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Jared Says I Should Start Critiquing My Work. So Here is One

Jared says I need to start critiquing my own photos.
I don’t even know where to start. I just know what I like.

So…. I processed the color version of this photo first. As with most of my indoor photos, I prefer the black and white version of this photo.

Here is where I whine to Jared and say, “That’s all I know what to say about it.”

There’s nothing wrong with the color version except that Liam’s walls are yellow and I feel like the yellow calls attention to itself. I hate the color of Liam’s walls– they are the color we inherited the house as– but Liam loves his room as it is, so it doesn’t get painted. But Liam is the subject of the picture, not the yellow wall.

In both pictures, I love that his desk faces his window so you get the light right on his face.

I think the light is what makes this work as a black and white photo. I like my black and whites to be punchy with lots of contrast. I used the Mastin Fuji original on the bottom photo just like I did with the top photo, but instead of setting the film simulation to Provia as I did with the top photo (Mastin’s instructions to Fuji users in Capture One instead of “Film Standard”), I used Acros. Then I upped the contrast in Capture One. The color version then went into Photoshop for some color adjustment, but the black and white version went straight to Topaz Denoise.

Neither of them are particularly strong photos. Liam was playing D&D online with friends at the time and I wanted an in-action shot and that is hard when a kid’s attention is focused online. But it is definitely true to this time of the pandemic, when he has been grasping for all the friends he can connect with virtually that he can.

If I had it to reprocess (and I do, but I probably won’t), I would lighten the shadows. You can’t tell the back of his head from where the headphones end. I don’t know. I probably make my shadows too soft most of the time.

I’m going to start taking more pandemic pictures. It’s time to start working through the boredom, even when that means pictures of Liam at his computer and Porter with his Chromebook in his bedroom.

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