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Old 04-16-2009, 01:17 AM   #1
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Bow tied boy




Here's a few pic's I took recently of an eight year old boy.

The background was created with some cheap black fabric tacked to a wall.

All shot in very low light with a tripod. The first one is at 640 ISO and latter ones had to go to 1000 ISO. The 640 doesn't look so bad.

I've always liked a bow tie on a boy. The whole outfit: pants, shirt, vest and tie is from Wal-Mart as a set for $15.

The mom's hands over the shoulder was sort of an experiment. I wonder what other think of the idea.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:21 AM   #2
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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This is what the scene looked like with my fabric pinned to the wall and the single window light. You just have to make it happen with what you're given.

What I wanted was a shot of a boy that had just lost his teeth. I never could make it happen the way I had it in my mind. And, the light was sinking fast.

Here's one more silly pic.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:14 AM   #3
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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Hi Mike,

What an adorable kid! I LOVE his expression in the first 2 images (is #2 really a closeup of #1?) I also like the idea of having his Mom's arms draped over his shoulder... it gives a real sense of how small/young he is. Just wish you'd included her face as well, having her cut off at the shoulders feels a bit awkward to me
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:31 AM   #4
Carlos Ygoa Carlos Ygoa is offline
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Hello Mike,

I agree with the first one being alright although he has a serious expression and most parents want their child less serious looking ( I could be wrong). There is a bit too much reflected light on the other shots, but that
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:53 AM   #5
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
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Even considered as an original photograph, that first image is a powerful penetrating portrait and statement. Kudos to you and your great photography Mike! It's a very strong image.

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Old 04-16-2009, 10:39 PM   #6
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Terri,

#2 is a crop of #1.

I like it when a story can be told, or implied. It's a little difficult, however, in the confines of a head and shoulders portrait. I thought that if I depicted the boy in this way it would suggest a parent's unseen influence. Parents are mostly in the background yet children conduct themselves always through their profound influence. Protecting, yet unseen. Seperated, yet ever present.

The problem with all this nonsense is that it has to work as a viable composition. The shapes of shadow and light must first work in order for anyone to ever get to the allegorical bs. In this regard I've cropped the image a bit more. I think I like this version better.

Your response to the image is perfectly valid. I lean heavy on the advice: "be insulted, be delighted, be puzzled, just don't pass me by."

Carlos,

I don't like any of the other images from a technical point of view. The light on the shadow side came from an open front door about fifteen feet away. The boy was doing the eight year old fidget most of the time and I was lucky to get one crisp image.

In this kind of limited light I don't know how you could get this image without a spot meter. I recommend picking your spot on the lit side of the face, lock your exposure, then recompose.

I've spoken to Wal-Mart on your behalf and have good news! Wal-Mart has agreed to take over Spain! Now you too can take advantage of all that they have and don't have (I place this negative here for Linda B's sake) to offer.

Garth,

Thanks for the nice assessment. I'm a big fan and value your opinion a great deal.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:04 AM   #7
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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Mike:

Maybe it's just me, but the sleeves and the fingers are in visual opposition...the sleeves feel very masculine while the hands are clearly feminine...

In my eye, the hands make the statement and the suit sleeves pull me right off the work by making me question...if the person holding your subject was father or mother. You could certainly justify the suit on either gender, but to me, it made me ask a question.

Not necessarily a bad thing except that it pulled me off the work, but thought I would point it out.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Michael,

Thanks for your response.

I can't deny your reaction. I can only offer what my thinking was and how I solved certain issues that were in my mind.

Quote:
making me question...if the person holding your subject was father or mother
Maybe the jacket and hands represent both father and mother ...

As I was putting this together in my mind I knew that I wanted long sleeves and hopefully dark. I don't think the boy's face, on our left side, would pop out if it were against another flesh tone. I do think it might have been more complete if there had been just a touch of a white shirt sleeve showing beneath the jacket sleeve.

I think the image may require a bit of a leap and may not work for all viewers. That may not be a terrible thing. My biggest concern is that it work compositionally. All the "meaning" stuff will have to be worked out on an idividual basis.

As Garth suggested: it may best be left as photo. I'll put it in the stack and reflect on it.

I do think it's good to experiment with different notions. Then run them up the flag pole ... metaphorically speaking that is.

And speaking of symbolism ... here's some trouble I got into just after a recent snow storm. A "Crossroads," Robert Johnson moment.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:19 PM   #9
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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Hi Mike,

I like the closer crop better... and I like the concept
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:01 AM   #10
Carlos Ygoa Carlos Ygoa is offline
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Mike,

Thanks for your intervention with Wal-Mart. I will await their opening.
You are also my photography guru. I love the B&W one of the girl. Would make a great album cover...you captured her while she "tried to flag a ride..."(hope she didn
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