its my preference
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 07:23
Hi ken. Where is it going? I really don't know!
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

Smeggypants

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 10:59
QuestionableCarrot wrote:
All the people i ask are happy and enthusiastic. I ask them Not to smile. Its my preference

I think you've completely missed my point and perhaps explains the results you're getting.

No probs. I think it's an interesting and fascinating project and why I took time out to give some constructive critique
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 13:29
I'll bring my sonic screwdriver next time.
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

Russ

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 13:54
I wish i could take photographs that technically look that good. Nice light and shadows, blurred backgrounds and well framed. The third is best by far. I think the first two would really benefit from a nice smile or happier demeanor but i realise its not the look you're going for. However that third photo really suits the look.

QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 15:33
Cheers russ. Very pleased with the last one
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

Stuey

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 20:17
I like them

The lady in the first one looks as though there is a smile trying to burst out

I get the criticism and the reasons for it (helpful) but I cannot help liking these for being different as well as the fact of how well taken they are
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link

Smeggypants

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 20:52
Stuey wrote:
I like them

The lady in the first one looks as though there is a smile trying to burst out

I get the criticism and the reasons for it (helpful) but I cannot help liking these for being different as well as the fact of how well taken they are

yes exceedingly well taken.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

Dodge69

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 21:16
I really like the project, and certainly admire the 'cojones', I am doing my own little urban project but have yet to get people involved, maybe never will...

However I would agree with Smeghead, for me, they are empty and lack context. They feel like passport photos, or photo's you might get in a health magazine comparing skin ageing affects of various lotions.

But don't listen to me, and certainly don't stop, as you say, who knows where it may lead to!
Pentax pour des images riches en détails!

QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 21:42
Im pleased to see my project is provoking a reaction - isnt that what its all about?

If i can just take this opportunity to explain a few things and my thoughts on the process.

Lets review the project title again - STRANGER Street Projects.

I dont know these people and have no idea what sort of personality i am going to encounter. The photography is secondary in the whole process - i just go into auto taking the shot like Ive always done. The real trick is the opening line and rapport that you have to use to make the person comfortable.
The first thing I noticed early on was the subjects eyes roaming all over the place - they are worried about people around them judging them.

Im not blowing my own trumpet here but its no mean feat accomplishing the first initial contact!

When it comes to taking the photo I only tell them one thing. Dont smile.

this is clearly the bone of contention. I have taken a bubbly 20 something and asking them to stare blankly into the camera. Put simply its what i want. I know this isnt for everyone but when it works it ReALLY works,. I simply dont like people smiling and find it boring and contrived.
Im trying to create a stare with thoughts accompanied (i.e. the blurb)

Check out the page with the blurb which might explain it better

https://www.facebook.com/HumansofNI

As for the technical aspects I have to tell everyone here, the DA* 50 135 is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. I have used it wide open 90% of the time and have been very happy with the results. Its the single best thing with a Pentax logo on it that I have tried.
As regards composition I try and mix it up but I like to keep it tight as possible. If someone is wearing something nice or I want to show the environment I will maybe go wider but find that boring as well. As time goes on I will probably learn more about my stlye

Thanks for the comments as always
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

Smeggypants

Link Posted 02/04/2014 - 23:34
QuestionableCarrot wrote:
Im pleased to see my project is provoking a reaction - isnt that what its all about?

Yup

Quote:


If i can just take this opportunity to explain a few things and my thoughts on the process.

Lets review the project title again - STRANGER Street Projects.

I dont know these people and have no idea what sort of personality i am going to encounter. The photography is secondary in the whole process - i just go into auto taking the shot like Ive always done. The real trick is the opening line and rapport that you have to use to make the person comfortable.
The first thing I noticed early on was the subjects eyes roaming all over the place - they are worried about people around them judging them.

Im not blowing my own trumpet here but its no mean feat accomplishing the first initial contact!

When it comes to taking the photo I only tell them one thing. Dont smile.

this is clearly the bone of contention. I have taken a bubbly 20 something and asking them to stare blankly into the camera. Put simply its what i want. I know this isnt for everyone but when it works it ReALLY works,. I simply dont like people smiling and find it boring and contrived.

I'm not sure what smiling has to do with anything. My critique was nothing to do with the subject's not smiling. But regarding the issue of smiling surely by telling people not to smile you are contriving the shot?

Seriously QC, if you think the lack of smiling is the bone of contention with my critique then you're simply not getting it.



Quote:
Im trying to create a stare with thoughts accompanied (i.e. the blurb)

personally I think a Photograph should stand up on it's own two feet without any blurb
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283
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