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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Okay, photographers - what's up with this picture?

   
Author Topic: Okay, photographers - what's up with this picture?
Belle
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So my daughter had her gymnastics team picture made. I was really looking forward to it, it's her first year on the team, first time to get team pictures, etc.

The background was weird, to me. I just didn't "get" it. Now, I've shown this picture to several people and they are in two camps. The first one loves the background, thinks it's different and pretty and a wonderful idea. The second camp thinks the photographer was on drugs when he picked the backdrop.

I am very curious as to what the hatracker audience, particularly the photographers in our midst think. I'm wondering if I should tell the coach that I'm not completely happy and suggest they use a different photographer next time. The problem is, it's a GREAT picture of my daughter. So, I feel bad complaining about something so subjective as backdrop choice. I wish he'd brought more than one backdrop and we could have chosen something else.

So what do you think?

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Kwea
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Weird, but not glaring.
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Liz B
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It doesn't seem odd to me exactly, just very JCPenney family portrait studio circa 1982.

(Extra-cute picture, btw.) And I don't think there's anything wrong with complaining, or asking for a plain backdrop.

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Kwea
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Hey! I worked at the JCPenney Portrait Studio!

(I really did, although not in the 80's)

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Liz B:
It doesn't seem odd to me exactly, just very JCPenney family portrait studio circa 1982.

I was thinking Sears, but yeah.
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Teshi
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I don't really find it objectionable. Perhaps a little campy, but it could have been a lot worse. What bothers me most is the fact that you can clearly see the joints of the background.
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TomDavidson
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The seams in the backdrop are unforgivable, but they're really only visible because the photographer screwed up the focus. The backdrop in shots like that is supposed to be severely out of focus. It's usually trivially easy to do that, but it might have been complicated by the wide angle of the shot. Regardless, that's why God made Photoshop; just lift her out and plop her into a stadium or something.
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Belle
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Im' glad someone besides me noticed the seams! My husband said I was extra-picky to notice that.

Sadly, I have no photoshop skillz. Nor do I have photoshop. [Frown]

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Kwea
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Download Picasa...it's free, and you can blur it there.
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Kwea
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Or crop it. [Smile]
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ElJay
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The seams are awful, you're not extra picky.

I tried to cut her out for you, but the fingers are really hard, and it's late. If someone else hasn't done it by the weekend, though, I might give it another shot.

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Nato
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I'd take a shot at it (to practice up my quick-masking skills)
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sarahdipity
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I noticed the seams too. I think that the seams and actually the whole background distract from her. I keep getting distracted by badly painted trees. Your daughter looks very adorable in that picture though. I think someone should be able to photoshop it up nicely for you. I'm assuming you'd only want a couple pictures for your house/personal use so the whole copyright issue wouldn't be a huge problem.
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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The background isn't awful. Its just that trees and gymnastics don't go very well together...unless you're wearing a loincloth.
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quidscribis
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Your daughter is as cute as could be - it's a great photo of her.

The backdrop - ugh. Yeah, those seams are horrid. And no, not being picky.

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jlt
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Well, she could be sitting on a branch of a tree, the branch being the balance beam.
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MightyCow
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Cute picture. It would be easy to fix in photoshop, but for some reason I mine is giving me problems. Something I'll have to look into anyway, but if I get my computer fixed and you haven't had anyone work on the photo yet, I'd be glad to. It wouldn't take but 15 minutes if I my computer wasn't giving me grief.
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Tante Shvester
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Terrific picture of your daughter.

Bad backdrop, though. I noticed the seams first, then how unfitting the backdrop was.

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Nato
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http://ottonomy.net/temp/gymnastics-temp1.jpg

Here's what I've got so far (don't worry, it only took me 20 minutes--I took a break to watch The Pick of Destiny again).

It's just the background completely cut out, but you could put anything there. When I'm done I'll post the photoshop file so you can put in whatever background you want.

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Nato
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http://ottonomy.net/temp/gymnastics-final.jpg --JPG final version with a background I constructed from sections of the original

http://ottonomy.net/temp/gymnastics.psd -- PSD (Photoshop File) 7.5 MB (If you're going to want to put in your own backgrounds, download this, but I'm going to delete it from my server in a week or so because it's big)

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Samprimary
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I would have dropped the picture and gotten a different facial profile.

And gotten rid of the backdrop.

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Primal Curve
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I'd do it, but it'd only be worth cleaning up if I had a hi-res version of it. That way you could have it printed after I finished.
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Farmgirl
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You do good work, there, Nato.

FG

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kmbboots
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The seams bugged me, too. Immediately.
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Abhi
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quote:
Originally posted by Nato:
http://ottonomy.net/temp/gymnastics-final.jpg --JPG final version with a background I constructed from sections of the original

http://ottonomy.net/temp/gymnastics.psd -- PSD (Photoshop File) 7.5 MB (If you're going to want to put in your own backgrounds, download this, but I'm going to delete it from my server in a week or so because it's big)

hey could you email me a png version?
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Abhi
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Belle, yeah the seams bother me too...

anyway, if you send me a high res. version of the picture, I can fix it for you. Let me know if you just want the kinks removed from the background, or if you want a different background.

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Belle
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You guys, I didn't mean to get anyone thinking they needed to help me. You're all so sweet. [Smile]

I just wondered if I was off base, because some people actually did LIKE the background. I did find out though, that I'm not the only one -several mothers have already complained and the head of the gym said they'll insist on a plainer background next year. No more "Gymnasts in the woods" (which I've been singing to the tune of "Strangers in the Night"!)

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Uprooted
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Yeah, more like "Gymnasts in the extremely distracting seam-filled woods." [Wink]

Your daughter, on the other hand, looks beautiful!

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scholar
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When I looked at the original (with the bad background) my thought was awful picture. To be honest, I didn't really think it was a cute picture of the girl. But in Nato's version, I thought, wow, that is a great picture. I guess the background was too distracting for me to see past it. But I would rather have a cute kid than a cute background. People comment on my baby's picture- what a cute background, never cute baby (she is really cute though, just not in those pictures). But it looks like you now have a really nice picture so it all works out. [Smile]
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Adam_S
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as a photographer, I barely glanced at the picture and I thought SEAMS! those are really really bad, and shouldn't be seen as Tom pointed out, someone isn't used to their DSLR yet with a smaller sensor and therefore less fine control on depth of field is my guess.

It is a terrific picture of the subject though, great portrait/pose

And the background is sort of awful, for one it's too crisp, and two it looks like a weekend amateur paint job. either go with the traditional mottled background like Nato made or something more photoreal imo.

I was about to download it and fix it because the seams were making me twitchy but I scrolled down the thread and saw someone beat me to it. Great job Nato!

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