Morning Ferry

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by MrAndMrsIzzy, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. It occurred to me (after reading through the "What is street photography" string over at "Street Photography", mistakenly posting "creeping civilization" here instead of there and reading through the posts here) that having some idea of why the photographer chose to capture a particular image (capture a mood or feeling of some kind, simply for the sake of it, tell a story, etc.) might help in forming a more relevant critique. This image was captured in Varanasi (Banares) India in 1990. The river is The Ganges and the time of day was early morning, several minutes before the sun came up above the horizon. Air temperature was comfortably cool, there was a slight mist, it was very still, and the only sound that could be heard was the lapping of water against the side of the rowboat we were in. The only other people in sight were this guy sitting in what I'm guessing was a ferry (of sorts), and the ferryman who was polling it across. It was a very calm, very peaceful, sort of mystical (I don't know what else to call it) mood or atmosphere, and that's what I was trying to capture.

  2. You captured it nicely. & timed it well. Get the best scan you can then print, frame and hang it.
    Ricochetrider, jc1305us and dcstep like this.
  3. Thank you !
  4. Izzy, I like this image a lot. Notwithstanding the fog, there's still enough color and detail to keep a viewer interested. As to its mood, you said it all.
    mikemorrell and dcstep like this.
  5. Thank you ! I have to admit, I was a little concerned about the color. Thought it might be a little too soft and muted but decided to leave it alone. Glad I did !
    michaellinder likes this.
  6. This is my favorite image of yours so far. The haze, the simple transportation, the poses, all evoke the "You are here" feeling. Yes, frame it.
    Ricochetrider and mikemorrell like this.
  7. Thank you !
  8. Wonderful shot. Very National Geographic feel to it.
  9. WHOA! That is indeed a high compliment!! Thankyou!
  10. @MrAndMrsIzzy: I this photo too. By far my favorite of those I've seen from you! It expresses the early morning 'atmosphere' wonderfully through the muted colors, sense of calm and stillness, the lights still on in the town, etc. The delicate mixture of pale blue and emerging reddish colors in the sky and reflections off the water is wonderful too!
    It's also IMHO a great composition:

    - leaving aside the wonderful colors of the sea and sky for the moment, the two areas of visual interest are the boat and the town
    - I like the way that the activity of the boatman (action shot!) contrasts with the town that looks- with its lights on - still half-awake.
    - I also like the balance of the 'visual weight' between the 2 areas: in the photo, the boat is relatively small but is visually closer, more clearly defined, darker and more active. In contrast, the town is much larger but further away, less clearly defined, outlined in pastel shades and is a passive presence. All things considered, I like the "balance" in the photo. Neither visual 'area of interest' dominates the other.
    - I also like the fact that both visual 'areas of interest' are connected by a story that is very obvious and simple for the viewer to form: the boatmen are returning home to the tow. This immediately and intimately connects the 2 visually separate areas of interest. So viewers see one integrated story unfolding in the photo. It has all the interesting contrasts and differences mentioned above but somehow these all become part of one 'visual story'.

    If I ever gave a workshop on photography, this would be (with your permission) one of the photos I'd use/

    Everything I commented about above stands without any 'yes, buts'.

    Just a few additional comments:
    • Your photos are generally small. This one was 750 x 350 px. I encourage you to post photos of at least these dimensions (1500 x 700 px).
    • I really like you photos and when opening your photos in 'full view, I can better appreciate them. But in "full view' I also notice some "noise patterns'(sky that I can't yet Identify. If I find out, I'll let you know.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  11. Thank you!
    Permission granted!
    Might the noise be the result of my scanning, the film I used (Kodak 400 color print grey market), my editing, etc., or some combination thereof?
  12. I, too, like this best of al the photos you've posted to date. Mike pretty much said everything I might have about the great composition and feel of the photo, so I'll stop at "nice shot".

    I'll add that it'd be great to see a basic scan of the original negative. I wonder if her noise is from the scan or if it exists n the negative too?

    Also the crop seems sort of free form. This shouldn't be seen as any sort of "bad thing"- tho it may matter somewhat in printing, Like you'd have to size up then cut away any excess of print paper. and that's IF you choose to print. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that a 35mm negative would have roughly a 3:2 aspect ratio.

    Anyway, no matter really. this is a lovely shot and it has a wonderfully serene feel to it.
  13. 1:1.5, 3:2, same thing. Cropping I don't particularly lock in to the ratio. I crop to whatever looks good to me, so yes "freeform" is a good way to describe it.
    I do print, but not large format. Letter size or 8x10 and I like to leave at least a half inch border all the way around. As far as matting goes, I do my own and regardless of whether the paper I printed on is 8x10 or letter size, the mats I use are 11x14 so excess paper to cut away is never a problem.

    All that aside, thank you for the compliment (especially that last sentence).

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