Home Alone!!

by choudhury subhadip

home alone seeking critique choudhury subhadip

Gallery: f-stops...himachal pradesh

Tags: seeking critique

Category: Portrait

Exif Information:
Make : Canon
Model : Canon EOS 60D
Date Time Original : 2013-09-28 19:26:39
Focal Length : 17/1
Aperture Value : 5.6
F Number : 5.6
Iso Speed Ratings : 100
Flash : 16
Metering Mode : 5
Exposure Mode : 2
Orientation : 1
X Resolution : 300.000000
Y Resolution : 300.000000
Copyright : subhadip c
Software : Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows)

Published: Saturday 21st of December 2013 06:14:24 PM


Comments

Andrew Piotrowski

It is a truly remarkable documentary image. Based on ratings photo.net "experts" cant see that.

Tommy Mostrup

I like the way you include your model in her environment. Well composed. Very nice texture. Beautiful work. Portrait at the best of the genre.

Tommy

Rick Bortnick

Subhadip,

Very well done image capturing a moment in time.  B&W tonality bang on. Exposure & framing are nice.  An excellent image of a humble person in their environment. Thanks for this one.

Rick

Bill Jordan
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Makes one feel quite sad.
I would like to see some different compositions of this shot. If the woman was framed further to the left, and the center to right of the frame showed more desolate landscape, would it have a greater impact? Not knowing what was there to the right of the frame, it's hard to say. Perhaps there were similar dwellings all around, so maybe she wasn't so alone after all.

JDM von Weinberg
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I don't have much to say about the Elves' choice, per se; but I appreciate that it led me to sudhadip choudhury's portfolio in general.
Most of choudhury's work seems to be in color, so this one stands out. See, for example, the same, I think, subject at http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=17629419
Not all of choudhury's work is downbeat, by any means. That makes me unsure about the title, referencing, perhaps, a comedy movie?

Louis Meluso
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I like this image. A clean, clear documentary image of a an older woman in the entrance of her rural, hillside, stone hut. A straight ahead document that is beautiful in it's descriptive power of the subject and her environment. The directness of approach is wonderful in it's lack of sentimentality. The simple composition, pose and B&W rendering seem just right for this situation. Good work!

Michael Linder
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I see no sadness in this image whatsoever. What I do see is an elderly person whose life has been hard, perhaps in a number of respects. I see that she probably has been quite steadfast in dealing with life's adversities, and I think the strength of her character comes across quite clearly.

In my opinion, the composition is excellent, assisted by the photographer's perspective. Black and white definitely was the right choice for this image.

Bravo, Subhadip!

Gerry Siegel Honolulu
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

A strong photograph as part of a narrative. Laying stones like that is not only a burden but an art in itself. It tells the story of a hard life in an inhospitable place. Shelter is our first human need. And it tells me of how so much of humanity has little shelter even but makes do. A hard life doing what one has to do to survive. Part of the family of man in a broader sense. A good documentary photo of survival and living out life in a harsh hilly terrain without social services. We are blessed even with our small luxuries and petty complaints and a good reminder of same.

Anders Hingel
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Documentary photos like this weeks POTW can tell long stories about living conditions in different parts of the world like here from the state of Himachal Pradesh in Northern India, just South of Kashmir, where poverty is widespread but social services (health care, education...)more present than in many of more known parts of the world where most of us live (see here). The state is one of the economic powerhouses of modern India, but also the least urbanized.

However surely the elderly "home alone" woman pictured, is living rough in here (solid) stone house in the mountains will all signs of a long and hard life in relative poverty.

As mentioned above, the B/W picture stands out as special in Subhadips portfolio, but it is well chosen. It highlights perfectly the beautiful stonemasonry (looks like stones used for ancient walls more than than for individual houses) and also the hills behind with no signs of cultivation or animal husbandry around. The choice of centre focus on the woman seems to me to be a good choice which provide both the nearby and the distant of her house.

I agree, that the title is somehow imposing a narrative, which does not necessarily find support in the actual situation of the person. The house might include her parents, her husband, a son or two and the family of one of her daughters with children plus innumerous numbers of dogs - just not present in the frame. Who knows ?

Michael Linder
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I don't understand why there haven't been more responses to this image. Can someone explain this, please?

Anders Hingel
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

New Years resolutions of devoting less time in front of screens and to talk more with your loved ones, might be one answer to your question, Michael.

General weariness of continuously being called to order and told what is allowed and what is forbidden in Photonet forums might be another.

Louis Meluso
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

...or, as I sometimes find, it is simply difficult to find the thread. It use to be posted on the main page, now replaced by the POD.

Michael Linder
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Oops, I guess the question I last posted involves an incursion into decision making territory. Hope I don't get busted.

Anders Hingel
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Michael you will for sure be dipped in tar and rolled in feather.

Lech Dobrzanski
Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I think that orientation of frame should be portrait not landscape. In present arrangement women is somehow pressed to the earth. I feel that she can breath freely and is happy may be.

Alex S.
Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury The title is dreadful but I like this photograph vey much. The framing is perfect and the tonalities are outstanding. There is just enough information to tell us about the woman's way of life. The black and white tone make the woman blend in with her environment. She is stoic. She knows no other life.

Diane Hooper
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Michael - if the POTW were on the front page, like it used to be, I know it would get more comments. But then, the last few Photos of the Day haven't had any comments......
I like this photo very much, too. It would be interesting to see a portrait frame rather than landscape, as Lech suggested, but I would hate to lose any of the stone wall or the steep ground on the right.

Lex Jenkins
Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

This is among the strongest photos in this particular folder, and among the strongest in an overall strong portfolio of documentary photography. If I was a publisher my only question would be "Can I see the color version?"

Stephen Conkie
Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I don't know about this one. I find the composition makes me feel 'itchy'- I keep wanting to turn the camera around. I feel this is a bit of a missed opportunity if I'm honest. I would like to see the others in the series if there are any.

Anders Hingel
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Stephen, please elaborate on why you want "to turn the camera around" ? (The woman would not be in the frame) - and why is it a missed opportunity? Like some others here, as just Lex also have suggested, I find the shot is much better than that. I feel no sensation of itch.

Lex Jenkins
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Coincidentally I was just pondering Stephen's comment and realized that we agreed, while I might have expressed it differently. I was curious to know more about this person and this place. I browsed through the photographer's photo.net portfolio for clues. Unfortunately, as some of us have mentioned for awhile, photo.net's portfolio space doesn't really lend itself well to or encourage documentary photography. But I did find this close up portrait of the same woman in his portfolio, taken on the same date.

I found myself wondering more about her life, her home and surroundings. Her gaze leads us outside, but we can only guess at what she sees. The brief bio tells us she offers tea from her home.

I suppose I find the photo successful because I now want to know more about her. But there is that "itch" that Stephen described.

Michael Chang
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I'd like to see the original color version, out-of-camera, as well.

Seems to me that photos of this type, meaning of people from parts of the world without DSLRs, are always somehow by obligation portrayed in this way - contrasty B/W with heavy textures which to me appears cliche.

People who have lived a hard life will always show signs of premature aging whether this woman or a homeless person in NYC, and their wrinkled faces will always demand a story to be told. What I fail to see is, how is this subject any different or more fascinating than that of the Guist brothers living in the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou - in their late 40s but appear to be in their late 60s.

Maybe my objection is in the obligatory association of this type of subject with its predictable treatment and generally regarded as more "artistic" than cliche. I would really like to see an alternate treatment, if at all necessary, to see if it's possible to communicate ones intended message without resorting to predictable treatments.

Fred G
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

The tight composition doesn't work for me. It feels heavy and awkward with what little breathing room there is on the right of the photo feeling very chopped off. I agree with a lot of what Michael Chang says about the treatment of this type of subject and what we've come to expect in terms of this type of presentation of this sort of subject. It's a little too pat and doesn't have much freshness or convey a sense of individuality to me, either of the woman or of the photographer. It's more of a type.

Tony Edenden
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Nice image. Title not required !

Pnina Evental
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I agree as well that the strong PP does not add to the subject. The wall on the LHS is so massive that it compets with the figure for attention, and the whole is not natural looking, as it should have been.

Anders Hingel
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Pnina, it just could be, that the stonewall is a subject on equal foot with the woman. It is not because we have a woman (or a man, for that sake) in the frame, that we have to consider it prisoned in the category of "portrait".

Michael Linder
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Pnina: I disagree, to the extent that the stone wall may serve to emphasize and underscore the many hardships the subject has had to face.

Pnina Evental
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Anders,and michael ,it does not have to be, but I think that the photographer aimed for the woman, hence the title(good one or not). and the PP of her face and cloths showed her hard life. As it is the POW, we can think differently.... BUT..what I think is important, are the honesty of the critiques given, and here we dont have differences..;-))

Anders Hingel
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

When it comes to honesty, Pnina, we have never been in competition.
One could elaborate on the continuum of genres of scenes with people and their dwellings. When does a documentary scene become a portrait, or the other way round ?
In the case of the POTW, I tend to see it more as documentary, than portraiture (maybe despite the ill chosen title) so that the landscape, the corrugated iron sheet (?), the woman (her clothes, her face, her eyes..), the open door and not least the stone wall, are all elements of documentary value telling a story of rural life in Northern India. If I should see it as first of all a portraiture, I would have, as you Pnina, focused it more on the woman and certainly less on the stone wall.

Pnina Evental
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Anders,thanks for your first sentence..;-))

Idid not see it as a portrait per se, but the wide form of it,with the surrounding as well. For me there is enough "framing" around the figure and composition wise a bit less from that massive wall would have the same effect on the whole. (MPOW)...

Robin Smith
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Nice shot, but terrible title. It's not amusing - is it even true? There could be others in her dwelling, or out in the fields.

subhadip choudhury
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Going through the discussion, I would like to elaborate on some aspects. Travelling on the Manali-Leh highway, in the middle of nowhere we come upon this house made of stacked stones, with not a soul in sight. The title came from that observation that she was alone there, it's tacky no doubt but nothing better came to mind. I couldn't communicate with her (different languages) but through my driver I could find out that she ran a tea-stall from her dwelling and that there was nobody else there. When I saw the texture of the stones, I had to include that so that the subject can be placed in her surroundings. That was the whole point. The image is very slightly cropped from the original just to cut down a bit of the boulder on the right. The focus of the PP was also to bring out the grittiness of life, which colour at times mutes out. Focus also had to be tight, because of my shooting position. The house/dwelling was on a raised incline and there was stone boulders placed to get there. Positioning myself there did not give me much flexibility. Michael Chang- this was shot with a dSLR.

Robin Smith
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Subhadip

The shot is good, I think I would have titled along the lines of "Woman and dwelling off the Manali-Leh Highway" or similar - something neutral and informative. When you add a jokey title like Home Alone the expression is a cliché in English and also has connotations of the set of US comedy films called Home Alone (and HA II and III etc), so it detracts from what otherwise is an interesting and serious picture.

Dave Gardner
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

I love the story in this photo...and the drama of the B&W....excellent.

J Sevigny
Response to Home Alone!! by subhadip choudhury

Lovely story. Thanks for sharing :D I feel like this photograph is very heavily weighted toward the center, and that doesn't quite work for me in this case. Also, what others said about the title, yes.

subhadip choudhury
Home Alone!! An aged resident of Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India at the entrance of her home-cum-tea shack. She was alone, awaiting customers.

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