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Help Recomposing Photograph - Opinions Needed

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  #1  
Old 06-13-2006, 12:30 PM
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blue dog blue dog is offline
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Help Recomposing Photograph - Opinions Needed

Here's an original and revised photo. The issue with the original is that the two photos on the desk are the girl's parents and the photos are long lost.

I felt a recomposition was in order to bring the girls and the photos 'together'. What do you think?

Also looking for advice on how much further I need to go. I know that I have some shadow-consistency issues but I am not sure other people would notice. Also, because of the original lighting, I faked the wall paper which looks a bit pristine now. Advice?
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:24 PM
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fpellerin fpellerin is offline
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I think recompositing the picture was a good idea. There are a few little things that I feel should be addressed.
1- Like you noted, the shadows are an obvious one.
2- The youngest girls' face is somewhat "distorted"
3- There are visible traces of "retouching" on the wallpaper (smudging/cloning?)

You're certainly headed in the right direction. I'll take a "stab" at the picture when I get home tonight and post what I end up with.

Last edited by fpellerin; 06-13-2006 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:43 PM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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I believe it all depends on what the person commissioning the photo wants. However, when doing these old photos I try to keep the integrity of the image. I am very careful in cropping, and manipulating background and objects in the frame. I have found people, especially if it is a location or an event they remember, like to recall where a table, garage, car, tree or house was. The photo confirms or helps them remember the place or event.

While your repositioning of the table and photos brings them together, it changes the historical fact of the image. If the client wants it that way, so be it, but I would be careful in making those changes without permission. If this restored image were for a historical venue, it surely wouldn't fly.

Just a thought and not a criticism.

K
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:57 PM
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That's a very good point Ken. I could not agree more! (while making my initial comment, I was presuming that this is what the persons had asked for.)
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Old 06-13-2006, 03:02 PM
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Agreed

Good point. In this case, the older girl is my mother, and she asked if I could do something like this.

Thanks for the inputs.
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Old 06-13-2006, 04:45 PM
palomino palomino is offline
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I think I might even crop almost all of the legs out up to just below the girls hands...IMHO the feet being cut off in the photo itself is quite distracting. I like the new composition (as long as it is ok by your mama ), and I think if you can fix up the stray telltale PS signs, you will be well on your way. Is this going to be printed? That is another consideration, b/c it will be cropped to a standard size. Good luck!

-K
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Old 06-13-2006, 05:36 PM
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blue dog blue dog is offline
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Angry Missing feet and limbs

Am I the only one that goes spastic over cut-off legs and feet? I've gone so far as to surround the missing feet in a mysterious black fog.

See attached. I am the big goofy guy.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:02 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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I think your recomposed shot looks quite convincing, and has certainly achieved your goal of bringing the photos into closer proximity with the girls.

My only concern is similar to that expressed by Ken, but more specifically in relation to the photos themselves. I think that things like furniture are to an extent fair game in the recompositing stakes - as it is really a portrait, so it is the people that matter. Unless the layout of the living room is an important memory it probably can be sacrificed for the sake of a good portrait. However, the photos of the mother and father themselves have been flipped, which if you knew the person intimately could look very strange, as people's faces are rarely symmetrical. I realise that it improves the composition, and I can't actually suggest a good composition without doing this, but it is something worth keeping in mind. If you did this with a current member of your family chances are you would notice it looked wrong.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:08 PM
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Thank you Caitlin, I had completely forgot about those pictures being backwards. I knew it at one time.... And, thanks for saying its convincing.

Right now I think that I'm going to plow ahead in this direction. Its a comfort that nobody said it looked faked.

Thanks
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Old 06-14-2006, 08:22 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi blue dog,

I couldn't agree more with Ken, even though I think cropping this particular picture is correct!

You had a lot of empty wall above and on the right (my right) of the girls .... If an area contains no significant details or, like here, no details at all, I tend to crop it ....

Keeping in mind that
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Fournelle
I have found people, especially if it is a location or an event they remember, like to recall where a table, garage, car, tree or house was.
.. instead of moving girls and stool ... I simply flipped them horizontally so their bodies turn torward the pictures.

After balancing shadows and highlights I kept everything a bit on the 'dark' side to make girls and pictures stand out more ...

As for your other picture, it looks like a cut and paste job ... and the 'mysterious black fog' which actually looks more like a solid black blob... will look even worse if printed...
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