Walk The Dog

This topic contains 22 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Gary Zerbst 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #401379

    Erik Fransman
    Participant

    Fujifilm X-T3, 1/1500s, f/5, 56mm, ISO 160.

    Please click for Flickr (bigger is better):
    Walk the dog

  • #401381

    billyspad
    Blocked

    Erik I love dogs and feel I have a surplus of empathy towards the disabled or physically disadvantaged but this leaves me cold. There is no involvement between the mutt and the person in the chair and certainly no involvement with the photographer. Chapter 4 of the Good Snappers Guide talks about our old favorite juxtaposition so maybe that’s it. Healthy dog legs vs knackered old person needing an electric buggy to get around? If that is indeed the “story” and enough for you then publish at will my man. For me the “story” is a little short on interest.

    Final thought is I hope that little dog did not crap on the beach cos I cant see how the person in the chair can clean up after their pet like a good dog owner should.

  • #401393

    Richard Barnard
    Participant

    Feels to me that you recorded a ‘happenstance’ here rather than a meaningful moment / connection between scooter & dog.  Dog runs towards passing motor scooter doesn’t feel unique or compelling enough, particularly as the key elements are indistinct & occupy a relatively small amount of the frame which further increases my disconnect. I don’t see a story or get a sense of character that makes me want to linger and explore the photo further.

    Good street /candid photography has to be more than simply documenting a moment in time. What was it that you wanted to convey? Why this fraction of a second rather than any other? What was your vision / what was it you were trying to communicate? What elements did you need in the frame to achieve this? Every inch of your composition is critical – why include a relatively large expanse of foreground & negative space?

  • #401409

    Lenny Wollitz
    Participant

    Contrary to Richard, I like the horizontal bands of negative space…  sidewalk, sand, sea and sky.  For some reason the hand rail works, rule of odds?  The dog is only an insignificant and not recognizable blob of white until viewed much, much larger.

  • #401420

    Tersha
    Keymaster

    I agree with Lenny, for me the negative space is part of the whole, without it, it would just be a pic of a person in a mobility scooter. Plus I can see a connection between the person and the dog.

  • #401449

    Frank
    Participant

    I agree with Lenny about the nice composition of walkway, sand and sea, including the addition of the railing.  But, perhaps you have fallen in to an issue we all face as photographers and especially from my own experience.  If someone is seeing this in a room with a computer for the first time, will they know the story, or is the subject matter too esoteric?  Without your title or explanation would I know what was happening.  How do we know the connection between the man and the dog?  You probably saw the dog with the man, his ownership was obvious to you, but does the photo show that.  No.  We can hardly see the dog.  In the thumbnail, I can hardly tell that that is a dog.  For example, in one of my photos, I had set up what I thought to be a fallen soldier.  I had an old musket and a partly obscured American flag in a nearby bush with only the stripes showing.  A friend looked at the image and asked why there was a beach towel in the bushes.   In a book by John Shaw, I remember reading if one needs a paragraph to explain the subject of a photo, it probably is not a good story telling image.  You were there, you saw the man, maybe even spoke and shared your empathy.  Maybe you saw the dog on his lap.  To you the story was obvious.  Not so with us and just this one image.  What would happen if there was no dog in the photo? Comments then might be more about composition and the elements of design rather than a story.   We might all see a different story, too!   Hopefully all the comments are helpful. Keep on shooting.    It is not easy to throw an image to the sharks!

  • #401450

    Frank
    Participant

    Actually, this image does invoke a story for me.  I had a brother who spent much of his life confined to a wheel chair and I know the freedom the discovery of a scooter like this brought to him…at least until the battery began to wear out mid-journey.

  • #401491

    Frank
    Participant

    John Shaw, Landscape Photography, pp.88-89

  • #401492

    Frank
    Participant

  • #401493

    Frank
    Participant

  • #401584

    Erik Fransman
    Participant

    Thank you all for commenting. Forgive me that I do not respond to comments that are made about the “thumbnail” version or viewed on a mobile phone or even a tabled.
    Yes, you are correct, if you view it on a small enough screen, the dog is not visible enough.
    When I view it on a fair size screen, then I see the image as I intended.

    For me the story is clear, but there are many variations possible.
    I think (not sure because I do not know the person in the photo) that I manipulated the story. In the org file, there is another person visible, possibly the owner of the dog, but I am not sure of that either. I did not include that person because I liked the interaction between the person on the electric buggy and the dog. She clearly looks at the dog and by omitting the other person I suggest that the dog end the person in the buggy have a relationship.

    I do like the various juxtapositions, the person in the buggy vs the running dog. The smooth pavement vs the mulled sand. (That’s why I left so much of the foreground in)
    But in the end, they both (dog and person in on the buggy) enjoy the day.

    Obviously for Billy and Richard that is not enough. Frank likes the composition but cannot see the story. And they may be right.

    As always, thanks for taking the time, pointing out the various elements why the image does not work for you.

    Luckily for me, I am not totally alone, Lenny and Diane do see recognize my intentions. I can’t say much more about it.

     

  • #401595

    billyspad
    Blocked

    Erik I feel your pain my friend. There is a school of thought which appears quite strong on LS that candid pictures of perfect strangers doing nothing in particular can be made into a story and will suffice. Others like Richard and myself need more out of an image. I think we both seek the defining moment and if its not there its a fail. For myself I sincerely believe candid pictures of strangers can be taken by anybody with the most basic of cameras.

    So your picture splits opinion. One reviewer sees a connection between the person and the dog. How that comes about I have no idea. I hope you stay true to your vision mate and ignore what others say in the main. Take the shots that you like. Richard and I may not like em others will see what is maybe not there but as long as you are pleased with the result it can be called a success.

    • #401627

      Erik Fransman
      Participant

      Hi Billy,

      Thanks. Just to make things clear, there is no pain. I have been on LS  some time and I have no problem with criticism. That is not to say that I always agree, but often enough I do and I make changes to my image based on the suggestions I get here.

      ‘The Decisive (Defining) Moment” who can argue with that. However, if without that the image is a fail, I can chuck most of my images in the bin.
      However, for my images, I am not that orthodox, not that strict. I give myself a bit more room to wiggle. I do try to include a story, sometimes more clearly than other times.
      And lastly, very rarely I have an image that does not split opinions.
      Billy, as you say, I agree, I can only make the images that I like. When others like them too, even better. If not, at least I like it! 🙂

  • #401602

    Graham Hart
    Participant

    Hi Erik, I would not classify this pic as a ‘street’ shot personally. Here’s my storyline…

    To me the image speaks of the pleasure to be found in the simple things in life. The beauty of nature, the symmetry of a landscape before us, the joy of another’s freedom now lost to us.

    When I first looked at it, I was reminded of that famous photograph ‘Rhein II’ taken by Andreas Gursky in 1999. There are similar aesthetic features in your shot which immediately appealed to me. The four bands of colour and texture; concrete, sand, water and sky display the beauty found in the symmetry of landscape. The wheelchair-bound elderly person experiencing a lost freedom in the playful dog retrieving a ball.

    It says to me that as we slow down and the older and more frail we get, the more we see the world around us and the beauty we perhaps overlook in the mad rush to live life. The stair rail, like the flag on the moon, says ‘Man was here’.

    I very much like this pic.

  • #401775

    Frank
    Participant

    A new story?

  • #401924

    Frank
    Participant

    Sorry, I was not meaning to insult the original.  I just enjoy playing with photos and tried to change the story.   Placing the scooter near the edge and going out of the frame adds tension.  The dog running the other way with more room to run presents an opposite feeling….more freedom to run.   The original image is a more peaceful, hopeful view.   Maybe a connection, a friendship between the man and dog who runs toward the man to join him.   With the scooter having more room in front leaves me with a feeling of optimism for the man who has a lot to look forward to as he rolls along in a beautiful setting.  Now that is only what I see, I do not know for sure what Eric was thinking.  Others, have suggested he left too much up to our imaginations and did not make the connect between man and dog obvious.  Also, is that many really old?  Is that white hair or a white hat.  Because the dog is facing the camera and is quite small, what can we really tell about it? Is there any connection between man and dog?  How can we tell from the photo?  For me too much is missing.  Nevertheless, I can make up my own story.  I can relate to the man in the scooter.  The photo does not need the dog….etc…etc.

    One reason I like shark tank is that I get tired of looking at my own images.  As I tweak them, they change, are the any good, or not, I often ponder.  I rarely show photos any more to my wife who rarely shows any interest.  So, it gives me a break to look at other images.  Here I get a chance to say what I see and how I might change the image if it were mine.  Other images are fun for me to play with.  I hope to give constructive criticism.  What is in an image that I like about it, but also what is there that I would change if it were an image I had taken myself.   In this thread, I find Richard comment and questions about street images very helpful.  Do our images answer those questions to anyone who looks at the image or is it only us the photographer who thinks his photo gives the obvious answers.  Look at the last image I posted. I saw something in the image that made me like it, but no one saw anything close to what I was thinking.  The image, then is a failure.  It is only meaningful to me, at least so I thought.

    When a Junior in High School, I wrote a long essay about Thomas Edison.  I thought it told a lot about the man, his feelings and talents.  My father read it, and said, “Well, that is a nice story about his life.”  I had assumed because I told a fact about his life, for example he could go long hours even a day without sleep.  I gave the facts, but failed to say what those facts said about the character and will of the man, what interpretation I had of those facts.  My essay was a C+, not an A.  My brother had written about Winston Churchill and won an award because he wrote about his feelings, his impressions, and what the character of Churchill had meant to him.   Photographs do not have the benefits of words, but we still need them to evoke emotions, tell meaningful stories through color, compositions, elements of design, our placement of objects and subjects…all those things we read about in books by the experts, people we know are experts, because we see their work.   Then again if we see photography as art, what makes great art?    And, that is a story for another day.

  • #401983

    Kent DuFault
    Participant

    I like your intent. I think if the woman, the dog, and the railing were ever so slightly closer together- thus providing a tighter crop, and moving all the elements forward in the picture- it would be stronger.

  • #402529

    Falxy
    Participant

    Hi Erik….yeah loads of great elements here 🙂 ………….sky,dog,railings etc……..

    crop left and bottom to pull it in man

    great parallel lines

     

  • #402539

    Dorothy
    Participant

    Erik Fransman: After all the comments i want to say that when i looked at the picture i thought i saw that the dog was running towards us with a ball in his mouth.  Having only one person in the scene i figured they threw the ball and the dog was fetching.  i see the story.  That said, i would eliminate the railing and perhaps crop maybe a third of the sidewalk.

  • #402972

    Gary Zerbst
    Participant

    I perceive a mismatch between the size of the dog’s body and it’s relatively huge head. Yet the lighting shadows indicate  a single light source and a straight (IE not fabricated)  image.

    I get a hint that here  is some connection between he person and the dog but nothing more than a faint hint.    I get the comments about the graphic design  elements of the composition but they are not enough IMHO to carry the photo.  This is a moment in time that comes far short of being the “decisive moment.

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