<<< o >>>a knotty problem 29 comments + add yours

I'm pleased with this one: a) because it's a good shot of John (most of my attempts to photograph him aren't all that successful), and b) because I managed to retain good shadow detail without making it look unnatural. As always though, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts – and do feel free to disagree ;-)

shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
2.30pm on 30/7/07
Canon 1Ds Mark II
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
aperture priority
RAW Developer
3x2 + people [portraiture] + fylde coast
comment by Corey at 10:33 PM (GMT) on 2 August, 2007

It looks like he's on the set of a movie, with the wood and sand being props, the sky and water only a backdrop. Neat!

comment by Joseph at 10:36 PM (GMT) on 2 August, 2007

yeh, that lighting looks very harsh, you did a cracking job of holding all that detail. I like this picture of john too, he's really thinking about the shot..or he got distracted..

comment by mikelangelo at 10:47 PM (GMT) on 2 August, 2007

I'm impressed with the quality you got out of this shot considering the harsh light. I think the detail is great, even in the shadows (as you mentioned). I guess I would like to see John looking through the camera or something. Right now, he looks as tho' he's just "pondering" the wood. A little be of activity would have been cool.

Of course, I'm just being really nitpicky. I think the overall composition and subject is very neat.

comment by seriocomic at 10:53 PM (GMT) on 2 August, 2007

Holy batcave Batman! He has the same tripod, same camera, same lens, same Manfrotto grip head AND the same balding pattern as me! I have had three people already ask if my name is actually John and when did I move to England!

comment by Marcel at 11:06 PM (GMT) on 2 August, 2007

Composition and subject aside, I think the capture and processing of this is excellent. The detail, quality and tonal range is top notch :)

Now, when do we see a shot of YOU doing your thing ;)

comment by Adam at 12:58 AM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

There's something weird about this photo. Was it shot twice (once with subject and once without... then merged together?

There's some weird blurring to the Left of john's lower back and some other weird blurring in the bottom right just below the rocks.

That aside, I like the perspective on the subject. The process of taking pictures and thinking about how to take the picture is an intimate thing... you've captured John doing just this in an intimate way. Nicely done

The colors are a bit off for me (sky too dark blue and wood too yellow) Could be difference in monitor however.


comment by Fred at 12:59 AM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

As always this is amazing. Good job on processing.

comment by Zeke at 01:39 AM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

I visit Chromasia frequently. The processing of the images are almost always brain tingling. And the shear vollume of work is astounding.

I just frequently find myself feeling like I just ate a bag of sweets when I wish I'd had something of substance as well. Look, it's totally a personal matter, and the images are always pretty to look at, but if you ever wanted to apply your impressive skills in a way that communicated a specific idea, I think I'd be far more satisfied.

Not that satisfying me is on your to do list.

I really mean this post with love. I hope it isn't taken as anything else.

comment by jesse at 07:11 AM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

it looks like it was shot in a studio. not sure how i feel about it. but impressive image nonetheless.

comment by thukai at 08:07 AM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

Looks good to med, David :) Nice to see a shot of John. Most of those I've seen have been refections of sorts. Seems to me that you like that 35mm lens. Many of your latest posts have been done with that lens, and it seems very practical. More versatile that the 50mm?

Oh, and don't you have the ISO50 setting on the 1Ds?

comment by rambohoho at 09:01 AM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

hi, where is ur focus point? on the camera?

comment by navin at 09:38 AM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

It is indeed a great shot. His pose makes him look like a maulvi about to offer his prayers.

comment by Keith De-Lin at 12:16 PM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

looks great. It's cool to see someone introduced into this environment that we occasionally see as this barren wasteland.

comment by Roy at 02:02 PM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

It does have that 'studio backdrop' feel, you don't often see pictures in full sun shot at f1.8. Not quite 'natural' but very effective nonetheless.

comment by pmehta at 02:50 PM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

would you be willing to briefly discuss how you achieved this lighting effect? (i.e., was it a bright shot to which you added vignetting on the edges, or were you using off-camera light during a cloudy day?) if you could add this to your tutorials, that would be great.

comment by Photo Buffet at 05:19 PM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

I, too, am surprised that this shot turned out so well, considering the f1.8 in blasting sunlight. Nice work!

comment by Abhijit at 06:09 PM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

David, you are truly a master of lighting:-) great shot..lovely composition!

comment by m at 06:54 PM (GMT) on 3 August, 2007

a little unreal, but impressive detail.

comment by mp at 12:27 AM (GMT) on 4 August, 2007

Oh FFS..."great lighting Dave", "impressive detail"...blah blah blah... Do you not get a little sick of these stalkers Dave? ;)

It's a 'nice' photo. But let's be honest, it's a photograph of someone taking a photograph with your heavy handed PP touch to it. 'Details in shadows'? Oh do me a favour!...there's no such thing. It's a highly processed...dramatic image of.....erm....John...taking a photo.

Yep, the colour's good, it ticks all the chromasia boxes. What is it though? It's a fancy snapshot.

Tell you what though...I do like the detail ;)

comment by doreen at 05:49 AM (GMT) on 4 August, 2007

john's expression is what makes this shot for me. he looks so deep in thought =)

comment by Kheoh Yee Wei at 11:03 AM (GMT) on 4 August, 2007

he looks like praying for good shots,eh ? :D

comment by djn1 at 07:14 PM (GMT) on 4 August, 2007

Thanks all.

mikelangelo: I did take a couple where he was looking through the viewfinder, but I didn't like them as much as this one.

seriocomic: perhaps you both also have a long-lost twin ;-)

Marcel: John has posted quite a few of me here.

Adam: no, it's one shot, and the blur is natural.

Zeke: I agree entirely, it's well past the point where I should start producing something a bit more substantial.

thukai: yes, I'm really impressed with the 35mm, and much prefer it to the 50.

rambohoho: yes.

mp: do I get sick of people saying they like my work? Err, oddly, no ;-) As for the "snapshot" bit. No, it's not. I agree, it's not a piece of high art, but I would argue that it's a good photograph of a photographer at work. Oh, and what do you mean there's no such thing as details in shadows? Of course there is. Anyway, enough of this bickering ;-)

comment by milou at 11:23 AM (GMT) on 5 August, 2007

Photo-reportage innit. Or action/inaction shot of John doing his thing. His expression as he contemplates his options is fab. Or maybe it's not contemplation but thinking what am I doing here?...:p Sexy wood textures to boot and all with a handsome lens.

comment by olivier [CoolPixels] at 01:58 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2007

Creat capture ! I like this composition ...

comment by Alice at 01:58 AM (GMT) on 7 August, 2007

I like the dof here. Nice shot.

comment by thall0s at 06:28 AM (GMT) on 7 August, 2007

Nice level of details and cool tones.
It seems to have a little amount of extra dark yellow near John's camera, above the wood... result of your extra painting work? ;-)

comment by Regis at 05:07 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2007

Great shot. That's what I call real gears :)

comment by /\/\J at 08:58 AM (GMT) on 11 August, 2007

i have a question...was the sky actually this blue? the water doesn't look nearly as blue ask the sky is.

i like the DOF

comment by miles at 09:43 PM (GMT) on 20 August, 2007

Dave, the blur on this is natural? Holy mother of god, there's reason enough to upgrade :)