puzzle_me BW

by Shaman Evgeniy

puzzleme bw moscow seeking critique shaman evgeniy

Gallery: Single Photos

Tags: puzzleme moscow bw seeking critique

Category: Uncategorized

Published: Tuesday 5th of October 2004 11:23:51 AM


much talent here,,,:)

Colin Downs
Excellent. What more can I say. The picture says it all.

Andrea Salini
Really beautiful, great composition, perfect B&W, congrats!

Salman Quazi
7/7 I don't think it can get any better than this. ~ Salman.

StefANYA Zucca
wow it is wonderful

Erlend Mørk
Very good! I've been keeping an eye on you lately.. You won't dissappoint :)

Igor Laptev

Stephen Galea
A very original composition..Well done.. Tones are wonderful.

Brad Kim
Excellent... I love this...!!!

Amélie *
A wonderfully pensive portrait with beautiful light.

John Peri
Very original. Really enjoyed the photo. Well done.

Martino Balestreri

Aldo Casati
Wow !!! Ottima B&W

Evgeniy Shaman
thanks to all!

bita farbod
A shot in a movie dear Evgeniy It is just like a shot in a movie, I expect it continue in some following frames. And the reflection in the mirror seems to be some other soul.

Cristina Fumi
wonderful composition and BW

Umit Altun
7:7 Excellent B&W shot!!! Regards...

Mesut Devrim Korkmaz
7/7 wonderful, very sensitive.. thanks for this...

Ann Dream
comment Great light and shadow!

Denis Dobardzic
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman excellent picture. the message is so strong, the composition as well. perfect. 7/7

M Bradford
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman This is wonderful and beautiful image. I cannot think of a single suggestion that would make it prettier. As a social statement, about aging, about "the passage of time," though, I think it could be stronger. The only flaw is that the model does not, herself, show the passage of time. I see no wrinkles, under eye shadows, grey hairs, and so on. I don't mean that an image of an *old* woman would be better. Old women and mirrors are a terrible cliche. But an image of a woman with whom I, as a viewer considering the issue of time and age in reality, could identify with, would move me in a more powerful way than a picture of a young and pretty model with whom I share very little. In my mind, to some extent, because we're culturally inundated with millions of images of youthful beauty in all sorts of settings, all beautiful images of beautiful women are a little cliche. Aesthetically, then, it's perfect. Artistically? I can't say. I can only say that it isn't as strong FOR ME, as it perhaps could be.

M Bradford
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman There didn't seem to be a way to edit my comments once I'd pushed the button, only to confirm them, so forgive me for adding... I realize that my comment implies that the remarks at the top of the page about the meaning of the image are an accurate representation of the artist's intent. Mea culpa. I didn't mean to suggest this. So I want to say, again, that as an image of beauty it IS truly stunning. And it stands perfectly well as exactly that. I, as an aging woman, just wouldn't go so far as to make a social statement out of it.

Kim Slonaker
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Perhaps the cracked, marked-up mirror is reflecting how the young woman's face might look in her old age? I think this is a very interesting composition and well done.

Carl Root
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I see a clever reversal of the cliche . . . . . young face and an old mirror. The mood is retained even though the beat up mirror attempts to distort it. Well posed and great light.

Dougity B
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I agree with Maija, I don't see this as a statement about aging, time, or anything else. To me, it's rather literal, a young woman holding a mirror. However, the fact that she's turned away may, repeat MAY, indicate something, but I don't read it as being about time. As I examine the image, it begins to read to me more in the area of self-image, self-rejection, self-esteem, things such as that. For example, she looks in the mirror, is not satisfied with herself for some reason, and looks away, longing for what she doesn't possess. The mirror itself being damaged, scuffed and marred supports this interpretation as does the woman's conservative clothing. Apart from inscirbing meaning where there may have been no intention for meaning to be, (a favorite passtime of the elves) the photograph as an object is well crafted with professional attention paid to light, posing and camera manipulation (i.e. sharpness and exposure). It has beautiful tones. The bright slice of window is something I could have done without, but not at the expense of cropping her hands. Edge lights like this are always a tough call, I think, and there needs to be a balance between the strength of the subject and the brightness (therefore distraction) of the edge light. This picture seems to achieve that balance well.

Landrum Kelly
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Perhaps it is about how women see themselves--almost always in a bad light and always hypercritical when it comes to their own looks. Then again, maybe it is about age. Whichever way one interprets it, is is beautifully done, and demonstrates that digital is highly underrated when it comes to rendering tones in B&W.

Guillermo Labarca
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I agree with Maija and Doug, I really don't see it as a statement about time, besides it does not seem to be the intention of Evgeny, judging by the title. It is indeed a young woman holding a mirror. I acknowledge however that most of Eugene s photos have meanings beyond the photo self, at least that is his intention: he put titles loaded with meaning that are a clue to see the photo. But in this case there is nothing about time in the photo or in the title. I think that this photo, the elves, Doug's and Maija's comment arise the issue about how to "read" a photo, how to find their real meaning, if such a thing exists. Perhaps it is a matter of taste but I have a preference for objective comments like Doug's, I like to approach photography as Robe Grillet approaches literature, he said that when he wrote that it was gray and clouded meant that it was clouded and gray not that he was in a bad mood, or that reality was oppressive or whatever. This photo is beautiful, technically well done, probably the best one in a very good folder. It can improved as Doug suggested, but still a very good one

Scott Eaton
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Great comp and great lighting. I'm a bit bothered by the black space to the left which tends to detract from the framing, but it's a minor nit at best.

Dhiren .
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I am sorry, but this shot asks me to assume a lot of things. After looking at her expressions or her eyes, I am not convinced that she is looking away from the mirror or she?s not accepting her reality. It just looks like some distraction, which made her look on the right hand side. I see she is trying to look for something on her right curiously. And if you ask me to assume that she IS looking away from the mirror, then it really looks staged. It looks little unnatural to hold mirror so high in air, if you are looking at your reflection, I think that makes it look staged, if she was holding the mirror at the shoulder/chest level, it might look more convincing. Her eyes don?t convey any sort of pain/misery to me.

Marc G.
Let's have a fight, Doug...:-) First, congratulations to Evgeniy Shaman, who certainly has a wonderful portfolio that entertained me no end, since I discovered it. As Guillermo wrote, I too see many interesting meanings in the photographer's works, as well as very original concepts, combined with great photographic executions and great manipulation technique. What's more, I think Evgeniy has really found his own very personal style, and has developped it with a lot of taste. Now... Ready, Doug...? Ok. :-) Here you go... You wrote: "I don't see this as a statement about aging, time, or anything else. To me, it's rather literal, a young woman holding a mirror." I beg your pardon, but if I had to pick on something, it would be about yourself being "too" litteral, rather the (drunk) elf's intro commentary. For once, I feel this intro is spot on. You wote: "However, the fact that she's turned away may, repeat MAY, indicate something, but I don't read it as being about time. As I examine the image, it begins to read to me more in the area of self-image, self-rejection, self-esteem, things such as that. For example, she looks in the mirror, is not satisfied with herself for some reason, and looks away, longing for what she doesn't possess." While this makes sense, it does seem obvious to me, that what she's turning away from is her "puzzled" and "aged" image in this mirror. "The mirror itself being damaged, scuffed and marred supports this interpretation" of mine, doesn't it...? :-) Otherwise, what would she be looking away from...? Nothing comes to my mind... Displeased with her self-image, yes, but for which other reason...? When Guillermo writes that the title of this POW doesn't indicate anything connected with the passage of time, I'm also forced to disagree: "Puzzle me" means to me "Make a puzzle of me"... Who is she talking to, when saying this...? To the mirror, of course. Time is a puzzling thing that makes a puzzle of all of us... Anyway, beyond this interpretative delirium, I certainly share everything good that was written so far about the light, the tones and the composition: splendid. I also share Doug's concern about having a bright edge at the right of the picture, and could have done without it too (without cropping the hands). Still, This bright border on the right serves at least 2 purposes, which seem to make sense: 1) Emphasizing the edge of the mirror; 2) Including the source of the highlights within the frame - which may contribute to give the picture a more natural window light feel.

Marc G.
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I forgot... I do have a little something to criticize in this image: if this window was to be included, I guess I'd have wanted it to be a bit smaller. The fact that a bright vertical line crosses the entire height of the frame does indeed take some attention away from this beautiful face and expression... and I wish this line, once there, could at least be perfectly vertical rather than slightly slanted... But well, these are really minor flaws imo, and I love everything else very much in this photo.

Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman It is a beautiful one. It deserves to be POW. Colored version of this conveys a different feeling. I liked it BW.

Bill Angel
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman This picture would perhaps be of more interest to me if the mirror distorted her face more, such as happens in a "carnival mirror", so as to suggest a psychological profile of her hidden feelings.

Dougity B
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman If you vant to fight, Marc, you vill have to better zan zat. Zese questions you raise are an insult in my general direction. Mercy Bookoo


Paraphrasing what you wrote: "It seems obvious to me that she's turning away from her "puzzled" and "aged" image in the mirror."

--Puzzled image? Maybe, but not aged. I don't see aged. In fact, her image is fine, only the mirror is messed up.
Again, paraphrasing: "The mirror being damaged, scuffed and marred supports this interpretation of mine that this is an image about time. "
--About time? How so? The mirror is, or should be, a neutral player, while the image should be aged, damaged, scuffed and marred if this were to be about time. As I look at her image, I see it as a clear image, but through the imperfect mirror, which imparts its imperfections on an otherwise perfect relflection.
No paraphrasing needed on this one: "Otherwise, what would she be looking away from...? Nothing comes to my mind... Displeased with her self-image, yes, but for which other reason...? "
--Here, I am quite shocked that nothing would come to your mind while I can think of many things: She could be displeased with her mouth, her nose, her hair, her eyes, her economic level, her love life, her weight, on and on. WE may be pleased with what WE see, but we're looking into HER mind, trying to understand what she's thinking.

I just can't see AGE AS A PROBLEM in this picture because the imperfect mirror is not about time, but about an imperfect perception of reality. The mirror, if it is a symbol, is a symbol of her self image as it is now. The mirror would have to reflect an image of an older (or younger woman) to carry me into the construct of time, but then it becomes cliche, as was pointed out above by Maija

Dougity B
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Hahaha! And now it is I who laugh in YOUR general direction...

Neil Otero
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I could see the tale about the passage of time. I see a woman looking back at her childhood, maybe this was her all bedroom in what is now an empty building. It?s all about the imagination of the interpreter. As far as the lighting goes, I like it very much. Overall, the composition works for me and if changed it would mean a different picture with a different feel to it. Good work!

Kay C
Oh, This is finally chosen for the POW... Congratulations!

Robert Brown
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Evgeniy, this is really a fine photo--for the reasons that everyone has mentioned above. In general, I don't like light areas at the edge of frames, but it does seem to work fine in this particular case. Unlike the Elves, Marc, and some of the others, I don't see this as a photo about time. Her gaze is more mysterious, more open-ended: perhaps she's suffering from some unspecified source of ennui. I like Guillermo Labarca's critical approach, the Robbe-Grillet (one of my favorite authors who seems to be almost universally loathed in the US--his novel, Jealousy, is an absolutely amazing book and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the "new novel") approach, which is really about ambiguity and the multiplicity of meanings one can conjure from the photo. By stating this is a photo merely about time unnecessarily limits the symbolic and metaphoric potential of this image: sure, it may be about time, but it could just as well be about longing or loss or the long Russian winter or a dying father . . . . Evgeniy, congratulations on the POW.

Byron Ortiz
A reflection of her soul This is the way I perceive it. At least was the first thing that came to mi mind. I can see the external beauty of her face as the beauty side of her soul and the mirror is nothing but the reflection of the ugly side of her soul and this is something she does not want to see but she has to carried it and live with it. Just my personal thought. Incredible shot. Congrats! 7/7

Brendan Bullock
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman a stunning image - the reflection speaks volumes, evokes thoughts and images of photographic portraiture from the early 1900's, and yet is rooted in the present with the woman as she is, un-reflected. while her reflected portrait is phenomenal, and the most successful aspect of this shot, the image as a whole is incredibly well done. not sure what manipulation if any has been done, but for a black and white, 35mm portrait photographer such as myself, this image makes a very strong argument for digital. thank you for sharing, and keep up teh amazing work! b

Pablo del Solar
Check out the original picture First congratulation for this POW. Magnificent and powerful picture. Check out the original picture. http://www.photosight.ru/photo.php?photoid=618061&ref=author Imo is much better than this one. In this picture color one the mirror works much better. Also in the color picture the reflection in the mirror is sharp and the model is blurry adding an emphasis in the idea of reflection. http://www.photosight.ru/photo.php?photoid=618061&ref=author

Dougity B
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Maybe I have preferences, but I favor the b&w version by a very wide margin. The color version does not interest me at all.

Johnny Brewer
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman It seems that a tight cropping of the image would serve to heighten the sense of mystery and remove the "contrived" aspect of her hand holding the mirror.

Marc G.
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman "Maybe I have preferences, but I favor the b&w version by a very wide margin. The color version does not interest me at all." Well, I can at least agree with you on this one, Doug. As for the rest, I give up - I lack the time, just like this aging model...:-)

Phil Morris
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman The photograph of the woman is beautifully rendered and a pleasure to look at. On the basis it was posed I wonder about the placement of the mirror and how that impacts on interpretation. Held and angled as it is, there is a line over the reflected nostril which serves to suggest it is enlarged. And I think the eye might have been placed so as to reflect fom a less flawed bit of glass. Eyes are important and act as points of focus, so just the real pair of eyes may be preferable in order to avoid over-interest in a reflected eye. Whether to or not would be the photog's call and here the eye is half obliterated, diminishing the connectivity between real and reflected. Intentional? Then there's the costume. I don't think it's "conservative". Those buttons, poppers, studs, call it what you will, down the sleeve, suggest they are designerly and ornamental. And if that's designerly and ornamental then so is the hood. The hood ain't for hiding in. Those clothes were expensive. There's no backwards clock on the wall or other such symbolism around her or her reflection. Or her expression to suggest we're looking at some time warp illustration. At least none that I can see. More to the point, I see a closer bond between the mirror and the room. The two have more linkage than the mirror and the model; the model seems a stranger to the mirror and the room. Though it is possible to imagine the beautiful, well dressed model has returned (say) to her humble beginnings / alternatively that the viewer is invited to contemplate her future surroundings. But in either case how might that be convincing, based upon the material in the picture?. Nothing of the model's expression overtly suggests that she herself is in a contemplative frame of mind. Her expression (to my way of thinking) suggests her head is empty / alternatively concentrates on empty in order not to wrinkle her perfect complexion. I like the bright right edge for it reveals the light source. May be a black core matt board? Just be careful not to matt it in pure white. My only disappointment is the presence of the tiling in the lower left corner, viz, the dark grouting. I'd sooner see something peeling, or more honestly, an area of nothing particularly recognisable. So I interpret the picture as simply a model holding a mirror to her face because she was asked to by the photog, that the photog intended as much and that we should therefore view the picture literally without narrational connectivity between model and mirror. Just get off and how fine it looks in light and shade. It's a well produced picture of a girl. And she's a goodlooker. Incidentally I think this far superior to the colour version. The colour version lacks the window shroud shielding what might be a private moment.

Ray .
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman An OK portrait, especially if we know something about this person, but to me it's a bit too posed, the expression is a little blank, and it looks as if she's waiting for the shutter to go off so she can put the mirror down. I could read it as an out-take. It really doesn't go anywhere for me or tell me anything special.

Matt Pearson
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Oh ho... I like the Doug/Marc fight going on.:-) If I may throw in my 2?-- The mirror could be a socital statement-- there is nothing wrong with her, only the image that is reflected to her from TV, Magizines, etc. She is very beautiful but doesn't match what is seen there. She is getting a skewed image back-- I'm dim, damaged, dirty-- but she chooses not to look. She's carrying the mirror, though, and can't put it down; even though she doesn't look it has to be intentionally avoided and directs her movements nevertheless. The impression that it leaves me with is slightly schizoid/confused identity issue more than aging... That's about all I had to add... this is a beautiful image.

Dennis Dixson
Puzzle me this. I am puzzled, bewildered, befuddled and confused. This photograph is certainly posed but in a way it looks out of context, perhaps like a still frame from a movie. There is something not quite right about the pose as if it were captured in a transitional moment. I am stuck with that odd feeling of missing something just before or just after the frame was exposed (I get this feeling often). I am not exactly sure where the implication of time comes from. I am slightly reminded of old war movies where people are hiding out in abandoned buildings from an invading or occupying army. I?m not sure how old the model is or is intended to be. I suppose if she were a refugee she may not have seen herself in a mirror or enjoyed the comforts of a well stocked vanity dresser for some time. Perhaps we should have added a smudge of dirt on her face. I think a cracked shard of mirror in place of the square mirror (tile) would have made for a more tense or edgy photo. I think rotating the photo to straighten the window frame might make this look even more posed. We are looking down slightly and the slight tilt of the window looks a bit more natural as is. I guess for me this would have to be more about introspection than time. For me, the model would have to be actually looking into the mirror to convey any sort of a time (the mirror is old and cracked, implying the effects of time or aging on whatever is reflected in it). To me it is less about time and more about timelessness (whew long word). This mirrored image effect seems to be a movie technique usually employed when a fugitive is running from the authorities and stumbles at the edge of a river and catches a glimpse of his own deranged expression. Who are we really and what will we do when faced with extraordinary circumstances? This is the puzzle of our existence. I do not think anyone can argue much about the model or the lighting. Just a slight bit more detail outside the window would not hurt my feelings. The eyes have it here and we are treated to model and reflection which is a nice way of doubling our pleasure. I can?t help but wonder if the mirror was there mostly to add some fill light and later ended up being part of the composition. I am sure other trivial thoughts will occur to me later in the week. If Mark and Doug are going to fight could they at least act like men and not wear those tight spandex outfits? That is really hard on the eyes.

Larry Korhank
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman The famous Russian soul!

Dennis Dixson
Trivial thought update number 1. I like this photo more each time I see it. I am reminded somehow of Vermeer's painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring. I was reading about a theory that Vermeer had a secret formula for his work that included the geometry of pyramids and I can see a bit of that composition in this photo. One could easily draw many crazy diagonals just from the mirror alone. I am wondering what everyone else thinks about the compositional elements here and if anyone else wishes this were 35mm format instead of this very tight crop. I think the photo could use a bit more room to breathe. Random trivial thought - I am really annoyed by question marks substituted into my contractions.

Lucas Jarvis
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Vermeer eh? I don't see how this is anything like Vermeer. Other than the use of window lighting. I seen a photo just recently on here though that was very similar to a Vermeer. It was a working woman with a wash basin near a window. This photo though, it truely spectacular in its technique. I love it.

Sam Scholes
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman http://www.photosight.ru/photo.php?photoid=618061&ref=author This photograph mentioned earlier is NOT the original color version of the black and white shot featured here. Although taken around the same time the pose of the model is obviously different.

Michael J Hoffman
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Shades of Dorthea Lange. This photograph is extraordinary!

Richard Emslie
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I see a great sadness in those eyes. Perhaps regret turned her from the memory.
Asthetically, I'm not entirely sure the bright window works, but...
Without it a lot of the mood would be lost. The traversal from darkness behind to the light outside the window says as much as the turning away.
If thats a door you're looking at, stop hesitating. Go through it...

Another truely wonderful picture. Thanks Evgeniy (and I'm quite curious to know what music you listen to :)

Dan Lee
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman A superb photograph. Regarding the 'meaning' of it - Who can say? To me the power lies in the expression and the beauty of the model's face as well as an initial cultural ambiguity regarding the girl. Any criticism from me is merely nitpicking, but I am interested in seeing if the image could be improved by making the window frame absolutely vertical and perhaps reducing the value of the highlight directly underneath the mirror.

christof van der walt
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Wonderful tonal range, complimenting the composition. I don't know about the meaning: "the passing of time" . Its a simple image but striking non the less (The eyes and the velvet skintone). Reminds me a little of Jan Saudek's work (feel of it), or maybe its just the old mirror. Great work I like it allot! Pitty it's shot on digital, would have loved to see a silver print of the image.

Dennis Dixson
Vermeer - additional trivial thoughts I said something like Vermeer. I would have put that in quotes but it would probably have come out as ??? question marks instead. I think the similarity for me is in the womans expression as much as it is in the similarity of lighting technique. Also the fact that her head is covered, not by a scarf but by a hood. Then there is the similar use of geometry thing that I mentioned. This subject is facing the opposite direction so it is in fact, very dissimilar in many ways but that is the lovely part of being human and being able to form trivial and in fact totally coincidental associations when no real correlation exists. Sort of like when my mothers ice maker stopped working after I installed a new outlet for the microwave. The former had nothing to do with the latter but in her mind she was thoroughly convinced that it did. It must have been because of that time I broke the baby stroller but I was much younger then, oh well! It is funny how thoughts are formed, reviewed and sorted into piles of true and untrue statements. The similarity to Vermeer is a stretch of the imagination but that is how instinct works or at least how I think it must work. Yes, I think it is the expression that connects the two for me. The expression and the underlying emotion of being directed by the artist and of being an unsure participant in the creative proccess.

Elaine Roberts
"Okay, what should I do now?" The tonality of the bw image above is far superior to the color version on photosight.ru; however, when I look at the image above the 'moment' that I see is the model looking at the photographer a moment before asking the question above (or, perhaps: "Oh, is _this_ how you want me to hold it?"). If anything, she looks bored. I have no problem with posed shots if they are posed well-but this image is just not connecting w/me emotionally.

The color version on the other hand strikes me as far superior. The vivid colors make it interesting; the model looks a little more pensive, although the tilted window frame is more troubling in that image. As one of the commentators on that site mentions, the blocs of black and white to either side w/color in the middle is quite striking. Also interesting is the subtitle that Evgeniy has provided in that site: "Puzzle Me (between dark and light)".

They are both well executed shots, but I think I prefer some others of Evgeniy's photos better, such as this still-life and this more stylized shot. I'll definately be taking a look at his work now and again though!

Igor D.
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Babushka... As for girl photographs it is very average for me...

Jason Stansfield
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman nothing short of fabulous.

Dougity B
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Marc, sounds like we're both short on time, so we'll meet again. I think it boils down to just seeing things differently, neither of our viewpoints being wrong. But I never saw the lip piercing until it was just mentioned by James Laughton a couple comments ago. It's only visible in the mirror, and I thought it was a chink in the mirror's coating. To me, that's the biggest detriment to the image. Guess I'm old fashioned.

Dennis Dixson
Lip sync. Funny, I do not see any lip accessories in the color version mentioned previously.

Matt Pearson
Lip I think that is just an imperfection on the mirror. Even if it is, it's an interesting twist....

Evgeniy Shaman
puzzle_me Human life - its already a big puzzle, puzzle of human moods, feelings, emotions.. Each one of you has seen own story in this art-photo, everyone has found something special (or not).. Thanks to all!

Vasilis Apostolopoulos
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman It is a very good image that I like to look, I prefer by far the color version, the colors make it alive. The bw image, although I admit is good and far above my level does not really capture me. I like the window and I believe that without it the image will lose a lot . The contrast between light-dark the beauty of the young woman contrasting with the old mirror ...... gives energy. The same image with a black background would be static

Vasilis Apostolopoulos
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman It is a very good image that I like to look, I prefer by far the color version, the colors make it alive. The bw image, although I admit is good and far above my level does not really capture me. I like the window and I believe that without it the image will lose a lot . The contrast between light-dark the beauty of the young woman contrasting with the old mirror ...... gives energy. The same image with a black background would be static

Siddhartha Chaudhuri
Lip piercing??? I'm pretty sure her lip isn't pierced -- if you look at the colour picture, which is posed slightly differently, the mirror has that white spot in exactly the same place (look at it's position relative to the vermilion streaks), but it's just below the chin of the reflection there. And while this is a technically superb picture and the reflection is indeed lovely, I must admit it doesn't evoke anything in my mind. It's a great portrait and the model must have been delighted, but all this ageing/time/revisiting stuff just doesn't strike me -- it's a bit too contrived (and perhaps the model herself is too unblemished) for that.

Eugene Danilkis
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman A really beautiful photo and my favorite aspect is the dirty mirror which adds a lot of interest and mystery to the reflection. In fact, due to the lighting and positioning, it almost feels as the expression in the mirror is different from the one shown by the girl.

However, i do believe this would be a more powerful photo with a tighter crop. My personal suggestion would be an 8x10 portrait crop with the lower diagonal of the mirror extending into the bottom right corner.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful photo.

Dougity B
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I like Eugene's crop, but now that I know that spot is not a lip stud, I think I would spot it out.

Sam F
Response To puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I quite like the crop. I didn't really like the bright window, nor really the shape of her hood behind her. I think that the gradation of tones works better in the cropped version than in the original.

Dennis Dixson
Mysterious Crop Circles I hate admitting that I like the cropped version also. I don't know that I would go so far as to say it was significantly better but I enjoyed it. Can I be in the Crop Circle Club too?

Elton Stewart
Great photo, love your other photos... This one reminds me a lot of a of a photo by Ed van der Elsken (Love on the Left Bank), a girl in front of a dirty regflective surface, don't think his one was a mirror though.

Yanjing Wang
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman The pose of the girl holding the mirror is a little bit strange to me(you can try yourself, you will be tired for holding the mirror so high and also it is unnatural that will you put the mirror on your shoulder?:) I can't see the other arm, normally we hold the mirror by two hands). otherwise it is a good work. But there is not so much originality in using a woman and a mirror to convey the time's passing.

Aguiar Thierry
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Really great job!

Sam M-M
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Add me to the people who find the pose contrived. I need more context to understand why she's handling the mirror like that, or whether this awkward pose was being struck just to satisfy the compositional urges of the photographer. This is the kind of pose I'd expect to see if she was lifting something of significant weight that needs to be put up high, not to handle a light, unframed old mirror. Technically, it's very nice, and well done. But the image is falling just short of reaching me.

rod johnson
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Nice light and contrast. I would like to see an alternate view. If the girl were looking into the mirror so that her face was a little mysterious and harder to see, it would be, in my opinion a stronger image.

Alexander Chubb
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman I am onw that likes this photography adn would like to be in the room when the photographre makes it again. I think my pictrue will be the next pictyure of hte wwek. at leasts I hope so

Andrew McGrath
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman This image reminds me of the limitations inherent to portrait photography. No matter the technical skill and vision of the photographer (and Evgeniy is undoubtedly skilled), the artist is still at the mercy of the acting ability or lack thereof of the model. Similar to another POW of an earlier time, in this image I cannot find any emotion in the expression of the model. She seems to be merely following directions, trying to get her pose correct, but feeling nothing in particular. The tones are wonderful, the props visually interesting, but her expression, in my view, has no connection with either.

Jesse Taylor
The beauty of the full version I think besides the obvious beauty of the model and the contrasts of the many different textures in this photo, its true beauty is the implied story that may be implied in this photo. I don't know about where you from but people don't ever dress like that here, though I'm sure they certainly could. Her outfit calls back to a time, at least in my American mind, of when people wore different clothes. And I think it implies poverty in some fashion, or perhaps mourning. Notice the unfinished seams on the back of her outfit. Here she has picked up the mirror and looks as if she could set it back down in any moment. In the photo she has already turned her attention to something else, so it does make you wonder. She looks upset, or at least indifferent. Is she looking at a home that was damaged somehow and is she looking through the wreckage? At a mirror, perhaps, she once used on a daily basis? I think that the earlier comments about it seeming to be a scene from a movie make sense. There is so much plot used in setting up this photo, whether intended or circumstantial. Or, perhaps Evgeniy simply set this up to look cool. Either way, I think everyone agrees that it's beautiful. Great photo, Evgeniy. Cheers, Jesse Taylor An Amateur, Amateur Photographer

Jesse Taylor
PS Another plot - this is an abandoned home she's revisting after a long time.

eugene beckes
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman What a truck-load of words and thought this photo has generated! That must be satisfying to Mr. Shaman. Some things are meant to be mysterious, and I suspect that's exactly what Mr. Shaman may have been after in creating this terrific image. As to meaning, well, I hate to be trite, but it IS in the eyes of the beholder. I don't really care about the meaning other than the effect that the photograph has on me, which is very pleasant. I could hang this on my wall and be happy to look at it every day for a very long time.

Babatunde Martins
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Well taken. Nice images in your portfolio,Keep up the good work. This is probably one of my favorite of your images as it reminds me of the national geographic image taken a few years ago. Good work.

John Falkenstine
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman What's amazing here is not only the picture, but the entire portfolio, coming from Russia, which in my lifetime, was still a dark box, with stereotyped square dumpy people that had bushy eyebrows and wanted to destroy us. I see the image as not only excellent, but also as part of the portfolio, and part of an overall presentation of concept. While the image might have been posed, it is posed well and for a purpose. It comes off well because the technical aspects of photography are clearly mastered and are being used as effective tool for presenting a beautiful image of a somewhat rough and weary, perhaps Roma girl, clearly showing that mastery of photography is extremely critical and essential before one can work their way up the photographic ladder to the rung of perhaps even "art". I sincerely hope that photo.net can work to attract more quality postings of this type and that perhaps we can look through the images to find more beauty, diversity and creativity.

Alexander Chubb
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Congradulations on this picture. I dont have another opionon on it anymore. but I like the eyes of the girl.

gabriele lopez
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Beauty and decadence on the same shot...a really powerful and intense photograph, handshake!!

Pete Woronowski
photo of the week My Very Sincere Compliments.

Antje Kröger
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman funny but also emotionaly. fine. art.

Pepito Pax
The setup of the hand holding the mirror To me she is saying, or her soul screams "Take me away". She shows the old mirror with a look of sorrow, contrasting with her youth. She holds the mirror inviting to contemplate her through this old decrepid mirror. Shares her sorrow, of what.... broken dreams, past sadness, present sadness, and the forebodeing future sadness. Why? Unfulfilment. Will you make that change, will you take her away? Improvements: not having the hand hold the mirror?

Pepito Pax
Crop PS. sorry but I don't agree with the crop, I find the composition spoilt and turned into a plain portrait. You lose the window... the window of escape, of opportunity, of future discovery. The window to me is too important a part of the composition, in the crop you don't see the hand though, which may be an improvement, then again maybe not.

Ayyad Alnimer
Response to puzzle_me BW by Evgeniy Shaman Great B &W shot, wonderful composition, and lighting, as well the idea of using a piece of mirror to reflect her sweet profile and showing us some of her past...well done

Evgeniy Shaman
puzzle_me BW want comments, thanks!

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