<<< o >>>Roman Niewodniczanski 27 comments + add yours

My apologies for not posting anything yesterday, but I've come down with one of the many summer colds that are doing the rounds and didn't manage to take anything worth posting.

And today, things just got worse.

Our new puppy had a fight with one of our cats, and left the kitchen looking like an out-take from the Texas Chainsaw massacre, and Libby blew the engine on the car. The dog's fine (it was worse than it looked), but it looks as though our trusty old Volvo 940 has come to the end of the line. It was due it's MOT later this week, and we already thought it might prove too expensive to fix (it's only worth a few hundred quid and has done almost 200,000 miles), but it looks like it's either blown the cylinder head gasket or the turbo. Either way it's going to be too expensive to fix.

Anyway, virii, pets, and vehicles aside, I was browsing through some of the shots I took last summer in Germany, and came across this one: a shot of Roman Niewodniczanski, the owner of the winery I was photographing during my trip.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
7.32am on 2/10/07
Canon 1Ds Mark II
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
aperture priority
C1 Pro
travel [Wiltingen, Germany] + people [portraiture] + commissions + no print
comment by Brooks Potteiger at 08:38 PM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

Really great shot. Love the bokeh/tones of the background.

comment by Adam Swords at 09:03 PM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

It had only done 200k? That's just about run in for an ovlov!
That aside I like this shot, very much a "chromasia" image. Care to share the details of the post work gone in to this? It looks very subtle.

comment by djn1 at 09:12 PM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

Adam: here's a link to the original:


comment by Audrey Mottishaw at 09:12 PM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

I can't really make up my mind about this image. It looks as though he has make-up on his face. If he has well OK, but if it is post processing work well on this occasion I'm afraid it doesn't really work for me.

comment by djn1 at 09:24 PM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

Audrey: no, he wasn't wearing makeup, and if you take a look at the original (linked from my previous comment) you'll see that the skin tones are pretty much accurate.

comment by Catalin at 09:39 PM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

Sorry to hear about your car, but it sounds like it had a good run.
I like the photo, although I agree it looks a bit like the subject is wearing a bit too much make-up. But I love the way the background and the face have similar colours and I think that balances everything nicely.

comment by Robin Nilsson at 09:59 PM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

Hah. Seems like the world is smiling at you David. Lucky you I have a carshop and are interested in photography and could get you a cheap engine. Sadly enough, I'm a swede and don't have any particular plans in transporting it.

Hope you solve all your problems, Robin

comment by Kevin H. Stecyk at 10:25 PM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

Hi David,

Sorry to read about your challenges. Things always seem to pile up at the same time.

Switching topics, I like how you brought this photograph to life. The original was much too dark and not showing much detail in the face. Of course, I like this portrait much better. Very well done.

comment by Mark at 12:26 AM (GMT) on 13 August, 2008

Hmmm. I really like the portrait for the composition and great, optimistic expression. But while I think the post work is a great improvement on the original, I'm with Audrey on the skin tones, which have an odd plasticky and rather unnatural look. I think this would look great as a punchy BW with a touch of toning.

Hope the cold disappears quickly!

comment by Parker at 01:02 AM (GMT) on 13 August, 2008

Those Volvos are great. My first car was an old one like that, and that thing lasted a solid 250,000 miles. Anyway, hope everything comes together again soon for you guys. :-)

comment by Joe at 01:28 AM (GMT) on 13 August, 2008

I'm not into the makeup-look of the skin as well. Also, the detail enhanced in the neck brings out a ton of texture that isn't apparent in the original. This is quite distracting to the eye, because otherwise there is nothing going on with his neck. But your eye (or mine) still wants to check it out because of the texture.

I'm guessing the +1/3 was to grab some detail in the eyes, which is a good choice. But maybe you could have done an artificial +0 or -1/3 from the RAW to get some of the detail in the fuzzy white part of the coat. For some reason I think that would have looked really good.

comment by beeveedee at 04:15 AM (GMT) on 13 August, 2008

like you need anybody else's comment about the skin tone... but it does feel off to me. I myself struggle in post-processing to get the right mix of red and yellow in skin tones... It feels to me that the yellows are a little too desaturated... a little more would warm the photo up.... Interesting comment by Mark about going to a black and white with this.

comment by Tony at 04:32 PM (GMT) on 13 August, 2008

Impressive portrait! I came upon your site a couple of months ago, and I think it would be really nice (if you're sctratching around for content) if you could recycle your older images. I know they are accessible but it would be good to see them presented anew.

comment by John at 07:04 PM (GMT) on 13 August, 2008

Personally I'm not sure about the background; I think it competes with the skin tone for dominance. I would be interested to see this image with the background desaturated; I'm sure this would make this image pop.

comment by Claus at 10:28 PM (GMT) on 13 August, 2008

I love the background, it really creates a nice contrast to the guy!

comment by Betsy Baroon at 01:15 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2008

I don't care for the processing here either - the original portrait is so interesting.. it didn't need any treatment IMHO. Hope your cats, puppy & cars start cooperating!

comment by Brian Bastinelli at 03:22 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2008

I really like this image. What you have done with it as far as the transformation from the original I think is perfect.

Not a lot but just enough. I love the colors of the back ground and how nicely they go with the silver of his hair. Nice work as always.

comment by Jennifer at 06:28 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2008

Hope you're feeling oodles better and all your disasters are righting themselves! I too feel you were gilding the lily here - the original was great didn't need much PP - sorry!

comment by Brian Budgeon at 10:32 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2008

I believe the post processing to be spot on, clean, crisp and well balanced however for me and I am surprised no one has bothered to mention it are the subjects eyes. Where is his focus, as a portrait I find it neither engaging or challenging. He just looks a like he is trying to concentrate too much on "NOT" having his picture taken. Regards.

comment by Brian Budgeon at 10:40 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2008

The word I was thinking of is 'discombobulated', if that is your desired effect then spot on I guess! But you know what they say about opinions..they are like butts...everyones got one! Keep up the good work. Cheers.

comment by redge at 11:35 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2008

Comparing it from the original, he seems to have made him look like friendly "vampire"! Just my impression.. Amazing how much detail you give to your post processing.

comment by kate at 03:12 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2008

stunning. youth and age. great color/contrast. :)

comment by moonhead at 04:24 PM (GMT) on 15 August, 2008

He looks like the 'Action Man' commando doll I had as a child.

comment by Sophie at 06:51 PM (GMT) on 15 August, 2008

Brilliant images! Children's smiles...just as pure as memories

comment by djn1 at 08:58 PM (GMT) on 15 August, 2008

Thanks all.

comment by dfp at 08:58 PM (GMT) on 15 August, 2008

I think enough has been said about the skin processing, so i will just say i prefer the original, in simple terms, it's just nicer to look at! (IMO)

comment by will at 02:15 PM (GMT) on 27 August, 2008

i dig it. all of it. for me, the desatured skin is a look i like, and
the contrast really brings out the angular lines of his face. when i
saw it, the first thing i said was, "wow! hard to look any more german
than that!" what i see here is a guy who's confident and comfortable
with himself, but maybe not totally comfortable having his picture
taken. it's sort of an odd contradiction - his face is beautiful, but
he's camera shy!