The nun

the nun seeking critique angelina micu

Tags: seeking critique

Category: Portrait

Author: Angelina Micu

Gallery: ME

Exif Information:
Make : Canon
Model : Canon EOS 40D
Date Time Original : 2009-12-22 04:45:05
Focal Length : 28/1
Shutter Speed Value : 1/199
Exposure Time : 1/200
Aperture Value : 5.6
F Number : 5.6
Iso Speed Ratings : 160
Flash : 16
Metering Mode : 5
Exposure Mode : 1
White Balance : 1
X Resolution : 72.0000000
Y Resolution : 72.0000000

Published:
Tuesday 22nd of December 2009 08:10:48 PM

Comments

Alf Bailey
Hi Micu This is exquisite, there is a clarity and sense of purity that just stops short of being religious, I love it! Best Wishes Alf

Bob Kurt
WOW, superb!!!

Francesco Pessolano
VEry well done. The high-k and desaturated colors gives this portrait a great look.

Micu Angelina
Wow Thank you so much!!!

Theo Keijzers
Fascinating picture Micu, nice.

Greg Smith
Wow! Absolutely gorgeous! I would have preferred more balance between the bg on the left & the bg on the right. I think the lack of seperation between subject and bg on the left is a pity. Still a stunning image. Well done!

Fabrizio R.
Excellent high key portrait! Merry Christmas and happy new year

Reid Coleman
this is a beautiful photo! thank you for sharing it with us! just the right amount of shadow in the veil to shape the face. good job!

Joze Stucin
Mother Divine in erotic image. :) Perfect!

eS eM
Good job - Great Photo

Lech Dobrzanski
Does the face express high self esteem, is she prodigy no one can dominate? Many answers can be considered. Great photo IMO.

Sara Schmidt
white .... This is an amazing image. The treatment of the whites is exquisite and very well achieved. Great work! sara

Sam Ramadan
Great shot - overall uncomplicated and simple, yet one has to stop and investigate further because of the impact. Very nicely done.

Shiva Charles
I really do like white effect over everything and the faint colors of everything else being incorporated in it.

Adrian Per
Congratulation Very nice photography ! The white athmosphereof the portrait is impresionant ! Frumos !

Pavitra Tuladhar
Simple, strong, powerful and cold, beautifully created "i like.

Emilio Geromel
Amazing Amazing. I love it.

Norman Detweiler
abstract It,s a nice composition as an abstract. I feel the white is blown out to the point of distraction though. It hurts my eyes. It may be my monitor, although I played with my contrast settings and it didn't help. But it has a nice moody feel to it. I don't know if this an untouched shot or not? It has potential to be great though I am not sure what I'd do. Perhaps play with tone of the white or maybe nothing, When I look at it from a side angle it has a creamy slight yellow tone and it looks amazing. I don't feel qualified to comment too much further.

Greg Hobson
Wow! Micu, Are you willing to share any secrets as to how you achieved this masterful look? It's lovely. Greg

Kamal Zharif Kamaludin
love the eye and the fierce expression the veil cover the heard also add the mood

Jachym Rybnicek
This is simply great! Simple composition, strong atmosphere and bewitching look. I like it very much. But maybe there is a little imbalance...I lack for any line or anything in the left part of image. I know that it would annoy, but it's totally empty and I think it's little bit unnatural. Just my opinion.

Gabi L
Fantastic! Very well done. I particularly like the way that the left side of the photo is completely white with no texture. the one thing that is bothering me though is the fe strands of hair at the top of her forehead. It seems to take away from the 'cleanliness' of the overall composition. Great Job!

Bill Webb
Technique, please A very striking and arresting image. The only minor distraction (for me) is the visibility of those few strands of har at the forehead. Can you share the technique you used?

tim hitchins
quite simply awesome Micu.

Alex Tremps
great compo and edition! regards!!!

Kemal Kamil AKCA
good

Joseph Teixeira
High Key A beautiful high key portrait. Well done.

Patrick Hudepohl
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

Please note the following:

Art Xanthopoulos
1 by Micu Angelina

very nice overall processing work, both technically and in composition this is a worthy PoW . my congratulations Micu. I would however have tried to create some symmetry in the light tones of the eyes and possibly removed the strands of hair on the forehead. Beyond that the execution as a whole is unique and interesting.

Art Xanthopoulos
1 by Micu Angelina

very nice overall processing work, both technically and in composition this is a worthy PoW. my congratulations Micu. I would however have tried to create some symmetry in the light tones of the eyes and possibly removed the strands of hair on the forehead. Beyond that the execution as a whole is unique and interesting.

Sesham Sampatirao
1 by Micu Angelina

this not a high key image. and right side of image there is no separation form back ground.

Micu Angelina
1 by Micu Angelina

I want to thank you so much for chosen my photo in Photograph of the Week,I can't describe how happy and content I feel,for a new and amateur photographer like me means a lot.This photo was made spontaneously with a white material bought so I could make a background out of it but never had the time to use it. I used just a light preset to brighten the image.Thank you for the encouragement and hope I will learn more from all the great photographers on photonet!

Bobby Karimipoor
1 by Micu Angelina

Strong shot,according to the face gesture and very well showed the coverage girl...I think she is from a religious culture...The light and effects are very nice!

Regards(Bobby).

Bobby Karimipoor
1 by Micu Angelina

Strong shot,according to the face gesture and very well showed the coverage girl...I think she is from a religious culture...The light and effects are very nice!

Regards(Bobby).

Ken Thalheimer
1 by Micu Angelina

I like her icy stare. It's as cold as the entire image. Overall, I think it's nicely done. I'd like to see some slight detail on the left rather than the stark white

Steve Wagner
1 by Micu Angelina

I don't see anything special here in the photograph. It's certainly well done, but in the end it's just a woman posing. It's more style than substance, and the extreme treatment doesn't do much for me. It's contrived and cliched.

Luay Bahoora
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

The creases in the fabric are very distracting. It's begging to be ironed. Also lacks sharpness in the eyes and mouth due to excessive dodging and/or fill light in Photoshop. I think too many details (such as details of the hand) were eliminated in post processing. Otherwise it's a nice portrait. Congrats.

Stephen Penland
1 by Micu Angelina

I like this effect, and would note that a "cliche" is in the mind of the viewer, not the photographer. This may have been the first that Micu has done, and if so, it's one more than I have done -- certainly not cliche from our points of view. I wish the eyes had been given more equal treatments so that there would be better symmetry. I find the mouth intriguing -- I can't read the expression in the face. I don't know if there's a sense of boredom, mischievousness, anticipation, or some other feeling. The enigma is reminiscent of another much more famous painting of a certain lady's smile. Congrats on the POW; I anticipate there will be a wide divergence of opinion, and that always makes for a good discussion.

Eduardo Agustin Carrasco
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

wonderful shot, fine art congratulations

Eduardo Agustin Carrasco
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

wonderful shot, fine art congratulations

Tomek Gooseberry
1 by Micu Angelina

Greg Smith wrote:
I would have preferred more balance between the bg on the left & the bg on the right. I think the lack of seperation between subject and bg on the left is a pity.

Personally, I actually prefer it the way it is: this blending makes it more interesting / esoteric for me. If anything, I'd like model's hand to be more clearly separated. BTW, is it a self-portrait, Micu? -- you entitled your critique request "Me " -- if so, even more kudos to you!

Micu Angelina
1 by Micu Angelina

Thank you so much Tomek for your understanding!
Yes this is a spontaneousy self-portrait.

John DiLeo
1 by Micu Angelina

I agree with those who would like to see more separation from the bg on the left, but once seen I cannot say I wouldn't prefer it the way it is. Besides, it's hard to get past those eyes, and once past, the eyebrows, and if I can get beyond that, the lips stop me cold.

Remarkable shot.

John DiLeo
1 by Micu Angelina

I agree with those who would like to see more separation from the bg on the left, but once seen I cannot say I wouldn't prefer it the way it is. Besides, it's hard to get past those eyes, and once past, the eyebrows, and if I can get beyond that, the lips stop me cold.

Remarkable shot.

Mike Mancil
1 by Micu Angelina

Micu... Congratulations on being chosen POW and remember that no matter how written, most of the comments are written to help.... :-). That said, I find this to be another of your very well produced self portraits, full of mystery and intrigue.... Mike

Micu Angelina
1 by Micu Angelina

Thank you so much,I appreciate your kind words and I appraciate all the critiquies from all the photographers.Thank you all!!

John A
1 by Micu Angelina

A highly stylized portrait that is essentially very well done. I think there will be those that like it and those that don't because it is a very contrived image. Now, I don't use contrived in a bad way at all, it is what folks do in advertising to get a point across, get a model, put them in a situation that is not their normal state and photograph them=contrived.

Overall, I do think this is very well done. The wash out on the left is a very dramatic element here and informs the rest of the shot. The gaze is strong, but in some ways is also almost blank at the same time. Anyone starting out should be proud to do an image like this.

There are a few technical issues and some that have been mentioned. Attention to detail, especially in post is as important as the post work itself. I think the few strands of hair coming down in the center serve to break the mood of the image and make little sense to me. The wrinkles probably should have been gotten out of the sheet before you shot, but certainly they would be easily taken care of with a little cloning in post. Since we are so high-key here, it would be very easy as no texture needs to be matched. The dark line on the upper lip at the top should be blended in as well (right side). And then maybe a little work on the right eye where it is a bit uneven and dark underneath on the lid. The next thing might just be my monitor, but I do see a magenta cast here in the light grays, especially on the face and this could also be eliminated.

Why do I mention all of these little nits? Because when one does a highly stylized piece you throw yourself into another realm and it is a realm of perfection. Certainly this image is very nicely done, but so are many images. If you want to play in the game then you need to play the game and make it perfect.

Anyway, a very nice image.

Nuno Saldanha
1 by Micu Angelina

what can i (we) say? Just thank you for the pleasure of giving us such joy from your image!
Iorick

Raymond Borg
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

A very interesting high-key portrait. I would like to see a slight separation of the model from the background on the left side. Still a very good photo. Congrats.

Zsolt Andras Szabo
1 by Micu Angelina

an interesting and high quality photo that worth being chosen the POW. i agree ArtX about the hair and the too big difference between the eyes, but these are minor problems, it is a great photo.

John Tran
1 by Micu Angelina

The model is so pretty in the shot. Even though the hood makes me feel she is a nun, but in that posture she is too hot for a nun. I never wish the photographer took the shot in any other way, he must have his reason to do what he did. Maybe that is the posture that makes her look prettiest or to show the contrast of being religious and being attractive.

Charlotte Whitaker
1 by Micu Angelina

Striking photo. A lovely way to show the soft beauty of shades of white with the impact of the sharp darkness of the usually most important facial features. Like the whisper of a hand being there. I think it anchors the picture just enough so it isn't a head floating in space. I am viewing this on my laptop and can tilt it enough to bring in a darker background on the left. Not sure that darkening that would make it better. May actually distract from the main focal point. The impact is the face and the soft folds framing it. I'd have to live with it both ways for awhile to see which is better. Others have already spoke on clean up areas.

Keith Robinson
1 by Micu Angelina

Although not a fan of post-processing, if the wisps of hair were lost, and also the fingers, the eerie floating face effect within the white head-dress, itself merging with picture background/perimeter, would be even more successful. But how would one know at the time, so well done indeed. Regards, Keith

IAN HOLLIDAY
1 by Micu Angelina

I find this discussion very interesting, being new to anything other than using photography as "recording". I did not see any technical problems until I read others' views and I guess that means that, as one progresses, one's eyes become trained to look out for, in others' pics, what we would be alert for in our own. The image impacted on me and I found myself more interested in how the photographer saw herself, rather than post work and lighting. I saw the use of the background as intending to emphasise the face without too much distraction. Someone referred to a possible religious element (Audrey Hepburn in the Nun's Story springs to mind) and I can see a juxtaposition of the purity of white with a face that does not seem inclined to knuckle under and feel that perfection would work against this! It worked well for me. I would like to see the pic "photoshopped" with the comments taken into account to establish whether they would change how Joe Public (me) reacts to the shot.

Tom Martinson
1 by Micu Angelina

I find this to be quite a compelling image, despite what others see to be some minor imperfections. My first reaction to this image was a sense of calm; the high key treatment gives it a sense of purity. The wisp of hair on the forehead and the turned-in fingers add to the femininity of the expression. After looking a little longer, the lush lips and nearly animalistic focus in the eyes bely that sense of purity and you're left feeling almost nervous. Sort of like looking at a wolf in sheep's clothing kind of feeling. Whatever, this is a lovely picture and it demands attention. Nicely done.

q az
1 by Micu Angelina

This is a great photo. It commands your attention and requires your response. It is art. Technical appreciation or processing prowess is secondary to the initial impact it has on anyone viewing it. Is it a PoW? Obviously!

John Jackson
1 by Micu Angelina

Love it, every aspect! What else can I say?

Asa Frye
1 by Micu Angelina

A self portrait? Impressive! Not sure I like that everything on the left seems to disappear completely, but somehow the photo still remains balanced. Excellent work! Congrats

Alma Robert
1 by Micu Angelina

Congratulations Micu on the well deserved POW. Here is a sort of 'negative' idea on the same thought.
Alma
http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=7589204

Pavitra Tuladhar
1 by Micu Angelina Simple, strong, powerful and cold, beautifully created "i like.

Stamoulis Theodorikas
1 by Micu Angelina

I like this work. I will go rather opposite to photo-dogmas and say that I like the part that is not well separated from the background. This part I like more, it makes it more dreamy for me. Congratulations.

Heather Sigler
1 by Micu Angelina

Smooth and delicate with dramatic and fierce intentions. Very impressive.

Jim Chisholm
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

I like this photo. It is well composed and captures the subject beautifully. Perhaps a bit more even lighting on the right side of the image to remove the shadow on the right side of her face woudl create a more balanced image. That would highlight her lips more evenly and provide a nice contrast in the image. Using a secondary light source from the side or slightly behind the subject with a reflector bouncing light back up into her face may help. Removing the pesky hairs would complete the image as well:). Very nice work.

Adrian Per
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

Felicitari , Agelina ! Photo Of the Week , asta este un frumos succes . Sincer , ma bucur . Deasemenea poza este o realizare deosebita , foarte frumos !/romanian/
Congratulation , Angelina ! A very nice succes , phto of the week ! I am glad ,real ! and because the photo is a very nice achievement !

Adrian Per
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

Felicitari , Agelina ! Photo Of the Week , asta este un frumos succes . Sincer , ma bucur . Deasemenea poza este o realizare deosebita , foarte frumos !/romanian/
Congratulation , Angelina ! A very nice succes , photo of the week ! I am glad ,real ! and because the photo is a very nice achievement !

Micu Angelina
1 by Micu Angelina

Multumesc mult Adrian,Alin !!The light it's more brighter in the left because of my flash,maybe I don't have enough lights.I want to thank Maurice Pila for helping me with the lights and the encouragement!And thank you all for appreciating my work!!

Jeannean .
1 by Micu Angelina

For me, your beauty, plus the lighting (agree might have been a tad bright on the left, but not enough to really distract me), the color tones/palette, and the pose created a very pleasing image. The lack of flesh tone somehow creates the illusion that this could be so many different women of many ethnicities. It reminded me of "Color of Water" by James McBride for some reason. I love that book, so the reference in my mind, makes me love this photo. Very well done.

Evil Elvis
1 by Micu Angelina

Any time the Elves stopped at my home they drank all my beer but they are rather astute observers of art. I consider this self-portrait art. It is simply stunning. That's as close to a critique as I get.

Kamaljeet Chugh
1 by Micu Angelina

Good picture, but can be made outstanding, if she took care of the hair on her forehead.

Paulo Pampolin
1 by Micu Angelina

unbelieveable, in your portfolio this is unique profissional picture. The others are just snapshots. Congrats

William Staniforth
1 by Micu Angelina

I'm inclined towards the separation camp , but it is a very unique self portrait . It conveys a sense of serenity and peace and is very restful on the eye . One tiny niggle , I would have liked the catchlights to have been the same size in both eyes . There is really only one word for this image though and that is beautiful .

KENT WHITNEY
1 by Micu Angelina

Micu,

Few self portraits capture me but, YOU have captured me in this lovely, mysterious and wonderfully crafty form. You have an eye and it sees a bit beyond the seeing... Keep doing what you are doing and always press to excel, time is growth. "Lovely"
PhotogDogf64

Gerry Siegel (Honolulu)
1 by Micu Angelina

I wonder. It is awkward to be direct when the young photographer has photographed themselves, is earnest and generous in reply those who view her work and comment... For me Micu, it is frankly- in this white expanse- not quite my cup of tea.
Framing my reaction another more specific way, it does not reach me as a self- revealing self portrait (that shows what kind of self portraits I am inclined towards. Out there and not elusive). Do we have a pool here of just nice creamy yogurt with some nice bright eyes and colored lips out front? No, not quite that for sure.... I could have reworked the image in the mind's eye and maybe imagined a spectral vision of a sensitive person of another time and place in extreme high key. A lady in the mist...But. big but. That would be creating more out of my mind than the image offers as an alphabet soup of spare sketchy lines and limited tone light to work with.. The elements that garnered such lavish adulation do not quite seem 'real' enough to this eye.
It is interesting, may be in tune with current images we see on movie display signs, a la ghosts and spectres. Shows craft above the ordinary I hasten to agree. Which may yet blossom to some really powerful and brilliant images. Sorry, Micu, if it doesn't quite grab me in that way yet. I think you have more in the way ahead and this is a start... Opus No 1?. Congratulations on the gold cup and for your joy of experimenting which you communicate well, no small matter. . I wish you super best in your work and your life ahead as an artist, ( A dissonant viewpoint I know can offend you (or others who love this piece).. The reaction poll is pretty positive and laudatory so this is just a Minority Report... May not even be super material for discussion , but---there you have it) gs

Diana Bolen
1 by Micu Angelina

Most excellent photo Micu!
I actually like that the left side is much whiter and brighter, almost over exposed. Gives the impression that the Woman is moving into the frame from the right of the shot.
Diana

Jim Myers
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

I think it is angelic in it's appearance. The few imperfections we may or may not see are simply what we each see for ourselves, something that is entirely up to the photographer. Very nice job of creating something unique to enjoy for a few moments.
That seems like the point and it is accomplished. Nice work.

Urdea Daniel
1 by Micu Angelina

Bravo Angelina,cropul si incadrarea sunt folosite eficient!

Gordon JB
1 by Micu Angelina

I almost did not bother to comment this week. I am becoming as tired of writing the same thing each week as you all must be of reading it. High key portraits are standard studio fair as is the use of a veil or in this case a sheet in need of ironing. This has been done hundreds of times before, usually with much better results. Since anyone who has ever been to photography school has had to learn how to produce this look, it has to be pulled off flawlessly and with style to rise above the crowd. This image falls down in both regards. The poor light balance and the unsightly hair on the forehead being the most disturbing aspects.

The most curious aspect of this photo for me, is most likely not intended by the photographer but rather the result of too much flash and too little fill. I keep trying to figure out why such a basically blank emotionless stare manages to be possess of the degree of ambiguity that I find coming from the portrait. I have concluded that it derives from the dichotomy established by the right side of Micu's face being bright and alive particularly the eye being expressive or at least penetrable and the shadows on the lips being open and soft contrasted with the dark and almost lifeless eye an the other side along with the blackness of the lips which I interpret as sinister or vampiric in a teenage Goth sort of fashion. If I block out one side of the portrait at a time, I get two disinct and oppostie feels from the same portrait. Viewed together I end up with ambiguity.

I applaud Micu for experimenting and in particular with exploring self portraits. Micu's portfolio shows much promise and I suspect that her explorations will produce many fine images. This image could have been much better and still could no doubt be improved significantly by making some of the excellent suggested adjustments put forth by several people in this forum.

Augphoto Anderson
1 by Micu Angelina

Perfection!

Rakesh Syal
1 by Micu Angelina

This is an outstanding highkey work, my standing ovation!!

Ernest B.
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

I really like this photograph. For me, it is especially interesting because of (NOT in spite of) the so-called "flaws" mentioned above (i.e., hair on the forehead, fingers below the chin, wrinkles in the headscarf, left-right imbalance in lighting). It contains a whole raft of potential meanings, and they are mixed in a way that holds one's attention. Whether Micu Angelina did this intentionally, or by fortunate accident, doesn't really matter: she experimented, and it turned out well.

At first glance, the overall whiteness of the image and the headscarf suggest religious allegory, or a traditional, idealized image of "sexual purity".

http://freechristimages.org/images_BirthOfChrist/The_Annunciation_Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti.jpg

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://rlv.zcache.com/the_purity_mousepad-p144530317953806813td22_210.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.zazzle.com/virgin%2Bmary%2Bmousepads&usg=__ICPsbe1FHCAYGZxWphrd8UM8hE4=&h=210&w=210&sz=15&hl=en&start=25&tbnid=v5JPo6R9Y7s29M:&tbnh=106&tbnw=106&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dvirgin%2Bmary%2Bpurity%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D18

But when the viewer looks closely, any saccharine or simple interpretation is contradicted by the detail in those facial features that are not washed out--by her lips, nose and, especially, eyes. Her eyes do NOT appear lost in "virtuous" adoration of a deity, or in passive prayer, or in grateful contemplation of an anticipated life of celibacy. Instead, this woman is gazing directly at the viewer: no reticence, no shyness, no submission, no fear. Her expression plausibly could be characterized as unassuming, or honest, or challenging, or predatory--depending entirely on the psychological makeup and reactions of a particular viewer.

The strands of visible hair and curled fingers heighten the "frisson" between idealization and reality in the image. These details ever-so-subtly reinforce the perception that this is a REAL person "captured" in an idealized context (as perhaps, many women have felt themselves to be, and not only photographically).

Continuing this line of thought: the slight shadow over half of the image also increases its impact, consistent with the same visual message. Not only does the darker right side allow the viewer to see some slight (otherwise invisible) detail in the model's skin; it makes visible, on the same side, wrinkles in the headscarf. Put simply: because of the lighting imbalance, one half of this image is "fully-idealized"; the other half is "incompletely-idealized". This slight disparity within the single image has an excellent, and far-reaching, effect: it calls into question, subtly but definitely, the whole nature of "idealization" (as a psychological process).

In considering this photo, the viewer feels both the "compelling-ness" of this idealized, archetypal image of a beautiful woman; and its inherent artificiality. It's like seeing a beautifully prepared stage-set from a three-quarter side angle. One can fully appreciate the beauty of the facade, while being reminded that it is a facade.

In the same way, this photo creates strong reactions in the viewer, while inviting him or her to examine and consider those reactions, and the personal assumptions underlying them.

If this image is in fact a "flawed" idealization, then what constitutes a "proper" idealization? And--just as important--why? (I think that, when considered logically, some of the comments in this thread are a hoot. Just before the Virgin Mary was given the big news about her future, did angels with steam-irons descend to "iron out the wrinkles" in her headscarf? Does having visible hair make a woman a "profane", instead of a "sacred" person? And so on.)

Anyway, I think this is a beautiful and interesting photo, one to be proud of. I wouldn't change a thing.

Apostolos Spanoudis
1 by Micu Angelina

Brilliant portrait Angelina.I like the over-exposure either it comes from the original capture or it's post-production.This of course, eliminates the details turning the photo almost to a draw or a pencil sketch but it's a tecnique acceptable among the photographers.The whole set seems to be a part of a theatrical act, as i see, you look quite different in reality.But sometimes we all need a change and here you became a lovely, mysterious lady, an elf or whatever you had in mind.Regards

Apostolos Spanoudis
1 by Micu Angelina

Brilliant portrait Angelina.I like the over-exposure either it comes from the original capture or it's post-production.This of course, eliminates the details turning the photo almost to a draw or a pencil sketch but it's a tecnique acceptable among the photographers.The whole set seems to be a part of a theatrical act, as i see, you look quite different in reality.But sometimes we all need a change and here you became a lovely, mysterious lady, an elf or whatever you had in mind.Regards

Neuner R
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

I really like this photo. I initially saw it on the opening page of photo.net and it's one of the first ones I've had to go check out further. It is the photo as a whole that draws the eye and further interest. That is what sells photos.
I thought it was a photo of a nun at first. This struck me as both interesting and possibly offensive since it has a sensual feel about it. As I looked at it more closely I saw that it was a simple white sheet and not a habit. I think the wrinkles since it defines what it is. The viewer is really drawn to the eyes. Excellent.

Anton Harding
1 by Micu Angelina

Without the direct gaze the image is a hueless flash. White naturally connotes death more than black does to a mind more broadly cultured. I enjoy the shape your face has with the cape and the idea of you directing the art here with all the welcome feedback and guidance. Great love!

Gerry Siegel (Honolulu)
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

Well as to the white business,- adding my final say on this one , have it your way as you like. Makes for discussion and healthy disagreement more often than not. Or less is more approach to portraits... We can take flight of fancy far. White is sexual purity? Maybe, maybe not. Not for all of course as someone above mentioned to suggest it isn't that straight or we would all be devotional to the same imagery...In F.Scott Fitzgerald , color white, some think, implied sexual ambiguity, re his heroine Daisy in "Great Gatsby" Some interpreters of the work (in another medium of course). Reading into the spiritual and emotional aspect of a self (underlined self) portrait makes for profound, it does not . Not necessarily, Yoda would say. Nice,not brilliant... I do wish you well Micu. You are on center stage. Not easy. I would myself even decline the gold gift.:-) Maybe.

Ernest B.
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

Gerry Siegel (Honolulu) , Jan 14, 2010; 11:59 p.m.wrote:
"Well as to the white business. . .We can take flight of fancy far. White is sexual purity? Maybe, maybe not. Not for all of course as someone above mentioned to suggest it isn't that straight or we would all be devotional to the same imagery...In F.Scott Fitzgerald , color white, some think, implied sexual ambiguity, re his heroine Daisy in "Great Gatsby" Some interpreters of the work (in another medium of course)."

Right, Gerry. As is well-known, brides traditionally dress in white (and in many western nations, have done so for centuries) because they, their churches, and their relatives want to symbolize and emphasize the young women's "sexual ambiguity."

After a 30-second google search, here's a handful of quotes lifted from popular-reference websites. (A completely nonscientific sampling of popular culture, of course, but they reflect prevailing perceptions and the conventional wisdom of the Western world--which, in this case, is the point.)

"Judaism : The ceremonial Kittel , worn on religious holidays, is white to symbolize purity. The tallit katan is likewise white in color, as, on high holidays, is the gartel (belt, girdle, or sash)."

"White is purity, cleanliness, and innocence."

"White is the color of purity. Brides wear white in many countries, because white symbolizes a virgin."

"Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity; it is considered as good luck to be married in white clothes"

"human culture has many references to white , often related to purity and cleanness."

"Cross-cultural diversity is found in the symbolism of white , which historically has signified purity, virginity or death...."

And on and on and on. Of course, a literary suggestion (by F. Scott Fitzgerald or William Burroughs or Guenther Grass or John Milton or Lucretius or Lewis Carroll or any of 1,xxx,xxx, xxx others) can be found to support or rebut virtually any argument on any subject whatsoever; but my gut instinct is that, in your dismissiveness of this particular photo, you are overreaching. ("Maybe, maybe not.") Your central message seems (to me) to be the not-very-subtle, and rather jaded, hint that because a new photographer hasn't "paid her dues"...her photo, ipso facto, can't hold much meaning. (What a strange parallel: http://photo.net/off-topic-forum/00VUCS )

I think you're mistaken. Even if this POW image had been produced as a complete accident (which I do NOT think is the case), it would continue to be an outstanding image, of which the photographer can be rightly and unconditionally proud.

It will indeed be interesting to observe--if you're ever awarded the "gold gift"--whether you decline it.



JAMES CONSTANTINIDES
1 by Micu Angelina

Micu, this is a beautiful and powerful image. In today's photography world we probably have to take it for granted that a lot of manipulation of image is possible. (I still use film) Very few of those who used film up to this point of transition have done much of that. I know a commercial photographer whose final product often contains material from 14 "exposures" So, I also take it for granted that I really do not know what I am looking at anymore. Who could critique his work, except the final image?
What does all of that mean here? It means that most of any commentary that could be made on the techniqies which you may or may not have used is almost without any merit. Where the light came from is obvious. How it fell on one eye differently than the other and how one side is washed out are of no interest to any observer or viewer of your work except...those "technologist" who are busy with specks, hairs, creases, fingers ect..
The image...and you. That is what is on the "paper". The apparel which you are wearing could be the garb of a nun. Intead of her calm, kind and gentle face (nuns rarely engage those who are looking at them) we have a young woman whose gaze registers both a touch of subservience and..a strong, almost piercing beligerance and/or challange. The purity of every part of this image is at direct odds with your eyes. It is this dichotomy which slaps a sensitive viewer against the wall. Those eyes are beyond measure, I don't know what intent they reflect, what power they reflect in you. And that "washed out" left hand side??? It is really a beautiful suggestion, as if this whole image is a phantasm...drifting into eternity, not anchored in this world.
I hope that in a few weeks, after you have read all of this critique, that you will be able to benefit sfro what is valid and straight and then push it all aside. Then, continue to make image and statements following your own heart and spirits. Photographers, I found are generally competitive. The only one that I ever had a fruitful conversation with was Paul Strand outside of Paris when I was younger. That was enough. I wish you a lifetime of enjoyment with your craft. If you never make a penny with your camera, you will still have joy with it. As it is, you seem to have a solid foundation from which to go in many direction. I am not concerned with how long it took you to put this together. The power of this image of yourself will, for you, last for a lifetime. For my first time on this site, I am happy that this was the first image that I saw.

Gerry Siegel (Honolulu)
Response to 1 by Micu Angelina

It will indeed be interesting to observe--if you're ever awarded the "gold gift"--whether you decline it.

How quick we are to read and take something out of context. I meant, or tried to imply, that I would "decline" the honor if it means sitting on a little levered chair above a water tank at the ball throwing event at the fair and get dunked b strangers.. ( It is unlikely that anything I got would ever get picked, Just fine with me personally.)

White can also be the color of nothing. That is what I saw in this picture. Others disagree. Great. Why did iIchoose to comment on it if I did not get enthused?. Can't say. It was all the gushing praise, I think.

(Ernest, you are way off target in your personal reading of my agenda, but that is part of the game of communication that we all live with. Always I think.. I flat out said what I wanted to say about this POW.. I have liked a few and said it without I think, just innuendo. )

Micu Angelina
Me Thanks!

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