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Photo of the Week - #40 6/20/22

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  • Photo of the Week is a member-run feature.
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"You talkin' to me?"

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I really like this clever 'double exposure'! Overlaying 'water' over the passengers matches the 'view through the window of the ferry/boat'' perfectly. So I like the creativity and artistry of the photographer who came up with this idea. She/he also skillfully produced the final photo. I particularly like the 'artistic' (or photographic) vision of how an overlaid 'water' photo of the passengers gradually flows into the water viewed through the windows!


There a just a few 'ímperfections' which I think could be improved with not too much additional post-processing, and would be IMHO well worthwhile given the creativity and 'vision' for this photo. Notably some 'ghosting' in the top half of the photo: I'm not quite sure what's in the original and overlaid image but some kind of additional masking of the overlaid image would seem to me to be worthwhile. One point (just) to consider is that the pole on the left (in the original passenger photo is 'disruptive' in the sense that it runs vertically through 2 faces. The photographer might want to experiment with cropping the photo at the right side of the left pole. Of course, she/he would then lose the man on the left and lose some sky. But it might give her/him a 'cleaner' photo while retaining the essential creativity and artistry of the original.


Congrats to the photographer!



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I’m thinking this is a straight reflection shot, as opposed to a double exposure. There’s something cool and unsettling about the folks so protected in their mode of transportation appearing to be heads deep in the water surrounding them. Noticeable, too, that their attention seems fixed on the photographer, or at least the direction of the photographer. For me, the “disruptive” post is a case of “it is what it is” in the best sense of street photography and of capturing real life and spontaneity. Many photographers like Friedlander and Erwitt long ago were defying more classic and formal “rules” of composition and placement. It’s not as subversive today, but it still can bring a smile and give a photo some breath and breadth. On some level, and I wouldn’t want to over-interpret here, that “disruption” may even go nicely with the passengers literally appearing to be in the middle of the waters.
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"You talkin' to me?"

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I like it. My usual first gut-level reaction on looking at a photo is to classify it into one of two equally valued categories: either I’ve seen it before (e.g., “what a superb sunset photo”) or I’ve never seen it before (e.g., “huh?!”). This falls squarely into the latter.


It provokes so many questions…

  • What’s “real” and what’s reflection?
  • Is it actually reflections? Or are images superimposed? Or both?
  • The lettering on the cap is reversed, and the pocket should be on the left…are the passengers a reflection?
  • Then why is there no reflection of the photographer?
  • Is it a ferry? Or an excursion boat?
  • Or is it a tug, as the ghostly lettering suggests—or is that an instruction instead of a label?
  • If “tug” is ghostly because it’s a reflection, why aren’t the letters reversed? Or is that a reflection in a reflection?
  • Or is the image itself reversed?
  • Why the engaged and slightly irritated expressions?
  • What are they staring at…the photographer?
  • Why hasn’t the next row of passengers noticed whatever it is?
  • And, of course, what beverage is in the glass?

…and all of the questions are deliciously unanswered, leaving ample room for speculation and exploration. It’s a puzzle that I feel like I should be able to solve, but can’t.


It’s hard not to see allegory here, though my impression may be influenced by the fact that I was just listening to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing Deep River. Are these passengers going to make it safely to port? And what, exactly, is the nature of that port?


The off-kilter horizon doesn’t bother me in the slightest—it’s about as off-kilter as I’m feeling while looking at the image, and it’s all part of the enigma.


The only thing that catches my attention as a distracting element is the forward passenger’s missing nose—my eye keeps going back to that. Would a complete face make that part of the frame too prominent? Maybe. Would cropping it a bit farther left make that part of the frame too much of a dark blob? Probably. And cropping her out completely would remove an important clue to the puzzle. If the nose eluded the original capture, the photographer’s solution is probably the best available.

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So I pondered over it awhile longer, and here's my best guess:


There’s a large ship behind the photographer, and its hull markings are reflected in the window in front of the photographer. The photographer focuses on the passengers through the window, leaving the Puget-Sound-like background (visible through the windows beyond the passengers) out of focus. “Tug” does turn out to be instructions, rather than a label—it’s a marking that shows a tugboat where it’s safe to contact the hull.


In post, the photographer flips the image and adds a gradient fade of a water image, blending it beautifully with the scale of the background water, as Mike noted. Most of the passengers are gazing at the neighboring ship, and the photographer’s reflection is off-screen to the right.


…at least that’s how I’d try to do it.


In any case, the photographer pulled it off beautifully, from concept to image.

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First, I really love this shot. I like that it is in black and white, I like the composition and creative view. Perhaps I would play with the contrast and black and white parameters to see what I could get. In the final analysis though, I don’t think that I would change anything.


Just my guesses on the composition and view:

1) I think that it is definitely a ferry.

2) The view is looking in from the exterior of the ferry towards the interior; thus, the water overlaying the passengers is reflected on the glass of the nearby window.

3) The word Tug is reflected on a second window on the far side of the passengers as are additional “ghost” images in the middle and right most window on the far side.

4) I believe that I see the rails that are behind the photographer reflected in the near window as well.


Kudos to the photographer!



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Dear colleagues, I was thrilled at the responses to the most recent potw. I shot this photo at one of my earliest visits to Bar Harbor, Maine. Your feedback is most valuable as I continue on my photographic journey,kio



I really really like your shot! I always appreciate it when people go the extra distance to get imaginative vacation shots that vary from the “usual”. And there’s certainly nothing “usual” about this “altered reality” photo. Very cool, thanks for submitting your pic.

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Dear colleagues, I was thrilled at the responses to the most recent potw. I shot this photo at one of my earliest visits to Bar Harbor, Maine. Your feedback is most valuable as I continue on my photographic journey,kio

It's a gem, Michael--Bravo!

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Haha " ...just a guess"! I had sussed out that it was a digital photo and - quite wrongly - (due to my PP 'tunnel vision') had assumed that the photo was a result of a Photoshop overlay, I've even more impressed by your photographic skills in taking this photo 'ín camera'!


Mike, regarding the ghosting. . . I suspect it may be due to glass on both sides; just a guess.
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had assumed that the photo was a result of a Photoshop overlay

Same here! I was convinced because none of the water image was superimposed on any other image above the level of the heads, and it was increasingly superimposed on everything below that level. I'd also been convinced that the passengers weren't reflected because of the fine detail captured--even some individual hairs. So when I saw that the hat lettering was reversed but "tug" wasn't, I put 2 and 2 together and got somewhere around 18. I'm still pleasantly confused--where was the surface with "tug" on it, relative to the photographer?

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