Accordionist

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by mikemorrell, Mar 30, 2022.

  1. Mike, congratulations on a fine piece of b & w world. The accordionist's eyes reveal his passion. No doubt anyone hearing the music in person was given a gift.
     
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  2. I'm interested in this as well. Though I didn't think about whether this was a telephoto before you mentioned it, I wonder if that is at all at play when I say I had a feeling of distance or objectivity. I wonder if telephoto-ness, which may not be consciously apparent to a viewer, has an influence anyway. The influence could be the way the photo reads vs. a closer shot with a wider angle lens. It might also make a difference with regard to the feeling the photographer captures when creating a close-up from a distance.

    I'm not settled on any of this and would love any thoughts people might offer on the effects of a telephoto lens used for such a portrait.
     
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  3. I'm pretty sure that the focal length does make a difference to the way a photo reads. And it certainly affects the feeling of closeness and involvement I have when taking photos.

    I've read that about 85mm -105mm on a FF camera (about 50mm - 70mm on a crop camera) is a good focal length for 'portraits'. So at an effective 280mm zoom on a FF camera, this B/W 'portrait' is an extreme 'telephoto'. I deliberately chose it for framing this shot and - to repeat - I learned a lot from the comments. I shot almost all of the other photos at this location at 70mm, the shortest length on my 70mm-200mm lens. I took photos at other locations with a wider-angle zoom lens (17mm - 55mm). Which suggests that I was just too lazy to swap lenses at this location:(.

    For those interested, I've just found the photo below taken at the same location as the B/W but at 70mm. It's not as sharply focused on the accordionist but it does show more of the 'context'. It's also at f/2.8 which is too wide.
    Accordianist 2 - mike (1 of 1).jpg


     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
  4. The second is definitely my favourite, it’s more of an environmental portrait which I think better for a portrait of a performer. It shows his impact on his audience
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
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  5. Yes, I completely agree! Your comments and those of others helped me to re-evaluate my choice of the B/W as 'the best of the bunch'!
     
  6. I like the original- then again I shoot a lot of close shots, so this fits my sensibilites well. Of course an additional photo for deeper context is always appreciarted and I like your 2nd shot too.

    As it happens, I also shoot a lot of "close ups" from a distance with my 250mm Zeiss Sonnar lens- and it definitiely alters (compresses?) the background, compared to more "normal" focal lengths. I use this 250mm lens on my Hasselblad 500cm, but often also have my 35mm camera(s) along. I've shot the same things using both formats- so have seen the differences in background 1st hand.
     
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  7. For me, the second shot is great, more of a snapshot (I never use snapshot pejoratively, I think they're important) and represents the scene well. The original shot expresses more to me, is more abstract in terms of the use of light, texture, and mood and even with the hesitation I have about the tight framing connects me more to something vital and personal.
     
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  8. Agreed, Sam- that 1st photo is super expressive. It captures the emotion of the player in the moment so well!
     
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  9. Sorry for barging in so late. I do like what you captured in the first pic from emotion, but I think the crop is a little tight. Sometimes that really works, other times not so much. The second pic is fun.
     
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  10. The more I look at the first pic, the more I really like it as a study of a face, that person's face, the detail is nice and everything in the photo directs you to it, well you can't miss it :)
     
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  11. I lean hard toward the close-up. As a bird and wildlife photographer, I'm always intrigued by the details that the camera captures that go unseen in a broader scene. In this shot, I feel the character of the accordionist. As a serious fellow musician, I see him focused on his art and into it. The broader scene doesn't give me that personal feeling connection, like the close-up does.
     
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  12. While the second photo does show the connection between the performer and it's audience, I wouldn't discount the first photo either. I think, it shows another side of an artist that is equally important. It reflects introspection. I am not commenting about the background or whether the composition is cliche, but I find the first photo relatable in terms of the expression of a performer, engrossed in music. The slightly frowned forehead and somewhat distant gaze are what drew me in.
     
  13. Very nice shot. I like the way the subject stands out from the background. The subject seems to be in his own little world, but not exactly out of it. The blurred background although seemingly far away, is very much part of his environment. He holds the accordion like his it's almost part of him. A dear friend that he has come to depend on. The emotion on his face although subtle, shows quite a bit of passion. The wrinkles on his face show a hard-scrabble life, but are not overdone like in some portraits where the wrinkles tend to look artificial. The lighting is great, composition, depth, sharpness, story-line are all good. I might have dodged his hat a little bit, but otherwise this is an excellent shot !
     

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