Sightless guitarist

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Erik Fransman 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #388281

    Lenny Wollitz

    This sightless lady sits by a busy bus stop and plays for tips. I think she does well.   A family member gets her set up and then leaves her for several hours. She has a small mic in front of her mouth connected to a very small amp. The close up shot shows the sightless “look” but I think the panoramic shot has more impact and I like the negative space which to my eye anyway makes her look small and helpless. What do you think?

    close up

  • #388282

    Lenny Wollitz

    Here is the pano, I hope!

  • #388332


    Lenny one of these I would discard and the the other is an amazing capture but I see it differently to you. The first shot is a portrait shot from an elevated position and for that reason does not work for me. Its a touristy type snap shot.

    The second, the pano, is a wonderful shot. It shows a street based rock star totally confident in her ability to play the instrument and entertain. The harsh light and deep shadow remind me of stage lighting. Its like Bohemium Rhapsody has hit the street and she is the female Freddie Murcury. She may be visually impaired but in your shot exudes a presence and supreme confidence. This is no small helpless blind person. In exchange for a disability she has been blessed with a gift and has the confidence to display it. That’s how I read the shot mate and I love it.

  • #388343

    Graham Hart

    Lenny, I like both shots but I favour the pano too. The close up shot feels like it should be part of a larger view. The darker RH side seems to be enclosing her against the wall, squashing her in and in doing so adds an element of sadness and loneliness to her situation. Perhaps this is appropriate?

    In the pano shot however, as Billyspad points out, she shines in her lonely sightless world. This pic could be titled ‘Me and My Shadow’.

    The added space around her gives weight to her music being a bridge between her sightless solitude and the world around her. The directed gaze in her posture suggests an insight through her music which sight alone cannot fathom.

    Love the pano!

  • #388347

    Rob Eyers

    Different strokes for different folks Lenny. As a guitar player the first speaks to me about her blindness. I also feel the street musician playing for pesos angle. Yeah you could have shot it lower or a number of different things but it tells an interesting story as is.

    The second image is 1/3 – 2/3 standard kind of compo but it works as a compostion. The blind street musician playing for tips…not so much. She is “looking” towards the guitar neck which a lot of sighted players do so that negates the blind info. She is also quite dark and the tip jar etc. is not very obvious. Not that it doesn’t work on it’s own merit as something different but for me it doesn’t tell the same story.

    I would work on showing more detail on her in the second…the first I would leave as is. Nice to see you working in colour…for me it works, but what do I know. Cheers

  • #388368


    Hi Lenny, for me the pano is the better image, I like it a lot. I like the composition and the feel of her surroundings. Although without your title, I wouldn’t necessarily know she was blind.

  • #388385


    I am always contrarian, Lenny. The first picture is a hands down winner for me. The composition is superb. I happen to like the shooting angle. No caption is necessary, even though I typically like captions.

    There is a most interesting blog making the social media rounds, 7 Habits of Boring Street Photography, written by Forrest Walker for PetaPixel. Boring Habit #3 is Street Musicians and Homeless. For me, the second picture is an example of that. There is a street musician and a wall. I have seen that variation hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. But the first picture, that is a different experience. I feel like I can see her as a human being and not just as a blind musician. It makes me wonder, if I walked in her shoes would I be as resourceful?

  • #388444

    Tom M

    I too like the 1st better. Better color,exposure. The angle of shot isn’t the best, but. The 2nd might be improved with a tighter crop from the right. it is a little too contrasty too. Both are pretty good…


  • #388616

    Lenny Wollitz

    Thanks for the comments!  This was a strange street shoot. The subject didn’t know I was shooting her even though I was literally in her face.  I’m not surprised that the opinions are divided.  I like both shots  in different ways, up close and personal and distant and impersonal.

    Rob, I’m trying to use color more when it doesn’t overwhelm and become the subject.  Which can be difficult in Mexico!  Working on Kent’s new book on color.

    Diane, the second is kind of a cliche isn’t it?  I don’t think street musicians or homeless are boring but the trick is to make them unique… POV, angle, expression, what they are doing and background.  The first was an attempt at a different POV and I’m pretty happy with it even though I had to remove a bunch of stuff in post… people, shadows etc.

    Tom, the weird angle is of necessity.  This is a very busy place with 20 or so people walking by every minute and buses stopped so they block the view and put her into partial deep shade.  I shot the weird angle pushed up against the wall but I kinda like it because of the angle.

  • #388778

    Erik Fransman

    Lenny, they can both work in their own way.

    I do not think the pano is the best aspect ratio for this one. I think a 1×1 crop might work better in this case. Something like this:

    • #388819

      Graham Hart

      Great crop Erik. Prefer this pic even more than before now.

  • #388878


    I find Erik’s suggestion really great, I’d definitely go for that crop!

  • #389119

    Lenny Wollitz

    Hey Erik, I like your “crop” very much!  From the repeating patterns in the upper part it looks like you used photoshop extend canvas to extend the top before cloning from the lower part of the wall.   I really like the look but not the repeating patterns.  Not sure if I want to spend the time and effort to refresh my memory to use extend canvas and do it without repeating patterns for a street photo.  I am leaning more and more towards minimal processing for street shots and trying to get it right in camera.  I hope to have another chance to shoot her and will use your idea to frame her.  Looks great and thanks!

  • #389154

    Erik Fransman

    Hi Lenny, this one is pretty simple in Photoshop. Open the image and choose Image, Canvas size. Then just change the height to match the width. In this case 6,4 si you get a 1×1 crop.

    Then select the image and move it to the bottom of the new canvas.
    And then use the rectangular selection tool to select the white area above the image. Choose edit, fill, content aware.

    You need to do that a few times because it does not fill up in one tile.

    The repeating patterns are also an easy fix. I did not do that because this was just a quick indication of how it could look.

    But it might be easier just to reshoot.

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