Al Maedan

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  bucweeet 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #392074

    chris pook
    Participant

    I shot this on a visit to my teams working in Mosul, removing explosive remnants of war (IEDs,   unexplored ordnance, etc) on a contract with UN.

    I don’t have the tech specs to hand – Shutter speed, ISO or aperture.  It was a grab shot, in so far as it was not posed, and shot from waist level using natural light, with my GFX.

    I like the framing.  I like the positioning of the subject (one of our Medics).  It may not mean much to you, but the somewhat forlorn posture of the guy speaks to me.

    This could very much be one of those ‘You had to be there’ shots. The quality of the image in terms of detail just doesn’t translate well to the internet, and compression of the detail shown in the original.    I’ve printed this up at home to A3, and may well take it in for printing to poster size.

    I am hopeful that this image may be used in our annual corporate reports showing a side of the business that very few people know about.

    I would be interested to know what you all think?  Maybe i’m making more of it than there is.

     

    Al Maedan

     

  • #392086

    billyspad
    Participant

    Without your story its a powerful shot but knowing the background makes it even better. Its speaking volumes about the total stupidity of wars which destroy lives as well as beautiful buildings. You  posted too small a version of this to critique its technical aspects so really all I can say is I like this a lot.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  billyspad.
    • #392089

      Rob Eyers
      Participant

      Clicking on the image will take you to Flickr Billy. The image there is a much larger.

    • #392268

      chris pook
      Participant

      thanks Billy.  I’m not sure how to overcome the limitations of compression and small image size for reviews.

      On another site I used to use it was routine to post the image as a whole, but also a 100% crop of the image.  In other words a small part of the image shown at 100% resolution.

      I’ll try that when I get back to a computer, and away from the phone.

      Thanks for taking time to comment.

  • #392087

    Rob Eyers
    Participant

    As a documentary image it's hard to critique Chris. What was, what is, and how it got there are all represented. The exposure inside is spot on and the blown out windows etc. don't bother me personally.

    I realize the pillar on the left is probably the correct colour, however, it's a bit of a distraction. Maybe pull the red and magenta out of it so it doesn't compete with the guy in the doorway and see what you think.

    I respect what you do sir. I couldn't do it.

    • #392372

      chris pook
      Participant

      Mainly I do excel and powerpoint and sit in an office.  What the team do here is amazing work, and I couldn’t do it either.  I’m just lucky to be in the periphery of it.

      I’ll try a bit of desaturation on the pillar, thank you.

  • #392105

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Fantastic shot.  I also am bothered by the pink, in fact you might want to try black and white.

  • #392106

    chris pook
    Participant

    but the pillar is very pink…?  🙂

  • #392109

    Erik Fransman
    Participant

    Chris, good shot. Pink adds to the power. Thesis, antithesis. The sweet pink versus the gruesome reality of war.

    Your Exif: f/4, 1/125s, 32 mm, Iso 250, GFX50s (Flickrs)

  • #392128

    Federico Alegria
    Participant

    Fo me there is nothing need to be done here in this photograph beyond cropping. We need to understand that this is a documentary photograph (with a huge photojournalism appeal as well) the only viable decision for extreme reality detachment is a monochrome conversion as suggested by Maureen, however his interpretation lacks of tonal richness.

    Thanks for sharing Chris, and honestly, the shot is just perfect as you shared it with us. In the words of Barthes, the soldier is the punctum here, and not every photograph joys that achievement.

  • #392140

    Tersha
    Keymaster

    In the argument between b/w and whether the pink works ….. the pink pillar needs to stay, it adds to the pathos.

  • #392142

    Rob Eyers
    Participant

    Documentary… I retract my pink comment.

  • #392143

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    I'm thinking that the whole image has a pink tinge, and therefore maybe the pink column became overly pink.

    • #392288

      chris pook
      Participant

      You may be right.  You know I’ve been carrying a small colour card for years in my bag, and not once used it… My bad.  Any idea how to check colour after the event in post? I don’t!

    • #392289

      chris pook
      Participant

      You may be right.  You know I’ve been carrying a small colour card for years in my bag, and not once used it… My bad.  Any idea how to check colour after the event in post? I don’t!

  • #392273

    Richard Barnard
    Participant

    I agree with you that the posture of the medic is the key focal point here. There is something about his stance and backwards reflective look (Sadness? Pity? Regret?) that tells the story. The outside highlights are blown but I guess that’s how it would seem if I was standing there looking outside and the ambiguity allows us to project our own interpretation as to what might be happening outside. This image is about the interior chaos and damage and, to that extent, the outside details are irrelevant.

    If the medic is the star of the show then the colours become superfluous and actually detract  from the main message to me. I want to see the medic with the minimum of distractions, he is the punctum of the shot and needs to be centre stage. As such I personally feel the image is more effective in b&w and this also better reflects the mood I believe you are trying to create.

  • #392274

    Roger Wehage
    Participant

    The columns may lean more toward the unforgiving purple of intelligent cluster bombs and IEDs.

    Home


    What is the difference between intelligent cluster bombs and IEDs? Only the unfortunates on the receiving end.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  Roger Wehage.
  • #392278

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    I agree about the black and white, and the one Richard prepared does a much better job illustrating this than my quickanddirty rendition.

    Perhaps crop a bit off the top.

  • #392291

    Tom M
    Participant

    This photo is awesome, Chris…

     

  • #392303

    Graham Hart
    Participant

    This truly is an excellent capture of a poignant moment. It embodies man's capacity to destroy life and property over what ultimately has no more vindication than a schoolyard disagreement. My Dad can beat your Dad up….my God is better than yours.

    The message is writ large in the image of a medic who took an oath to save life, seen here carrying an instrument of death. His saddened stance as he looks back on the destruction around him reflects the futility we all feel at the inanity of war.

    Personally, I like the colour version better. It's more immediate and real to me. Richard's B&W edit is awesome and ups the drama level for sure but for me this is one of those pics that needs to be seen in all its naked honesty. This is what war truly looks like.

    My only concession to aesthetic considerations is to crop the RH edge slightly to centre the image.

  • #392308

    Robert Apple
    Moderator

    I will refrain from comments here not wanting to violate shark tank  rules and post something on flikr

    rules

    • #392373

      chris pook
      Participant

      Thanks Frederico.  I’ll have to look up that reference, good of you to comment.

    • #392374

      chris pook
      Participant

      And thank you Robert.

  • #392396

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Chris, in answer to your question, white balance/color cast is generally checked by eye.  To change it in Camera Raw/Lightroom, adjust the white balance sliders (in this case, move the red/green slightly toward green).  Or in Photoshop, go to Image/Adjustments/Color Balance.  In the rendition below i moved the cyan/red slider to -4, the magenta/green to +2, and the yellow/blue to -5.  You also might want to target adjustments for a different balance for the exterior light vs the interior.

    I also cropped a bit off the top and right.  This image will never be perfectly symmetrical, and that's OK for the shot.

  • #392662

    bucweeet
    Participant

    Chris, for me, the decision is how much importance I want to put on the ‘cavernous' room/hall. Either way I would crop the RH side to even out the arches at the top. For the expanse of the hall/room, either leave the top as is, or crop down to the top of the pillars (or somewhere in between), then decide what looks best to your eyes.

    LR settings (the reduction of the whites/highlights permit more of the background in):
    Auto White Balance
    Contrast – +25
    Highlights – -72
    Shadows – +61
    Whites – -38
    Blacks – -25
    Vibrance – -26

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  bucweeet.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  bucweeet.

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