A black and white photo essay.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo: URL Review : One Thread

Greetings all! I've been observing the discussion groups here and very much enjoy what I see. Big thanks to the creators! Great job! I'm submitting a photo essay I did a few years back for you critique. Any comments both good and bad are more than welcomed since I consider myself a student for life in photography; I will never stop learning new things. I become interested in photography many years ago to capture nature: sunsets and landscapes. I am very shy, so photographing people was not on my list of subjects at the beginning. This all changed one night when I was feeling rather good about life and decided to take my camera downtown Wilmington on a Saturday night. How exciting photography has been since! The photos on my page will surely show you what I saw and captured onto film to best communicate the many nights I spent on this project. Got to admit, the camera literally gave me an ego I never had before, which enabled me to get past my shyness. I soon found a love for people and being able to capture them on film. I certainly learned quite a bit with this project. Let me know what you all think. Thanks!


Respectfully, Leslie Ratliff

-- Leslie Ratliff (leslie@carteret.com), December 31, 1998


I loved the photos, especially their informal quality. The compositions were especially strong. I'm not a fan of direct flash (you might try bounce flash sometime), and this sometimes gave a horrible soot-and-whitewash quality. I also don't really like the overall layout -- two photos per page, each page leads to the next. Have you tried the thumbnails-and-enlargements style?

Perhaps the last photo in the series could have an explanation.

-- Alan Gibson (Alan.Gibson@technologist.com), January 02, 1999.

A lot of this reminded me of Weegee. Have you thought about ditching your 35mm and buying a Speed Graphic? :) Was the last one a double exposure? (moon and building)

None of my photos ever look like this. Of course, I have never set foot in a bar. Did you ever give the people instructions? "Hey, you with the cap, stand like a Marine!"

The harsh contrast in some of the photos is a bit too harsh. If the camera will take an external flash, use one with power settings.

I didn't mind too much two pictures on a page, but I do wish that they were side by side instead of over and under. I dislike having to move the browser's window bar to see the other picture and move on.

Overall, pretty good!

-- Brian C. Miller (a-bcmill@exchange.microsoft.com), January 05, 1999.

Have you considered that when you are shooting for reproduction you must pay close attention to what Ansel Adams called "tonal mergers?" For example, if you photograph black hair against a black background you will lose the shape of the head in the background. Shooting for reproduction in a publication is different from shooting and printing a photo to hang on the wall. But the first shot is striking for its composition and shows promise. Harry

-- Harry Gehlert (cantabene@aol.com), February 18, 1999.

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