Cuba #11 – Model

Home Photography Forums The Shark Tank Cuba #11 – Model

This topic contains 21 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Maureen Photograph 5 days, 5 hours ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #392293

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    70 mm, 1/125, F 7.1, ISO 250.

    She's not a professional model, just a kid playing in the street, who turned out to be a natural model.  Thoughts?

  • #392305

    billyspad
    Participant

    She has the skeletal like frame of a mode for sure but her pose is painfully obvious and looks incredibly awkward. This is a kid and may have been better to photograph her as a child rather than getting her to attempt to be an adult. Technically I would clone out the grass bottom left.

    Hope you bought her a Big Mac with extra fries and a whoppa shake to put  a few pounds on that frame.

  • #392320

    Graham Hart
    Participant

    I agree with everything that Billyspad said. Also, model lesson number one, ‘keep the feet still' 🙂

    I would attempt a rescue of this pic with some heavy cropping of everything from her arms down. The facial expression and confident pose are 99% of the pic, the rest doesn't add anything worth keeping. I checked your profile to see if you allow edits and couldn't find anything to say otherwise so here's a quick one;

  • #392345

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Thanks Billyspad.  I was taking candids of her playing with her friends and when she realized it, she immediately assumed the pose.  No attempt on my part to get her to “model.”

    Graham – nice idea about the cropping.  Unfortunately I had already cropped the original shot a great deal, so the result (below) isn't up to my usual pixel standard, but good enough. 

     

  • #392354

    Tom M
    Participant

    Definitely is an awkward and unpleasing pose. the crops are an improvement, there is enough pixels left still…

     

  • #392397

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    On the other hand, with the full-length, it's not intended to be a picture of a beautiful model, instead it captures the gawky awkwardness of a 12-year-old who has perhaps grown longer than is graceful, and is practicing her aspirations.

    Kinda like the ugly duckling that turns into a beautiful swan.

  • #392469

    billyspad
    Participant

    Thats a lovely thought Maureen but a very unlikely reaction to the image in a forum devoted to photo critique.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  billyspad.
  • #392647

    bucweeet
    Participant

    Maureen, of the images, I prefer Graham's crop the best. The difference in the wall color visually ‘implies' that she has something to lean against, or support her frame. As well, and at least for my eyes, both her face and eyes ask for the extra space on the LH side. The image overall looks ‘more comfortable' (if that makes any sense).

    I do like that you have cloned out the ‘one bit' of discolored wall by her hair, but you can take it further and clone out the other bit or two of discolored wall.

    And lastly, which is purely subjective, have you given any thought to cloning out the fingers of her right hand that are currently dangling down below her left arm (camera right). I realize they are ‘her fingers', but the angle and position where they are situated tends to cause an eye snag for me. I believe by removing them, the viewer will not miss them and will most likely interpret that her fingers are behind her LH side (as implied by the wrist angle).

    And I suppose the same can be said for her ‘left thumb' below her right arm (camera left).  The viewer would interpret that her thumb is behind her arm.  With that said, the right thumb is not as much of an eye snag for my eyes.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  bucweeet.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  bucweeet.
  • #392652

    Robert Apple
    Moderator

    For me the big question is what were you trying to communicate here. Is it the ugly duckling that turns into a beautiful swan.

    I see this a almost a documentary photo and it disturbs me, maybe its because I know the realities of Cuba and the off the charts starvation and malnutrition rates of its people, I am also intimately aware of reality of human trafficking in Cuba and that this young Lady appears to be wearing a Missing Children Bracelet, that American Aide workers supporting affected families hand out, on her ankle.

    I also understand the resiliency of children and not knowing just how bad things really are because you are waste deep in  it.

    Is it something that should be made into a staged portrait, or do the faults in it communicate a underlying truth.

    I'm not the artsy type looking for deeper meanings , I just see what I see.

  • #392671

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Bucweet — good idea about the fingers.

    Robert — I don't think this girl was malnourished.  She was happily running around playing with friends and/or relatives in a family neighborhood. Her hair is well-styled and her clothes are clean and in good condition.  Some people have skinny body types and she's one of them.  We were in Cuba for 15 days and saw and met many people; generally they were very friendly and looked fairly happy and healthy.

    Here's a quote from a March 2015 article about UNICEF's report on child malnutrition entitled

    “UNICEF:  Cuba has 0% child malnutrion.

    “Cuba has no such problems, it is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean that has eliminated severe child malnutrition, thanks to government efforts to improve the nutrition of people, especially those most vulnerable.”

    And here's a link to the article.  Certainly there were severe food shortages in the 1990's when Russia withdrew financial support, but much has changed since then.

    UNICEF: Cuba has 0% Child Malnutrition

    Concerning the yellow ankle bracelet, here's a quote from the only relevant article I found on the subject.  It pertains to people who have come over the border from Mexico to the USA.

    “How are the parents and children identified to facilitate reunification?
    Initially, criminal defense attorneys reported seeing parents apprehended in the Tucson Border Patrol sector with a yellow bracelet as an identifier. CBP later explained the agency uses different colors of paper bracelets based on the location to identify a parent and child traveling together and unaccompanied minors while in custody.”

    Here's a link to the article:

    https://tucson.com/news/local/here-s-what-s-going-on-with-family-separations-at/article_1cf20cd7-c0c7-591d-9ff2-69b662b5801a.html

    and a quote from another article:

    https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/blog/using-diplomatic-relations-cuba-fight-human-trafficking

    “Although the Cuban government has established a zero-tolerance policy toward sex trafficking, it does not explicitly prohibit forced labor or report on efforts to prevent it. In fact, Cuba has come under scrutiny for allegations that it sponsors and profits from forced labor. Additionally, its criminal code focuses almost exclusively on sexual exploitation, ignoring other types or forms.”

    Cuba is a heavily policed and close-knit society.  Rates of serious crime are low because the punishment is severe.  I'm not saying that the country is problem-free, but I don't think this girl is starving, neglected, a victim of sex-trafficking, or unhappy.

    • #392684

      Robert Apple
      Moderator

      Maureen,

      I am an active member of O.U.R.

      As I said I am intimately involved and one of the 2018 operations included a rescue of 31 children being sold at auction and the detention of 7 members of the sex trafficking ring, 2 of which had local Govt. ties and 2 of which were American citizens. this occurred  in  Havana and there was Zero as in not a damn bit of help from the Cuban Government. Though they did not interfere in the operation they did nothing to assist either or recognize what was accomplished or what was going on.

      Tim Ballard did a press release Around October of last year about another mission and Mercury One was the only news outlet to pick it up.

      NIKE – MUELLER – TRUMP – FACEBOOK – OBAMA – THAT STATUE OPRESSES ME – 200 GENDERS – DEMOCRATS – REPUBLICANS – ECT – ECT – ECT – ECT

      Quoting Tim Ballard

      ” I come home from operations, when I'm focused in it, and I've seen these kids and I'm weeping, and I can't even look at my own kids yet . I need to decompress.

      I go to my news feed as the airplane is landing and I'm reading this CRAP that everyone is caring about, FAKE CRAP !. Really ? your just so worried about what this person did, or who they paid, or what they said.

      I just saw 12 kids being raped for money and we just barely got them out, I hope they heal, and all you guys are caring about is how outraged you can be, because it feels good to you.”

      What he risks his life to do doesn't get news stories, and Cuba is in the top 3 hot spots.

      Here is a link or to if you want to learn more.

      Tim Ballard Interview

      O.U.R.
      The organization has also put out a film on human trafficking

      The Film

      I know what the bracelets are and they are imprinted with the words faith hope and love because I personally know members of the group handing them out and the work they are doing there. They are affiliated with Mecury one and are a christian Ministry. Their main focus is providing food and clothes and medical support to Children and families in need.

      In 2018 nearly 80,000 Cuban Immigrants attempted to enter the US claiming  mistreatment and virtual enslavement by the Cuban Government , many were so severely malnourished they were given immediate medical care to prevent death.

      These are actual statistics on the US Immigration website.

      Yes she could just be a skinny girl, but things aren't always what they seem, I have had some training in spotting the signs of possible neglect situations going back to the 90's and my work on Native American Reservations.  My gut is telling me there is more then meets the eye here and that she has a family member that has gone missing, and a lot of people go to great expense to hide the dark underbelly that exists in every country.

  • #392834

    Albirder
    Participant

    There are some very serious issues being discussed here. Please take my comment as a street photographer’s comment that is in no way intended to minimize the issues. It is just how I see this particular photo through the lens of the craft I am trying so hard to develop. I do not care about the moving foot. I do not care about the stray fingers. I would not crop the picture even though the crop makes it a much better portrait by modeling photography standards. Yes, I find the wall on her left to be distracting in its color change. But it is the wall that this girl stood in front of, and that is the reality of street photography. I find this a compelling photo that has broken some compositional standards that actually belong to another photography genre, portrait/modeling photography. It does meet the standard of street photography because it is a story starter, witness the lengthy comments on cultural issues. What I am not certain about is whether this was the right forum to post this particular picture. Or perhaps a more directed question by Maureen could have been asked. How well does this image meet street portrait standards of excellence? It is clear to you why I took this picture? Does this meet your standard of ethical behavior in taking pictures of children? I think the critique of street photography is a little different because technical and compositional issues play a secondary role to the very real requirement of conveying a story. However, I believe both technical and compositional requirements should be commented on. The very best street photography occurs when all three things come together. In my humble opinion.

  • #392853

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Robert – that's amazing and horrifying information about slavery/sex trafficking existing worldwide today.  I thank you for sharing with us, and for being active in Operation Underground Railroad in its brave battle against this monstrosity.

    Allbirder and Everyone – Thank you for helping me articulate my purpose in this image. I'm trying to convey an actual person in real life, not a glamour portrait, so it would be  most in line with street/documentary photography.  Part of her real life was that she spontaneously struck a practiced model pose.   I'm posting the revised picture which has minimal processing and a little more environment (but still heavily cropped) as well as two other shots (next two posts) that show her being more child-like.

    Re the subject matter, I've been inspired by the “L'enfant Femme” project of Rania Natar.  I was privileged to have one of my pieces (not related to that theme) in a show in which two of her images of these pre-teens were featured, very large.  Absolutely breathtaking.

    Here's Ms. Natar's project statement:

    “L'Enfant-Femme are portraits of young teens and pre-teens and how they interact with the camera. The only instruction I give the girls is not to smile and I allow them to fall into their own poses. My aim is to portray the girl, when allowed to pose herself as she wishes in front of the camera. I try to capture alternatively the angst, the self-confidence or lack thereof, the body language, the sense of selfhood and the developing sense of sexuality and womanhood girls this age begin to experience.

    For some, even though they are not smiling, one can see their sense of selfhood and their almost sensual pleasure in being photographed and in engaging the camera, while others are almost defiant in the way only teens can be, and others still are more separate from the camera, show more angst, are more self-conscious or look away. These are all emotions girls this age alternatively experience as they become aware of whom they are, of their changing bodies, their beauty, and their womanhood, but also of the world around them and the standards of beauty and attitudes they think they need to emulate. However, these are also still young girls who fluctuate between being the children they still are and the young women they are beginning to turn into. Are they (and we) meant to see themselves as little girls, as teenagers, or as young women?

    This body of work was inspired by my thirteen-year-old daughter who was transforming before my eyes, alternating between being the little girl I knew and the young woman I didn't know yet.

    I photographed girls in the US where I live and in Lebanon where I am originally from. These are not meant to be a comparison, on the contrary, as the lines blur quickly. Regardless of place, background and religion, girls that age everywhere seem united by similar feelings, aspirations and attitudes.”

    Her website:  http://www.raniamatar.com/portfolio/lenfant-femme/index.php

    Well if you've gotten this far — thanks for listening!

    • #392857

      bucweeet
      Participant

      I like version better… the original image with more of the environment.  I find the door way seems to ‘anchor' her better and as a result… her pose does not seem awkward. But rather what your words are describing.

  • #392854

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    • #392858

      bucweeet
      Participant

      I like this one as well Maureen…. And as it's the ST…. but for my eyes her mouth/jawline below the arm is an eye snag… and unfortunately… I don't think there is much to be done about it.  Cloning it out would make the image awkward. Still, I like the image.

  • #392855

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    • #392859

      bucweeet
      Participant

      And I like this one as well Maureen… The two halos at the bottom of the top building should be reduced as well as the reduce the highlights in the buildings over all as for my eyes, they are real eye snags that draw my eyes away from the girl (especially the halo around her head)….  and also brighten-add light to the girl which would give her more visual weight in the image.

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  bucweeet.
      • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  bucweeet.
      • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  bucweeet.
  • #392863

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Thanks Bucweeet!    Actually I wasn't planning to use this image of her running – I don't think I can get enough quality from it.  I just put it up for people to see the idea.

    • #392864

      bucweeet
      Participant

      I see what you are referring to Maureen.  I just opened it in a new tab and enlarged it.  To bad about the focus as I think with additional post-production work it had potential.   Still trying to figure out why her left foot is in pretty good focus, but she's not.  Definitely a puzzle.

  • #392880

    Albirder
    Participant

    Much, much better crop on the original picture.

  • #395974

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    I decided to present it as a diptych to better convey the story.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.