'The Family of Man - My View'

by Crosley John

the family of man my view crosley street color seeking critique john

Gallery: Color -- Then and Now

Tags: crosley street color seeking critique

Category: Street

Exif Information:
Model : NIKON D300
Date Time Original : 2008-11-07 08:12:56
Focal Length : 22/1
Shutter Speed Value : 1/30
Exposure Time : 1/30
Aperture Value : 5.0
F Number : 5.0
Iso Speed Ratings : 1000
Metering Mode : 5
Focal Length In35mm Film : 33
Orientation : 1
X Resolution : 72.0000000
Y Resolution : 72.0000000
Software : Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows

Published: Monday 4th of July 2011 03:22:19 AM


Emmanuel Enyinwa

Love this shot, as the helter skelter faces are a lovely metaphor for modern city life.

John Crosley
Kombizz Kashani

For reasons that may be apparent from the analysis above, I heartily disagree.

This an entire composition, with the Indian (Sikh) man being part of the entire composition, and he should not, in my opinion, be separated out in any way, shape or form.

Rarely do I differ so much but I have a firm view of this photo's composition, and I do not think it squares with your view, as I understand your critique.

I'm sorry.

Perhaps I have misunderstood?

If you have a different workup that can show your viewpoing, I'd be happy to look at it.

The 'conflict' you write about is what I call juxtaposition, and is the 'heart and soul' of this photo. 

Perhaps we can agree to disagree if you cannot see or accept that point?


John (Crosley)

Kombizz Kashani
it is a nice capture although the bg pictures of different faces conflict with the main subject. It would be nicer to isolate the main subject from the bg.

John Crosley
Samrat Bose

Lufthansa German Airlines has a program to use the German Railroads' famed trains in connection with its own airplanes in order to allow checking at one train station in effect to check in at a distant airport by checking in at a train station - which is the message the poster supports.

But that's largely beside the point.

The point largely here is to show the juxtaposition between the faces -- yes, the all-white faces of the German students and air hostess, reflected back on them from the window of the 'TRAIN' window, and the lone, colored face of the Sikh (Indian) gentleman traveler.

(1)  There is color contrast with the amount of melanin in the skin with the Indian man's (Sikh's) skin looking wonderful with its tones.

(2)  The individual students have their own images reflected, but not the air hostess (flight attendant), for a study in twos

(3)  There are two rows of threes -- I have a Presentation on 'Threes in My Photography', and this deserves a star place in it, because it has a back row of 'threes' and a front row of 'threes' with the front row being especially interesting because of the antithetical nature of the white faces versus the browner face of the Indian.

(4)  The reflections are important to me and were one of the devices and threes were one of the other devices I was planning on pointing out . . . Another I planned to mention was what you pointed out about the whiter faces pointing one way, the darker face, and the more interesting and exotic one (for me) being pointed the other way. 

You may see it another way, being Indian by birth and sub race.

(6)  The entire affair is arranged sort of in a circular affair-  more of in an oval, because of the large number of participants, and this adds more of that 'geometrie,' I wrote to you, that helps elevate an ordinary photo to something that is more complex and thus that is more geometrically complex -- and thus potentially of a higher order, in addition to featuring interesting subjects.

In fact, this is a 'poster child' for the use of 'interesting subjects' with interesting and skillful compositional device(s) or 'geometrie' as Cartier-Bresson might have used the term (meaning composition which he conflated with composition.)

Do you agree?

It's a point I made in critique recently in a photo you took in Krakow -- the circularity and the individual heads, and this is my sine qua non of such photos (it's an older photo, color version, black and white version posted here previously to a good reception).

Samrat, best to you - good inquiry as usual.

I hope you understand my explanation(s) in their multiplicity.


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Samrat Bose

I forgot to add No. (7)

Missing in my analysis is the 'rays' or appearance of 'rays' from centermost to rightmost in the photo.  It is a nice effect.


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
A color-coordinated 'street' photo

This is a 'rare' street photo with coordinated color -- yellows and browns predominantly

Inability to produce photos with such coordination was one reason Cartier-Bresson tried to destroy his color work -- he couldn't produce color work to his standard, according to the editor of French 'Photo' Magazine.


John (Crosley)



Maybe too many faces in the end ...

I would have moved the viewpoint a few inches to the right to uncover the face of the lower girl.

I have never seen a photo by Cartier Bresson following this concept, but maybe my knowledge of his work is limited ...


John Crosley
Underlying complexity

This is not just a photo of a face or faces, but has an underlying 'geometrie' as Cartier-Bresson I think would have used the term -- meaning in his use 'composition, but he also used the term 'composition' in its US-UK meaning -- 'geometry', as he and his teacher, Lohte conflated the two.

Later I'll explain the device (or at least two devices) that I see in this particular photo that help  raise to to increased complexity compared to just a photo of several faces.

But first, I'd like to give you a chance to state your views.


John (Crosley)

Samrat Bose

Rather interesting photo...one that grabs attention immediately. In large part I feel this has to do with the composition and the placement of the man with the face of the lady jutting out from his shoulder, facing the other way. This "other way" is interesting...with his tanned face, the man holds his own against a number of faces which are all looking in the opposite direction. Maybe at some level it demonstrates an East-West divide (For east is east....Kipling) brought together in a frame (much like the two Germanys now united?). The reflection in the poster...(did the poster show children and air hostess gazing out of the window of a plane?)...I'm not quite sure of its relevance. Maybe the lines have some importance too.

I must say that all of the above are my musings on the photo and how it appears to me. It may or may not relate to what prompted you to shoot in the first place or your "two devices". Regards.

John Crosley
Luca A.R.

I personally wouldn't want to change the edges of the frame; I am not sure the poster would have let me anyway.

Cartier-Bresson even shot posters, but of course you never saw anything like this from him, nor anything else I've shot, because he was a one-off shooter, as I am, and I don't copy him, and rarely we converge.

The point was that he could not shoot color, knew it, and tried to destroy his color work, all of which was 'street'.  He shot portraits, but none in color so far as is known presently.  He was not entirely successful in destroying his color work; I have some examples, and they aren't so good; none is as good as this, and some are markedly different from his normally wonderful style -- he was caught in a conundrum -- trying to change styyles to keep up with color, which he couldn't really to his superlative standards.

In the end, it resulted in one scene where he was invited to dinner at a restaurant with friends, including the editor of French 'Photo' magazine who brought some early color work for him to comment on, and he tried to destroy it on the spot, then went around the restaurant denouncing the editor as a sort of 'traitor' to him instead of being a lifelong friend.  (source, editor of French 'Photo' in an obituary, 1994., I think taken from the French, but I don't recall for sure)

To say Cartier-Bresson was 'mercurial' was an understatement; he was independently wealthy, so he lived life as he wanted, servient to no one but his Nazi captors, and then he said he was perpetually afterward 'like a prisoner on the run'.

(Please re-send me your e-mail; I've hunted and can't find it in the thousands.  It's valuable to me, and I owe you a reply which I've been thinking of.)


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
wim puts

There's more than one trim of this photo in existence, color and black and white and I think the black and white might be cropped more to your aesthetic suggestion.

As to saturation, you may be right; only a print would tell for sure, but you may be right, especially if it glares at you.

I'm glad you like it so much.

Thanks for the suggestions.


John (Crosley)


John Crosley
Hans-Peter v.d.Berg

From the moment I took this (even before) I have always regarded it as one of my more important shots.

I spied this potential from afar across a departure hall, willed the man to cross in front of the poster JUST SO, (as I am wont to do), he did, just as I 'willed him to' (and I also moved a little bit to 'help'), and the rest is here to see.

He may look a little bewildered.  I would have explained, but there was an obvious language difference or maybe he was just to startled to ask for an explanation so he never got one, which I would have given quite willingly.


I'm sometimes surreptitious only until the good, flattering capture is made, then I'm pretty free to discuss my more flattering captures with subjects.

Thanks for communicating your opinion of the value of this shot; it means a lot to me.


John (Crosley)

wim puts

As part off the composition I would a bit less saturated his turban and face.

Cut off a small part off the left, too get even more balance in the composition.

I hope you don't mind.

But in the end it's a great photo.

Hans-Peter van den Berg

Simply a great shot!

Asher Lev

I am certain that you came up with this title from the book and the exhibition "The Family of Man" curated by Edward Steichen. If you are not aware then I excuse you. Otherwise I think it is inappropriate to use that title. It seems that you are appending your photo to a book of another's or insinuating that this photo belongs in that book. On top of all of this,  the title does not fit. Sorry.

Asher Lev
borrowed title

Or maybe I am wrong about borrowing the title.

John Crosley
Asher Lev, you are a bot and you are devoid of helpful comments

The caption (not title) was obviously borrowed from Steichen's exhibit and was appended with the word 'My View' to differentiate it.  This is proper use of captioning and 'fair comment' as well.  Nothing sinister and indeed it is a good comment.

I have every right to use it as appended.

I would address my comments to 'you' but there is no 'you' there, and it has been long determined that 'you' (Asher Lev) appear now clearly to be a doppleganger for another member, created for the purpose of making snide comments and unhelpful remarks mostly on my account, and now for a very long time.

Your presence here is unwelcome.   

Please go away, and do not return.

You did not offer a constructive remark, and in fact have turned the idea of parody and/or building on the ideas of others (with attribution) into something you then set up to criticize -- in other words you have again created what you have done with your comments here, created a 'red herring' and/or a troll. See abuse@photo.net

I asked for 'constructive comments' and got none from your account but a snide red herring and/or troll from a doppleganger. 



I am well aware of Steichen's Exhibit and its seminal importance, and I built upon that in captioning (not titling) this photo.

Now, go away and stay away, please.

'You' [term used advisedly] have shown yourself to be part of another's account, and you are not entitled to make remarks.  

Interestingly in the face of many accusations from me that the other member has created your account as a doppleganger and later deleted much of the parts that show the two of you share a common identity but have two accounts, (done when removing parts or all of posts was still permissible) it is precisely that member's bad behavior in the first instance which led to the creation of his 'Asher Lev' double account. 

I had started to ignore that bad behaving member's posts because of his ill-considered, inflammatory posts and trolls, and then his later deletion (after I responded) of his red herrings and trolls. 

There was a long history of that before he ceased doing such behavior, but in the meantime, he created the Asher Lev identity to comment on my photos when I refused to respond to his comments in his name for well over a year.

For the longest time after creating the Asher Lev identity, that doppleganger account had NO posted photos.  Now there are a few.  I have challenged no less than ten times the authenticity of the Asher Lev account, found it to be a doppleganger account for another and there has been no reply -- in effect an admission.

I have a long memory that predates this Administration so don't test me on the issue. 

And I am aware when asked for ID the other 'member' may indeed be pseudonymous, as he bragged once of not revealing his true name under which he once exhibited and under which he joined Photo.net.

John (Crosley)

Member, Photo.net

John Crosley
Emmanuel Enyinwa

Thank you, Emmanual.


Not just a metaphor for modern city life but for a multicultural world -- after all he is in an airport (he's the live one and the background is the advertisement for an airline he's flying).


We live in this world where a turban can be found as easily in Silicon Valley's Costco buying great quantities of basmati rice as well as Indians heading major software firms (think Adobe for instance with its Photoshop), as in many other parts of the world with the Sikh (turban indicates Sikh) diaspora and a history of crafty and skillful business practices.


For instance just try checking into any modern model that is independent in the Western United States after hours and not smelling the smell of curry coming from the back into the front office and a turban on the check-inclerk/owner -- the motel industry now is dominated by Sikhs in the United States as wel as in other places in the world.


It's a world that Smoot-Hawley (tariffs) was meant to keep the US out of, through isolationism, but instead provoked the Great Depression's continuation. 


This is my memtaphor for the global economy/multiculturalism, similar to your notation.


Thanks for such observance.




John (Crosley)

John Crosley

Thank you so much.


It means even more coming from a guy with the cup (Photo of the Week) next to his name.


Best wishes and again, thanks.




John (Crosley)

Ian .

That is a great shot John.

John Crosley
'The Family of Man -- My View' Frankfurt Germany's massive and sprawling Flughafen (Airport) is bigger than most cities, and through it pass people of all colors and nationalities off giant airliners of all kinds. Here a Sikh from or bound for India passes in front of a travel poster for Germany's native Lufthansa AirLine advertising its train-plane connection. Your ratings, critiques and observations are invited and most welcome. If you rate harshly, very critically, or just 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

Next Image >>