Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/05/05

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Peter provokes contentious controversy
From: scott at (Scott McLoughlin)
Date: Thu May 5 06:12:11 2005
References: <>

I might have dodged the peacock a bit in the B&W version. It
get's a little lost.  Visually balancing the photog and the peacock
tonally should be a quite striking B&W image.


Peter Klein wrote:

> Folks:  I'm glad I got some feedback this time--that's how we learn.  
> Now here's my comments on your comments, and some further work on the 
> image.
> Here's the original version as posted:
> And here are two reworked versions, one color, one B&W:
> Better?  Worse?   Color or B&W better?  Polishing a t*rd?
> Here's what happened.  The picture was a quick grab shot with a 50mm 
> DR Summicron, on Provia 100F.  Probably between f/5.6 and f/8 at 
> 1/125.   I had taken the DR to the zoo specifically to see how it 
> rendered things on really good slow slide film.
> When I saw the guy with the prosthetic hands raise the camera, I liked 
> the silver camera in his silver hooks.  As Stasys mentioned, here was 
> this guy who had been so badly injured was doing something that 
> required a fair amount of dexterity with apparent ease. Though he 
> stood out as different and handicapped, there he was doing a perfectly 
> normal thing with his attractive companion.  I also liked the contrast 
> between his appearance and that of the peacock, whose presence says 
> "Look at me, I'm beautiful and perfect."
> B.D.:  Perhaps for you, an experienced journalist, seeing a double 
> amputee is no big deal.  It's not something I see every day, and I 
> reacted to it.  In a way, I thought his hooks nimbly manipulating that 
> little digicam was just as beautiful as the peacock.  And I kept 
> thinking of the movie "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), which has 
> a WWII veteran character in much the same condition as my subject.
> I agree that the picture is too cluttered.  If you look at the full 
> frame, you'll see why I had problems.  This is just a medium-quality 
> JPEG of the original 4000 dpi scan, reduced 7:1.
> I wanted to move to the left to get the table umbrella's pole away 
> from the man and the flowerpot out of the frame. But there were 
> peacock tail feathers and a little girl in the way, and pushing or 
> stomping on either would not have been acceptable behavior, and 
> probably would have ruined the picture.  The little girl started to 
> run in front of me just as the man raised his camera, and I only got 
> one shot before the moment was gone.
> If I'd had a little more room and a couple of seconds more, I would 
> have moved to the left.  If I'd had a SLR with a zoom lens, I would 
> have taken one shot as I did, but a little further to the left, and 
> another zoomed in to show just the "arms and the man" and the camera.  
> And maybe another with just him and his girlfriend.  But I really 
> wanted the relation between him and the peacock.
> As it was, I had about 3 seconds to decide everything--I'd been 
> photographing kids feeding the peacock, and then noticed the man with 
> the prosthetics just as he was raising the camera.
> Philippe:  No, I didn't talk to him after I took the picture.  I was 
> curious, but I didn't want to intrude.  I didn't know if he was the 
> type who was willing to talk about his condition, or if he wanted to 
> be treated as if it didn't exist.  In a way I wish I had talked to 
> him, because I'd like to give him a print.  But maybe better not.
> Colors:  I think I raised the midtones too much--I wanted to get the 
> peacock a little out of the mud, and I overbrightened the rest of the 
> image.   I've backed off on that.  In the reworked images, I burned in 
> the background people in the color version, and even more in the B&W.
> And I've sharpened the image a bit more.  Mark Rabiner thinks I don't 
> sharpen my images enough.  Perhaps so.  I know that I absolutely 
> loathe oversharpened images.  They look totally phony to me.  So I 
> usually err on the side of undersharpening.  The same often goes for 
> curve adjustments.  I'll adjust a curve, and then back off a bit 
> because I think it looks too "processed."  Sometimes an hour or a day 
> later, I wish I'd done more.  But often not.
> Anyway, that's my thought process.  Again, thanks to everyone for 
> responding.
> --Peter
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

In reply to: Message from pklein at (Peter Klein) ([Leica] Peter provokes contentious controversy)