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© © 2014 John Crosley/Crosley Trust, All rights reserved, No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission fromn copyright holder

'Behind the Barricades, Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine


Artist: JOHN CROSLEY/CROSLEY TRUST,ALL RIGHTS RESERVE;Copyright: © 2014 John Crosley/Crosley Trust, No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission from copyright holder;Software: Adobe Photoshop CC (Windows);


© © 2014 John Crosley/Crosley Trust, All rights reserved, No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission fromn copyright holder

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It's sometimes been hard to separate 'civilians' from

'combatants' in the 'tent city' that sprang up in Central Kyiv (Kiev),

Ukraine and still stays there to this day (though the world goes

on around it). This man was photographed there, in garb that

suggests he belonged to one of the protester encampments --

protesters from various Ukrainian cities and some groups had

set up giant military-style tents right in the middle of the park-

like and expressway-width main street of downtown Ukraine as

well as in adjoining Maidan (Independence Park) -- the two are

literally joined and still behind barricades. Your ratings,

critiques, and observations are invited and most welcome. If you

rate harshly, very critically, or wish to make an observation,

please submit a helpful and constructive comment; please

share your photographic knowledge to help improve my

photography. Thanks! Enjoy! john

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Great crop and expression. I don't like how his lips were processed - it looks like cheap makeup, which, I believe, was not the case at Maidan.

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I have a general rule not to post more than one photo from a photo session let alone more than one from any subject, broken sometimes when there are multiple great photos and posting is separated by substantial time -- after all, I have enough photos to keep posting non-stop for years without reposting anything.


However I previously posted this in B&W  but liked the color version, affected by 'magical light' from the transition of 'late afternoon' to 'early evening' under heavy cloud cover and without reflection of colored advertising lights, and wished to share this capture with you.


Sometimes rules are merely guidelines, meant to be overridden.






John (Crosley)

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The image is authentic execpt for the lips, but that easy corrected if you whish to change it, perhaps that is how you like it. My middle Grand always comes out in pictures with lips like those in your image. Warm regards.
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No post processing magic.


This is exactly as captured.


See the above comment of mine about the special 'magical' light, and maybe that will help you understand.


Thanks for the compliments.




John (Crosley)

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I once posted a photo of Richard Nixon with his wife Pat's gloved hand reaching around his waist and a gaggle of passersby in a crowd of photographers, secret service and just plain trapped pedestrians.


That photo was taken under a mid-day California bright sun and was printed 'high contrast', which represented the negative.


I posted it, and a valued member strongly suggested I alter it in Photoshop to less contrast, and I was about to take his suggestion, but he noted the photo was simply 'great' and another member called it 'one of the greatest photos of the 20th C.') (his words, paraphrased, but accurately).


Finally, another member changed my mind when he quoted James Morrison on changing things that are already excellent:  'Don't Mess With the Ju-Ju.'


I didn't.


I think in this case, I'll stick with the original image, lips and all.


I ain't messing with the Ju-Ju.


Maybe those lips will be this photo's trade-mark, they're certainly not messed up post processing, as I stuck extremely close to the original capture -- this is hardly processed at all.


(thanks for the comment; I previously had confronted the 'issue' a long time ago when I processed this -- and refused to change the lip color from what I captured, keeping in mind the 'Nixon' photo.)




John (Crosley)

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We are commonly used to seeing with digital cameras, almost every capture, with perfect 'white balance' even though the overall scene may be drastically affected by some source of light that if the same capture were caught by color transparency film which makes no allowances for 'computer interference in processing' (except time of processing, processing temperature, chemical strength, all of which are usually 'standard') it would not be 'white' at all or 'white balanced' as one might expect.


The brain, which senses and makes alterations in our perceptions to impose a 'white balance' chance throughout the day in our perception, does not help in understanding how unexpected colors may occur and be 'correct' (or not).


As a former 'color shooter' who shot exclusively in transparency (chrome) format (I also shot B&W simultaneously with a second or third camera), I found that often what I thought I saw was not what I got, because the mind's interpretation of 'scenes' including 'white balance' is a mental function more than an absolute function.  What appears to be a 'white face' under a 'white light' near the end of the day in transparency film will have a decided rosy/red/orange cast to it, the more so the closer one gets to actual sunset (assuming a cloudless sunset and assuming direct sunlight, not light from the night-ish sky.


This was taken on a day when the sunset was obscured, and the camera's internal 'white balance' may have been 'true' or it may have been 'confused'.  


As good as the electronics are that set 'white balance', they're not entirely accurate in all lighting situations, and with Nikon especially so in the late afternoon/early evening hours especially in summer extended days under cloud cover (as here). I can state that from extensive experience.


What you 'see' as 'white' may not be 'white' when measured by a color temperature meter, and what may appear to be pale actually may be deeper and more saturated if the ambient light is just so (and the color temperature is right on), or conversely the camera's color temperature and algorithms may be not quite right JUST FOR ONE OR A FEW PHOTOS under one set of lighting and the RESULTS MAY BE PLEASING (or displeasing) and that's for the photo artist to decided.


If it ever comes to museum/gallery exhibition, I'll be open to advice about this one, but for now, I'll go with the Ju-Ju and the original capture.






John (Crosley)

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My amateur status permits me to offer an opinion but not critique. You have captured the look of bewilderment, confusion and vulnerability so perfectly in this image. I like it!

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By all rights, I'm am amateur too.


Your critique was well-thought-out and well written.


No need to hide your light under a bushel.


Thanks for a thorough, thoughtful, and insightful critique and even more for taking the time to let me know your thoughts.




John (Crosley)

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This is to me an excellent environmental portrait. The direct confrontational eye contact and obvious stress of the subject is riveting. (I don't care what color his lips are.) Even though the background is blurred, I still call it environmental. The hair, the clothing, plenty of clues.

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Generally, I don't take 'formal' portraits, so those who know my work expect everything is 'environmental.


But your point is well taken.  The background is blurred (bokeh), and we have no background clues about the environment, but we only have to look to the subject himself for those clues.


Well said.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.




John (Crosley)

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In relation to a long-running discussion in these comments about the relative merits of photos that can be posted as B&W and/or color, this is a good example.


Already posted as black and white, it shows very traditionally.  It was posted 'dark', and had to be clicked on to reveal itself, but the subject matter - the man and his expression were clear.  The photo was more stark because of the monochrome treatment, and more emhasis was on what one critic I think called the 'topography' of the man's varying 'textures', from his coat/jacket, t his scarf, his beard, and his somewhat weathered face, together with the somewhat unkept hair.  B&W required 'focus' (if you'll excuse the word') on those things, because there was no 'color to distract and 'soften' the capture.


This color capture has the same elements and the precise pose of course, posted a little lighter because of the nature of the color capture, and also seems a little more 'friendly', 'soft' or 'optimistic' because of very good color coordination.


It's not often that portraits that show well when desaturated (and digital captures are almost to a one captured in color initially which must be converted to monochrome -- e.g., B&W) also have good color coordination, but the 'bokeh' (out of focus areas) and their wonderful color, blend wonderfully with the early evening light on the man's face and also blend with his scarf, making for an ideal and rare color presentation.


In a sense, if one seeks to evoke sympathy for the man, the b&w capture probably is best -- he's shown as more inquisitive, but more 'hopeless' whereas there is more optimism and just a happier feeling with the wonderful color harmonization in the color version.


This is posted as part of a long-running discussion in these comments on whether photos show the same or differently when posted in color or b&w, or better, which photos can stand both posting modes, and under what circumstances.


An incumbent question is whether the presence of color chances the viewer's 'feelings' about the capture - as they do somewhat I think in this capture, but in some captures, posted originally as B&W, the introduction of color drastically changes them and even changes the meaning and message of the photo, meaning that a b&w capture may mean one thing and its color version may evoke quite other feelings.


It mostly depends on the original capture. but the processing also can make a difference, both the b&W processing and the color processing.


Many photos cannot be presented either as color or b&w, but some captures can and successfully be posted in both modes.  Of those that can withstand dual posting, some mean the same in color and b&w, while others take on different meanings depending on the mode of presentation.



John (Crosley)

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The framing is 'full-frame' with no cropping whatever -- What you see is exactly what I framed, one of about eight (detailed in another post) taken rapid-fire.  I thoroughly discussed it in that post (see B&W version post and discussion thereunder, this same folder.


My 'contact' with my model was incredibly fleeting - about 1/6th of a second for this frame and no more than two seconds maximum for all frames taken together, as I called to him, he looked, and I fired.  He wondered (here) whether he was being called to me, or not, and that's the magic of his expression -- his wonder and the quizzical look at being called out in a crowd, seeing a far-away (very far away as this frame was taken on DX format at 240 mm), camera aimed his direction.


In any case, it worked!  


I learned never to sneeze at success, and to own it proudly.


But also never to take too much credit.


Possibly more credit for me as a photographer goes into my boldness at snapping the shutter, then my acumen at choosing what is 'good enough' to display, rather than any absolute abilities I have (though I have some, I am sure.)


Again, Tommy, thank you.  Sometimes I fight for a long time - even may stake out a potentially 'ripe' situation for a half hour or more, and this was 'hit and miss' -- all seen and over in less than five seconds with more than a half dozen other frames that were almost as good!


It all works out in the end, however.


I'm working on a frame right now in Photoshop I passed over about 10 times before, and just now saw it and decided it's 'wonderful' and worthy of my best.


Sometimes it takes being hit over the head with the proverbial hammer or seeing that proverbial 'lightbulb' go off before I can take credit for any ability at all, and who knows how many good ones -- even great ones - I've simply let go because of misconceptions and prejudices against my own photos or subjects?


That's why I like this forum so much; it helps spot issues and problems and sometimes rewards where none was really expected but might well have been.


Best to you, Tommy.




John (Crosley)

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With ten years here on PN, your comment demands respect.  Thank you so much for the compliment.




John (Crosley)

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Few words, well chosen, very happily accepted.


Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.




John (Crosley)

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