'The Radish Baba'

by Crosley John

the radish baba crosley street color seeking critique john

Gallery: Color -- Then and Now

Tags: crosley street color seeking critique

Category: Street

Exif Information:
Model : NIKON D90
Date Time Original : 2011-05-08 11:46:49
Focal Length : 12/1
Shutter Speed Value : 1/39
Exposure Time : 1/40
Aperture Value : 8.0
F Number : 8.0
Iso Speed Ratings : 200
Metering Mode : 5
Focal Length In35mm Film : 18
Orientation : 1
X Resolution : 72.0000000
Y Resolution : 72.0000000
Software : Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows

Published: Thursday 12th of May 2011 06:25:37 AM


Carlos Guaimare
Beautiful colors


i love this picture. The colors remind me of HDR. The expression on her face is very nice. 

John Crosley
She can't eat a radish, I think -- why?

This baba can't eat a radish - why?

Look at her mouth.

No teeth. 

Gum are characteristically pulled back over the mandible and the jaw -- places where teeth would keep them more prominent.  Her jaw is 'up' and touching her mandible with no teeth in the way -- giving her the characteristic look of the toothless person, such as meth addicts, denture wearers without their dentures, and this woman who probably has no dentures (or she's probably be wearing them as she has on very nice clothes -- after all she's Ukrainian and out in public so it's necessary to dress up.

I think she's 'dear' and 'beautiful' and told her so.


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
This photo was slightly DE-saturated

Despite the large amount of red in this photo, especially in this woman's face, this photo and especially her face were substantially DE-saturated.  (She spends lots of time in the sun - when it appears -- and other times in wind and weather, apparently).


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Svetlana K.

Oh, obviously, for taking this photo, I also crouched significantly.

It was best taken from a very low angle, and crouching was the only way to do that.

Again, thanks.


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Neil Jolly

From the moment I spied this 'baba' I understood she was the 'catch of the day' with her fine clothes, her shy manner, and her huge radishes.

I don't like radishes, and experience growing them personally taught me most largest ones are pithy, but oh, when she held out her radishes right to the camera after I finally broke down her defenses, telling her truthfully how attractive she was and what a beautiful photo she and her radishes would make, this was the result.

As you can see, I only told the truth, and no bull****.  You lose credibility if you tell lies, even though I josh a lot when dealing up close with people like this and mime a lot since I don't speak but a few words of the language.  I am a great communicator, even if I have to half mime and be a little funny, share photos or however. All to get my photo.  Sometimes even  return several times (this is one).

She stuck her radishes in my camera, I crouched, and she held her position, as her head turned and finally she looked at me, and that was the shot.

I thanked her profusely, told her she was beautiful (kraciva), which was true, and left.  Later I showed this photo to others; all liked it.

I'm glad you do too.

Thanks for telling me.


John (Crosley)

Svetlana Korolyova

An unusual portrait  and an interesting scene from the life!

John Crosley
Correctioin from comment to Svetlana Korolyova

The comment should read 12 mm stopped down to f8, not 8 mm.

I apologize for the error.


John (Crosley)


An excellent portrait of this worldly lass, and her world class radishes John! Did you try any of these? They look as though you could make a meal from a single radish. Hope you're enjoying the Ukraine.

All the best,

John Crosley
Svetlana Korolyova

I had her bring her radishes close to the camera with a 12 mm lens, stopped down to 8 mm and fired away.

The very large radishes then appeared huge and filled the frame.

It seemed the very best way to take a photo of a woman and her radishes; she is a dear herself; a shy and kind woman.

Thanks for another nice comment.


John (Crosley)

Pierre Dumas
Looks nice! Very nice!

The colors are absolutely unnecessary! Especially the difficult red!

Best regards!


Olaf de Vries

Scene and Baba's great look are fairytale like..! Your 10mm enlarger did work very well..! About the colours? Would have loved to see at least a glims of the original, no, one can't have it al. Exceptional, moving piece of love, this image John..!

Michael Raddatz

These are probably Chornobyl contaminated radishes...... and a very sweet shot John. Her expression is priceless. 

John Crosley
Pierre Dumas

Although I compose almost every color photo to have good composition, you say the colors here are unnecessary (especially the difficult reds).

I agree the reds are difficult, but disagree that they're unnecessary.

The red tells they're radishes and connects the ground vegetable with the ruddiness in her face.

If you desaturate this, you'll see what I mean.  I tried, and it is much less a photo in black and white, though it's got good composition.

Try it -- you may have a different conclusion.  You are an expert, I know, and I respect greatly your opinion, but this time, I respectfully, disagree, just a tad.



John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Michael R.

Thanks for the compliment.

Chernobyl is far too far away for her to afford the jitney bus fare to come to Kyiv to peddle her radishes.

There are warnings against buying wild mushrooms from those who stray too close to the reactor coffins, but otherwise, unless you're quite near, it's now mostly a local problem.  It once was a worldwide problem and still is  HUGE problem, but winds luckily helped keep much of the radiation away from Kyiv and sent them to Scandinavia and parts north during the huge blowup.

I have no fears buying any produce from bazaars, except unrefrigerated poultry, because if it doesn't sell one day, in warm weather, it's gonna be back the next and you know that means not good stomach health.

I probably get far more than my share of radiation from flying in jetliners just in a few years than most people do in a lifetime, plus there always is radiation all around us, even from the earth.  Uranium, including its radioactive isotope is a very common element. 

Radioactive cosmic rays are constantly shooting through us.

Even our spouses (or lovers) are radioactive, as well as beds, houses, etc.

My mother even had dinner wear with a uranium glaze (which was eventually disposed of because of that.)

When I was a kid we looked to see if our shoes fit in a radioactive fluoroscope that showed out feet and our shoes, through a special viewer -- it's a wonder I don't have foot foot cancer).  That was the common way to see if shoes fit kids too tightly when I grew up.

I even had my own personal vial of (radioactive) radium, for a high school science experiment, and vaporized it for the experiment.

You lives as best you can with life's risks, then you die, either with boots on or boots off.

I'm surprised I didn't die from stress before age 40 frankly and have far outlived what I thought I would, so every new day's a gift -- nothing to do with radium, either or radiation, either.

My best friend is a 'Chernobyl survivor' and healthy as they come' in general.  No health deficits at all.  (Was not too close to Chernobyl but got evacuated and gets a very few special, limited benefits because of being an 'evacuee, but those benefits are mostly a chimera).

(not bad on the eyes, either . . . if you know what I mean)

Chernobyl is not to be denigrated, but the inverse square rule applies.

If it ain't airborne or waterborne, and it's contained, then if you just stay away, you have NO health risk. 

Keeping Chernobyl contained forever is not yet entirely paid for, however, and funds are slow in coming in though substantial funsd are committed and work is constantly under way.

Work continues, but Japan may have just as big or bigger problem as it is so densely populated and so many other nuclear plants are exposed similarly to the one that got inundated plus there were multiple reactors and multiple problems. 

However, remember, people live in Hiroshim and Nagasaki, right under ground zero for each A-bomb that was dropped.

Furthermore, Chernobyl happened because of operator error -- it could have been avoided if the operators hadn't overridden the safety systems/they thought they were smarter. 

Finally if the reactor had been in a contained dome, like modern designs, it also would not have happened, according to safety engineers-- it was a Soviet relic, built with less regard for safety than for production and economy -- a typical Soviet oversight. 

Bless that the Soviets are gone.

Chernobyl taught us lessons, and so did the prescient movie 'China Syndrome' with Jane Fonda, but we seem to be resistant to learning from them, especially 'China Syndrome' which dealt with a reactor on a fault -- e.g., the Japan situation and the tsunami which Japanese authorities assumed would never happen.


I wouldn't worry about those radishes, and if I liked them, I'd eat them.

I wouldn't buy wild mushrooms if my life depended on it, though.  Mine come from the market and are factory grown. 

Come to think of it, I've got some meat, some cream, some fresh mushrooms in the refrigerator, and I think I must go to the refrigerator for some veal medallions to cook with garlic mushroom cream sauce (veal is incredibly inexpensive in Ukraine, inexplicably, as everything else is far from cheap.)

But those radishes do look MUTANT, don´╗┐'t they?

Thanks for the comment.


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Fairy Tale like, how kind

Olaf, when I saw this baba with the seeming mutant radishes, I knew she had to be photographed.

She was kind and shy, and it took some time, but finally she offered herself and the radishes up, for just a few seconds.

It was an act of trust, and I rewarded her with well deserved (and true) kind words.

Yes, the radishes have a slightly different, less garish color of red, in real life, with more white interspersed, and if this one ever shows up in a gallery or on exhibition it will be reworked in their color, whichis more like the stems/roots.

I am not certain what caused the color shift, as I desaturated, rather than saturated and did not increase vibration, but decreased it but then it's ISO 200, and I'm not used to working with such low ISO numbers.

Thanks for an interesting and informed feedback.


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Carlos G. from Venezuela

I'm glad this one resonates with you.


Thanks for the kind comment.




John (Crosley)

John Crosley
'The Radish Baba' 'Baba' is colloquial in Ukraine for babushka, which means grandmother is generally 'old woman' (or in some cases 'starry' means very old woman and this woman qualifies.) Inflation has eaten away much of pensions, despite a recently announced small increase, leaving streets in certain bazaar areas lined with women selling produce, clothing, and other things, including this woman's fresh, seasonal, huge, radishes. Your ratings, critiques, and remarks are invited and most welcome. If you rate harshly very critically, or just wish to make a remark, please submit a helpful and constructive comment; please share your photographic knowledge to help improve my photography. Thanks! Enjoy! john

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