Barista Wench

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by PapaTango, Aug 5, 2022 at 3:02 PM.

  1. PapaTango

    PapaTango I See Things

    I noticed that this board is getting a bit dusty, so here is a little something from my love of festivals and events. This image is from the Sterling Renaissance Festival in Sterling, NY.

    My MO is to circulate around and identify various "nexus" points and "featured attractions"--and then use this knowledge to position myself all the while moving and finding the folks that just shine...

    Comments, please!


    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022 at 3:13 PM
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  2. I like the positioning of the woman's head between the coffee cup and price list. Also her positioning front of the dark part of the background, with the very nice back light on her hair making for a halo effects which prevents the hair from merging into the background. The very bright feature at the bottom of the picture does tend to draw the eye away from the main subject, however you do need it to provide the context of her being behind a bar or counter.

    I also like the woman's forthright pose and slightly quizzical expression.
  3. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    I agree with John regarding the counter, but wonder if matters might be improved by removing the darker triangle in the lower left corner, so that even though the counter is bright, it does form a 'base' to the image. If on the screen you try to scroll the image down slightly, so that the lower edge of the screen obscures the triangle, I think you'll see what I mean.

    Also, as she is attempting to attract customers for her wares, her expression and posture could be a little friendlier and more inviting, as opposed to John's comment.
  4. I think you found one, but she looks very annoyed, as if she didn't appreciate her photo being taken. Her face looks like she's been in a fist fight. Her overall demeanor looks dirty, smudgy and flat. It's all quite unflattering. The oof elements don't help. To me, it looks like you found someone who shines, then you drug her through the mud. I'm not sure what you were trying to do here, but this bar maid deserves better.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022 at 8:00 AM
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  5. PapaTango

    PapaTango I See Things

    Thank you to everyone that has commented so far.

    I am attaching a JPG of the original background PSD made from the original image RAW--albeit a bit cropped. That sure is a lot of image acronyms... :p I should mention that this is an older image, and was taken with a Canon EOS 400D; Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. Not bad for 10MP, and adds a bit of pixel "grain" itself.

    I debated on the cropping--and kept the original ratio. This one works perfectly with 13x19" prints. The countertop presented a dilemma. To reduce or eliminate it would have required a more square format. Something that I am going to look at soon. Even with PS magic, there is only so much detail on the surface of the counter as the original was a bit blown out.

    A bit of deep background. Many of the RF cast had spent days wandering about in the sun. It was not unusual to find many sunburned cheeks and foreheads! Redheads are particularly sensitive to lesser amounts to get a 'rosy' glow... As you can see, the overall textures of the original are a bit gritty and dirty--deliberately so to set a flag in the minds of festival goers that this was indeed the 1600s. The very raw textures are what drew me to this person. After all, personal hygiene was not a strong point for people of the period. Never mind the incongruousness of the setting!

    Photoshop treatment followed this rubric--of a more gritty and cinematic interpretation--one that shares saturation and texture with a 'painterly' presentation.

    Anyone is invited to dabble a bit with the original image and make an argument for their treatment. My apologies for the double image, but something decided to break in PN and would not allow me to edit the post before editing timed out... o_O

  6. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    This is what I had in mind :

    Barista Wench copy 002.jpg

    Also removed (crudely !) tattoo from left wrist, as anachronistic.
  7. I’m going to agree with Laura on this one. When I first looked at it, I thought it was a photo of a poster, the poster meant to look like a caricature. I then realized that was the post processing. I actually think that gritty direction has possibilities and appreciate your instincts, but don’t think the execution works. She looks like a piece of weathered rock as opposed to a working woman of the period. Gritty doesn’t have to be so hard-edged. And I’d consider the difference between gritty and worn as well, and perhaps think a bit in terms of the latter. Nuance would be the key in the post processing. Unless you want it to feel like cinematic animation or cartoon, keep it real but with stylization in mind.
    Laura Weishaupt likes this.
  8. Thank you for posting a version closer to the original. What a difference.

    "Canon EOS 400D; Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. Not bad for 10MP, and adds a bit of pixel "grain""

    My workhorse camera is an older Rebel, a 450D. I've never seen the grain that you speak of.

    Consider returning to the drawing board. I'm sure you can come up with a way to add the edge you're looking for without sacrificing the vitality and integrity of the subject. Personally, I'd leave the tatoo. It's part of her edge and identity. While the hygiene of the 1600's may have not been the best in some places, artists' depiction of women expressed beauty, even of women at work. It could be that a return to the Ren fair is in order so you can study the subject more and take a different photo to work with, even if it's a different woman, or man, behind the bar.
  9. While your result "has something", it sadly sacrifices the original's nice hair tone. Giving a washed appearing person a dirty look, by tweaking your file is already debateable. But enhancing the issue on the left side of her nose, as you did, goes IMHO too far, the shadows defining it deserve some dodging.
  10. How about a "Madonna of the Cups" crop?
    (That sunburn on her nose looks like it's starting to blister.)
    Tony Parsons and PapaTango like this.

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