Blind Critics – Part II

Hi Guys !

As you know, a good thing to do to make better pictures is to get a feedback. Now when I say feedback, I do not mean kind words, but an honest opinion about your work. If you are looking for nice comments even if your picture is a crap, then go to flickr, upload a pic, add it to groups with awards and you will get thousands of WoWs! and GrEaT!

So here is the thing, I do pick up bad pics (always mine so no one complains) or good pics (I always ask the right’s owner) and I critic it. And say what I think.

So my “victim” today is Julio Velasco. I have found one of his pictures on Flickr and I kindly asked him if I could right something about this picture. He agreed and, well let’s start :

Barbas de plata

What do I see here ? Okay, old man, maybe over 60, shot in an angle of 3/4 which provides a dynamic to the shot. This man may not be the most handsome guy on earth from a fashion point of view, but he has a powerful charisma.  And obviously this is what Julio wanted to shoot.

This man wears a barb and a hat. It looks like as if he is dressed with no fashioned/expensive clothes. And this provides a real authenticity to the picture. Headshot, not a classical crop and this perfect here because Julio focusses on the expression of that guy. In such pictures, do not be afraid to cut part of the head : go to essential and cut the rest.

And as I was posting a few days ago, you can have the most beautiful face in front of you, a killer background, if you don’t have a strong expression you have nothing. Here ? It’s there. And a background would simply be distracting. So what we have here is a perfect composition kept minimalistic. A very good option !!!

Julio went for black and white. A great choice since it always provides an “out-of-time” feel and thru this, this man stands for all man like him. His face tells a lot about him : his age, his hair dress, his barb. As a viewer, I can imagine that that has a long filled life. His look has something sad, and this kind of fragility is really here : somehow he is hidden behind barb, glasses and hat. This man becomes iconic.

I guess the light is natural and the model is probably sitting close to a window which becomes a kind of softbox. It comes from his left behind him. There is a reflection in the glasses that leaves no doubt about that. Anyway, great light, the angle of the light gives a lot of details, and the skin tells history.

This shot is a great shot. What is great a great shot ? This is a philosophical question. But in a few words I guess that it a shot that sticks in mind.

And this one does, so this a good shot.

Is it perfect ? No. But it does’t matter. Just 2 little things, in my opinion :

1) The dof is a little to small, I wish could see the 2 eyes very sharp (may it was too dark and he went for something like 2,8)

2) In PS, I would have lightened up just a touch his dark right side. But just a very subtile touch.

But again, this a great shot that you see and think : Wow! Impressive. And you do not forgett. So my points 1 and 2 are not important.

Here is the link of the photographer in flickr :

Julio Velasco is a great portraitist and after I have browsed his flickr gallery I was blown away. He really understands light and plays with it in way that makes you want to take your cam and go out to make pictures.

Please visit his gallery!

Have nice light and a nice Weekend wherever you are!

more to come…

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