Tags: seeking critique
Author: Klemens Dariusz
Aesthetics 10, Originality 10 Powerful stuff. You've got a great eye. I love your India portfolio. Makes me wish I published a magazine just so I could showcase your work!
I Like Good shot, it's very nice,Brilliant portfolio.
Rohit ( Perpetual Chonking) Sarwate
National Geographic Greetings "Second Attempt" IMHO National Geographic does the best landscapes, wild life, nature potography and of course they are great at capturing images of different cultures around the world. RS
Interesting picture, and quite a good POW thread as well imo... One can catch life as it comes, but that's difficult... or one can be ready and wait - sometimes hours - for life to fit a pre-conceived ideal image... This POW, imo, belongs to the second category, and that's maybe what some of us like a bit less about it... but this second category of photos is still very respectable, and Dariusz has mastered it almost perfectly imo.
A gentle reminder to about three or four people who have found their comments deleted or edited - FROM THE ABOUT section of the POW: "If you like the image for some reason that hasn't been stated already, please let us know what grabbed you. If you find a way to improve the image that hasn't already been mentioned, please let us know.... A comment with the same content, e.g., "use fill flash", as a previous comment will be nuked. A comment that refers to other users (except as necessary to distinguish an idea in another posting), a previous controversial Photo of the Week, or anything else off-topic will be nuked (even if a portion of the comment might otherwise have been okay; We're too busy to start editing other folks' writings-- we have many other forums to moderate)..." Editing comments that rehash things that have been said before is a difficult task as well and there will be times when deleting will make more sense. No one should take this as a personal attack. This is in keeping with the guidelines. If a comment gets overly long and in any way repetative, it may also be deleted.
There's so much in both pictures... ...a sense of straddling the median between remoteness and intimacy, vibrant color, subtle movement, texture, and steel-trap technique that doesn't get in its own way. Great work, Dariusz, and I'll be looking in on your portfolio as soon as I can.
Younger woman is looking away from us Some of the comments said that the person did not like the picture because the faces are covered and looks as if without any communication between them. To me it seems that the front woman is looking back towards the other lady and saying something (maybe about the photographer) and we are looking at the back of her face covered by her chunni. Another thing to note is the mehendi work on her left palm. That means she is young and got married recently or somebody in her family got married and she is also married.
Great work I bought the camera here (USA), Now I feel like going to my home country to take this kind of pictures. Great photo.
I tend to agree with Joel Collins and Chris Battey. It's a good photo, but something is lacking - which is best illustrated by the many comments referencing Star Wars and the bright colors and contrast. It's a pretty picture, but the connection between the subject and the viewer is missing. To me, the two women remain total strangers, which I suspect they were to the photographer as well. In fact, looking through the rest of the portfolio, I tend to get the impression that I am looking at high-quality snapshots quickly taken by a passerby alien to the culture he is photographing. That human connection is somehow missing. Thus I disagree with John Sutera when he compares this shot to a Pulitzer-winning shot by Vincent Laforet - Vincent's photograph is vastly superior, partly because he successfully provides an emotional connection to his subject. To be fair, to master this kind of photography is very, very hard, and Dariusz puts in a good effort. All in all an interesting choice for a POW.
Cristian C. (Barcelona)
I disagree with this last comment, the proximity and specially the point of view of many pictures in the folder shows that there was a high degree of complicity whit the people portraied. This people don't seem to be unconfortable with the photgrapher. I have the feeling that the "attitude" of the photographer is "good", and there is where many photographers fail when visiting forgein countries. It is true that it is very hard to master this kind of photography, but even if very good results are not achived (which is not this case), geting full consentiment by unkown people to be photographed is a very gratifaing emotion. As always excuse my english and regards from Barcelona.
Very nice composition and a very strong picture. I am from India. Believe me, I would have passed by this picture setting and would not have realized the potential.
Dariusz Klemens u really inspired me a lot thanks for sharing ur photos...u did a great job..
Nice Shot I'm not sure of any story here, or it's originality. However, this is a very well composed and beautiful shot. No fair taking shots of Rajasthan, everything looks beautiful there (:!
Excellent! A common shot with exceptional interests. Everythings are just simple and direct. A powerful image.
faces thank you all for all your comments, they are greatly appreciated. Just thought of showing another frame that I got just a few moments after that one was taken, it does have faces and I think it conveys a different mood. Find it difficult to decide which works better.
thanks Patrick, it worked
Perfect. Travel brochure? No,no,no. Winter desert sky, crepe polyester ethnic sari, 2 pounds of silver bangles, draped cloth, pregnant woman, mud wall, woman hides, but looks through cloth at you, girlfriends, rich older woman, poorer younger woman. There is a lot going on here. Takes me home, that's for sure. Fantastic work. Brilliant portfolio. One technical hitch, common to much daylight photography in India. The contrast and dark skin tones and still darker tone, deep set eye sockets are problematic for chromes. Many dark eyes.
A good eye Lovely shot. It's very reminiscent of one of Vincent LaForet's photos for which he and the other NY Times photographers won a Pulitzter Prize for this year: see : http://www.nytimes.com/library/photos/index.html and choose Pulitzer for Feature Photography. the photo was similar but differ of an Afghani child with the shadows of adults against a very similar wall. You have a great shot here.
What about emotion? This is a fantastic picture - great textures, colours, lighting, everything. It's all been said above.
However, what about emotion? This picture leaves me cold.
Maybe it is just me, but many top-rated, technically perfect photos leave me feeling cold; I think it is the lack of emotion...
I don't want to take away anything from the photographer (as if I could!), but this photo only interests me in an purely aesthetic/documentary sense; I just don't feel anything.
What do others feel?
Mark L. Cooper -- Junction City, Ohio
Another thought I still think this is a great photo. Looking at it again, I'm reminded of some of my co-workers stepping outside the office for a smoke break. The first time I viewed it, I thought of the Cantina in the first Star Wars movie. So many POWs don't do a thing for me, they don't engage my mind or my store of memories. But for this one to bring forth 2 separate memories/visualizations, I think that is a sign of a great photo. Mark
Its very nicely done. The colors really pop and it has a certain mood to it.
My only critique - if it even is a critique - is that its kind of travel-brochure-ish. Which is fine, if thats what you're shooting for!
To contrast with this image, I just commented on a rather different shot of women in India, here:
well this one's an almost for me... This one really drags the eye in, and I'm sure if I was editing my first batch and saw this pic I would be smiling on the way home from the lab. But on repeated viewing it's missing something, there's a lack of connection between the two women, the relationship is purely asymmetrical and not emotional. Basically it's too abstract for me, without a face. It's a great textile shot though. Sorry if I sound like I'm bagging the photographer but your standards are obviously high, and your portraits in the same folder succeed where, for me, this one just misses. Just a question, have you sharpened those portraits, or are they straight scans? Oh, congrats on POW. Cheers CB.
Can't settle The colors are wonderful, the contrast is strong but the image strikes me as too busy or confusing.
This is a wonderful image. From a technical point of view is almost perfect in all respects. The colors are wonderful _also_ seen from my laptop. I guess if you used a polarizer, but I think not, probably you just took advantage from the lighting. For what concerns the composition, while other would prefer seeing the cropped hand of the leftmost woman, I would like to see the top of the wall at the center of the image. With a zoom a bit broader view would have improved the photo. I think this is a 9/8 (it's a long time since I gave up giving rates, but I am pretty sure about the rates this photo deserves). I just gave a quick look (I'll return later) at the portfolio, it's really interesting.
Aesthetics 9, Originality 9 great colours and textures. I Like alot of your photos. How did the two ladies like the photos? I always like to give away images that I take of people outside.
"underexposure" I think the exposure is excellent in this image, and actually throughout Dariusz excellent portfolio. "Underexposure" in this case is as compared to perhaps a literal reading of the scene. There's an advanced understanding at work here. There's a history of many fine photographers leaning to "underexpose" from literal readings as an aesthetic choice. Whether that is Dariusz method we don't know without seeing the scene. What we can know from his portfolio and from what he has kindly shared is his affinity for this kind of rich color and darkness in his images. It's a wonderfully chosen exposure. Enjoy.
regardless of what, it is awesome! There are too many storys to tell about this picture. Both communicating body gestures tie the picture togeter regarless of the breaking wall. Beautifull...
Stunning image! The use of color here is just textbook perfect, and the composition is moving. Good example of storytelling with a single image.
Great Photo? Good photo? Yes. Great photo? No. Sure, there is great color in this photo, and it was taken in an "exotic" location, but it's lacking something. The photo doesn't communicate the contex of the situation. I don't know what these women are doing; their relationship is not clear. I'm not sure why I should care about them, other than be entertained by their colorful clothes. There is a lack of human connection. I don't know if I'm explaining my view, but something is missing that would make this photo much stronger. The photo does not tell a story, as most good documentary/travel photos do.
congratulations Congratulations on your POW. I'm drawn to this picture but a couple of things nag at me. The cut off wrist and the space on the right. I would perhaps suggest cropping just above the bracelt on the cutoff wrist and just to the left of the thing on top of the wall. THis is really just a minor critique.
East Vs West I am not an expert and hence can not comment on the technical brilliance of this picture. I do not see anything compelling about this picture aesthetically. May be because I lived there for 23 years. I do love the colors. But this picture captures only a tiny fraction of the colors Rajastan has to offer. I do like other pictures in your portfolio. You have captured many aspects of Indian living that is not often photographed. Nice work. (I love 756061, 771055 and 756002 ) -Edwin.
huh I am not a great fan of "National Geographic" style photos - most of them are good, but rarely fascinating. This photo is different. Perfect DoF, colors, details, but also the situation, skies... every piece of this composition finds its place. Excellent work.
Aesthetics 10, Originality 10 Dariusz, Is there anyway to reach you via E-mail? Your website does not respond! Your images have moved and inspired me. Thank you for your compassionate and poetic vision. Namaste, Ray
Actually, I like the hidden faces. This will let you focus on there hands. I like the hand gesture of two women. There is a communication going on there.
Dariusz, thanks for commenting on the underexposure/color aspect of your images. Perhaps my original observation of underexposure was the wrong way to put it, and should be amended merely to observe that aspect of your style. Clearly, you are very adept at capturing the rich colors the permeate your images and they must be part of what draws your eye to scenes. So, I'm sorry if I mis-represented it. [I'd go back and adjust my original post, but the thread wouldn't make much sense...] Enjoy.
Mark L. Cooper -- Junction City, Ohio
Impressive When I first looked at this photo I thought how exotic it is. "Star Wars" did come to mind, but in a very good way! I thought of the 'Cantina' scene from the first Star Wars movie. I am very much a Star Wars fan. The good guys win and all that. George Lucas probably spent tens of thousands of dollars on the Cantina set, but this single, wonderful photo produced the same feelings in me. When I look at this photo I smell exotic smells, I hear the music and the unintelligable language. I feel the very hot, dry air. I am from a town of 50,000 in Ohio and am not really well travelled. I have seen some of the wonders of the US and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, but the rest of the world is left to my imagination. This POW is like a window to another part of the world, and it is a very well placed window. I don't really care what lens was used when I see the photo. It doesn't matter if a hand is in or out of the photo. To me, what is important, is the fact that the photographer saw something memorable in this scene and took the shot. I'm sure there were many things he could have done differently. He could have been one foot closer, one foot farther away, a little higher or lower, etc. But I feel he found the perfect vantage point based on my emotional reaction to his photo! Now, after the photo got my attention, after I've studied the composition, and savored the feelings it produced in me, I'll go back and look at the equipment and film used. This kind of photography is definately something I aspire to. Good job!
Intriguing photo. Very nice colors and composition.
9 / 8 Absolutely perfect usage of the focal length. Interesting also would have been a 28 or 30mm focal since you were on a zoom here, but 35mm works well too.
Perfect color saturation and overall detail.
To be absolutely fussy, maybe I'd have liked the first woman's other hand in the compositon. Not a major issue though... which is why I was considering a 28mm or 30mm above...
As for originality, well... a long debate could start here... I actually live in Malaysia, where part of the population is indian, where indian festivals and temples are a bit everywhere... So this isn't THAT unusual to me. Nor is the angle actually. But what is quite interesting to me are the hands and the absence of faces... Basically, the subject itself wasn't so original, but the photographer's way to look at it, yes, that was original enough...
P.S: "I shall return" ("Star Wars" quote?) to see your portfolio more carefully...:-) I had a glance at it just now, and it looks terrific, with maybe 2 or 3 shots that I might like even better than this one...
I think, that what strikes immediately looking at your work is the consistantly smart usage of wide angles - also very present here. As I started traveling, I just didn't really get what wide angles were for when photographing humans. I was always hooked on a 70-210mm zoom, and missed so much... Later only I started to feel what the 20, 28mm or the 35mm lenses were for on a 35mm camera... They give a third dimension, a depth, a classification of the importance of elements in the distance... And of course they add drama...
Your portfolio is a real lesson about this. Well worth taking the time to look at angles in it. Congrats on a very deserved POW.
Fantastic This one has Nat Geo written all over it. The best POW ever IMO, and an awesome portfolio to show it wasn't a fluke. Good Job Dariusz.
Perfect? Well, perhaps not, but very close. A look at the photographer's portfolio reveals a tendency to slight underexposure perhaps that helps result in the rich, saturated colors here. This image also has strong graphic shapes, a great balance of those saturated colors (balanced by the blue sky which is itself not empty), a great range of tones. The graceful shapes of the women and their expressive hands make up for the missing faces. I do find myself wishing for the other hand to show, but I'm afraid that doing so would draw the eye because it would be a compelling foreground element, and also drawing back to include it would upset the composition. Very nice work. Marc - For what it's worth (not a lot, at this point), "I shall return" is most associated with Douglas MacArthur during the second world war. I don't recall it in Star Wars. Thanks for sharing these images with us Dariusz. Enjoy.
Wonderful The whole portfolio is fantastic. Is under exposure the way to such color saturation? I don't think I've ever seen a series of photos that consistently have intense color like this one and the rest in the portfolio. Rich color is my main concern and I'd love to know how you acheived it over and over again.
Psychological... Well, i'm pretty sure we have a very attractive picture here, We have a story, a very nice color saturation, a very nice DOF and (why not) a couple af nice models.... I saw a comment that said that every picture taked in India can become a masterpiece inmediatly...Well, i supposed that since there are a lot of different cultures that are very different from us occidentals...we can find those pictures to be attractive since it's a different world. We can find a downtown landscape unattractive but i bet that those womens would become amazed with that... "Siempre es mas verde el jardin del vecino"... Saludos,
Alternative interpretation This colorful and rich photograph has an ominous feel to it which I can't help but notice primarily by way of the woman on the right. Her thin frame, the skeletal appearance of her head through her veil, the whiteness of her right hand; all make her look almost spectral. Her interaction with the second woman, apparently pregnant, creates an alternative interpretation.
Congrats on POW. Very nice work. Very original. I'm not sure if I would have shown the end of the wall or cropped it. Still, a beautiful piece
Such a colorful traveler's shot showing exotic scene from an underdeveloped tourist area is always fascinating for the eye of our gentleman photographers who preferentially travel to the popular tourist countries on holidays.
Beutiful & Mysterious I love this. I also love the fact that the faces are hidden.
One of my recent favorites. Congratulations on the POW selection.
Aesthetics , Originality Ahhhhhhh, yes. Now I remember why I love photography. Powerful photo, thank you for sharing it.
WOW!! Proud to be an indian!! evrim...the women to the right is wearing bangles not starwar armour:-)
Wow! I reviewed your portfolios and think they are outstanding. I'm envious. . .
exposure Thank you all for your comments.. David, I dont deliberately underexpose my film; normally I just take a straightforward incident reading, but I do try to chose the light conditions carefully; (direct sunlight; open shade etc.). If you stay within the 3-4 fstop range the colours will be saturated; I do this as opposed to under-exposing so as not to lose (darken) the mid-tones. I always expose for the highlights and let everything else fall accordingly. In this particular photograph, I exposed for the highlights but shot into the shadow; I find this technique effective for adding an extra dimension to the image and increasing the impression of higher colour saturation.
Incredible Portfolio Amazing shot. Congratulations. I think this picture has a "universal" appeal, to people who are familiar with the culture, and to those who are not, which I feel is (or should be) the hallmark of every great picture. I think there's been a deliberate underexposure, and it works so well. Question: How could you get so close to these people without distracting them? Congrats again.
Actually, this photo grew on me. Though I still stand by my original comments, and the lack of a face bothers me, the colors are awesome. Rest of your portfolio is excellent. thanks for sharing.
The photograph is immersive and for that the image is better than average. I don't find the subject of the shot very interesting, however. Having the figure on the right in a hard shadow is distracting from the rest of the scene. If only the woman in red was present, I think you would have a stronger image. The other images in your India folders are very very good.
National Geographics level. I'll leave it up to everyone to decide if this a compliment or not.
Sorry, I disagree. I do not find this photo very interesting. Two faceless people, actually the one on the right reminds me of star wars movies!
definately the original is better than the one just above. when i first saw the pow i thought it was some freak photo of a corpse propped up against a wall. it is a very freaky photo still, the lack of faces and the skeletal arms on the far lady make it a very dramatic and beatiful photo, way more interesting than with their faces or in a 'normal' framing. excellent.
marshall, I much appreciate your comments, I can see why the pics may look underexposed, and actually, everytime I get to do my first edit,i'm always a little worried that they look a bit dark! Luckily, most of the time i get away with it! Another factor is scanning, I'm still finding my way around "colour spaces", "gamma settings" etc.,. thanks again
Aesthetics 9, Originality 9 Wonderful. Look how much better it looks just because he knelt down! Look at all the movement, and tension in the near lady's body, and hand, echoed by the star burst cloud effect behind the other lady. Look at how the vertical stone wall divides this image in half, and seems to be a looming, watchful presence over these veiled ladies. We want to see their faces, but, of course, that's the point. I keep being drawn to the sense of arrested possibilities in their hands, and the pregnancy on the right -- what could be, but won't be, and the knowledge that it won't be. All that amateur anthropology aside, it's a wonderful image: colors, composition, catching the moment, point of view. Well done! Bill Smith News Shooter
Great Pic But most westerners seem to be too easily fascinated by eastern images..
This close to a perfect picture. It tells a story, it has intrigue, the colors are beautiful, the exposure is perfect, there is movement. What more can I say? Great job.
Aesthetics 7, Originality 7 I like very much the story of this shot. Pity that the left figure is a little too dark
rajasthani women Having looked over your portfolio I started to notice a definite National Geographic touch to the photos. As has already been quoted "one of the strongest portfolios I've seen...either online or in any magazine" Seriously talented! If I manage to snap off images that are even say, twenty percent the quality of your works, then I'll be a happy guy. Cheers! I Look forward to your next series.
Guillermo Mario Martinez Caballero
Aesthetics 9, Originality 9 I like very much the saturation in colors and the texture. This picture means a great document for the people who don´t know about many cultures. Atte: Mario Paper Martínez Caballero/México
Aesthetics 9, Originality 9 What is it about "India" portfolios that is so damn compelling? Part of me wants to believe that it seems anywhere you point a camera on that continent you'll get a masterpiece (for that, I believe, is what this is). Another part of me wishes to be there so I can try an emulate just some of the wonderful images on this site (and in this portfolio) depicting it. Yet another says, "Don't go... you'll be disappointed". I'm worried about the hunger and the travail and the misery that is also part of India, as well as the just fascinating opportunities for photography and learning. This is a picture, ostensibly of two women standing, talking. It is greatly abstract, yet has magnetic elements of brilliant detail, superb color and alluring mystery to it. I can't begin to figure it, and therein lies its power: it is an enigma, a mystery to me. The shape of the hands, the alto clouds, the shallow depth of field, the mysterious wall take me to a place that is foreign and remote, but which beckons me to come closer and see for myself. Almost perfect. Technically delightful. Creatively interesting and absorbing. This is a great photograph that stands on its own, drawing me back to see what else I've missed on earlier, less enlightened viewings.
Man, your work seems those shots of the National Geographic! I don't agree with the first comment about the exposure on the left, for me is just right.
Conversational.. personal.. almost spiritual. Beautiful sky adds much to the scene. And yes, it does looks like something from the NGS mag. Great job.
Eric Robert Dion
Aesthetics 8, Originality 9 remember, to them, high heels and miniskirts are just as weird.
Rajastini Women One glimpse at this image left me at a loss of words. Its absolutely magnificent. You have captured so much with this one shot... the culture in addition to the personality of these women. I especially like the way you capture the shadows....(the lighting is perfect). The veils merely shroud the women's face, while this image captures the essence of these 2 women. As they say in hindi, it is "bahut khubsurat." Keep up the great work! -Ayesha R.
The best!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like it very much. Poon www.hksupplies.com
Rajasthani Beautiful. I hope that I can take pictures like that one day.
Superb Dariusz This is a photo worthy of National Geographic.
I look at a shot like this and I ask myself why I'm shooting Black and White?
Extraordinary colors! This is the kind of photo I wish I could take the credit for! Looks like National Geographic to me!
Women in a village in the Thar Desert/Rajsthan/India hi all, just have found photo.net and thought of showing some of my work. Would be glad to know what you think.